First Restore-Rubberset 400-3 taking the plunge

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by ccman, Jun 23, 2016.

    I have a few brushes to restore and told myself I would start with the ones that were in the worst shape. Well, this beauty came to me with the bristles already cropped. I trimmed them further this morning and have set about gathering the supplies necessary to restore it. I have every thing from drill bits to buffing wheels and buffing compound. I sunk a chunk into a dremel tool, workstation, flex shaft and keyless chuck. I did not opt for the mega attachment package, just the basic tool and purchased a pair of saburr tooth carbide burrs. Good weather is almost here and I want to get started working outside while the sun shines. I don't have a garage or space inside so... I am sure I will have questions down the road. One that comes to mind is what size o-rings are used for these and where can you source them? My tools will all be here by Sunday so i will likely begin next week. Shave On!

    $Rubberset 400 3.jpg $Rubberset 400 3.2.jpg
  1. Man! That handle is awesome! Expect a very rubbery smell (if it's anything like my rubbersets) as you grind it out! What are you using the o-ring for?
  2. dexutter,
    I have several restores with o-rings of various colors (red, black and blue) between the base of the knot and the rest of the handle.
  3. I added a drill press vise to keep everything nice and steady. I should be okay after my TAD (tool acquisition disorder) flare up.
  4. The bitter end, before.

    $Rubberset 400 3.3.jpg
  5. I think you're doing this the hard way. The top collar comes off. Just use some strap wrenches and spin the top collar off counterclockwise. You can then set the top collar on a flat piece of wood and drill a few good sized holes through the old knot and glue. Then take a screwdriver and hammer and chisel out the remainder of the knot. I've done four of these and with all but one the knot and glue came out completely in about 2 minutes. Only one I had to use a Dremel to clean up.

    You need to read through this thread as all of the answers are there to make this easy for you.

    As far as sanding it goes most do it by hand in a couple hours with multiple grits of sandpaper followed by Mother's Aluminum polish. Using buffers, dremels and drills to polish these up usually ends up causing more damage than the time it saves.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  6. I have done a few of these, arms I just heated up the ferrule top quickly and gently with a torch... the cam right off easily.

    The strap wrenches didn't work for mine. They were way too tight. The heat was perfect.

    Just a thought
  7. dfoulk, thanks for this post you undoubtedly saved me a lot of work. At least a few steps to try first. I will gladly read the link. Thanks again.
  8. Alejandro, I have a small torch to give it a try. Thanks.

  9. What is your o-ring source?

  10. What is your o-ring source?
  11. $P6175719.jpg Looks like this will restore nicely. I've done 9 or 10 of these Rubberset 400's over the years. Everything from a high mirror finish to a matt finish. If I might, I'd suggest soaking the handle in warm water first to loosen up some of the soap grime that is probably binding the top to the handle. Often times that's all that's needed to firmly unscrew the top. I've never had to use a torch and would be very careful going that route as it is thin aluminum. I've had luck with soaking and then wrapping the head with electrical tape, clamping the base in a Jorgenson wood vice and the top in the same type vice and using the leverage to unscrew. Many use a strap wrench.

    I always use a buffing wheel first to get the initial grime and oxidation off the handle and to asses what further sanding I need. That eliminates a lot of the hand work. Then sand as needed by hand, I often find that you can just sand the major marks out and then go back to the buffing wheel. Aluminum is soft and I've only ever used the white buffing compound.

    Lots of good info in that post. If memory serves me, it's a 1" o-ring that fits. This can be a lot of fun. I've made most of my mistakes because I was trying to go to fast so I'm constantly working on my patience or lack there of.

    Good luck and have to ask, where do you live that it's just getting warm now?
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  12. For o-rings look for a place called The o-rings there are used for body jewelry specifically those gauges that people disfigure their ears with. They come in plenty of different colors.

    Absolutely all of the information you need is in the Rubberset 400 thread I linked above. It's a rather lengthy thread and it will take you hours to read it but it's worth it if you have a 400 to refinish. This thread will allow you to learn from everyone else's mistakes, what works and what doesn't work, as well as where to get everything you need. How to set your knot the easiest way, everything is there.
  13. No torch, this is aluminum and you can easily ruin the handle. Use two strap wrenches instead, one on the handle and one on the collar. All you'll need is a little bit of muscle and some knowledge.
  14. I assembled the tools for unseating the ferrule from the handle. I applied WD-40, heated the ferrule with steam for 30 sec, applied the strap wrench but the untaped ferrule just slipped in the wrench. I taped the ferrule, heated for 1 minute. I had plenty of torque but the shiny handle slipped in my hand. My third attempt I applied 2 minutes of steam, used a nitrile glove for my hand. I got enough on it to abrade the tape but no movement other than that. Decision: Wait for the drill press vise with plastic jaws and grooves to get a better purchase on the handle. I will wrap the handle to prevent marring.

    $unseating the knot.jpg $Taped for friction.jpg
  15. Seattle. Its been cold and rainy for a week and a half. Thanks for the info. I plan to go slow, whether that happens remains to be seen. I have "quit" for the day. The vise comes this weekend (Amazon) so I will go after it then, one more time. I like the soak idea but I assume the steam does the same thing. Thanks again for your post.

    I recognize the #4 from Ebay. You do nice work.
  16. You have like five of these brushes. Do try to get apart another one as you might have an especially stubborn one. Success with an easier one will give you some confidence and help you to better understand the process. Two strap wrenches one on the handle and one on the collar is all you need. Do this on a floor while kneeling down using the floor to brace the one wrench so that you only have to move the one on the collar. They may slip a little at first. and it may take you a few tries. The hardest part is to keep the wrenches from slipping but once you get them to grab properly then you just have to give it a good twist and you'll feel it break free. You will have to put some weight into it as you're fighting 50 years or more of grime.

    I've had people send me these when they've tried everything and absolutely nothing worked. I've gotten apart the most stubborn ones. I'd make you the same offer. If you'd like me to take it apart and send it back I'd be happy to do it for you. I also have no problem drilling out the knot for you. I'll take apart as many as you'd like to send. Same deal I gave the last person, I won't charge you a dime but you get the postage both ways. You're call though as I know people sometimes like to do them themselves but it's not like you don't have several more to do.
  17. So, I have been patiently waiting and reading. This evening I happened on a post dated, Oct 06, 2014 #711 by dfoulks. It explained in detail how to use two strap wrenches opposing each other to remove the Rubberset 400 ferrule. Even tough nuts, proclaimed David, would be rendered powerless and vanquished by the mighty wrenches. While a sliver of doubt loomed I stepped forward in faith. My weapons were obtained at Harbor Freight for the princely sum of $4.99.

    I am happy to report that all of my brushes separated with varying degrees of effort. Less effort after I got the hang of it. Isn't that always the way. My advice going forward is to skip all other methods...soaking, heating, lubricants et al. Two strap wrenches is all you need. Period.

    if I were to purchase the wrenches again I would buy two sets and only use the large wrenches. While I got the smaller wrench to work on the flutes, it slipped more than the large wrench. The large wrench has beefier ridges in the strap and is double the width.
  18. David, I REALLY appreciate your help and offer. As I posted they are all apart. I have a picture but couldn't get it from my phone. I will post it later. I am sure I would not have been able to do it without your wrench pictures post (Oct 2014) and your encouragement. You saved me much pain and extra work not to mention time. Many thanks.
  19. Kurtis

    Kurtis Contributor

    Great thread. Eventually I want to do a restore of one of these. I almost bought a couple off of ebay, but I really want to find one at a second hand store or a garage sale that needs to be rescued. One that nobody has paid attention to in like 40 years, just waiting to be cleaned up and brought back to life. :001_smile

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