03-15-2016, 02:31 PM
#1
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Everyone,

What's your method for accurately measuring brush specs?

Are there reasonably priced calipers that would be appropriate? I'd like to have a set but can't foresee myself needing them for anything else. I'm like Alton Brown in that I don't care to own too many gadgets that are uni-taskers.

Is there a reliable way to measure dimensions accurately with a ruler? I can get reasonably confident numbers of loft and handle length with one, but knot diameter where it leaves the handle is next to impossible to do objectively. I have tried putting a thin metal ruler into the knot but cannot get it down to the handle for various obvious reasons. I've tried eyeballing it from the side but am not comfortable that the perspective of doing it this way is true.

How do you measure finished dimensions of your brushes?

Aside from just using a ruler and giving your best eyeball of it, what tools specifically do use? Where did you buy them? What other purposes do you use them for? Did you already own them for another reason? Analog or electronic?

Interested in your advice and experience.

I may never actually buy something if it's for measuring shaving brushes alone. If there's another handy reason to have calipers around the house I'd like to know.

Thanks!

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 03-15-2016, 03:25 PM
#2
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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You can always take up building guitars. Luthiers use 'em all the time.

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 03-15-2016, 03:37 PM
#3
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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I don't measure my brushes, but if you're looking for a good measuring device the Mitutoyo digital caliper is great.  I've used one for years measuring targets after shooting my rifles.  It goes for $120 USD.

http://www.amazon.com/Mitutoyo-ABSOLUTE-...B001C0ZPNO

Eric

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 03-15-2016, 03:41 PM
#4
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Fun pic.  .13" group of 3 at 100 yards!  Booyah!

Eric

[Image: IMG_4226_zpsa1b51df5.jpg]

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 03-15-2016, 04:11 PM
#5
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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Just get a cheapy plastic vernier caliper in mm from Harbor Freight for under $5....good enough for measuring knots and has a depth gauge too for checking free loft/glue bumpage.

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 03-15-2016, 04:36 PM
#6
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(03-15-2016, 04:11 PM)Shanman Wrote: Just get a cheapy plastic vernier caliper in mm from Harbor Freight for under $5....good enough for measuring knots and has a depth gauge too for checking free loft/glue bumpage.

Excellent!

Thanks.

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 03-15-2016, 05:51 PM
#7
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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$5 solution... Even better!

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 03-16-2016, 06:17 PM
#8
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For what reason is this really necessary?  If you order a custom made brush or one off the shelf and it is a little larger or smaller does it really matter?

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 03-16-2016, 06:18 PM
#9
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(03-16-2016, 06:17 PM)Tidepool Wrote: For what reason is this really necessary?  If you order a custom made brush or one off the shelf and it is a little larger or smaller does it really matter?

To many people, yes it does

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 03-17-2016, 01:34 PM
#10
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Amazon - digital caliper. I got mine for $10-12 and it's reliable.

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 03-17-2016, 02:05 PM
#11
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(03-17-2016, 01:34 PM)NSmalls Wrote: Amazon - digital caliper. I got mine for $10-12 and it's reliable.

Agreed.
I purchased one that Nick recommended to me; works great.

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 03-17-2016, 02:15 PM
#12
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I like these guys: http://www.amazon.com/iGaging/b/ref=bl_d...in=iGaging

I think they offer the best price : performance ratio of anyone out there. 

Because of what we do, I use a height gauge as well as calipers. It's hard, if not impossible, to get accurate measurements of brushes with large-diameter handles and concave bottoms without either long-jaw calipers or a height (better) gauge. And it's easy to scratch the bottom of a handle with steel-jawed calipers.

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 03-18-2016, 06:08 AM
#13
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since we are on the subject.

1) How do you measure the knot diameter? Until you close the calipers tight and they wont go any further, or just until they gently touch each side of knot?
2) How do you measure the loft/height? At the tallest point of the longest hair.....or somewhere where there is a level area where more hairs are together the same height?

Curiosity gets the best of me and I have never found anything on any forum that explains just exactly where everyone gets their dims from.

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 03-18-2016, 07:25 AM
#14
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(03-18-2016, 06:08 AM)hillbillyreverend Wrote: since we are on the subject.

1)  How do you measure the knot diameter?  Until you close the calipers tight and they wont go any further, or just until they gently touch each side of knot?
2)  How do you measure the loft/height?   At the tallest point of the longest hair.....or somewhere where there is a level area where more hairs are together the same height?

Curiosity gets the best of me and I have never found anything on any forum that explains just exactly where everyone gets their dims from.

1.) use thumb wheel with gentle pressure
2.) measure overall brush height, measure handle, subtract handle height from overall height. measure from center of knot

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 03-18-2016, 07:46 AM
#15
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(03-18-2016, 07:25 AM)NSmalls Wrote:
(03-18-2016, 06:08 AM)hillbillyreverend Wrote: since we are on the subject.

1)  How do you measure the knot diameter?  Until you close the calipers tight and they wont go any further, or just until they gently touch each side of knot?
2)  How do you measure the loft/height?   At the tallest point of the longest hair.....or somewhere where there is a level area where more hairs are together the same height?

Curiosity gets the best of me and I have never found anything on any forum that explains just exactly where everyone gets their dims from.

1.) use thumb wheel with gentle pressure
2.) measure overall brush height, measure handle, subtract handle height from overall height. measure from center of knot

+1, except I measure handle height first, then zero the calipers (assuming they are digital), then measure overall brush height, which will give knot height. That saves doing the subtraction. Just remember to re-zero the calipers at actual zero before taking another measurement.

With regard to what to choose as the top of the knot, knot height is never going to be a consistently precise measurement. I brush move the top jaw back and forth until it just brushes a few hairs. I don't think two or three outliers should end up adding 1-2 mm of loft to a knot.

BTW, this is a great site for doing quick conversions: http://www.worldwidemetric.com/measurements.html.

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 03-18-2016, 07:56 AM
#16
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I have always just used a simple tape measure or ruler and my eye. Biggrin

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 03-26-2016, 06:39 PM
#17
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I propose that we, from this day forth, refer only to brush dimensions in units of barley corn.

Alternatively you may also use fractional derivatives of the Country Mile. 

Sherlock

Pancarta

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 03-26-2016, 06:48 PM
#18
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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(03-18-2016, 07:56 AM)celestino Wrote: I have always just used a simple tape measure or ruler and my eye. Biggrin

I've always just used a ruler too. I always state my measurements are approximate. 
Seems pretty simple IMO, apex of the knot to the base of the knot for height and width of the base of the knot. No need to be too caught up in "splitting hairs" on the subject...  Tongue

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 03-26-2016, 11:06 PM
#19
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(03-26-2016, 06:39 PM)bakerbarber Wrote: I propose that we, from this day forth, refer only to brush dimensions in units of barley corn.

Alternatively you may also use fractional derivatives of the Country Mile. 

Sherlock

Pancarta

If we're going to be obnoxiously obscure, I propose we adopt the FFF-system and use fractional furlongs... a 24mm knot with a 50mm loft would be an easy to remember 1/8382 furlong knot with a 3/12070 furlong loft  24

To get back to the thread, I have measured loft heights in the past by laying the brush along a ruler and eye-balling it. Close enough for my needs Smile

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 03-28-2016, 11:44 AM
#20
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(03-15-2016, 02:31 PM)bakerbarber Wrote: Everyone,

What's your method for accurately measuring brush specs?

Are there reasonably priced calipers that would be appropriate?

Exactly two months before you asked . . . yr obdnt srvnt started a similar thread.

As one of the responders to this thread (Shanman) pointed out, the cheapie plastic calipers sold by Harbor Freight — which is what I have used — are adequate for this application.

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