Brush Knot Depth?

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by TheBlakeBishop, Jul 7, 2017.

    So, my buddy is gonna make me a custom brush handle, but neither him or I have much experiance with building brushes. I KNOW I'm going with The Golden NIB Silvertip Grade A Badger in a 22mm. I've read that you want to go 1 or 1.5mm larger than the actual knot, but what about depth? I assume the deeper you put it will probably make it stiffer, but is there kinda a rule-of-thumb one goes by? I also know its better to go shallower 1st then deeper if needed (easier to take away than add to). Im gonna order the knot now, but he wants wants to go ahead with constructing the handle.
  1. A good rule of thumb is 2:1 - Loft:Knot. It works well for most folks and offers good backbone. If you want less backbone you can high it a few more mm in loft like a 45 mm for the 22 mm loft. Good luck!
  2. Now i know the "loft" is the part of the knot thats sticks out. But I dont quite understand what the 2:1 ratio you're refering to is. Are you saying, with that ratio in mind, on a 22mm knot go with a depth of 44mm?
  3. Yep! Some folks who like more backbone start off with a 2:1 and tweak by mm by mm to see what they like the best. So yes, your 22 mm can be set at 44 mm.

    A lot of times my 22 mm acts like a 24 mm in the handle. So I use the ratio from 24 mm where the loft would be 48 mm +/- a few mm depending on my liking.
  4. AWESOME! Thanks for the info, now lets see how this turns out. Haha
  5. The depth of your hole is determined by the desired loft which is a bit subjective. On my 24mm diameter Finest Badger knots I have set them at 48-50mm loft.


    Knot size = 22mm diameter X 60mm (from the bottom of the plug to the tip of the hair)
    Desired finished Loft = 44mm
    Hole diameter would be 23.5+
    Hole depth = 16mm
  6. Ohhh! Okay I get it now. Earlier I was walking around the mall, and didn't quite read that right. But that 44mm value is the amount of hair sticking out "loft"; not how deep the mounting hole needs to be. And I presume it will vary between manufactures on how "tall" they make their knots?

  7. You got it...finished loft is the height of the hair from the top edge of the handle to the top of the hair.

    DCRIII Contributor

    I set most of mine with a 50mm to 55mm loft.
  9. You got it now. I generally use 24mm knots. 48-50mm loft for silvertips and 50-53mm for finest which have more backbone.

    As for drilling, you can take multiple stabs at it the way you described or drill one hole deep enough for the minimum loft you desire and raise the knot if you want by using quarters, washers, etc. Plastic washers are ideal as they don't damage the bit if you ever decide to drill it out again and replace. Either way works, just giving you another option that I think is faster and slightly more accurate since you only drill the hole once. I drill on the lathe before shaping the handle though, so it's a much bigger difference for me.
  10. I'm honestly not sure how he's going to do it. We were talking the other day and I asked if he knew anyone with a lathe. Long story short; he asked why, i told him why, and he offered. He's got a few small blocks of scraps and wanted to try it out (or a few if it turned out well).

    I never thought about placing washers or spacers in to bring the knot up. If it comes to it thats a good think to know.
  11. and originally I was going to go with TGN knots, but for the past lil bit I've been browsing Whipped Dog's website. Anyone maybe better than the other? I've only ever used "best badger" brushes. Not the lowest grade but not the best either. I figured it'd be nice to have a variety.
  12. I have a TGN finest fan that is my favorite.
  13. Instead of using epoxy to set the knot use silicone. It'll stay in there perfectly fine but you'll still be able to remove it with a good tug allowing you to try different lofts and find the one you like best. Once you know what you like you can reset it with epoxy or just leave it as is.
  14. Ditto on the temporary set with silicone so you can try it at a few different lofts.

    Personally, I like a lot of loft so I tend to set mine high. Everyone has their own preference and every knot is different.
  15. Any kind of silicone in particular?
    Or just like some basic black or clear.
  16. Graydog

    Graydog Contributor

    You do know that all badger knots come from china .
  17. I did not.. are you saying i shouldn't go with badger?
  18. A statement of fact I think - not a judgement call. The badger hair used in almost all shaving knots comes from China or Russia.

    They are raised on special farms where they have a whale of a time - pampered with the finest badger food money can buy, they get to watch TV, have piped music in all the rooms and as many glasses of milk as they wish. They even have heated "badger beds" to sleep in. When it come to the time for them to "go" and be made into badger hair shaving brushes they are slowly tickled to death by unicorns after being sedated with a mixture of whisky and laudanum...
  19. So the same way I get my steaks! Except they're local.

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