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I don't own any vintage mugs or scuttles, so I I am not able to join you in your vintage awesomeness.
Having said that however, I do own a modern Captains Choice Starry Night scuttle. The purpose of a scuttle, is to keep your lather and brush warm. For those who live in northern climates, a shaving scuttle is absolutely essential. So here is how I do it, with my modern CC scuttle...
I heat up water in my electric kettle, and then pour the water into the mouth of the scuttle, to fill up the heat chamber.
I use a Bouillon teaspoon, to scoop up the soap from the puk, I then place that soap into the scuttles lather area, and then I use my thumb, to smoosh it down evenly.
Using the same spoon, I put a teaspoon of water into the lather to start. And then I begin working up a lather with my brush. As the lather begins to get pasty, I add another teaspoon to the lather, and continue working it till I get as close to a creamy yogurt consistency of lather possible.
In my experience, shaving scuttles have such a small lather area, that its literally impossible to work up a lather, using a large shaving brush. I first tried to work up a lather using my Maseto Avatar 30mm knot brush, and it wasn't happening, I had to finish off doing a face lather I failed so bad.
As you can see, it just wasn't happening! The brush is just so huge, its impossible to have room in order to work the bubbles out. I also tried using my scuttle with my smaller 24mm APSHAVECO Lagoon brush, and the knot size is still too big! So thats when I decided to get my Omega 636 ST Badger brush with its 21mm knot.
This brush is small enough at least, and allows me to make a lather in my scuttle. So I would say the brush size limit for scuttles, should be around 21mm. Having said that however, if you have an even smaller brush, say one of those 18mm little Wee Scotts I hear about, that would be even better!
After I lather up for each pass, I set the brush back down in the lather area, as pictured above. This allows the scuttle to keep the brush warm as well. After completing a pass, when I go to pickup my brush again, its really warm, and it feels so nice as I apply the lather to my face, its like a warm facial massage, nothing better!
By using hot kettle water, I find, that it keeps my lather nice and warm for up to an hour worth of shaving time. It really helps that these scuttles are made of ceramic, as ceramic is an excellent material, to transfer heat. In my experience, I also discovered, that its a good idea to put a towel down on the counter surface, and to place the scuttle down on the towel. If you don't, you will have an extra bit of mess to clean up on the counter, trust me, been there, done that lol.
Then when I am done with the scuttle, I just pour out the water from the water chamber, and rinse out the lather spot in the sink, turn it upside to dry on a towel, simple. I love warm lather!
I have two of the modern scuttles as well. These work better with soaps and creams that aren't in puck form because you have a place to build lather.
I made this post because I think a lot of people who try to use antique scuttles are under the impression that you HAVE to load the brush with soap or that you HAVE to build a lather in the scuttle. In reality, I think these are just a brush warmer with a convenient place to put your soap, and a lot of people overthink it.