03-03-2014, 10:41 AM
#1
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First let me start by saying I enjoy tinkering more than this thing is worth. With that being said I know I could have bought top of the line shaving brush but restoring gives me more pleasure and I can say it’s mine. I am sure there is many others just like me. So I thought I would document what I have done so others can learn and comment to make my ideas better and I learn new things too.
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#1
First find the brush handle (base) of any shaving brush you like. They very in many ways, shapes, sizes, weights, materials, standing and non-standing, stubby and long, broom stick ends or for standing. Of course there is a variety of materials including bake-lite, marble, stones, clear acrylics, wood of all variety and assorted other materials from the beginning. Lastly these are all available in many color and multi-color combinations that it’s ridiculous.
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My 2 favorite handles

#2
There is a couple of thoughts out there to remove the old knot base so I will comment on both because I have done it and there is no right or wrong way except when you force the removal and damage or crack the brush handle. Let me say there is no need to force, they come out easy enough. If you have a vice even better. 3” piece of rubber to protect the handle in the vise by wrapping the handle but no need to crank down because I do most with my hands wearing leather glove only.

A. Steaming method is easy and works. Wash the hair on the brush very good with human hair shampoo and strip the lather from it. Put your handle(s) brush up in a veggie steamer and make sure the water is not boiling the base by just adding water to the base of the steamer only not on the handle. The water boils and makes steam below it and with the lid on raising the temp high enough to soften the epoxy. Leave in for 30 to 60 minutes. Longer the easier. Keep in mind the handle is over 200 degrees and use gloves and a wide pliers and gently rock back and for North, South and East, West. If it doesn't come out put it back in the steamer 30 more minutes. Repeat rocking. If it breaks off no sweat. Now that it’s out tape it up so no scratches. Now its time to clean inside with dremmel or drill with a carbide bit and clean it up.

B. Drilling method is easy and works well too. Tape it up so no scratching. Get a metal dikes and snip off all the hair as close to the base as you can get it. With no more brush left drill in the center of the old knot base by starting with a 1/8” pilot hole to see if it’s hollow or solid. You only need to drill ½” deep because that’s how deep the plugs are and you can go through or the handle material begins to appear in the shavings of the drill and you need to STOP!! Now go to a ¼” drill bit, then a 3/8” and last a ½”. The step process is to insure you don’t break your handle. Now clean inside with dremmel or drill with a carbide bit and clean it up.

#3
Ready to Re-Knot. There seems to be only a few real places that provides any real variety of knots and I am not promoting as much as saying without going to E-Bay and buying, taking a chance and not being able to really compare all that’s available in a huge price range for all pocket books and it’s the http://www.theGoldenNib.com and The others I know of but have not use much of is The Whipped Dog (http://www.whippeddog.com/) and (WSP) http://wetshavingproducts.com/ I have used TGN more because it had more to view and choose from and I got rutted there by habit. Now it’s time to choose your re-knot, so choose the style and spend what you can justify. First measure your handle. Next remember the knots come in a bit smaller (OKAY) so do not ream out yet before the knot is there to fit it. Measure your handle opening in millimeters and order the appropriate size, loft and type of brush you would like.

#4
While your knot order is being shipped it’s time to finish you handle preparing the handle to accept the new shaving cream knot. I as you can see in my pictures hollowed out one of my old Made-Rite 500BL handles and melted lead into the base of the handle to make it heftier. It went from being 1.3oz to 2.85oz. by melting lead into the hole I made with my dremmel tool. I then took a flat punch and flattened it inside the handle so I could epoxy a couple of nickels to add more to the weight and build the re-knot high in the handle. Final fit is when the knot arrives. I then made up epoxy and pored 1/16th” in and dropped 2 nickels inside and with a straw pushed them down flat to glue with epoxy. I like scotch-brite pads because they are like sand-paper but do not cut bad and stay together better than double or triple grade steel wool. So I begin using FLITZ rubbing compound and cutting the old surface from the brush handle and start removing the old patina and continue until it’s the new softer color I like. Then by putting down the sand paper 150 grit flat on a surface I set the base of the handle and begin sanding it against the flat table until it is the little stubby handle. I am after what feels good in my hand. I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a polishing compound in stick form for plastics and softer materials and a 4” buffing wheel for my drill. When finished bringing it back to a high luster I like to use a carnuba wax to finish it off and make it shiny and seal it. Do not get wax inside so the epoxy sticks. Now I am ready to epoxy in the new knot.
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Ended up melting lead into the base!
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Epoxy over lead and then epoxy nickles to height needed
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Finished, weighted and ready to re-knot

#5
Before you epoxy the new knot you must do a few things. Prepare the hole to accept the new knot. If the hole you made is big enough already to accept the knot your done accept for how high you want it in the handle. If it does not fit in the opening you need to very carefully open up the hole to accept the replacement knot. Once the hole is large enough you need to clean and prepare the inside for the epoxy. Wash it good with a dish detergent and small brush. I used a toothbrush. Test and make sure the bottom of the knot glue is set deep enough into the handle to not be seen after its glues and opened. Then equal parts (easy does it) of the 2 bottles and a little goes a long way right into the handle and mix it there. Now take your mixing stick and carefully apply the glue to the bottom and the sides of the knot base. Now set it inside the handle and turn it a few times so the epoxy in the handle and the epoxy applied to the knot base mix together as well. Make sure its straight and not in at any angle and then put it up for 24 hours to set and harden.
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#6
Preparing the knot to use on your face. I washed the hair in the new brush 2 times with a strong dog shampoo to remove any animal odor. Wet it still smelled of animal so I shampooed it 3 more times in my hands like lathering up a cream with my personal hair shampoo. Now I mixed up a couple of bowls of shaving cream in a bowl like I was going to shave but rinsed the brush out each time and dried it by snapping out all the water and then rubbing it on a towel until almost dry. A quick smell now says it is free of animal smell. You have finished the re-knot. And now remember all new brushes of any kind loose a bit of hair by shedding them out. A good knot will not shed a lot in the beginning but through its life does a few times release a couple of hairs. Enjoy your new shaving brush and I hope you enjoyed the write-up I did and find it helpful. I am always interested in improving so if you have ideas or suggestions or any corrections in my write-up I would love to hear them in the comment of this article.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at,

SteveBaz...

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 03-03-2014, 10:46 AM
#2
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Thanks for the update on the brush restoration and welcome to The Shave Nook! Smile

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 03-06-2014, 07:43 PM
#3
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Welcome to The Shave Nook, Steve, and thank you for the excellent tutorial. Nicely done. Smile

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 03-06-2014, 07:50 PM
#4
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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Was really wanting to try this so this tutorial is perfect! Thanks for the hard work!

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 03-07-2014, 06:32 AM
#5
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Thank you for the warm welcome. Yes I am or was a lurker for some time. I have been using a DE since 1967 and a few times used disposables and the modern swivel head razors but all in all have stayed with the traditional DE Blades you drop in the wall inside the medicine cabinet for life. I was never really keep up with technology guy when it came to something that worked already and my Gillette Slimboy adjustable I bought new marked J-2 which was my second Gillette and still have it to this day and use it for my travel razor and recently (2011) bought a new Merkur Futur for some reason and actually fell in love with the finish to my shave with the Futur compared to my old Gillette. I did take a few months to get used to the heavier razor and changing out different blades until I found the Dorco and the Feathers blades that left me with the finest of shave finishes ever.

Thanks again for the warm welcome
Steve

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 03-07-2014, 08:24 AM
#6
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Solid work and tutorial, Steve! And welcome to the Nook.

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