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Ccan't seem to build lather with a Captain's Choice heavyweight bowl

Hi. I'm about 7 months into DE shaving. I have no eyesight, so learning technique has been as much about listening to Youtube vids and reading forums as much as anything else. I've realised that something I need to practice a lot is building lather. It might sound silly but adding a drop of water or measuring soap/cream is actualy quite hard when you can't see.

Anyway, Recently I've got good results with putting my alpha outlaw 26MM synthetic knot brush in a large shaving mug with warm water, then squeezing the brush out and emptying the mug. I swirl the brush on the soap for about 15 seconds, then make rapid circular motions inside the mug until the lather builds.

A good lather to my mind should make the brush splay out, build an almost whipped or squirty cream consistancy of mounds around the inside of the mug and feel slick to the touch.

Of course different soaps lather differently, I've tried quite a few including 'fitjar, #stirling, B&M and oakenlab. I prefer soaps to cream as they're easier for me to control.

Now the point of the post :) I can build lather in a mug fairly successfully. However, I got myself a heavyweight Captains Choice copper bowl a few months ago and I just cannot seem to get great results from it. The ridges do not work in a way I understand. They're concentric circles rather than spokes on a wheel, so I feel when I swirl my brush in circles it's not generating the same friction for the lather to build. I just can't get a decent bowl of lather compared to the mug, have to work really hard at it. I've tried moving the brush across the diameter of the bowl and whilst I can build some lather in the knot, it's certainly not making mounds all over the place like the mug.

It is possible that lather is shooting out over the side and getting lost in the sink, but I have tried building it more slowly to avoid this. What sort of action should I be making with the brush? people say these bowls are lather making beasts but I've just not experienced that. You could argue and rightly so, why not just stick to the mug? the answer is I absolutely love holding this thing. I just want it to work like a shirt that no longer fits :)
 
Welcome if you are new. That's amazing what you are doing, I have to comment even if it is no help. I have wondered about how to use a Captians bowl too, but I think I know what your problem is. I think you are adding too much water too soon. It doesn't sound like you are lacking enough soap. So what you need to do is swirl it around after loading a bit to build the proto lather. Then ad a few drops of water and swirl some more. Repeat until you have a nice wet slippery lather. Also, a spray bottle really helps. Probably more for you because you can better judge how much water you are adding. I bet that will do it!
 
Yes you could be right about that. I have been experimenting with using less and less water recently and it does seem to make a difference. What sort of action in the bowl? a sort of circular round and round the ridges? I must admit I don't understand why the ridges aren't spoked it would seem to me that would build a much better lather more quickly. I have a timeless plastic bowl and that has raised spokes now that thing is an absolute lather monster. Just sadly doesn't feel as nice.
 
I have the Timeless bowl also. I will leave it to somebody else for the exact technique with the Captains. Good luck!
 
I have a CC ceramic bowl and it works fine for me whether I go in circles or not. I do sometimes go back and forth to use the ridges for friction and that works well, though I don’t always find it necessary. I haven’t used a copper bowl though. I suppose that may provide leas friction than the ceramic. I usually use a variety of motions, swirling, pumping, swishing back and forth. Hope you figure it out.
 
The ridges do not work in a way I understand. They're concentric circles rather than spokes on a wheel, so I feel when I swirl my brush in circles it's not generating the same friction for the lather to build.
I am also curious about this.
 
I'm wondering if you have tried face lathering? It seems that would allow you to sense by touch what was happening as you build the lather.

In bowl lathering, the lather is built from the tips of the bristles, so it is possible to make a nice lather in a perfectly smooth bowl. The ridges, spokes, etc. just speed the process up. It's all about agitation and mixing. Try a combo of painting back and forth brush strokes and elliptical brush strokes in the Captain's Choice bowl. The circular ridges do help hold the soap in place as you load the brush (if you take some soap out of the container to press into the bowl).
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
The ridges are helpful, but not necessary. You can just swirl in normal circles and make fine lather in a smooth bowl. I remember some people using a smooth stainless steel bowl a while back. I'm not sure the bowl makes much difference beyond speed of the lather build. If it's bigger you might want to load for a few additional seconds.

The spray bottle seems like a great idea. I put my hand under the running water and let a few drops roll off into the bowl - that might work for you as well.

I would experiment a bit. My first go to idea for experimenting is more soap. But the water ratio and swirling time are the only other variables.

Good luck.
 
With the Captains Choice bowl, I go across the bowl for 20 or 30 seconds to aerate the lather, then swirl around the bowl for a couple of minutes to smooth it out. By varying the timing, you can get big, foamy lather, or silky, paste-like lather from the same bowl. I don't know if this is an intentional design feature, but that's the way I use it.

The Timeless bowl generates monster lather, effortlessly. But I prefer the copper bowl.

Face-lathering makes a whole lot of sense to me. Or switch to a cream so you have the right amount of water built in.
 
I have the smaller copper bowl from Capt Choice. I don't have issues building lather with it, however what was key for me was when the lather starts to ride up the sides, take your brush and push it back down to the bottom. I find that that allows more soap to get into the brush so the swirling generates more lather.

Being sightless may make that part a little difficult at first, but I think if you stop every few seconds (say 5), and just use your brush to push down the sides of the bowl, should get the job done.

Give that a try and let us know how it works out.
 
Here is $0.02 from someone who does not own a CC bowl but who has had recently had great success in refining his bowl lathering.

I'm able to make great lather in a smooth stainless steel bowl and a smooth plastic bowl. I've got a bowl with bumps on the bottom and I don't see a significant difference.

In my case the keys were more product (loading more soap), longer swirling in the bowl than I was doing, adding more water while swirling, and pre soaking the soap with water before loading the brush.

You note that you squeeze the brush out, load for 15 seconds, and then start swirling. I give the brush a little shake, no squeeze, load for maybe 45-60 seconds, and then go to the bowl. Maybe 40 seconds of swirling before I add some water, and then keep swirling the crap out of it for probably a total of a minute and a half or so. The more water I add the better the results seem to be although I'm sure at some point it could be too much.

Play around with it and good luck!
 
Yes you could be right about that. I have been experimenting with using less and less water recently and it does seem to make a difference. What sort of action in the bowl? a sort of circular round and round the ridges? I must admit I don't understand why the ridges aren't spoked it would seem to me that would build a much better lather more quickly. I have a timeless plastic bowl and that has raised spokes now that thing is an absolute lather monster. Just sadly doesn't feel as nice.
A good way to audition any soap. Load the brush from the soap and hand lather it. You can learn a lot about the brush and soap.
 
I tend to use a relative wet brush to load soap in my soap bowl and bring that over in the copper bowl or just mash a pinky nail size in the bowl.
And so far no complaints.
But radial bowls like the prereira seem a bit quicker.
The surface is very smooth to me ridges or not and I could guess that if it gets a bit more wear it would help.
 
I have a CC ceramic lather bowl and my go to method is to scrape a little soap off of the top of a puck and press it down into the valleys between the ridges. Then I wet my synthetic brush thoroughly and give it one good shake, leaving plenty of water in the brush. I begin my swirling and if I don't get enough lather to build up as I like then I will drip a little bit more water into the bowl and continue until I get the lather that I want. I began using this method when testing small soap samples and I liked the results. Good luck!
 
I have decent eyesight so I am going to try to extrapolate from directions I would give to a sighted person.

I use a heavy duty Captain's Choice copper bowl every time I shave. I take advantage of its heat conductivity by using it in a sink with hot water.

Place a badger or boar brush under warm running water to begin the process of soaking the bristles. If you are using a brush with artificial bristles then all you need to do is put it in warm water and shake it out before you use it.

Badgers need 3 minutes and boars 5 minutes of soaking time. More is okay. Load a scuttle with hot water and place the badger or boar brush part way in the warm water to continue the soaking process. If you don't have a scuttle then you can use warm water in a bowl or better a mug to keep it upright. I don't use water that is too hot or water that comes above where the bristles exit the brush--to avoid loosening the bristles. Set it aside to soak.

Warm the sink by filling it part way with hot water.

Examine the soap--ideally for this method, it will be a croap and not hard. You can examine the soap by feel. Good soaps include Declaration Grooming Milksteak, A&E K2e and B&M Ominibus. These will have an oily and loose feel and will smear easily in the copper bowl. This makes it very easy to incorporate water when you begin to lather.

If the soap is hard and granulated then this method is less effective and may not work--I usually bloom that type of soap in its container and load from there into the copper bowl.

Cut a large dollop of shaving soap and smear it on the bottom of the copper bowl. Put a few droplets of water on top of the soap. Place the copper bowl with the soap in the sink so that it floats on top of the warm water. What you are trying to do is get the whole system warm. Do not allow the bowl to submerge--if you have too much water in the sink let some out. You should be able to do all of this by hand feel.

While your bowl with soap warms in the sink and your badger brush soaks, take a shower.

After you shower, take the brush out of the water in which it has been soaking. Shake the excess water off it. Begin the process of making lather by swirling the brush in the soap. I hold the bowl with a thumb on the emblem on the side. This provides good leverage. Periodically, add a few drops of water into the center of the brush and continue swirling. You should be able to judge the lather by how it feels as it develops. Keep gradually adding water until you get it to the consistency you like. It takes a while and you have to be patient.

You can feel the soap loosen from the bottom of the bowl and incorporate into the lather. You will be able to feel the looseness with your brush. Don't worry about the rings. I find that I use so much soap that I sometimes have soap residue left in the rings. I keep working the lather between passes. As the lather becomes warmer and keeps being worked with your brush it keeps getting better.

You may have to renew the warm water in the sink by removing the copper bowl, letting the cold water out and adding more hot water. You want your copper bowl to rest in the warm water with the brush in it without being submerged or having water enter over the side.

You will end up with a beautifully slick and warm lather. While I am doing all of this I apply a pre-shave (Grooming Dept) and more water to my beard to keep it warm and moist.

I hope this helps.
 
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Sorry you're having trouble with your CC copper bowl. I have used the heavy weight bowl for a couple of years and I've never had any trouble building lather in it. I do go across the ridges as I build my lather as well as swirl around the bowl. No issues with great lather.

Not sure what's going on with your lathering, but the bowl should work. Some good suggestions mentioned above.....trial and error. I'm sure you'll get it worked out soon. Keep trying.
 
I was having issues with my boar brushes eating later esp using a bowl and discovered something helpful. When your building later in a captains bowl dont run circles around the entire bowl, instead oval circles or back and forth works better. Also when your building lather don’t press too hard, it’s like what my grandfather said about using a paint brush, the tips do the work not the whole brush. When you swirl, use a light pressure and let’s the tips of the brush do the work and the lather will build before your eyes. Experiment a bit and burn through some of your cheaper soaps to figure out what works best for you.

Larry
 
I have a CC ceramic bowl and it works fine for me whether I go in circles or not. I do sometimes go back and forth to use the ridges for friction and that works well, though I don’t always find it necessary. I haven’t used a copper bowl though. I suppose that may provide leas friction than the ceramic. I usually use a variety of motions, swirling, pumping, swishing back and forth. Hope you figure it out.
I have the heavyweight copper and a ceramic bowl from the Captain. I use the copper mostly because I won't break it in the shower (shower shaver). MOST of my brush strokes on the soap, in the bowl, and on my face & heard are side-to-side painting strokes. I do some swirling, but most is a back and forth motion. I agree with earlier posters about water. Early on I was adding too much and getting lather that disappears. There are a couple great threads on the forum about fool-proof lathering techniques that I've incorporated bits and pieces to my satisfaction.
 
Give a gander to this guy:
 
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