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Thread: Horse hair Franken brush

  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default Horse hair Franken brush

    Stumbled across this brush hiding in the back of the pack. I had put it together a few years ago for S&Gs. The knot is a Vie Long horse hair and the handle is a Wilkinsons. The handle I filled with lead and epoxy to give it some heft. I always liked the shape of the Wilkinsons handle which to me is simple and comfortable.

    I remembered not liking the horse hair knot when I first tried it so I had put it away. I decided to try it today and was very surprised that it was not too shabby at all. I will have to use for a week in the future to see if that improved impression holds.

    That has me wondering why horse hair brushes don't seem to have much of a following on shave forums. Anyone else use a horse hair shave brush on a regular basis?

    Bob

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    Life is a terminal illness in the end

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    sharptonn (06-10-2021)

  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Those Wilkinson brushes are dirt cheap, but have a very comfortable form for my hand.

    I have 2 and plan to put a badger hair replacement in one of them.
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  4. #3
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    Stumbled across this brush hiding in the back of the pack. I had put it together a few years ago for S&Gs. The knot is a Vie Long horse hair and the handle is a Wilkinsons. The handle I filled with lead and epoxy to give it some heft. I always liked the shape of the Wilkinsons handle which to me is simple and comfortable.

    I remembered not liking the horse hair knot when I first tried it so I had put it away. I decided to try it today and was very surprised that it was not too shabby at all. I will have to use for a week in the future to see if that improved impression holds.

    That has me wondering why horse hair brushes don't seem to have much of a following on shave forums. Anyone else use a horse hair shave brush on a regular basis?

    Bob

    Name:  Horse-Hair-Brush.jpg
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    They get a bad rep. They only recently resurfaced after a long hiatus. Some say they are very floppy and some say they can be rough feeling. Personally I've never used one so I can't say but I do have horsehair brushes of various kinds and they don't seem to inspire confidence as shavers to me. They also have to compete with badger and boar.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    They get a bad rep. They only recently resurfaced after a long hiatus. Some say they are very floppy and some say they can be rough feeling. Personally I've never used one so I can't say but I do have horsehair brushes of various kinds and they don't seem to inspire confidence as shavers to me. They also have to compete with badger and boar.
    I would not say the one I have is particularly floppy but it does take a light hand when doing circular strokes face lathering or it can be a bit prickly feeling. Tried it again today with a hard soap puck this time. It easily loaded enough proto lather in the knot to do me 4 passes without going back to the puck for more soap. Pretty serviceable brush all things considered and a nice change of pace from the others. Big change from my initial impression years ago of hating them.

    Bob
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    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  6. #5
    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    I like horse knots, but do find them a bit prickly for face-lathering. Better in the palm or in the bowl for me. One trick is to only soak the tips for around 30 seconds or so. I do this, briefly dunking the full knot into the water a couple of times over the course of the 30 seconds. A longer, fuller soak will cause the hairs to cling or clump together. From the pic, that looks like a 50/50 mane-to-tail ratio knot, which is a little bit softer feeling than the 66/33 mane-to-tail knot.
    Striving to be brief, I become obscure. --Horace

  7. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brontosaurus View Post
    I like horse knots, but do find them a bit prickly for face-lathering. Better in the palm or in the bowl for me. One trick is to only soak the tips for around 30 seconds or so. I do this, briefly dunking the full knot into the water a couple of times over the course of the 30 seconds. A longer, fuller soak will cause the hairs to cling or clump together. From the pic, that looks like a 50/50 mane-to-tail ratio knot, which is a little bit softer feeling than the 66/33 mane-to-tail knot.
    Yea, a bit prickly face lathering but if you lighten up on the pressure and only use the tips doing circular strokes it reduces that prickly feeling to next to nothing.

    It does not matter which type of knot I am using, I always only wet the tips of the brush never soaking the knot. Probably why this knot does not clump or when I use it.

    Bob
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    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  8. #7
    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    As someone who soaks badger and boar knots for an extended period, and deeper, I find that horse knots vary significantly when done the same in comparison. In all cases, the knot is given a shake to eliminate standing water prior to building the lather, followed by additional introductions of water as needed taken by briefly dipping the tips into water and transferring this to the face, palm, or bowl as needed until the desired lather result is achieved.
    Last edited by Brontosaurus; 06-10-2021 at 03:16 AM.
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    Striving to be brief, I become obscure. --Horace

  9. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brontosaurus View Post
    As someone who soaks badger and boar knots for an extended period, and deeper, I find that horse knots vary significantly when done the same in comparison. In all cases, the knot is given a shake to eliminate standing water prior to building the lather, followed by additional introductions of water as needed taken by briefly dipping the tips into water and transferring this to the face, palm, or bowl as needed until the desired lather result is achieved.
    Again, I do not soak any knot, boar, badger, horse or synthetic so can't say what would happen if a horse hair knot was soaked before use. My guess was that since I did not soak the horse hair knot I did not experience any clinging/clumping in the knot. I also shave with cold water so that may have an influence also ot not.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  10. #9
    Razor Vulture sharptonn's Avatar
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    I have a horsehair brush I modded a long time back. Enjoy it as i use it, Dip the tips and add the water slowly til it's right!

    https://sharprazorpalace.com/brushes...ml#post1406962
    BobH likes this.

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