02-27-2012, 08:45 AM
#1
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Well, this forum has been active for a few days and I still haven't seen a 'New Williams' thread..................tsk, tsk!! =]

Anyway, let's start one - feel free to shower the love, or bash it, as you like. I have no strong feelings on this issue. pp

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Inspired by Seraphim's turnaround on this topic, I bought a puck of WIlliams yesterday, with an aim to give it yet another go.

For those who aren't aware of the back-story here: Seraphim (over on B&B) has always been one of the most vehement Williams bashers. In the past, if you started a Williams thread, he'd magically appear, and use his phenomenal sense of humour to tear it apart ---- all in a good spirit, I may add. No meanness here.

Well, in a recent post he detailed how he finally got it to work for himself. His secret was using way more water than he thought would be required. (I'm paraphrasing here, search for his thread on B&B if you want the details).

So I thought it would be nice for me to give WIlliams another go too. I tried test-lathers on the new puck last night, and they were pretty decent. The lather was long-lasting, though not to the extent he described. I'll play around with it a bit more before I actually use it in a shave.

As an aside: I've never had any real issues with Williams. It works for me, but it's not terribly great, so I don't tend to stick with it for very long. There are better products available, and some are pretty cheap.

-----

I await other's comments on this venerable soap. bn

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 02-27-2012, 10:46 AM
#2
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I find that I can get a great lather out of Williams but do it differently that most folks

First, grate the puck into a container, this gives a greater surface area to work with. I don't soak the puck at all. When I want to make lather, I take a damp brush to the puck for about 30-45 seconds and then go to my face where I proceed to make a fine, long lasting lather. If the lather needs more water, just dip the tips of the brush into the water and keep going. This works for me every time regardless the type brush being used.

I think those that use gallons of water to make lather with Williams are on the wrong track. With large amounts of water involved, you will get a light, airy, bubbly later that's not worth a hoot. Try it as listed above and see what ya think.

Now, let the incendiary remarks begin.

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 02-27-2012, 11:08 AM
#3
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My test lathers with lots of water seem to agree with your results. You do get a lot of lather, that seems to stick around for a while, but it wasn't slick at all.........therefore missing the point, of course.

I'll try your way and see what happens.

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 02-27-2012, 11:57 AM
#4
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I use it every couple of weeks because I've got about 15 pucks in the hall closet. My Omega Pro boar brush does OK with it but I get much better results using a badger brush, preferably one that is a little floppy and face lather with it, no problems. It's not my favorite soap anymore since I discovered MWF about 2 years ago and most recently Cella about 2 months ago. Cella is king for me.

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 02-27-2012, 08:35 PM
#5
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Though the idea isn't very tempting at this time of year, a fellow wetshaver on another forum experimented with Williams shave soap and discovered that he got a much richer lather when he used cold water.

- Murray

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 02-27-2012, 11:52 PM
#6
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I'm not in the Williams lover camp, but not really in the haters camp either. I just can't get it to lather worth anything with more water or anything. I did notice some improvement milling the puck, but not enough to want to use it. The scent too was hit or miss with me some days. Vintage Williams though seems to have mythical otherworldly powers from what I've heard though. Maybe some day I'll get my hands on a puck...

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 02-28-2012, 02:26 AM
#7
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I'm not a great fan of this soap but it works reasonably well. If I an gonna use it, I take time to make a good load.

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 02-29-2012, 03:53 PM
#8
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
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I bought my first puck of Williams today expecting the worst due to all the negative press it's been getting. I did a test lather and I must say, it was one of the best lathers I've made, on par with MFW. I'm excited to give it a try actually shaving in the morning.

What I did: Using a boar brush that had soaked for a few minutes in warm/hot water, I shook it of all loose water then loaded from the puck for a good 30+ seconds. I moved to the mug and whipped it around for a minute. At this point it was pretty thin and bubbly still, so I added just a couple drops of water and went at it again for another minute. Couple more drops and a little more whipping and I had a nice, thick, cushioned, slick lather. Plenty for multiple passes.

I shall definitely be going back to the store I bought it from and buy the last two. One for myself, one for a kit I'm building for a friend.

*note, I have fairly hard water here, too, if that's of interest to anyone.

And for the lovers, a beautiful bit of lather
[Image: tzAIwl.jpg]

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 02-29-2012, 04:59 PM
#9
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I'm lucky; my water's not too hard and I haven't found a "problematic" soap so far. Williams took a bit more finesse than, say, VDH does, but I can't knock the stuff.

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 03-01-2012, 11:45 AM
#10
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What Williams, never heard of it.

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 03-01-2012, 12:51 PM
#11
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Take it with a grain of salt but I've found Williams seems to get better as it ages.

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 03-02-2012, 05:56 AM
#12
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Just to test my theory I pulled an older puck ( probably 18 months old ) out of storage and used it today. It had been sitting out of it's box in my 'long term' shave storage. It's almost totally scentless now Sad

Anyhow, I put it in my lather bowl with my brush and presoaked both of them while I showered. I then drained the water out of the bowl and loaded my brush for about a quick 25 count. I then face lathered from the brush, and the soap performed wonderfully. Plenty of thick lather, and the 3 pass shave was incident free. I probably squeezed 2 full passes of lather out of my brush at the end.

I slapped some Burt's Bees ASB on after the shave, and my face feels fine now.


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 03-02-2012, 10:28 AM
#13
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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I've never had a problem with it honestly. It was my first shaving soap (my wife bought me it along with a VDH brush thus making all this her fault hehe) and then I moved on to other stuff. Anytime I sell something to someone overseas or somewhere there's no Williams, I always throw a puck of it in and they're always surprised when they get it.

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 03-02-2012, 05:47 PM
#14
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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It has been years since I tried Williams but I recall that I really did not like the scent and it left my face feeling really dry. I did receive a puck of Vintage Williams as a throw in with a B/S/T purchase a year or two ago and have not gotten around to trying it yet. Perhaps I will next week.

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 03-02-2012, 06:10 PM
#15
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As I said, I've been using it a bit lately, and I've been getting good results.

It's not the best soap I've used, but it's certainly pretty good.........especially for the price.

I actually like the scent. Smile

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 03-02-2012, 07:43 PM
#16
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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The soap performs good for me, but much like Phil, I don't care for the scent. After you've smelled Cella, MWF, the RR lines, TOBS, and several of the others, it has a bland smell to me.

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 03-03-2012, 04:45 AM
#17
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I was in the supermarket yesterday and looking for Pinaud mustache wax. They didn't have any and I noticed they'd stopped carrying my loved generic U.S. Personna blades. Good thing I'm set for blades at home.

Anyway, I almost bought a puck of Williams but could not justify it because I have soap and creams to spare. I was tempted by this thread to revisit the stuff, so I guess The Shave Nook has "made it"; it was on my mind! Rolleyes

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 03-05-2012, 12:57 PM
#18
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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I was never a big fan of new Williams but I have recently been using vintage Williams and its good, easy to lather , jury is still out for me on whether its performance is better.

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 03-28-2012, 08:10 AM
#19
  • Java
  • Active Member
  • Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
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Oh, no! The Williams thread had fallen off the first page, we can't have that! I had bought a puck, partly because of threads like this one, and partly just to support stores that carry stuff for us. (When it stops selling, they'll stop carrying it!) I had test lathered it a few times with brushes that still had the piggy smell to them, and I even shaved with it once. I had always just loaded my brush holding the puck in my left hand. (can't waste a precious shaving mug using it for a puck of Williams!) It was borderline effective at best. The lather just didn't last for the whole shave. Well this morning something posessed me to drop that puck of Williams into a brand new apothecary mug, and do something I've never done before; build a lather right on top of the puck instead of loading and going to a bowl. I was rewarded with a bunch of thick creamy, very slick lather that worked great.

OK, VDH Deluxe is just as available, and smells way better for 60 cents more.
I had to rinse 3 times to get the "slick" feeling off of my face.
The bottom line is, its no ones favorite but you can get 6 or 7 pucks of it for what you pay for postage on your favorite, and it works!

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 03-28-2012, 08:13 AM
#20
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I was recently PIF'ed a puck of vintage Williams and it is remarkable. Holds its own against any high-quality tallow soap.

Modern Williams - I've gotten it to work, the trick as the original post (and many others) have said is a copious amount of water and lathering. But there are soaps which just require less effort to build a good lather from. If I was stuck for cash, I'd rather buy Arko.

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