04-07-2013, 12:29 AM
#1
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
Ahhhh, the Omega 49 a brute of a boar. With a 27mm knot and 65mm loft set in a large colorful handle this brush is a whole lotta bang for $10. In use it did a fine job with my preferred face lathering, but truth be told it felt disconnected. The handle was so light and the loft on my particular brush was closer to 70mm. I feel this brush was made to lather somebody else at arm's distance rather than applying lather for my daily shave. I needed to do something to save this brush from the dust it was collecting as I bypassed it morning after morning, shave after shave.

A few months ago, on a whim, I purchased an olive wood shave brush handle from Jerusalem via eBay. My original thought was to grab a 26mm finest knot from TGN, but since then I have scored a Rudy Vey brush and restored a Simpson butterscotch brush both using TGN 2-band knots so I have that itch already scratched. The answer was clear as day the last time I used my current favorite bristle brush, the Semogue SOC. I needed to transplant the Omega Pro 49 knot into the olive wood handle. Here is an illustrated guide to the steps I took to create, what I hope will be, SOC's Italian cousin.

   
Here we are at the beginning with the donor and recipient.

   
Prying the knot out with my paint scraper was easy enough. Working the corner of the blade in between the black collar and the red body, then giving it a little wiggle in a few spots loosened it enough to be pulled out by hand.

   
Removing the black collar from the knot was actually the part I was most nervous about. The collar is actually just a plastic tube surrounding the glue plug of the knot. The knot only goes down about 2/3 of the way into the collar so I cut from the bottom using wire cutters. Cutting in this fashion caused the plastic to crack and after cutting and prying around the circumference it wasn't long before I had the knot naked.

   
With the handle and knot in hand I attempted to complete the surgery immediately. Unfortunately the glue base was wider than the diameter of the hair that I had previously measured to determine if this transplant would even be possible. Nothing a little sand paper and sanding block couldn't fix though. I also took the opportunity to flatten the bottom of the glue knot to make setting and adhering easier.

   
Final results of sanding.

   
Test fitting the knot I found that I may have to add a little spacer (or two) to get the knot at my target of 60mm.

   
A couple of quarters in the handle brought me right on target.

   
Having prepared everything to the best of my ability to this point has been pretty straightforward. Rather than just glue the knot in place though I decided to add a little more protection to the nice olive woodwork. I applied three coats of clear coat to the interior of the boar and then three coats of polyurethane to the exterior.

   
I allowed the finishes to cure overnight and most of the day Saturday.

   
   
The knot has been set, with two quarters used as spacers, using clear RTV silicone adhesive. I used a small bb sized dollop in the case that I am not satisfied with the performance of the brush. Holding it in hand and admiring my own handiwork leaves me wanting for my first lather using my Omega 50c!

I will be sure to take better pictures of the brush from more angles as soon as the silicone has set and it passes its first test lather.

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 04-07-2013, 01:52 AM
#2
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Congrats! Great job!!

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 04-07-2013, 02:46 AM
#3
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Loving that, Dave!

I did similar to you for getting the knot naked and sorted except I used a Stanley knife placed on the black collar and tapped with a wooden mallet to split the collar off but I like your cutter method.

Sanding block and paper sorted the knot out just the same as you but I definitely overdid the epoxy. However, I got the excess off with lots of vinegar and careful attention.

The Olive wood looks lovely and you've got a unique brush. Congrats!

More to the Boar!

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 04-07-2013, 04:03 AM
#4
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Nice job, Dave! I like the olive wood.

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 04-07-2013, 04:33 AM
#5
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Very nice!

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 04-07-2013, 07:10 AM
#6
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Very nice indeed.

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 04-07-2013, 07:43 AM
#7
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Amazing work, Dave!

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 04-07-2013, 07:55 AM
#8
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That's a great looking brush. The 49 is a monster, almost too big really. It feels great scrubbing against your face though, and it makes such easy work of soaps. Congrats on creating such an exceptional custom piece, I hope you enjoy it.

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 04-07-2013, 01:18 PM
#9
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That is a fine looking brush! Great job and enjoy the new brush!

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 04-07-2013, 04:22 PM
#10
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The Omega 49 is an excellent brush to use for such "transformations." I love mine which is in a custom spalted maple handle.

Excellent work and it looks great!

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 04-08-2013, 08:10 AM
#11
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
I gave her a test flight last night and the brush still has a very heavy backbone, but with a little pressure she splays right out. The nice thing about this brush is the ability to control the splay vs the SOC. I will hold off any further review until bristle actually touches face, but I am hopeful that this will be close in performance to my favorite boar brush (SOC) with a little more control offered.

[Image: zABLNSQ.jpg]
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[Image: C3JvyIO.jpg]

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 04-08-2013, 08:21 AM
#12
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It's a great knot, the big Omega 27mm. Some folks like small brushes for face lathering but I like that big piggy!

Biggrin

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 04-09-2013, 02:55 PM
#13
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Dave

Nice work on removing the knot safely and transferring it over to the Olive wood shaving brush handle (which is stunning!) Thumbsup

The end result looks first class Clap

Take care, Mike

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 04-09-2013, 10:02 PM
#14
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Thank you Mike, it is coming up in the rotation and after two test lathers I am skeptically hopeful! Confused

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 04-11-2013, 08:13 AM
#15
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
Well after using it this morning I'm still not satisfied. The knot just doesn't feel right so I'm going to try pulling the knot out and removing the quarters. This is the nice thing about using silicone adhesive versus epoxy for restorations and brush projects. Had I used epoxy this brush would have been forever unused by me.

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 04-11-2013, 09:01 AM
#16
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Great tip, Dave. Must remember that, thanks!

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 04-26-2013, 08:58 AM
#17
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Even after lowering the knot further the Omega knot just didn't work out for me. That is ok though, I have plenty of other boar brushes that suit my needs. So, out with the Omega knot and in with a 26mm "High Mountain" 2-band knot I picked up on aliexpress. The final loft is around 55mm using two quarters as spacers. The test palm lather gives me great hope that this brush may finally be my face lathering machine I set out to make in the first place.

Knot installed
[Image: LQFa0YH.jpg]

Palm lathered up some Cella
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Post rinse and dry bloom shot
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Top density shot
[Image: cPqhcpB.jpg]

I will be taken it for a true test at some point over the weekend, but the palm lathering showed a great balance of splay, backbone and softness so I have very high hopes.

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 04-30-2013, 12:00 PM
#18
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(04-26-2013, 08:58 AM)blzrfn Wrote: I will be taken it for a true test at some point over the weekend, but the palm lathering showed a great balance of splay, backbone and softness so I have very high hopes.

Hi Dave

Nicely done on the re-knot re-knot Thumbsup

So how did the brush perform out in the wild? Do you now have a keeper?

Take care, Mike

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 04-30-2013, 01:31 PM
#19
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
(04-30-2013, 12:00 PM)mikeperry Wrote:
(04-26-2013, 08:58 AM)blzrfn Wrote: I will be taken it for a true test at some point over the weekend, but the palm lathering showed a great balance of splay, backbone and softness so I have very high hopes.

Hi Dave

Nicely done on the re-knot re-knot Thumbsup

So how did the brush perform out in the wild? Do you now have a keeper?

Take care, Mike

I have only used the brush twice, but the knot is spectacular! I don't plan on modifying this brush any further. The knot is being held in by a pea sized amount of silicone adhesive so if it ever loosens up I will re-adhere with a peanut sized dollop which will cover the entire bottom of the knot and go a little bit up the sides to keep it secure. I have two 20mm "super silvertip" knots from the same vendor to use in future restorations. If the silvertips are as good as the "high mountain" then I have found me a new knot supplier.

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