10-27-2019, 12:14 PM
#1
  • bijou
  • Senior Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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For some unknown reason, I went looking through a few (of the many) boxes of shaving items that I had stored away, items that had been replaced with new purchases, put away and forgotten. Well in my digging through one of the boxes I came across this Brad Sears handle with one of the first Envy White 2 band knots. I remembered the brush as being very nice, but it was replaced in my rotation with a new purchase, and since it hadn't been used for long while I had forgotten its personality.

I took it out and the next morning lathered it up and had myself a wonderful shave. I had become so used to the newer more dense knots that I now use that I had forgotten about the beauty of this brush. This knot is 27 x 54 with very nice backbone for this loft, not overly dense, beautiful feel with soft tips, nice flow through in swirling and brush strokes, what a treat.

I think I got this knot 2015-2016 and at the time I was delighted with how nice this knot was. I really liked it which led me to go and purchase a few more but was told by Nathan that his first batch was sold out and I would have to wait for his new order of knots to arrive. When they came in Nathan got back to me in-which I purchased 2 more a fan and bulb. To my dismay they were not the same knots as in the first batch, they had the same characteristics as his first initial knots except the tips were scitchy. I got rid of the scritchy brushes and later as I put another brush into my rotation I put the Brad Sears away well, until the other day.

Brad Sears Bronze Gonzo (handle 54 tall) 27 x 54 early Envy White 2 band. 

[Image: 2mkogNZ.jpg]

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 10-27-2019, 12:42 PM
#2
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Nice post.  I too have some less dense brushes that I like very much.

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 10-27-2019, 12:45 PM
#3
  • mick
  • Ex-Lurker
  • New Jersey
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very nice and unique looking brush!

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 10-27-2019, 06:10 PM
#4
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I had an Envy White 2 band knot which was too scritchy to keep.  You're fortunate to have one from the earlier batch, and that Brad Sears Gonzo handle is very nice.

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 10-28-2019, 03:40 AM
#5
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I’ve several brushes that fell out of my rotation, inexplicably, until recently.  When I started using them again I couldn’t believe how good they were.  I’m still puzzled as to why I stopped using them and really glad that I didn’t sell any of them.

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 10-28-2019, 05:35 AM
#6
  • bijou
  • Senior Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(10-27-2019, 06:10 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: I had an Envy White 2 band knot which was too scritchy to keep.  You're fortunate to have one from the earlier batch, and that Brad Sears Gonzo handle is very nice.

Thanks, I feel pretty lucky. I purchased another Envy a year later and it was the same as my 2nd purchase sctitchy. This excellent knot really worked out well in the Gonzo handle. The thing is I'm sure many of us have some excellent items that we put away and kind of forgotten about them.

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 10-28-2019, 07:35 AM
#7
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That's a nice looking brush!

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 10-28-2019, 11:45 AM
#8
  • bijou
  • Senior Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(10-28-2019, 07:35 AM)Max Sprecher Wrote: That's a nice looking brush!

thanks

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 10-28-2019, 12:42 PM
#9
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Great photo 14th and Union Square - NYC

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 10-28-2019, 01:09 PM
#10
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Sweet brush. The heel bevel looks smooth and comfortable and the knot is very nicely shaped as well. Quite bulbulous. It also seems to have some decent loft. I’ll bet it’s firm but not too, with soft tips and lather flow from here until the sun comes up. Enjoy your brush, Steven. Thanks for sharing Smile

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 10-30-2019, 02:30 PM
#11
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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Blast from the past.  Our records show it was turned as a custom brush in mid-2015.  That's the original Gonzo pattern which we  designed the previous year. Glad you're enjoying it.

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 10-30-2019, 05:14 PM
#12
  • bijou
  • Senior Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(10-30-2019, 02:30 PM)BSWoodturning Wrote: Blast from the past.  Our records show it' was turned a custom brush in mid-2015.  That's the original Gonzo pattern designed the previous year. Glad you're enjoying it.

It's a lovely handle, I just received the re-knot you did for me in the knight handle with your new estate series knot, I will start using it next week. Thanks  Brad

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 10-31-2019, 02:49 AM
#13
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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(10-30-2019, 05:14 PM)bijou Wrote:
(10-30-2019, 02:30 PM)BSWoodturning Wrote: Blast from the past.  Our records show it' was turned a custom brush in mid-2015.  That's the original Gonzo pattern designed the previous year. Glad you're enjoying it.

It's a lovely handle, I just received the re-knot you did for me in the knight handle with your new estate series knot, I will start using it next week. Thanks  Brad


You’re quite welcome. We will also welcome your feedback on the Estate Series knot.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 06-07-2020, 09:34 AM
#14
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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(10-30-2019, 02:30 PM)BSWoodturning Wrote: Blast from the past.  Our records show it was turned as a custom brush in mid-2015.  That's the original Gonzo pattern which we  designed the previous year. Glad you're enjoying it.

There appears to be a little more to the story than that. I was doing some research on Beehive-type handles a couple of days ago and stumbled onto a post by Boonie21 (Jason) dated 08/27/ 15, in which he described a custom brush that Brad Sears had recently made for him. Jason wrote: “I approached Brad and basically told him that I love Beehive brushes and I also love the lower part of the handle on the Paladin PK-47 – I asked what he could do and only a few days later this arrived yesterday.”

Jason offered that brush for sale in the TSN BST Forum a week later, referring to it as a “P-hive”, which resulted from a “a cross between a beehive and a Paladin PK-47 style handle.”

On 09/11/15 Mr_Smartepants (Erik) posted that after he had seen Boonie21’s “new ‘P-hive’ brush”, he also contacted Brad and asked him if he would make Erik a brush with the same handle design but sized for a 30 mm knot." Having received delivery of that brush earlier in the day, Erik wrote: “I thought it would be called a P-hive but Brad decided to name it the ‘Gonzo-30’ on the certificate.”

Hrfdez (Hector) posted photos of his new Gonzo 27 on 09/20/15 saying: “This brush was designed by our own TSN member Jason and done by Brad Sears.”

Brad introduced The Gonzo in the Artisan’s Forum on 09/22/15, acknowledging Jason’s role in inspiring the design, which, Brad said, had become “his most popular over the past month”. I first read Brad’s reply to this thread (quoted above) as implying that he designed “the original Gonzo pattern” in 2014 (i.e., the year previous to 2015). Maybe the reference to “mid-2015” was a typo.

I’d guess the beehive brushes Jason was referring to when he described his idea to Brad were either Rooney Beehives or patterned after them. I don’t know anything about that design’s origin. I believe the Kent Thistle (the top portion of which might be taken to suggest a beehive) is probably older, but the Thistle’s top is very different from any Rooney Beehive I’ve seen. Frank McInroy’s CAD drawings of small (21 mm) and large (24 mm) Beehives (which he used to make the iconic Rooney Heritage Beehive handles that first appeared in the US in 2007-2008) were clearly patterned after Rooney handles dating to the company’s family-era.

As to the PK-47’s origin, I completed a first CAD drawing of the design in August of 2013. Back then I was using Adobe Illustrator. On August 31 ,2013 I sent an email to Lee Sabini that said:

“What do you think of this one? It's about 37.5mm wide x 52mm high with the flat part of the top just a little over 25mm. So shorter than the group buy design but would take the same size knot. Didn't spend much time on it. Wish I had a lathe so I could turn prototypes to see how they'd feel in hand.”

That email included the image below:

[Image: Freehand-083113_zps3xjcj4nl.jpg]

I found a suitable benchtop CNC lathe in December of 2013; hauled it home on January 6, 2014; and turned the first PK-47 prototype on July 4 of that year. The next day I sent a photo of the handle to Lee. He had recently told me that the “Frank” who made the M&F Group Buy Chief handles had retired and “gone off to make model steam engines.” Lee asked if I thought we (Cody and I) could make 70-100 handles and ship them to England in time for him to have knotted and labeled before the holidays. Paladin Shaving was born, and we were on our way.

A couple of TSN members who posted into the P-hive/Gonzo threads referenced above offered observations that the PK-47 bears at least partial resemblance to a Simpson 59. That’s true enough, and the same thought occurred to me at some point along the way after we started turning handles for the First Batch of Paladin shaving brushes in August 2014. But no Simpson 50 Series handle inspired or influenced development of the PK-47’s design in any way whatsoever.

The first sales of Paladin Shaving Brushes were made in England and Europe due to the fact Lee held a number of brushes back to fulfill orders outside the US, so he was in position to ship to customers before we were. Photos of two of those brushes showed up on B&B in late December 2014. One of my replies (below) provided some color on how the PK-47’s design came about.

[Image: _1_Dark_Holler_Design_Works_preview_Page...tvtwhr.jpg]

Finally, I’d like to point out a subtle but purposeful and, to me, ergonomically significant difference between the concave curve (between the bead and base) of a PK-47 as compared to the corresponding geometry of Simpson 59s I’ve seen. The innermost point of that curve on a PK-47 is positioned higher above the curve’s mid-point. That’s because it fits in my hand (in particular against my thumb) more comfortably that way. We subsequently grafted the same curve into several of our handle designs. 

So, that’s the rest of the story.

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 06-07-2020, 11:43 AM
#15
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Thank you for filling in the gaps Ken. I always enjoy reading the back story.

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 06-07-2020, 11:50 AM
#16
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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(06-07-2020, 11:43 AM)bullgoose Wrote: Thank you for filling in the gaps Ken. I always enjoy reading the back story.

Thanks, Phil. Me too.

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