11-11-2015, 04:03 PM
#1
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When you are going to make your lather in a bowl, how wet is the brush you start with? Do you shake it almost dry or even squeeze it or do you leave it fairly wet?
I know with some soap you may change your technique but what is your usual way of doing it? Wet brush or damp brush?


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 11-11-2015, 04:40 PM
#2
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I go as far as to squeeze the brush before I load it. By doing so I feel that I am better able to control the water to product ratio, and I'm able to load more product. With that being said, I use boar brushes exclusively, I'm not sure what the guys that use badger or synths recommend


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 11-11-2015, 05:25 PM
#3
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I haven't bowl-lathered in almost four years, but when I conduct experiments with some waters and soaps, I use a damp brush and add water as needed.   Shy

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 11-12-2015, 12:44 AM
#4
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As above (Celestino and Gott543)..... So below (I always find myself at the bottom of something):

I shake my brush vigorously (damp) whether loading soap or cream. You really can't overshoot water amount, if your brush is damp. It's easier to add water to your bowl after the fact.

Overshooting water makes things a bit more difficult.

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 11-12-2015, 12:38 PM
#5
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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They used to be a video by a guy called Recluse, I think, showing how his dad taught him to bowl lather MWF with a real wet brush, using the soapy water as the only water you use, adding no more than that to the bowl. Makes a wetter lather but workable. Sometimes I go that route, sometimes the drier brush way adding water as you go. Once you get the hang of bowl lathering, and I think it's a harder skill to master than face lathering, you can use a lot of different approaches.

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 11-12-2015, 01:13 PM
#6
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(11-12-2015, 12:38 PM)Mouser Wrote: They used to be a video by a guy called Recluse, I think, showing how his dad taught him to bowl lather MWF with a real wet brush, using the soapy water as the only water you use, adding no more than that to the bowl. Makes a wetter lather but workable. Sometimes I go that route, sometimes the drier brush way adding water as you go. Once you get the hang of bowl lathering, and I think it's a harder skill to master than face lathering, you can use a lot of different approaches.

You do bring up some interesting caveats. The consistency of the soap and to some degree, the type of brush you use. 

As I understand it, MWF is a hard soap? A damp brush would most likely be useless or very difficult. For creams and soft soaps, a damp brush is very feasible.

A Plisson synthetic or comparable synthetic needs quite a lot of water on any soap. More so than a boar, badger or horse. The fibers are just too soft. I lost 10-15 fibers a few months ago trying to load a Plissonesque brush, damp, on a soft soap. I had to pick the fibers out, one by one with tweezers. Lesson learned.

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 11-12-2015, 02:09 PM
#7
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(11-12-2015, 12:38 PM)Mouser Wrote: Once you get the hang of bowl lathering, and I think it's a harder skill to master than face lathering, you can use a lot of different approaches.

Yes, once you get the hang of bowl lathering you can always compensate for any short comings. If it needs more water you add a little, if you have too much water you add a little product.
I have no problem using a Plisson brush with any soap.

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 11-12-2015, 03:15 PM
#8
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I run my brush under piping hot water in the bowl for a few minutes. I then let some of that same water, say a quarter teaspoon drip back into the bowl, then shake out the brush, aply cream to the tips of the brush and begin my lathering.

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 11-13-2015, 01:21 AM
#9
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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With badger I use a semi-wet brush and with boar I use a wet brush.  I used to use a drier brush, but wetter works better for me now.  Otherwise, it takes too long to dissolve the soap.

   - Murray

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 11-13-2015, 06:14 AM
#10
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I use a Epsilon horse hair brush about 90% of the time.  I fill the bowel with hot water and let the brush soak while in the shower.

When I am ready I empty the bowl out and then shake the brush a little in the sink to get rid of some of the water.  I load the brush and lather in the bowl.  I used to have to add water but pretty much have dialed it in so now I get a pretty good lather on the first go.  If not I add a little water.

When I use my synthetics I don't pre-soak the brush but just run it under hot water and shake out more water than the horse hair brush and repeat the procedure.

I have found that some soaps take more water than others and this tends to be grouped by vendors meaning that for example all of X vendors soaps take more water than all of Y vendors soaps.

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 11-14-2015, 09:26 PM
#11
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I do the "Squeeze Out" as well.  Just a damp brush on a bloomed puck lets me add water as I need and get my ratio right.

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 11-14-2015, 10:43 PM
#12
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I squeeze out the water. 

But I've taken to pre building the lather on the puck itself (eg the puck and the puck containers act as my bowl)  I end up adding a fair amount of water myself and end up with a super slick and shiny lather..... Just the way I like it.

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 11-15-2015, 12:28 AM
#13
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One, two or three shakes, depending on the soap I'm using. As pointed out it's easy to add water, so until you're dialed in it's better to have a brush that is too dry rather than too wet.

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 11-15-2015, 03:48 AM
#14
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Boars: leave as much water in the knot perhaps 1 flick
Badgers: towel dry, 3/4 flicks then to the bowl.

Just out of preference I prefer to use smoothed bottom bowls for my high end badgers and textured for the boars.

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 11-15-2015, 07:17 AM
#15
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(11-14-2015, 10:43 PM)GloryUprising Wrote: I squeeze out the water. 

But I've taken to pre building the lather on the puck itself (eg the puck and the puck containers act as my bowl)  I end up adding a fair amount of water myself and end up with a super slick and shiny lather..... Just the way I like it.

Years ago, before all these shaving forums, just about everyone built lather right on the puck. Puck lathering was the way to go. You had to start with a wet brush then.

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 11-15-2015, 11:56 AM
#16
  • RobinK
  • I like things that work.
  • Munich, Germany
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Some time ago, I received a really cheap Chinese synthetic brush as a gift. I tried it only out of morbid curiosity, because I own a few high quality badger brushes, and they cannot be beat. Or can they?

In my first attempt, I did what I always do with a badger brush, ie use a wet, not damp, brush to build proto lather (for lack of a better term) directly on the soap. For this purpose, I drip some water onto the soap prior to taking a shower.

Now, that first attempt resulted in a watery mess. Because synthetics do, as far as I know, still not hold water. So I changed my routine...

I drip as much water as I will eventually need onto the soap, then shower. Then I transfer the excess water to the bowl and work with that soapy water only. I flick the brush dry, which results in a brush that is effectively damp at best. I drip the brush into the soapy water repeatedly while building lather on the soap, then transfer the brush loaded with proto lather into the bowl.

Here is where the magic happens. Because there is still relatively much water in the bowl, the lather I initially get is not airy but bubbly. But - and that is the magic which, in reality, is simply physics - then, when I keep swirling the brush around for some time, the bubbles evaporate, and eventually (after a minute or so), I get perfect lather.

Fun fact: This approach does not work equally well with my badger brushes. I have no logical explanation for this.

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 11-15-2015, 01:41 PM
#17
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(11-15-2015, 11:56 AM)RobinK Wrote: I drip as much water as I will eventually need onto the soap, then shower. Then I transfer the excess water to the bowl and work with that soapy water only. I flick the brush dry, which results in a brush that is effectively damp at best. I drip the brush into the soapy water repeatedly while building lather on the soap, then transfer the brush loaded with proto lather into the bowl.

Here is where the magic happens. Because there is still relatively much water in the bowl, the lather I initially get is not airy but bubbly. But - and that is the magic which, in reality, is simply physics - then, when I keep swirling the brush around for some time, the bubbles evaporate, and eventually (after a minute or so), I get perfect lather.

Robin, it seems to me that you have provided an excellent concise summary of the Bloom Water Lathering technique of which this link is the “War & Peace” version.  (See, also, this post.)  

Elegantly expressed, sir!

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 11-16-2015, 09:05 AM
#18
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I use a synthetic brush and soak the puck in warm water, so I find I don't need to wetten the brush.

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 11-16-2015, 01:59 PM
#19
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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I tend to use a damp brush for creams and a wetter brush for soaps as I've found this to be the most consistent way of loading brushes with a sufficient amount of product.

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 11-16-2015, 02:04 PM
#20
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3 solid taps against the side of the sink and go. Synthetic brush.

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