Hand Made Luxury Shaving accessories by Rodney Neep


Stainless Steel & Ivory Resin

Many car manufacturers produce a one-off car from time to time that they call a "concept" model. Something rather special that incorporates new ideas, materials and techniques, but which never goes into mass production.

This particular shaving brush is one of my "concept" models.

A shaving brush in ivory resin and stainless steel, with a superb and rare Extra Silvertip badger hair knot.

Designed to hang on a tall type stand, or sit on its base.



Why the SS-GB?

Actually, the model number is a play on words.

"SS" for stainless steel
"GB" an abbreviation of Great Britain

But also, the SS Great Britain was a ship. Not just any ship, but a "first". A large screw propeller driven, iron hulled steamship with a huge 1000 horse power steam engine. She was a totally innovative ship, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and launched in 1843.

On her first transatlantic voyage she easily broke the speed record. Despite being a prototype, she travelled thrity two times around the world, and clocked up over a million miles at sea.   

The SS Great Britain has now been restored and resides at Bristol.


The making of the SS-GB

I decided to use a modern material, stainless steel, married to a traditional shaving brush material, ivory. (Well, an ivory resin that has a nice natural grain). The design was intended to be a mixture of modern and traditional too.

As any engineer knows, stainless steel is not an easy material to work with. But that was part of the challenge, and I wanted a metal that would be natural, but not stain, oxidise or corrode. Turning the stainless steel parts on the lathe wasn't easy.

I started by buying some stainless steel tubing. That had quite an uneven surface, and so the first task was to saw off a short length, skim the surface on the lathe, and create a satin finish, before parting off three sections, two of 1/4" length, and another 1/2".

Parting off one of the 1/4" sections. The metal complained, the lathe complained (and stalled a few times too, despite lots of special lubricant to the cutting tool and the steel).

The finished stainless steel rings. The large one to hold the brush knot, and the other two as bands around the base of the handle.

Then I started on the ivory resin. The knot ring was to be set 1/4" deep into the handle, and so a 32mm hole was bored in the end of the resin, plus a smaller hole, threaded so that it could be mounted on my screw chuck on the wood lathe.

The ivory resin turned to shape using hand tools on the wood lathe. Note the 1/8" raised bead, and the long base spigot onto which the two small stainless steel rings were to be mounted. That had to be turned to the size of the inner diameter of the rings.

The two small rings test fitted...

and then glued in place with two part epoxy resin. I mixed white sanding dust from the resin with the epoxy, so that any visible glue lines would be white.

Both rings in place, and the glue left to go hard.

Then the space between the two rings was turned down to 1" diameter into the ivory resin. That groove is so that the brush handle can hang on a stand. The waste was also turned off the base, flush with the bottom ring. The ivory resin was then polished to a high gloss.



Finally, the larger ring was glued into the hole in the top of the handle, leaving 1/4" protruding to match the smaller rings, and the extra silvertip badger knot glued into the top ring. The knot is therefore set 1/2" deep, although there is the illusion that it is in only the visible section of the top ring.



  • Total height: 110mm
  • Handle Height: 58.5mm
  • Brush loft: 51.5mm
  • Diameter of stainless steel rings: 31.5mm
  • Max diameter of ivory resin: 36.5mm
  • Stand groove: 5mm wide x 25mm diameter
  • Knot: Extra Silvertip Badger. 29mm diameter at base of knot.
  • Materials: stainless steel and grained ivory resin.




Copyright 2012 Rodney Neep All Rights Reserved