04-26-2014, 07:57 AM
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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I finally purchased a Vernier Caliper today and it has been illuminating as to how inaccurate I have previously been when measuring brush handle and knot dimensions via the good old fashioned method of using a ruler and eyesight.

It would appear that I have been regularly under-estimating knot width by around 1 to 2mm and over-estimating loft by 1 to 2mm for much of my brush collection.

This has led me to reflect upon how many threads I have read on other forums where people have been unhappy that knot dimensions are not precisely what a manufacturer states they should be and has led me to realise how some variances in dimensions might just be down to differing methods of measurement giving slightly different results.

It has also surprised me as to how inaccurate my previous method of measurement is, and it has also given me an insight as to how difficult it must be for brush makers to get within a few millimetres of stated dimensions time after time and to appreciate the skill level involved in making knots and setting loft heights on brushes via a handmade process.

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 04-26-2014, 08:08 AM
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I was chatting to a well renowned and respected brushmaker earlier today and the topic of knot sizes and measuring came up.

He said that it's a very subjective thing and people measure in various different ways. I.E he mentioned how the old Simpson's lathe (it was a 100 year old machine) was out by approx 1-2mm and as such their knot sizes could vary.

Also some people measure the knot at the base before it is inserted in the handle others once it's in.

Personally I think it's good as a guide to see whether it's small, medium or large but not worth getting hung up on whether it's 1mm smaller or 2mm higher loft.

8 249
 04-26-2014, 08:43 AM
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It's been an adventure using digital calipers. Trying to come up with an accurate measurement without scratching the brush has been a lesson in manual dexterity. It's also been an eye-opener that the numbers have been so different than the advertised specs, and at best just an approximation anyway. In the future, I'll probably just leave the tool in the drawer.

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