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Thread: What to look for in a vintage brush?

  1. #1
    MrZ is offline
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    Default What to look for in a vintage brush?

    I see vintage brushes in stores but I dont know what to look for. Can you guys share some advice on what to look for and what to avoid? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    You want to examine the handle for any damage or wear issues. You want to give a slight tug on the bristles to make sure they aren't falling out, you want to check the hair to check they don't look well worn and look into the knot for build up of soap or other crud, you want to make sure the knot isn't loose in the handle.

    Personally I don't buy used brushes for hygiene reasons but if I did it would have to look brand spanking new to me.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Butzy's Avatar
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    depends if you're evaluating in person or online. In person is easy, just do what thebigspendur said and you should be good to go. I'd also say if the buyer is willing to let you, soak the bristles in water for a bit and make sure they turn out how one would expect. Time can wear on natural products like that in strange ways...
    if you're talking the bay? I always look for a detailed description. Always make sure the type of animal whose hair the brush is made of is mentioned. Even a boar brush with artificial banding on it (which used to be a very popular thing to do) can look remarkably similar to a badger brush in still images. Of course use the same caution you would for any online purchases... insist on quality pictures and don't bid if the seller is giving non-specific answers about the item.
    That's just my $.02!
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  6. #4
    Senior Member azgabe's Avatar
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    Are you looking to use the brush as is or restore it?

    I have never had luck using old vintage knots. I hand lather them and the bristles are usually junk.

    I've had great luck restoring brushes and replacing the knot.

    If you are planning on restoring,I would look at the handle. Make sure it doesn't have any cracks or splits.
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  7. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Look hard at the handle. Knots are almost easy to replace
    but not so the handle.

    Modern glue and a Dremel Tool can replace the knot.
    Knots are not too expensive... and they do suffer over the years.
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  8. #6
    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat as azgabe. When I am looking to buy a vintage brush it's for the handle so I can put a new knot in there. They're really fun projects to do!
    "Go easy"

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    That will probably be one of my next projekt!

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