Beard Comb with "Wood-Carta" Comb.

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Project by KnotCurser posted 02-21-2016 04:00 PM 1846 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve made a few of these combs in the past and almost all of the comb tines break after a few months. No matter what I used it seemed that the tines were just too weak and brittle. I even tried using LP Vinyl which wound up either too flimsy or too thick if I doubled it up.

I then came across a bunch of videos on micarta – basically taking pieces of fabric and impregnating them with resin – and wondered if I could do this with REALLY thin sheets of wood. I thickly coated five sheets of veneer with resin, sandwiched them between two slabs of melamine and put the clamps to them.

After an overnight of curing, I pried the boards apart and IT WORKED! Five sheets of cross-plyed wood less than three millimeters thick and super strong! I am calling this stuff Wood-Carta!

I KNOW what some people are going to say – “it’s PLYWOOD”. Yeah, I suppose, but plywood isn’t totally impregnated with resin and this strong.

Into the laser cutter to create the comb part and the center of the case. The rest of the case is solid walnut.

After a bunch of shaping, sanding and a tad more laser embellishments here’s the result! This will be going to a friend who paid for a much earlier version of one of my combs and had the tines break. Gotta make things right!

Finish consists of just orange oil – I’ve found that with regular use, the oils in our hands and beard tends to keep the wood treated and looking great.

I’ve got quite a few ideas for this “wood-carta” for future projects. :-)



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

8 comments so far

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4000 days

#1 posted 02-21-2016 04:35 PM

Very cool and creative Bob!

-- ~Julie~

View Diggerjacks's profile


2329 posts in 4104 days

#2 posted 02-21-2016 04:53 PM

Hello Bob

This is a very cool idea

I like it

Plywood yeah and so what ?

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View htl's profile


5324 posts in 2125 days

#3 posted 02-21-2016 05:42 PM

Beard comb!!! I love it.
Never fails to amaze me the things that come up on this site.
Out of the ordinary but way cool and going to be fun to make one for my mustache.
Going to add this to my list along with a wood tie.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View rance's profile


4274 posts in 4126 days

#4 posted 02-22-2016 03:42 PM

Bob, the reason the teeth break is because of the grain direction. If you turned it 90 deg. then the handles would break. What you’ve done is essentially inlaid fiberglass-like in between the layers. A good solution. Might I suggest another approach. Try just 3 plys of just wood. The inner ply with the grain running parallel to the teeth. The outer plys with the grain running parallel to the handle. This might be a lot easier to manufacture. And after the making of the plywood, you might consider thinning the area with the teeth to just the one inner ply. Or better yet, just have the tooth area a single ply. Am I making sense? BTW, nice project.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View KnotCurser's profile


2038 posts in 4034 days

#5 posted 02-22-2016 04:05 PM


I knew exactly why they broke – trust me! ;-)

I tried running the grain the other way as well – as soon as the comb dried out a bit SNAP!

The 5 plys are actually my 2nd attempt at this solution – I did try 3-ply, but the comb flexed too much so I went with 5 plys. I’m not sure why I never tried out 4 though. Might do that if I need another comb.

You are making perfect sense – actually you are mimicking my thought processes and trials that I’ve done just about step-by-step. :-)

I found it’s easier just cutting the entire thing in 5 plys and then using my belt sander to narrow down the tooth area – that way it goes from 5 to 3 to 1 evenly.

Thanks for the kind words and suggestions! I don’t thing anything we do should be called “final version” or “perfect”. Especially, the later of the two.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Roger's profile


21047 posts in 3769 days

#6 posted 02-22-2016 05:01 PM

Like a switch-blade combo, in case you need to comb yer hair in a hurry.. Good one

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View rance's profile


4274 posts in 4126 days

#7 posted 02-24-2016 04:24 AM

This is really scary. I was thinking of the sanding of the teeth afterwards but did not want to go to the trouble of trying to explain it. That is a real hoot. Hey, I still enjoy all your posts, and I often learn something too. Thanks.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Burb's profile


112 posts in 3335 days

#8 posted 02-26-2016 02:45 PM

Thats awesome.

-- I aspire to be a novice woodworker...

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