First Restore-Rubberset 400-3 taking the plunge

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

    Not a problem at all. I'm glad to help and congratulations on getting them all apart. I recommend you hand sand the handles. The sandpaper needed will be listed in the other thread.

    The next hurdle you're going to run into will be finding the higher grit sandpaper you'll need. Check the automotive section at Wal Mart as well as your local auto parts stores. If you have a body shop supply store by you they will have all of the higher grits as well. If you can't get what you need there's always the internet. The really high grits are what give it a deeper mirror polish so the higher you go the better it'll look after you polish it. The Mother's Aluminum polish is what turns it into a mirror.

    When sanding do spend most of your time on the lower grits. If you spend more time in the lower grits you'll take about an hour or so to sand it, if not you're looking at twice as long. I did one in 50 minutes that was in great shape and another that was in bad shape (my first one) took three hours. As you're sanding you'll notice some imperfections that are from air bubbles in the mold when it was made. These will look like black spots in your finished handle if you don't get them all sanded out. You'll have to spend some time on these. I use a magnify glass or a jeweler's loupe to make sure I have them completely removed. I've done brushes with very few and others that had a ton of these.

    Good luck and have fun with it.
  1. Good luck finding one of these in the wild. I hear stories about people picking these up for like eight bucks at some obscure antique store but that type of thing never happens to me. I look for then every time but I've never seen one outside of a shaving forum or on the popular auction site.

    I do bid on them every so often but apparently Steve keeps outbidding me.
  2. Here are photos of the wrenches I used and the results...

    $Strap wrenches.jpg $5 in a row.jpg
  3. For inquiring minds and "proof" to dfoulks that I read the entire thread. Following is an index to The Rubberset 400 club restoration thread. Included are posts I found most helpful. It is by no means comprehensive or complete but rather a place to start.

    Index to Rubberset 400 restoration thread

    POST #

    #152, # 153, #294 --Cleaning the bottom of the handle

    #170 --Unseating the ferrule/knot

    #214, #382--Setting the knot

    #232 --Mirror finish

    #346—pb Blaster vs WD 40

    #374 – O-ring Link

    #380 – Sanding tips

    #562 – Polishing

    #607 –Knots and Sanding

    #626 -- #629 Pictorial essay-- Sanding through multiple grits

    #641 – Difficult ferrule-- Strap wrenches

    #711 -- Getting it loose

    #752 -- Polishing progression

    #764 -- Saving original bristles

    #804 -- Differences in 400-3 and 400-4

    #825 -- wildcastrat polish progression begins- unofficial Mother's Polish ad

    #854 -- wildcatstrat final result

    #870 -- knot removal

    #895 -- wildcatstrat complete w/new knot TGN WMW

    #915 -- Knot removal concise step by step

    #931 -- 6000 grit polishing cloth brushed look vs mirror finish

    #976 -- A different approach for minty finds

    #978 -- polish progression explained.


  4. Ok, now you've certainly done your homework. There's a ton of information in that thread and lots of great pics of some very well done brushes.

    Do you know what knot you're going to use? I have some recommendations if you're interested.

    Also, you never did let me know where you got all of those 400's.
  5. Nice work! Seriously one of the coolest looking brushes!
  6. I agree there is lots of information and the pictures are definitely educational if not downright inspirational. I think I will keep one original and one TGN HMW the others I am not sure just yet.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  7. An afternoon of work (?) Keeps me off Facebook. I am in the process of restoring 4 Rubberset 400's at the same time. I have decided to to leave one with its original knot, it is in good condition and I will do some polishing but no sanding for the meantime. As for the other four I removed the old knots this afternoon.

    I tried a new idea by drilling multiple small hole before the main hole in the center. I am not sure this worked out and I seemed to change my method each time. I had considerable trouble with one knot that just didn't want to break the "circle" of glue. I nearly gave up but continued to come back to it and eventually the dam was breached but it still took a lot of picking and prying to come clean.

    $New Idea.jpg

    Here is just some of the leavings from the four knots.

    $New Idea.jpg

    Finally, this step was complete. All in all a good day.

    $4 amigos.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  8. I tried a new process suggested in the Rubberset 400 thread. It was posted by Bob L #976. It suggested using SoftScrub, steel wool and then polish with Mother's. I was amazed at the difference it made. I am seriously considering this for my everyday "original". It is already in good shape so we'll see.
  9. This will show just a little about what I was saying about SoftScrub and steel wool. The two on the right have been "tested" in the new method but are not done by any means. I just thought it was worth a mention.

    $Cleaned up.jpg
  10. You can use whatever abrasive you'd like but the concept is the same. Spend a lot of time with the courser abrasive then work your way to finer and finer ones.

    I'd also recommend an Envy Luxury knot over the TGN HMW. I have two HMW knots and both are shedders. They are soft but did have a bit of scritch even after setting the loft a bit higher in hope so get a softer face feel. They each softened up after a month or so of everyday use. The knot is nice but I'm just not excited to reach for it. For $60 is should be of better quality as well. The Envy knot is extremely well made, has never shed a hair and overall is better in every category and it's about $12 cheaper.

    This one: I have two of these as well and pick them most days over many higher priced brushes sitting right next to them.

    This one is one I want to try as well: and I'll likely be putting one into a Wolf Whiskers handle in the coming months.
  11. That Envy White is a great knot guys, but buy one smaller than that.

    His 24mm knot in that hair doesn't fit in the 400.

    Read the description. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it's true. His Envy White knots have smaller plugs on the bottom which is the measurement he lists them by. The 24mm isn't even close to being able to fit into a 400. I tried.

    I would try the 22 or even the 20mm Envy White.

    *Edit= Looks like the smaller ones are currently sold out. He restocks pretty regularly though. He answers messages if you ask quickly.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  12. I am happy to report that I am pleased with a recent addition. I was bothered that the threads on the ferrules of these brushes were not cleaned up and lubed. I just didn't like the scratchy feel of the joint. I researched and found that a grease containing Molybdenum Disulfide was specifically suited for aluminum on aluminum threads.

    $Brush Lube.jpg

    It has made a huge difference. Caution: It is a black grease and care must be taken to not get it everywhere. That said I feel as though it even aided in my sanding today. I got a good bit of sanding done and will probably finish with the coarsest grit tomorrow.
  13. Looking good! I never bothered to get mine to a mirror finish. I rubbed them down worth MAAS but stopped there. Still quite a bit of patina.

    How did these brushes originally come? did they have the mirror finish?
  14. Great tips
  15. None of the brushes were in terrible shape. The one that was the best looked unused so I kept the knot original and haven't messed with it. I am taking all the rest through the the full progression of sandpaper grits.
  16. Ha. I should have been more clear. I meant in the 30s and 40s during their production! Were they finished to a mirror polish?
  17. The ones I've seen NOS weren't shined to a mirror polish. More of a satin like finish. This process is taking it a bit further than their original production did.
  18. I'd recommend doing one brush start to finish first as you'll learn from it. For example, how long you spend on each grit of sandpaper is something you'll learn and have a better understanding of after successfully completing your first brush. Any mistakes you make you'll make five times before knowing what you could have done differently.
  19. +1. Solid advice here.

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