07-13-2016, 09:50 PM
#1
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WHAT IS IT, AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

Cadman Brushes - Custom L7 Handle in Earth with 26mm Silvertip Badger Knots

THE BACK STORY:
OK, I remember when I first started using brushes, I knew no different, I had my Wilkinson Sword boar brush that cost less than lunch normally would.  All was well with the world, I'd convinced myself I didn't need anything else.  Fast forward several years, and I saw the brush as more than a functional device.  I saw beautiful brushes from all corners of the globe and thought to myself that I wanted a piece of that, so I started looking.  I acquired a few on my way to Cadman, namely a Bodyshop Synthetic, an Omega 49 boar and a RazoRock Monster.  But at this point I wanted the elusive badger brush.  I always had my eye on a Kent B4.  It looked great and I couldn't argue with the reviews.  Then I spotted Mervyn's brushes.  A range of handle styles to choose from, a range of colours AND a range of knot configurations.

I'd spotted a handle Mervyn had made in a wonderful dark amber colour, with golden flecks running through it and thought WOW.  So, I browsed Mervyn's website and spotted that you can have the brush with the Cadman logo in the base, or a custom design!  This was almost too good to be true, a truly custom brush!  I'd wanted something truly custom for some time, and knew I'd come to the right place.  I'd spent plenty of time browsing SOTD posts on Facebook and The Shaving Room, checking out the brushes Mervyn makes.  All good feedback, fantastic looking items.  Cushty you could say.  So, I got on the blower to Mervyn who advised he was currently between workshops and he had a bit of a delay in production.  Not a problem at all for me, as I knew what I wanted and could tell it would be worth the wait.  A good conversation was had about colour choices, knot options and whatnot and probably half an hour or so later, I'd given the order for two brushes, identical handles (in design and colour) and identical 26mm Silvertip knots.  The unique aspect of these brushes meant a bit of digging for something for one of them, and a good couple of sheets of scribbles from me for the second.  The unique part is clearly the medallion that is embedded in the base of the handle.

You see, it was my dad who taught me how to shave many years ago at the tender age of 11.  He was (and still is) my hero, and I will say, would have thoroughly enjoyed my venture back to traditional shaving.  I know I would have enabled him in terms of quality items, so, to honour that enabling that I would have done, I've got both him and I a custom brush, Father and Son brushes.  To distinguish the two brushes (remember, handle and knots are identical), I decided to have them signed.  Now it is difficult to get a new signature from my dad given his passing back in 2010, so I had to ask my mum to hunt down a quality copy of his signature I could use.  This signature was on a document I'd never seen before, his discharge papers from the REME in 1981 when he and my mum found out they were expecting me (a quite fitting signature to use).  It took Mervyn a fair bit of time to tidy up the image to present it as best as possible on the 1" disc.  Mine took a little tidying, but not as much.  All part of the Cadman service!

I asked Merv if it was possible to get some photos of the brushes in production, and he kindly agreed, here's a selection.

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Now one thing Mervyn suggested to me was changing the colour scheme on the disc from black text on white to white text on black.  I'm glad Mervyn did, here's how a white disc looked in the handle:

[Image: 10.jpg]

Now, for what I've spent and the wait involved, I could have purchased a few high end brushes and have them delivered next day, but where is the fun in that?  The whole process of ordering from Cadman Brushes is why.  It's not just a 'click here and buy now' process, it's an experience where you feel valued as a customer, and that to me, is a massive thing to feel when making a considered purchase.  If you don't feel like your order matters, or that you're just another invoice ID in a system somewhere, you don't get that...je nais c'est quoi...that buzz when ordering.  From the initial conversation to the much messaging throughout the workshop move and then the manufacturing process, I felt like as a customer, I mattered.  During the manufacture process, Merv checked in with me to see if the first handle he'd produced fit my ideal that we discussed when ordering.  Now it was fantastic, but Merv himself didn't feel like it was quite right, so he cast two more and would you believe it, they were PERFECT down to the last detail.  Now Merv even admitted that in all the years he's been turning resin blanks, he's never had two turn out as close as these two have in final appearance.  I honestly didn't expect them to be close matches (given they are hand cast and hand turned), but I am mighty chuffed they are as they are.

Here's a couple of photos with the original handle Mervyn turned (centre) with the final two (top and bottom) with the knots test fitted:

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As you can see, they are fantastic!  From here it was all a waiting game, for the discs to be completed, and the brushes to be assembled.  It seemed like an age, akin to the wait you felt as a child waiting for Christmas.  Anyway, time passed and Merv confirmed all was done and dispatched...Christmas Eve it felt like now!  

The day of arrival was a tense one, I had the day off, and was busy doing bits and bobs, and the brushes were being delivered to work.  I toddled off to wait, and ended up meeting the postman at the office door with the parcel.  It was a magical moment!

And of course, it wouldn't be the same without some photos, so here they are.  

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So yes, initial impressions were very positive indeed, and I couldn't wait to use them in earnest.  Having shaved that day, I had to wait until the next morning, where I used them both in the same morning to do a side by side soap comparison, and loved the feel.  Soaked sufficiently to ensure proper use, they make mincemeat of soaps and creams alike.  

The face feel is soft, with a little bit of something there behind the soft tips to give a reassuring feel.  They hold plenty of lather when loaded well, and are simply divine for face lathering.  I barely face lathered prior to having these brushes, and since getting them, there has been more face lathering than bowl.  I alternate days for the brushes so as to get even use, and cannot discern a difference between either brush, testament to the knots themselves in terms of consistency.  Lathering on the face or in the bowl is a breeze, the bristles hold plenty of water, and it only took a couple of days to figure out the right amount of flicking to keep the right amount of water in the brush to lather.  Lovely stuff indeed.  

I've only used these two brushes since they have arrived, and I can see why people hold the silvertip badger knots in high regard.  They are superb in both the tips, the back bone, lathering, even the rinsing is easier than any other brush I own (I now have synthetics, boar and badger to compare).  People often sit there and say can you really justify the cost of a high end brush over a budget brush, and I'll be the first to admit, I was in that camp at first.  I was content with the budget brushes I had (none cost more than a tenner), but then curiosity struck, and now I appreciate the difference a GREAT brush can make to your shave experience.  It is more than a brush.  Granted, I am not sure quite what quantifies it as 'more than a brush', but whatever it is, it elevates the shave experience as a whole.  They look amazing, feel divine and the fact that they are made to exactly my spec makes them even more special.  I can tell that these will not be my only Cadman brushes, everything from start to finish ensured I am an extremely happy customer.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures of them in use as taken for some of my SOTD posts.

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 07-14-2016, 04:51 AM
#2
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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Mervyn makes wonderful brushes and what a class guy to send you photos of your brushes in production.  I have my eye on one of his bell-shaped brushes, which I will order shortly.  BTW, Mervyn pours his own rods so he can customise a handle to your taste in colour.

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 07-14-2016, 04:57 AM
#3
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(07-14-2016, 04:51 AM)Rufus Wrote: Mervyn makes wonderful brushes and what a class guy to send you photos of your brushes in production.  I have my eye on one of his bell-shaped brushes, which I will order shortly.  BTW, Mervyn pours his own rods so he can customise a handle to your taste in colour.

This custom colour is what was done for my order.  I took a standard recipe and requested it be darker overall, which Mervyn did perfectly Smile

He's got more to send me soon (pictures that is) which is truly brilliant of him, it shows how much he cares about keeping his customers satisfied!  So much so, I am planning another selection of brushes once he's sorted out a new colour blend Wink

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 07-14-2016, 05:16 AM
#4
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Excellent photo presentation!

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 07-14-2016, 05:26 AM
#5
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The other day I was looking at the C4 & Bell type on his website. I am glad you did this post. Wonderful read and backstory. Cheers.

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 07-14-2016, 06:51 AM
#6
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Wow thise are beauties. Love that first one. Cadman eh. Will check them out.

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 07-14-2016, 07:55 AM
#7
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That is a lovely brush. Thumbsup

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 07-14-2016, 08:02 AM
#8
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Thanks Gents Smile

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 07-14-2016, 08:12 AM
#9
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That is a beautiful pair of brushes.  Thank you for such a detailed write up and the numerous great photographs.

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 07-14-2016, 12:18 PM
#10
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Wonderful brushes Nick. We ordered at roughly the same time and endured the same wait time. It was no bother as I knew I was going to get something special and individual. I asked for a C4 in black/white guiness effect complete with a Northern Soul logo on the bottom. Whilst not wanting to hi jack Nick's excellent thread here is a picture of the brush Merv made for me. Nick. Apologies for piggy backing your thread.
[Image: th_brush1_zpsqm7g3gg1.jpg]
[Image: th_brush%203_zpspodsygfr.jpg] [Image: th_brush%202_zpszxrvdrqh.jpg]

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 07-14-2016, 12:19 PM
#11
  • Thug
  • Active Member
  • South Africa
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A gorgeous pair of brushes!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 07-14-2016, 12:34 PM
#12
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(07-14-2016, 08:12 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: That is a beautiful pair of brushes.  Thank you for such a detailed write up and the numerous great photographs.
Thank you sir!  I did try to show the brushes off in the photo's but they don't really do them justice.  The way the metallic element to the resin dances in the light is a wonder to behold.


(07-14-2016, 12:18 PM)wayne mattison Wrote: Wonderful brushes Nick. We ordered at roughly the same time and endured the same wait time. It was no bother as I knew I was going to get something special and individual. I asked for a C4 in black/white guiness effect complete with a Northern Soul logo on the bottom. Whilst not wanting to hi jack Nick's excellent thread here is a picture of the brush Merv made for me. Nick. Apologies for piggy backing your thread.
[Image: th_brush1_zpsqm7g3gg1.jpg]
[Image: th_brush%203_zpspodsygfr.jpg] [Image: th_brush%202_zpszxrvdrqh.jpg]

No problem Wayne Smile  The wait was very much worth it (we ordered as Merv was in the middle of moving workshops) and he is certainly a wizard with the resin and badgery goodness!

(07-14-2016, 12:19 PM)Thug Wrote: A gorgeous pair of brushes!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Cheers fella Smile  Merv certainly knows his stuff, and makes a killer brush Smile

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 07-14-2016, 01:18 PM
#13
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Really beautiful brushes!  Congrats!!  I particularly like the work in progress photos.  It shows the craftsmanship involved with making a brush like this!  Very cool!

Eric

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 07-16-2016, 03:04 PM
#14
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That all looks luxurious. Smile

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 07-17-2016, 06:57 AM
#15
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
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Great looking brushes! Congrats and enjoy!

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 07-18-2016, 06:35 AM
#16
  • Viking
  • Artisan - Soap & Cosmetics
  • Ames, Iowa
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Both beauties! I really like that handle shape. Congrats!

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 07-18-2016, 12:34 PM
#17
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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Great photos of what are two really nice brushes Nick. Smile

Mervyn does some great work and is a true gent to deal with.

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