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Thread: A Brush Primer

  1. #31
    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    My VDH boar brush has a better brother....
    Look hard for this ~$10 brush.
    OMEGA 10098 PROFESSIONAL BOAR SHAVING BRUSH

    As badger hair brushes go there are no hidden bargains that I know of.
    Up to the $120 range you get what you pay for. Above that you are
    looking at exotic handle material and art or at monster knot sizes.

    I would hint that the beginner would do well to buy a darn fine
    Omega boar brush and a selection of top of the line shave
    soaps and creams. Later invest in a darn fine badger brush.

    Pair the $10 Omega or VDH brush with a $1.75 puck of Williams
    and practice, practice, practice. Boar brushes do improve with use
    so use them. "Latherin" improves with practice so practice. When you
    can get a good lather out of Williams all the other soaps and creams
    will seem easy. Williams+Proraso is a beginner short cut worthy of
    any shaver. Just a pea size bit of Proraso on the puck of Williams
    and "bob's your uncle".

  2. #32
    Senior Member hipsley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niftyshaving View Post
    Good post. In a long post you covered a couple points
    that should be obvious. One is worth repeating:

    The old axiom of buy the seller then the product is a wise one in this case.

    I might add some...
    First shop and compare. I think the result will be that as long as
    exchange rates are stable a $100 brush from a quality vendor is about
    equal to a different $100 brush. But a brush is a very personal
    thing, it can be a simple work horse or a work of art.

    Next a new shaver should practice, practice, practice with a brush and soap.
    I recommend a very inexpensive brush and soap for practice. A CVS boar brush for $7 and a puck of Williams for $2 and a couple hours tinkering adding
    soap and water: too little, too much, too soon, too hot, too cold,
    tap water, bottled water, melted ice water (no scotch).... Then take
    the "good stuff" down from the shelf and adjust and apply the lessons
    learned.

    I was astounded that with an afternoon of practice I could build a much
    better lather with a boar brush than I had been able to to do the previous
    morning with a fine badger brush. Then I found that my result with
    the fine badger was oh so much improved. And today any brush on
    my shelf builds a fine lather. So much is just practice....
    Well done, a great ad on to a great post. We sing from the same hymn sheet, practice makes perfect (that's what I tell the wife)

  3. #33
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    Thanks. This thread has answered a lot of questions for me...

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    If you have a inexpensive boar brush that is taking too long to break in, I have a procedures that worked quite well with a OMEGA 10098 professional boar brush.

    Heat water to about 165 degrees. Use a thermometer; you do not want the water to get too hot. Then dip the tips of the bristles (1/4" to 1/2" only) into the very hot water for a couple of seconds. If you dip too deep, you will ruin the backbone of the bristles. Remove the brush from the water, shake out the excess water and brush the tips on a terry towel to encourage split ends. Repeat the process as many times as needed until the tips start to split. In a few minutes, you can produce a boar brush that performs like a brush that has been used for many months.

    Because there is some risk of damaging a brush if you overdo it, I do not recommend this procedure on a brush that cannot be replaced easily. It would be great for a $7 VDH brush.

  5. #35
    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayClem View Post
    If you have a inexpensive boar brush that is taking too long to break in, I have a procedures that worked quite well with a OMEGA 10098 professional boar brush.

    Heat water to about 165 degrees. Use a thermometer;
    ....
    Because there is some risk of damaging a brush if you overdo it, I do not recommend this procedure on a brush that cannot be replaced easily. It would be great for a $7 VDH brush.
    The $13 Omega 10098 Professional Boar shaving Brush is a bargain. We should all have one or two ;-)
    A beginner can get one and take a lot of time to decide how much to spend on a 'fancy' brush.
    Lather in a shallow durable (no glass) mug. tin cup or bowl and life is good.
    A boar brush does need to lather soap, rinse and dry a couple times. It can be bar soap or a puck of Williams.
    I am not sure anything other than hot tap water is needed. I always play with a new brush or new shave soap
    or cream and make later that is too dry, too wet and adjust until it is just right.
    Do make a coat hanger drying stand for your brush.

  6. #36
    Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    When I started straight razor shaving a few years ago, I think I read somewhere that " badger bristle brushes were the best" so off I went to Amazon to search, their top seller at the time (Im sure because of the price) was a badger brush branded "Escali" for about 10 bucks, so I ordered that and a art of shaving mug and a puck of Col. Conk's soap and went at it! Since then I've bought a few other brushes, nothing seriously expensive (25-50$ range)
    and they all work well, some better than others, the latest from Benny's of London (one synthetic and one Badger) are pretty nice for the price. But I must admit none are a huge leap from my original Escali, for 10 bucks its at least a great starter brush! Ive had mine for about 3 years and it still lathers great. If you're looking for an entry level Badger its hard to beat for $10 in my experience!
    Happy Shaves!

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