02-16-2015, 02:49 PM
#1
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First of all, I love everything about the knot on my Romera LE anniversary brush. I also love the design of the handle but I am now VERY concerned about the handle's longevity.

The handle is genuine horn. It has been buffed, but not treated for waterproofing. The horn feels very dry and there are visible cracks that extend from the bottom up the side that you can feel with a fingernail (see pic). I did my homework and found that neatsfoot oil and some light buffing will protect/preserve the handle, but why wasn't that done by the manufacturer? This was NOT a cheap brush.

My second Romera has not arrived yet. The handle is made of briar and while I know that briar is heat-resistant because of its use in smoking pipes, I have no idea how it will stand up to water over the long term and I have not been able to find any info on that subject on line. Also, Romera provides no info on their site about maintaining their handles.

Again, the knot on brush #1 is terrific and Gustavo's handles are beautiful, but will they last?


[Image: JMYZ0Wn.jpg]

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 02-16-2015, 03:15 PM
#2
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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This is always a touchy subject with genuine horn handles. If treated well from the start and regularly buffed up with some Neatsfoot oil, they should hold up.
I used to own quite a few, but eventually I parted with all due to the maintenance need.
Good luck!

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 02-16-2015, 03:34 PM
#3
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+1 on regular application of Neatsfoot oil. I do this with my Plisson horn handle brushes and they are holding up well. Unfortunately the moisture just doesn't stay in the horn when it's exposed to water and soap. I'd be interested to see an after photo post-oil application to see what it looks like


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 02-16-2015, 03:49 PM
#4
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well I just learned something important.  last time I used neatsfoot oil was 56 years ago hum ....  a shopping I will go

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 02-16-2015, 03:53 PM
#5
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I just bought some pure neatsfoot oil on eBay. I think it was about $8 for 8 oz, which should last me five lifetimes.

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 02-16-2015, 03:56 PM
#6
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I bet that will look like new again with some oil.  I will be treating my own anniversary brush when I get home as its the only horn I own that hasn't been treated yet (usually do it once a year, before any signs of need arise).

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 02-16-2015, 04:12 PM
#7
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+1 on neatsfoot oil! That's what I use on all my horn handle brushes, by recommendation of a British artisan. Wink

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 02-16-2015, 05:25 PM
#8
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I received my Romera LE Horn (#14/100) a few days ago. I noticed some obvious cracks developing in the BASE of the handle and did some research on-line.

The 'cracks' on my handle were/are contained to the base, but similar and probably wider than Bob's.  The finish is also very 'dull' and seemed to have fine scratches. I think this happens to most, if not ALL horn handles over time, if they are not properly cared for, so I am not too worried. BUT, since my Romera LE was this way when I received it, I just need to do some 'remedial repair', then start and continue a regimen of 'preventive care', as ALL horn handles need.

I have given the handle several coats/applications of Dr. Dittmar's Horn Balm, found here:
http://www.qedusa.com/dittmar-dittmar-ho...p-624.html.



OR, use Neatsfoot oil which is available in many places, get 100% pure, like this on ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=neet...mfe=search
You can by it by the gallon, 8oz. or pint. Pint size is about the same price as 8 oz.

AFTER having reduced some of the 'dryness' I lightly sanded the rough edges (on the base) with finer applications of the sand paper (I used 400 grit, then 1000 grit, only becuase I had it on hand ... 2000 is available). (I also did this on the rest of the handle, trying to minmize the very fine 'scratches' that were present in several places). This removed the 'edges' and after you smooth it out, continue to give the handle more applications of the oil (This is what I am presently doing), until you are satisfied with the result. I also used a cloth polishing wheel on my Dremel Tool to try and bring the SOMEWHAT 'polished surface' back. Although it seems that every time I expose the handle to water, it, again, becomes 'dull'. Good news is that it DOES appear to becoming better, although very slowly!


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 02-16-2015, 10:14 PM
#9
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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Jay and I had this conversation earlier.  Horn and hoofs are generally made of the same stuff.  
I have neatsfoot oil but I only use it (with tack cleaning soap) on my leather strops.
Neatsfoot oil is recommended for reconditioning leather by the manufacturer, the same manufacturer that also makes hoof reconditioning oils for horses.
http://www.carrdaymartin.co.uk/hoof-care/

My Romera horn brush should be arriving this month, and I plan on using the hoof oil my daughters use on their horse.
Though, THIS product may be better for it.
Some oils would have the opposite effect, further drying the horn and exasperating the cracking.

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 02-17-2015, 02:11 AM
#10
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Again a big + for Neatsfoot Oil, a word of caution about neatsfoot oil ( You must buy the 100% pure as most are mixed with spirit) and this is not good for horn.

With regards to these crack's !!!, these are called natural fishers and do not cause a problem. Most of my Plisson,Thater's,M & F, sHavemac,Semogue, all have some form of these, I have been using Neatsfoot oil for 15 years or more on these and have never seen any further growth of these fishers.

Hope this helps.


Charles  U.K

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 02-17-2015, 03:13 AM
#11
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If this was my brush, and a user brush at that, I would dry it and then use thin superglue. This goes deep into the structures and seals them. The surface can be polished and not much will be left after finishing, except the pores will be filled. Maybe use some neatsfoot oil for the overall surface, the superglue only in the cracks.

Never did it to a horn handle, but do this to wooden knife handles on a regular basis.    Philipp

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 02-17-2015, 05:37 AM
#12
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It will be interesting to see how Eric's 'Hoof treatment works'. I have also read about using 'super glue' in just the cracks to basically fill them and reinforce
them or stabilize them. Any suggestions as to what particular glue works best? It certainly need to be thin in order to get into the cracks, which are small.

This is getting interesting! Smile

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 02-17-2015, 06:40 AM
#13
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if you use regular superglue as supplied for model airplane building in rather large bottles, you will find what you need.  The stuff really is superthin and penetrates deep into the material. I probably would use it in other spots,too- but this is your responsability. It is very good stuff for proofing natural materials.
I learned it about it on this Forum http://www.britishblades.com/forums/show...ght=cracks
Let me cite the passages

Quote:Guys - what do you recommend for the filler, and where to get it? Clearly want to do a nice job.

Thanks. Superglue most likely, it'll depend on the nature of the cracks.

It sounds a bit Heath Robinson, but it's used by many of the top custom makers. It makes for a very tough and durable finish.

For filling in cracks like this, you will need the really runny/watery stuff (a lot of superglues have added thickener to make them more manageable, avoid this type). Drizzle a little on the crack and let it "wick" into the crack. Let it dry - if necessary, smooth out any runs while it's still wet by rubbing with a finger covered in clingfilm (this minimizes sanding off). Build it up using several thin coats with a light sanding in between each coat. Keep adding superglue untill the cracks are fully filled and there is some glue overlapping the area filled. Start finishing by taking down the high spots with a fine rasp, needle file or coarse sandpaper wrapped round a pencil or somesuch. Then gently sand back down using progressively finer grades of wet and dry paper. You are not trying to re-shape the handle, just take the glue down to a fine and flush finish. When the glue-fill is flush with the wood, use the finest grade paper, followed by a buff with some wax polish. The crack may be visible still, but it'll be well sealed, it'll look quite nice, you wont be able to feel it and the finish will be tough and durable. You can coat the whole handle if you wish which would give an almost invisible mend, but go easy as it's possible to botch it up.

Quote: One final trick for pen makers: For a fast, tough gloss finish, get the slowest drying cyanoacrylate glue (super glue) you can find (some are 60 second cure). Working with two rags on the spinning lathe, wipe on a thin coat of cyanoacrylate and immediately follow it with a thin coat of boiled linseed oil. The glue will react with the oil and cause it to immediately cure into a very hard, glossy film. Sand lightly between coats and add as many as you like, using the two rag method. With a bit of practice, you can apply 4 coats, fully cured, in as many minutes.


I can attest it is an awesome method, have been doing this for a while now

Philipp

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 02-17-2015, 06:50 AM
#14
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(02-17-2015, 06:40 AM)Bibbelmann Wrote: if you use regular superglue as supplied for model airplane building in rather large bottles, you will find what you need.  The stuff really is superthin and penetrates deep into the material. I probably would use it in other spots,too- but this is your responsability. It is very good stuff for proofing natural materials.

Thank you!
Is there a specific brand and product, one that I could by on-line or on ebay?
Hard to find any 'hobby shops' any more, especially where I live.

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 02-17-2015, 07:14 AM
#15
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slow drying regular superglue, as sold for model airplane builders, in rather large bottles. for little money...
This is what I use, the red botte costs about 3 Euros for an ounce
http://2construct.de/JTL/jtl-shop312/2Co...-483-Serie
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-x-Sekundenkleb...0706371328
Can I ship this to the US? I cannot even ship aftershave...
you might have to find another source


This is not the whole story though! Cyanacrylate glues are curing rather fast, depending on the reactive surface they find. They release higly reactive fumes that will "burn" and "bite" your nose and lungs immediately. Be careful, and do not even watch yourself doing it, but be proactive when using these glues

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 02-17-2015, 07:32 AM
#16
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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(02-16-2015, 03:49 PM)daveinsweethome Wrote: well I just learned something important.  last time I used neatsfoot oil was 56 years ago hum ....  a shopping I will go

I have a real ivory handle. The guy who turned it for me sent a small container of Renwax and suggested it was to be used about once a year.
I know horn isn't ivory. And my guess is that Renwax is more spendy than neatsfoot oil.

Just a thought

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 02-17-2015, 08:07 AM
#17
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Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. My neatsfoot oil has been shipped. I thought I was buying a brush, not a project, but this brush is so good that I'm willing to put in the extra effort.

Meanwhile, it'll be interesting to see how the briar-handled brush fares...

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 02-17-2015, 08:08 AM
#18
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max - you mean renaissance wax?

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 02-17-2015, 08:24 AM
#19
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I think you need someting like the superglue solution. It should work on the border of the knot to the handle as well. Just saying!

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 02-17-2015, 07:33 PM
#20
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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(02-17-2015, 08:08 AM)tonsorius Wrote: max - you mean renaissance wax?


Yes. That's it.

MaxP

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