07-23-2020, 06:31 AM
#1
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
A question about knot shapes in another thread (see http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=61347&pid=956836#pid956836) made me think of one I started a few years ago (turned out to be three years ago today). I tried to find it here, but apparently I only put it up on B&B. What follows in this and the next three posts is a copy-and-paste of what appears on B&B with very minor editing. So, this is what I wrote three years ago.

[Re-post begins here]


This thread is intended to illustrate the relationships among knot depth-of-set, loft, and conformation as dependent on other factors such as knot girth, density, and height. All of these variable in combination significantly influence the performance (back-bone, splay, loading, lathering efficiency, quality of lather, water retention, flow-through, etc.) and subjective qualities of a brush in use. 

Of course, no one has to care about any of this stuff to enjoy use of a brush in traditional wet-shaving. But I've been curious about badger-hair brushes since I started using them, and it's fun to share and discuss what we learn.

I was sorely tempted to use more knots, but that would have been too time-consuming, and I think two should serve well enough for present purposes.

Here's the first (designated as 26SLE5):

[Image: 26SLE5_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]

Here's the second (designated as 26SNL2):

[Image: 26SNL2_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]

25SLE5 has a base diameter of about 24.7 mm. 26SNL2's base measures about 25 mm.

The clear, acrylic handle I made with this demonstration specifically in mind is 56 mm high and 38 mm in outside diameter. Its socket (or knot hole) is precisely 26 mm in diameter and 22 mm deep.

I'll follow this with two more posts including only labeled series of photos. In replies (hopefully this will generate some discussion), it would probably be best not to repetitively include all the photos. I'll save my own comments for separate follow-up posts.

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 06:32 AM
#2
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
26SLE5 @ 49 mm:

[Image: 26SLE549_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 50 mm:
[Image: 26SLE550_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 51 mm:

[Image: 26SLE551_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 52 mm:
[Image: 26SLE552_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 53 mm:
[Image: 26SLE553_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 53.5 mm:
[Image: 26SLE553_5_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 54 mm:
[Image: 26SLE554_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SLE5 @ 57.5 mm:
[Image: 26SLE557_5_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 06:33 AM
#3
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
26SNL2 @ 48 mm:
[Image: 26SNL248_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SNL2 @ 49 mm:
[Image: 26SNL249_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SNL2 @ 50 mm:
[Image: 26SNL250_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SNL2 @ 51 mm:
[Image: 26SNL251_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]
26SNL2 @ 52 mm:
[Image: 26SNL252_(2019_09_25_21_34_32_UTC).jpg]

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 06:35 AM
#4
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
[What follows was originally posted on July 23, 2017.]

The first time I ever had occasion to think prospectively about setting a knot in a handle was in connection with resolving dimensions for prototypes in advance of the 2013 M&F Group Buy. I studied philosophy and history as an undergrad, was especially interested in the ancient Greeks, and dug Pythogorean number theory. So, I fell right in line with the 2x diameter (begging the question diameter of what?) = Golden Loft rule. Accordingly, I gave solemn instruction that Group Buy Chiefs should have 25 mm knots lofted at 50 mm.

But then a couple of months later Chiefs started showing up with lofts ranging from 49-53 mm. My faith was a shaken. And whatever of it remained took leave in early '15 when we got the first batch of 100 Paladin brushes back from Lee with knots he'd set. They were all over the place. I was forced to embrace diversity. But I still didn't like it.

I had a vision to restore order and harmony when I started setting knots myself that were made to our specifications. Then I finally crashed into the the light. Handmade knots might not be possessed of souls, but they certainly have preferences of their own and wills to match. Each knot has its own nature. (Lee had understood that very well.) It isn't in the nature of 26SLE5 to be set in a 26 mm socket at a loft of 52 mm. It wants to be set at 54 mm, although it could probably be content at 53.5 mm or endure 53 mm. (And some wet-shavers would undoubtedly love a brush with 26SLE5 set at 53 mm). 262SNL2 could be happy at just about any loft between 48 mm and 52 mm, although it would assume different personalities at different lofts.

I've got to where I can guess with pretty high confidence where a knot wants to be lofted when I pick it up, but I really don't know for sure until I try it out in a handle, and often I have to go up or down 0.5-1.0 mm (using spacers we make) to be sure. Then there are the occasions when a handle style rejects the loft preferences of a particular knot, or vice versa.

Bottom line: an important part of brush-making is match-making.

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 07:11 AM
#5
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
User Info
This is all fascinating; thanks, Ken.
I need to re-read and review pics again.

119 19,512
Reply
 07-23-2020, 07:16 AM
#6
User Info
Very informative, Ken.  Thumbsup

92 21,340
Reply
 07-23-2020, 07:18 AM
#7
User Info
Great art is not always repeatable, thanks for a super explanation.

64 1,929
Reply
 07-23-2020, 07:25 AM
#8
User Info
Amazing and very interesting Ken! Thank you sir!

0 334
Reply
 07-23-2020, 07:35 AM
#9
User Info
This is a fascinating thread and me as a brush collector is loving this!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

8 1,547
Reply
 07-23-2020, 07:45 AM
#10
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
For a related thread see: Brushology: on glue and bumps.

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 08:11 AM
#11
User Info
Knot setting is a true art form, and that's every Paladin brush. Great stuff, Ken, I live for this knowledge!

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

5 253
Reply
 07-23-2020, 08:15 AM
#12
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
User Info
Fun and educational reading - thanks Ken

17 967
Reply
 07-23-2020, 08:58 AM
#13
User Info
Outstanding!  Do fan knots have different loft attributes than bulb knots?

4 191
Reply
 07-23-2020, 09:02 AM
#14
User Info
Excellent, Ken. You make it easy to understand, despite my brief career as a machinist being almost 50 years ago.

247 14,478
Reply
 07-23-2020, 09:29 AM
#15
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
Thanks for the replies all. And thanks to TSN for providing a public forum where posts like this by artisans and vendors are permitted.

(07-23-2020, 08:58 AM)PATRIOT Wrote: Outstanding!  Do fan knots have different loft attributes than bulb knots?

Yes. I don't dislike fans, but I think Mouser in this post touched on a personal preference that largely holds for me as well. One of my all-time favorite brushes was/is a Simpsons Butterscotch T3 with a Manchurian fan-shaped knot. As I recall, that knot measures about 23.5 at its base.  When Lee Sabini sent me the first two M&F Chief prototypes (both with Somerset handles), one was a fan and the other a semi-bulb. Those handles had 26 mm sockets. I liked them both, but had a fairly strong preference for the semi-bulb.

About one knot in five that we set into our handles is a fan. That doesn't so much reflect an assessment of demand as it does our preferences. 

We mostly make handles bored to 26 mm or 28 mm. As a result of my preference, I have a lot more experience with semi-bulbs and hybrids in those sizes. It's usually easy for us to decide the height at which semi-bulbs and hybrids would best be set. And the range is typically narrow (usually about 2 mm, so +/- 1 mm). Fans are different. In my experience fans generally offer a significantly broader range of loft, and different wet-shavers would invariably have different preferences. Consequently, every time we set a fan, we have to make a guess. Of course, we could set fans at different heights and let customers decided for themselves. But that involves committing a handle to a knot set at a particular loft, which likely as not the customer who most wants a brush with that handle wouldn't choose.

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 10:46 AM
#16
User Info
Fantastic. Thanks, again, for sharing.

9 1,601
Reply
 07-23-2020, 12:00 PM
#17
  • ischiapp
  • Senior Member
  • Forio d'Ischia, Naples, Italy
User Info
(07-23-2020, 06:32 AM)ChiefBroom Wrote: 26SLE5
[Image: eMtYSac.gif]
https://i.imgur.com/eMtYSac.gif
Original Image 720x1080px

(07-23-2020, 06:33 AM)ChiefBroom Wrote: 26SNL2
[Image: m0zQw5Z.gif]
https://i.imgur.com/m0zQw5Z.gif
Original Image 720x1080px

Never seen pics so precise.
Biggrin Biggrin Biggrin

0 2,252
Reply
 07-23-2020, 12:11 PM
#18
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
(07-23-2020, 12:00 PM)ischiapp Wrote: Never seen pics so precise.
Biggrin Biggrin Biggrin

Very cool! Much better. Thanks!

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 12:29 PM
#19
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
(07-23-2020, 12:00 PM)ischiapp Wrote: Never seen pics so precise.
Biggrin Biggrin Biggrin

I just remembered, and you probably won't believe this, but I took the photos in 0.5 mm increments.

3 1,716
Reply
 07-23-2020, 12:32 PM
#20
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
User Info
(07-23-2020, 12:29 PM)ChiefBroom Wrote:
(07-23-2020, 12:00 PM)ischiapp Wrote: Never seen pics so precise.
Biggrin Biggrin Biggrin

I just remembered, and you probably won't believe this, but I took the photos in 0.5 mm increments.

I totally believe this.

119 19,512
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)