Can this brush be saved?

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!
brothers
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Can this brush be saved?

Post by brothers » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:11 pm

Theoretically, it's going to be possible. I believe I have an idea that could cure the shedding and salvage the brush. Rare brush, catastrophic knot failure. It has no commercial or intrinsic value, except to me as a brush I can shave with. There's nothing I can physically do to the brush to render it even more worthless than it is right now.

The brush was stored unused for around 4 years. Placed into regular use, and after only around 5 weeks, it began to shed more and ever more frequently, eventually losing small chunks of glue with a group of hairs still imbedded in it. Pending a resolution, it's been taken out of use. Replacement of the knot with the same or similar quality of badger hair isn't possible because it allegedly doesn't exist any longer. If it can't be saved, then it's useless as well as worthless.

I think it'd be better to try with a risk of failure, than not to even try to salvage the best shaving brush I'll ever own. Sure, after all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, the knot can always be removed and thrown away, to be replaced with a different one, but the charm of the original quality is lost.

The defect lies, not with the hair, not with the handle, but with the glue. My mission is to identify a free-flowing and slow drying permanent water-impervious glue that I can inject via a hollow needle, deep into the center of the knot just at the point where the slow drying glue can seep down into the failed glue to permeate and fully coat and solidify what's left of it, while at the same time the new glue will encapsulate the roots and the lower-most portion of the still-intact hairs and bond them once again into a solid unit.

That's the plan.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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ShadowsDad
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Post by ShadowsDad » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:43 pm

You have nothing to lose.

I'd take an insulin needle and see if CA (cyanoacrylate, ie, superglue) will flow through it. If so, that's what I'd use. Be sure to wear gloves so as not to bond your fingers to the needle, just in case.

I think it'll probably use less than I think it'll take too. It flows and creeps pretty easily. Just be aware and don't use so much as to have it glue the first inch of brush near the base. You can always inject with more if need be. Insulin needles are inexpensive. If you can't find any let me know. I have a bunch left over from a diabetic dog.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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Post by gil3591 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:49 pm

if the glue is in such terrible condition can't you attempt to remove the knot by tugging on it? or maybe get a small dill bit (1/64) and drill a series of holes around the outside of the knot between the handle and the knot? once the knot is removed you can service it and replace it into the handle
Gil
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Post by brothers » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:20 pm

Good thoughts Gil. The glue is evidently disintegrating in place, allowing chunks of it to break loose like a glacier and to come out the top with hairs. I'm thinking if I tried to remove it as a complete unit, it'd just crumble, and that would be the end of it. I think drilling would damage the hairs. I've drilled knots out a number of times, and the drilling always destroys everything in its path. There are a lot of unknowns.
Gary

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Post by drmoss_ca » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:22 pm

To flow through an insulin needle (32G these days) you would need the viscosity of water. CA would be too thick. You might get it through a 21G needle. You can make CA set instantly with water, so the brush would need to be completely dry before starting. However, CA glue does crumble with repetitive stresses. I'm thinking an 18G needle and some very thin epoxy. I seem to remember from boat-building days (good old West System!) that heat will make the epoxy thin, but it cures very quickly, while one part in 20 of acetone will will also thin it but potentially weaken the final result. Since you have nothing to lose.....

Chris
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Post by M6Classic » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:39 pm

I am just curious: if this was the best brush you'll ever own, why did you store it for four years rather than use it? Are there lessons for all of us to learn from Gary's experience?

Buzz

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Post by brothers » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:14 pm

It was a backup Rooney Finest owned by a gentleman in another country. I got it from him.
Gary

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Post by LouisIII » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:30 pm

Gary,
I wish you well with this, but think you'd be better of sending it to Bernd (Mr. Shavemac) or one of the artisan handle makers. Even if you're really handy, these chaps have lot of experience taking brushes apart and putting them back together. Good luck.
~ Infusing the irreducibly quotidian with sensual pleasure ~

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Post by brothers » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:40 pm

I'm making a big presumption that "repairing" a badly shedding knot is probably considered a hare-brained crackpot idea that would only originate from someone like me. One would tend to think replacement is the most common-sense practical course of action. If it becomes evident that a replacement is necessary, then I'll give your suggestion the serious consideration it obviously deserves.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Post by LouisIII » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:37 pm

brothers wrote:I'm making a big presumption that "repairing" a badly shedding knot is probably considered a hare-brained crackpot idea that would only originate from someone like me. One would tend to think replacement is the most common-sense practical course of action. If it becomes evident that a replacement is necessary, then I'll give your suggestion the serious consideration it obviously deserves.
Good point that - not many outside of our cult would understand the magical allure of the Rooney Finest :D
~ Infusing the irreducibly quotidian with sensual pleasure ~

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Post by drmoss_ca » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:54 am

You might ask Bernd if it is possible to remove the knot, beat the cracking epoxy out of it, and then re-glue the same hair into the handle. Given that re-knotting usually involves cutting off the remaining hair and drilling out the knot, which leaves the handle unharmed, any attempt to salvage the knot might mean the handle has to get chopped up in order to get it out.

Chris
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Post by brothers » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:24 am

Chris, you've added an entirely new dimension to the issue. After all, the preservation of the unique Finest knot is the objective. Not the handle, which is actually expendable.
Gary

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Post by drmoss_ca » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:56 am

I have two Rooney Finest brushes, and three Apothecary Shop (proto-prototypes of M&F for recent converts) equivalents. The knot is vastly more important than the handle, and well worth saving in a case of quality such as this being lost. I haven't, by the way, heard of shedding Rooneys before now. One of my Apothecary Shop brushes (dense, pure soft white tips, stiff hair shafts) will shed and it dismays me. Perhaps it is true that only the good die young.

Chris
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Post by brothers » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:12 am

An email has been sent to Bernd.
Gary

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Post by jss » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:11 pm

Gary..Someone said "all of life yields to human persistence.."

Persevere,

Julian

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Post by brothers » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:28 pm

Bernd responded that it's unlikely the glue could be replaced while re-using the hair. I may have done a poor job of communicating the problem and the proposed salvage operation, but it's not looking so good right now. I haven't stopped trying to think my way through the injected glue option.
Gary

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Post by brothers » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:00 am

I've been in correspondence with Bernd at Shavemac. He's understandably a bit cautious about whether the brush head can be freed from the old glue and reconstructed. He's put the ball in my court now, I can mail the pieces to him for an in-person look at it, and of course he's not going to guarantee anything. He says just replace the knot with another one, and now I've already done that! I'm thinking about it.

Here's what my guts are saying: "this is/was the best performing brush I'll ever own. Why not try to save it?" Here's what my rational brain, or what's left of it, says: "brushes are brushes, just forget putzing around with it and act like it doesn't matter."

I'm leaning toward sending it to Bernd. Time will tell. Just in case, I think I should ask him for the address where I should send it. By the way, since I've already got a new Finest TGN knot hard at work in the Rooney handle, if I send the brush head to Bernd, I'll ask him to set it in a new Shavemac 220 handle, if the dimensions work out, that is. Now I'm concerned about loss of loft and width in the reconstruction phase. Somebody's got to worry about such things, right?
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Post by jss » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:05 am

You're in the right place Gary..We understand exactly what you mean.... :lol:

Best,
Julian

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Post by Thalay Sagar » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:11 am

Send it- you'll eventually regret not finding out if the bristles are salvageable. Of course, if you do then you have to get the brush made.
Best,
Chris

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Post by ShadowsDad » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:00 am

Gary, you know the brush will never be as it was. If you leave it the way it is, it's completely unuseable. If you send it out there's a chance it can be salvaged into something useable (never like it was though).

So all you have to lose are a few dollars on the risk. It's a no-brainer IMO.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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