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David Le
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:18 pm


Post by David Le » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:29 pm

First off, greetings all! I'm new to the forum as well to the sign painting world.

Just (fairly) recently bought my quills; 2 mack 189L in a size 2 and a 4 and a mack 179L in a size 6. Using 1Shot and Gamblin refined linseed oil and gamsol.

after painting, I would clean the quills off in the gamsol as best I can then dip them in the linseed oil and then proceed to squeeze off the excess after that I would keep them in a plastic bag to keep from drying out; that's been working fine for a couple weeks since I've started using them but I took a break from practicing because of school work and I decided to practice today. I took out my number 2 quill and dipped it in the gamsol to remove the linseed oil and noticed that the bristles stuck together!

What happened? did I not clean off all of the 1shot? is the linseed oil unreliable? did i squeeze off too much oil before storing? What did I do wrong?

Also, is my brush still salvageable or am I better off tossing it in the bin?

Thanks in advance!


Tyler Tim
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:12 am

Re: Quills

Post by Tyler Tim » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:19 pm

Hi David,

Linseed oil is a drying oil, meaning it can polymerize into a solid form.
I would take some Turpentine (real, bona-fide, distilled spirits of gum Turpentine, and not some Odorless Mineral Spirits or Turpenoid masquerading as "Turpentine"), and soak them and try to remove it by dissolving it.

I have brushes that are 30 yrs old and still going... I clean them and dip into type F transmission fluid... pallet... wipe... rinse and repeat the dip and pallet then set in brush tray.

So I'd fill a jar or can with some turps and rig the brush up so it's suspended off the bottom... give then a whoosh now and then. See if that revives them.
Sure I paint thing for my amusement and then offer them for sale. A brushslinger could whither en die from lack of creativity in this plastic town my horse threw a shoe in. :shock:

Roderick Treece
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 8:04 pm
Location: San deigo Calif

Re: Quills

Post by Roderick Treece » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:24 am

I ruined a whole set of brushes years ago by put them in Linseed oil. Good luck getting it out.

Cal Trauter
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Quills

Post by Cal Trauter » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:07 pm

Hey David,
The learning curve for signpainting can be high. You might want to check out Pierre's lettering DVD.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 878&type=1
There should be enough info there to get you off to a great start. Feel free to pm me or phone.

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Quills

Post by pat mackle » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:00 pm

I agree that using pure turps is a good start. I use linseed oil in etching resists exactly because it does solidify in its advanced drying stage.
But even in this semi hardened state I can soften it by warming it.
If using turps as mentioned seems to not work within a reasonable time, try warming the turps by placing the turps jar containing the brush in warm water. Not HOT water.
Then as it softens, you can ever so slightly message the hair to make the turps loosen up the linseed. (Do not bend the hair to work the turps in as this will pull and break the hair strands), But instead lay the brush on a clean flat surface and gently press down on the bristles as they lay. Do this procedure on both sides of the brush, adding turps to keep it well charged. The "snap" will return to the brush when all of the linseed oil is gone and the hairs can once again move freely against each other.

David Le
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: Quills

Post by David Le » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:03 pm

Thank you all! Very much appreciated. Your answers are highly valued.

Doug Fielder
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 7:08 pm
Location: Port St Lucie, FL

Re: Quills

Post by Doug Fielder » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:06 pm

Regular old mineral oil from walgreens works fine and is dirt cheap. My mentor Harry has been using it for 20+ years.

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