Wade & Butcher

Wade & Butcher

Postby Thug » Fri May 20, 2016 9:48 am

It appears that our friend from KZN is trying to bring back the W & B brand...

Hi Guys,

I came across this thread and thought I should join in and just mention a few things. Firstly, this is my venture.

Secondly, I really thought I was giving myself some time with that coming soon page - but I think it rather pertinent now to just (hopefully) ease some of the concerns and give you guys some info for the time being. What I wanted to do and what I still will do (closer to launch), is put up a proper announcement thread where I can convey the whole story and the vision I have for Wade & Butcher, with an outline of where I want to go and what I want to do - so perhaps stick around for that closer to launch..

For now though, let me get down all the important points, so as to be upfront/transparent/clear:

I'm Mike My claims to fame such as they are:
Owner/Operator of Zulu Grey;
Designer by profession (I run my own design agency);
Wet Shaver and dedicated straight razor nut (like you) for the last 10 odd years;
oh and I designed the SRP Logo


Some Background:

I have a deep love for the Wade & Butcher brand, and I wanted to pair my love for the brand with my passion to create custom razors and start my own company – and so I set about investigating the possibilities of ‘reviving’ the Wade & Butcher brand. This led me to discover that indeed the actual company, well both companies (the parent W & S Butcher Ltd, and the primary US brand Wade&Butcher, which was incorporated into it's own Sheffield company in 1921) were in fact still ‘alive’ albeit dormant. The current owner, Charles at Durham Duplex in Sheffield (and Chairman of the Made In Sheffield brand), had privately bought out both companies from the family business for his own keeping, to one day 'do something with them', as he told to me.

So, I made contact and many discussions later over the last two years we settled on an agreement/partnership whereby I will bring the brand back to market through my own vision and at my own quality standards. Charles had attempted to investigate the possibility of bringing the brand back to market himself through mass production, but ultimately he agreed that that wasn't the best course for the brand.

To be clear, this will be legitimate Wade & Butcher in the year 2017, by that I mean it is from the original company that was sold to Durham Duplex in 1920 and that has been maintained and kept as a viable company in Sheffield for 95 years, and with it all the associated brand marks, names, razor designs etc. Others may be using the name, casually using versions of the symbols, it may even be registered in the US by another company.. but only the actual original Sheffield company, passed from hand to hand as it has done, can bear the name and the marks rightfully, on any newly created shaving cutlery. And so that is what I have secured. I want to properly and meticulously bring the brand back to market, but it must be done with great care and respect for the heritage of the brand and of course all the provenance must be intact.

So, what do we plan to make then? Well, this will not be mass-manufacture/production, not one bit. Historical W&B did that, it served the time and it made sense then, but as a modern heritage company my sights are set on turning Wade & Butcher into a more boutique, upper-tier brand. It will be custom, handcrafted - dare I say 'luxury' straight razors of truly impeccable quality. In many ways this is a labour of love for me personally, and it really will not be about volume. We'll be crafting new designed razors, as well as bringing back some classic 'heritage' models (with updated materials and small touches). It will be myself and potentially 2 other artisans here in South Africa, with a complete emphasis on small-batch, high-quality.

Our razors will be truly pristine, my aspiration is to far exceed the quality, the fit, the finish - that historical Wade & Butcher ever achieved, ever could achieve. Handcrafting individual razors with the best tools and materials of our day affords us this ability. There will be nothing cheaply or casually done - from the steel selection, to the packaging it will be done properly.

As I say, I just wanted to mention a little bit and get the conversation straight, but in time I will update our social media accounts and the mailing list with new info and more details on everything. Talk is good, but I do wholeheartedly understand that many of you will believe it when you see it - and my intention is to pleasantly surprise you.


Cheers,
- Mike
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Fri May 20, 2016 11:11 am

Interesting article post there Thug. It is noteworthy that he is not talking about a production razor (like TI or DOVO), but more an Artisan type set up making handmade razors (like Mastro Livi, Snail Forge, Joe Edson etc.) . These could end up very pricey and in small numbers.

I heard that Razor Emporium and Edwin Jagger are currently setting up to make production straight razors. Should be interesting.
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby Thug » Fri May 20, 2016 11:34 am

Let's wait and see how it pans out.
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby HenkB » Tue May 24, 2016 10:30 am

Interesting article. I have a half-wedge W&B, and it shaves as great as the day it was manufactured (early 1900's).

I would like to see the following
1). which steel is he going to use
2). Obviously this will be pricey, even if you pay in USD
3). How will this influence current W&B price.
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby Thug » Tue May 24, 2016 12:13 pm

HenkB wrote:Interesting article. I have a half-wedge W&B, and it shaves as great as the day it was manufactured (early 1900's).

I would like to see the following
1). which steel is he going to use
2). Obviously this will be pricey, even if you pay in USD
3). How will this influence current W&B price.


Obviously answers to questions 1 & 2 will be closely guarded at this point in time and question 3 is a total unknown until they hit the market.
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby Thug » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:37 am

So Mike has posted some further information on the first forthcoming razor...

We have a name! Our first new straight razor model in over 70 years finally has an official name.

We present to you, Wade & Butcher's "Irontusk" Razor.

A blade inspired by the majestic forms of Africa, refined by the classic understated style of Old Sheffield. The marriage of our past with our present.
The image below offers a very small glimpse at an early prototype of the W&B Irontusk Razor (this is of course not the final blade). The image reveals - at the very least - that the razor will feature a prominent sweeping tusk-like tang.

Each Irontusk razor will also ship with a custom machined solid steel/aluminium presentation case

More details to come. (if interested please join our social media pages : /wadeandbutcher )

Cheers,
- Mike

wGLJBCu.jpg




Obviously aimed at upper end of the market and will probably be priced in USD.
I don't think one will get much change out of R10k and my pockets don't stretch that deep. :cry:
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby deepsouth » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:06 pm

I'll wait to see what transpires, I hope that the brand (albeit vintage) retains it's lustre. I did read somewhere that W&B didn't charge like a wounded bull back in the day, hopefully, greed won't rear it's ugly little Grey head.
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby danilo » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:40 pm

I heard they will not sell cheap. The idea is not to make a "dovo" brand but a very expensive razor. The market for this type exist as we can see some prices over ebay or some prices from artesans. I just wonder if they will be able to keep the old quality. I do not own one but I have had the pleasure of shaving with. They are magnificent.

Old blades x new blades are two worlds for me.
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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby Thug » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:58 pm

Ok, so this project is on track and the order book will be open towards the end of the year.

Indicative pricing is $1800 or approx R25 000 at the current exchange rate. :o :oo


Hi Guys, (I posted this in the Butcher Shop thread, so just re-posting it here).


... It would be nice I won't lie, if there was just some more kind/optimistic support and less unfounded bitterness - having been part of this community for around a decade, it's a bit disappointing being cast as some nameless/anonymous 'foreign' entity rather than as a passionate fellow enthusiast who's just trying to make something extraordinary happen.. Life is just too short guys..


Anyway, I just wanted to lay down some points:

We’re starting with the ‘Irontusk’ razor as a ‘new’ model simply because the company/brand is being revived and the inaugural product needs to stand on its own merits, not rely wholly on past success. Had we chosen to first create a re-issue of the FBU, folks would be crying that we’re just creating what already exists, and that we have no forward-moving creativity – so we just can’t win whatever we do…
Can you imagine any Heritage Brand today that doesn’t create new products along with their ‘classics’ ? That would be ridiculous to only live in your company’s past.
The Irontusk razor – every aspect of it – is critically being aligned to Wade & Butcher precedents. We aren’t making a random gaudy ‘custom’ razor. Its intention is to be quintessentially ‘Wade & Butcher’, so as to inaugurate this restart of the brand.
So, we have a notched point, a deep jimped thumb-notch, a shoulderless ½ hollow grind, a smiling edge, flowing/Victorian lines, a ‘black-polish’ mirror finish throughout, a rounded spine, an extended tang/tail that is reminiscent of an African elephant tusk (this is an iteration of W&B’s ‘improved tang’, and of course ties in with the new production locale of South Africa). In fact, the city I’m in is called ‘Place of the Elephants’ in Zulu. Also, 'uncharted Africa', and especially the elephant and their tusks/Ivory are prominent elements in the Victorian era/age of exploration – the real heyday of our brand and an aesthetic that really appeals to me most. So every aspect of our ‘new’ razor is actually painstakingly being thought out to represent the very best of W&B and the era of the brand’s greatest successes. Even the markings on the tang are being deep-engraved (as you would see on the movement of a fine Swiss watch) and their placement and even the kerning of the letters is being carefully thought out. We aren’t using this electro-etch method that most custom makers use (it’s frankly just a terrible marking method in my opinion). And stamped marks leave inconsistent depths and a mushroom effect on the edges, that just signals ‘mass-production’.
OF COURSE we will bring back all the classics – in due course. Why would folks assume that we wouldn’t, even after I have said repeatedly that it is in our roadmap... We’ll be slowly rebuilding our catalogue with: FBU, Anchor, Diamond Edge, Arrow Razor, Bow Razor, Special, Double Swaged, Frameback. Etc. You can either have it done slowly with extreme care, or rushed and sloppy – you can’t have it all, all at once guys...
The different models will have different pricing, as indeed the makeup of each model will require different processes/materials. Not all will have custom presentation cases for example, some models will have aluminium cases, some will have embossed cardboard coffins.
As for the pricing on the Irontusk razor, it's likely going to be around the $1800 mark (which includes intl. courier). This is an inaugural/showpiece model, with incredibly costly materials and processes. The razors will ship with a handcrafted custom wooden presentation case (lined interior), foiled and embossed certificate/art cards, and a fit and finish that is obsessively precise - far in excess of most custom makers work, yet at a comparable price point to some of them. This point we've intensely deliberated upon, and proudly I believe that we will offer more objective value, than any other razor in this bracket.
Irontusk pre-orders will open closer to end of this year.




So I implore you to please have patience, faith, and hopeful expectations. I know we won’t please everyone (some folks just love to hate), but I’m optimistic that many of you will be very pleased indeed.


Thanks friends,
Sincerely,
- Mike

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Re: Wade & Butcher

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:40 am

would be itnersting to se some pictures. The price is very steep...
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