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Brush making 102 (Knots) #2 & #3

Here's the next 2 brushes in the series
While the first was a bulb the following are bulb/fan hybrids and loosly based on the Simpsons Chubby 2.
After extensive research I was able to determine the chubby 2 used about 0.96grams per mm.
This makes the following, adjusted from 27mm to 26mm, high density brushes.

1. Ocean Blue
This one was mentioned on my other thread on the Non XXL.

At 26mm this is a more substantial knot and almost ended in disaster when I realized just how tight the bind would have to be on the knot.
When pulling the string taught it snapped but luckily the pile landed safely the 1-2 inches onto my trusty work mat, it could have been much worse but I just had to start again in Stacking, Combing and forming the knot.
Here's the result, a well formed, trimmed and high density Manchurian High Mountain knot.
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Test fitted to make sure nothing is wrong. it was actually this step that meant it had to be so tightly bound. That gives an idea of the density involved.
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Gluing both knots. Ocean blue on the left and hexagon Cream on the right which although also 26mm is even tighter packed.
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Finally fitted to the handles. I mentioned on another thread that these are not yet epoxied into the handle but super secure nontheless.
They are tight enough that only I'd know they're not epoxied and I'll probably keep them like this unless I think of a reason not to.
I suppose as they're custom made for 26mm I was able to make them fit perfectly.
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I'll try and remember to post better pictures once the brush has gone through its bedding in process and has bloomed a bit.
These pictures are a few weeks old and it looks better after about 4 shaves in but I'll give it at least 10.
 
2. hexagon Cream (Someone help me think of a better name, I was thinking it's like a Thater clone)

Right now this is the most comfortable brush I have.
It's even more dense than the ocean blue as can be seen from the gluing process above.
Again it's Manchurian High Mountain but with absolutely gorgeous softness the perfect amount of scritch and backbone. The stars were aligned.
PXL_20210912_121104096 Manchurian.jpg

The all important test fit, this is more snug
PXL_20210912_121147763 Manchurian.jpg

Again these pictures are a few weeks old. A few stray hair have worked themselves out and the brush is starting to develop its own character with use. I'm delighted with how few hairs are shedding on both these brushes. I believe this is due to the amount of time spent combing which, compared to the few videos online, would be deemed excessive by some but essential by me.

Again I'll try to post better pictures at some stage after bedding in.
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Slightly elevated view
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Very cool, and definitely reminds me how impatient and untalented I am.

Would it be ok to ask where you got your loose badger hair from? Totally understand if it can't be posted for any reason...
 
Nice work, i might call that 2nd one “pear core”
It does look a little like a pear core, thanks
Very cool, and definitely reminds me how impatient and untalented I am.

Would it be ok to ask where you got your loose badger hair from? Totally understand if it can't be posted for any reason...
Sure, they were both aliexpress, there are very few places you can source badger.
Manchurian High Mountain 2 Band Finest was ABCRE Store
2 band finest was dscosmetic (as were the handles)

Expect about a month for delivery and I think some countries might take issue with the importation of badger hair.
Badger brushes can be bought but badger hair they seem to have a problem with.

If you're impatient I'd stay well away lol.
The process is extremely slow, time consuming, frustrating and terrifying if for example the twine snaps.

Each brush probably took 10 hours which sounds ludicrous but a lot of it was completing a stage and procrastinating the next step in case you think of something that might go wrong. Then there's the point of no return parts, like trimming the knot to 65mm, now that is intense as you get one chance to get it right or it's bin time. Then there's the thought that a mistake could involve a months wait if you had to re-order.

The most difficult part by far was the forming, tying and, I think it's called feathering, as it's the essence of the entire process and has to be completed in one series of steps, most of it one handed. Tapping to form the head, pulling the hair out of the cannon (sounds easy but this is where the head immediately starts to deform, If it deforms you have to start again.) and tying the knot with one hand while trying not to move a micron of the other hand. Tying the knot, of the actual knot, you have to make sure you don't scrunch it. Think of tying a bunch of chopsticks together. When you tie the knot they'll want to form an X when you tighten it. If it scrunches you have to start again.
Then there's the feathering (that's what I'm calling it anyway) which is pulling the outer hair down with the thumb while putting pressure on the top knot so "it takes" to finalise the shape of the bulb. You can go too far and guess what, have to start all over again.

All of this has to be done before you know if it was a success or if you have to start all over again.

Gluing the knot is also point of no return, time pressure sensitive and nerve-wracking.

Here's an example of maybe an hours work that after you can finally take your hands off it and look at it you realize you have to start again.
PXL_20210807_151931216.jpg

And here is my latest knot which is my "bestest evar" formed knot. This is a 30mm beast and the last of my 2 band finest.
It's a bulb but as it's the last of it I've formed and reformed this knot 4 or 5 times to get it to this quality. This has been sitting like this for weeks as the 30mm handle I have is only 12mm and I have halted the process to think about if that's deep enough. I don't think it is so I'd have to go drilling it deeper which could be a problem on the handle. It'll involve caliper level precision which I don't have time for at the moment. Either that or trim the hair to 60mm for the targeted 50mm loft. I just don't think 12mm has enough surface area so I'm in a bit of a dilemma at the moment.
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Here is the beast beside another 2 band finest that is to go in a thater style black handle that's also on hold for the moment.
It is beyond point of no return 1, the trim, and it awaiting beyond point of no return 2, the glue.
PXL_20210930_112128655.MP.jpg
 
As promised here are a few photos of the brushes now that they've bedded in somewhat.
None of them are huge shedders and I'd say maybe 20 hairs made their way out of each brush so all in all very good. It was interesting that any shedding during a shave seemed to be fully length hair but after the shave, when the brush was towel dried and fanned over a palm, shorter hairs emerged that were never part of the glue plug but retained in the brush from sheer density.
All shedding seems to have stopped at this point.

Incidentally I've noticed that since I made these brushes I'm face lathering all the time now whereas with my synthetic and boar brushes I almost always bowl lathered. This was totally a subconscious decision on my part and I don't think I could come up with a good reason for why this happened.

Here's all 3 together for the first time. They're all 50mm loft but the Queen Red handle is a little taller.
PXL_20211001_091500897 crop.jpg

The Ocean Blue and Apple-core hybrids
PXL_20211001_091105139 crop.jpg

Ocean Blue while wet just after a shave is truly beautiful and reminds me of a certain flowering plant.
And my trusty 6/8" Joseph Fenton which always surprises me with a almost silent shave.
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Apple-core while wet after today's shave
Probably the more comfortable of the two brushes but there's not much between them. The knot is set deeper at 18mm and so doesn't splay as much as Ocean Blue which is set at 12mm. It's also more densely packed so will naturally have more backbone.
Both retain heat extremely well and lather great. I recently used the apple-core to lather a Geo F Trumper's sandlewood puck I've had for ages but never had much luck lathering before with both synthetic and boar brushes but I got an amazing lather from it with this brush. I believe it's down to the hair density and how much soap it can pick up and as super dense brushes these excel with all soaps I've tried.
Today's blade was my French Famex which, with a super thin grind, is one of my loudest razors and Cella which always reminds me of Christmas cake.
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Thater 26mm blub Vs Hybrid
PXL_20211001_091550390 crop.jpg
 
Apple core ?! Pthhpt definitely more pear /s

Looks great! Super jelly of that outcome.
Haha, yeah it does look more like a pear but pear-core just doesn't sound right, the name search goes on.

I was a bit surprised at the jell tips as I didn't expect them straight off the bat with Manchurian High Mountain White but both brushes are like face pillows they are so soft. If you're "painting" you don't really feel the brush at all, just the lather. If you scrub with them to build lather the heat of the water/lather comes through so well but there's virtually no scritch but plenty of backbone.
Is no scritch but plenty of backbone an oxymoron because it's the case with these especially the cream one.
 
As promised here are a few photos of the brushes now that they've bedded in somewhat.
None of them are huge shedders and I'd say maybe 20 hairs made their way out of each brush so all in all very good. It was interesting that any shedding during a shave seemed to be fully length hair but after the shave, when the brush was towel dried and fanned over a palm, shorter hairs emerged that were never part of the glue plug but retained in the brush from sheer density.
All shedding seems to have stopped at this point.

Incidentally I've noticed that since I made these brushes I'm face lathering all the time now whereas with my synthetic and boar brushes I almost always bowl lathered. This was totally a subconscious decision on my part and I don't think I could come up with a good reason for why this happened.

Here's all 3 together for the first time. They're all 50mm loft but the Queen Red handle is a little taller.
View attachment 1344305

The Ocean Blue and Apple-core hybrids
View attachment 1344304

Ocean Blue while wet just after a shave is truly beautiful and reminds me of a certain flowering plant.
And my trusty 6/8" Joseph Fenton which always surprises me with a almost silent shave.
View attachment 1344306
View attachment 1344307
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Apple-core while wet after today's shave
Probably the more comfortable of the two brushes but there's not much between them. The knot is set deeper at 18mm and so doesn't splay as much as Ocean Blue which is set at 12mm. It's also more densely packed so will naturally have more backbone.
Both retain heat extremely well and lather great. I recently used the apple-core to lather a Geo F Trumper's sandlewood puck I've had for ages but never had much luck lathering before with both synthetic and boar brushes but I got an amazing lather from it with this brush. I believe it's down to the hair density and how much soap it can pick up and as super dense brushes these excel with all soaps I've tried.
Today's blade was my French Famex which, with a super thin grind, is one of my loudest razors and Cella which always reminds me of Christmas cake.
View attachment 1344308
View attachment 1344309View attachment 1344310View attachment 1344311

Thater 26mm blub Vs Hybrid
View attachment 1344312
For your first knots I don't think you have a better outcome! Congratulations!
 
Ocean Blue
I haven't used this brush in a while as it came loose in the handle (it was never epoxied into the handle) but I fixed it up while gluing other knots and it won't be coming loose again.

I used it tonight and couldn't resist posting a few pictures of it now that it has bloomed fully.

Compared to the Apple-core, which has 18mm depth in the handle, the Ocean Blue has only 12mm and I thought I'd post to show the difference that 6mm makes. (The knots themselves are almost identical so it's a good example)
For a 26mm knot the canopy is huge.

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Not sure how I rate Lea as a cream but there's enough in there for 4 more passes with one on my face
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The Lea soap tin is almost 85mm in diameter, the canopy is slightly larger than it which is just weird for a 26mm knot.
The knot was made with as much hair as I could get into 26mm so it still has plenty of backbone even with how much it has bloomed.
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