Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Forest Oak Brushes - a first attempt.

My first attempt at hand made brushes. Both are made from some readily available New Forest oak. Although practical and durable, I don't think oak would be a popular choice for a handle so I will use other woods if I make any to offer for sale. On the left is a two-band Finest with extra hair from Golden Nib, the other a Best Badger knot obtained directly from a supplier in China. Production by a local village craftsman in the New Forest. I'm really delighted with the result. Both brushes are excellent all rounders.

I'm now deciding which knots to use for a batch of similar brushes, have identified a source for the supply of wenge which I intend to try out before deciding on next steps.

Expecting more samples of complete brushes from China in the next few days. And another custom made brush in wenge to try out another best badger knot with extra hair.

Will soon have enough experience and information to produce my first very limited range of brushes which I might offer for sale.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Venture - update

On 20 February I wrote about research into the making of shaving brushes. One manufacturer sent me sample brushes which did not perform as I had hoped. So I respecified a brush to be made with a 22x64 knot to be set at a loft of 52mm. Four brushes arrived - average loft 49mm. Now I know there will always be small variations in brushes compared with advertised specs. But you would think that someone would ensure that a sample was to the correct spec! 3mm loft difference is significant, and the brushes were just a little too stiff/dense. So I requested just two more samples to be made at the 52mm spec I had ordered and paid for. I was told that they would only send more samples if I paid for them and was promised a refund on my first order. I was not happy about that!

I still have one more manufacturer I am dealing with and expect more samples soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Give things a chance

It takes time to get the best out of anything. Don't rush to judgement about a new product. This is especially true of shaving brushes. First, many brushes take time to break in before you can assess their long term softness or firmness. And it takes time to learn how best to make lather with them. And finally you will find different ways of lathering on your face before you discover the best way to use your brush.
So next time you buy something - give it a chance to shine!