Brush oil

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Doug Bernhardt
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Brush oil

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:20 pm

Question.....what is everyone using today? Went looking for some Neadsfoot oil today only to discover it isn't in my favourite hardware store anymore. Ended up at the grocery store with some baby oil but the smell takes me back to early parenting memories and diapers!! ;=)

Danny Baronian
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Danny Baronian » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:11 pm

It pays to read the thread heading, thought you were getting into leather signs. Or hair tonic.

Check out equestrian supplies, a pint should last you a long time. This place in in Ontario, don't know how close it is to you, but it's in the same same province:

http://www.leathersmithdesigns.com/leat ... s-oils.htm

Danny
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erik winkler
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Re: Brush oil

Post by erik winkler » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:36 am

I am currently doing a half year coarse in woodgraining and marbeling.
This is done in a painting school that has been around the 1920thies.
The classes are given by pensioned painting teachers and painters.
Since i have many problems in translating the technical posts here, I ask the very same question to my teachers.
They did go very deep in the matter and said that normal clean pure salad oil is the best.
1.Cheap.
2. Does not oxidies.
3. Keeps your brushes good for ages.

Sounded good for me...
Realizing we are in the 2nd renaissance of the arts.
Learn, copy and trying to improve...
Still in the learning phase ;-)
Amsterdam Netherlands
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Patrick Mackle
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Patrick Mackle » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:14 am

I have always used lard oil.
Back in 1972 when I was taking Sign Arts at Pasadena City College in Pasadena California, I bought all of my brushes (Langnickel Yellow Rockets and Macs) and a large tin of "lard oil" from Issie Possner. I believe it is pork lard. Issie would occasionally visit our class and the students would gather around to survey the multi drawered display boxes full of natural hair quills. And those where natural turkey quill ferral bindings, not the rolled plastic ferrals that followed.
I remember Issie giving a demonstration of how to properly maintain and thoroughly clean your brushes. The lard oil was used not only to store the brushes, but also to pull and clean the paint out from the deepest parts within the ferrals, which keeps the hairs free and clean and guarantees that the brush will always retain it's "snap". Allowing an ever growing deposit of paint to grow in the ferral binds the hairs tightly preventing their flexibility at their base. The result is that they bend more sharply and break off or shed.
The majority of the brushes in my kit are the ones I bought while taking those classes in 1972. I don't think you can find yellow rockets anymore.
Pat

Jerry Berg
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Jerry Berg » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:52 am

Pat, I've allways used lard oil as well... untill it was no longer to be found.
Since I ran out I've ben using baby oil and I've never been quite satisfied with it.

I've heard of the Neadsfoot oil Doug is speaking of but had never tried it.
There are some other brush oils at the sign supply here such as saphire oil and one other. They look very
much like baby oil, very light bodied.

Sure wish I had some lard oil.

erik winkler
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Re: Brush oil

Post by erik winkler » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:41 am

Jerry,

If you can not find the lard oil, then i would strongly suggest to use one of those I mentioned.
I checked it out, but in English yu name it differently, so translated it could be:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_oil
or
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean_oil

As the oldtimers explained to me (some of them are in their eighties!!! (and still being bussy to learn new things) brushes need an oil that does not vapories, oxidizes or polymerizes.
Most oils or fats will get hard after a while due to light and oxigen, these two oils don't and that is why they are good for your brushes.

Going into the post pat made, ordinary green soap (Liquid glycerin soap).
According to my teachers is the best substance to clean and protect your delicate brushes with.

After painting, remove flux of paint on a old piece over paper, untill their is allmost no more left.
The massage the hairs with the soap, and you are done.
If you want to remove the paint remove the soap with hand-warm tap water and you are ready to go.

I tried it and it cleans indeed much easier and better then terpentine and is very protective for the hairs.

Erik
Realizing we are in the 2nd renaissance of the arts.
Learn, copy and trying to improve...
Still in the learning phase ;-)
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Mark Summers
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Mark Summers » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:55 am

I've heard mineral oil works just fine. Currently I use use a very light air tool
lubricant. Cleans up readily.

Mark

Mike Jackson
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Mike Jackson » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:57 am

We used to buy Sapphire Brush Oil from Midwest Sign Supply. I'll check later today to see if it is still available. We need some, too.

I found this link. It might be the same thing:
http://www.dickblick.com/products/kafka ... servative/

Mike Jackson
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Pat Welter
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Pat Welter » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:44 am

I use transmission fluid...when dipping the brush in you can watch it draw the paint from the heel...been using it for over 15 yrs. and have not noticed any harsh side effects on the brushes, washes out quickly with mineral spirits...I also have the Saphire Oil Mike is talking about, but have never used it since the trany oil has been working well for me...Seems there are a lot of different options above, I guess one has to go with what you feel works best for your brushes.
Creativity is allowing ones self to make mistakes. Talent is knowing which ones to keep.

Mark Summers
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Mark Summers » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:28 pm

I can vouch for tranny oil too. Works just fine.

Mark

Tony Segale
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Tony Segale » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:43 pm

used to use lard oil, did not like the flies and gnats using it as their final resting place...

used sapphire oil, a good brush oil it is...but I don't by it anymore

I use baby oil, easy to get, works really well, brushes retaining their shape, very happy with it...

I don't get the baby smell, I guess it depends on what images it might trigger in your own mind...
me, I see a beautiful California babe in a skimpy bikini tanning on one of our beautiful beaches...

I guess you only find babies in Canada, but I don't know
Last edited by Tony Segale on Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
and he took that golden hair and made a sweater for baby bear.
http://www.tonysegale.com
http://www.tonysegale.wordpress.com

Mike Jackson
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Mike Jackson » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:05 pm

We have an old school ice cube tray for our brushes. After cleaning them, we work the oil into the brush and lay it down into the tray which has a thin layer of oil. Recently, I poured some transmission oil into the tray only to find it had softened the paint on the handles of the brushes the next time we used them. That won't be my oil of choice in the future.

Mike Jackson
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
Golden Era Studios
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Pat Welter
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Pat Welter » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:49 pm

Sorry to hear that Mike...I don't leave the brush in the oil as you discribe, I clean the brush then work the trany oil into the heel, then squeeze out the access giving the brush a chisel look and store in my kit brush drawer that has a felt bottom, so have not had your experience, but good to know...I have lost the paint on the handles of the odd brush over the years however, but it's because I left them suspended in mineral spirits to long between uses. But thanks for the heads up.
Creativity is allowing ones self to make mistakes. Talent is knowing which ones to keep.

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Lee Littlewood » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:33 pm

I've always used 30weight motor oil. My master Roy Darby said that he had lost some brushes-in-lard-oil because mice ate them, and also in the winter the lard oil was so stiff it took awhile to rinse it out in thinner. When he went off to World War 2 (he was a flight instructor in Texas) he said he cleaned his brushes well, then oiled them with 30wt, and when he came back in 5 years they rinsed out fine and worked perfectly. We had a debate about detergent or non-detergent oil, and he said that he knew guys who used automatic transmission fluid, which is like 5weight and very detergent, and they had no problems with it. I guess they didn't let it stay on the handles.
So I've been using whatever quart of motor oil I find handy, and it seems to work. Of course the main thing is to not leave paint in the heel of the brush, to not swish it around in thinner a few times and quit, to not walk off and forget to clean the brush "just for a quick lunch"... LeBlanc had a good description of brush cleaning in "Gold Leaf Techniques", but I forget what oil he used. And I try to skunge out my oil can (tunafish can with a lid) now and the, cause it gets all kind of stuff at the bottom.

bob gamache
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Re: Brush oil

Post by bob gamache » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:39 pm

Hi Doug
I use Mack Brush conditioner. Works great. Doesn't evaporate and doesn't change viscosity also cleans out quick with mineral spirits. Tranny fluid is ok...., but I find the fisheye problem arises.....
Bob Gamache

BruceJackson
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Re: Brush oil

Post by BruceJackson » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:01 am

i've been using neatsfoot oil for the last 10-12 years. Mainly because I bought a tin of it over a decade ago and it has taken that long to use it. But the tin is nearly empty, so i guess I will soon be looking for another one soon and I don't know if the supplier still has it these days.

It has one advantage over the thinner oils in that it holds the brush shape nicely. Being a type of fat, it doesn't smell as sweet as baby oil, but it doesn't seem to have gone off over those 10 or so years. Maybe it's really rancid, i don't know....i didn't try eating it.

Speaking of baby oil, I can't believe they still practice this barbaric method of making oil. It seems so cruel and unnecessary. I really think we should all ban using this shameful product. Like whale oil a century ago, there are alternatives that are just as good. Come to think of it....Tranny oil sounds pretty suspicious to me too.

It's makes me wonder though....If you use it, does it make the paint in your brush drag more?

David Slade
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Re: Brush oil

Post by David Slade » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:52 am

I always buy Neatsfoot oil in the leather section of the craft shop. I bought some last weekend. Saw it in a sport goods shop too. For the baseball gloves and stuff. Feibing's brand.

Recon if your brushes got time enough to harden, you ain't painting enough anyway, huh?! :P

Ron Percell
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Ron Percell » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:46 pm

I bought a barrel of Machined Lard Oil to use, brushes stay fresh for years. Some suppliers of the past used raw lard oils in which would attract insects and vermin. Machined Lard Oil has gone through heating/cooking and filtering process, this is key in avoiding pests.

Some of the oils mentioned above I've seen crystalize in three months. Transmission and Baby Oils leave a greasy residue behind, fine for pictorial/mural work but doesn't clean out enough for me . Additionally Transmission fluids used too include detergents which had acidic qualities that would eat at the brush hair, newer fluids now have synthetic polymers added that may or may not release when cleaning out the brush, thus contaminating paint when lettering, resulting in failure points.

Good Luck
Ron Percell

John Lennig
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Re: Brush oil

Post by John Lennig » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:46 pm

I started with paraffin oil down South, then lard oil up here, then that disappeared...maybe motor oil?? for a time, then neatsfoot oil, but found it dried up to soon (not using brushes often enough??) use Walldog OIl brush preservative now, with a can of Percells Lard Oil at the ready when the WD runs out...

btw, Lee Littlewood talked about Roy Darby, back in '81, my friend Ric Steed and I took a roadtrip down to meet Roy and Lee, and discovered Roy's Famous Darby's Reducer...just the thing for double-coating as you go, and cutting in...bought a gallon then, and am on my 3rd gallon these days...What a nice guy Roy was...and his cool shop...was that really 31 years ago??? ;o)
"You spelled it wrong!"

Ron Lloyd
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Ron Lloyd » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:44 pm

John Lennig wrote:I started with paraffin oil down South, then lard oil up here, then that disappeared...maybe motor oil?? for a time, then neatsfoot oil, but found it dried up to soon (not using brushes often enough??) use Walldog OIl brush preservative now, with a can of Percells Lard Oil at the ready when the WD runs out...

btw, Lee Littlewood talked about Roy Darby, back in '81, my friend Ric Steed and I took a roadtrip down to meet Roy and Lee, and discovered Roy's Famous Darby's Reducer...just the thing for double-coating as you go, and cutting in...bought a gallon then, and am on my 3rd gallon these days...What a nice guy Roy was...and his cool shop...was that really 31 years ago??? ;o)
for more than 20 years l have used transmission oil its a very fine oil and if you work it into the ferrel it will stop any paint from drying just rinse out and your ready to go l mainly letter at garages so there is always plenty lying around that the fitters will give you ron

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Lee Littlewood » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:08 am

Hi John,

I remember you two crazy Canadiens. That was Roy's shop in Tigard Self Storage, no? You guys could not believe that everybody in Portland used a mahlstick (aka "crutch"). Now THERE'S a topic for discussion: hand-over-hand / mahl stick /shocard bridge...

Anyway, the story of Darby's Reducer is not far from this thread. Somewhen after the war Roy started using the slowest of the (then new) DuPont automotive reducers (I think #5255) as a lettering thinner. Enough people were coming into Pacific Coast Paint store asking for, "that reducer that Darby uses" that PCP had a local paint company (Imperial, still with us) reverse engineer the DuPont thinner, and they sold it as "Darby's Reducer". Roy said that they did a good job, he couldn't feel any difference between the products. And it was a good thing, because DuPont dropped their thinner, probably some time in the 60s. But Darby's Reducer continues on.

At the Letter Reign gathering in 1994 we painted an old-timey bulletin board design as a group project. Roy saw the sketch in his hospital bed, but didn't live to see it. The background shape came from Roy's letterhead ("Roy Darby SIGNS"). It finally got painted over last year.
Attachments
DarbyMural2.jpg
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Bill Masters
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Bill Masters » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:03 am

Nice wall, do they still make Darby's reducer.

Jerry Berg
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Re: Brush oil

Post by Jerry Berg » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:16 am

Bill, they still do.

http://www.pacificcoastsignsupply.com/c ... inners.htm

Nice one Lee!

Jerry

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