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CBLindsay's Journey into Mixed Blade Mastery

You couldn't have showcased a better artisan Chris. Great read, and I'll absolutely be entering that PIF. Which version of The Veg soap did you send me?
 
I would love to try the Veg 3.0, especially tomorrow with this Willie 3017 I seem to find myself in. Great read Chris.

Quick question Chris. Why does the potassium hydroxide make a better shaving soap than the sodium hydroxide? I noticed you had said this a few days back, I think.
 
I would love to try the Veg 3.0, especially tomorrow with this Willie 3017 I seem to find myself in. Great read Chris.

Quick question Chris. Why does the potassium hydroxide make a better shaving soap than the sodium hydroxide? I noticed you had said this a few days back, I think.
I have a single "sample" slice of the veg 3.0 left, it isn't pretty but it will ensure you get some to use.
Potassium hydroxide makes a soap that is easier to lather because the potasium salt that is created from the saponification process is more easily dissolved into water, allowing more "soap" into solution more quickly. It turns out (according to what I read and experience) sodium salts seem to make a slicker lather compared to potasium salts. To fine tune a recipe I have learned to use different amounts of each kind of lye AND use them at different times.

@Smattayu I sent you the 3.0 version, think it's the best yet.
 
Good read, shave, and picture Chris! I'm looking forward to using the Veg soap that you sent me and the sample of Tabacaveg too! I've just got this 3017 thingy to finish 1st! Which version did you send me?
 
Wonderful read and learning about the process of soapmaking, I tip my hat to you. Definitely an interesting and rewarding endeavor.
 
... Potassium hydroxide makes a soap that is easier to lather because the potasium salt that is created from the saponification process is more easily dissolved into water, allowing more "soap" into solution more quickly. It turns out (according to what I read and experience) sodium salts seem to make a slicker lather compared to potasium salts. To fine tune a recipe I have learned to use different amounts of each kind of lye AND use them at different times....
Thanks for that explanation Chris. Also, the degree of fatty acid saturation, and fatty acid chain length all would likely affect the performance of the soap, would it not?. Tallow being much more saturated than vegetable oil, but various fatty acids of vegetable origin have very long chain length, making these triglycerides solid at room temperature as well (Shea butter and other nut butters). Given all of the variables, how do you know what combination provides for the best shaving soap? Or does it matter?

I guess that is one reason the term artisan applies.
 
Great write-up Chris...and I'll be the first to agree with you about the water-band and tending towards the wetter side of the house for straight shaves. But that wider water band allows for a bit of customization of the lather to how the user prefers it. A nice feature to have!
 
Great write-up Chris...and I'll be the first to agree with you about the water-band and tending towards the wetter side of the house for straight shaves. But that wider water band allows for a bit of customization of the lather to how the user prefers it. A nice feature to have!
I think the water band for Williams must be + 5 micro liters.:a12:
 
Thanks for that explanation Chris. Also, the degree of fatty acid saturation, and fatty acid chain length all would likely affect the performance of the soap, would it not?. Tallow being much more saturated than vegetable oil, but various fatty acids of vegetable origin have very long chain length, making these triglycerides solid at room temperature as well (Shea butter and other nut butters). Given all of the variables, how do you know what combination provides for the best shaving soap? Or does it matter?

I guess that is one reason the term artisan applies.
I am not entirely sure of the supposed reasoning behind it but the consensus is that KOH produces softer soaps than NaOH even when the same fats are used. As per normal, the "consensus" isn't right because WSP and other artisans have found that indeed a very hard soap can be had using only KOH.
There are charts of known characteristics of given fats, what amounts of certain fatty acids they produce etc. These charts are a great help and wonderful place to start but as you say, the artisans value comes in to play when fats get mixed. That very old (1800's) book I read said the sum of the parts may be very different than the individuals. I would add that other variables can be tweaked so that even when an artisan correctly copies a formula, failure to follow a prescribed process produces far different results. I think this explains modern Williams vs older Williams. I believe Combe when they say the formula is the same ...from a strict fats and lye perspective, I think they changed the HOW. Something as simple as using two vats vs one could be the difference.
*i also read that Martin De Candre uses a semi hot process, keeping the soap at a controlled 100* for several weeks. This is how he gets a really creamy solid pour into the jars and a great finished product ...makes you wonder if the new plastic jars change anything...

Great write-up Chris...and I'll be the first to agree with you about the water-band and tending towards the wetter side of the house for straight shaves. But that wider water band allows for a bit of customization of the lather to how the user prefers it. A nice feature to have!
My thoughts exactly. A soap that works well enough while a little on the dryer side but can take a lot more water before breaking down AND has different characteristics at various points is kind of useful.

I think the water band for Williams must be + 5 micro liters.:a12:
I wonder if it has anything to do with the soaps you guys are using not having fully dried between creation and use. I don't recall such a tight water band. I certainly know the actual puck of Williams takes a huge amount of water. You may be right though, taking I a huge amount of water doesn't mean the sweet spot isn't within a few drops.
 
I always enjoy reading the soap talk. Since I don't know anything about it, I'm fascintated. And regarding the new MdC plastic jars: interesting question. All I know is that the new jar of Vetyver does not seem to be as drying (post shave) as the glass jar of the original that I have. But of course, those are two entirely different soap scents, so IDK.
 
Chris's soap knowledge is astounding for sure, he shared some recipes and stuff with the wife, and she has made a few batches and they have been very nice. Good Reads Chris, very informative. You need to do a video and pass it over to me
 
Excellent Read! It's nice getting to know you Chris!
I'm glad you have enjoyed the journey so far, it's nice to have you along.

Good read, shave, and picture Chris! I'm looking forward to using the Veg soap that you sent me and the sample of Tabacaveg too! I've just got this 3017 thingy to finish 1st! Which version did you send me?
I think yours is also V3.0 too. I hope when your 3017 is done you will enjoy the Veg but i know SO many other soaps are calling too. I've got your name on the list to recieve a slice of the newest pre-shave soap too, I think you might like it too.
 
Saturday 3-4-2017 (#391)
March soap theme -Artisan showcase

Prep:
Musgo Glyce Oakmoss
Brush: Smattayu Tuxedo Synthetic
Soap: @PGrevie Saffron & Vetiver
Razor: Cvargo's Genco Heavy
Strop: 50/100 Outlaw
Post: Alum Rub / WH Splash
Aftershave: Fine "Green Vetiver"
EDT/EDT:

Day 4 of the Artisan Showcase. Today's shave was brought to you by @cvargo, he sent me a nice sample of the PGrevie soap and the razor is his here for a spa visit. When i first sniffed the Saffron & Vetiver I found the scent exotic and enticing, it basically called to me forcing me to use it...NOW. Other than having heard a few of the "regulars" mention PGrevie soap here and there, I have no knowledge of how serious PGrevie is about his craft, meaning, I don't know to what degree he considers himself an artisan. From my point of view, "if HE made it and sent it as a gift to Chad...It is an artisan soap perfect for the showcase.

I scooped a little snurdle of soap from the cup and pressed it into the Captains Choice bowl to load and lather. The Tuxedo synth took a moment to release the soap I had pressed into the indented rings but once it did the lather was quick to explode. I didn't add water for awhile because the brush tends to hold more than I usually expect but eventually (seconds later) the lather had expanded enough to warrant more water, that's when i went to my wet face for a little more work. In short, the lather was quick and easy to create. Yhe soap had a fantasticaly wide water band, allowing for a thicker or thinner lather according to taste. Of course the wetter almost runny lather was the most slick. *When i say almost runny i mean "heavy" not dissipating or thin. The scent was true to the scent i got from the cup and perfectly strong (the right amount). The one draw back was that the scent was not entirely enjoyable. I find the exotic scent of saffron enticing but it was a little one dimensional, the vetiver was either not detectable or not properly complementary. It's strange, the scent is both incredible and "not", all at the same time. As a soap goes this stuff is very nice and the scent strength and linger is perfect. To improve upon THIS sample i think I might add a few drops of vetiver oil to see if it balances the saffron. ...or maybe Lavender? Orange?

I honed Chads Genco this morning and decided to give it a shave test to verify the readiness. I knew i was going to have to go back and do more work on the toe but i wanted to see how the Coticule work went. I had tried finishing on the new OLD coti with oil and got strange results. The shave test proved the toe was pathetic but it also felt oddly harsh and seemed to get worse as the shave progressed. I am beginning to wonder if the common denominator is the large coti OR my attempt to use the new one. Back to the hones.

I finished with a splash of Fine Green Vetiver while the saffron scent lingered, the two scents paired well near as i could tell from the fleeting scent combo.

***Honing update****
The Genco now has a modified Coti/Welsh Trio/Vosges hone that has a great appearance and shows great promise. I will shave test at least a few strokes then freshen the edge and get it off to the Vargo home soon enough. ...wonder if razors should travel in pairs.
 
Thank you for the compliments on the soap. I'm not an artisan by any means. Just a curious guy with a crock pot and some soap ingredients. I got started with some help from John at LA Shaving Soap.

@CBLindsay - I agree with you on the scent. At first it smelled good, but there is something missing or it's just a little off.
 
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nice write up Chris. Saffron is an interesting spice to use, as it's so incredibly expensive. If you're finding the soap to be wonderful, than it is a top notch soap. Great job @PGrevie on it!
 
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