Oh, the weakness of the flesh! Such was the temptation of the low prices of Simpson’s brushes at Badger & Hone that I succumbed and bought another one to add to the Beaufort B1 that I bought the other day. This time it is the Milk Churn and in the best badger grade of hair. The Milk Churn is only available in this grade and (supposedly) only in one size which simplifies the choice compared with some Simpson’s brushes. Once again I will try and justify myself:
- The delivered price from the Simpson’s website is £63.96. The delivered price from the usual cheapest supplier, Diamond Edge, is £61.02. The Badger & Hone regular price is £54.99 delivered, but with their 15% off this came to just £46.74. You can see the temptation. And having given up alcohol for January I can rationalise the spend as money saved elsewhere!
- The Milk Churn is firmly in the middle order of Simpson’s brushes so is something rather special in its own right. Not very many of these are made every year so it has a rarity value that just adds to the special event that a traditional shave is.
- The handle. As ever with a Simpson’s brush the handle, hand made on a lathe, is very special. But the Milk Churn is one of the most special because you can easily recognise it from across a room. They say that it is modelled on the Milk Churns used by the farms in the Somerset countryside that were all around the Simpson’s factory when the company was based there. But to me it looks more like a traditional wooden butter churn.
- And now for the big one, the knot. This is of the soft and highly rated Simpson’s best badger which also has commendable backbone. But here it has been made into a longer loft than usual for a Simpson’s knot of this diameter. It is as if they were deliberately making a brush specialised for shaving creams. And a bit of investigation online supports this, the Milk Churn is one of the very best shaving cream brushes that money can buy.
At least now if the wife discovers my profligacy (it is not as if I actually needed more brushes) I can point her at these articles by way of some justification. Meanwhile I will keep you updated about how these brushes are turning out in the real world of my bathroom.
And here is an interesting addendum. The Simpson’s website only lists one size of Milk Churn and this has the code MC engraved on it. However out there in the real world some retailers are stocking a Milk Churn MC2, which in Simpson’s methodology should be a bigger brush. In fact it looks like the MC may well have a 20mm knot and the MC2 a 22mm knot. Although the picture above is an MC, the brush I was sent is an MC2. Certainly it is far bigger than I was expecting, being not too dissimilar in size to my Duke D3. This being so it makes the purchase price ridiculously good value in the Simpson’s scheme of things.
Sorry Bruce but I seem to adding comments in on all your Simpson posts!
These Milk Churn brushes were a David Carter era design when he had the workshop at Ilminster, Somerset – not at Nimmer (just for the record!)
The fear isn’t the wife finding out, it’s what she will feel justified in purchasing as a result
TheSuperiorShave.com shows 3 different Milk Churn brushes…
They are just three different samples of the same brush. They are all MCs, the smaller version.
Because Simpson’s brushes are hand made no two are alike. There is significant variation from one brush to the next of the same model. What the Superior Shave are doing (and it is a big job) is letting you see their actual stock, so you can select the exact brush that you want. Where this is especially relevant is the tendency towards fan or bulb in the knot shape.
Bruce, B&H mention a knot of 21mm for the MC2.
What is the loft?
My vernier shows my Duke 3 as having a 24mm knot (for comparison) and the MC2 as having a 23mm knot.
They have identical lofts (according to my measure) of about 49mm.
But the knot shapes are different.The Duke has more fan than bulb in the middle but bulbs a fair bit at the sides. The MC2 is more of a fan at the sides but the knot on mine is very asymmetrical so it depends on which direction you are viewing it from!
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