What is it about brushes?

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

Post by TRBeck » Thu May 16, 2019 8:57 am

I have set aside soap AD. I still try something new now and then, but it's mostly just my homemade stuff and the Speick and Palmolive sticks I have in reserve.

I have whittled the razor collection down over time and see no reason to use anything other than the Rockwell 6S going forward. I like having this piece of gear pretty constant.

Aftershaves, colognes, etc.: meh. I have homemade splash at 20% alcohol that works well and a couple of fragrances. Simple.

But the brushes:

Mondial Antica Barberia boar
Omega 49 w/white handle
Omega 49 w/black handle
Omega 11137
Omega Premium 011842 w/jade handle
Omega 10108
Semogue 620
Semogue 2000
Semogue 2018 TSN LE boar
Semogue Mistura Taj Resin
Shavemac 2-band Silvertip
Maggard 2-band SHD in a Whipped Dog Handle
Edwin Jagger XL Synthetic
Rudy Vey handle w/Muhle 25mm synthetic knot
24mm Synbad from APShaveCo
Simpson 58 Best

Obviously, this is a tad excessive (and it does not include the loose knots I've picked up to set in handles when I learn to turn them or decide to buy some from Etsy). I have acquired most of these relatively recently after using the EJ XL exclusively for about 5 years. A few months ago, on a whim, I bought the Semogue Mistura, which is an excellent brush that does exactly what I want. Then again, so did the EJ for a long time. The Mistura sent me looking at other natural hair brushes, and here we are.

I think brushes have always been my toughest AD. I love many brushes, but I don't like having many brushes, as I don't get to use any of them often enough. Besides, the idea of 1 has always appealed to me. I wonder if for those of us afflicted with brush AD, the appeal is similar to the appeal of straights. These are objects with utility, and they all do the same thing, but they do it with distinctive personalities and tendencies. In some cases, too, there is an aesthetic preference at work (I like wooden handles, simple handle shapes, and the workmanlike vibe of boar). I don't know. It seems different to the soaps or the frags.

Having said all of that, I do want to narrow my brushes back down, out of collector territory (which Buzz many years ago set at 3). My soft cap for now is 5, but I'd like to get it to 1.

You brush lovers: why do we do this?
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Rufus » Thu May 16, 2019 1:31 pm

I too am attracted to shaving brushes. At present I have 27 badgers, 3 boars and 4 synthetics. Obviously, badgers are my first love, but I have to say that a good boar is hard to beat. As yet I haven’t found a synthetic that satisfies me the way my badgers and boars do. In consequence synthetics are strictly for travel mainly because they dry so quickly and are relatively inexpensive. Horse has never grabbed me and I had my last one reknotted with TGN 2 band badger because I liked the handle. I like brushes for their variety, aesthetic appeal and sensory pleasure. In other words they are more than just a tool. To me razors are tools; nice tools, but just tools. I’ve found the shaving creams and aftershave splashes I like and have no urge to explore them further. My love for brushes notwithstanding, I am singularly unimpressed with some of gaudily coloured (e.g. Moonjava) handles that seem to be the rage today; they seem more suited to the window of a sweet shop rather than adorning my shaving cabinet. My favoured handle colours are faux ivory and faux antique ivory, but I do have a soft spot for butterscotch and faux horn.
Bryan

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TRBeck
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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Fri May 17, 2019 8:15 am

Rufus, I concur regarding many of the handle colors that are popular right now. Some of the swirl patterns are lovely, but most are actually pretty garish-looking to me. Faux ivory, faux ebony, faux horn, jade, and wood look great to me.

I agree that brushes are more than just a tool. I feel the same way about straights. They are beautiful in particular to me when there is no real effort made to impose beauty on them but when they instead take a form that enhances function. I don't mind an attractive set of razor scales or a nice-looking brush handle, but anything overly ornate turns me off. These were at one time everyday objects that everyone owned, and their aesthetic appeal to me is partly tied up in the fact that they are made to be used, and that their makers had use in mind (as opposed to nice SOTD pics) when designing them.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Oscar11 » Sat May 18, 2019 6:36 pm

Curiosity. We'll pay to see the varmint in the side show,

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Fri May 24, 2019 9:27 am

For sure curiosity plays a role. So much variation in brushes; good soap lathers aren't vastly different to one another, but good brushes can be.

FWIW, I've narrowed it considerably after messing with different setups the past couple of weeks.

Keepers:
Synbad
EJ Synthetic
Semogue Mistura SOC
Omega 49

Maybes:
Semogue 2000
Antica Barberia Mondial boar
APShaveCo Luxury mixed knot

The rest are being sold or PIF'd, and I may get the list whittled further. I want to use what I have regularly, possibly daily if I can get there.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Rufus » Fri May 24, 2019 10:33 am

TRBeck wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:27 am
For sure curiosity plays a role. So much variation in brushes; good soap lathers aren't vastly different to one another, but good brushes can be.

FWIW, I've narrowed it considerably after messing with different setups the past couple of weeks.

Keepers:
Synbad
EJ Synthetic
Semogue Mistura SOC
Omega 49

Maybes:
Semogue 2000
Antica Barberia Mondial boar
APShaveCo Luxury mixed knot

The rest are being sold or PIF'd, and I may get the list whittled further. I want to use what I have regularly, possibly daily if I can get there.

You’re the first person I’ve come across who has an AP Shave Co mixed badger/boar brush. I’ve been eyeing one myself, but want to get an understanding of its face feel and performance. Of particular interest to me are its backbone, flow through and if it has prickly feel. The only badger/boar mix I have is the Semogue Taj, which has a really nice face feel, but it does goes to my upper limit of backbone. I face lather only and use shaving cream most of the time. I’m thinking of getting one with a fan-shaped knot as this has less backbone than a bulb-shape. What I particularly like about my Semogue Taj is that performs like and has the face feel of Simpson best badger or shavemac Finest badger.
Bryan

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by M6Classic » Fri May 24, 2019 12:53 pm

IMG_1262.jpg
IMG_1262.jpg (1005.94 KiB) Viewed 727 times
Get one of these and accept no substitute. The only brush you will ever want or ever need. Vintage late 70s Plisson HMW set in plexi (size #24). The brush to its rear is an ivory CH3

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Fri May 24, 2019 9:37 pm

Rufus wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 10:33 am
TRBeck wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:27 am
For sure curiosity plays a role. So much variation in brushes; good soap lathers aren't vastly different to one another, but good brushes can be.

FWIW, I've narrowed it considerably after messing with different setups the past couple of weeks.

Keepers:
Synbad
EJ Synthetic
Semogue Mistura SOC
Omega 49

Maybes:
Semogue 2000
Antica Barberia Mondial boar
APShaveCo Luxury mixed knot

The rest are being sold or PIF'd, and I may get the list whittled further. I want to use what I have regularly, possibly daily if I can get there.

You’re the first person I’ve come across who has an AP Shave Co mixed badger/boar brush. I’ve been eyeing one myself, but want to get an understanding of its face feel and performance. Of particular interest to me are its backbone, flow through and if it has prickly feel. The only badger/boar mix I have is the Semogue Taj, which has a really nice face feel, but it does goes to my upper limit of backbone. I face lather only and use shaving cream most of the time. I’m thinking of getting one with a fan-shaped knot as this has less backbone than a bulb-shape. What I particularly like about my Semogue Taj is that performs like and has the face feel of Simpson best badger or shavemac Finest badger.
The APShaveCo is a very recent purchase. I like my SOC mistura so much I thought I'd try another similar knot. This is a fan knot and set to a higher loft, so I thought it might suit me even that little bit better. I will withhold a review until I give it a little time but will be sure to post some thoughts eventually.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Oscar11 » Tue May 28, 2019 3:06 pm

I'd have a hard time arguing with your line up. It's solid for sure.

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fallingwickets
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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by fallingwickets » Wed May 29, 2019 3:36 am

Tim, Buzz (very nice to see you out and about) has spoken. pay heed!! :D

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by fallingwickets » Wed May 29, 2019 3:39 am

p.s. on a personal level, i think that the 24 is too big for me and so even if i could find one i probably would never use it. I have a stunning example of a chubby 3 that suffers from the same non use due to size.....soaps like MdC etc come in packaging that makes using a big brush almost impossible

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by drmoss_ca » Wed May 29, 2019 4:25 am

It's a funny thing, but this last few years I have neglected all my badger brushes and use only an Omega boar brush. It doesn't look so pretty, and there's not much pride of ownership, but I really like it!

Nice to see you, Buzz. I sold my last Leica and lenses this week. 😢
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by M6Classic » Wed May 29, 2019 6:55 am

Greetings, Chris! Good to hear from you, too. Leica and Plisson...when they pry them from my cold dead fingers. Any word from Gordon?

Bests,

Buzz

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Wed May 29, 2019 9:37 am

Buzz, Plisson is beyond my price range, although I certainly understand its appeal. But I have been sampling through a bunch of potential keepers lately, and it does seem I may be close to being a non-collector (over 3 brushes makes one a collector as I recall). I am looking at keeping one synthetic and two boars. Funny thing: the synthetic was essentially my only brush for about five years, and I never felt like I wanted anything else in all that time. Like most collecting behaviors, talking to fellow enthusiasts triggers and feeds it. I reckon I'll never lose the itch to pick up a natural hair brush now and then, and the badger these days does not behave the way badger did a decade ago. Very treated, very different hair. So boar it shall be.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Rufus » Wed May 29, 2019 2:42 pm

TRBeck wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:37 am
Buzz, Plisson is beyond my price range, although I certainly understand its appeal. But I have been sampling through a bunch of potential keepers lately, and it does seem I may be close to being a non-collector (over 3 brushes makes one a collector as I recall). I am looking at keeping one synthetic and two boars. Funny thing: the synthetic was essentially my only brush for about five years, and I never felt like I wanted anything else in all that time. Like most collecting behaviors, talking to fellow enthusiasts triggers and feeds it. I reckon I'll never lose the itch to pick up a natural hair brush now and then, and the badger these days does not behave the way badger did a decade ago. Very treated, very different hair. So boar it shall be.
Your AP Shave Co. mixed badger/boar straddles both worlds. If it’s anything like the Semogue Taj mixed badger/boar you shouldn’t exclude it from your non-collection. Or, if you want to ditch it I’d consider trading it for one of my synthetics.
Bryan

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Wed May 29, 2019 8:34 pm

Bryan, I've tried to refrain from commenting until it's had time to break in more, but I'm not sold on the APShaveCo. It has more scritch than the Semogue Mistura out of the box, and its bloom is massive. It feels like a 30mm brush on the face, despite being a 24mm knot. The scritch may improve, but the knot is not as aesthetically pleasing as the Mistura since it has some hairs of varying lengths jutting out here and there. All that said, it lathers like there is no tomorrow. I'm going to wait until it breaks in a bit more and the stink subsides before rendering a final judgment.

I'll try to post a pic of the bloom tomorrow.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Rufus » Thu May 30, 2019 3:54 am

Tim, that doesn’t sound encouraging, but it is early days. I’ll hold of on a purchase and wait for your further assessment.
Bryan

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by drmoss_ca » Thu May 30, 2019 3:58 am

M6Classic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 6:55 am
Greetings, Chris! Good to hear from you, too. Leica and Plisson...when they pry them from my cold dead fingers. Any word from Gordon?

Bests,

Buzz
Not a peep from Gordon (to whom I gave my only Plisson). I fear the worst.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Thu May 30, 2019 9:13 am

Chris, my hope is that Gordon is enjoying time with his second wife and pursuing some interest that takes him away from the web - parasailing or backpacking the Andes or something.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Thu May 30, 2019 9:50 am

The mixed APShaveCo brush is out for me. The prickle is no different five lathers in than on day one. Comvined with it beimg a bit unwieldy, I'm not gonna mess with it. Here it is side by side with a 24mm Shavemac 2-band.
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Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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