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#1

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
Hi all,


First I'd like to thank Wolf Whiskers for taking the time to do an AMA (ask me anything) with the Damn Fine Shave community. Peter has said that he'll be popping in and out of the forum from 6am-7pm to answer questions that we have for him.

Please keep in mind that the questions that are asked NEED to follow our site rules. Failure to follow our rules will result in the removal of your post(s).

Check out Peter and his Wolf Whiskers products at: http://www.wolfwhiskers.com/




Thanks,

Andrew
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
#2

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
Peter,

I have a few questions for you...

- why did you decide to make shaving brushes?

- what do you like to do in your spare time that's NOT shaving related?


Thanks!
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
#3
Andrew,

Thank you for inviting me to participate in one of your unique AMA events. Let's make this fun.

To answer your question about WHY I started to make shaving brushes is a long answer, but I will try to keep it short. I started DE shaving back while I was still in the Navy. I think it was circa 2011. I kept seeing some wonderful hand turned shaving brushes on other forums. Some of them just made my eyes pop.

For several months I wanted to buy a custom made shaving brush, but with 5 kids, I just couldn't justify it. I preferred those over the larger manufacturers because of the price and the art it provided.

I told my bride that I thought I could perhaps make my own brush......LOL So, a few months later, I fell into the wood turning vortex and popped for the smallest lathe I could find. Long story short, it doesn't take very long before I realized I needed a lathe chuck, turning tools and many other items that quickly added up to over $1500. Most expensive shaving brush EVER and I didn't even like it and ended up giving it to a buddy in the Navy.

Then I convinced my wife that I think I might improve since I knew my drive and knew that I could if I set my mind to it based on my past experiences with wood working, stained glass and other crafty type things. She was pretty indifferent and yet supportive, so I up'd the anti and purchased several hundred dollars of more supplies with confidence that I might be able to pay off my supplies. I was turning my first brushes under my back yard Maple tree sitting on a tiny child sized picnic table with no weather shelter. I finally sold my first brush in June 2013 for a profit of $8 to a gentleman named Jeff R. I realized this was going to take a while to pay off my supplies and also felt it was a big mistake jumping into this.

Well, my first brushes were........not my favorite shapes. 3 months later, a few people took notice of my work as it began to improve a bit and I kept taking risks. The challenge that faced me was the Navy. Since we were scheduled to deploy for 9 months, we had many underway workups on my ship schedule from mid 2013 until deployment in February. I knew this would pause my hobby and I also knew I would miss it tremendously as it provided me peace and serenity during those times I need it......which is often.

I still hadn't paid off my lathe, much less my other tools. But, I just cautiously kept the faith and kept pushing myself hard to practice as much as possible while home with hopes that the guys and gals would like what I was making.

There is much more to this story, but I will save that for other questions.

Freddy, andrewjs18, Hobbyist and 3 others like this post
#4
(04-24-2016, 08:07 AM)andrewjs18 Wrote: Peter,


- what do you like to do in your spare time that's NOT shaving related?


Thanks!

In my spare time, I am currently moving, so fixing up things, mowing the lawns here and there, hanging curtains, repacking boxes, etc. I am about to paint my other home and get it ready to sell. If anyone is good at that and wants to help who lives in the Newport News area, I welcome the help because I don't love painting.

I run for health. I used to compete in 5K, 10K and half marathons during 2009-2011, but now just for health. http://articles.dailypress.com/2011-01-2...nable-race

kwsher and Freddy like this post
#5
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2016, 11:04 AM by Wolf Whiskers.)
Enjoying my morning ritual.
[Image: 7009960.jpg]

kwsher and Freddy like this post
#6
Peter is making brushes now your full time job and if so what is the biggest challenge of being the owner and producer of the product you sell?
#7
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2016, 01:59 PM by brucered.)
I believe you were one of the first, if not first, to use coins and medallions on the base of your Brushes. I was thinking the same about funky swirled colors, mish-mash of left over resins to create custom one of blanks in-house.

How do you feel about others using the same techniques now?

Also, being out of the Navy, how does it feel to let that hair grow out?
#8

Member
Texas
Peter,

What was your favorite and worst assignment in the Navy?
Jerry
#9
(04-25-2016, 01:16 PM)steeleshaves Wrote: Peter is making brushes now your full time job and if so what is the biggest challenge of being the owner and producer of the product you sell?

I have made it my full time work. To me, it is like making donuts. You have to make alot of them to pay the bills, but I enjoy it. I do have other sources of retirement income, so I get by with just enough.

The biggest challenge is honestly communication. Unlike, "off the shelf" purchases, there are so many potential options available and so many language barrier issues. I don't always communicate things perfectly. For example, sometimes very small particulate is embedded in the brush knot that comes out when it is washed. A customer from Russia could not read my care instructions provided with the brush, but went ahead and posted on a Russian forum that he thought my brush was diseased because there was some minor shop dust that came out of the brush when he washed it. It was frustrating because I couldn't convince him that some plastic particulate gets trapped while the knot is in my shop. Language translators do not translate well.
#10

Member
Austin, TX
Hi Peter and thanks for participating in the DFS AMA!

Your handles are beautiful and the shapes are a pleasure to hold as well. How do you determine the names and do they hold special meaning?

How long does it typically take from start to finish to make an individual brush?

Most of your rod stock seems to be custom to Wolf Whiskers. Can you describe the process for conceptualizing and making the stock?

What is YOUR favorite Wolf Whiskers brush and finish?

Having seen so many knots, how do you select which knot providers to partner with and what is your favorite to use personally?

Have you ever considered razor handles, either resin or SS/Ti?


Speed round Smile:

What's your favorite coffee?
Favorite band?
Favorite shave soap?
Kevin


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