How to remove a knot from a new brush

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by skyfire1, Mar 13, 2019.

    Hello fellow B&B

    It is with some embarrassment that I ask this question. I recently purchased a Frank Shaving G2 brush from the fleabay thinking it was a great deal. I have to say the brush is stunningly beautiful and that was the main reason I purchased it but after using twice now I have to say the synthetic knot is the worst knot I have ever used. It is stiff to the point of being unreasonable. Please note that I usually like to do circles on my cheeks and paint the rest of the neck and chin areas.

    That works for me with all my other brushes, synthetic, boar and badger brushes. It will only splay if I put serious downward pressure to the point it begins to get uncomfortable. Well, enough said, at this point I am thinking of removing this dreadful knot. This being a new brush, what do you recommend I do to remove it without damaging the handle? Thank you in advance for your consideration.

  1. I would cut the bristles flush, and then carefully drill holes into the knot. Then scrape out the knot. Older knots could be steamed out, but with newer glues, that's not going to work.

    I just noticed. That collar is a separate piece. Find out if it unscrews or pops off. Maybe someone here knows.
  2. I'll take a look tonight, but I don't think the collar separates.
  3. Cured resins are resistant to temps considerably higher than boiling water. Steam that sucker out. Bakelite... not so much. But that ain’t bakelite. Keep in mind you will always be taking a chance though. That may be some junk resin I’m not familiar with and you could ruin it, but I highly doubt it.
  4. Keeping an eye on this thread for updates. I'm in the same boat and would prefer to try and reknot myself rather than selling the brush because I really like the handles.
    I'll give it a go with a brush that I'm not too bothered about first.
  5. You have two options, both of which put your brush at risk...

    First method is what I would do and it involves removing the knot with a dremel.
    I would first tape up the handle with some duck tape or masking tape to protect it.
    Next step would be to put a ring of tape around the bristles.
    Then with a sharp kitchen knife and a cutting board cut the bristles off closer to the base of the brush. The tape you put around them keeps you from making a mess.
    Now you get a dremel and start working at the remainder of the knot while keeping it from hitting the brush handle. A dremel is a bit more precise and easier to control than a drill but you'll still need a steady hand to keep from nicking the handle. There are several bits that you could use to effectively remove a knot and the glue.

    The other option is steaming the knot out but this is more of a risk to the handle as you can melt or damage it.
    To do this you get a fairly deep pan with a bit of water in it.
    You place a bowl or an upside down cup in the pan of water and heat the water in the pan.
    Once heated you put the brush on the upside down cup or bowl and put the lid on the pan.
    Have some gloves on and after the brush is in there a while grab the knot and give it a good tug.
    If it's hot enough the knot will come out.
    The risk here is melting the brush handle as it's pretty easy to do so don't walk away from it and keep checking it even though it'll slow down the process. It's way better to pull it early and have to put it back in than to find you melted your handle.

    When you put the new knot in your brush you can install it with a little silicone. Then if you want to pull it out again you can do so with a good tug and reinstall it at a different loft or change the know out for something you like better.
  6. Graydog

    Graydog Contributor

    What tools do you have to work with ?
  7. After cutting as much of the knot down as is reasonably possible, break up the knot with a drill. Roughly 1/8" drill. Drill several holes into the glue disc to break it up. Eventually you can break out most of it with a pick (awl). Finish up with a Dremel sanding disc.
  8. Very good question. Not everyone has the same tools or comfort level with them.
  9. These are the tools I use Knowing I wanted to work on a good number of brushes for re-knotting them. I bought a Harbor Freight Drill Press for less than $50 when on sale and with a % discount coupon from a flyer. Then I purchased a 5 piece Fostner drill set from Harbor Freight for Less than $10.00. From the local hardware store I bought a couple of Dremel milling bits that cut on their sides and their ends and A sanding drum set. All in all, a bit less than $100. Seem expensive except that I have now re-knotted about 50+ shaving brush handles new and old. I cut off the old hair not as close to the base as my wire nippers allow and then drill out the hair knot as far as the knot was originally set with different size foster bits. Then use the Dremel milling bits to get as close to the original size knot hole as possible and finally use the dremel sanding drums to size the hole for whatever knot I am going to use as a replacement. I've tried all the synthetics, some bore and a heck of a lot of different grade badger knots from many suppliers. I've settled on a favorite synthetic and Badger hair supplier that have IMHO the very best knots. All this re-knotting can be done with a hand drill or hand held dremel tool but it is not as easy as with a drill press. I have sold several re-knotted handles on the Big auction site and it will be awhile before the tools are paid for but eventually it will happen, sooner if I would pass many of the brushs on. But, being retired, it is a great way to spend time indoors with an enjoyable hobby. some of the brushes turn out so nicely I just hate to get rid of them. All knots are not equal even from the same suppliers. That's my story and sorry for the length of it! I have 2 of the brushes similar to what you have that I am going to replace the synthetic knot with a high quality badger knot. They are very Nice colorful handles.

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