08-30-2016, 09:19 PM
#1
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
User Info
For all of us that have been on these forums for years either lurking or participants and those that have just come aboard I thought it would be a good idea (only my opinion, also this maybe has been discussed before) for those with thoughtful knowledge and loving experience to share, to let others know (experienced alike) why we choose a bush that could eventually be that special brush that will become part of our daily routine, that will be put into our daily grouping of special rotation of brushes.

My question is how many brushes and what brushes (one or more) are in your rotation and why did you choose those brushes (knot type, knot size, loft, softness, backbone, density, handle design, handle grip, handle color, handle material, brand). And lastly how your brush rotation has evolved through your wet shaving years.

To begin with I'll start with how my brushes and rotation which has changed over the years depending what was available to me. Years ago there were fewer places and a smaller variety of shaving items to purchase, this has changed over the last 15 years because of the internet and larger downtown shopping malls and dept stores. The items available before the internet were located in some men's haberdashery shops, dept stores and drug stores, a few barbershops, besides looking for out of town dept store catalogs, the Sears Roebuck and Fuller Brush catalogs.

I went from boar and floppy badger, to better boar and better badger, to badger that had more density that was less floppy to a better 3 band evolving to 2 band which by the way has been my preference over the last years. Knot sizes have increased over the years and of cause the handle designs have also evolved as new brushes/knots have entered the market place through out the years.

To get to the point I'm going to start on what brushes I have in my rotation 8 at the moment that can and will change at any given time (my smallest rotation has been 2 many years ago) that I use on a regular base's depending on the soap and sometimes the size of the container I choose each day (I choose my soap and razor & blade the night before each morning shave. I have being doing this pretty much my whole adult life, I do the same for the clothing I will be wearing the next day). I will also bring a brush into the rotation for a short time every once in awhile from my collection of Simpson Manchurian or 2 band, Shavemac, Romera, Rooney, Henri et Victoria/I feel is a beautiful vastly overlooked brush at a spectacular price, TGN etc. I will add I like nice things, well made, deigned and aesthetically pleasing items, things.

My rotation below is not in any specific order of likability.

1- Paladin 26 2 band fan, 53 loft Lotus in Jade (55 handle height). Good density (nice full feel), soft-tips, good flexible backbone, Nice head spread, love the look of the handle the rich feel of the lathering.

2- Thater 26 2 band fan, 54 loft in a DK Soldier Tortoise top Off White grain bottom handle (transplant). (54 handle height). Good density, very soft-tips for a fabulous cloud like luxurious feel (no scrub whats so ever), good backbone that reinforces the softness of the tips. Nice head spread. The Thater is 5 years old, I liked the knot but did not like the handle. Now with the DK handle the look and feel with a different loft height, I absolutely love the Brush/knot

3- Elite 27 2 band fan, 54 loft DK7 milk green (69 ½ handle height). Good density (nice full feel), soft-tips, full flexible backbone. Nice head spread, beautiful handle, lathers luxuriously.

4- M&F Finest, 1/3 black 25 ½ 2 band fan, 48 loft (50 ½ handle height). Good density (nice full feel) for a pleasant scrub, soft-tips, good backbone for a soft scrub.

5- M&F Blonde L7 Tortoise, 24 2 band hybrid 51 ½ loft (57 handle height). Good density, very soft-pillow tips, medium backbone.

6- Elite 27 2 band bulb 53 ½ loft a Paladin designed light yellowish wood handle (58 ½ height handle). Good density (nice full feel), soft-tips, a full flexible backbone, a tighter more structured head /tip spread that does not take away the from the lovely soft tips and face lathering feel.

7- Envywhite 26 2 band fan, 53 ½ loft in a fluted red wooded handle by another vendor (57 handle height). Strong density (nice full feel), semi soft-tips (not scritchy) I use when I want a gentle scrub, strong flexible backbone.

8- Rooney 24 2 band hybrid, 50 loft Emillion Tortoise (59 handle height). Good density (nice full feel), super soft-tips, super cloud like feel, medium flexible backbone. Displays a very handsome bloom.

Now what is in your rotation and why. (photos optional)

These photos were added a day or 2 after the post

Top pic L-R. Paladin, Elite, DK Thater, Elite, Rooney 2 band (Special prototype Brush bought from Jims Vintageblade collection). Bottom pic. L-R. Envywhite, M&F Blonde, M&F Finest.

[Image: QNT6qv6.jpg]


[Image: WV4yuEk.jpg]

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 08-30-2016, 09:54 PM
#2
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I don't have any brushes I don't use so here's my 'collection' rotation...

1. Kent BK4 - this was pif'ed to me and thank goodness as its my favorite brush.

2. Plisson Maison du Barbier synthetic - another love at first site brush - especially when I'm low on energy and/or time and just need a brush to work.  Made my Plissofts expendable.*

3. Simpson Wee Scot tortoise best badger - got with little expectation and thought it would be a novelty.  As my newest toy I've been using it a lot lately and surprised how well it actually works.  Won't be used quite as much if it stays as prickly as it has shown.**

4. Simpson Chubby 2 synthetic - very nice brush that just works.  Can be too much of "a wall of fake badger" at times for my taste.

5. Semogue 830 boar - have had Omega boar brushes before but never got on with them.  Stuck with this one and as it breaks in is rewarding me with great lathers.  An integral part of my Marco Mondays whipping up some Cella.

6. Vie Long Toro Ganso badger - my first brush on Phil's recommendation and my only brush for my first few years of wet shaving. A very nice badger brush that I still use regularly.  Can't say the same for the twisted yuck that was the Vie Long horse brush I tried.

* the Plissofts are nice brushes and a great deal.  I gave one to my son as he starts shaving and the other is my travel brush for now.  He also got my Kent Sivertex synthetic that I didn't care for the splay of.  I had a Muhle silvertip fiber that wasn't bad but wasn't great that I pif'ed to a friend who's starting to wet shave.

** Each shave with the Wee Scot has been better (i.e. less prickly).  So much so that I ordered a Commodore X2 in best badger to see if I like it.

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 08-31-2016, 04:43 AM
#3
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I started wetshaving with a terrible best badger Edwin Jagger brush that I bought from Amazon.com.  It was floppy and scratchy to me which was a terrible combination.  Subsequently, I ended up exploring boars for quite some time, decided I liked Omega 49 the best and then onto synthetics as they became more prolific and affordable.  Then I started to get really picky, decided I wanted less scritch. I began looking into badgers.  Here, I ended up starting with a Savile Row and a Thater 4292/5.  The Savile Row was soft but just did not have the backbone I loved, plus the 24mm knot disappointed me.  It was after this that I decided that I liked bigger knots but with more backbone and from there, I was onto 2-band badger brushes where I currently reside. As a side note I face lather.


Current rotation:

26x51mm Elite Razor Manchurian White in gold/black resin Chief style handle.  This knot sort of has a bulb bloom to it, and wow, it is incredible.  Solid backbone, but super soft tips and no scritch.  It additionally has nicer density than any of my Shavemacs which shocked me.

26x51mm Elite Razor Manchurian White in Horn Lotus style handle. This knot actually blooms differently, more hybridish and more like a fan.  I like this knot more than the one above.  It has a bigger feel on the face but with the same super soft tips, same density and incredible luxury.  This might be my favorite brush currently.

25x51mm Shavemac 2-band Fan in Rudy Vey Jade Chubby style handle.  So this was my favorite brush for quite some time.  It was the first brush that I put together all of my current desires in one complete package.  Lower loft, soft luxurious tips, solid backbone and a fan which is now my favorite type of knot.

Morris and Forndran 2xL style in Ivory.  The original owner of the brush told me it was a 29x50 sized knot.  I was very fortunate to come across this in a private sale from a gentleman here at the Shave Nook.  It has pretty soft tips but a TON of backbone.  So much so that it feels probably scrubbier than any of my other brushes in my rotation.  There is something nice about the scrub from it however.  No scritch, but I dont feel like it is as luxurious as my Elite Razor knots.

Thater 4292/5 26x58mm bulb in Ivory. Very luxurious soft tips on this brush and decent backbone, but not my favorite.  I think if the loft were lower on the brush it would be perfect.  Generates a great lather, has a smaller presence on the face for a 26mm knot but its still very enjoyable.  If this brush were denser it would really be awesome because again, the hair is super soft on this.

26x56mm Shavemac 2-band Bulb in 386 style Blue marble horn style handle.  This was maybe my second custom brush from Shavemac? It was at a time when I was trying to discover what I liked and unfortunately, I set the loft too high on this one.  I should have had it set maybe around 52.  Its very soft, very luxurious, but floppier than I currently like. Great bowl lathering brush.

26x52mm TGN Finest Doug Korn Stubby M7.  I just decided to take a risk and buy this off of Doug's site from his inventory.  I DO NOT like the TGN knot.  It has gotten a bit better after using it but it has scritchiness to it that rivaled some of my boars and it scratches my face from time to time. One of the more disapointing badger purchases I've made recently, but the handle is beautiful.

24x54 Savile Row Silvertip three band bulb.  I just use this one here and there for bowl lathering.  I need to go ahead and sell it because I do not like the small size of the knot however it is a very soft brush.

Stirling Synthetic Kong 26x63 bulb.  Love this one when I want a huge huge knot thats still soft but has backbone.  This is great for travel.

Stirling Synthetic Stubby Kong 26x54.  This brush has more backbone than any other synthetic I've ever used. I did not like this one at first but it did grow on me.  Man this is one interesting brush.  Tons and tons of backbone, soft tips but it does feel scrubby.  I wish its loft was just a bit taller so it would splay better.

All this being said, I have four brushes coming in this week (3 today) so this could change.

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 08-31-2016, 05:24 AM
#4
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
And not a photo in the bunch!

Dodgy

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 08-31-2016, 05:41 AM
#5
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
User Info
Kent BK4 – lovely floppy super soft tips

Shavemac 2 band – definitely a favorite, dense and springy with soft tips. Excellent flow
Simpson Chubby – tiny knot but super dense and soft
Simpson Commodore – hair as soft as my “supers
Simpson Polo 8 – big handle sits comfortably in hand with super tips
Vulfix 377 Silvertip – favorite brush. Price was great, tips are soft, brush is dense and almost floppy, excellent flow
Brad Sears 30mm Hive – price and handle are tops.  Knot is quite good almost floppy and super soft
Kent BK8 – bigger version of the BK4, awesome for three pass Sunday shaves with tons of cream capacity.
Simpson Chubby 2 - much bigger version of the chubby 1, more dense not as soft great spring, bad flow
Thater 26mm – overall a fantastic brush value.  Soft, dense and good flow with a good handle
Vulfix 2235 silvertip – not as nice as the 377 but a good brush at a fantastic price
Vie Long Bee Hive – this one is growing on me after 40 or so uses.  Prickly in the beginning but with painting strokes super soft. Bad flow
VP LeonHardy – tall brush knot with excellent flow and unusual springiness
Semogue 830 – boar.  Not bad, not a favorite
Epsilon LE 2 band – prickly ,scritchy super dense brush bad flow think about selling every time it gets used.
Brad Sears Fat Arley Manchurian – great price, a little scritchy, monster handle
Paladin PK47 2 band – absolutely fanatastic brush.  Great handle and great soft and springy knot.
Rooney 23 mm – another floppy super soft brush
VP LeonHardy 2 band – Jury is out on this one, good price just can’t love it or hate it for some reason.
 
If I could keep only one it is the Vulfix 377 in silvertip.  If I was given 3 as an option I would include the Paladin and Shavemac but I would miss the Thater.

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 08-31-2016, 06:01 AM
#6
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I use all my brushes regularly:

Orchid Isle 3-band silvertip
Unknown 3-band silvertip
Kent BK4
Kent B&B LE 2008
Kent Silvertex
Rooney 2/1Finest
Rooney Heritage Emillion1
Thater 4292-4H 3-band silvertip
Simpson Colonel best
Simpson Tulip 2 super
Simpson Jubilee Manchurian
Simpson Somerset Duke2 pure
Simpson Chubby1 best
Simpson P8 best
Simpson Wee Scot best
Simpson M6 Manchurian 
Simpson Emperor2 super
Simpson Polo8 2-band silvertip
Omega B&B Essential Boar
WSP Monarch 2-band silvertip
New Forest 2001 2-band high mountain
New Forest 2213 silvertip
shavemac Beehive finest
shavemac 410 3-band silvertip
shavemac 412 flat-top 3-band silvertip
shavemac TSR 2015 Xmas LE 2-band silvertip
Semogue Owners Club boar
Semogue 2015 3-band silvertip
VP Leonhardy 680020 2-band silvertip
VP Leonhardy (blue handle) 3-band silvertip
Muhle MUH 31K256 silvertip fibre
Vie Long VL 13065 re-knot TGN 2-band finest
Simpson Classic1 re-knot Muhle silvertip fibre V2
Edwin Jäger 3-band silvertip
Vulfix 2233 silvertip

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 08-31-2016, 08:28 AM
#7
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(08-31-2016, 05:24 AM)chazt Wrote: And not a photo in the bunch!

Dodgy


Haha! My thoughts exactly!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 08-31-2016, 09:10 AM
#8
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I have downsized my prime badger collection from 100+ brushes to now 30.
10 custom made Shavemac, 10 Thäter & 10 LE Simpson.

I then own 24 synthetics and 8 boars.

I might trim this number further down.

And sorry taking photos is not up to scratch. Same as golf, the year I knew 8 was the lowest I would ever go in handicap, I stopped. Same with photos. I'm an 8 handicap photographer, not good enough to waste time for other people to watch me play golf/watch my photos

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 08-31-2016, 09:11 AM
#9
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[Image: eV1omX8.jpg]
* Rooney 1/2 in Faux Horn - Super 3-band
* Rooney 1/2 in Faux Ivory - Finest
* Rooney 3/1 - Finest
* Rooney 2XL - Heritage 2-band
* Rooney 3XL - Heritage 2-band
* Rooney Old Style 1 Medium in Genuine Horn - Super 3-band
* Rooney Highlander 2 in Faux Ivory - Heritage 2-band
* Rooney Stubby 2 - Heritage 2-band
* Rooney 3/1 in Faux Tortoise - Silvertip
* M&F 1/3 in Faux Ivory - Super 3-band
* M&F Chief in Faux Tortoise - Blonde
* M&F Highlander in Faux Ivory - Blonde
* M&F Alibaba 2 in Faux Ivory - M&F Finest
* Paladin Falstaff in Faux Jade - M&F Finest
* Paladin Falstaff in Faux Butterscotch - Select L-Type
* Shavemac 412 in Faux Horn - 2-band Silvertip
* Shavemac 25 in Brown-Beige - D01 Silvertip
* Simpsons Chubby 2 - Super
* Simpsons Colonel X2L - 2-band
* Simpsons Duke 3 - Best
* Simpsons Tulip 2 Somerset - Super
* Simpsons Tulip 4 Super
* Thater 4376/4 in Plexi - 3-band
* Thater 4292/4 in Faux Ivory - 2-Band
* Vie-Long Epsilon in Faux Ivory -Silvertip
* Erskine w/TGN Finest

All brushes get used and provide a unique experience, otherwise they'll move on. No shelf queens in the lot.
I typically pick a brush and use it for several days straight before moving on to another.

All badger.

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 08-31-2016, 09:25 AM
#10
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(08-31-2016, 08:28 AM)merkur man Wrote:
(08-31-2016, 05:24 AM)chazt Wrote: And not a photo in the bunch!

Dodgy


Haha! My thoughts exactly!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I didn't add photos because I thought more people might participate if not hassled by the spending of time taking photos and posting. I was more interested in peoples stories, for it would be easier and take less time for people to partake in this discussion. Maybe I should have added photos optional.

You gentleman who have commented on the lack of photos could join the discussion and and start the ball rolling by adding photos to your brush rotation routine. I will post mine tomorrow.

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 08-31-2016, 09:39 AM
#11
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Ok, pics it is.

[Image: 3IXYtws.jpg][Image: pZBm7Ko.jpg][Image: MmIGsTa.jpg][Image: 0ABB891.jpg]

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 08-31-2016, 10:09 AM
#12
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I've done some down-sizing, and no longer own all of these, but this was my collection at it's best.  I have some favorites and some got more use than others, but each was used and enjoyed along the way

[Image: Yb4QB08.jpg]

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 08-31-2016, 10:15 AM
#13
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(08-31-2016, 10:09 AM)merkur man Wrote: I've done some down-sizing, and no longer own all of these, but this was my collection at it's best.  I have some favorites and some got more use than others, but each was used and enjoyed along the way

[Image: Yb4QB08.jpg]
These brushes without question made a Fabulous collection/rotation

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 08-31-2016, 10:18 AM
#14
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(08-31-2016, 09:39 AM)chazt Wrote: Ok, pics it is.

[Image: 3IXYtws.jpg][Image: pZBm7Ko.jpg][Image: MmIGsTa.jpg][Image: 0ABB891.jpg]

just beautiful

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 08-31-2016, 12:19 PM
#15
  • beamon
  • Active Member
  • Greenville, SC USA
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(08-31-2016, 09:10 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: And sorry taking photos is not up to scratch. Same as golf, the year I knew 8 was the lowest I would ever go in handicap, I stopped. Same with photos. I'm an 8 handicap photographer, not good enough to waste time for other people to watch me play golf/watch my photos
A dubious analogy, Claus, but if you insist... A golf handicap of 8 is far better than the average golfer can manage. If your analogy is credible, then your self-described photo handicap of 8 would put you far ahead of the average photographer which would have the viewers clamoring for your photos.

FWIW, I got down to a 2 golf handicap and believe me, it gets more frustrating as you strive to shave those last two strokes off and achieve that hallowed ground in golf of SCRATCH! Then I got hit with a stroke that ended it all. Can only walk with difficulty, now. The golf swing is impossible!

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 08-31-2016, 12:56 PM
#16
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(08-31-2016, 12:19 PM)beamon Wrote:
(08-31-2016, 09:10 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: And sorry taking photos is not up to scratch. Same as golf, the year I knew 8 was the lowest I would ever go in handicap, I stopped. Same with photos. I'm an 8 handicap photographer, not good enough to waste time for other people to watch me play golf/watch my photos
A dubious analogy, Claus, but if you insist... A golf handicap of 8 is far better than the average golfer can manage. If your analogy is credible, then your self-described photo handicap of 8 would put you far ahead of the average photographer which would have the viewers clamoring for your photos.

FWIW, I got down to a 2 golf handicap and believe me, it gets more frustrating as you strive to shave those last two strokes off and achieve that hallowed ground in golf of SCRATCH! Then I got hit with a stroke that ended it all. Can only walk with difficulty, now. The golf swing is impossible!
The idea of the thread are the stories behind a persons brush rotation (not photos of a persons total brush collection) please don't feel that a photo is the most important requirement, it is not. Your shaving years and experience on how you now decide on your equipment for that few moments of private shaving pleasure is all that's is needed. I hope this thread stays on cause, there are a lot of people that have a lot to offer. I would like to do the same later on with razors.

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 08-31-2016, 02:45 PM
#17
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My current daily brush rotation is only 4 as I'm living in a very tight space.

1. Semogue Special Edition 2013 Silvertip 24/48mm

2. Semogue SOC 2 Band Badger in Cherry Wood 24/53mm

3. Whipped Dog Silvertip in Resin Handle 24/48mm

4. Whipped Dog High Mountain Badger in Tall Resin Handle 24/50mm



And all my other brushes are put away clean which I've used them, and when I move into a bigger unit I'll start using them which I really had to get them something special just for me which are:-

5. RazoRock Plissoft Synthetic 24/57mm

6. Semogue 620 21/50mm

7. Semogue 830 22/55mm

8. Semogue 1800 22/55mm

9. Semogue SOC Boar 24/57mm

10 . Simpson Duke 3 Best Badger 23/48mm

11. Simpson Berkeley 46 Best Badger 20/45mm

12. Simpson Chubby 2 Best Badger 27/50mm

13. Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic Badger v2.0 fiber 27/52mm (IF I go away overseas again this is the brush I take with me)

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 08-31-2016, 03:33 PM
#18
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(08-31-2016, 12:19 PM)beamon Wrote:
(08-31-2016, 09:10 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: And sorry taking photos is not up to scratch. Same as golf, the year I knew 8 was the lowest I would ever go in handicap, I stopped. Same with photos. I'm an 8 handicap photographer, not good enough to waste time for other people to watch me play golf/watch my photos
A dubious analogy, Claus, but if you insist... A golf handicap of 8 is far better than the average golfer can manage. If your analogy is credible, then your self-described photo handicap of 8 would put you far ahead of the average photographer which would have the viewers clamoring for your photos.

FWIW, I got down to a 2 golf handicap and believe me, it gets more frustrating as you strive to shave those last two strokes off and achieve that hallowed ground in golf of SCRATCH! Then I got hit with a stroke that ended it all. Can only walk with difficulty, now. The golf swing is impossible!


Great story, Sir.
Very sorry to hear about your stroke.
My father had an almost similar heart condition, that forced him to also slow down. He started at 18, ended at 36+ handicap and had to stop (because traffic on the golf course started to be a problem on the better courses)

The year I quit the game was tough (2011), but now I don't even miss the game in the least and perhaps watch golf once a year. I burned out. Totally.

Hit the gym same amount of hours as I did golf weekly, lost 12 kg, and got in the best shape of my life. Still don't miss golf one bit today

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 08-31-2016, 05:07 PM
#19
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
(08-31-2016, 10:18 AM)bijou Wrote: just beautiful

Thank you, Steven.

My primary rotation is:

Simpson's Chubby 2 Super
Simpson's Chubby 3 Best
Simpson's Duke 3.1 25x50 Shavemac knot
Simpson's 59
Epsilon 2 band 27x55
Epsilon 3 band 27x50
Semogue Owner's Club
Semogue 2013 SE Olivewood

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 08-31-2016, 07:35 PM
#20
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(08-31-2016, 09:10 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: I have downsized my prime badger collection from 100+ brushes to now 30.
10 custom made Shavemac, 10 Thäter & 10 LE Simpson.

I then own 24 synthetics and 8 boars.

I might trim this number further down.

And sorry taking photos is not up to scratch. Same as golf, the year I knew 8 was the lowest I would ever go in handicap, I stopped. Same with photos. I'm an 8 handicap photographer, not good enough to waste time for other people to watch me play golf/watch my photos

actually got down to a 7 hdcp then started working and a business.  forgot golf totally.  fun while it lasted

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