10-20-2014, 11:57 AM
#1
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
A few months ago, I bought one of those Bethlehem olive wood brush handles from eBay. The handle was beautiful, but I didn't think the finish would hold up, it was just a thin coat of varnish. So I sanded it down to bare wood and then applied several hand rubbed coats of Tru Oil linseed oil finish. Fine sanding and running with a polish have me a great durable satiny finish.

As for the knot, I decided on a 24mm TGN finest F2. My experience with badger brushes has not been great, and I have come to favor synthetics or boar. I didn't have a badger at the time, so I decided to give it another try. The result looked great!

[Image: y5byoe]

Unfortunately, I just didn't like the knot. Badger brushes have always made my face feel itchy, and this one did, too. I didn't enjoy using it.

After putting so much effort into the handle, I wanted a knot that I would really like. My favorite synthetic is the Beauty Strokes H.I.S. brush. I have three of them, one in the original handle and two that were re-handled by The brush maker Oscar11. I decided to get one of the smaller 24mm H.I.S. brushes, extract the knot, and put it into the olive wood handle.

I didn't think to take a photo of the donor brush, but it is just a slightly smaller version of the big 28mm H.I.S. brush.

To get the knot out, first I protected it by binding it up tightly with string, then wrapped it in several layers of blue painters tape.

I locked the handle securely in a vise.

I ground down the hard black plastic with a Dremel tool and various cutting and grinding bits.

Once I got down to the metal ring around the base of the knot, I cut the knot free from the base of the handle with a hack saw.

A little touch up with the grinder gave me a nice clean knot.

[Image: KVGT8Q]

Now, I had to remove the badger knot. I read about using stream to soften the epoxy glue, but I feared that would damage the wood handle. So, I played it safe and extracted it the hard way. I cut the hair down with scissors, then used the Dremel to getting it out. What a mess! It was almost as messy as extracting the knot from the H.I.S. brush!

[Image: l9T2KJ]

Once the handle was clean, I gave the interior two new costs of the Tru Oil to seal it before gluing in the H.I.S. knot.

I am very pleased with how it turned out. I love how the knot performs and how it feels on my face.

[Image: fY0RNF] [Image: q0HK4k] [Image: 8UCTxA]

4 682
Reply
 10-20-2014, 12:41 PM
#2
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
User Info
Very nice job!
Where did you source the H.I.S. brush from?

47 1,901
Reply
 10-20-2014, 01:01 PM
#3
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-20-2014, 12:41 PM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: Very nice job!
Where did you source the H.I.S. brush from?

I got it from Italianbarber. The vendor that sells the HIS brushes on Amazon has been short on inventory recently and didn't have the smaller knot in stock.

4 682
Reply
 10-20-2014, 01:07 PM
#4
User Info
The grain on your olive wood handle is beautiful. With olive wood, there is such a large variation in grain patterns that you never know if you'll like what you get. From what I've read the H.I.S. knotsts are generation 4, comparable to the Muhle. Great job Mike.

48 5,708
Reply
 10-20-2014, 01:47 PM
#5
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-20-2014, 01:07 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: The grain on your olive wood handle is beautiful. With olive wood, there is such a large variation in grain patterns that you never know if you'll like what you get. From what I've read the H.I.S. knotsts are generation 4, comparable to the Muhle. Great job Mike.

Thank you.

4 682
Reply
 10-20-2014, 02:51 PM
#6
User Info
Wow! That is a great looking brush indeed!

Can you describe a little better how do you made that great finish on the brush?

2 5,545
Reply
 10-20-2014, 03:14 PM
#7
User Info
Very nice job on the brush. Love the olive wood

0 853
Reply
 10-20-2014, 04:06 PM
#8
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-20-2014, 02:51 PM)oversaturn Wrote: Wow! That is a great looking brush indeed!

Can you describe a little better how do you made that great finish on the brush?

Thank you!

I sanded the handle with 320 grade paper until all the original finish was gone and some faint machining marks were smoothed out.

Tru Oil is a linseed oil varnish meant for hand rubbed finishes on gun stocks. I generously wetted a small piece of paper towel with the varnish and vigorously rubbed it into the wood. I did this a few times until the surface was uniformly wet and even. I let this coat dry for 48 hours or more before giving it a light sanding with 1000 grit paper.

I did this three times until I had glossy, but imperfect surface. I did a final sanding with 1000 grit to level out the surface, then I hand rubbed it with Flitz polish to get a semi gloss luster.

The Tru Oil gives a deep amber finish that enhances the appearance of the olive wood grain.

(10-20-2014, 03:14 PM)EJaggerMan Wrote: Very nice job on the brush. Love the olive wood

Thank you.

4 682
Reply
 10-20-2014, 04:41 PM
#9
User Info
Looks awesome. Fantastic job. I can't imagine tackling a job like that. I'm sure I'd butcher the handle trying to get the old knot out.

0 1,053
Reply
 10-20-2014, 04:59 PM
#10
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
User Info
Lately, I agree, Badger is just too scritchy, and I much prefer a good synthetic knot. Terrific job, and a beautiful handle.

38 5,030
Reply
 10-20-2014, 07:53 PM
#11
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-20-2014, 04:41 PM)Shannons Soaps Wrote: Looks awesome. Fantastic job. I can't imagine tackling a job like that. I'm sure I'd butcher the handle trying to get the old knot out.

This was one of those times where I got half way into a project and wondered if I was going to ruin it. But I went slow and cautious and it turned out OK.

Next time I do a brush I am going to try silicone adhesive rather than epoxy. I hear that it is possible to pull a knot out without damage if you glue it that way.

(10-20-2014, 04:59 PM)evnpar Wrote: Lately, I agree, Badger is just too scritchy, and I much prefer a good synthetic knot. Terrific job, and a beautiful handle.

Thanks. I love the looks of a badger knot, but every one that I have tried made me itch, even a top quality silvertip with the fabled hooked gel tips! That was a beautiful brush. I ended up giving it to my son in law for his birthday.

So I have reluctantly given up on badger. Curiously enough, I have discovered that my face likes a good boar brush as well as synthetic. Even if the boar feels a little scratchy, it doesn't make me itch. Go figure....

4 682
Reply
 10-20-2014, 08:21 PM
#12
User Info
Wow, Mike! That handle looks stunning! Great job!

You should really try a good 2-Band badger at some point. They can have the softest tips. Biggrin

82 21,056
Reply
 10-20-2014, 09:42 PM
#13
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-20-2014, 08:21 PM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Mike! That handle looks stunning! Great job!

You should really try a good 2-Band badger at some point. They can have the softest tips. Biggrin

Thank you, Celestino.

4 682
Reply
 10-20-2014, 11:31 PM
#14
User Info
(10-20-2014, 04:06 PM)moallen Wrote:
(10-20-2014, 02:51 PM)oversaturn Wrote: Wow! That is a great looking brush indeed!

Can you describe a little better how do you made that great finish on the brush?

Thank you!

I sanded the handle with 320 grade paper until all the original finish was gone and some faint machining marks were smoothed out.

Tru Oil is a linseed oil varnish meant for hand rubbed finishes on gun stocks. I generously wetted a small piece of paper towel with the varnish and vigorously rubbed it into the wood. I did this a few times until the surface was uniformly wet and even. I let this coat dry for 48 hours or more before giving it a light sanding with 1000 grit paper.

I did this three times until I had glossy, but imperfect surface. I did a final sanding with 1000 grit to level out the surface, then I hand rubbed it with Flitz polish to get a semi gloss luster.

The Tru Oil gives a deep amber finish that enhances the appearance of the olive wood grain.

Thank you for the detailed instructions. It surely seems like an interesting approach, and the final result looks superb!
Tru-Oil is not something easy to find around here, but maybe I'll find something similar.

2 5,545
Reply
 10-21-2014, 04:10 AM
#15
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
User Info
Mike-That was truly a labor of love with great results!!

Well done!

4 2,688
Reply
 10-21-2014, 07:58 AM
#16
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-21-2014, 04:10 AM)Coyote Wrote: Mike-That was truly a labor of love with great results!!

Well done!

Thank you.

4 682
Reply
 10-27-2014, 02:15 AM
#17
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
User Info
Good job!

33 914
Reply
 10-27-2014, 05:26 AM
#18
  • moallen
  • Senior Member
  • Bellevue, WA USA
User Info
(10-27-2014, 02:15 AM)MikekiM Wrote: Good job!

Thanks.

4 682
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)