Rooney brushes

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!
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Aztecface
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Post by Aztecface »

Fido wrote:I'm just another simple person who can do what he likes, say what he likes and buy what he likes. And I decide on the basis of things that are important to me having regard to the particular circumstances.
On this I agree.
Regards,
Jani
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Janus
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Post by Janus »

I wouldn't mind knowing where Rooney brushes are made but I'm not anxious to know. I have four and I know they are all very good, I'm satisfied with that.
Janus
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drP
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Post by drP »

Lee Sabini's capabilities to communicate (or to "disclose" if you like...) do have their impairment in some way...apparently.....ask Robert of TGS.... :wink:

I'm not specifically attracted to Rooney as a brand...they just do not appeal to me...can't argue why, it's just my feeling...

But what really does repel me is the fact that their finest badger is far too expensive ...Vulfix offers exactly the same quality (ie identical) kind of badger and asks a much, much lower and hence reasonable price for it...
Peter
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desertbadger
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Post by desertbadger »

I don't know if this helps or hurts anything, but some time back I had a face to face conversation with Danielle at Classic Shaving. (I live about 30 minutes away). She said that a couple of years ago she was in England and toured the Rooney establishment as well as a few others during her visit. What most suprised her was how small the Rooney business was. They were located on the second story of a building and only had a "few" employees doing the sorting of badger hair, assembly, etc. Apparently there were no signs indicating to the public where they were or how to find their place. Since she and Jim at Vintage are the only US retailers, I see no reason to disbelieve her.
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David
Gotta have the "Fat"!
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Squire
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Post by Squire »

Well spoken Jim, if Rooney brushes are good enough for Trumper they are good enough for me.
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Squire
F.W. Fitch
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

[quote="brz90"]


First route, they retain a small scale workshop hand producing knots and handles from scratch (albeit with Chinese badger hair). If so this would be a marketing plus. I for one would support this kind of production out of principle.
I would think the majority use badger sourced from China. Simpsons clearly made mention that they did years ago on their brochure. It just means that these badgers have 'almond' eyes and are good in math. Also, even though, they had a web presence they were brutally slow to 'assist' you as a customer. They were as frustrating as trying to bite-open a Brazil nut (not that any aspect of their brushes had anything to do with Brazil, carnival etc.) Lastly....I think it's safe to hazard a guess that the "Pentagon" employs more than Kent, Rooney and Progress Vulfix combined. Yet, "Rooney" is much harder to infiltrate....this is the sad reality for me anyway....thanks for nothing (I know).....I'm going.

Best,
Fitch
Last edited by F.W. Fitch on Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Fitch, Of course. Very little quality badger bristle is available from anywhere but China and this has been the case for a long time now. A little is sourced from Eastern Europe but it's a very small percentage. One thing about Rooney is that they are one of the very few makers left who do not buy pre-made plugs, but rather re-sort and bunch their own knots.
Regards,
Gordon
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Post by bernards66 »

Yeah, I've been told by someone who saw it, that their old workroom, back when Priscella Rooney was still in charge, was like that as well; small and unmarked in the East End. Suppossedly they relocated in the same immediate neighborhood. The building that they had been housed in for decades was appropriated for some public purpose or other. The former US distributor for Trumper, Simpson, and Coate's was the same deal....a little office on the third floor of a nondescript building on West 17th Street in New York. I had a devilish time finding the place, and I know NYC.
Regards,
Gordon
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

*Double Post*.....need a Chinese badger to work on the server (ahem).
Best,
Fitch
Last edited by F.W. Fitch on Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
F.W. Fitch
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Post by F.W. Fitch »

I would imagine this "Golden Nib" outfit ,I see people mention, is just that sort of 'pre-made' plug of which you speak. I've been told that Rooney's 'finest' is not even badger hair ,but rather, carpet fiber....laugh. If anything.....I've enjoyed this thread ,and I hope, that 'Fido' will see at least some of his efforts pay off in the end...and it will be as clear as 'Easter bells'.

Best,
Fitch
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druphus
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Post by druphus »

bernards66 wrote:Fitch, Of course. Very little quality badger bristle is available from anywhere but China...Regards,
Gordon
But Gordon, what about the French badgers that live on mountain-tops and inspired the nick-name of a major French bicycle champion?
Regards,
Andy
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Andy, They are Sacred Badgers....nobody messes with them.
Regards,
Gordon
Velomane
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Post by Velomane »

bernards66 wrote:Andy, They are Sacred Badgers....nobody messes with them.
Regards,
Gordon
Which, of course, are not to be confused with scared badgers. From these we get brushes with no backbone. :roll:
CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

Velomane wrote:
bernards66 wrote:Andy, They are Sacred Badgers....nobody messes with them.
Regards,
Gordon
Which, of course, are not to be confused with scared badgers. From these we get brushes with no backbone. :roll:
:lol:


- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
jhclare
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Post by jhclare »

I have owned 6 Rooney brushes. Here are my experiences:

- Three copies of a 3/1 in Super. First one very dense and soft, but shed, second less dense and more prickly tips, third has a ludicrously high loft (53mm). So, there are QC issues, at least in terms of the brush lofts.

- All three brushes were from Charles Nichcolls, which is (I think) affiliated with Executive Shaving. Both companies are quick to take your money but never, ever, respond to emails. Really shoddy customer service.

- An Alibaba 1, later exchanged for a 2. Also a 1/1 Super. All from Classic Shaving, great service and good communication. A real shame to have to pay import duty.

- A Stubby 2 - From Executive Shaving. A superb brush in every way, not a single hair shed yet. I do not know or care where it is made - it is my favourite brush.

Now, this is the interesting part, I don't know if anyone else has noticed this: My current 3/1 says "Sterilised", while my 1/1 from Classic Shaving says "Sterilzed", American spelling.

So - does this mean that at least some brushes are part-manufactured in the States?

John
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Aztecface
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Post by Aztecface »

John, my experiance with Executive Shaving has been more or less the same as yours. Which is why I'll never do business with him and/or recommend someone to him.
Regards,
Jani
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slimjim5751
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Post by slimjim5751 »

I don't own a Rooney brush and have no intention of buying one, But i think there is a lot of snobbery over brushes, i have used high end badger brushes and low end ones, you buy the brush that takes your fancy if that is a high end one so be it and most of the time its recommendations from forums like this and as john says you get some good ones and some bad ones and your lucky when you find a brush you can settle down with, and as for brush hair most of the brushes we use the hair was sourced in china.

And in fido's defence all he was trying to do was write a shaving blog about English brush makers, and i wish him good luck in that endeavor.

So in conclusion does it really matter if we know whether the knot was put together on the thigh of a dusky maiden or the khaled fingers of an old artisan as in the end we end up with a thing of beauty that we like and will last us a life time.
Jim
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Post by ATLpr8head »

slimjim5751 wrote:I don't own a Rooney brush and have no intention of buying one, But i think there is a lot of snobbery over brushes, i have used high end badger brushes and low end ones, you buy the brush that takes your fancy if that is a high end one so be it and most of the time its recommendations from forums like this and as john says you get some good ones and some bad ones and your lucky when you find a brush you can settle down with, and as for brush hair most of the brushes we use the hair was sourced in china.

And in fido's defence all he was trying to do was write a shaving blog about English brush makers, and i wish him good luck in that endeavor.

So in conclusion does it really matter if we know whether the knot was put together on the thigh of a dusky maiden or the khaled fingers of an old artisan as in the end we end up with a thing of beauty that we like and will last us a life time.

Very well put. Couldn't have said it better.
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Well, I'm with Fido in so far as I don't appreciate these sleight-of-hand numbers whereby a product is marked 'Made in England'...or Germany...or wherever, when only the box or container is actually made there, or similiar. Or 'handmade' when only two components are glued together by hand. But, I have no compelling reason to believe that Rooney brushes are not still being made the old fashioned way in London at this time. There certainly is some variation, and occasional issues with specific brushes, but this was always the case with the old Somerset Simpsons and with Plissons. Semi-machine made brushes are often more consistant, but the overall quality is not as high in some respects, and they lack 'character'. I too would prefer it if more information was available about the Rooney operation as I find the firm and it's long history to be quite interesting, but from what I hear, they've always been highly...er....discreet, and that's just they way they seem to prefer it.
Regards,
Gordon
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Fido
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Post by Fido »

At the risk of repeating myself, all I am seeking to do is to make contact with UK brush makers and if possible to visit their factory or premises where their brushes are made and to learn something of their history and present operations. I plan also to visit some of the big name London businesses in the shaving industry. Until now, I have not come across a business which has not welcomed enquiries or given me every cooperation.

Perhaps it might make sense if I add that I retired some years ago as Chief Executive of a large organisation and have since enjoyed researching and studying the changing business methods in various sectors, in particular looking at how they are adapting to new technology and the emerging global economy.

I really was not looking to cause trouble or embarrass anyone. I was fascinated to come across a British company proud to claim that it has been producing shaving brushes in the same way since the late 17th century. With such a rich heritage it comes as a surprise to find that it seems to convey an impression that it wants no direct relationship with people who are delighted to own one of their products.

If that is the position they wish to maintain I have no option but to respect that. It is a pity. And it is a shame too that such a respected company should be subject to rumour and innuendo.

There is only one way to deal with that, and that is up to Rooney.
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