Some time ago I was searching the bay for shaving brushes when I ran across a very interesting Horn Shaving Brush. This wasn't like most horn handled shaving brushes. The handle wasn't shaped from real horn, the handle was a real horn. Coupled with the fact that this brush appeared on the Bay in Australia (dollar stretches a little further) and the opening bid was low I threw out a number and won. What the heck I thought; this could be one cool restoration project.
The knot, naturally, was corroded and encrusted from years of use, followed by years of neglect. The metal components were green with corrosion and tarnish. The horn itself had a small spot of rot and the metal that secures the knot to the horn was severely loose.
Below are a few before pictures. These are with the brush fully assembled:
The screws that secure the metal ring/knot to the horn were stripped out so I had to use my Dremel to slot those screws in order to remove them. They will have to be replaced either with screws or pins. Below are pictures taken after disassembly before any restoration was started:
Once the knot was fully disassembled it was evident that the rot on the horn was a little more extensive than originally perceived:
I started off by simply cleaning everything I could. I polished all of the metal components:
The metal parts cleaned up very well and have a fantastic shine.
I also polished and cleaned the horn though it is going to need additional work:
During this process I was discussing this brush with Ambrose in the B&B chat. He was very interested as he'd never seen an actual Horn shaving brush as opposed to handle shaped from actual horn. I sent him some pictures and he was hooked. Immediately he had a hundred and one ideas for my restoration project. As our conversation continued we decided to conduct a global restoration of sorts. We are a couple of American's living in two different countries with the common goal of returning this brush to greatness.
I started the process with disassembly and a detailed cleaning and polishing. Now the brush is on its way to Texas. Ambrose is going to pick up where I left off. His hope is to remove the rot in the horn and re-knot this uber manly brush so that it can be enjoyed by someone for years to come (I still haven't decided if I'll keep or sell this brush). Ambrose will be updating this thread once the brush arrives at his house (should be 7-10 days). I could have done this on my own but he had several fantastic ideas, some of which would be difficult for me given my location. Besides I really like the idea of B&Bers teaming up to bring this great piece back to life!
B&B Gentleman if you have any suggestions, ideas or advice you'd like to share we are listening!
So Ambrose my friend it's on its way to Texas and round two is in your hands! Don't forget to keep us all updated with pics in this thread!