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My First Effort | Thater Beehive Handle | Broken Knot | Seeking Advice

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Some time ago a member generously gave me a broken brush to restore. I've finally decided (I think) on which knot I want to use to replace the broken knot in the brush I was given.

I'm seeking advice on how to do it right.

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The old Thater handle is a nice beehive shape. I believe it's acrylic resin, lathe turned, but I'm certainly not sure about that. In any case it's a substantial handle and one I like.

The knot I'm thinking I want to use is the Maggard 70/30 which measures, according to Maggard, at 26mm, and is a total height from base of plug to tips of 70mm.

My original Thater Premium Boar (the one I owned, not this one but they should be the same) had a knot which I measured as a 27mm knot with a 58mm loft. I had read it was a 26 mm knot, but mine measured at the base (above the opening) 27 mm with my calipers.

Dremel vise..jpg

I'lm thinking I'll first try to steam the old knot out. Assuming that won't work how should I drill it out? I have a portable household hand drill and a Dremel; my Dremel can be fixed with my vise. The photo ^ is of a vendor's set up but mine is functionally the same, and solid albeit horizontal. I do not have a drill press. I don't have a lathe. I don't really know jack about how to drill out the old knot without hosing the entire project.

Thater.Black.Handle.480.JPG

My assumption is I'll attempt to remove all the old glue and all remnants of the old knot. Then I'll put some silicone adhesive into the hole and stick the new knot in. I do plan to initially use silicone so I can see if I like the loft, etc. and adjust as needed. I may replace it with epoxy once I know I like the loft and such.

There are a number of types of silicon available. Which one is the right one? Brand? Color? Type? I assume I need very little. I'm going to be buying on Amazon.

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If you think the 26 mm Maggard knot is not going to work I'd appreciate you telling me and advising me on what to use, particularly what size knot. I've not ordered the knot yet. I tend to like two bands and boars. I have no idea what the final loft will be once this project is completed, but I'm hoping I won't have to modify the handle (other than just removing what Thater installed).

I know the general advice is to drill the hole first, measure it, and then order the knot. I've read that one should get a knot somewhat smaller than the hole, but I'm not sure exactly what that means as I've also been told a 26 mm knot should work in a 26 mm hole. In other words, I'm a rank beginner here and kinda confused about some of the basics even though I've read a lot.

Thater.Handle.BrokenBoar.480.JPG

Any advice would be appreciated. I'm not particularly handy. I'm a bit apprehensive about attempting this, but I'm determined to go ahead and to make good use of this handle; I've put it off too long already.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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I would start by trimming the rest of the hair as close to the glue plug as possible. Then drill a small hole in the middle of the plug. Next drill small holes around the first. And slowly methodically peck away at the glue plug removing chunks that become loose. For me this is the best way to be sure I don't go overboard and damage the handle. Since the knot is obviously trash I don't see any reason to try steaming it out. To much heat can damage a nice handle. I personally wouldn't try steaming unless I was trying to save a knot and didn't care about the handle.

I use clear 100% silicon for bathrooms. And yes a little dab-l-do if it's just for testing purposes.

It would be best to have an accurate measurement of the hole to size the knot. Most people seem to like 1.5mm to 2mm bigger hole than knot size. With the brushes I've made I have found Maggard's knots to run pretty true to advertised size. Although this may not always be true.
I made a friend a brush with there mixed badger boar but haven't used one. The SHD two band badger is AMAZING.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I would start by trimming the rest of the hair as close to the glue plug as possible. Then drill a small hole in the middle of the plug. Next drill small holes around the first. And slowly methodically peck away at the glue plug removing chunks that become loose. For me this is the best way to be sure I don't go overboard and damage the handle. Since the knot is obviously trash I don't see any reason to try steaming it out. To much heat can damage a nice handle. I personally wouldn't try steaming unless I was trying to save a knot and didn't care about the handle.

I use clear 100% silicon for bathrooms. And yes a little dab-l-do if it's just for testing purposes.

It would be best to have an accurate measurement of the hole to size the knot. Most people seem to like 1.5mm to 2mm bigger hole than knot size. With the brushes I've made I have found Maggard's knots to run pretty true to advertised size. Although this may not always be true.
I made a friend a brush with there mixed badger boar but haven't used one. The SHD two band badger is AMAZING.

Thank you. Very helpful.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I would start by trimming the rest of the hair as close to the glue plug as possible. Then drill a small hole in the middle of the plug. Next drill small holes around the first...

I'll remove the knot before ordering the new knot, but I'm kinda thinking the knot should be a 24 mm instead of a 26, based on what you told me.

Can I ask you about the two band SHD Maggard sells? Is it like a gel knot or like a "normal" two band but a lot more densely packed?

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
 
I would start by trimming the rest of the hair as close to the glue plug as possible. Then drill a small hole in the middle of the plug. Next drill small holes around the first. And slowly methodically peck away at the glue plug removing chunks that become loose. For me this is the best way to be sure I don't go overboard and damage the handle. Since the knot is obviously trash I don't see any reason to try steaming it out. To much heat can damage a nice handle. I personally wouldn't try steaming unless I was trying to save a knot and didn't care about the handle.

I use clear 100% silicon for bathrooms. And yes a little dab-l-do if it's just for testing purposes.

It would be best to have an accurate measurement of the hole to size the knot. Most people seem to like 1.5mm to 2mm bigger hole than knot size. With the brushes I've made I have found Maggard's knots to run pretty true to advertised size. Although this may not always be true.
I made a friend a brush with there mixed badger boar but haven't used one. The SHD two band badger is AMAZING.


What sillicone glue do you use. I got some to reglue a knot in a handle and it's not working for nothing.
 
I'll remove the knot before ordering the new knot, but I'm kinda thinking the knot should be a 24 mm instead of a 26, based on what you told me.

Can I ask you about the two band SHD Maggard sells? Is it like a gel knot or like a "normal" two band but a lot more densely packed?


Jim

The Maggard isn't a gel tip from what I see. Just very densely packed. I have never had a gel tip brush and I don't know if that is something that can develop over time.

AP shave co. Has a knot they call the Gelousy knot. Spelled with GELel instead of jel. I saw a description saying they have gel tips but have no personal experience.
I believe @Chan Eil Whiskers actually wrote a post about those very knots.


Maybe he can give us some more info on them now that he has had it for a few months.


What sillicone glue do you use. I got some to reglue a knot in a handle and it's not working for nothing.

Just regular clear 100% silicon bathroom sealant from Home Depot or Lowes. Everything needs to be clean and I rough up the glue plug on the knot to give a little more grip. I had a brush for 12 years that was glued like that. And my current favorite brush for and 6 months.
 
The Maggard isn't a gel tip from what I see. Just very densely packed. I have never had a gel tip brush and I don't know if that is something that can develop over time.

AP shave co. Has a knot they call the Gelousy knot. Spelled with GELel instead of jel. I saw a description saying they have gel tips but have no personal experience.
I believe @Chan Eil Whiskers actually wrote a post about those very knots.


Maybe he can give us some more info on them now that he has had it for a few months.




Just regular clear 100% silicon bathroom sealant from Home Depot or Lowes. Everything needs to be clean and I rough up the glue plug on the knot to give a little more grip. I had a brush for 12 years that was glued like that. And my current favorite brush for and 6 months.


I will have to try to rough up the surface more. This is the glue I have.

20200419_210816.jpg
 
That looks like what I used. Just enough to coat the bottom of the cup in a thin layer and squish up the sides of the glue plug slightly when pressed in has worked well for me. I usually just scratch the bottom and sides of the glue plug with a razor blade making a bunch of little Xs. I personally have never had a knot come out.
 
I'll remove the knot before ordering the new knot, but I'm kinda thinking the knot should be a 24 mm instead of a 26, based on what you told me.

Can I ask you about the two band SHD Maggard sells? Is it like a gel knot or like a "normal" two band but a lot more densely packed?

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
I put a Declaration Grooming 26mm knot in the exact same handle. Fit perfectly. IMO, 24mm is too small.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I put a Declaration Grooming 26mm knot in the exact same handle. Fit perfectly. IMO, 24mm is too small.

Ah, very very helpful. The exact same handle!

I just drilled out the Thater handle. Of interest to me is how deep the well is. It measured with my calipers at ~20 to 21 mm.

Is that depth typical of handles?

When drilling it seemed clear that the drill bit was penetrating something and then going into a hole or a space. If so, that means the knot was set fairly high in the well relative to the well's depth, leaving a space under the knot. Is that typical? I don't think so.

I'd think the space, if there is one, would be filled with something - washers or disks of plastic or cork - rather than air.

Assuming that depth of the well, and assuming I use the 70 mm tall 70/30 Maggard knot, how should I set the knot? I'm interested in everyone's opinion here, but hoping to get an opinion from @SliceOfLife because I think we tend to like the same things in our brushes maybe.

Assuming there's some space to fill, what's best to fill the space?

The Maggard isn't a gel tip from what I see. Just very densely packed. I have never had a gel tip brush and I don't know if that is something that can develop over time.

AP shave co. Has a knot they call the Gelousy knot. Spelled with GELel instead of jel. I saw a description saying they have gel tips but have no personal experience.
I believe @Chan Eil Whiskers actually wrote a post about those very knots.


Maybe he can give us some more info on them now that he has had it for a few months.

Just regular clear 100% silicon bathroom sealant from Home Depot or Lowes. Everything needs to be clean and I rough up the glue plug on the knot to give a little more grip. I had a brush for 12 years that was glued like that. And my current favorite brush for and 6 months.

Thanks. Good information and helpful to me.

Link to yesterday's shave with the AP Shave Gelousy brush, for the most up to date information, in addition to the information I posted in the thread you linked.

It's a brush I like well enough, but I wouldn't want another gel knot. If anything, it's too soft. Not too soft in an absolute sense and not too soft in any sense for gentlemen who love love love extreme softness.

I like the soft feel of my Zenith and Maseto silvertips better, and I like the soft when broken in feel of my Zenith Manchurians even more; I like a lot of scrub, and that means I also want some of what I call good scritch. Not pricky bad scritch, but some feeling of the brush's hairs as well as of the overall mop of the brush if that makes any sense.

I did mess up the top rim edge of the handle just a little bit (with the side of the drill I guess). Either that or it was already messed up and I'd not noticed it. In either case it's not enough of an issue for me to worry about.

Oh, the diameter of the well is ~27 mm at the top and ~28 mm as far down as I can measure. I still have to clean up the well a bit by hand with sandpaper (not much).

I'm going to probably order the 26 mm 70/30 knot today, but not right this minute.

Thanks for all the help so far. Much much much appreciated.

Also thanks for any advice still to come.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
The top of the hole is the measurement that matters. You should be good with the 26mm knot you can actually increase the size of the whole but personally I would just set the knot a touch higher it should have essentially the same effect.
Plastic washers would be a perfect thing to build up with in the cup. I had a vintage brush that Was hollow like that under the knot. I wanted a little more weight so I filled it silicon to the proper depth let that set then glued in the knot. Or you can stack coins or SS washers. I wouldn't use anything that could corrode. @Tanuki used cork on a handle I made him with an abyss for a cup.
If you haven't tried the Maggard's SHD and can afford to pick one up as well as the Badger Boar mix I would. It sounds like it might be right up your alley.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
The top of the hole is the measurement that matters. You should be good with the 26mm knot you can actually increase the size of the whole but personally I would just set the knot a touch higher it should have essentially the same effect.
Plastic washers would be a perfect thing to build up with in the cup. I had a vintage brush that Was hollow like that under the knot. I wanted a little more weight so I filled it silicon to the proper depth let that set then glued in the knot. Or you can stack coins or SS washers. I wouldn't use anything that could corrode. @Tanuki used cork on a handle I made him with an abyss for a cup.
If you haven't tried the Maggard's SHD and can afford to pick one up as well as the Badger Boar mix I would. It sounds like it might be right up your alley.

Thanks. I might get one. I'll look at shipping costs and such. Wonder where I can find some cork these days? I'll think about it.

However, I only have this one handle that needs a new knot. Just guessing, but I might not need any more brushes. But, you know how that goes.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I'd look at my picture of the side by sides in the beginners brush thread. The one @ 46mm splays, but takes some force to do it. The one @51mm still has tons of backbone. If I were to only have one of these brushes, I'd probably go 49-50mm. Since you're going 26mm (my specs are based on the 24mm), maybe add a couple mm.. 52mm?
 
Thanks. I might get one. I'll look at shipping costs and such. Wonder where I can find some cork these days? I'll think about it.

However, I only have this one handle that needs a new knot. Just guessing, but I might not need any more brushes. But, you know how that goes.

Happy shaves,

Jim

I think Maggard's has empty handles. And I think when you hit a certain price point you get free shipping. That may have been a promo though.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I'd look at my picture of the side by sides in the beginners brush thread. The one @ 46mm splays, but takes some force to do it. The one @51mm still has tons of backbone. If I were to only have one of these brushes, I'd probably go 49-50mm. Since you're going 26mm (my specs are based on the 24mm), maybe add a couple mm.. 52mm?

Thanks. That's very helpful and exactly what I was looking for.

I'm going to order the knot now.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Also, dont be afraid to dry fit and brush it across your face at a couple lofts (use coins to create a temp shelf to set it at varying lofts). These knots are very prickly dry, so pressing it directly at your face wont tell you much, but doing painters strokes, sweeping on your cheek will give you a good feel for the difference in backbone at different lofts.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Been finishing up the Thater handle in preparation for installation of a new knot currently in transit.

Thater.Well.Down.480.2-20.Handle.Black.JPGThater.Handle.Bottom.Black.480.4-20JPG.JPG
ThaterHandle.Black.Top.2-24-20.480.JPGBlack.Thater.Well.4-20.480.JPG

Not sure why the white stuff shows up so strongly in the photos. I'd just sanded the inside of the well with fairly coarse sandpaper and then wiped it down with alcohol soaked tissue. It looked clean, but I guess not.

I sanded the top rim down a tiny amount to get rid of the little dings I'd made with my drill shank while drilling out the old knot. Just sandpaper on a counter. Easy. Not a perfect job of it, but perfectly satisfactory to me. Don't think anyone will notice anything with the knot installed.

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If the knot is 70 mm in total height from base of plug to tips as Maggard says it is, or thereabouts, I'll just put the knot in the bottom of the well (with silicone) and be done (enough to test it; the loft can be adjusted it necessary to suit me).

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All photos are thumbnails which can be enlarged by clicking on 'em.

Amazon says my silicone should arrive Wednesday.

Anybody know if the boar is bleached or unbleached? Maggard says it's "natural boar." Either is okay with me, but I'd prefer unbleached.

If anything I'm planning to do sounds wrong let me know.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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Ah, very very helpful. The exact same handle!

I just drilled out the Thater handle. Of interest to me is how deep the well is. It measured with my calipers at ~20 to 21 mm.

Is that depth typical of handles?

The four handles I just purchased and knotted were 15mm deep for three handles and 17mm for one. The glue plugs were all 7mm thick. I did not make any loft adjustments. Epoxied them in and I was very pleased with the outcome. You do get a very good idea and feeling when dry fitting. The big consideration to me was how loose or tight the knot should be in the hole. My 26mm knot measured 27.5 across, 10mm above the glue plug. Putting my hand on top of the knot and pushing it down into the hole the girth of the knot hairs would spring it back up. My 26mm short loft and the 28mm long badgers knots I’ve read have an appreciable swell when bloomed. For this reason I gave them a little extra probably 1mm. My finished fitting. Drop the knot in the hole and rotate the knot. Can you rotate the knot freely without bending the hairs all out of shape?
I checked the four commercial brushes I have, and found that they all had a different tightness. Eighty percent of that gap disappears when the brush is wet. I used dry brushes for this next observation. I used the new 26mm badger 45mm loft and my 24mm 55mm loft Plisson badger and flicked the hairs off the heel of my thumb. You would think the reverb from the short loft would transfer back more of a sharper snap. It does not. My thought, adequate space is a must. A little extra space imo 1mm, allows the hair to move. The snugged fits transfers more shock feedback to the lip of the handle rather than the plug of the knot. I am in various stages of conditioning and breaking in these knots for use. I could feel that when hand lathering the knots. I liked the feel and it felt good. The two boar knots I fitted snugger and they feel like my commercial knots. Jim I am totally new to everything I have stated, it is not based on repetitive experience. I have one 34 yr old badger to make comparisons with. I sure would be interested in your thoughts.
l did not do a deep research. Of what I read there never was any mention of standard or basic depths of knot thickness or handle depths.
It is not difficult to hand sand a hole 2 or 3mm larger. I did not have to use power tools.
I have to remove the 26mm knot. The handle is defective. I will probably use power tools for that. I have never done that before, another learning experience. In hand lathering the new knots I am starting to like them every bit as much as the commercials. I am sure you will experience the same pleasure.
 

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