#1

Member
Northern NJ
Is the same type of epoxy/glue that is used to create a knot and affix the hairs together the same type that is also used to affix the knot to a handle? I’ve read many times about marine epoxy being used to set a knot in a handle ...but what is typically used to create the knot itself? Thanks

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#2
(02-12-2020, 10:41 PM)Marcos Wrote: Is the same type of epoxy/glue that is used to create a knot and affix the hairs together the same type that is also used to affix the knot to a handle? I’ve read many times about marine epoxy being used to set a knot in a handle ...but what is typically used to create the knot itself? Thanks
I've no idea the answer. Maybe if we tag DFS's very own ESBrushmaker and @Bob Quinn we both may learn something

We are lucky to have Brad and Bob as part of our community. Two talented minds in the brush world, no doubt.
#3

Merchant
MD Eastern Shore
(This post was last modified: 02-15-2020, 04:28 PM by ESBrushmaker.)
(02-12-2020, 10:41 PM)Marcos Wrote: Is the same type of epoxy/glue that is used to create a knot and affix the hairs together the same type that is also used to affix the knot to a handle? I’ve read many times about marine epoxy being used to set a knot in a handle ...but what is typically used to create the knot itself? Thanks

It's a good question.  A Google search yields more answers than (seemingly) stars in the sky.  So, I'll try not to add too much to the noise.  

Simply put, with many (most?) contemporary brushes available in the U.S. market, the answer is:  probably not.  (I'll speak briefly about vintage brushes later one.)  Pre-made knots from China, Germany (or wherever) can be--and are--typically fixed with different adhesives, especially when they're fixed by anyone other than the maker.  

Generally speaking, for the maker using pre-made knots, the demands on the adhesive are pretty simple:  (1) the adhesive needs to hold the knot in place for its intended use (obviously!) and (2) it mustn't wick up into the hair.  I've seen makers use everything from bathtub silicones, to over-the-counter epoxies, to high-tech marine epoxies, and more.  All can work.  Some better than others.  (But that's another conversation.)  

The requirements for holding natural and man-made fibers together in a knot are (I believe) similar except here the adhesive needs to "wick" up into the hair/fiber just enough to hold everything in place so the knot stays together and doesn't shed, but not so much that it gets into the knots "working" area.  

That's about the limit of my understanding of adhesive requirements.

Looking at things from a practical perspective, having extracted a number of English and German knots tied and fixed by their respective makers, all appear to have been tied and fixed using the same--or at least very similar--adhesives.  Here, each maker has worked out formulas that work well given their manufacturing processes.  (Tangentially, I can tell you that the few (fortunately VERY FEW) Morris & Forndran knots I've had to drill out (or save) have been the most challenging because the adhesive(s) cure(s) into something resembling concrete!  (Blatant commercial plug:  that's a secret we've learned and now use a similar process to fix our Chinese knots into BSSW brushes  Wink .))

Vintage brushes are, in my experience a somewhat different ball of wax.  Back in the days when shaving brushes were a necessity rather than a hobby or collectible, each maker had his own way (or ways) of holding things together.  The few old Simpsons, Vulfixes, and continental knots/brushes I've worked on all seem to have been fixed (although not necessarily tied) in ways similar to how they're done today.  The primary difference is that the makers used softer adhesives that begin to break down around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it's possible to "steam" out the knots.  I've only worked on a few brushes by U.S./Canadian makers (Rubberset and EverReady), so I can't comment because each one with which I've had experience was made differently.  So, I'll have to defer to one of the fellows with more experience in this area.

Hope this helps.

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Brad
#4
(02-15-2020, 04:25 PM)ESBrushmaker Wrote:
(02-12-2020, 10:41 PM)Marcos Wrote: Is the same type of epoxy/glue that is used to create a knot and affix the hairs together the same type that is also used to affix the knot to a handle? I’ve read many times about marine epoxy being used to set a knot in a handle ...but what is typically used to create the knot itself? Thanks

It's a good question.  A Google search yields more answers than (seemingly) stars in the sky.  So, I'll try not to add too much to the noise.  

Simply put, with many (most?) contemporary brushes available in the U.S. market, the answer is:  probably not.  (I'll speak briefly about vintage brushes later one.)  Pre-made knots from China, Germany (or wherever) can be--and are--typically fixed with different adhesives, especially when they're fixed by anyone other than the maker.  

Generally speaking, for the maker using pre-made knots, the demands on the adhesive are pretty simple:  (1) the adhesive needs to hold the knot in place for its intended use (obviously!) and (2) it mustn't wick up into the hair.  I've seen makers use everything from bathtub silicones, to over-the-counter epoxies, to high-tech marine epoxies, and more.  All can work.  Some better than others.  (But that's another conversation.)  

The requirements for holding natural and man-made fibers together in a knot are (I believe) similar except here the adhesive needs to "wick" up into the hair/fiber just enough to hold everything in place so the knot stays together and doesn't shed, but not so much that it gets into the knots "working" area.  

That's about the limit of my understanding of adhesive requirements.

Looking at things from a practical perspective, having extracted a number of English and German knots tied and fixed by their respective makers, all appear to have been tied and fixed using the same--or at least very similar--adhesives.  Here, each maker has worked out formulas that work well given their manufacturing processes.  (Tangentially, I can tell you that the few (fortunately VERY FEW) Morris & Forndran knots I've had to drill out (or save) have been the most challenging because the adhesive(s) cure(s) into something resembling concrete!  (Blatant commercial plug:  that's a secret we've learned and now use a similar process to fix our Chinese knots into BSSW brushes  Wink .))

Vintage brushes are, in my experience a somewhat different ball of wax.  Back in the days when shaving brushes were a necessity rather than a hobby or collectible, each maker had his own way (or ways) of holding things together.  The few old Simpsons, Vulfixes, and continental knots/brushes I've worked on all seem to have been fixed (although not necessarily tied) in ways similar to how they're done today.  The primary difference is that the makers used softer adhesives that begin to break down around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it's possible to "steam" out the knots.  I've only worked on a few brushes by U.S./Canadian makers (Rubberset and EverReady), so I can't comment because each one with which I've had experience was made differently.  So, I'll have to defer to one of the fellows with more experience in this area.

Hope this helps.

Gary Young detailed a method that was used by his family up to a certain point. It was using barley and cooking it down into a syrup. I believe I have it saved somewhere on my PC but can’t access it right now. If it isn’t on B&B then it’s on TSN. I remember that part as I was intrigued about the process he described.

ESBrushmaker likes this post
Joe
#5
To fix the hair of the know together you would use epoxy resin that's been thinned with ethanol to make it wick into the hair somewhat. There are some videos on youtube showing the process in the Simpson workshop.

eeyore likes this post
#6

Merchant
Newport News, Virginia
The short answer is, I really highly doubt it.  Most of the knots I use have a tan khaki color.  It is hard to say what type of adhesive that the many knot makers use.  I know shavemac even has knots that look different.  Some with come with a gray colored base and some with a clear.  I know that most two part epoxies will cure with a clear look.  I suspect that knot makers either use something else or add a filler for additional strength, but I don't know either.

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