Boar Bristle

Having quite a run with you on the legalities of bird-quills recently, I now ask, with great trepidation, if anyone has found a source of boar bristle.
I have a few left in my parts boxes-those I probably deemed not worthy- and would like to replenish my supply. Zuckermann provides these at about $2 US each–but there are a lot of keys in a harpsichord.

Does anyone know of a source short of pulling apart coarse paint brushes?


Mason and Pearson hair brushes used to be boar bristle, size just right for harpsichord jacks. I do not know if they still are.

Well well well. I looked at Mason and Pearson. The brushes are exactly as they always have been - I used to have one as a child. But take a look at the price and then have an Aspirin and a lie down.

A search for ‘boar bristle brushes’ on Aliexpress results in thousands of hits. As to quality or suitability, I have no idea.

Any good? I have no experience of this.

Le 16/04/2024 09:00, Andrew Bernard via The Jackrail écrit :

A search for ‘boar bristle brushes’ on Aliexpress results in thousands
of hits. As to quality or suitability, I have no idea.

It is much easier to use bristles that haven’t been cut yet, because you
need extra length to work with.

Here you can get 30g for 28€. No idea how suitable they’d be. I just
weighed some of mine, and 1g is about 50 bristles. So that’s about 0.02€
per bristle.

I have, and still have a good quantity I purchased many years ago from Vogel. They are good. You still have to select them for the right thickness, but they are very usable.

Yes Andrew. I checked out Mason—jeeze—so if I use one of their brushes will I look twice as good as I do now (badly needed).
Ali Express as you say is reliable During the “Great Electronic Parts” shortage of covid I found a few processors and ICs from them-then they dried up.


What has happened to Marc? I emailed him more than a few times in the last few months and got no response.
Maybe I should just try an order-


Thanks All. Anything beats starting a pig farm here.

So I am taking Dennis’ cue and buying some bristles from etsy. If that doesn’t work I can check Ali Express.
Meanwhile I will comb my hair with nylon—or better–just leave it alone!


Where are you Europe or USA?

Apologies, just looked at your profile = USA. If you can wait a few weeks I can send you some. Probably Vogel, unsorted, gift from friend, far more than I’ll ever need. look up my name with harpsichord services and drop me an email.

USA, today.

I think you sent inquiry emails and reply to wrong person. This is Guinn.

The USA.

not real easy these days. The bristles I got from Vogel last time were too thin altogether although they claimed these were the thickest ones they have (and quite expensive too). Buying from unknown sources try to get a diameter at least. I ended up contacting a number of brush-makers in Germany. I learned that domestic pigs/hogs dont get old enough these days anymore to produce the bristles we need and besides the bristles are sort of obnoxious at the slaughterhouse, so they try to breed types of pigs that dont even have any bristles anymore. One brush maker in the „black forest“ however understood what I need and generously sent me a lifetime‘s supply of wild boar bristles ‚fresh from Kalkutta‘ which are fantastic and when I sent him a photo of my products he refused to bill me eventually. So I highly recommend this sort of thread. some 40 years ago I got some (domestic pig-) bristles from my grandfather who was a supplier of shoe makers. These were for sewing leather and I could get up to 5 Jacks out of one bristle…

I bought a pack similar to this on ebay about six years ago. For tying flies. The ones i have are very good. Plenty of length. I’m still trying to see if i can find the original seller. I seem to remember it being in the sf Bay area.

Interesting comments Dietrich. I obviously know little about hog raising and the issue of “harvesting too young” was interesting.

I guess this raises the issue of using synthetics in place of boar bristle. I had used springy music wire before-OK if it does not rust-- but the only “filament” I have seen (I think a Challis) had lost its qualities.
Perhaps more modern plastics would work here–but meanwhile I am buying some bristles to try.

i had a similar experience with a brush maker whom i had asked for a few bristles. however, this one refused to sell not even the smallest quantity because he feared i’d make a brush and become a dangerous competitor (they were really quite serious about this!). in the end i picked myself some from the back of a huge boar in the barn of a nearby farmer. the best are those growing right at the top and i was able to make at least a few sets of jacks for my very first instruments. lateron i found a source for suitable black bristles and in recent years i have been quite happy with peek. unfortunately i am slowly running out of it.