Brush Making Lore

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by PLANofMAN, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I figured I would start this thread as a central place for people to collect bits and pieces of the knot maker's art, which is unfortunately either a dying skill set, or a closely guarded secret...depending on who you ask. :)

    I keep stumbling across posts by Gary Young, a member of the Simpson family, who worked in the Simpson's factory before it was sold to Vulfix. He is a veritable treasure trove of brush knowledge. (If anyone knows why he was banned from several forums, please let me know).
    (Edit: well here's the explanation from TSN)
    "The ring of lower outer hair is what we used to call 'collaring'. Some makers called it 'capping'. It is a ring of single hair that is applied to the knot when forming. You don't actually have to trim the hair to form this look. It is a very tricky process which takes a while to get right. Basic 'tools' used to make.
    1. Take a small sheet of paper, fold in half along its longest length. (The paper's width needs to be approx. half the hair's length).
    2. Take a small quantity of hair and lay it out on the paper, tight against the crease line.
    3. Run the back of a metal comb over the hair until a single layer is formed.
    4. Fold the paper over the hair and tap the hair tight into the crease.
    5. Wrap the hair/paper around the base of the knot.
    6. Hold the hairs in place with your fingers and remove the paper.
    7. Tie off this collar as per normal knot making
    8. Gently form the knot with your fingers to 'blend' the hairs together.
    There you go! How to form a collared Simpson knot!"

    -Gary Young
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
    brit, gorgo2, Douglas Carey and 3 others like this.
  2. Randycin617

    Randycin617 Member

    Now to trap a badger and give him a hair cut. Good thing Lowe's has have a heart traps. I'm all about sustainability.
    gorgo2, GDCarrington and PLANofMAN like this.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Be sure to take a video. I've heard that some badger hair is gathered ethically from living badgers, but never seen video proof.

    Badgers are like wolverines. They aren't scared of anything, so use lots of duct tape. :D
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  4. Randycin617

    Randycin617 Member

    I don't think there are many here in boston. I wonder where you could aquire just fur to produce your own knot. I've searched before but gave up after a while.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  5. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Douglas Carey likes this.
  6. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    It's because their paws are too small.
    brit, richgem, 178-bplatoon and 3 others like this.
  7. Randycin617

    Randycin617 Member

    You sir are truly dedicated and a plethora of knowledge. Not commercially, on a hobby scale. I import alpaca wool for my business so I am familiar with paying certain tariffs and customs fees. Just interested for some personal brush collection satisfaction, it never stays good enough. Thanks for the info
  8. cmorris357

    cmorris357 catching flies.........

    That, and they kept trying to unionize.
    brit, RyX, richgem and 3 others like this.
  9. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    @GDCarrington knows quite a bit more than I do about brush knots. I might know more about brushes in general, but that's iffy; and there are people on B&B and the Shave Nook who make my brush knowledge strictly amateur level.

    What I am good at is information gathering. Unfortunately, that skill is only useful to bloggers and authors, and I am neither.
    RyX and Douglas Carey like this.
  10. IDuck

    IDuck Well-Known Member

    you all are going to think im off my rocker and this should most likely be in the "signs that wet shaving is taking over your life" thread but....@PLANofMAN thank you for posting, I see dead badgers on the side of the road all the time where I much so that I had the thought "I should go full hillbilly and pick this thing up and make my own knot"...however, how to go from dead badger on the side of road to mixing and rubbing lather on my face seemed a bit sketchy (to say the least)....I mean the thing is already dead, and im sure a fox, coyote, or wolf might be mad at me but I think animal control wouldnt I crazy? did I just get put on everyones "ignore" list?
  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    There's a thread over on B&B that started with a similar premise. A member in Europe sent found badger hair to a number of members in the U.S.

    The results were less than spectacular, an none of the members ever finished a brush.

    It wasn't so much the difficulty of actually making the knot that killed their enthusiasm for the project. It was the daunting task of sorting the hair.

    If one was to go about making their own knots, start with an order of cheap hair from the link I posted above, and once you've learned, order the high quality hair.

    As far as I know, the only person (outside of the brush companies) who has ever made his own knots was the owner of iKon, and I think he gave that up to work on razors full time.

    There's a few individual knot makers like Lee Sabini and Gary Young, but both those guys were master knot makers at a company. Lee at R.A. Rooney, and Gary at Simpson's. I don't even know if Gary is doing anything other than working on his "History of Simpson's and Coombe" book. Lee makes the Morris & Fondran brushes and supplies knots for the Paladin brushes.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  12. Randycin617

    Randycin617 Member

    Just try, I'd do anything once. Just be respectful of the animal, give it a proper send off with a raft and flaming arrows.
    IDuck likes this.
  13. Douglas Carey

    Douglas Carey Insane Shaving Dude

    Thanks @PLANofMAN and Gary Young I find this very interesting. I have come across a mpeg of this process before. The individual made it look very easy, however, I'm sure it took her a long time to become that efficient.
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  14. Douglas Carey

    Douglas Carey Insane Shaving Dude

    Whatever your good at please keep it coming. I don't go to other blogs as I find most of what I need at TSD.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    It was probably the DaVinci videos @GDCarrington posted here some time back. They belong in this thread too.

  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Could have been the Simpson's videos too.

  17. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Amazing videos.
    Douglas Carey likes this.
  18. Douglas Carey

    Douglas Carey Insane Shaving Dude

    I agree.
  19. Randycin617

    Randycin617 Member

    What are those cups called they use to shape the bulb?
  20. rmcintyre84

    rmcintyre84 Got out of the kitchen

    As a former fly tier I can tell you (1) road kill makes terrible EVERYTHING; (2) in some states it's illegal to gather road kill.

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