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A Heads-Up on Chip Brushes


Don Silsbe

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I started building a Seaclipper 16 trimaran for a client.  (See the Main Forum for build thread.) I stocked up on the essentials, including chip brushes and gloves.  They came, and the chip brushes are terrible!  Do not buy the “Pro Grade” chip brushes from Amazon!  They also have “Vermeer” stamped on the ferrule.  (If Johannes Vermeer were still alive, he would be furious.)IMG_0819.thumb.jpeg.76b3776a02a1072d0529b3369846090f.jpeg

A good one is on the right, for comparison.

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I also bought a package of genuine pastry bags to try out.  They were only $6.99/150.  In the past, I’ve had to scrounge for used ZipLoc bags, and sometimes couldn’t find enough with my needs.  These look to be a better design (more pointy) and cheap.IMG_0822.thumb.jpeg.41b0e7e8bbd03fd82e1b3a43df15c630.jpeg

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@Hirilonde— They are scrawny.  They lack a full ferrule of bristles, and many give out too soon before they reach the tip.  In the first photo, a “good” brush from a different source is on the right.  The one on the left shows much more light, indicating they lack enough bristles.  I bought a pack of these in the past, and hated them.  They were wimpy— had no power to push thickened epoxy around.

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I have had good luck with the 36 brush boxes of brushes from Harbor Freight.  After I unwrap the brush I fold the bristles over my shop vac (hose with vacuum on!) and vacuum the loose bristles out.  Not for varnish but good for slocking epoxy. 

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Harbor Freight boxes of 36 worked well for me (good brushes were used for paint and varnish.)  Once in a while I taped two brushes  together by the handles for a “heftier” brush when working with epoxy. They cleaned up well in acetone for reuse.  (I usually had three 4” covered  jars; the first jar was discarded when the acetone got too “thick” and I’d start a new third jar with fresh acetone.)  I could use the “disposable” brushes for some repeated use before discarding. 


Good ideas on using a vacuum and trimming the bristles.  Yes, I have some bristles permanently in the epoxy of my boat.

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I hate when the bristols come loose and get into my epoxy or other sticky stuff. I like Jay’s idea of using a vacuum.  What has worked well for me is to take a few wraps of masking tape around my hand, sticky side OUT.  I then poke the brush against the tape a bunch of times and the loose bristols come out on to the tape.  More than one way to make a cheap brush work better.

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I saw a video from offcenterharbor.com that showed how to grab fallen bristles easily by poking the fallen bristle with the bristle end of your brush. It's like 100% that it picks it out where it can be removed with gloved hand or wiped on something. Hard to explain, but a good technique. When I epoxy the next time I'll record this trick. 

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@Bryan Rolfe— The amount of trash I generate building a boat bothers me, too.  Ted Johanson (aka PadrePoint) has a great suggestion for reusing chip brushes.  He keeps three covered jars of denatured alcohol solvent handy.  He rinses used brushes, cycling them from the oldest to the freshest jars.  Eventually, he discards the oldest jar, and starts a new one.

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3 hours ago, Don Silsbe said:

Eventually, he discards the oldest jar, and starts a new one.


Whose Line is it Anyway…

Things you can say about building boats that you cannot (EVVVER!!) say about your spouse.

 

(What can I say… it popped into my brain.)

 

C’mon… just a joke. 

 

Ok, heading to the doghouse.

IMG_2150.thumb.jpeg.77b0277d921d118ed7df27880bc777f9.jpeg

 

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