Nico M

brush <split form another thread>

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Hi. Sorry for reviving this thread, but I'm looking for information, and don't know where to find it. 

I'm from Argentina, and it seems that no one knows "block brushes" where I live. Is there any alternative for one? A normal wire brush is good, or is useless?

I'm starting at blacksmithing, so I don't have any experience about this subject. 

Thank you all!

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An equivalent style of brush here in the Uk is what butchers use to clean off their wooden meat  cutting tables,or you could try a farriers supplier if you have any over there.

 

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I bought mine at a local butcher supply as a "Butcher block brush" but that was the first time, the second one was just on the shelf  the person who answered the phone didn't know what a butcher block brush was. I bought two to have one on the shelf in case.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I'll ask to a bucher. Is really hard to find them in hardware stores, I asked in three of them and no one knew them. 

In case I couldn't find one...Regular wire brushes will work? 

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Regular wire brushes are pretty weak, their thin flimsy bristles don't do a lot of heavy scale removal and smoothing compared to a block brush.  Block brushes have wide flat high-carbon bristles that scrape hot steel smooth. 

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Regular wire brushes will work. Not as nicely, and won't last as long but they will get you going till you find a block brush. 

As I stated in "it followed me home", the more and thicker/harder the bristles the better. And use the wood handled ones because the plastic handled ones won't hold up well to heat. 

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I found one as "Farrier Brush", but it costs 75 dollars. Too much, I prefer spending that on steel and coal. Thank you!

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I found mine in a paint store. It has a threaded hole for a paint roller handle even. Not quite as big but the bristles are big and stiff so it works purty good.

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Posted (edited)

The ones used for painting sometimes have a scraper on the end. This is 1.99 USD2019_06_04.07_04_12.png.16ea2b8e4bf16684812b73af3238b2ca.png

Edited by pnut

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pnut, I don't have a whole lot of experience brushing scale off hot metal, but the few times I've pickup up that kind of brush to do it, I found it pretty lacking in it's ability to move much at all.  Just my opinion..........uneducated, I might add.:D

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That was the first picture I found. The brush I have like that one has shorter bristles. I had to work a little harder because the handle isn't directly over the work but I had okay results until I got a proper brush. You just have to use a little more elbow grease and try to find one with the stiffest bristles which translates to short and stiff. If you can't find or afford a butcher block brush you have to make do.

Pnut

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They're definitely not the go to choice but If it's all you have you gotta make it work until you can upgrade to a better tool. The first brush I had was a hard plastic grill brush that you could use for about three seconds before it would start smoking and losing bristles then a brush like the one pictured above and finally a real butcher block brush. This was over about five or six months. I wouldn't let a brush keep me from attempting to blacksmith. Currently I'm still considering it attempting ;-) and not blacksmithing.

Pnut

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Nico,

I would search online for other other opportunities for the butcher block brush. I have one that I have used for over 20 years removing scale from cast iron pipe and various coatings on steel pipe preparing the pipe for repairs and welds and it is still going strong, but I misplaced it for a while. When I recently searched for a replacement I found prices all over the place from $12-$65.

These are pictures of the toughest hand brush I have ever used, it is called an elevator rail brush, I have been using them for over 20 years and have never lost a bristle. They are thin, 5/16 wide, 1 inch bristles, 6 inch long, but they get in tight spots where any other brush won't reach, and they work good on wide surfaces also. They work great for cleaning your BBQ grill off too, you won't have to worry about the wires falling out like on the other brushes.

This one is a Fulton #58755

IMG_0166.jpg.e0d491637bfffe2555845ff12dec6f4e.jpgIMG_0165.jpg.79fdeb973f6aeb0856b1187cf03b467b.jpgIMG_0164.jpg.5a806750715be7e2b880f47a1eac63f8.jpgIMG_0163.jpg.416bdee72bb849c5c14604d298ea414f.jpg

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A quick search had Amazon listing proper butcher block brushes, that's flat spring steel bristles not wires. Prices ranging from around $17.+ to over $150. There is a nice Carlisle without handle for $17.87 and a Winco BR9 that has a nice heavy wooden handle so I wouldn't have to make one. Two listings one for $22.81 and right next to it on the page one for $12.39. That's Amazon for you prices depend on who they bought THAT batch from.

What looks like too much money to you Nic is in fact a bargain. One of these brushes WILL improve your blacksmithing significantly by getting the steel CLEAN and CLEAN means easy welding. It will save you a LOT of time cleaning your finished product. Even if you had to spend $100.00 on one it would pay for itself in saved time and not wearing out like a wire brush will.

 A good Butcher Block Brush is an investment like any other quality tool.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Nico,

google "piehtoolco".  They are but just one supplier of blacksmithing supplies, so I chose this one just to show you examples of the butcher block brushes with the larger, stiffer bristles.  Search their site for block brushes.

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Thank you all.

Frosty and arkie, imports are kinda blocked in my country, I have to pay a lot of taxes (50% of the product prize). Plus, amazon doesn't make shippings to my country. But I'll look for them, maybe I can get a good deal. 

I'll think about what you say, Frosty. You are right about what you say of saving time. To provide some context, minimum wage in my country is 280 dollars...I really need to think if I spend that much on my first brush, maybe I can learn a bit first (I'm a total begginer, I'm building my first forge right now) and "squeeze the juice" from it when I get some experience. I'll definitely think about it, though. 

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Nico; can stuff be easily shipped within Argentina?   I have a coworker from Argentina and I expect he travels back home or his family travels here. I can ask him about sending a brush by "blacksmith mail".  I've received a 165# anvil by blacksmith mail and carried several hundred pounds of shop lights as part of a multi person mail run.

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Use what you have Nic, we'll think of a way to get good tools to you. From here Argentina looks to be a real mess right now, no surprise large mail retail companies don't want to ship. 

If what you can get is wire brush, try to get the shortest bristles you can, they'll last longer. If you have a right angle grinder, a cup brush will work but can be REALLY dangerous. Powered wire brushes of any kind are THE most dangerous tool in your shop. Always clamp or put the work in a vise and learn to never let the brush cross the leading edge. You want the direction the brush is turning to ONLY cross the trailing edge so it is less likely to grab.

If powered brushes and buffing wheels don't scare you, you aren't aware of how dangerous they are. Powered wire wheels live in the realm of, "you can't be afraid of it but you MUST respect it."

Frosty The Lucky.

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This is the brush i got from the paint store. The bristles are stiffer than the long style and stainless. It is not the best thing but it gets the job done. 

20190605_190507.thumb.jpg.3ff8f5303a430ce20ea425da41f3f9e5.jpg

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You can use other things to remove scale than a brush. I use, along with a brush, my hot rasp. Not the teeth, but the end of the rasp. 

Give it a slight radius and sharpen the end.

It is cheap and in fact will last literally forever. 

I actually use this far more than a brush. 

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We're on the same page Anvil, I file when I don't have texture to consider or want to hot rasp to shape. It's well worth currying favor with a Farrier or two.;)  I also have emery cloth rolls sand paper sheets an old jitterbug palm sander and my 2" x 72" belt grinder close to my hot work area. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Im not sure if i made it clear. So just in case.  Its not filing. Its using the narrow end opposite the handle and using it like a scraper. No effect on the finish.  However, I do kiss my iron with a  hot rasp and a file somewhere on most of my work. It creates just a touch of bright work here and there as a nice subtle contrast to the "basic black".

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Like a scraper? I even have dental pics in a locker.

Frosty The Lucky.

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