10-17-2012, 05:34 PM
#1
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There’s a way to break in a boar brush without having to shave with it day after day for weeks and weeks. The three new boar brushes pictured below are proof that this works. The tips of these brushes are well-split and very soft on the face because they've each had the real-time equivalent of over 100 days of normal use in the past three weeks.

There are two factors involved in breaking in a new boar brush. The first factor is the cumulative friction/wear effect and the second factor is the alternate soaking and drying. One daily use will result in a maximum of about 3 minutes on average of actual brush activity on the skin, and that friction is minimized by the presence of the soap or cream. Doing it the slow way at a rate of one normal use per day it takes several weeks or months of shaving to achieve a fully broken in boar brush. There is a way to manipulate and speed that process up without having to actually shave and/or even make lather. However, there's no way to speed up the soaking and drying.

Here’s how I do it. I got a piece of thick scrap leather from Tandy about 6 inches x 6 inches and laid it on a piece of wood the same size. After soaking the dry brush in water for a while I rub it on the finished side of the leather, just like I’m building lather on my face or hand for a full 30 minutes, swirling and painting the whole time, first one hand and then the other. Then I let it dry thoroughly. One thirty minute session equals 10 daily shaves. After about 10 sessions the tips of the brush will be uniformly well-split and ready to use for shaving.

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 10-17-2012, 05:42 PM
#2
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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I dunno, to each their own I guess but this would feel like cheating to me. I kind of enjoy the process of breaking in a boar, it becomes a bit of a love/hate relationship..
it annoys you at first and then it slowly gets better and better with every few shaves and you watch as it blossoms and one day it's all grown up and turned into a lather beast.

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 10-17-2012, 06:03 PM
#3
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Gary, thanks for the information!

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 10-17-2012, 07:53 PM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Another technique to soften a boar brush.Thanks for sharing it , Gary.

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 10-17-2012, 08:15 PM
#5
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Good technique but I agree that it sounds like cheating. When I break in a boar on my face it becomes "MY" brush, bristles will split when it's time and I get to feel satisfaction. Just MHO.

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 10-17-2012, 08:38 PM
#6
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In the past I used my face to break in a boar, but now I just use my hand to lather it to break it in. Before or after my shave and a few times during the day did it. My last boar broke in so rapidly I was actually amazed at how rapidly it began splitting.

I see no functional difference to using my hand or a piece of hide. But I break in so few boars I just don't see the need for another piece of "gear". If I did break in a lot of them as Gary did I'd be all over this. The goal is breaking it in. Personally I don't care how it's accomplished. (tossing my head around) Yeah, I know it's cheating, but it really isn't IMO. My mind is open to this.

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 10-18-2012, 04:00 AM
#7
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Thanks Gary. Appreciate you posting this over here.

I think I will call this the "Okie Method". Biggrin

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 10-18-2012, 04:01 AM
#8
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Gary, thank you for this interesting method of breaking in a boar.

But... Lao Tzu's famous quote explains my thoughts about this subject ;

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

I prefer to 'enjoy the ride' Smile

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 10-18-2012, 09:51 AM
#9
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(10-17-2012, 05:42 PM)Arcadies Wrote: I dunno, to each their own I guess but this would feel like cheating to me. I kind of enjoy the process of breaking in a boar, it becomes a bit of a love/hate relationship..
it annoys you at first and then it slowly gets better and better with every few shaves and you watch as it blossoms and one day it's all grown up and turned into a lather beast.

Is buying a used boar cheating too?

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 10-18-2012, 12:24 PM
#10
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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(10-18-2012, 09:51 AM)asharperrazor Wrote:
(10-17-2012, 05:42 PM)Arcadies Wrote: I dunno, to each their own I guess but this would feel like cheating to me. I kind of enjoy the process of breaking in a boar, it becomes a bit of a love/hate relationship..
it annoys you at first and then it slowly gets better and better with every few shaves and you watch as it blossoms and one day it's all grown up and turned into a lather beast.

Is buying a used boar cheating too?

I dunno, to me it would I guess, I am not totally serious and that was a light hearted comment. However, I do prefer and enjoy breaking them in "as intended" aka while shaving, barring 1-2 palm lathers to remove any foreign substances and maybe a vinegar soak if needed to cut down on any nuclear powered mothball funk.

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 10-18-2012, 01:04 PM
#11
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I usually break in boars but very long soaks in hot water followed by an intense lathering sessing just on a puck of MWF, allowing that to sit for a bit and then a few minutes of hand lathering, then a good hot water rinse, 2 days to dry and repeat. It doesn't take long at all and it's starting to bloom and then I finish the process just by regular use.

I don't think it's cheating to do it, however one gets to the point they enjoy the brush is what counts. Some people cannot stand the initial scratchiness of a new boar, especially if it has a big knot.

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