Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Brush experiment, with BBS result

with 2 comments

SOTD 15 Oct 2013

Quite a nice shave today. In a discussion on Wicked_Edge, someone mentioned that it takes longer for soft brushes to make lather. This was a surprise to me—I get immediate good lather from my softest brushes and hardest soaps, thanks in part to having relatively soft water. I inquired as to the nature of the difficulty he encountered, and in the exchange I learned that he preferred large knots, so his soft brushes were substantially larger than those I generally favor (in the 20-22mm range).

It makes sense that a larger brush would take a longer time to load than a smaller brush, but of course it also makes sense that a heavier object will fall faster than a lighter object (duh! It’s heavier, dude.), and yet when you actually try it, the bowling ball falls at the same speed (and acceleration) as the golf ball. So “making sense” is not a reliable guide to understanding natural phenomenon: you have to actually observe the phenomenon. More trouble, but there it is.

I was going to say that making sense is a necessary but not sufficient condition, but then I realized that, as we see from quantum theory, making sense is not even necessary: the double-slit experiment shows that to be true.

In any event, I decided to check the loading times for two brushes of unequal size: the Wee Scot and Rod Neep’s Dreadnaught, which has a 26mm knot and, Neep says, will hold 1 cubic inch of water.

Results: the Dreadnaught took 25% longer to load than the Wee Scot. The difference in absolute terms is not large (8 seconds for the Wee Scot, 10 seconds for the Dreadnaught), and I don’t think that difference is really behind his experience that loading a soft brush takes him longer than a stiffer brush, so something else must be in play—perhaps the water? the soap? the loading technique? In fact, I believe that loading a boar brush takes me longer than loading a badger brush—partly, I suppose, because boar brushes tend to have larger knots, but also because the action seems different. Tomorrow I’ll try a boar and a badger brush and compare loading times.

At any rate, I got a terrific lather—Martin de Candre does that—and ended up with a BBS result, thanks is large part to the Merkur bakelite slant and the Personna Lab Blue blade it carries. I have found that, although a regular straight-bar razor can produce a BBS result, I get BBS shaves more consistently and more easily when using a slant.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2013 at 9:36 am

Posted in Shaving

2 Responses

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  1. I’ve been looking for this razor for quite a while and each time I see it on your STD, I’m a little bit frustrated. Still looking for it.


    Rejean Duval

    27 October 2013 at 1:46 pm

  2. I suggest you post some “Want to Buy” posts (WTBs) on Reddit’s /r/shave_bazaar and the BST threads in the various forums. They do come up occasionally.



    27 October 2013 at 3:23 pm

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