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Brush recommendations
Posted by: Nick Lam (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: May 25, 2020 01:28PM

Good morning,

The single use brushes are getting tiresome. I get good results but am considering switching to washable brushes. Pros and cons? Recommendations on brush type?

Any help is appreciated, thanks!


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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 25, 2020 03:51PM

I switched to better brushes for a short time and cleaned them after use. I just thought it was a big hassle and it messed up a few of my finishes with brush hair coming out and what looked like small particles of hardened resin. I guess my cleaning wasn't all that great. I just went back to the Flex Coat purple brushes. Much easier and the cost is really about the same after you buy brush cleaner or use up acetone.

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: May 25, 2020 06:08PM

There are always the throw away acid brushes.

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Donald R Campbell (---.socal.res.rr.com)
Date: May 25, 2020 06:33PM

I have the single use brushes; but prefer the camel hair brushes when apply epoxy to wraps. After done, I rinse them off in acetone and them hang then in brush cleaner until ready to use again. They stay soft and pliable.

Don Campbell

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: May 25, 2020 06:39PM

I use the Flex Coat brushes and reuse them. Been using the same brushes for years. I have a 12 oz empty soda bottle with a small amount brush cleaner in it. When I’m finished applying epoxy, I remove the excess epoxy from the the brush with a paper towel, and put the brush in the bottle and cap it. When the bottle gets full of brushes, I remove them dry them off and store to reuse. The handle of the brushes are a little long so I cut them back an inch or so. Never had a problem doing this and have saved some money over the years and have never run short of brushes. I use the acid brushes for applying cork seal and also reuse them. Waste not want not; my mother taught me that a long time ago.

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Roger Templon (---.paw.cpe.atlanticbb.net)
Date: May 25, 2020 07:41PM

A long time ago I switched from single use brushes to better quality brushes and I wash them out after each use. My current brushes have been in use for at least 2 years and still do a very nice job for me. (probably 9 - 10 rods or so) I get these brushes in big box craft / art supply stores and have 1/4" to 3/8" wide flat bristles. They come in packages with about 6 or 7 brushes, and the handles are triangular plastic. The bristles are yellow or gold colored (brand ??). I use nothing but U40 brush cleaner - good stuff! I put about 1/4" of the cleaner in each of 2 small jelly jars - wash the brush in #1 jar and then #2 jar. Then I take a wooden clothes pin and clamp the brush upright in a tall thin jar so that the brush bristles just touch the 1/4" of cleaner in the tall jar. This keeps the bristles from getting bent resting on the bottom of the jar and keeps the bristles saturated in the cleaner. Next coat - pull the brush out of the bottle, squeeze the cleaner out of the bristles on a paper towel - and apply the finish. Repeat.This cleaner does not evaporate much and does not smell, so the "storage jar" lid stays off between rods.
I know this sounds like a pain in the butt, but it works perfectly for me and I get consistently nice coats of finish with the flat bristle brushes!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2020 07:48PM by Roger Templon.

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: May 25, 2020 09:15PM

At the risk of sounding remote or uninterested, try both out and see what you ultimately prefer. Norman, you make me feel bad because my Mommy told to “waste not, want not” and it was also years ago yet still worthy and wise. However, after cleaning my FlexCoat brushes in acetone for the first year or so, I tried Roger Wilson’s suggestion of using disposable children’s art brushes from WalMart. They cost $1.25 for 30 brushes = < 5 cents apiece. They are similar to the FlexCoat brushes but admittedly, they have fewer yet longer bristles. While the WalMart brushes may require more dips to coat a wrap, their fewer bristles are perfect for applying precise drops of finish to the tunnels and other critical, small areas. I still have a stock of FlexCoat brushes for use in the rare instance the epoxy needs to be glopped on in a hurry. But the cheapie brushes work extremely well with bristles which rarely come out, are the perfect size for delicate application, no cost incurred for brush cleaner, no time required to clean the brushes, no brush cleaner bottles on the work bench to be knocked over, and are certainly inexpensive. The cheapies are certainly my go-to brush.
As for acid brushes, they cost > 3X and good luck finding and removing all the bristles that come out and hide in your wraps.
Remember, a brush is NOT used to actually brush thread finish onto the wraps but rather simply used as a vehicle to get the epoxy from the mixing cup to the rod wraps. There are certain rod builders who never use a brush but rather specific spatulas to apply thread finish. While I have not tried the method, it has a lot of merit.
I hope I did not @#$%& off Mommy!

Mark Talmo

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: May 26, 2020 08:58AM

When I first started building rods, I tried several - better quality brushes - and cleaned them after each use. But, I simply did not care for the brush cleaners around, the extra work required to keep the brushes up and the sometimes issue with losing bristles in a finish coat.

So, as Mark posted, I use a Flex Coat or other inexpensive inexpensive single use brush to apply finish. One mix of finish and one brush. Another mix of finish and another brush. I expect that the cost of the brush is about the same cost of the brush cleaner that was formerly used to clean the brushes and there is 0 times used to clean a brush and 0 hassle with purchasing and using brush cleaner and spending 0 time to clean a brush.

But, this is a free world and it is up to an individual to use the rod building system - including or not including a particular brush for applying thread coating.

Best wishes.

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Tim Shaffer (---)
Date: May 26, 2020 10:01PM

I use the cheap 30 pack brushes from Walmart. They work great for me. I don’t like cleaning brushes. Years ago I used to use the Flex coat throw always,they were a little thicker but cost a whole lot more. I had trouble with them. If I didn’t wash them out with soap and water before using them I would get fish eyes in the finish. I did enough of experimenting with it to know that it was from the brushes.

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: Nick Lam (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: May 27, 2020 02:29AM

Thanks everyone,

I can always trust ill get good answers here.


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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: John Cates (---.austin.res.rr.com)
Date: May 27, 2020 10:49AM

Here is a video about what our brushes are all about and the technique on using them.


Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies

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Re: Brush recommendations
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: May 28, 2020 12:54AM

Buy decent synthetic artist brushes when on sale at Michaels. They always seem to be on sale. Maybe $2 or $2.50. Mine clean up easy with the U40 brush cleaner.


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