One of the services I offer over on ShaveYourFace is the restoration of old shaving brushes. The process is relatively simple: Removing the old hair by various means (sometimes the old hair knot just pops right out, which is most convenient but doesn’t happen very often); drilling out the old glue which is usually epoxy but sometimes other materials; and then installation of the new hair knot (knots can be provided by customer or us). I was recently asked to do this for a customer and he was gracious enough to let me post about the restoration and he also provided some before and after picture.
Before any work. Note the worn out bristles.
Some details about this restoration: I had been having a lot of trouble with drilling out old epoxy. The bits I had been using in the rotary tool kept getting dull very quickly, would jump out of the handle damaging it or sometimes rendering it useless. While not so bad a loss on your own, it would be killer on a customer’s handle. So I went by the local Woodcraft store, picked up a set of diamond coated bits and MAN they made the biggest difference ever. They are so much easier to use and control, plus they were a whole lot faster at drilling out the epoxy. Wish I had purchased them a lot sooner.
Another thing for this brush is that the customer had provided a larger knot for installation than the original hole. After some creative thinking I took some sandpaper and a dowel rod to the opening and this worked especially well. My main concern was getting the opening uneven and egg shaped, I think the dowel rod helped prevent this. The process opened up the hole in no time and it came out very even and smooth.
After the restoration. Refurbished with a Golden Nib 24mm finest badger hair knot set at 50mm.
Overall I was really pleased with how the brush came out, and so was the customer! The process taught me a lot about modifying the original handle and I look forward to doing many more. If you have a brush you would like restored or would like to see our current inventory of brush handles to be restored send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to work with you!
Now that's a happy shaving brush! Lathered up and ready to go!