05-15-2013, 06:25 PM
#1
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
EDIT: This brush now looks like this:

[Image: Lh683SS.jpg]

See later posts in the thread for the reason. Now back to the original post.

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I am not a wood turner, unfortunately, but I like making brush handles. So I do what I can with what I have. I made a brush before, which you can read about here.

This one was roughed out on a table saw and shaped on a hand sander clamped in the workbench vise. I was inspired by the Semogue wooden handles like on SOC, 1305, 1250, 1800, 200, etc. I simply love the way these handles work and feel. My take on this design takes liberties, for sure, but the main elements of good grip and good length for bowls and such remain. I went a little crazy with the "waist", but the ergonomics work very well. It's a very comfortable brush to use.

The knot is 22mm TGN two band Finest and is set at 24mm X 49mm. I usually add 2mm to the size of the glue puck. These are +/- 0.5mm from TGN.

I still have not finished it to the end. I thought 3 layers of Danish Oil and some spray can polyurethane would do the trick, but the poly did not take and came off in sticky mess when I shaved with it. So I am going to sand it down and do more Danish Oil. I am thinking I just didn't do enough. Maybe I need more like 10 coats of DO and let it cure for a week or so. Then beeswax. I really have hard time getting these finishes right. Any help would be appreciated.

[Image: fKCU2er.jpg]

[Image: 6PGCvZr.jpg]

[Image: MiK8KJu.jpg]

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 05-15-2013, 06:29 PM
#2
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You should call that the "Mae West" brush!

Vavavoom what a looker!

Great work! Cool

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 05-15-2013, 06:59 PM
#3
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That's a great looking brush. IME, you can use poly on top of the Danish Oil as long as you wait a few days. I think they recommend at least 72 hours. Could that be why it didn't take for you?

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 05-15-2013, 07:58 PM
#4
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I really cannot believe that you do this kind of work without a lathe. Another very nice job!

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 05-15-2013, 09:00 PM
#5
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Neat looking brush!

A few coats of DO with some Japan Drier mixed in should help the DO cure faster. I've never used it with DO, but I haven't seen an oil based finish that it didn't work on. Follow the directions on the can. It only requires a very little bit of JD.

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 05-16-2013, 01:57 AM
#6
  • ohpaos
  • Junior Member
  • United States
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Oh my, what a hottie!

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 05-16-2013, 07:25 AM
#7
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Thank you, gents for kind words. I did let the DO cure for about four days before applying the Poly, but it was ACE Hardware brand and not my usual Minwax. Also, these spray cans don't inspire confidence either. I will get a normal can of brush on type poly and try again. I need to sand and put a few more DO coats first, though. Performance of the brush is simply fantastic. I think the 22mm TGN finest fan is the perfect face lathering knot. I made a few brushes with it for others and tried them and they are all just perfect in terms of density, backbone and size. Not huge, but certainly generous and very dense (TGN calls them XH - for Extra Hair). Highly recommended.

Will post more pictures when I make more progress. Great brush already, though. Just want to seal the wood.

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 05-16-2013, 07:58 AM
#8
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I've applied poly over Danish Oil on furniture projects after letting it dry for a few days. Are you letting the Danish Oil dry thoroughly between coats but lightly sanding it when still moist to fill the grain? Instead of spray poly you might try Minwax's wipe on poly. It's thinner than what comes out of the can or spray bottles so you might need an extra coat or two but I like the way it works on this type of project. You can control the finish much better with thinner coats. Take a lesson from gun stock finishers who often use 20 coats to get the finish they want.

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 05-16-2013, 08:00 AM
#9
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
Hi

Very nice work on the handle and final assembly of the shaving brush Clap



(05-15-2013, 06:29 PM)GDCarrington Wrote: You should call that the "Mae West" brush!

+1



Regarding the Poly (as a top protective coat), after my experience with Freddy's Century USA Sterilized 4 shaving brush, see here, I can highly recommend mixing equal parts (50/50) Poly with Mineral Spirits, then apply that mixture via a clean, lint free cloth. Three coats minimum, with five or six being that much better (IMHO).

I'd also recommend getting some 1500 to 2000 Grit sandpaper and use that before applying the first coat of Poly/Mineral Spirits mixture. Then use it again before applying the final coat. There should be no need to knock it back with sandpaper prior to each coat.

Good luck!

Take care, Mike

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 05-16-2013, 08:32 AM
#10
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That's very nice, a real work of art.

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 05-21-2013, 06:14 AM
#11
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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I've been slowly re-finishing the brush handle using the rub-on poly by Minwax. It's basically what Mike has suggested: a thinned down poly you apply with a rag. It leaves a very thin coat. I've put on several coats now and it's starting to look good. I've been using some steel wool in between coats, which yields better results than without any abrasion between coats. I think I will put on maybe two or three more coats and call it done. I will take pictures of the finished brush and post it. I think it's going to be a knock-out. I love the Mae West monicker. I may give it that name...

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 05-26-2013, 11:57 AM
#12
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
I have not posted here in a while, but I have been working on the finish of the brush. I've bought some wipe-on poly by Minwax. Basically, thinned down poly you apply by rubbing with a cloth. I have sanded down the old sticky stuff (ACE hardware brand spray can poly - yuck!). Then applied many coats of this wipe-on stuff. I bought the high gloss version. I used steel wool in between some coats, but not all. I felt I needed to build up the thickness first before getting the steel wool involved. It came out pretty good. I think I have at least 6 coats, maybe more. I lost count. This was in my garage and I would just pop in and put a coat on and go about my other business for the next several hours or more. I then let the final coat cure for almost a week before washing the knot and this morning I shaved with the brush. I feel like the finish is very stable. It feels like there is a hard shell around the wood.

To answer a question in one of the previous posts (possibly on another forum), I did coat the knot hole in epoxy completely. I was very much aware of the raw wood being exposed and made sure to the best of my ability to coat everything in there and use plenty of epoxy to make sure the knot will not rob any nooks and crannies in the wood inside of the epoxy. So, I am pretty sure that the inside of the knot hole has no wood exposed. In fact, this is unusual for me, but some of the epoxy came oozing out when I set the knot. I usually try to measure out the resin so it does not come up to the edge of the knot hole. It makes it look so much better. Here, however, I knew it was important to seal the wood, so I did not spare the epoxy.

Here are the pictures of the re-finished brush. I also carved my initials in the butt of the handle.

[Image: jU5UC6M.jpg]

[Image: FtVJVeO.jpg]

[Image: M63rdUv.jpg]

[Image: dL7r0Ai.jpg]

Next to my 1922 Big Fellow for scale
[Image: aUOmTlT.jpg]

[Image: cTyWDkq.jpg]

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 05-26-2013, 07:53 PM
#13
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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A curvaceous beauty ... unique and alluring! Blush

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 05-28-2013, 11:22 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(05-26-2013, 11:57 AM)vferdman Wrote: I have not posted here in a while, but I have been working on the finish of the brush. I've bought some wipe-on poly by Minwax. Basically, thinned down poly you apply by rubbing with a cloth....

Hi

I think the "new" finish speaks for itself, nicely done! Clap

If you remember (and have the time to do so) could you please report back further down the road and let us know how the "new" wipe-on finish holds up to real world use? Thank you Smile

Take care, Mike

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 05-28-2013, 02:00 PM
#15
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That is amazing! Beautiful job!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4 Beta

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 10-01-2013, 05:17 PM
#16
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
Well, it's time to update this thread. First of all, the wipe-on poly finish I put on was excellent and durable. I say "was" because I have completely changed this brush. After a while of using it, it became obvious to me that I was not crazy about the long handle. It may be great for a barber lathering someone else, but for self-lathering I just found long handle a bit awkward. However, the way I set this knot is so good (24mm/48mm using a 22mm TGN knot) that I really wanted to keep it. Besides, getting the knot out without damage to the knot did not seem possible to me.

So....... I cut the part that has the knot off the handle. This took some contemplation as I was just cutting through a really nice brush handle. Still, I felt that this brush is easily a daily go-to if it weren't for the awkward handle. So I decided to take the plunge. I cut the handle just below the equator of the spherical top part of the handle. I apologize for not taking pictures of the interim stages. I was really worried and just didn't feel like distracting myself with photo taking. Still, now I regret that.

In any case, I had ideas of somehow creating another handle that would be melded with the top part. It took a while, but I finally came up with a solution. I took another laminate of the same exotic wood (in fact it was a leftover from making this handle) and cut a 1.25" hole in it with a spade blade. I then ground the top part with the knot to fit into the opening. Then I shaped and shaped and shaped the bottom part to create something resembling a barrel shaped handle. I then epoxied the two parts together with 2 ton epoxy. After the epoxy cured I shaped the whole brush to an organic shape that looked like one piece save for some lines where there were voids in the wood because of imperfect fit (I filled those with epoxy completely, so there are no voids left). It felt like a very good handle shape to me. But now I was at a loss of what to finish it with. Poly would not likely stick to to epoxy that was now exposed and made part of the handle. So, I decided to finish the handle with the same 2 ton epoxy I used to construct the handle. It is very shiny and very clear with almost no bubbles. This epoxy has 2 hour cure time, so it stays nice and fluid for a while. I used a crappy old pain brush to apply the layer of epoxy to the entire handle. Then I clamped the brush by the hair in the model vice (not too hard, just enough to support its weight) and let the poxy flow naturally to the bottom. It was still liquid enough to remove the access from the bottom and have it re-level itself. I then hit the whole handle with a heat gun very, very carefully and from a good distance. This accelerated the epoxy and set it to where it was not flowing after I took the heat away. I left it for 24 hours and the result is here:

[Image: Lh683SS.jpg]

[Image: 22nyyd5.jpg]

[Image: BKfx2b5.jpg]

[Image: Va4GcyM.jpg]

[Image: euR5JkI.jpg]

[Image: DpiMhYW.jpg]

[Image: cf2f9zq.jpg]

I shaved with this brush twice already and just love it! This is one of the most comfortable brushes I have ever tried. It is simply amazing. I know I love the knot, that part did not change, but with the new handle this just transformed the brush from rarely used to a go-to. Just fabulous. The epoxy finish is excellent. It is very thick and completely water-proof. It is not any more slipery than any other smooth handle. Mostly the shape of the handle helps with grip. This shape is excellent. I always try to go for some variation of Semogue wooden handles as those are some of the best ergonomics for a shaving brush. This was kind of a loose interpretation of the shape. The top part, maybe. I had limited amount of material, so I went with a barrel shape. It turned out amazingly well. I will do this shape again at some point.

You can see the lines of where the two pieces of wood meet. The dark part is epoxy.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I am enjoying this new brush!

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 10-01-2013, 07:29 PM
#17
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I much prefer the look of the brush now. Nice work, I am jealous of your skills!

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 10-01-2013, 07:39 PM
#18
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Looks great and that finish will definitely hold up.

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