Friday, December 31, 2010

Semogue LE 2010

Semogue's 2010 Limited Edition of 100. A Silvertip with a 24 mm knot with a loft of 52 mm. It will be added to and reviewed on Fido's Shaving Brush Blog. Here's some pics before and after use:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Alternative Ebony

When I visited a supplier of materials for wood turners, he showed me a sample of alternative ebony, alternative ivory and some alpalina - a sort of white striped resin material.  Here in the New Forest I'm now working with my craftsman to produce some sample brushes that I might offer for sale on my New Forest Brushes Blog next year.

I'm delighted with this sample made from alternative ebony. It is not easy material to work with but if it goes well, it comes up with an excellent finish. This is a Finest Silvertip sample.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A useful accessory

This little plastic spatula, about 6 inches across, is a really useful shaving accessory. I use it to scoop out a small portion of cream and to smear around the base of my shaving bowl. The soft plastic tip makes it ideal for purpose.

I hope you had a great Christmas. No one bought me any shaving items. I think everyone now realises I have too much of everything. They are right!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Castle Forbes Lavender Balm, Martin de Candre, New Forest High Mountain and Jagger Chatsworth. My elite squad for the Christmas build up. M de C is a superb soap, this jar is one year old tomorrow and looks good for a few more years at the rate I use it. The balm leaves the face relatively dry immediately after the shave but my skin feels nice and soft and quite moist as time passes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old Scuttles

I find using soaps in their original wooden bowl a bit of a messy business. I got a decent size sample from an artisan soap maker and decided to put it in this old scuttle. It works a treat. Much easier to contain the lather without getting in too much of a mess.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Simpsons - a blast from the past.

Gary Young, Grandson of Alexander Simpson, has turned up on some shaving forums and has and is answerering questions about the history of the family business.

Follow the threads here:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coming shortly

I'm taking a break at the moment. My New Forest High Mountain 2221 Badger brushes will be available in January. When things settle down after they go on sale I will be releasing a few brushes I am having made locally in the New Forest. I enjoy doing this. I pop over to my craftsman to discuss details, he pops over to me with samples, and we sit and chat about everything but brushes! He makes superb model aircraft and boats for enthusiasts who fly and sail the models. Shaving brushes are a bit of light relief for him.

For now, we are sticking to a handle shape like these. The handles of these brushes are Tambootie, a naturally waterproof African hardwood sealed with a lacquer. Other materials will include alternative ivory, ebony and alpalina - a white striped resin. I will post details of brushes for sale on my New Forest Brushes Blog when available next year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Back to the future?

OK, so a Mach 3 is hardly new age. But compared with a 1940s Superspeed it's back to the future. I had a really superbly comfortable close shave with it today. I used one of my New Forest Two Band prototypes with the ever delightful Martin de Candre and the great value Proraso balm. Just one lesson. I applied too much lather. Not necessary with the Mach 3 blade. Just a nice modest coating is all that is required. Too much lather and it gets a bit messy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stash reduction

Most enthusuiasts end up with too much of everything. Here's some examples - and this is just soaps and creams!

Soap and cream stashes

One of the nice things about many shaving forums is the willingness of many people to give away some of their surplus items free of charge to enable others to try different products. I decided yesterday to make a start on passing on some things that don't figure among my favourites. So I listed a razor and three soaps in bowls. They went in a few minutes! It's not really made a dent in my stash, but it's a start.

Is there anything you are likely rarely to use again or the odd sample you don't really want? Give someone a treat. And what goes round comes round!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Favourites - Jagger Chatsworth

All enthusiasts get tempted to try several razors. I suppose I tried around 20 new and old. My most recent being a new Feather Stainless Steel razor costing £130 and an old Shavex featured in my previous post. There are few rights and wrongs and we all have our personal preferences. I don't like aggressive razors that must be handled with great care to avoid razor burn or nicks and cuts even with mild blades. But nor do I like a razor that doesn't feel as though it is removing any hair. I like to feel the blade on my skin, but not too close. I'm not too keen on short handled light razors either. This is why this Jagger Chatsworth is just about my favourite razor. It weighs in at 110 grams with an overall length of 11.3 cm. A razor with a solid feel and just the right amount of aggressiveness for me. As with razors I also prefer blades neither too sharp or too mild. So I use most often Red Personna and Gillette Super Thin blades - they serve me well in this razor.

There's a bit more information here:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This is such a humble looking razor, but it shaves like a dream! Among a collection of shaving gear given to me by a friend I never thought of using it until recently. It just holds the blade at a perfect angle for me - just the right amount of aggressiveness - not too much, not too little. If that makes sense!

The only "Shavex" that I can now find is based in India. This razor is marked "Made in England" If anyone knows anything about the English Shavex shaving company and what happened to it I'd be pleased to hear from them. Either with a comment here or by email to

Monday, December 13, 2010

Older stuff

An old friend of mine has given me several old shaving items. The brush and razor were his dads. The brush has a 18 mm knot with a loft of 37 mm, small but effective still. The razor is an old Shavex - I'll comment about that tomorrow. The Yardleys remained an unopened Christmas gift from the 1960s until I used it earlier this year. I just don't understand why they dropped this line. It is a superb soap that produces a rich creamy stable lather. It still turns up from time to time. One like this sold on Ebay for about £55 a few months ago.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Gillette Tech

Sometimes I come across posts on shaving forums that really illustrate the efforts that enthusiasts are prepared to make for the rest of us. This is one. This really must have taken a lot of time to put together. Neocaligatio is a member of the UK based The Shaving Room Forum and an excellent custom brush maker.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lathering bowl

This is an indispensable member of my line up. Made by a local potter for £12 the ridges inside the bowl make lathering so easy. And the size is just right for all but my monster Polo 14, and even for that with extra care. Internal dimensions are 13 cm across the diameter at the top and a depth of 5.5 cm.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Semogue LE 2010

Someone kindly sent me this photo. What a superb looking brush. Mine is on it's way!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feather Stainless Steel Razor

I mentioned this acquistion a few days ago.

I have now used the Feather Razor with three different blades, including the Feather blade.

That it is comfortable to use, there is no doubt. You get the feeling, even with a Feather blade, that it is gliding across the surface of your skin so smoothly that you are left wondering if it has removed anything at all. And it has. But only the Feather blade produced the really close shave I am used to getting with my other razors in regular use - a Jagger Chatsworth and Merkur 38C. But the Feather blade leaves my skin feeling sore for several hours. It seems to me that I either put up with having a less close shave than I like or have a close shave and put up with some discomfort after my shave. Having developed my technique with my other razors to the point where I get an incredibly close shave with no irritation it really is a no brainer. The Feather razor is really not for me. I think it will be better appreciated by someone who already enjoys the use of Feather blades so it will soon appear at a very reasonable price in the B/S/T section of "The Shaving Room" forum where I post most often.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Castle Forbes duo

The CF Lavender combined with the after shave balm is simply superb. The Jagger Chatsworth and New Forest High Mountain completed the first team line up today.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rooney brushes

My Rooney prototype 

Rooney Finest

I saw this referred to here:

My prototype, which I bought direct from Lee Sabini through Ebay cost about £30 - it's the Rooney Super grade, costs a lot less than the brushes on offer at Classic Shaving - $324

Want one?

I'll be giving them a miss.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Big brushes

They don't get any bigger than this. My favourite size brush has a knot of 22 mm with a loft of about 50 mm. A good compromise as a versatlle brush for use with soaps creams and any type of lathering. The Simpsons Polo 14 is the largest brush on the market for the general shaver. Some bigger ones are made for display only. That's what this ought to be, too.

The Polo stands 139 mm with a loft of 57 mm and a 34mm knot. The Best Badger hair is very soft and produces huge amounts of lather. This is best painted on your face but the sheer size of the head makes it difficult to control. It's a novelty and fun to use, but not a serious option for regular use. I'm pleased to have it in my collection.

This gives some idea of how it compares with the size of a Chubby 2, Tulip 1 and Wee Scott.

But I did get through my shave with the excellent Body Shop Maca Root cream, balm and Jagger Chatsworth razor with a Gillette Super Thin blade.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Matters of consequence

I'm sorry shavers - Fido is engaged on a matter of consequence today.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Feather Stainless Steel Razor

What on earth made me buy another razor?!
 For £129.95 shipped.

I bought it from here

He only has the one with the stand left in stock. Go on, it's Christmas soon.
Seriously folks it really is a superb razor. First shave was excellent. But I'll use it for a while before coming to judgement. Meanwhile, take a look at that review. That's an enthusiast sharing his passion. It's what this is all about.

Meanwhile I've got more important matters on my mind.

Like England's World Cup bid. I was at Wembley in '66 when we won it. I doubt I'd get a ticket this time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I didn't buy any shaving stuff yesterday. Bought this Apple Magic Mouse instead. I wish I'd bought one earlier. It's magic!

I paid £56 for it in the UK. How much is it in the USA? or elsewhere?