Two Ever-Ready Brushes - Knot Ideas?

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by DavidB, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. I just got these two Ever-Ready brushes from ebay (two separate auctions). Probably paid too much for the red and black one, but it's identical to a brush my dad used, so I had to have it (a back-up actually; I restored another one recently).

    I put a TGN 18mm silvertip grade A in my other red and black (the factory knot size is 16mm), as well as in two other restores. I have a fourth 18mm grade A lying around. I do like small knots with soft tips, and 18mm set at 48mm seems about perfect. Bulb shape preferably.

    That said, since I have three nearly identical brush heads, I'm thinking I ought to try a couple of different knots for these. For size, I could go up to 20mm. The black and cream has a 20mm opening, and the red and black 16mm (definitely going to open that one up a bit).

    I'm leaning towards a TGN 2-band finest for one of them (so long as the tips are soft). That's just a cool looking knot. Does anybody have experience with the 18mm TGN 2-band finest? Is that too small? The 2-bands seem less stuffed than the silvertip grade As, so maybe a 20mm 2-band.

    I'm also open to other knots, like maybe a Whipped Dog 20mm silvertip or even a TGN Omega boar for the black and cream.

    I welcome your recommendations!


    $Ever Ready brushes.jpg
  2. Are ever ready brush handles good handles? Are only certain ones nice? I ask because there is an ever ready brush at a local antique store that I've contemplated getting but I've never reknoted one and don't really understand why I would.
  3. I'm not an expert on Ever-Ready handles, but I think there are some that are way more common than others. Take a picture of the brush and get some opinions.

    As to why to restore, if you don't know why you would, then maybe you oughtn't. As for me, I've restored a few, and will continue to do because 1) I like restoration projects, 2) a replacement knot is maybe $20-25 and a comparable brush is way more, 3) there's something kind of special about taking a cool looking vintage handle and giving it new life, and 4) with some handles, like the red and black one above, I have a strong sentimental attachment to it.


  4. Ahhh, thanks for the response. I was wondering if some restores were maybe a brush passed down from a father/grandfather and they wanted to keep it. I'll snap one next time I'm there. It is red and white but does not look like either of yours.
  5. DavidB - I did a reknot project to a similar black & cream Ever Ready like you have and loved how it turned out. I enlarged mine to 22mm as I had a Whipped Dog black badger knot on hand from a "that was a silly idea" project that was never completed. Mainly I think it'll depend on what level of scritchyness you prefer - the black badger I have is just a tad scritchy without any major level of discomfort.

    I also have a WD silvertip in 22mm Made Rite handle that is uber-soft and I just love it. Can't say enough of WD's knots!

    cpeter47 - just to add to Dave's response, a lot of just like the look and shape of the vintage brush handles. Some like to get a better performing brush at a fraction of the price of a modern brush. Others can't stand to see all the potentially useful handles out there NOT being used by someone who could appreciate it. Still others like to work with their hands, and love the feeling of bringing back a classic piece of shaving gear to life. And of course, there are the collectors, too!

    Basically, there is no one good reason for you to start a restore project - if you fit into one of the categories I mention above, or if you just NEED TO TRY IT, go for it! However, no one will think you less of a shaver if you are happy with store-bought brushes! As with much of this hobby, YMMV!
  6. DavidB - It never hurts to try out different sizes with different knots. You could try a silvertip from the Whipped Dog for relatively inexpensive, just to find out what it feels like.
  7. I've had tons of the TGN finest knots and they have all been great, fans and bulbs alike. They will feel prickly when dry (like most brushes) but when wet they get real soft (might feel a tiny prickle if you are super sensitive). I personally love the scrubby face feel of the TGN finest knots (any 2-band badger for that matter). The 18mm will seem small but set the loft lower and it will be great (depends on how much backbone you want, experiment before gluing it in).
  8. Really nice restore, Batman! The finest is such a cool look. That'd look great in one of these handles. So what is it about the finest that you like? I don't mind backbone, but I want really soft tips, since I face lather almost all the time now. I love my broken-in Omega boar, which I use for soaps and for bowl lathering, 'cause when I paint the lather on, I don't feel any scritch. I hear the finest have lots of backbone and soft tips, but some say that they do have scritch.

    Your experience?

  9. Question for you 2-band restorers: How much bigger do I make the hole than the plug diameter? On my 18mm TGN silvertip grade As, the blob of epoxy is of course higher than the plug, and blobs out a bit, so when it came insetting the 18mm knot 10mm into the handle, I needed a 20mm diameter hole. The 2-banders look like they are a little less flared out.

    Specifically, the opening in the black and cream Ever Ready is 20mm. Would you suggest I get an 18mm for that hole, or a 20mm and enlarge the hole slightly as needed?

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  10. Snargle

    Snargle Contributor

    I'd probably go for the 20mm. If any hole enlargement is needed, it would be insignificant. 20mm seems to be my sweet spot for brushes. I'm a 100% face latherer and these seem about the perfect balance between size and lather-holding. I can easily get 3+ passes plus touchups with a single brush loading. 22mm and 18mm are OK, but anything smaller or larger doesn't work well for me.
  11. I have used the two band finest from the nib in a restore and I like it a lot but not as much as the silvertip which is a bit softer to my face.I personally don't think 18mm is too small for these handles at all. I never will go over 20mm though,I don't see the need.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  12. Thanks for the compliment. I've gotten the brush restoration bug, so more to come shortly.

    Well...honestly, I like the finest for no other reason than it's my first restoration. Sounds like you and I are kind of on the same page. I also have a just-broken-in Omega Boar that's awesome with soaps and the bowl. The restored Finest has a little more scritch, but at the same time is soft enough. I, too, do the paint method so it's very soft.

    All in all, I don't know if it's pride in my work or I just like the versatility.
  13. I think I'm going to go with a 2-band finest for the red and black Ever-Ready. Opinions, please, about the TGN regular 2-bands and the ones with extra hair. Do most of you go with the regular 2-band or go for the extra hair?

  14. I went with the regular. It fanned out nicely and does not shed at all.
  15. A question not about knots, but about the cream and black handle below. The cream portion has some discoloration, a darker orange color that is blotched on irregularly. Doesn't look like a stain, per se, just aging. You can see a portion of it on the right but it extends around the back. I have tried sanding it lightly, and that's lessened it, but not removed it entirely. I'm a little reluctant to sand it too much more.

    Has anybody had any luck getting rid of such discoloration? Bleaching, for example? I assume I'll have to leave it as patina.


    View attachment 257474
  16. Snargle

    Snargle Contributor

    If a light sanding isn't having any effect, then it's obvious that the staining is deep into the handle material. I'd just shine it up nicely and admire the marks of a well-used and well-loved life. :biggrin1:
  17. Think of it as a patina
  18. yeah, same here with mine - the plastic is kind of thin so I don't know if I'd take it much further. I tried a light sanding, aggressive polishing, and even went out to buy one of those 'magic erasers'. Nothing did much good so I just learned to like it.

    If it doesn't polish out, revel in the fact that you have a well-loved piece of shaving hardware.
  19. I just received a Whipped Dog 20mm/65mm silvertip knot, which will go into the black and cream handle. I've only worked with 18mm knots and typically set them at around 48mm. Savile Rows are set at 50mm. Those of you who've worked with 20mm knots, what height do you typically set them at?


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