Functional Brass Cantles - Couldn't Find Them, So Now I'm Making Them

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As many of you may be aware, finding functional brass cantles is a challenging task, to say the very least.

Apart from a few antique ones that occasionally come up for sale on eBay (and go for a MINT) the only option out there was to find an ex-MoD cantle from the 1950s-60's and make a new bag for it.

Even these cantles are now running several hundred dollars on auction sites.

Last year I started working on the idea of having a run of cantles cast, and got all the way through the first test pour before things didn't work out with my smith & foundry.

I didn't let that little setback defeat me too much. I'm now building the cantles the more commonly seen way.

This one was commissioned to resemble an antique piece I had done some restoration work on.





First polish


I had to buff out a few tooling marks, and am currently working my way up to +2000g polishing compound.

The turnings for the hinges and the top knob should be arriving today at which point I'll cut the threads for and assemble the spring-latch that keeps the mouth closed.

Next up on my list will probably be the half-octagon on the right (below)


As always constructive commentary or critique is welcome.

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This is looking fascinating. looking forward to following this one!

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Thanks Raptor,

my turnings still haven't arrived, but I'm hoping they'll do so in today's post.

In the mean time, I'm getting the bag assembled.

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The turnings FINALLY arrived, final fitting of the spring latch has been made.


The bag is nearly completed as well. Next I'll disassemble everything and give it it's final polish.

It's getting progressively more difficult to take decent pictures of the cantle. About 3/4 of them had tools or my ugly mug reflected in the metal. :laughing:

Should be completed by the end of the weekend and off to it's commissioner.

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posting over myself a bit, but oh well.

The cantle and bag are complete. I'm finishing up the belt and strap today.


The stitching visible on the back is from the commissioner's requested internal storage pockets.

One interesting thing I learned in the researching brass work (found it on a clockmaker/repair forum) is that it is physically impossible to polish brass or other "factory metals" to a true mirror finish.

For that to be achieved the metal must be sanded, copper plated, then brass plated over the top.

As an aside, it is very, very strange to not have touched this piece since the polishing. It's very alien to have to wear gloves all the time when working.

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That's come up a treat.

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