Help With Boar Brushes

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by john zeiger, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    I have two boar brushes a Semogue 620 and a Zenith (B6 I think) and have all kinds of trouble with the brushes eating my lather. My procedure is that I soak them in warm water while I shower and then shake and lightly squeeze most of the water out just before use. Then I load. I usually do ok for the first pass. But, when I go to apply my lather for the second pass most of my lather seems to have dissipated. It has been so frustrating for me that I've stopped using my boar brushes. I'd like to start using them once in a while. Would anyone be so kind as to explain how I can stop my boar brushes from "eating" my lather? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. John Beeman

    John Beeman Well-Known Member

    Try just a shake and don’t squeeze the water out. You might be getting rid of too much water.
     
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  3. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    Thank you John. I'll give that a shot.
     
  4. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    IMO, most of the factory brushes are lofted to long but you should still be able to get a good lather. Load the crap out of the brush then load it some more. You might have to wet the tips a few times while loading so your picking up more soap. I make most of my own brushes so I have a tendency to treat them like a government mule and I never had to replace a knot because of use or abuse but they get a work out like a Marine Corp private in boot camp (old school of course). If they don't cut the mustard I ain't gonna let them lick the jar.
     
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  5. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    Thank you Oscar. You've given me another tool to try.
     
  6. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    John, another thing to try is to make your lather on the puck. Put your puck in a bowl (soup bowl style) and go at it with a wetter brush and just keep working the brush and puck until you get the lather you want. It's not very soap efficient but you should end up with plenty of lather. Good luck, IMO, it's worth the effort.
     
  7. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    Thank you again Oscar. Looks like from what you and John have indicated that I need more water and more soap. I've been using the technique that I use for synthetics and that just doesn't work for me with boar. Thanks again.
     
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  8. Enrico

    Enrico Well-Known Member

    Yes, each brush type has their own optimum loading style. Not that ones better than another ... just different. :)
     
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  9. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Sounds like not enough soap loaded to start. I face lather and love a boar. It could also be that your not building a good stable lather to start.
     
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  10. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    All of my Boar brushes are "Lather Hogs". I don't use creams with them, and I prefer hard soaps. Soaps are cheap, so, "lather it like ya stole it".
    My preferred soap is Grated Arko, mixed with with Sandalwood, or Avon Spicy scent.
     
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  11. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Once it was explained to me that natural fibers are porous. That the reason for the soak was to fill those tiny holes with enough water so that when you loaded soap, those holes were filled with water. If they were filled, they absorbed less of the soap into the fiber (better not to have soap drying inside the fiber). The water filled fibers were more limber and retrained a consistent wetness. The lather being made on the outside of the bristles instead of being sucked inside.
    I'd think this was relevant to you by using a simple shake off of the water instead of a shake and squeeze. I'm pretty sure Gary @GDCarrington was the one who explained this (if you wanted to search more info), or could have been @PLANofMAN .
     
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  12. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    This sounds very logical to me now that you explain it. It seems that this and loading more soap might be the answer. Thank you david of central florida for taking the time to respond. I think I am starting to understand the boar brush better thanks to you an others in this thread. I really appreciate yours and all other responses. My approach to boars has to be different than what works so well for me on synthetics. The answer seems to be more water and more soap.
     
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  13. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    I do a combination of squeeze (after thorough soaking) and rehydrating with the "bloom" water :), which has been poured into my Aesop bowl. The now re-hydrated brush (badger/boar, doesn't matter) is then lightly shaken, before I start my lathering. Without fail, I get oodles and oodles of lather. Always more than I need, which, imo, is the perfect amount.
     
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  14. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member


    Thank you much Primo. Oodles of lather is just what I'm looking for. Even more things to try. Looks like it will be a boar brush testing week for me.
     
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  15. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    i have conditioned my boar brushes occasionally. i give them a shake and load off the puck,then bowl lather adding a little water as needed. so far there s always been left overs after 2-3 passes. i use boars on my hard soaps.
     
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  16. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    Thank you for your reply brit. I really appreciate it.
     
  17. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    Thanks again to all who replied above. For this mornings shave I used my Zenith boar (which for some reason seems to be loosing a fair amount of hair but thats another story) using the techniques suggested above and had a much better experience. I did have to go back to the puck for a little more product to finish my usual 3 1/2 pass shave. I soaked the brush while I showered then gave it one good shake then loaded for a minute and a half. This gave me enough soap for 2 1/2 passes. I used Mike's Natural Orange, Cedarwood and Black Pepper soap (my favorite soap as well as my hardest soap). I think that, thanks to you all, I am now on my way. I guess I still need add more soap though to get enough for my 3 and a half passes. I'll continue to experiment with adding more soap. Thank you again for all of your help.
     
  18. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    Try a teaspoon of water on the puck while you soak the brush (some call it blooming). (Sorry i didn't remember if you already did this). The two (one shake and a bit of water on the puck) should make more lather.
     
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  19. john zeiger

    john zeiger Active Member

    Thanks David I'll try that tomorrow
     
  20. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    One of my Zenith brushes did shed hairs for about the first seven shaves. The number decreased with every shave and since then it has only lost one hair.
     
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