11-01-2018, 03:57 AM
#1
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I thought they were but someone told me they were not.

What say the board?

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 11-01-2018, 05:15 AM
#2
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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(11-01-2018, 03:57 AM)discerningbev Wrote: I thought they were but someone told me they were not.

What say the board?

My understanding is that Lee tied those knots; but Ken's the one to confirm/deny.

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 11-01-2018, 05:29 AM
#3
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I may be wrong here, but I have heard from a very knowledgable source that Lee never personally tied a knot. That work was done by his assistants. I have no problem be corrected if someone has better information.

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 11-01-2018, 05:32 AM
#4
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(11-01-2018, 03:57 AM)discerningbev Wrote: I thought they were but someone told me they were not.

What say the board?

What exactly did someone tell you?

I have said many times in many places that to the best of my knowledge Lee didn't tie a single one of the knots that went into any of the Kansas City - London handles. Lee also didn't turn any of the 2013 M&F Group Buy handles. That just isn't what Lee generally did. I do, however, believe that he set most, if not all, of the knots in the Kansas City - London handles. 

I was told by Lee that the knots that went into the M&F Group Buy Chiefs came from Rooney. I was repeatedly assured by Lee that he set all the knots that went into our Kansas City - London handles. He never claimed to have tied any of those knots, and I have never believed or represented to anyone that he tied any knot that went into a Paladin handle.

Lee often referred to two women, both of whom were middle-aged or older, as responsible for making knots for the brushes we produced in collaboration with him. I believe those two women were also involved in making knots for Rooney.

There was discussion on some of the boards several years ago (before the M&F Chief Group Buy on B&B in 2013) about rumors to the effect Rooney/M&F knots were sourced from outside England (presumably China). I sought assurances from Lee several times with regard to how, where, and under whose direction the knots that went the M&F Group Buy Chiefs and Kansas City - London Paladin handles were made. He consistently provided assurances as described above. That said, I have no way of knowing based on first-hand observation. I never personally witnessed one of the Kansas City - London knots being tied, glued, or set.

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 11-01-2018, 06:42 AM
#5
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(11-01-2018, 05:32 AM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(11-01-2018, 03:57 AM)discerningbev Wrote: I thought they were but someone told me they were not.

What say the board?

What exactly did someone tell you?

I have said many times in many places that to the best of my knowledge Lee didn't tie a single one of the knots that went into any of the Kansas City - London handles. Lee also didn't turn any of the M&F Group Buy handles. That just isn't what Lee generally did. I do, however, believe that he set most, if not all, of the knots in the Kansas City - London handles. 

I was told by Lee that the knots that went into the M&F Group Buy Chiefs came from Rooney. I was repeatedly assured by Lee that he set all the knots that went into our Kansas City - London handles. He never claimed to have tied any of those knots, and I have never believed or represented to anyone that he tied any knot that went into a Paladin handle.

Lee often referred to two women, both of whom were middle-aged or older, as responsible for making knots for the brushes we produced in collaboration with Lee. I believe those two women were also involved in making knots for Rooney.

There was discussion on some of the boards several years ago (before the M&F Chief Group Buy here in 2013) about rumors to the effect Rooney/M&F knots were sourced from outside England (presumably China). I sought assurances from Lee several times with regard to how, where, and under whose direction the knots that went the M&F Group Buy Chiefs and Kansas City - London Paladin handles were made. He consistently provided assurances as described above. That said, I have no way of knowing based on first-hand observation. I never personally witnessed one of the Kansas City - London knots being tied, glued, or set.

Thanks for the info Ken but I am still confused. Did the old ladies that work for Lee Sabini hand tie the knots? Not trying to be snarky or uncouth but what is so special about Lee setting the knots if they were not hand tied?

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 11-01-2018, 07:09 AM
#6
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(11-01-2018, 06:42 AM)discerningbev Wrote: Thanks for the info Ken but I am still confused. Did the old ladies that work for Lee Sabini hand tie the knots? Not trying to be snarky or uncouth but what is so special about Lee setting the knots if they were not hand tied?

This is good discussion. You're a lawyer; I'm a recovering lawyer. I try to say precisely what I mean and distinguish what I know from what I believe, speculate, or have been given to understand.

I was given to understand that the ladies Lee referred to hand-tied the knots in England. I took your question literally, i.e., as asking whether the knots were hand-tied by Lee (as distinguished from by someone else on Lee's behalf).

I should probably clarify that in my view we're talking about who made the knots, and possibly where, but not whether those knots were hand-tied.

I am highly confident that all of the knots we source from China are hand-tied. There are many who place higher value on knots that they at least presume to have been made somewhere other than in China (e.g., in England). I've wondered what the perceived difference in value might be between two knots tied by the same person with the same materials and in the same way, but one having been made in China and the other in London or Overland Park, KS.

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 11-01-2018, 07:30 AM
#7
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Below is a photo of two Paladin Kansas City - London shaving brushes that I cut in half. The one on the left, a Horn Chief, is from the First Batch of 100 we made in the fourth quarter of 2014. The one on the right, a Butterscotch PK-47, is #29 of the 100 (plus three) 2015 TSN LE brushes. 

I posted a photo of the bisected Chief in a thread on TSN sometime in the first half of 2015. Lee was OK with me doing that. The PK-47 originally went to a buyer in England and didn't come into my possession until mid-2016 (i.e., about a year after the 2015 TSN LE). I accepted its return and issued a refund on account of shedding, which in fact it did. I didn't get around to cutting that brush in half to see if I might figure out what was going on with it until several months later (I think in 2017). When I did, I immediately noticed differences in knot construction. So, some knots are clearly made and set differently than others. We didn't make any brushes with Lee after the TSN LE, and I've never asked him about the difference.  

[Image: PB013281acws_zps6tmlxvyj.jpg]

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 11-01-2018, 07:51 AM
#8
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Thanks again for the outstanding information. And going above and beyond to clarify. I can tell you whether they were or were not hand tied I have 2 and they are special knots. They remind me of Declaration B1 with the fluffiness and gel tips!


[Image: 0UsIbVK.jpg][Image: eAWzKjE.jpg][Image: TD7A4rp.jpg][Image: aZyrsjv.jpg]

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 11-01-2018, 08:13 AM
#9
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October 2013

[Image: CB-amp-LSws_zpsgynrv0y5.jpg]

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 11-01-2018, 08:21 AM
#10
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recovering lawyer showing x rated cut handles. omg  great info.  I learned so much from you Ken when I started with my first kc/London brush.  thanks

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 11-01-2018, 08:29 AM
#11
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(11-01-2018, 08:13 AM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: October 2013

[Image: CB-amp-LSws_zpsgynrv0y5.jpg]

Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I assume that is Lee. I would love to go to one of those old school men’s grooming shops in London like Taylor of Old Bond St.

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 11-01-2018, 09:14 AM
#12
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(11-01-2018, 08:29 AM)discerningbev Wrote: Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I assume that is Lee. I would love to go to one of those old school men’s groooming shops in London like Taylor of Old Bond St.

Lee is one of a kind. I love the guy. What he brought about with/from Rooney was entrepreneurial, visionary, gutsy, and broadly game-changing. When I post regarding what Lee did and didn't generally do, my purpose is to clarify and place focus where I think it rightfully belongs, not take anything away from Lee. I have great respect for him and deep gratitude for his part in enabling what we do.

My wife and I spent most of a day with Lee in London. He took us everywhere in St. James, and everyone knew him. He arranged a complimentary straight shave for me at
Truefitt and Hill. Afterwards we quaffed beers at an ancient pub (The Red Lion). That evening his wife joined us, and we had one of the most memorable meals in my life at a restaurant in Shepherd Market, Mayfair, a few blocks from where Jimi Hendrix lived in 1968-69.

To paraphrase Steven Vincent Benet: There are love and hate and delusion, and all the tricks of the maze.
And the years are unreturning. But, here and there, there are days
. That was one of them for me.

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 11-01-2018, 09:29 AM
#13
  • NJDJ
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Great thread!

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 11-01-2018, 09:31 AM
#14
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(11-01-2018, 09:14 AM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(11-01-2018, 08:29 AM)discerningbev Wrote: Awesome! Thanks for sharing. I assume that is Lee. I would love to go to one of those old school men’s groooming shops in London like Taylor of Old Bond St.

Lee is one of a kind. I love the guy. What he brought about with/from Rooney was entrepreneurial, visionary, gutsy, and broadly game-changing. When I post regarding what Lee did and didn't generally do, my purpose is to clarify and place focus where I think it rightfully belongs, not take anything away from Lee. I have great respect for him and deep gratitude for his part in enabling what we do.

My wife and I spent most of a day with Lee in London. He took us everywhere in St. James, and everyone knew him. He arranged a complimentary straight shave for me at
Truefitt and Hill. Afterwards we quaffed beers at an ancient pub (The Red Lion). That evening his wife joined us, and we had one of the most memorable meals in my life at a restaurant in Shepherd Market, Mayfair, a few blocks from where Jimi Hendrix lived in 1968-69.

To paraphrase Steven Vincent Benet: There are love and hate and delusion, and all the tricks of the maze.
And the years are unreturning. But, here and there, there are days
. That was one of them for me.

Thanks for sharing that! Sounds like one glorious day! A bucket list kind of day for wet shaving fans. Awesome story.

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 11-01-2018, 10:59 AM
#15
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Great thread.  I've always wondered if all knots are hand tied and if they are, there should be no difference in which country they are actually tied in.

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 11-01-2018, 01:08 PM
#16
  • SCOV
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(11-01-2018, 09:29 AM)NJDJ Wrote: Great thread!

Educational, respectful, polite, positive, complete with photos, etc.

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 11-01-2018, 01:33 PM
#17
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Below is a photo with two knots that might help to illustrate how those Lee put in our handles were made. Lee gave me the one on the left for just the same purpose (i.e., demonstration). That was very early on, probably August or September of 2014, when Cody and I were working on the First-Batch handles. 

I pried the knot on the right out of a Group Buy Chief that was returned in the summer of 2013 on account of the knot being unstable. Lee's guess was that air under the knot had pushed it up in the handle before the glue was fully set. I wanted to see for myself. (That was before I got into bisecting brushes.) I'd say Lee was probably right.

It appears to me that both of these knots were made in the same way. First a weighed bundle of hair, cut at the bottom to proper length, was shaped in a cannon, then tied and glued, leaving a cavity in the base of the knot corresponding to the shape of the cannon. The knots we source from China are made in basically the same way, but with the additional step of subsequent insertion into a glue-filled form to create a short, cylindrical, flat-bottomed base.  

I believe the knot on the right was made in the same manner as the one on the left. Before the Chief's knot was set, the handle's socket (knot hole) was filled about halfway to its top with a different type of glue, into which the knot was then carefully inserted. This process is obviously time-critical and requires some skill to achieve proper depth of insertion and resulting loft. I suspect it's also prone to leaving trapped air in the cavity at the base of the knot. (Note that the piece of hardened glue at the center of the photo wasn't originally part of the knot's base; it was formed by glue poured into the socket prior to the knot's insertion.)

I should say here that I've never set a knot like this. All the knots we've sourced have solid, cylindrical, flat-bottomed bases. But they are still hand-formed, hand-tied, and initially glued in basically the same way. 

In the photo above of two bisected brushes, I believe the knot in Horn Chief (at left) was made with a solid, cylindrical, flat-bottomed base (i.e., like the ones we use), identifiable by demarcation in color and the air pocket trapped under the base. That doesn't mean the knot came from China. Its construction just involved an additional step.

[Image: PB013283cws_zpsmlxox8pp.jpg]

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 11-01-2018, 02:20 PM
#18
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(11-01-2018, 01:33 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Below is a photo with two knots that might help to illustrate how those Lee put in our handles were made. Lee gave me the one on the left for just the same purpose (i.e., demonstration). That was very early on, probably August or September of 2014, when Cody and I were working on the First-Batch handles. 

I pried the knot on the right out of a Group Buy Chief that was returned in the summer of 2013 on account of the knot being unstable. Lee's guess was that air under the knot had pushed it up in the handle before the glue was fully set. I wanted to see for myself. (That was before I got into bisecting brushes.) I'd say Lee was probably right.

It appears to me that both of these knots were made in the same way. First a weighed bundle of hair, cut at the bottom to proper length, was shaped in a cannon, then tied and glued, leaving a cavity in the base of the knot corresponding to the shape of the cannon. The knots we source from China are made in basically the same way, but with the additional step of subsequent insertion into a glue-filled form to create a short, cylindrical, flat-bottomed base.  

I believe the knot knot on the right was made in the same manner as the one on the left. Before the Chief's knot was set, the handle's socket (knot hole) was filled about halfway to its top with a different type of glue, into which the knot was then carefully inserted. This process is obviously time-critical and requires some skill to achieve proper depth of insertion and resulting loft. I suspect it's also prone to leaving trapped air in the cavity at the base of the knot. (Note that the piece of hardened glue at the center of the photo wasn't originally part of the knot's base; it was formed by glue poured into the socket prior to the knot's insertion.)

I should say here that I've never set a knot like this. All the knots we've sourced have solid, cylindrical, flat-bottomed bases. But they are still hand-formed, hand-tied, and initially glued in basically the same way. 

In the photo above of two bisected brushes, I believe the knot in Horn Chief (at left) was made with a solid, cylindrical, flat-bottomed base (i.e., like the ones we use), identifiable by demarcation in color and the air pocket trapped under the base. That doesn't mean the knot came from China. Its construction just involved an additional step.

[Image: PB013283cws_zpsmlxox8pp.jpg]

Thanks so much for your enlightenment.  Just fantastic stuff here! Wow!!!  Like the above poster said respectful, entertaining, educational, positive and the list could go on and on.

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 11-01-2018, 02:26 PM
#19
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Thank you for the great lesson providing knowledge and respect.

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 11-01-2018, 02:26 PM
#20
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(11-01-2018, 08:21 AM)daveinsweethome Wrote: recovering lawyer showing x rated cut handles. omg  great info.  I learned so much from you Ken when I started with my first kc/London brush.  thanks

Missed seeing this until just now. Thanks for the kind words, Dave!

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