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Thread: Tailor's Clapper (what?)

  1. #1
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    Tailor's Clapper (what?)

    Yes, I know, many of you, like me, probably have never heard of such a simple device.

    My wife has informed me that I have to make a few of these for her and friends.

    So simply, it's a piece of flat wood that is pressed on a steamed, ironed sewing seam. The wood holds the seam flat and absorbs the steam moisture from the fabric seam.

    The wood does not have any finish applied, it basically needs to blot the moisture.

    So my question to the experts here, what wood would you use for this.

    I'll be doing a water droplet test, later today, on various woods to see which one is the most absorbent.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Pine or fir would be my guess. Cedar can have oils and redwood could leave stains. Cherry or alder also seem to be absorbent and have tighter grain and are more resilient. I'm sure there are others so let's see what other folks have to say.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
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  3. #3
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    After a little bit more exploring, I found a place that sells them and they use red oak.

    This will mostly be a scrap pile project.

  4. #4
    red oak is an unusual choice given its tendency to stain when wet.

    I vote for basswood.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    I vote for basswood.
    I'll definitely try that, I've got a lot of off cuts leftover from another project.

  6. #6
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    I think you want enough weight to press it down so not pine. I vote doug fir since it is probably the cheapest you can buy. Maybe a hardwood so no sap.

  7. #7
    I use tongue depressors.. not fancy but work and wood does not stain
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  8. #8
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    I would try yellow poplar (also known as Tulip Poplar)
    Lee Schierer
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  9. #9
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    I was also thinking poplar, and also birch.
    Brian

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  10. #10
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    I have made a couple for my wife who is a quilter. I made them from maple. They are exposed to heat and damp with a steam iron. A dense, closed life wood is best.

  11. #11
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    Made a Basswood and a Red Oak one yesterday. I've got lots of Maple scraps so I'll make another.

    Then my friend can use and test them and educate me, not that I plan to really make any more.

  12. #12
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    Wife's friend is happy


  13. #13
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    The personalization was a really nice touch!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    My wife has one she purchased. It looks to me to be made out of ash.

  15. #15
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    Got curious and found this:

    Is the wood special?

    Tailor’s clappers are made out of hardwood only. In order to do the job, the wood has to be heavy and close-grained. Maple and tulipwood are popular! If you use another, less dense wood, it can absorb the steam and pop the wood grain! And NOBODY wants a popped wood grain...
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

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