My first brush restoration

Discussion in 'Brush Making and Restorations' started by MichaeltheRomanHistorian, Sep 25, 2010.

    Hi all,

    I won this on E-bay:

    I cleaned it up with a silver polishing cloth I have and it looked great (I left some tarnish and patina on purpose). The problem was that the original knot in the brush looked and smelled awful. Musty and mildewy. I didn't have any power tools and was going to send it off for restoration but I thought maybe if I got some towels and wrapped them around the hair and gave a sharp tug... Well, it worked. I got most of the glue and the knot out in one sharp tug. I got out as much of the old glue as possible and then put a few dimes in to build a little 'shelf' inside the base of the handle. There was already an existing shelf but I didn't think it was going to be good for my brush as it was too deep. Hence the three dimes.

    I ordered myself an 18mm Best Badger knot from Tony at The Golden Nib (it was a little too small, my fault for forgetting the +/- and it was closer to 17.5mm than the 18mm diameter opening I had). No worries, I let it sit in a bit deeper but now I'm wondering if I should have ordered some of that black badger...that'd be a nice contrast but oh well. I did use some heavy duty super glue (Gorilla Glue type stuff) so hopefully that will work as my JB Weld was welded shut (typical luck). Sadly, I miscalculated and some of the base hairs above the plug soaked up glue but only about 3-4mm worth of hair is affected.

    The brush is a little scritchy (as I desired) and able to lather with soap or cream in the bowl of my mug. I like the 2 part assembly so that the mug holds hot water and a cup section slots in over the open mug and is warmed by the hot water it sits in. I already enjoyed a shave with my new Queen Charlotte Soaps Key Lime sample and my Gillette Old Type with a Wilkinson Sword blade and my new shaving brush. :D The brush lathers up like a champ and with an almond sized dollop of the Key Lime, I had at least enough to do my usual 3 pass with 2 or 3 touch up passes for the problem spots.

    Thanks to everyone for the tips I read here and to Tony for the knot!


  1. Congrats on your first restore! I've done several and like Black Badger most of all - this is my most recent rescue/restoration....
  2. I think you guys launched me into yet another AD! :) That black badger brush is gorgeous looking, by the way.

    Since you have said that black badger is your favourite, I'd like to ask a question. I haven't been able to figure out an exact answer even with searching but how does Black Badger feel? I got the impression it is like Pure Badger and it has the best of Boar (scritchiness) with the absorbency and flex of badger.

    Either way, I now must scour for more handles!
  3. Your impression is right on the money (lather?) Black Badger has the scritchy factor, but not too much, works up a great lather, has great color contrast with some handle materials, and even is economical!!!!!!!

    The center brush in this pic is Black Badger....
  4. That brassy/gold brush handle is gorgeous, I am constantly impressed by the brush handle restorations you guys do (I'm still learning). I'll definitely give the black badger knot a try with my next attempt.
  5. Awesome restore! I have eyed several similar scuttles on Ebay, though I resisted them as I dont mug/bowl lather much. I love the beauty of some of the older metal scuttles, you dont get nice ornate carvings on modern ones.

    I have one black badger brush and its softer than pure badger IMO. The tips seem a bit more scritchy though. Granted I have only used it a couple times and hope it breaks in and looses most of the scritch, though I'm not holding my breath. It does however whip up lather in a hurry, though this could be partial the scritchy ends picking up product more quickly???

    Does anyone know if Black Badger Breaks in much?
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  6. Very good work. Do you plan more restorations?
  7. Great restoration job on such a beautiful set! :thumbup1: It's awesome what you can find on ebay! Wish we had even more examples of such fine works of art more prominent then it is today.
  8. The brass handle started life as part of a "faux" shaving set - had a center fiberglass plug with bristles only on the outside, and a fake brass razor on a stand. I did the conversion before trying Black badger (would have looked great), but it will do....oh, the toggle was added to the set!
  9. To be honest, I probably went crazy and paid a lot for this ($40 bid) but it was so gorgeous and I do bowl lather with creams so... Well, I definitely wanted it to go with my silver plated Old Type and for the brush. There wasn't much work involved, just me polishing silver and ripping out that nasty old knot (the smell of the mildewy knot and the musty cork was...special).

    Now as for other restorations... Well...I probably shouldn't... Oh forget it, I can't resist the AD! :w00t: I'm already eyeing other things to buy, haha. You guys are terrible for my self-control. First you got me back into shaving cream (Shulton Old Spice Lime, QCS, Trader Joe's, and so on to add to my TOBS and T&H) and now brush restoration!
  10. Here are more restores....and the beat (brush) goes on....
  11. Mark - That set is interesting, I'll have to find one of those myself (I see stuff like that on the Bay once in a while...). How many restorations have you done? Goodness!
  12. Nice work.

    Restoring brushes is an AD in itself. Soon, you too may be searching for some handles to try different knot sizes, lofts, and type.


Share This Page