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Thread: I see a potential problem with setting knotts

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    Default I see a potential problem with setting knotts

    I see that a lot of people are drilling out their old handles and then buying knotts and setting them way deeper than the originals. While I understand that they are doing this to get a stiff brush the problem that I foresee is that a larger portion of the lower bristles are set way below the top surface of the handle therefore I don't see how that portion of the knott can ever dry completely. This can lead to mold and fungus, these type of brushes will need to be sterilized very often. What are all of your thoughts?

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    A couple things that immidiately come to mind are that people hang their brushes upside down for that reason, and also that using it for lathering cleans out the part of the hairs that are set down into the handle and deters mold and fungus. Also, you said that the new knots are set much deeper than the originals, but I'm not sure that's always or even often the case. The knot on my boar brush is set pretty deep into the handle, deep enough that I can't see the actual plug even if I try.

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    You should be okay. Just have the brush throughly dry before storing, maybe hanging upside down.
    [Armenian Pride]

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    I usually set knots in a Silicon compound that is used with electronics for waterproofing (I used it to electrically insulate cpu sockets and nearby electronics on computers hooked up to PCCs, left over from my days working with computers.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaveMark View Post
    I see that a lot of people are drilling out their old handles and then buying knotts and setting them way deeper than the originals. While I understand that they are doing this to get a stiff brush the problem that I foresee is that a larger portion of the lower bristles are set way below the top surface of the handle therefore I don't see how that portion of the knott can ever dry completely. This can lead to mold and fungus, these type of brushes will need to be sterilized very often. What are all of your thoughts?
    ...so far so good!

    I have a bunch of restorations - some with quite deep-set knots - and no fungus, bad smells, mildew, or anything icky and bad apparent.

    There are a couple of threads (at least) here about drying brushes - seems that it's 50/50 for hanging a brush upside down v. setting hair side up for drying.... I've reasoned that hair side up is best - and so far so good.

    (I'm gonna go stick my finger down the maw of the brush I used yesterday, just to see if it's still damp down there....)
    JON
    "It's not a game, but we know how to play it."

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    A reasonable concern I think. The TGN knots have a hemisphere of glue in the middle that extends quite a bit up the middle of the brush, which allows you to sink the knot pretty deep and still have the base of the bristles above the handle rim. I glue my knots in around the perimeter, which seals the edges of the bottom of the knot. When setting knots below the flare of the glue plug where an unfilled ring of hair would be, I brush on unthickened epoxy at the base of the hairs, then run a bead of gel around and set it in. So far no problems, but letting the brush dry in rotation is a wise habit.

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    Remember third grade science experiments? Capillary action is stronger than gravity? Water getting sucked up from tree roots into the branches?

    As long as part of the bristle is dry, moisture from further down will get drawn up and evaporate away, no need to worry here.
    Just call me Chris.

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    I am yet to experience any problems with my restored brush... As other have said mine usually sits upside down on a brush stand that came with one of my other brushes
    Cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Go West Young Man View Post
    Remember third grade science experiments? Capillary action is stronger than gravity? Water getting sucked up from tree roots into the branches?

    As long as part of the bristle is dry, moisture from further down will get drawn up and evaporate away, no need to worry here.
    I quite agree. I've noticed that when the outer part of the hairs are near dry, the inner part is pretty close as well. and having two and alternating days lets them dry thoroughly every time.
    "for a price, I'll murder your mice"

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    Quote Originally Posted by go west young man View Post
    remember third grade science experiments? Capillary action is stronger than gravity? Water getting sucked up from tree roots into the branches?

    As long as part of the bristle is dry, moisture from further down will get drawn up and evaporate away, no need to worry here.
    +1

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    I don't really see an issue with it. Like any other brush as long as you allow it to dry fully between uses it should be A-OK.

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    Well you guys have more experience than I do so I got to go with the overwhelming evidence. But I can't go with the capillary statement because hairy is not like a capillary. Capillaries are hollow and tubelike vessels where hair is made up protein scales, their may be some capillary action going on in the center of a strand of hair but the outside scales are what holds water(if I paid close enough attention in science class).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaveMark View Post
    Well you guys have more experience than I do so I got to go with the overwhelming evidence. But I can't go with the capillary statement because hairy is not like a capillary. Capillaries are hollow and tubelike vessels where hair is made up protein scales, their may be some capillary action going on in the center of a strand of hair but the outside scales are what holds water(if I paid close enough attention in science class).
    It easy to see this effect on natural hair, just try submerging any ORGANIC knot into water, but not completely, in a few minutes you'll see it is wet up to the handle.

    As far as the hair is able to keep water in it, there are little vessels in it's structure, otherwise the water'd remain outside. In my opinion this is the difference between natural hair and nylon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaveMark View Post
    Well you guys have more experience than I do so I got to go with the overwhelming evidence. But I can't go with the capillary statement because hairy is not like a capillary. Capillaries are hollow and tubelike vessels where hair is made up protein scales, their may be some capillary action going on in the center of a strand of hair but the outside scales are what holds water(if I paid close enough attention in science class).
    Capillary Effect ≠ Capillaries; the effect is applicable in tubes or porous medium like hair, yarn, etc. In fact, I first witnessed this in yarn I believe.

    The moisture will evaporate naturally, even from the depths of the knot. I'd say if you used a brush at most every other day, it'd be nigh upon bone dry each time you started. At least, this is my experience - including that with a 67mm tall knot set at a loft just shy of 50mm!
    -Josh

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    Also, let me insert a commercial for cleaning your brush - there are various sources recommending the likes of vinegar, borax, or dawn diluted in water as a nice, warm bath for your brush. I personally use borax as I find it gentle yet effective. Making a dilute (1 teaspoon to 2 cups warm water) solution, and giving your brush a good soak & spin, followed by a thorough rinsing every once in a while is a good idea. I tend to do it every couple months, but I've heard everything from monthly to yearly.
    -Josh

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaveMark View Post
    Well you guys have more experience than I do so I got to go with the overwhelming evidence. But I can't go with the capillary statement because hairy is not like a capillary. Capillaries are hollow and tubelike vessels where hair is made up protein scales, their may be some capillary action going on in the center of a strand of hair but the outside scales are what holds water(if I paid close enough attention in science class).

    Trees aren't hollow tubes either, but capillary action still applies.
    Just call me Chris.

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    Well... actually trees have hollow tubes beneath their bark and capillary action won't get water 150 feet up a tree. They pump a substantial vacuum through evapotranspiration that sucks it up the vascular bundles.

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