10-30-2012, 12:38 PM
#1
  • RedRocks
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I have been using the same Ever-Ready 150 I bought in college around 1972~73. There were a few years mixed in there where I wasn’t using the brush, so let’s say the brush has seen at least 30 years of action. It continues to serve me well. So well, in fact, I decided to pick up a few more. These are strong powerful brushes firm enough to put the soap where I want it, but with just enough softness so I don’t feel like I’m brushing with a wire brush.

I decided to expand my horizons a bit, so I picked up three lightly used Semogues - a 1305, 1800, and red 610. But honestly, all three of these are too soft for my liking, and they’re not even broken in yet! I am trying the o-ring trick on the 1305 tonite & see if the brush will stiffen up a bit.

Now, comparing the 150 to any of the three Semogues, the ends of the hairs on the 150 have some very slight splitting – barely noticeable. The hairs on the Semogues, however, have very noticeable splitting, thus causing the softness & splaying that I don’t care for. Now remember, I have upwards of 3,000 uses on the 150 vs less than a dozen on any of the Semogues.
[Image: m1-ERvsSem.jpg]
Ever-Ready 150 [L], Semogue 610 [R]

So why such a huge difference? Even with differing grades of boar hair, I would think that the split ends would be fairly consistent between the vintage Ever-Readys and the more modern Semogues. Are there any boar brushes out there to compare with the vintage ERs?

What do you think?

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 10-30-2012, 01:02 PM
#2
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No split ends are indicative of the boar hairs being cut at the tips. AFAIK.

Certainly appears that way in your photo comparison.

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 10-30-2012, 06:18 PM
#3
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+1 what Lee wrote.

You might try a honkin' big lofted boar and shortening it more to your liking. It may sound nuts to do that, but I tried it a few months back and it wasn't particularly scratchy. I was absolutely amazed that it wasn't. I think it was a Semogue 1250 I did that to. BTW, after I used it for a few weeks I reknotted it. Clearly in all that time not a single bristle had split.

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 10-30-2012, 07:13 PM
#4
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Wow, you must really like the exfolation process. Do you face lather? Three passes with even the softest Semogues and i could start feeling a bit of brush-burn.
Good luck and Brian's suggestion may be a good one.

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 10-30-2012, 07:41 PM
#5
  • RedRocks
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Somewhere I think I remember reading something about this. The discussion had to do with Badgers not getting softer, but Boars 'break-in' because of the ends splitting apart. Does this sound right? It's all coming back to me now ....

Like what Lee said, if the tips of the boar hair are trimmed, then no splitting is possible.

So Brian, I'm not too sure about the "honkin' big lofted boar", but I do have a couple 55 mm lofted Semogues that I am willing to sacrifice for the cause. So how much trimming did you have to do & how did you actually trim it? I think I would start with the 610 (pictured above).

Thanks to both of you for helping me get this back into perspective!

~Frank

(10-30-2012, 07:13 PM)celestino Wrote: Wow, you must really like the exfolation process. Do you face lather? Three passes with even the softest Semogues and i could start feeling a bit of brush-burn.
Good luck and Brian's suggestion may be a good one.

Thanks celestino! I don't know much about exfolation, but I do give my face the occasional scrub with a wash rag in the shower Shy Yes, I face lather and I find the stiffer brushes give me the best results.

~Frank

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 10-31-2012, 04:29 AM
#6
  • Leon
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(10-30-2012, 01:02 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: No split ends are indicative of the boar hairs being cut at the tips. AFAIK.

Certainly appears that way in your photo comparison.

True.

You also can't compare just two boar knots. If we know, from the Semogue side, what boar grades are in the knot, we can't tell the same in your Ever-ready brush, we just know it's "boar" and nothing else.

There are many distinct boar grades. The Semogue ones are the best we could find, but how's the Ever-Ready boar in terms of quality grade? We'll never know, probably.

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 10-31-2012, 05:31 AM
#7
  • RedRocks
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Thanks Bruno, I understand what you're saying. I can certainly tell the difference between a couple of my Semogues - 1305 and 1800 for example, so the grades do make a difference.

So, besides the various hair grades, the biggest difference between my Semogues and ERs is the fact that the ERs ends are cut. That explains a lot.

I wonder what the reasoning was behind Ever-Ready cutting the tips? Cost cutting? Maybe a way to get the shape they were after? Or maybe for the same reason that I like them - a firmer feel?

BTW, I tried the o-ring trick on my 1305 last night - wow, what a difference!

~Frank

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 10-31-2012, 09:21 AM
#8
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Cut boar hairs knots cost .25 wholesale. Or so close to less than a dollar that it really doesn't matter.

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 10-31-2012, 09:48 AM
#9
  • Leon
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(10-31-2012, 05:31 AM)RedRocks Wrote: I wonder what the reasoning was behind Ever-Ready cutting the tips? Cost cutting? Maybe a way to get the shape they were after? Or maybe for the same reason that I like them - a firmer feel?

That's the difference between making a brush by hand (Semogue) or machine (EV).

A machine would pick an amount of hair, glue it to form the base of the knot and then pass through a machine with a series of clippers and trimmers to have the desired finished shape.

I can only guess that Ever-Ready, being a popular brand back in the days where most US home would have one, would not make brushes by hand due to the amount of time and effort that would take to produce the demanding quantity, no?

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 10-31-2012, 10:16 AM
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When I tried to source boar hairs, I couldn't find a source for uncut tips.

That said, I haven't tried very hard. And there's a language barrier.

Leon could be correct about the machine. However, they do make machines that don't chop the tips off.

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 10-31-2012, 11:29 AM
#11
  • RedRocks
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This discussion has prompted me to dig a little deeper & do some more research (which I should have done before starting this thread Confused). It seems this topic pops up every so often on various forums.

I did find some threads about shortening (or trimming) the brush as Brian mentioned earlier. One guy in particular kept a detailed log with photos after he trimmed an Omega. Seems a very small percentage of the hairs split after about four months. Well, there are a few (very few) on my 150 that have small splits, but nothing like the Semogues.

Well, I still prefer the feel and performance of my ERs. I suppose I could try trimming a cheap uncut boar just to see what's involved. And, as I mentioned earlier, the o-ring trick made the Semogue 1305 a whole different brush.

Now, do I really want to take on another project? We'll see.

~Frank

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 10-31-2012, 03:39 PM
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RR, I believe the brush I trimmed was a 1250 0r a 1205 (one of them) To me that's a honkin' big brush. Biggrin

Trim it to make yourself happy with the loft. What I did no longer exists so I can't measure it, but I'd be willing to bet that I trimmed 10mms off of it. But go slow; you can always remove more, but it's a bear to glue ends back onto the trimmed bristles. I just used sharp scissors and gave it a haircut. Shape it into any shape you want. I chose a fan shape.

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 10-31-2012, 04:43 PM
#13
  • RedRocks
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Great Brian, thanks a lot!

The 1305 and 1250 have the same dimensions, 22 mm knot & 55 mm loft. In fact they look like the same brush, except one is painted & the other is natural wood. The ER is ~21 mm knot & ~50 mm loft. By trimming the split ends it may get close to the ER. The guy I referred to above trimmed his down to a little less than 2", maybe around 48 mm. Yeah, a little bit at a time is the key.

I may take a couple shots of courage & give it a try. Heck, I've trashed things worth far more than a $15 brush!

~Frank

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