10-24-2018, 02:47 PM
#1
  • Puma
  • Active Member
  • Central Jersey
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I won this sweet Shavemac in a raffle. Do ebonite handles require any special care?


[Image: NZPy8Yw.jpg][Image: JTT34Ep.jpg]

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 10-24-2018, 03:47 PM
#2
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Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.

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 10-24-2018, 04:05 PM
#3
  • pbrmhl
  • Senior Member
  • Seattle
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(10-24-2018, 03:47 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.

What do you use to polish?

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 10-24-2018, 04:19 PM
#4
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That's a beautiful handle. Enjoy!

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 10-24-2018, 04:33 PM
#5
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(10-24-2018, 04:05 PM)pbrmhl Wrote:
(10-24-2018, 03:47 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.

What do you use to polish?

We use yellow compound (non-abrasive) on 6" cotton wheels (with Baldor polishers). I haven't spent any appreciable time maintaining Ebonite-handled brushes I've used for over four years. But that's because I store them in a dark closet.

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 10-24-2018, 05:42 PM
#6
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(10-24-2018, 04:33 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(10-24-2018, 04:05 PM)pbrmhl Wrote:
(10-24-2018, 03:47 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.

What do you use to polish?

We use yellow compound (non-abrasive) on 6" cotton wheels (with Baldor polishers). I haven't spent any appreciable time maintaining Ebonite-handled brushes I've used for over four years. But that's because I store them in a dark closet.


I use Obsidian Oil on my pipe stems: https://www.amazon.com/Obsidian-Oil-for-...B06Y5YBDQ3.  You might give it a shot.  A little goes a very long way.  


It works well between smokes and greatly increases the time between polishing the stems.  I have been hoping to try it out on an ebonite brush of my own, and continue to hold out hope that I can acquire one some day.  

Note for Ken: I am willing and prepared to conduct product trials on your behalf right now, and would be more than happy to do so.  Wink

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 10-24-2018, 05:54 PM
#7
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(10-24-2018, 05:42 PM)Streambrewer Wrote:
(10-24-2018, 04:33 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(10-24-2018, 04:05 PM)pbrmhl Wrote: What do you use to polish?

We use yellow compound (non-abrasive) on 6" cotton wheels (with Baldor polishers). I haven't spent any appreciable time maintaining Ebonite-handled brushes I've used for over four years. But that's because I store them in a dark closet.


I use Obsidian Oil on my pipe stems: https://www.amazon.com/Obsidian-Oil-for-...B06Y5YBDQ3.  You might give it a shot.  A little goes a very long way.  


It works well between smokes and greatly increases the time between polishing the stems.  I have been hoping to try it out on an ebonite brush of my own, and continue to hold out hope that I can acquire one some day.  

Note for Ken: I am willing and prepared to conduct product trials on your behalf right now, and would be more than happy to do so.  Wink

We need to get together, Matt. It would be a very, very good time for you to pay us a visit.

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 10-24-2018, 06:16 PM
#8
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
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(10-24-2018, 02:47 PM)Puma Wrote: I won this sweet Shavemac in a raffle. Do ebonite handles require any special care?


[Image: NZPy8Yw.jpg]

Send me the brush - happy to document and test for the best procedures for proper care.

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 10-25-2018, 05:53 AM
#9
  • Garb
  • Active Member
  • Oregon
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Great advice on ebonite care. I might try similar on Bakelite?

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 10-25-2018, 07:11 AM
#10
  • Puma
  • Active Member
  • Central Jersey
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(10-24-2018, 03:47 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.
Thanks, Ken. I love your brushes. I could sit and stare at my Harlequin PK all day.

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 10-25-2018, 07:12 AM
#11
  • Puma
  • Active Member
  • Central Jersey
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Thanks for all of the replies.

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 10-25-2018, 07:26 AM
#12
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(10-25-2018, 05:53 AM)Garb Wrote: Great advice on ebonite care. I might try similar on Bakelite?

I don't know about Bakelite. Its chemistry is very different than Ebonite's.

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 10-25-2018, 07:44 AM
#13
  • Garb
  • Active Member
  • Oregon
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Just a thought. Thanks for the tip.

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 10-26-2018, 06:12 AM
#14
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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(10-24-2018, 03:47 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.

+1  Although we've only been testing and turning Ebonite since the Spring, everything we've found aligns with Ken's conclusions/suggestions.  I might add that we typically bake our handles at 170-175 deg. F to cure the imprinting ink and have seen without serious impact to our Ebonite handles.  (We use state of the art pad printing technology v. laser engraving.)  What we do see is occasional unevenness on some of the bases and a slight dulling at the bottom of fine grooves--all of which easily buff-out.  This sometimes happens with resin handles; so....  Nevertheless, I would avoid immersion in scalding water and be careful with alcohol-based aftershaves, EDT's, etc. as they will eventually dull the finish.  Accidents happen; so if the finish does dull over time, I would think a mild automotive polish would restore things with minimal effort..  

I also keep my brushes (Ebonite and others) in a dark, well-ventilated closet largely because our bathroom doesn't have a lot of excess space. 

All that said:  I have a 20+ year old Ebonite Mont Blanc fountain pen that, except for a few minor scratches, still looks like new.  (If my research is correct, Mont Blanc's been using ebonite/hard rubber since ~1906; so I imagine they know what they're doing.)  Anyway, this pen's received no special care; so--bottom line--I wouldn't worry too much about your new brush.  Just take good care of it, as you would with any high-end badger and enjoy!

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 10-26-2018, 02:55 PM
#15
  • Puma
  • Active Member
  • Central Jersey
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(10-26-2018, 06:12 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote:
(10-24-2018, 03:47 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Yes, two tips:

1) Ebonite doesn't like scalding hot water.

2) Ebonite will oxidize over time and UV exposure accelerates that process causing some color change.

I don't expose Ebonite to scalding hot water or any harsh chemicals. 

I store mind in a dark place.

We started turning Ebonite in August or September of 2014. I have several brushes made with handles from back then. They still look great.

We did experiment with some, e.g., letting handles stand in windows exposed to direct sunlight over several months. There was some change in surface appearance. It was fairly easy to polish out.

+1  Although we've only been testing and turning Ebonite since the Spring, everything we've found aligns with Ken's conclusions/suggestions.  I might add that we typically bake our handles at 170-175 deg. F to cure the imprinting ink and have seen without serious impact to our Ebonite handles.  (We use state of the art pad printing technology v. laser engraving.)  What we do see is occasional unevenness on some of the bases and a slight dulling at the bottom of fine grooves--all of which easily buff-out.  This sometimes happens with resin handles; so....  Nevertheless, I would avoid immersion in scalding water and be careful with alcohol-based aftershaves, EDT's, etc. as they will eventually dull the finish.  Accidents happen; so if the finish does dull over time, I would think a mild automotive polish would restore things with minimal effort..  

I also keep my brushes (Ebonite and others) in a dark, well-ventilated closet largely because our bathroom doesn't have a lot of excess space. 

All that said:  I have a 20+ year old Ebonite Mont Blanc fountain pen that, except for a few minor scratches, still looks like new.  (If my research is correct, Mont Blanc's been using ebonite/hard rubber since ~1906; so I imagine they know what they're doing.)  Anyway, this pen's received no special care; so--bottom line--I wouldn't worry too much about your new brush.  Just take good care of it, as you would with any high-end badger and enjoy!

Thanks Brad. I was wondering about using automotive products. I've used them on resin handles before. I use a polymer polish/protectant on my bike, but I have some normal wax too.

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 10-27-2018, 12:14 PM
#16
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(10-26-2018, 02:55 PM)Puma Wrote: I was wondering about using automotive products. I've used them on resin handles before. I use a polymer polish/protectant on my bike, but I have some normal wax too.

Resin really doesn't compare closely to Ebonite. The main constituents of Ebonite are rubber and sulfur (along with pigments). Rubber is a natural, organic polymer. Resins typically used to make shaving brush handles are synthetic polymers. Ebonite is somewhat porous. Much more so than acrylic or polyester resins.

I've asked the manufacturer about using sealant (which sometime covers the ends of long pieces we get) and was told it might spoil the aesthetic and tactile characteristics of Ebonite.

That said, we've used carnauba wax, but it works best when applied on a wheel, and, again, heat needs to be carefully controlled when working with Ebonite.

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 10-28-2018, 03:43 AM
#17
  • Puma
  • Active Member
  • Central Jersey
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(10-27-2018, 12:14 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(10-26-2018, 02:55 PM)Puma Wrote: I was wondering about using automotive products. I've used them on resin handles before. I use a polymer polish/protectant on my bike, but I have some normal wax too.

Resin really doesn't compare closely to Ebonite. The main constituents of Ebonite are rubber and sulfur (along with pigments). Rubber is a natural, organic polymer. Resins typically used to make shaving brush handles are synthetic polymers. Ebonite is somewhat porous. Much more so than acrylic or polyester resins.  

I've asked the manufacturer about using sealant (which sometime covers the ends of long pieces we get) and was told it might spoil the aesthetic and tactile characteristics of Ebonite.

That said, we've used carnauba wax, but it works best when applied on a wheel, and, again, heat needs to be carefully controlled when working with Ebonite.
Thanks again Ken. That's what I figured.

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 10-28-2018, 04:42 AM
#18
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(10-28-2018, 03:43 AM)Puma Wrote:
(10-27-2018, 12:14 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(10-26-2018, 02:55 PM)Puma Wrote: I was wondering about using automotive products. I've used them on resin handles before. I use a polymer polish/protectant on my bike, but I have some normal wax too.

Resin really doesn't compare closely to Ebonite. The main constituents of Ebonite are rubber and sulfur (along with pigments). Rubber is a natural, organic polymer. Resins typically used to make shaving brush handles are synthetic polymers. Ebonite is somewhat porous. Much more so than acrylic or polyester resins.  

I've asked the manufacturer about using sealant (which sometime covers the ends of long pieces we get) and was told it might spoil the aesthetic and tactile characteristics of Ebonite.

That said, we've used carnauba wax, but it works best when applied on a wheel, and, again, heat needs to be carefully controlled when working with Ebonite.
Thanks again Brad. That's what I figured.

I'm Ken.  Wink

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 10-28-2018, 11:16 AM
#19
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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(10-28-2018, 04:42 AM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(10-28-2018, 03:43 AM)Puma Wrote:
(10-27-2018, 12:14 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Resin really doesn't compare closely to Ebonite. The main constituents of Ebonite are rubber and sulfur (along with pigments). Rubber is a natural, organic polymer. Resins typically used to make shaving brush handles are synthetic polymers. Ebonite is somewhat porous. Much more so than acrylic or polyester resins.  

I've asked the manufacturer about using sealant (which sometime covers the ends of long pieces we get) and was told it might spoil the aesthetic and tactile characteristics of Ebonite.

That said, we've used carnauba wax, but it works best when applied on a wheel, and, again, heat needs to be carefully controlled when working with Ebonite.
Thanks again Brad. That's what I figured.

I'm Ken.  Wink

I'm Brad.  (Ken's better looking!  Biggrin )

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 10-29-2018, 09:20 AM
#20
  • Puma
  • Active Member
  • Central Jersey
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I'm Ken.  Wink

I'm Brad.  (Ken's better looking!  Biggrin )


Sorry about that guys. I've fixed it where I could. It's not everyday that I have two legends advising me. Thanks again to you both.

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