07-10-2015, 07:12 AM
#1
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So I got my Varlet Beehive (VB) last night, and since I haven't gotten a chance to use it officially I'm going to hold off on commenting on it's performance.

I did however, give it a quick defunking-first use test lather with some el'cheapo Nivea Sensitive Shave cream and the performance and splay is quite good. The Varlet Beehive whipped up easy and thick and held enough water without having to take too many trips back to basin.  My one concern would be the initial 2 lathers resulted in 28 hairs being shed.  I did reach out to Aldo (well actually, he reached out to me first) and he was not to concerned but did cite that the brush has a FANTASTIC 2 year warranty on the knot and wanted to be kept updated on the situation when I start using it officially.

I wanted to take the time to recognize Aldo's commitment to his patrons and the pride he has in the brushes he produces; pride well deserved.  This is the first time I've had an artisan proactively reach out to me to make sure I was satisfied with a creation and offered his support with anything I needed regarding the brush.  Communication has been PROMPT and excellent and goes a long way in inspiring confidence in Aldo's professionalism and any subsequent support if, god-for-bid, needed. Other, artisans, take note!

The handle is actually more beautiful then the pictures allow.  The 'grooves' run VERY deep, while still being so close enough that you don't feel a 'crater' between them and gives the handle a very elegant well balanced hand feel.  Sometimes, with elegance, there is also a feeling of fragility. Fortunately, however, the resin choice is also very solid and hefty and lends a sense of confidence in the durability of it; a durability matched by a 10 year warranty on the handle.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but I wanted to get a close up so you guys can appreciate how refined the beehive is.

[Image: fANjykX.jpg]

So, other Varlet Beehive owners, how do you feel about your brushes?

[Image: 0ceGeXw.jpg]

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 07-10-2015, 07:52 AM
#2
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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I very much appreciate that level of commitment from a vendor/supplier of any sort as well. Standing proudly behind their work. Thanks for the update- very much look forward to pics and thoughts.

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 07-10-2015, 08:37 AM
#3
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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This is the thread I've been waiting for.  As beautiful as the Mega is, I am all about the Beehive!  Please post pictures and tell me how great it is!

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 07-10-2015, 08:46 AM
#4
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Pictures or it didn't happen.

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 07-10-2015, 10:04 AM
#5
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(07-10-2015, 08:37 AM)blzrfn Wrote: This is the thread I've been waiting for.  As beautiful as the Mega is, I am all about the Beehive!  Please post pictures and tell me how great it is!


+1. I am all about the beehive as well. Been waiting for someone to post their comments/pictures. Looking forward to more gents sharing their experience with The Varlet Beehive.

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 07-10-2015, 12:08 PM
#6
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Also very excited to read about this.

28 hairs is a LOT.  Especially considering how detailed his write-up on quality control is.

Still, I bought one of the closeout Rooney brushes last month and it only shed 1-2 hairs over the first dozen lathers, but then it started shedding and will now lose 20-30 hairs consistently.

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 07-10-2015, 12:12 PM
#7
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I meant to use my Beehive this morning but forgot. <sigh> I will use it tomorrow and will weigh in.

[Image: QfMQ5eP.jpg]

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 07-10-2015, 12:24 PM
#8
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(07-10-2015, 12:08 PM)jarick Wrote: Also very excited to read about this.

28 hairs is a LOT.  Especially considering how detailed his write-up on quality control is.

Still, I bought one of the closeout Rooney brushes last month and it only shed 1-2 hairs over the first dozen lathers, but then it started shedding and will now lose 20-30 hairs consistently.

I agree it is a lot. But for what it's worth, my CH2 Super also shed about 25 hairs the first time I used it, but hasn't shed a hair since.

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 07-10-2015, 02:04 PM
#9
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(07-10-2015, 12:08 PM)jarick Wrote: Also very excited to read about this.

28 hairs is a LOT.  Especially considering how detailed his write-up on quality control is.


I always expect a few from Shavemac, Simpson, Rooney, Thater, M&F etc and about 15-20 from TGN, WD etc.

I'd be concerned with 28+ from a brush that was so highly touted and as you said, detailed and quality control.

Nice to see the maker show his concern and here's hoping the shedding stops. Two year knot and ten year on handle are great, so long as they are still around. I know that sounds harsh, but it's the reality of business and warranties.

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 07-10-2015, 02:04 PM
#10
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I need one of these brushes!!! I hope they become available again... soon.

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 07-10-2015, 02:35 PM
#11
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(07-10-2015, 12:08 PM)jarick Wrote: Also very excited to read about this.

28 hairs is a LOT.  Especially considering how detailed his write-up on quality control is.

Still, I bought one of the closeout Rooney brushes last month and it only shed 1-2 hairs over the first dozen lathers, but then it started shedding and will now lose 20-30 hairs consistently.

I've lost another 9 hairs with my first shave run, but to be fair I've started paying attention to the TYPE of hair loss and they seem to be of the thinner translucent kind vs the thicker banded type.  Of all the hairs lost (which I am pushing 30 after 4 lathers), only a handful have been of the lather 'thicker' variety.  I guess that's why the hair type is 'finest', vs a thick manchurian. Wink

[Image: eF3O4NZ.jpg]

I am mainly a hard soap guy, but since this brush was designed with creams in mind first I decided to do an inaugural first lather with RR Santa Maria Del Fiore.


[Image: MHaYu9i.jpg]



My main reason for picking the Beehive over the Mega was because I was looking for a LESS densely packed brush.  As much as I LOVE my Chubby, sometimes it's TOO dense and as such hangs on to lather like a hog and when I finally pull the lather from the knot at the end at the end of my shave sometimes I'm greeted with a thinner foamy mess (while the main event worked out just fine).  With my synethics I run into the opposite problem, they are all lathering MACHINES but all release to easily and if I'm going to fast, I end up using up all my lather and have to a reload to get the final pass and/or touch ups. For me the perfect middle ground has always been a good broken in boar brush, but who has time to soak a boar brush for the 10+ minutes they all seem to need?!


Beyond that I was also looking for a brush with good splay and a medium backbone.  Again the synthetics splayed wonderfully, but sometimes the backbone was missing and I wanted a bit more scrub. The chubby has great scrubby, but has almost no natural splay and you really have to put some muscle into it to get it to open; perhaps I should try a super badger vs my manchurian chubby.....


[Image: k9kgeWK.jpg]



[Image: kBvRca1.jpg]



[Image: 7tgJmzc.jpg]



[Image: HPx9ct6.jpg]



So how did Aldo do? FANTASTICALLY. The brush has medium backbone and is not a floppy mess ala L'Occitane Plisson while not being overly tough like a manchurian Chubby. Tips of the hairs are super soft and 'hooked' without a hint of scrit (I HATE scrit). While the thickness of each individual hair is noticeably finer than my other non-manucharian badgers they still combine to give a medium firm backbone.


[Image: 9mrClWW.jpg]



Loading and lather building was almost as fast as a synthetic, and the scrub was perfectly acceptable without having it feel like an arm wrestling match with my face. Lather build and release is well controlled and phenomenal. I was able to load it once and had more than enough soap in the knot for 4 passes + touch up. A nice amount of soap was left in the knot to use as final face wash.



[Image: souReD7.jpg]



[Image: 7hV9ywA.jpg]Sorry, I'm not one for lather porn so no photos of that.  I'm sure we have other folks who are more...exhibitionist and will be happy to show off. Wink

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 07-10-2015, 02:36 PM
#12
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Bonus picture of my den minus the soaps.

[Image: qeCCsPv.jpg]

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 07-10-2015, 02:39 PM
#13
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Final thought, I hope the knot holds up.  Time will tell with that, but from my interactions with Aldo, I'm sure whatever happens he'll take care of me any anyone else who has the privilege of owning one of his masterpieces.

While I think the size of the knot is good, but if I was to make a suggestion I personally would prefer a slightly thicker knot (while keeping the loft the same) and a bigger handle (while keeping the overall dimensions the same), but then again I am a larger guy (6'1" @ 250lb) and tend to like my tools a bit more generous for my hands.

....again, I can't tell you how beautiful the handle is in real life....

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 07-10-2015, 02:41 PM
#14
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Those are some prominent indentations on that handle! I would love to feel it in hand. 
I hope you enjoy the brush!

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 07-10-2015, 02:43 PM
#15
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(07-10-2015, 02:41 PM)celestino Wrote: Those are some prominent indentations on that handle! I would love to feel it in hand. 
I hope you enjoy the brush!

YES!  They are also so close together that they don't feel like a crater and actually feels AMAZINGLY solid in the hand.  I can't stop gushing about the handle......

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 07-10-2015, 02:47 PM
#16
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Nice pics and follow up. The Beehive shave is amazing and does well for face or bowl lathering.

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 07-10-2015, 02:52 PM
#17
  • leonidas
  • Senior Member
  • Jerez de la Frontera
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....i like the plexiglass box that is holding all the brushes and razors.......
...........where was this purchased?

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 07-10-2015, 02:55 PM
#18
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(07-10-2015, 02:52 PM)leonidas Wrote: ....i like the plexiglass box that is holding all the brushes and razors.......
...........where was this purchased?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004H1XU96/

Enjoy!

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 07-10-2015, 03:24 PM
#19
  • Aldo
  • Default User Title
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(07-10-2015, 02:39 PM)GloryUprising Wrote: Final thought, I hope the knot holds up.  Time will tell with that, but from my interactions with Aldo, I'm sure whatever happens he'll take care of me any anyone else who has the privilege of owning one of his masterpieces.

While I think the size of the knot is good, but if I was to make a suggestion I personally would prefer a slightly thicker knot (while keeping the loft the same) and a bigger handle (while keeping the overall dimensions the same), but then again I am a larger guy (6'1" @ 250lb) and tend to like my tools a bit more generous for my hands.

....again, I can't tell you how beautiful the handle is in real life....

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the review and the phenomenal pics. These "real life" pics do more than I could ever do in my little studio. It is exciting for me to say the least to see these in members' shave dens. Thank you for the honest write-up and I'm thrilled that you like the performance of the Beehive.

I'd like to address the shedding issue. Firstly, I want to apologize if the initial shedding was excessive. Granted, all brushes shed at first, but your case was a little too much for my liking. What I believe occurred was that some of the Beehives' designated knots ended up being too short for the handle, so I had to assign them new knots at the last minute to attain the correct loft. These knots might not have gone through the brushing and combing process as thoroughly as the others.

However, all of the knots have gone through the same construction process, and I'm confident the shedding will stop completely within the next few shaves. The fact that you are loosing the really thin, completely white hairs now is a sign that the shedding is coming to a halt. Those hairs are always the last ones to go from the knot.

I'll have to go back to my SOP and evaluate the process for combing out loose hairs, but the fact that the Megas experienced much less shedding initially leads me to believe these Beehives just weren't thoroughly combed beforehand, which is entirely my responsibility but it's an issue that should resolve itself with continued use.

However, if any of these brushes turn out to have chronic shedding issues, I will repair or replace the brush or the knot, no questions asked. It's as simple as that, so I hope that gives owners reassurance.

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 07-10-2015, 03:26 PM
#20
  • Steelman
  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE OFFICERS
  • Delaware
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The Varlet beehive is simply stunning.

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