Poll: WHich of these lofts do you prefer?
Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
 04-15-2012, 05:48 AM
#1
  • Rod_Neep
  • Junior Member
  • Gloucestershire,U.K.
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This is a subject that has intrigued me for quite a while, as there appears to be a love of short brush lofts amongst some people.

I would be really interested to hear your comments and why you prefer a brush with a particular loft.

The same knot (a 24mm Silvertip badger) in the same handle. Its "natural loft" above the base plug, is 57.5mm. Picture shows the knot unused and with no bloom.

I have my own views and opinions... but...
Open for discussion. Confused

[Image: 24st-lofts2.jpg]

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 04-15-2012, 06:28 AM
#2
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Rod, I think when you have pre-made knots that are really designed to be set at a "natural" level, they look odd when set too low. I have a couple brushes that are around ~24mm diameter with a 50mm loft and the don't look weird. I think this is because the knots are designed to have short lofts in the first place...it isn't a case of just boring a deeper hole in the handle.

I like the denser, shorter lofts because it gives the brush more backbone and the brush splays less on the face when doing circular face lathering motions...this means I get to use the tips of the brush more, which I like. Of course, you can do this with a higher lofted, loosely filled brush, but it doesn't work as well and requires an insanely light touch.

Now I think the extreme short lofts are a bit silly...sub-45mm lofts and such seem a bit weird to me unless we're talking about a very small diameter brush, such as something under 20mm.

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 04-15-2012, 06:50 AM
#3
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It depends on other knot properties - density, backbone, shape. I like to have some splay with good flow through, and I don't apply much pressure when using a brush. 24 mm knot size is my favourite. Typically, I bury the knot about 3-4 mm above the plug line. For your particular knot I'd set at 52-54 mm. So I can't vote for any of the three choices.

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 04-15-2012, 07:10 AM
#4
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I voted before I read. My vote was for a boar brush. Usually when using best badger, because that is what I have, I like the loft around 47-49 mm.

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 04-15-2012, 09:08 AM
#5
  • Rod_Neep
  • Junior Member
  • Gloucestershire,U.K.
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(04-15-2012, 06:28 AM)cvac Wrote: Rod, I think when you have pre-made knots that are really designed to be set at a "natural" level, they look odd when set too low. I have a couple brushes that are around ~24mm diameter with a 50mm loft and the don't look weird. I think this is because the knots are designed to have short lofts in the first place...it isn't a case of just boring a deeper hole in the handle.

Absolutely ;-)
I know that, and you know that. But you would be extremely surprised how many people ask me to make brush handles with the hole bored out to 20 to 22mm deep. They don't believe me when I say that it won't work. That handle has the hole bored 22mm deep. Rolleyes

That isn't a "real" brush by the way. I just turned a lump of wood to illustrate the point and take some photos.

OK... same handle, same bored knot hole, and on the right a knot that isn't distorted. Can you see the "cheat" that the big manufacturers make to get a lower loft that looks right? Wink

[Image: 24st-lofts3.jpg]

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 04-15-2012, 09:11 AM
#6
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Very interesting Rod.

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 04-15-2012, 09:24 AM
#7
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I think that the loft needs to be proportional to the knot width, density and hair type.

On a purely cosmetic scale, very short loft brushes look strange. The handles frequently look dispropotionately large, and that makes everything weird.

I have thread in this forum where I had a vintage Rooney handle with the knot set too low. I found myself not using the brush much at all. I reset the knot at a higher loft, and everythign changed - it looks better, it feels better, it performs better and I actually use it now.

For the record, I like my brushes with backbone, but with nice flowthrough.

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 04-15-2012, 09:41 AM
#8
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I have two Rooney Brushes: 1/1 Best Badger (loft 44mm); and 1/2 "Super" Silvertip (loft 48mm). Both brushes seem ideal for face or bowl lathering.

   

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 04-15-2012, 09:42 AM
#9
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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49mm because I predominantly face-lather. I don't like flop much.

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 04-15-2012, 09:46 AM
#10
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(04-15-2012, 07:10 AM)Johnny Wrote: I voted before I read. My vote was for a boar brush. Usually when using best badger, because that is what I have, I like the loft around 47-49 mm.

same here. i read the ? then the post. i prefer knots around 50mm, but for your brush pictured, the highest loft looks and sounds best.

but someone said a general rule (not sure where i read it) was a 2:1 ratio...so your 24mm knot, would be best/general use around 48-49mm loft.

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 04-15-2012, 09:55 AM
#11
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@brucered

I should have read your post before - I just did a review of all my brushes and found that the 2:1 ratio is almost true in all cases (a single barber brush is the exception). I think for normal diameters from say 19-25 mm this is like a simple rule of thumb indeed.

I also voted for the 49mm, I think that comes close to the proportions I want to see in a brush.

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 04-15-2012, 11:18 AM
#12
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I went with 55, because I would like a bit more movement in the 22x49mm brush I currently have.

The dense knot feels okay, but it doesn't seem to move against itself or my face enough to product a really rich lather.

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 04-15-2012, 12:54 PM
#13
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Rod,

I think that is the "false set" you mentioned to me when we exchanged emails...this is a very interesting subject and I'm sure many members here would be interested to learn more.

It would be interesting to tear apart some expensive brushes and measure the handle bore to see what was actually done. I'm sure some brands do "cheat" to avoid making too many purpose built knots that only work with certain particular models and loft heights.

As an aside, you're doing some great looking brushes. I especially like the faux ivory and soapstone designs. I will eventually order a soapstone brush from you, and when I do, I'll probably go for a more conservative/higher loft height.

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 04-15-2012, 02:17 PM
#14
  • Rod_Neep
  • Junior Member
  • Gloucestershire,U.K.
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(04-15-2012, 12:54 PM)cvac Wrote: Rod,

I think that is the "false set" you mentioned to me when we exchanged emails...this is a very interesting subject and I'm sure many members here would be interested to learn more.

Indeed it is Wink
It is a 20mm knot in the 24mm hole.
The natural splay of the knot fills the hole when it is set lower and it is therefore not constricted so much. (It has plenty of backbone though!) If you think about it, a 24mm knot with a "natural" low loft would be very similar, but the 20mm has not quite so many hairs. An ideal knot to set low to give the same effect would be a 22mm

Cheers
Rod

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