05-02-2013, 12:07 PM
#1
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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The following may seem obvious (to some), but since undertaking my first few re-knots, knot installations, I've slowly learnt what doesn't work and what does work best for me (and my personal tastes).
  • Minimum 10mm knot embedment into the handle (knot hole), with 12mm being my preferred minimum embedment.
  • For knot embedment of 10 to 12mm knot hole should be 1mm wider than knot size.
  • For knot embedment greater than 12mm knot hole should be 2mm wider than knot size.
  • Probably want to avoid 20mm or deeper knot embedment, but if there's no other option, then knot hole probably wants to be 3 or 4mm wider than knot size. I say "probably" here as I don't have any first-hand experience in this dimension range.
  • Just as most shaving brush handles have a "front" facing (display) side, knots tend to have better "faces" (sides) than others, unless of course you're lucky enough to have a perfectly symmetrical knot, therefore when placing a knot into a handle it's well worth the time and effort to align the front "faces" as best you can.
With the above (simple) guidelines I've found the end results to be very! pleasing eg
  • Knot isn't forced into its knot hole -- possibly damaging the hairs, especially around the perimeter of the knot.
  • Knot takes on a more "natural" looking appearance ie it's not restrained by being forced into its knot hole, which in turn allows for a more "natural" (pleasing) knot bloom.
  • Knot exhibits better flow through from not being (overly) restrained.
  • Knot opens up a little bit more (easier) from not being (overly) restrained, which in turn gives the brush a slightly softer feel.
Please keep in my mind the above points are just my feelings, opinions, gained from a little bit of first-hand experience and are subject to change as I continue to learn (from my mistakes).

My first knot installations can be seen here and my second attempts here and here. While I was initially happy with the outcome of each of those shaving brushes, I slowly became a little disappointed with each of them as I learnt little things which have a direct affect on some of the characteristics of a shaving brush knot. The disappointment inside me continued to grow with those initial attempts as I learned (continue to learn) new things and refined my approach to re-knots, knot installations...

Then about a month ago I finally broke down and decided to try to rectify the problems I had caused.

All four knots had been "glued" into their handles with "5 Minute Epoxy", therefore initially I wasn't sure how easy or not the knots would come out. As I'd also decided I was going to replace The Golden Nib Super Silvertip knots in these two shaving brushes with knots from Shavemac (due to my experience here and with my The Shave Nook 2013 "Limited Edition" Beehive - Silvertip Extra D01 - imitation Ivory - shaving brush) I first took those two to see how I was going to remove the knots without damaging the handles.

First up the "Steam" method Teiste documented here, much to my surprise it worked like a charm. 15 minutes in the "steam" bath and the knots came out easily and cleanly. Both handles did require an additional 30 minutes in the "steam" bath to melt the epoxy enough to allow easy removal of the "birth year" coins "glued" into the bottom of the knot holes. Side note: Johnny, when I re-knot these shaving brushes I plan to remember to take photos of the "birth year" coins "glued" into place before installing the new knots on top of them -- as soon as you made your "How about a picture of the coins?" comment, I knew I had dropped the ball badly and it bothered me immensely I'd made such a (basic) mistake.

With the "steam" bath method working so well on the "5 Minute Epoxy" I moved onto removing the knots from the other two shaving brush handles. I wasn't too concerned about The Golden Nib Silvertip Grade A knot in this handle as I was planing to replace the knot with a new The Golden Nib 22mm 2-Band Finest badger knot, but The Golden Nib 24mm 2-Band Finest badger knot in this handle I wanted to reuse if possible. Much to my relief both knots came out (via "steam" bath method) just as easily as the previous two.

As of yet I've not reworked these two shaving brushes with new knots from Shavemac, the handles (de-knotted) currently sit on a shelf waiting for me to get to them.

I have reworked the other two shaving brushes...

Dumpy Vase "Amber" shaving brush handle fitted with (new) 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger:
  • Height: 94mm
  • Loft: 49mm
  • Base: 45mm
  • Knot: 22mm
  • Knot hole diameter: 24mm
  • Knot hole depth: 20mm
[Image: rpCex.jpg]

Before: Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & The Golden Nib - Silvertip Grade A Badger (bulb knot)



[Image: DcqveEJ.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & (new) The Golden Nib - 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 22mm to 24mm



[Image: BTfAsD1.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & (new) The Golden Nib - 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 22mm to 24mm



[Image: eKzYbs5.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & (new) The Golden Nib - 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 22mm to 24mm



[Image: wl2xsWK.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & (new) The Golden Nib - 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 22mm to 24mm



[Image: riJmWT6.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & (new) The Golden Nib - 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 22mm to 24mm



[Image: 7IVhh45.jpg]

After: Post-bloom -- Dumpy Vase "Amber" handle & (new) The Golden Nib - 22mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 22mm to 24mm



Dumpy Vase "Onyx" shaving brush handle fitted with (reused) 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger:
  • Height: 100mm
  • Loft: 52mm
  • Base: 48mm
  • Knot: 24mm
  • Knot hole diameter: 26mm
  • Knot hole depth: 17mm
[Image: EYxzQ.jpg]

Before: Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot)



[Image: 2SXytVT.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & (reused) The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 24mm to 26mm



[Image: qOZohmL.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & (reused) The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 24mm to 26mm



[Image: TY59lRG.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & (reused) The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 24mm to 26mm



[Image: 8CLfFlZ.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & (reused) The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 24mm to 26mm



[Image: nniofss.jpg]

After: Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & (reused) The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 24mm to 26mm



[Image: rsUFMv3.jpg]

After: Post-bloom -- Dumpy Vase "Onyx" handle & (reused) The Golden Nib - 24mm 2-Band Finest Badger (bulb knot) -- Knot hole widened from 24mm to 26mm



I plan to reuse the two The Golden Nib Super Silvertip knots and The Golden Nib Silvertip Grade A knot on shaving brushes for friends.

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 05-02-2013, 01:19 PM
#2
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
Great work Mike! I am still early in my brush restoration lessons and will use some of your findings in my own projects.

My first restoration (20mm TGN finest set at 45mm loft) is lacking a bit in the bloom department so I may well pull the knot out and bore the hole a bit more. Alternatively, I may increase the loft by adding another penny as a spacer. Luckily I used silicone adhesive which does not require anything but a firm pull and some patience. I still need to use the brush a few more times until I make that decision though.

My first:

[Image: Kt1e9Xo.jpg]

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 05-02-2013, 02:27 PM
#3
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Wow, Mike, great write-up and what a gorgeous brush that first one is!Biggrin

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 05-02-2013, 04:40 PM
#4
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Great write up!
I wish i read it earlier. I figured a 26mm knot should fit a 28mm hole. Wrong, i got a tgn 2-band xh and it is very dense. Even after widening the hole to 28mm, only knot base fits. So it was either further widening, removing hair from the knot or getting a 24mm knot. I got one a 24mm fan knot and it does not seem as dense.
It fits without issues into that handle, maybe too easily: the knot touches the walls but there is no pressure at all. Would a 27-28mm hole for a 24mm knot be too wide?

I have a second same handle (aluminun runbberset no 4) that i need to de-knot that i might assign for the 24mm and after that try to make the 26mm knot fit the first brush...

I did promise to myself not to buy a new brush until i finish these brushes but then i noticed a restored wooden handle barber brush with a 30mm knot on whippeddog, so I broke that promise only because it is hard to find a decent barber brush and i am terrible at woodwork and that digging out old boar knots was not as fun as i thought it would be....

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 05-02-2013, 05:55 PM
#5
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Great info and details, Mike. I see that I may not be widening the knot hole enough on the few I have done. Your comments on that make a lot of sense, thanks.
I am searching for my next handle so some good tips to keep in mind

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 05-02-2013, 11:06 PM
#6
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Unsure about other knots, but WSP knots are approximately 2mm wider at the widest glue point than the plug. I think this ratio runs true for most manufacturers.

Most knots are designed to be sunk ~12mm into handles. This is a basic standard across most makers. Simpson and others excepted. But definitely true for Chinese knots.

18mm is the most you should ever need to sink a knot to hide any trace of a glue bump.

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 05-03-2013, 07:00 AM
#7
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
(05-02-2013, 01:19 PM)blzrfn Wrote: Great work Mike! I am still early in my brush restoration lessons and will use some of your findings in my own projects.

My first restoration (20mm TGN finest set at 45mm loft) is lacking a bit in the bloom department so I may well pull the knot out and bore the hole a bit more. Alternatively, I may increase the loft by adding another penny as a spacer. Luckily I used silicone adhesive which does not require anything but a firm pull and some patience. I still need to use the brush a few more times until I make that decision though.

Hi Dave

Thank you for the kind words Blush

Overall I think your first restoration looks about right (loft height, etc) and I've found if it looks right (gut feeling is good) it normally is...

Personally I might try raising the loft height by 2 or 3mm, but with a The Golden Nib 20mm 2-Band Finest I wouldn't go more than a loft height of 48mm.

Also it's quite amazing how the dynamics of a knot can be altered by widening the knot hole by just a millimetre.

I like your idea of using "silicone adhesive" to attach the knot for *testing* purposes...

Good luck!

Take care, Mike

(05-02-2013, 04:40 PM)Galhatz Wrote: Great write up!
I wish i read it earlier. I figured a 26mm knot should fit a 28mm hole. Wrong, i got a tgn 2-band xh and it is very dense. Even after widening the hole to 28mm, only knot base fits. So it was either further widening, removing hair from the knot or getting a 24mm knot. I got one a 24mm fan knot and it does not seem as dense.
It fits without issues into that handle, maybe too easily: the knot touches the walls but there is no pressure at all. Would a 27-28mm hole for a 24mm knot be too wide?

I have a second same handle (aluminun runbberset no 4) that i need to de-knot that i might assign for the 24mm and after that try to make the 26mm knot fit the first brush...

Hi

Thank you for the kind words Blush

Could you post some photos of the handle with the 26mm knot and the 24mm knot temporarily placed inside?

Without seeing, I would say a knot hole of 27 to 28mm is a little too large for a 24mm knot.

What is the overall height of the 24mm knot?

What finished loft height are you aiming for with the 24mm knot?

Same couple of questions for the 26mm knot...

Take care, Mike

(05-02-2013, 02:27 PM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Mike, great write-up and what a gorgeous brush that first one is!Biggrin

(05-02-2013, 05:55 PM)Bowhnter Wrote: Great info and details, Mike. I see that I may not be widening the knot hole enough on the few I have done. Your comments on that make a lot of sense, thanks.
I am searching for my next handle so some good tips to keep in mind

Gents, thank you for the kind words Blush

I would say widening the knot hole by just a millimetre or two is probably the most important thing I've learnt so far about knot installation...

Good luck in your shaving brush restorations Smile

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 05-03-2013, 10:13 AM
#8
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Mike, that is some beautiful work! (But then, I know firsthand. Wink)

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 05-04-2013, 02:42 PM
#9
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I was able to get the 26mm knot into the first handle, the loft is a tad high to my liking and I discovered that 24mm is probably the most I need.
The knot is held firmly in place on its own, probably not a good thing.
I will try to widen that hole a bit so I can set it a little lower.

With the 24mm fan at hand and another brush waiting to restored I charged at it last night. Boiling it did not help, but it did soften the bristles so it was much easier to cut. The a love session with a dremel and now that I know what I am doing and that sanding paper should be wet, I was able to finish the other one much quicker. Also, it did not have the heavy corrosion the first one had so it looks much nicer.

The 26mm looks like a great knot.
24mm fan on the left, 26mm bulb on the right.
[Image: 20130504_152535-1.jpg]
[Image: 20130504_151915-1.jpg]
the 24mm is as low as the brush allows, and I think it might be a bit too low....
on the next trip to home depot I am going to get a caliper, more dremel bits and some silicone adhesive.
Suggestions? Comments?

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 05-06-2013, 12:33 PM
#10
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(05-04-2013, 02:42 PM)Galhatz Wrote: ... Suggestions? Comments?

Hi

Loft height of those two knots as shown would be helpful information to have...

I agree, the 26mm knot looks very! good.

Remember if you drop the loft height of the 26mm knot without widening the knot hole you will directly effect the performance of the shaving brush (eg knot feel on the skin and flow through).

Take care, Mike

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 05-07-2013, 08:19 AM
#11
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Thanks Mike. I am aiming at 50mm loft.
I was not set on it because while had it been silvertip i'd know for sure, i discovered that finest has so much more backbone so a higher loft would work, for me.
I got the caliper (what was i thinking approaching this with without one) and found the hole was 27mm. For at 26mm its not enough, i widened it to 28mm and it does look better, the knot does not look "choked". I wouldn't widen it any further as the walls are less than 2mm thick. I either see of the current loft works or reduce the knot (slightly) by cutting a few hairs around.
I really wish this thread was there before i started this project. Here i was thinking that a 26mm knot needs a 26mm hole and viola - a brush.
It is much more subtle than that... but this expermentation is fun as it is rewarding:-)

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 05-07-2013, 10:41 AM
#12
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(05-07-2013, 08:19 AM)Galhatz Wrote: Thanks Mike. I am aiming at 50mm loft.
I was not set on it because while had it been silvertip i'd know for sure, i discovered that finest has so much more backbone so a higher loft would work, for me.
I got the caliper (what was i thinking approaching this with without one) and found the hole was 27mm. For at 26mm its not enough, i widened it to 28mm and it does look better, the knot does not look "choked". I wouldn't widen it any further as the walls are less than 2mm thick. I either see of the current loft works or reduce the knot (slightly) by cutting a few hairs around.
I really wish this thread was there before i started this project. Here i was thinking that a 26mm knot needs a 26mm hole and viola - a brush.
It is much more subtle than that... but this expermentation is fun as it is rewarding:-)

Hi

Just my personal opinion (preference), 24mm 2-Band Finest go with a 50 to 52mm loft height, 26mm 2-Band Finest go with 52 to 54mm loft height.

Personally I wouldn't take to removing hairs from the perimeter of the knot -- you should find a 28mm knot hole should work *perfectly* for a 26mm knot.

It can be frustrating at the time, but we tend to learn the most from making mistakes -- at least I do.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your completed shaving brushes.

Take care, Mike

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 05-07-2013, 03:48 PM
#13
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(05-07-2013, 10:41 AM)mikeperry Wrote:
(05-07-2013, 08:19 AM)Galhatz Wrote: Thanks Mike. I am aiming at 50mm loft.
I was not set on it because while had it been silvertip i'd know for sure, i discovered that finest has so much more backbone so a higher loft would work, for me.
I got the caliper (what was i thinking approaching this with without one) and found the hole was 27mm. For at 26mm its not enough, i widened it to 28mm and it does look better, the knot does not look "choked". I wouldn't widen it any further as the walls are less than 2mm thick. I either see of the current loft works or reduce the knot (slightly) by cutting a few hairs around.
I really wish this thread was there before i started this project. Here i was thinking that a 26mm knot needs a 26mm hole and viola - a brush.
It is much more subtle than that... but this expermentation is fun as it is rewarding:-)

Hi

Just my personal opinion (preference), 24mm 2-Band Finest go with a 50 to 52mm loft height, 26mm 2-Band Finest go with 52 to 54mm loft height.

Personally I wouldn't take to removing hairs from the perimeter of the knot -- you should find a 28mm knot hole should work *perfectly* for a 26mm knot.

It can be frustrating at the time, but we tend to learn the most from making mistakes -- at least I do.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your completed shaving brushes.

Take care, Mike
I pulled the knot out a bit and I'd say it is 15-18mm deep now. The experience with it this morning was much better.
It is a rather large knot, but it is dense and concentrated so it doesn't "mop" around at all.
I think I settled on the depth, a few more experiments and I will glue it permanently. Thanks for the kind advice.

This is how it looks now, it might not look luke a huge difference but widening the hole slightly and pulling it out a bit did make a big difference.
[Image: t7Nd6R6.jpg]

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 05-08-2013, 10:11 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(05-07-2013, 03:48 PM)Galhatz Wrote: I pulled the knot out a bit and I'd say it is 15-18mm deep now. The experience with it this morning was much better.
It is a rather large knot, but it is dense and concentrated so it doesn't "mop" around at all.
I think I settled on the depth, a few more experiments and I will glue it permanently. Thanks for the kind advice.

This is how it looks now, it might not look luke a huge difference but widening the hole slightly and pulling it out a bit did make a big difference.

Hi

So what is the loft height you currently have it (temporarily) set at? From the photo the knot placement now looks (about) right...

Yep! it's amazing how tweaking little things here and there can make a real difference in the overall appearance and function of a knot.

I look forward to seeing the final outcome...

Take care, Mike

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 05-08-2013, 02:55 PM
#15
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Good question and I was about to ask: how can I measure it? the knot is very fluffy.

When TGN specifies that their 26mm knot is 26mm X 65mm, does the 65mm include the glue-plug or is it from the plug and above?

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 05-09-2013, 08:46 AM
#16
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(05-08-2013, 02:55 PM)Galhatz Wrote: Good question and I was about to ask: how can I measure it? the knot is very fluffy.

When TGN specifies that their 26mm knot is 26mm X 65mm, does the 65mm include the glue-plug or is it from the plug and above?

Hi

Just do the best you can with your calipers (or measuring tool of choice) and measure from the top of the handle to the top of the knot...

Given heights of The Golden Nib knots include the glue-plug (approx 8mm high). Also I've found, 22mm knots and larger from The Golden Nib "generally" run 2 to 3mm taller than the advertised dimensions.

Take care, Mike

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