Philadelphia, PA
(This post was last modified: 06-09-2018, 05:02 PM by andrewjs18.)
Hi all,

We've been working with Brad from Brad Sears ShaveWorks over the past few months to design a 2018 DFS LE shaving brush for us.  We're very pleased with the brush.

Purchase url: https://damnfineshave.com/custom.php

The brush will be going on sale on June 9th at 12pm EST/9am PST.

Here's the link to purchase the brush (users must be signed into the forum to access the page): https://damnfineshave.com (I'll edit the link on Saturday)

Brush Specs:
Handle Material:  Col.849/TM Alternative Ivory
Handle height: 52mm
Handle diameter (max.): 42mm
Knot:  2-Band Select Badger, hand-tied to our specs in China, which we code as “1804A2x” where “x” connotes Fan or Bulb
Bristle loft: 54mm (Bulb) & 51mm (Fan)
Free loft:  48mm (both)
Socket size (effective knot diameter): 28mm

- Every brush, being completely hand-crafted, will vary slightly

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The following thoughts were shared by Brad since he knows way more about the brush/design than me:

The DFS handle design by Brad Sears ShaveWorks borrows heavily from the Morris & Forndran/Rooney Style 1 with the addition of the rounded collar borrowed from the M&F/Rooney Alibaba. The design is proprietary to Brad Sears ShaveWorks with license to DFS to use for publicity purposes.  This handle design will only be available to DFS members.  It will not be offered to the general public.

The DFS 2018 Limited Edition brush will be hand-crafted in col.849/TM Alternative Ivory, a cast polyester resin that exhibits the characteristics of real elephant ivory.  This material has been accepted by the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Trust, and is recommended by Gerrard of Mayfair, Crown Jewelers to the English Royal Family for repairs and replacements of real ivory pieces.  The 2018 DFS Edition will be limited to 51 brushes.  The first 50 are expected to be offered within the next month.  (The 51st will be reserved for the DFS Movember Project—and will likely feature a different handle material.)  Stay tuned for more information—including “how to order” instructions!

Each brush will be imprinted with a special DFS 2018 Logo on one side, with the BSSW logo on the other (the imprinting plate is being made as this announcement goes to press.)

All 2018 DFS L.E. brushes will be filled with BSSW’s 2-Band Select Badger hair, which has been hand-tied to Brad’s specifications by a small company in China.  Preliminary testing suggests that the Fans work best at 52mm of bristle loft, while the bulbs do better at 54mm.  Both are dense knots with white, very soft, “no scritch” tips, good backbone, scrub, and lather release.  All knots will be disinfected and shampoo’d before being set.

Each brush will come gift boxed with a special Certificate of Authenticity,  complete usage & care instructions, and a written one-year warranty.

The DFS 2018 Limited Edition brushes will be priced at $173.00, which includes USPS Priority Mail shipping with tracking and insurance.  (Due to U.S. Fish & Wildlife regulations, these brushes can only be shipped to U.S. and APO/FPO addresses.  We regret this inconvenience.)

Initial Photos:

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Marko, NJDJ, rawfox1 and 13 others like this post
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
Beautiful Andrew. Are these first come first serve basis?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM and andrewjs18 like this post

Philadelphia, PA
(05-02-2018, 11:39 PM)Essrbc11 Wrote: Beautiful Andrew. Are these first come first serve basis?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

yes, we will not be holding any brushes for anyone. Once the fans or bulbs sell out, they're gone.

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM and Essrbc11 like this post
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
Beautiful brush. What is the size of the knot. Thanks

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM likes this post
That FAN...Take my money!

GSVwetshave likes this post

(05-03-2018, 08:53 AM)rawfox1 Wrote: Beautiful brush. What is the size of the knot. Thanks

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

I am going to assume it is 28mm, since it says socket diameter 28mm, it could be a 27 or 26mm though.

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM likes this post

Philadelphia, PA
(This post was last modified: 05-03-2018, 08:05 PM by andrewjs18.)
(05-03-2018, 08:53 AM)rawfox1 Wrote: Beautiful brush. What is the size of the knot. Thanks

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

I believe both knots are 28mm. the fan has a loft of 52mm while the bulb is 54mm. I'll double check with Brad.

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM and GSVwetshave like this post
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM likes this post

Vintage Razor Fan
Southwestern NY
Those look great!

Mickey ObermanSfZ2h8UM likes this post

MD Eastern Shore
(This post was last modified: 05-12-2018, 12:59 PM by ESBrushmaker.)
Good afternoon, All.

Having obtained Andrew's blessing, I wanted to share a progress update on the 2018 DFS LE brushes--and to share some details of our manufacturing process.

First here's a quick photo of the 51 LE prepped handle blanks ready for Finish Turning, sanding and polishing.  These include the 50 in Ivory that will be offered for sale, plus one in Cobalt that will be donated to our 2018 Movember project.

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To put this in perspective, I would like to share a high level view of what's going on to create these brushes.  The following might seem long-winded, but it's actually only about 40% of the work involved in getting these brushes into their new homes.  So let's get to it.

When creating larger numbers of the same brush, we take a production line approach in which the same—or several closely related—operation(s) are performed before moving on to the next step.  This “staging” process allows us to develop a rhythm that results in both a higher degree of brush-to-brush uniformity along with improved production throughput.  (You can see the examples of the first four stages in the “Evolution” photo below.)

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  1. For the DFS 2018 L.E. handle, we begin by cutting 50mm diameter cast polyester rods, as received from our supplier, into handle-length segments.  We start with a larger diameter rod because cast polyester rods typically warp when curing and rarely come out of the mold perfectly round and straight.  For the same reason, we cut these segments about 2mm longer than the “finished” length to allow for “wiggle room” during lathe turning and finishing (Stages 2—4.) (Yes, there is a LOT of waste!)

  2. During the second stage, we transform the handle segment into a rough-turned “blank.”  
       a. After mounting the rod segment on the lathe, we
       b. Reduce the segment to a diameter ~1-2mm larger than the largest part of the finished handle.  (This slight excess will be removed during
           Finish Turning.)
       c. We then trim the top of the handle segment “squaring” the top to the handle sides.
       d. Next, we drill the socket to the precise depth needed to ensure the correct bristle loft.  This is always done on the lathe to ensure proper knot
       e. We then form the collar (the “ring” at the top) and the shoulder (the curved section just below the collar.)
       f.  Finally, we sand the collar and shoulder through five progressively finer “grits” of sandpaper.  Sanding removes any tool marks and leaves a
           semi-gloss finish that will be buffed to the mirror finish we all expect.  
           After all blanks have been "prepped," it's on to Stage 3, which is where we are right now.

  3. In the third stage (“Finish Turning”), we transform the prepped blank into its final shape and dimensions, and make it ready for polishing in Stage
        4.   (We combine Stages 3 & 4 for reasons we'll explain in a moment.)
        a. We again fix the blank to the lathe, but now the blank is held by the socket.
        b. Next, we fine-tune the handle length and mark the key cuts in pencil.
        c. With the lathe running at full speed (~3,250rpm), we turn the handle blank to its final shape.  
        d. Once the final shape has been established, we sand the entire handle through the same progressively finer grits used in step 2.f. removing all
            tool marks, leaving a semi-gloss finish ready for buffing.
        e. After inspecting our work, it’s on to Stage 4.

  4. Stage 4 involves buffing the finish-turned handle on four different cloth “wheels.” Each wheel has a different composition and is coated with
        progressively finer buffing compounds.  Our handle is carefully buffed, being inspected after each step and either re-buffed or returned to the
        lathe for touch-up sanding until all marks/scratches have been removed—and our handle reflects a mirror finish.  

        At the end of Stage 4, the handle is carefully examined under different lighting conditions both by eye and under magnification before being
        turned over to Nancy, my wife, who double-checks my work.  If (when!) she finds anything I’ve missed, she gives the handle back to me—often
        with a “ya missed something” remark. ? )

  5. In Stage 5 we imprint the logo(s) and provenance.  Imprinting is done using state of the art pad printing technology where a laser-etched 2-D
        image is transferred to our 3-D handle.   The laser-etched image is created at extremely high 2,400dpi (dots per inch) resolution so as to ensure
        the crispest possible handle image.  We use the same specialty inks used by large manufacturers to imprint medical instruments, stainless steel
        insulated mugs, and other difficult substrates.  

        After imprinting, the handles are baked in an oven for a fixed period of time at carefully controlled temperatures.  Baking cures the ink, bonding it
        to the underlying plastic (“substrate”) at the molecular level through a process chemists call, “chemical cross-linking.”  Another inspection then
        on to Stage 7. (That’s not a typo.  Read on!)

  6. Stage 6 (no, we don’t get off that easily!) is where the knots are prepared.
        a. We start by inspecting each knot for proper shape and density, then
        b. Rough-up each knot plug base with a Fordham tool (think oversized Dentist’s drill) fitted with a carbide burr to give the epoxy plenty to
            grab onto.
        c. Next we sanitize and shampoo each knot through two cycles in a borax and shampoo solution with conditioner, each followed by a warm
            water rinse to remove the dirt and most of the “badger funk.”  It also jump-starts the break-in process--and lets us weed-out any
            obvious “shedders” before they’re set in the handle.   
       d.  A final inspection and the knots are set aside to dry in a humidity-controlled room.

  7. Stage 7—It all comes together.
       a. At long last, we bring the sanitized, shampoo’d and conditioned knots together with the finished handles.  
       b. First, we “dry-set” each knot to double-check for correct bristle loft—making any necessary adjustments.
       c. We now set the knots using a high-tech epoxy engineered to stand up to water and chemical environments.
       d. The completed brushes are set aside for at least eight hours for the epoxy to completely cure.
       e. One final inspection and the now completed brushes are carefully packed into our logo boxes, labelled, and set aside before being packed and

A Disco Haze M&F 2XL handle being finish-Turned.  The lathe is spinning flat-out at 3,200+ rpm.

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Thank you for staying with us! We'll try to provide briefer updates as work progresses.

JRRIII, Rebus Knebus, Kehole and 17 others like this post

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