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T&H Turnback Old vs New

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!

T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby EL Alamein » Sun May 18, 2014 5:40 pm

Well I've been using my newer turnback for quite few months. This is the last one I acquired a few years ago as a final backup to the two that I already have.

I've reported in another thread, I can't find right now, that it is very dense compared to it's older siblings and I thought it must be like owning a Simpsons or other very dense brush because it is so dense. This brush is, I think, one of the last sold by T&H North America before they ended their affiliation. It's a model produced, again I think, after the Vulfix acquisition of the Simpson Brush firm.

Using it over the last months I have had the creeping suspicion that it is more like a Simpson then a Vulfix. Gordon has mentioned on occasion that highly dense brushes hoard the lather in their core and that has become increasingly apparent with this brush on second passes and touch ups as well as loading etc. That suspicion has materialized into something more concrete recently.

As many of you long time members may have noticed I used the old formula Taylor's Of Old Bond Street Lavender hard shaving soap. It is very dense and very hard. I have consistently hit the bottom of the cake in late August or early September of every year with only the sides of the bowl ring left which I press together and use until gone - always in the beginning of October of the year - the month I first started using the Taylor's five years ago. Thus a cake lasts me a year with high fidelity.

This past year I've probably had less than the 90% fidelity than I've normally had to the Taylor's as I've tried a few new items and dabbled in some old stuff in the closet. Still I've hit the bottom of the cake now in mid May. To me this is quite the indicator of how much lather a dense brush hogs. A lot of it winds up down the drain. Within the last week I switched back to my old bedraggled T&H turnback of many years and found myself making heaps of luxurious lather with little effort. I am not going back to the cake for more when I do a subsequent pass because the brush just isn't giving it up. The lather is the same yet with seemingly less product, and it's easier made with the greater flow through.

Some of this may be habit and manner of lather making but I believe a lot of it is due to how much dense brushes hog in their core. Most evident is the amount of lather squeezed out of the brush at the end of the shave when I'm cleaning the brush under the spigot. Much less is left and just enough can be squeezed to clean my blade off, just like old times.

It can be something to think about. The next year or two will reveal how accurate that assessment is as I plan to continue using this old brush for that time.

More to come.

Chris
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby bernards66 » Sun May 18, 2014 8:54 pm

Chris, Yes, interesting, I'm not surprised. I've never been nearly as consistent with any brush or product so I just sort of assumed that the very dense brushes would use up product ( particularly hard soaps ) faster. Your experience seems to confirm this in a more definite manner. With the brushes that I currently use I have noticed a few oddities and unusual twists. For example, the two densest brushes I own are the old Plisson #14 EW and that Rooney Emillion. The Emillion definitely hoards a lot of lather in it's core and only squeezing the knot manually will release it. But with the Plisson, almost all the lather that is generated is available, there being little left when I squeeze for the final pass, but it just doesn't make that much lather compared to other brushes it's size that I have. However, the lather it does make seems unusually rich and dense. Of the three high end Plissons I have, the #12 EW Plexiglass handled one makes the most lather and it is the least dense. The Rooney Finest also makes a mound of lather ( with cream ). It's bristles seem quite heavy and firm but the knot is not dense. And, uniquely, when I shake it off after use it dries almost completely. With badger brushes, on the whole, I find that the less dense knots make more lather easier than very dense ones and, judging by your post above they seem to take less product to do it. Thanks for the report.
Regards,
Gordon
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby Ouchmychin » Tue May 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Gordon, where do boar brushes fit in your density scheme? My Semoque is very soft and splays out a lot and makes a lot of lather but I find that the lather just doesn't stand up. It gets too thin for 3 passes and the lather is not protective. Same technique with either the dense old Simpson Duke II (dense) or Colonel (not dense). Both the latter give me a richer lather and enough for 3 passes.
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby bernards66 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:02 pm

Pete, Well, IMO, boar bristle brushes are a whole other thing. As most here know, I'm really not a big fan of them period. Of course they 'work', just not as well in my experience ( and I used them exclusively for years ). And yes, part of why I feel that way is that I've found it to be considerably harder to make a really rich dense lather using them. I'm not saying that it can't be done, or even that I can't do it, but it's much more difficult I think. I haven't used that many different ones, and I really don't 'know' but I suspect that boar brushes can't be packed as densely as some badger brushes. The bristle just seems much heavier gauge and coarser.
Regards,
Gordon
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby EL Alamein » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:50 pm

Well, here I am in the beginning of March of the year following this post still using the successor cake of Taylor's for the one mentioned in the original post. I just hit bottom last week. All this time I've mostly been using ol' bedraggled Turnback and it has delivered consistently and superbly a dense, moist, protective lather.

I've crammed together the pieces of ring soap to form a nice layer of soap in the bottom of the wooden bowl to finish off this cake of Taylor's. I judge at least a month of shaves left. Even so, this arrangement has outperformed the denser brush version of Turnback over near a year's time. For anyone interested this may be the information you needed on dense brushes.

I will be using ol' bedraggled until the bristles are gone or they bury me. For me, there is no substitute for flow through!

Chris
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby brothers » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:21 pm

Chris, I'm hoping you get that month of shaves with your trusty old brush. If anybody can do it, my money's on you!
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby EL Alamein » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:41 pm

brothers wrote:Chris, I'm hoping you get that month of shaves with your trusty old brush. If anybody can do it, my money's on you!


Gary, thanks! I'm striving not to disappoint. :)

The bristles on ol' bedraggled are so soft nowadays that I believe it only picks up the minimum amount of soap necessary. Anyway, I like it and it's a treat for me.

Many roads to Rome enjoy the one you like!

Chris
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby EL Alamein » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:43 pm

Well, so much for another month of use. I pitched the slivers of soap I had after today's shave because it and the prior shave produced sub-par lather. It's a sign, to me, that what's left is spent, all it's hard water mitigating properties and proper foaming properties gone. A new cake of Taylor's has been installed and will start getting used tomorrow.

Chris
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby brothers » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:11 am

Chris, ahhh well, that's the life of soap. It seems to have served you well though. You were able to squeeze all of the good shaves out of it before it was gone.
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby EL Alamein » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:10 pm

Gary, indeed! Nature of the beast I guess. But the new cake is performing fantastically so another year of adventures to come.

As an aside I just feel awkward starting a new cake in March. October has been my designated month for starting a new cake for years now (due to fate, but still it's become a sort of ritual that seemed so right for that time of year).

I love the last three months of the year immensely - the decorating of the house by the wife, taking the kids trick or treating on Halloween, spending Thanksgiving with the extended Family, celebrating Christmas by visiting relatives close and far. And of course the slower pace at that time of year. Once Christmas week hits I'm out of the office until after New Years. Just the most wonderful time of the year. Starting a new cake of soap in October - at the beginning of it - just seems perfect.

I'll figure out a way to jump start that pattern again. I may have to employ that dense brush though, at the appropriate time, just to get there. :)

Chris
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby EL Alamein » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:00 pm

EL Alamein wrote:Gary, indeed! Nature of the beast I guess. But the new cake is performing fantastically so another year of adventures to come.

As an aside I just feel awkward starting a new cake in March. October has been my designated month for starting a new cake for years now (due to fate, but still it's become a sort of ritual that seemed so right for that time of year).

I love the last three months of the year immensely - the decorating of the house by the wife, taking the kids trick or treating on Halloween, spending Thanksgiving with the extended Family, celebrating Christmas by visiting relatives close and far. And of course the slower pace at that time of year. Once Christmas week hits I'm out of the office until after New Years. Just the most wonderful time of the year. Starting a new cake of soap in October - at the beginning of it - just seems perfect.

I'll figure out a way to jump start that pattern again. I may have to employ that dense brush though, at the appropriate time, just to get there. :)

Chris


Well here we are! Another cake of Taylor's has been installed to start tomorrow's shave as the one mentioned in March of this thread is spent. It may not be October but I'm getting there and its still the time of year I love. Still using the original wooden bowl from years ago though.

Even though I beat the life of the last cake of soap using ol'bedraggled these past months I still have not matched the longevity of the previous five years with the same soap and brush. I attribute this to a new lathering technique. It involves more water, scalding hot water from the spigot, which probably melts the soap faster. I'm fine with that as the lather is perfect.

One thing I've gleaned from the past few years is that no matter how high end a soap may be the slivers left at the end can have their lathering properties wiped out (especially with hard water) and nothing can save them, they must be pitched.

Anyway, here's looking forward to the next year!

Chris
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Re: T&H Turnback Old vs New

Postby Ouchmychin » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:35 am

Many years ago I had a cake of either r7H or Trumpers "Luxury' soap. After a while it became like I was rubbing a hockey puck even thought there was a lot of soap left. I posted about that at the time.
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