The suggestions (below) from Joan are all wonderful, and I've used most of
them. In 1984 I had the privilege of meeting Sidney Cockerell at his studio
outside of Cambridge, England. I was a novice marbler at that time
(remember, this was before all the "how-to" books on marbling became
available), and very anxious to see how the different patterns could be
obtained. After escorting me around his studio (one of his assistants was
actually doing the French Bouquet, and that was the first time I saw the
double tooth bouquet comb) I asked him where one could purchase marbling
tools, especially the combs. He replied "my dear, marblers always make
That being said, you can purchase combs from Colophon and from Galen
Berry...but it really is quite easy to make your own. One of the first
combs I made I used a wooden yard stick as the base so that I had exact
spacing to place needles. I made a little grove every 1/4" (or whatever
spacing you want) and laid a needle there. After they were all lined up I
put a layer of PVA to hold them, let dry, and 3 or 4 more layers of PVA to
make sure they really were stable and also, the PVA makes the wooden yard
stick waterproof. All these years later I'm still using that comb.
In a workshop I took from Don Guyot we used rakes he had made from plastic
hair picks...the type you used to use to hold rollers in your hair (think
back to the 1960's). The only problem there is finding them. Do they still
make those perforated rollers that needed the picks to hold them?
Have fun making your own. You can make them just the right size for your
tray, and you can make them any spacing you like.
> Hi John, There must be as many ways to make combs as there are
> marblers, including portable combs made from flyscreen wire which
> can be rolled up for easy packing, combs attached to wooden rods
> with velcro, and combs made from everyday materials such as
> corrugated cardboard and packets of pins. And then there is the
> basic whack a few nails into a piece of timber variety. If other
> marblers are like me, they spend their spare moments or sleepless
> night figuring out better ways . . . . .
> Get a few books from your library for a start to get a variety of
> ideas both simple and complex.
> For myself, I have found the best and most reliable combs are made
> from two pieces of approx 1/4" thick balsa wood. I carefully glue
> the pins along the edge of one piece, pushing the heads into the
> soft wood so that the pins lie flat. Then, using drip-free contact
> glue I put glue on both pieces of balsa and when dry press them
> together. This is a long process, but at least in the end I have a
> light reliable comb. For added strength I sometimes finish by
> painting the comb with the resin used to make fibreglass surfboards
> etc. This penetrates the balsa wood and makes it rock hard. They
> are light enough to hang from a piece of string on a coat rack or
> somesuch for easy storage.
> For bouquet combs I use 5/8" thick balsa woodg and push plastic hair
> curling pins or metal floral pins through. They tend to wobble a
> bit, and often have to be stabilised with blu-tak.
> There is not much high tech involved in making combs, just lots and
> lots of time and patience if you want good reliable ones.
> Best of British luck. Joan
> -- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "johnsorge" <jlsorge@...> wrote:
>> I solved my lack of trays. Now on to the the next hurdle. Does
>> anyone out there make their own combs/rakes? If so, how did you
> do it
>> and specifically, how do you make the tines or teeth a perfect 90
>> degree angle to the wood part?
>> I don't want to reinvent the wheel, therefore I am tapping the
>> knowledgeable persons for their expertise.
>> I am very grateful for any help I receive.
>> John Sorge
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