Silver Shave Kit. The Finale!

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by Tim Spencer, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Hey, considering the custom brush, the renovation of the ABC set, plus tracking the set down, $1,900 is probably a bargain.
    EzraCobb likes this.
  2. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    :happy096:Another great job!
    Tim Spencer likes this.
  3. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Hey, would any of those pictures classify as shave porn? :)
    Tim Spencer likes this.
  4. Tim Spencer

    Tim Spencer Well-Known Member

    I look at this and cannot believe I managed to put something together like this myself. I never thought anything like this (let alone my other kits) could exist. I had a vision of something like this a year ago and only after exploring tens of thousands of pictures was the idea able to take shape and become something.

    This kit took a YEAR to build. Many times I had only a few components sitting on a closet shelf with only a "dead end" for the rest of the products/project. I simply couldn't find a proper brush or soap bowl and several finds were snatched by other people and my hopes were dashed that I would ever complete this thing. I paid big money last year for deodorants to match with an incomplete set of items, simply 'betting' that I would 'someday' complete it. I relentlessly bugged Chris Cullen of Catie's Bubbles to make me a very specific aftershave type (he probably thought I was a total pest because I wanted an alcohol-based one, not a watery balm) and to make one that matches his Royal Garden soap.

    I'm sure the different vendors I've contacted on all my projects must have thought I was asking for unusual things, sometimes for specific colors on labels, sometimes for custom scents they don't carry, etc.

    I honestly wasn't confident this was going to get made and it felt like what a government boondogle construction project must be like when you're over-budget and not finished and people start questioning whether you know what you're doing. (except the only person questioning if I could complete it was 'me' LOL). I kept tight lipped about this and only discussed the project with the vendors I was working with and showed pictures and pieces of the project in the hopes they "got it" and would be motivated to really do their part to make it happen.

    There were a few early vendors who simply didn't respond at some point or just seemed disinterested or just couldn't deliver a good enough product. I rejected two different shave soaps and aftershaves from people who just couldn't get the scent right. Chris Cullen got it right....correction, knocked it out of the park with his soap and aftershave. Sheryl of Lucky Girl Boutique helped make the deodorant last year and probably at some point thought I was full of doodoo about finishing the shave kit because it took so long to complete. I sent her regular pictures of my incomplete setup so she would know I was getting close.

    It wasn't until around December of last year when I was confident this was going to get finished. I was holding out for that Gillette ABC "Empire" razor. I had already bought a Merkur "1904" razor to be in the kit just in case I never got the "Empire" set.

    Regardless, my past-due, over-budget boondoggle shave kit is done and I can say, all the mistakes, misjudgements and lessons learned were worth it.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
    brit, Keithmax and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  5. Tim Spencer

    Tim Spencer Well-Known Member

    Don't forget buying a roughtly 10-year supply of custom crafted aftershave and deodorant. That stuff wasn't cheap. Even the seemingly minor items had significant expense. The post shave balm costs $20 each as well and doesn't last more than a month when used daily.
    brit and Keithmax like this.
  6. TitanTTB

    TitanTTB Well-Known Member

    Well done. The attention to detail you put to coordinate your kits is impressive.

    How often do you rotate your setup? daily, weekly, or when the mood strikes...
  7. Tim Spencer

    Tim Spencer Well-Known Member

    Originally last year, I only intended to build maybe 2 or 3 shave kits and use one per week and maybe only rotate a few products every 3 or 4 days at most. Then I got bit by the fragrance bug and ended up buying what turned out to be an unintended collection of 26 colognes (so far). This changed things dramatically because now I find it difficult to use the same scent more than one day. So, I have ended up switching out my shave kits sometimes daily, unless I happen to use a fragrance that is part of one of my color themes 2 days in a row, then I just swap out products.

    I'm considering 'forcing' myself to use a single shave kit for an entire week, but I doubt I can do it. I consider wearing the same cologne multiple days in a row the same as eating the same food everyday.
    brit, Keithmax and TitanTTB like this.
  8. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Well, if you don't have bits, send me a PM. I have rather a lot of weird razors that came as part of lots. If you have a knockoff cologne, I have a couple of good knockoff razors :)

    I can see it now "This is my Chinese Kit. Everything in it is a copy, clone, or counterfeit."
    brit and Keithmax like this.
  9. alpla444

    alpla444 That's sweet!

    Congrats, great looking set, even the pen holder works great with that set-up (a nice touch indeed)
    Tim Spencer likes this.
  10. EzraCobb

    EzraCobb Well-Known Member

    That Gillette Razor is Mind blowing! what a work of art. the brush handle is also amazing. Matt from Razor emporium really did a amazing job restoring the Gillette.
    brit and Tim Spencer like this.
  11. Tim Spencer

    Tim Spencer Well-Known Member

    Yeah, he did. He sent me regular pictures of the progress too.
  12. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I know what you're saying about the fragrance bug, that is an expensive one to catch. Just like you I cannot wear the same fragrance two days in a row.
  13. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    Over the top beautiful! :signs021: I'd be too worried about messing it up to enjoy using it. :scared011::eatdrink013:
    brit and Tim Spencer like this.
  14. Tim Spencer

    Tim Spencer Well-Known Member

    Yeah. The silver brush and bowl are real silver that tarnishes. Every so many months I need to remove the tarnish from the silver to keep it shiny (baking soda, tinfoil, salt, hot water and a toothbrush). So, this particular shave kit requires proper care and careful usage to keep it up. I bought a Merkur "1904" model razor (it's not from 1904, that's the model name, it's modern razor) that ended up as a "stunt double" in place of my restored antique Gillette ABC "Empire" razor. When I had given up 6 months ago trying to find an Empire antique razor, I chose that Merkur to be 'the one', but then just before completing the set I sourced two Empire sets with enough salvageable pieces to make a complete razor. I sent the pieces to Razor Emporium and they made my dream come true. The Empire razor was what I wanted from the very beginning for this set. It was a good thing that I got the Merkur to use as the stunt double to reduce the wear on the antique.

    I'm very proud of this set. Part of my brain feels weird having all these shave kits because I doubt people will understand why I put them together, but when I started I got this obsessive compulsive need to put them together. I put WAAAY too much money and research into all of these. Most people will think I'm a little weird, so I just keep this on the shave forum. Even my fragrance collection is pretty much just a shared online hobby with the basenotes forum. People who have similar interests are the only ones I show this stuff to on these two forums.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    brit likes this.
  15. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Why not lacquer the silver? If you want it to be like the original, polish the silver, clean it thoroughly with mineral spirits, alcohol and/or soap and water, then coat with a nitrocellulose spray lacquer. You can buy it at the hardware store. Just look for the ingredient of 'cellulose' in the list.
    Tim Spencer likes this.
  16. Tim Spencer

    Tim Spencer Well-Known Member

    I haven't thought about that. I kind of like having to clean the silver. I wish I knew this could be done from the outset and I would have asked London Cutlers to apply it to the silver before attaching their modified knot-head. It's not a big deal to clean these though. It would suck if I made a mistake applying the coating. The only gear I went to town modifying was my wood shave kit brush handles with polyurethane coating (mainly because if I screwed up, they were replaceable and cheap as it's a solid silver antique handle). The silver brush is not easily replaced and it's not anywhere close to cheap. The bowl is also silver (but silver plated) but looks like it would be much harder to coat without a mistake.
    brit likes this.
  17. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Oh. Addendum. Minwax Polycrylic requires no buffing between coats. Neither does shellac (shellac is damaged by alcohol, however. Probably not the greatest to use around aftershave). I believe that nitrocellulose lacquer requires no buffing between coats.

    Minwax Spray indoor/outdoor HELMSMAN Spar Urethane requires no buffing between coats as long as you do your recoating within 1.5 hours of the previous coat.
    brit likes this.
  18. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    I believe that much of the lacquers on brushes were applied after the knot was inserted. I have one brush where the last half inch of the knot is coated in _something_ shiny.

    Use painters tape (the blue stuff), and carefully wrap it around the brush, just a smidgen above the handle. Then you can either dip it, or spray it, and you won't have to worry about the hairs being damaged or saturated. It's not adhesive enough to pull the hairs when you take it off. (Put some on your arm, then remove it an hour later. That's about what it would be like)
  19. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    The bowl would probably be easiest to coat. Using a spray, in a relatively dust free area (like a closed garage), you do a light coat from about 8-10 inches away. Wait a few minutes, do another light coat. Each coat should blend into the previous one pretty seamlessly. After four or five coats, you'll have an even, shiny finish. (stand it up on a block of wood so that there no gluing itself to the floor protection paper/cardboard). The best part? If it doesn't work out, you can wipe it off with acetone, which shouldn't affect the silver.
    brit likes this.
  20. william beer

    william beer Well-Known Member

    Jim, I am putting a new knot in my Ralph Lauren brush. Do you have any pictures of the one you restored showing the hole where the old knot used to be? Seems to have a black plastic sleeve or something in the hole. I'm slowly working my way dow (at about 13 mm and was wondering where the bottom is?
    RyX, jimjo1031 and brit like this.

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