My Little Rubberset Restore...

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by HolyRollah, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I can hardly wait to see the final results.
  2. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout The Smart Bunny

  3. CyanideMetal

    CyanideMetal Wild and crazy guy

  4. John Beeman

    John Beeman Little chicken in hot water

    I think it's restorable. I'd replace the handle first and then the knot.
    It kinda reminds me of a hammer I once restored. After replacing both the handle and the head it looked pretty good.
    RyX, Radiotube, HolyRollah and 2 others like this.
  5. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    Knowing your style of restoring, I'm sure it will come out great!
    And the look of this brush just screams "boar" to me. :)
    SRNewb and HolyRollah like this.
  6. Stubbl E

    Stubbl E Well-Known Member

    I'd say a nice unbanded boar knot myself, either one of the unbleached Omegas or TGN has some fantastically good bleached ones right now as well. I've done a couple of handles with the 24mm TGN and it's a great knot, maybe even better than the Semogue SOC.
    HolyRollah likes this.
  7. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    Well, the little 'Charlie Brown' Rubberset brush showed up today…and it looks as bad in person as it did in the photos. the seller had removed both pieces of the fastening hardware (proprietary?) from the rubber base.
    24mm knot—and it still looks as though I have my work cut out for me on this one…..:shocked003:;)
    John Beeman, GDCarrington and JPJ like this.
  8. Tattoobob

    Tattoobob Well-Known Member

    Have fun with it.
    old-school shaver likes this.
  9. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    With a little work, that will clean up nicely. It won't be perfect, but what is an old brush without a little character?
  10. maltedmilk

    maltedmilk Well-Known Member

    Article Team
    Mint condition? :happy102:
    Darkbulb and PanChango like this.
  11. ObiDon

    ObiDon member in questionable standing

    Wow! That is a very sad brush. How much did they pay you to take it?
    GDCarrington likes this.
  12. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Kevin, does this brush say Sterilized on it or is that word not there?
  13. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    I'm pretty sure that thing isn't sterile :D
    ObiDon and maltedmilk like this.
  14. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    Gary—the word 'sterilized' is nowhere to be seen—so….this is pre-1921, and a possibly anthrax-loaded brush…. ;)
    Radiotube and GDCarrington like this.
  15. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    It is horse hair but the anthrax issue occurred primarily during the First World War and in greater amounts in the five years following so more than likely it does not contain anthrax spores given the fact that it has been heavily used (based on modifications).

    More likely this brush dates from 1905 - 1915 given the visual condition of the brush and effects of aging unabated by daily care.

    This advertisement also supplements my hypothesis as to the age of the brush.

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
    HolyRollah and maltedmilk like this.
  16. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord

    Okay, it's been since last October that I've taken any time to work on this old Rubberset. I figured it was finally time to get to work on the restoration of this eye-sore....umm...vintage brush.
    I took photos of SOME of the restore steps, but didn't capture all the events.

    Step One:
    Hand-sanding of the handle— starting with 100g on up to 800 grit; I hand-sanded the soft wood handle until the surface was uniform no evident chips, scrapes or scratches.
    Next: Removal of that old gross horsehair knot.
    I lopped off the majority of the knot with a hefty pair of shears. This left a dense stubble base. I drilled a large hole down the center which allow the insertion of a dremel cutting bit.
    Wearing a respirator, I proceeded to removing the majority of the knot without too much difficultly.

    The base, now knot-free, revealed a metal band with a build-up of adhesive still caked to it.

    I continued with the dremel but found a more efficient method to remove the leftover glue & gunk: a 20mm drum sander, which did a very efficient and thorough job of
    cleaning off any buildup and leave jump the metal band surface.

    The Knew Knot....A 24mm boar purchased from The Golden Nib.

    Test fit: quite snug. I fear the metal band is a hair under 24mm. The plastic base of the new knot was slightly too large for the circumference of the base.
    To remedy this problem, I sanded (chamfered) the edges of the knot base, being EXTRA careful to not compromise the integrity of the plastic base to hold the boar hair.

    Post-sanding: That's more like it! Still snug, but the knot comfortably sits deep enough into the handle.

    Next: Finishing the wood handle
    Post-sanding and after a good wipe-down with naphtha, I began to apply a coat of varathane stain. I choose a generic 'honey oak' tint and gave the handle two applications of the stain—light sanding after the first coat, and then a final coat is applied.

    Before the stain...

    after one coat....

    Beefing Up there Brush: I prefer heavier brushes. This little guy is rather a lightweight. The wood is extremely soft and light.
    I've seen where coins and even lead pellets are often added to handles for 'weight gain.' I found two steel segments which fit perfectly into the base. It increased the overall weight of the brush from 42 to 60grams (1.4 ounces to 2.1 ounces).
    Not a HUGE difference as you see the numbers, but it feels substantially heavier in the hand.

    I turned my attention next to the black rubber/plastic base. The exterior of the base was in sad shape. Besides the two screw holes, there were several deep scratches.
    I lightly sanded the exterior to remove most of the surface scratches and scuffs. The deep scratches I left (character!). I also decided to LEAVE the two screw holes—evidence of a hard life lived. ;)
    I was careful around the logo type—which was partially wearing away already on the 'SET' side of 'Rubberset.'
    Once I was happy with the sanding, I applied a coating of rubber conditioner (used normally on the mechanical rubber rollers in copier machines & the like). This brought a nice renewed sheen to the black.

    For the lettering, I used Testors white enamel, applied carefully with my fingertips. The excess was simply wiped away using a naphtha-soaked cloth.

    Not too bad.....

    Next I applied a generous rub-down of Renassance™ wax polish to both the base and handle. This is great stuff that provides outstanding protection to wood.

    Fastening the knot: I used 5-minute epoxy to set the knot. Firstly, I glued the two steel segments into place, and then applied the epoxy to both the base cavity and the knot.
    Five minutes later, the knot was set....

    The finalé...
    I lathered up a bowl with the new brush. I then started fresh with another soap and 'face-lathered' using this old Rubberset. The brush feels quite comfortable in my hand—whether I'm grasping it by the narrow part of the handle spindle, or at the base of the black rubber. The knot is plenty firm and quite capable of generating good lather (I love a good boar brush!). After several days of this 'lather-testing', rinsing and drying, the tips are beginning to soften and the knot begins to bloom.
    What a great little brush this turned out to be! You sure wouldn't have thought this way (I know I didn't!) when I first held that old beat-up scruffy thing pictured below.

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  17. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

  18. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    very nice job
    HolyRollah likes this.
  19. Bobcat

    Bobcat Well-Known Member

    What a change!! Congrats!!
    HolyRollah likes this.
  20. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Wow, that is a brush to be proud of.
    HolyRollah likes this.

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