Observations of new brush maker

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by MBShaves17, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. MBShaves17

    MBShaves17 Member

    So I recently set out to make custom brushes to compliment my existing brushes. I decided to have a custom in each of my four brush categories; a badger, a boar, a synthetic, and a travel brush. I used products from Whipped Dog, The Golden Nib, and Shave Forge. Firstly, I will clarify the experience was positive. All three of the suppliers I used delivered. I’d say that Shave Forge, with discount running at the time and flat rate shipping, over delivered. I recommend all three. But in the end,I realize the value of making a brush is completely dependent on one’s initial motivation. Only in one, maybe two, of the four cases can I make an objective argument for doing it. So here we go. I will give MSRP prices and discount where applicable.

    Travel brush. - I wanted something cheap, small, and synthetic. I made a 20mm brush using what seems to be a synthetic tuxedo knot. Definitely at least a plissoft knot, but feels similar to my tuxedos. Total cost $13. I feel like this, objectively, might have been worth it. If I add 33% of my epoxy expense, it was $15. Not bad, but you can find a small cheap boar or pure badger for that or less. In my case I wanted synthetic and no larger than 20mm. Hard to find that readily available. Now on this guy I got 30% off, so real cost was $11.10. So really happy, but can’t count on such deals. So in terms of make or buy? Gentle lean towards make.

    Synthetic - Whipped Dog had a 24mm tuxedo knot dyed the colors of my grad school alma matter. Great brush. However, it was $28. My Razorock Snowman performs identifcally to it for $9.99. The only justification for this? Go Gamecocks! Great emotional purchase, but the Snowman is insanely punching above its weight class. Make or buy? Buy unless you’re tired of losing to Clemson and think this brush will bring good luck or something.

    Boar - 24mm in really cool looking blue handle. $17 bucks plus epoxy, $19. Nice brush. I’m happy with it. However, Jeff Bezos will sell you your choice of various Semogues or Omegas for that and ship it to you free if you are a Prime member. Again here I got 30% so it was $13.90. It got me right in range of a few Semogues but I don’t think the knot on my brush is that good. It’s good, but Semogue and Omega are using great knots for the money. Make or buy? Buy all day long.

    Silverip Badger - same handle as boar, 24mm knot. $35 plus epoxy, $37. Now here I think that it was unconditionally worth it. Even if it isn’t the greatest silver tip knot, you are at the very low end of silvertip entry prices. On top of that, I got a longish handle to specialize in bowl lathering. There wasn’t a brush like this in that price range. On this guy, there was a 20% discount, so real cost was $30 including epoxy. This is an obvious case of a make over buy.

    So I come out of this adventure learning two things. A custom brush, if you want a silvertip, is totally worth it. Sure you can get a better brush, but you will pay accordingly. All other cases, making a brush needs to satisfy a need beyond value. You want a crazy cool handle, you have a vintage handle, you want a crazy huge knot, or you’re a Gamecocks fan. The other lesson, give places like TGN, WD, and Shave Forge a try. They are providing a great product / service that WCS, Italian Barber, Amazon, etc are not and, in my experience, are ran by guys that care about what we think.

    Love to hear others’ take on this.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  2. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    So where are the photos?
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  3. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Great read @MBShaves17. Thanks for sharing both objective and subjective reasons for why each brush satisfies.

    I do like the scrubbiness of a new Omega boar brush. Their plastic handles don't equal the great quality of the knots. That's what makes them a good choice for donor knots. If you prefer a softer closer to broken in feel, then Semogue makes sense because they seem softer from the start.

    Back when they first came to market I purchased a Tuxedo knot from APShaveCo via Etsy. They are one I'd recommend to folks seeking their first synthetic. I also have one of their Cashmere knots set in a L.E. Cypress wood handle. Great performance. So soft I hardly feel the brush - just the lather. Lately the same knots are available directly from the Chinese manufacturer in a variety of handles for about the same price as the knot by its self.

    I'm glad you are pleased with your badger selection. I've tried several Vulfix (not dense enough & too high lofted = floppy), a Whipped Dog High Mountain (better density, needs to be set deeper in my Rubberset 400 replica), and a Virginia Sheng black badger (even better density, or maybe it's set deeper. I didn't assemble that one.).
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  4. MBShaves17

    MBShaves17 Member

    I have a photo of the badger in another thread. I’ll try to get photos of the others.
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  5. MBShaves17

    MBShaves17 Member

    you bring up a great point. Buy a commercial brush for the knot and “re-handle it.” Something to think about....
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  6. MBShaves17

    MBShaves17 Member

    Badger, boar that is wet at the moment, obvious synthetic, synthetic travel brush.

    Attached Files:

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  7. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    That's my favorite handle profile - the old classic Barber's brush. The second brush I bought was an Omega Pro #10098 boar. Tall & fat, with a great scrubby knot. I liked it so much that's what I put in my B-400.
    Omega Pro #10098 & B-400 OP98 knot.jpg
    Since I had a close to original boar knot in one of the threaded ferrules, I did a WD badger and Tuxedo in the other. Although I won't, I could get by on just this set up. It does make a great travel set.
    B-400 badger boar synthetic.gif
  8. MBShaves17

    MBShaves17 Member

    That is a pretty sweet set-up. Makes for easy storage, too.
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  9. Weasel640

    Weasel640 Well-Known Member

    Could you post links, or the component list including what vendor you got each from, along with the pictures of each brush?
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  10. MBShaves17

    MBShaves17 Member

    I posted picture in one of the responses. As for vendors; shave forge, Whipped Dog, The Golden Nib
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  11. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to the Make Your Own Brush Club. Nice work.
    brit and RyX like this.

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