Help with my first restore

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by kellicat, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. OK, I found a Fuller Bakelite brush while antique shopping this weekend. I gave $15 for it, and thought it was a good deal. I'm hoping to do my first restore on it, and am coming here for some help.

    First things first, should I try my hand on this brush or send it to a professional? I wouldn't think this is a super rare brush that shouldn't be tampered with, but maybe I'm wrong?


    The bottoms says:

    Set in Rubber
    Fuller logo
    Made in USA

    That red mark came off with the help of a magic eraser.

    What kind of knot would you recommend if I wanted a good soap brush? I have a good cream brush.

    Then, how to go about it? Cut the hairs out? Drill something? Chemicals/epoxies recommended? How much for Rudy to work his magic? :lol:

    Thanks for the input.
  2. Hex


    I think I would look around for a junker brush or 2, to practice on. For me, getting the old knot out was what caused the most damage to the handle.
    After scratching up my 1st 2 attempts, I got better at it, especially in using masking tape to prevent the scratching.

    That's a beautiful handle you got there and it would be a shame to ruin it.

    When you get the knot out you can measure the hole and see what size knot it will take.

    Or you could send it to Rudy and let him take over. I did that on one of my brushes and he did his usual, superb job.

    After doing a few, I gained confidence and now it's a treat to bring them back to life.

    Take a look at my thread on how much we taped them up.

    I had a similar brush as yours and the top half unscrewed from the bottom.
    Predicting what you will see in there as you begin to drill out the knot is beyond my expertise.

    Keep us posted with your progress.
  3. I imagine it varies, but what would a professional restore cost? And, in your opinion, is $15 a good deal on that brush as it is? The lady had $25 on it, and I got her down a bit.
  4. Hex


    The bakelites usually command a premium, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it. $25 was too much, and I would have paid the $15.

    Shoot Rudy an e-mail with a picture. He's a treat to work with.
  5. If you're really interested in doing one yourself, I say do that one. By the time you get done with any DIY restore, you'll have spent $30+. In my opinion, there is no reason to spend that to "test the waters". Fullers are relatively common on the bay, so if you did manage to screw it up, you could have another go. My suggestion is don't expect perfection the first time out. If you do want it perfect, then I would consider hiring one of the experienced restorers do it.


    [edit] Let me amend my prior statement. If you are worried about destroying the handle, then by all means, grab a $5 special at the local antique store to practice cleaning up. I (personally) just wouldn't put a knot in one that I didn't like enough to start with.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  6. I jumped right into my first restore. Really it depends on how confident you are in your mechanical and hand motor skills. Looks like you have a great candidate and cant wait to see the finished product. Take you time and you will do fine.
  7. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    Go for it! Maybe put a little tape around the lip just in case you slip. Be careful, that handle does look pretty.
  8. I would definately give this one a go. It will go just fine if you take it easy with the hair removal.

    I recommend GN's Finest knots. I especially like the extra stuffed Finest ones.

    I think this thread is about the best one one here for a good idea for a first attempt to restore:

    Go slow, enjoy, it will work out just fine and you will have a brush to use that is custom fit to your needs.
  9. Go for it.

    You'll get a great sense of self satisfaction once you've finished it, much more than if you send it off.

    I'm DYI challenged ( just ask the wifey :blushing:) and yet I've managed to restore a number of brushes without any fancy tools.

    Just go slow and you should be right.

    See MyWiki for some other articles that might help you out. ( Including my restore of a similar brush ).

    Good luck .
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  10. I got the hairs out, and the hole measures 23mm. I guess I need to figure out if this thing is hollow, right? Or, should I just set whatever knot I get on top of this?



    Is that gap between the black portion and the ring-looking piece inside there normal?
  11. Also, which knot from TGN should I get if I'm looking for a good soap brush?

  12. That metal rig was what held held the old knot together. Make sure to take it out because they tend to rust and will crack the top part.
  13. As suspected, it is hollow. A couple taps on a small chisel broke up the white shelf...which looked a lot like plaster.


    Regarding the metal ring honestly doesn't look like it will be able to come out. I guess I could get the Dremel on it to cut, and/or push it down first, then crimp it somehow to get it out? Like a manhole cover, it looks like it was placed in from the bottom of the black part of the brush before it was married to the bakelite portion.

    Does this truly need to come out? There is a little plaster/glue underneath it still...guess that all needs to go?

  14. The top and bottom pieces can come apart. its either screwed on or snapped on with some epoxy holding it together. if you cant get it apart its no biggie. But I would try to get the ring out. it will make it easier setting the new knot in and like I said before they tend to rust and when that happens they start to expand and can crack the top part. I can usually tap them with a chissel and break it and then bend it and pull it out.
  15. It doesn't have to come out but if possible I would get it out. Is there room for a dremel cutoff wheel? one slice and it should bend right out.
  16. Hex



    What Weener said.

    That's a cool blue color. It looked black in the original.

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