01-10-2013, 08:25 PM
#1
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Since I have been asked a couple times now , how to soak the boar hair of the Semogue wooden handle brushes , let me copy and paste what our friend Leon (Bruno from http://www.vintagescent.com ) have posted on his facebook store profile.Hope this will help people to understand better than a wooden handle needs to be taken care of.

Sometimes people ask me how to prepare the brush before shaving. Here's my method. Fill a container with warm (not hot!) water and put a support below. This way the brush is perfectly upside down without risking to fall to the sides.
Don't use hot water for goodness sake! I can't repeat this enough. Also, don't use too much water. The water level should be at most at 1 cm from the base of the knot. Don't go any nearer than that.


[Image: Semogue%20SOC%20cherry.jpg?m=1357878070]

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 01-10-2013, 08:33 PM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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That's a good way to do it for sure. I don't use a stand but set mine in a small coffee cup with warm water. For my banded boars, I never let the water go above the band, which would look like the picture above.

Thanks Teiste.

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 01-10-2013, 08:57 PM
#3
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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Thanks for the heads-up, Teiste and Bruno. I was "running the tub" a bit too deep.

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 01-10-2013, 09:50 PM
#4
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How much life would you get out of a brush like that if you often brought the water too high? I have a 1305 and I'd guess more often then not, i soak it with a little bit of the handle in the water.

I guess I figure for $18 or so, if I only get a few years of use out of it, it's not big deal.

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 01-10-2013, 10:31 PM
#5
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(01-10-2013, 09:50 PM)5Savages Wrote: How much life would you get out of a brush like that if you often brought the water too high? I have a 1305 and I'd guess more often then not, i soak it with a little bit of the handle in the water.

I guess I figure for $18 or so, if I only get a few years of use out of it, it's not big deal.

The new painted wooden handles , has a more resistant waterproof varnish , but , thats not always the case , and sometimes the paint could suffer if you leave it soaked with hot water for a long period of time.So its better not to soak them , to be honest.

How much could it last a boar brush? Very long , around 10 years of regular use.The wooden handle? I guess that even more , if you treat it right.

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 01-10-2013, 10:48 PM
#6
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I also use a small coffee cup. Works great.

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 01-11-2013, 12:18 AM
#7
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Good post Teiste. I always soak my brushes with the water level below the handle. Also, with a proper brush scuttle, there is no need to "hold the brush upright" as it will sit flat in the scuttle.

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 01-11-2013, 12:42 AM
#8
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I soak my wooden handled brushes so the wood do touch the water, but it's okay as long as make sure to dry it after the shave using a stand for 2-3 days.

After that I just stand it on its base like my other brushes.
Do the same with genuine horn brushes.
I have no brushes with wooden painted handles, but I guess you need to take even more care of them to avoid the paint chipping off from the wood Sherlock

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 01-11-2013, 06:19 AM
#9
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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I soak my brushes in my World Market gravy warmer (aka my brush scuttle) and simply match the water level to the loft of the brush. However, I like the consistency of your/Leon's method, Teiste! Cool

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 01-11-2013, 08:27 AM
#10
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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Thanks for this Teiste. Good information.

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 01-11-2013, 08:49 AM
#11
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This is how I've been doing it; using my copper lathering bowl and a stand I got with one of my brushes.
   

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 01-11-2013, 08:51 AM
#12
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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I never worry too much about the soaking the wooden handle because I do not soak for very long and I ALWAYS make sure I dry the brush after use as thoroughly as I can and let it rest for a few days. I have enough brushes for that (fewer than most people here, probably, but enough). I think brushes dry better with loft up, not down, as the capillary action wicks the moisture away from the handle in the UP direction as water evaporates (water vapor is lighter than water liquid and wants to waft UP. If you have a brush hanging by the handle that moisture will go up the knot into the handle). I shake the brush after I have rinsed it, which also involves getting the wood wet. Then I towel it off, then stand it on its butt to dry. In just a half hour or so there is no moisture anywhere close to the handle. I think the damage to the handle can occur when subjected tot he moisture for prolonged periods of time. The time it takes to shave, clean and dry the brush is not enough to cause damage to a well finished wooden handle. I have made a handle out of exotic wood, have treated it with lots of Danish oil and beeswax and I am never worried about it when soaking, or shaving with it or rinsing it after shaving. If the wooden handles could not stand up to regular shaving use they would not be used in shaving brushes, but they are because they work very well and really only require some awareness of moisture not staying on the wood for too long. Soaking the brush up to the handle for 5 minutes is not going to kill it as long as the brush is made properly and is dried properly afterwards. That's my $0.02, anyway. I haven't owned a wooden brush long enough to have any kind of experience with wood being damaged.

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 01-11-2013, 09:36 AM
#13
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Nice post Teiste.

This does bring up another possibly interesting discussion in how much of the brush actually needs to soak. When soaking the brush all the way up to the handle water gets trapped in the breach/knot and this can get very messy when face lathering. If one were to only soak the hairs/bristles half the length of the loft this may not be as big of an issue.

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 01-11-2013, 10:23 AM
#14
  • geezer
  • Senior Member
  • Menomonie, Western WI
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This is interesting! Thanks for starting the thread!
~Richard

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 01-11-2013, 11:13 AM
#15
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I just use my TSN coffee mug for brush soaking. I go about 2/3 up the height of the bristles / hair. About a 2 minute soak for badger, about 5 minutes for boar.

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 01-11-2013, 11:28 AM
#16
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Excellent information on brush soaking.
I agree with verfdman about drying upright, I dry mine the same way.
I use a brush rotation with all my brushes.

What I'm gleaning from this discussion is soak just the tips.
Does that affect the water ratio for lathering?

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 01-11-2013, 11:43 AM
#17
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I hang all of my brushes and let gravity pull the water down to the tips where it can wick/evaporate in to the atmosphere. Been doing it this way for over 50 years and have never had a handle or knot self destruct.

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 01-11-2013, 12:42 PM
#18
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(01-11-2013, 08:49 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: This is how I've been doing it; using my copper lathering bowl and a stand I got with one of my brushes.
Hans - this is even more ingenious than Bruno's soaking technique Clap

sidenote: it is indeed a mistake not to dry brushes - especially with handles of natural materials - upside down. i have used brushes with handles made from wood for almost 30 years (artists brushes) - most of them can still be used for another 30 years - and that means until i turn 100 Cool that should be long enough i think. of course you can store brushes upright when completely dry - and it is also possible when completely wet - do as you please - but the proper way for longevity is upside down.

i encourage someone to make a scientific test on this matter - so that we solve this brush-drying-mystery once and for all. it would be nice to move on. there are several and simple ways to measure moisture. anyone feel called? Idea

further - i am a firm believer that one should treat all useful objects with the same respect - both inexpensive or costly. think about it: if you for instance use a brush weekly for many years - it is probable that you will develop some fond attachment to it - why not try to extend your relationship as long as possible? when the day comes to acquire another one - and you might wish for a clone of what you once had - in your mind it will always be the best brush in the world - the company or person that made it may be long gone...

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 01-11-2013, 01:48 PM
#19
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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If brushes are to dry downside would putting them in a cup to dry be acceptable.

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 01-11-2013, 01:56 PM
#20
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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(01-11-2013, 01:48 PM)Howler Wrote: If brushes are to dry downside would putting them in a cup to dry be acceptable.


I would say the more air circulation they get the better so I would not put my brush in a cup to dry. I would rather leave it out in the open, handle down myself. It is how I store my brushes, including the wood handled ones. My bathroom is very well ventilated however, with our heating and ventilation system always circulating the air in our house so the air is constantly moving. I find my brushes tend to dry out very quickly, thankfully. But I would definitely not put any of my brushes in any kind of enclosed environment, even a cup to dry. My 2c.

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