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Picture of The $5 PVC Shaving Stand
Corral your shaving paraphernalia and keep your brush and razor dry with this manliest--and cheapest--of shaving stands.
 
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Step 1: Introduction and Justification

I had recently begun shaving with a double-edged safety razor and brush, and felt the need to corral my rapidly expanding pile of shaving junk as well as providing my razor and brush a safe place to dry. "Real" shaving stands cost from about $10 to upwards of $100, but I felt I could do better--and enjoy the fun of a project as well. And what better material to use for a manly shaving set than that most manly of materials, PVC pipe? (in truth, PVC is non-gendered, of course; it was just funny in this context).

Step 2: You Will Need:

Picture of You Will Need:
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A: Materials (all PVC parts are smooth sockets, not threaded)
  • A good lengthof 1/2" PVC pipe; get the sturdy stuff (schedule 40 is good). I just bought a 10' length for $1.74 and used less than half.
  • Four 1/2" elbows
  • One 1x1/2" 90-degree elbow
  • Three 1/2" Tees
  • Two 1/" caps

Total cost: less than $5

B) Your shaving junk

Step 3: Measure your junk!

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Your SHAVING junk. Yeesh, people.

Cut one length of PVC to be the "back rail" of the stand (the part that sits on the counter). You're going to take the back rail, like Gaul, and divide it into three parts--and insert a few Tees into it. So you will actually want this back rail to be a bit shorter than your measurement. Luckily, since PVC is forgiving stuff and easy to trim, I'd just cut it full-length and trim to fit later.

Cut two more pieces to be the side rails.

Cut two MORE pieces to be the uprights--I made them the same length as the side rails, and it worked pretty well.

Finally, cut two short pieces, about 1-1.5 inches or so (these will be the horizontal supports).

Step 4: Assemble!

Picture of Assemble!
Assemble the PVC pieces with the elbows, tees, and caps. One 1/2" tee will be used for holding the razor; the other (with the 1"x1/2" elbow) will cradle the brush as shown in the picture below.

Okay, yes: there is something wrong with the current state of the stand. Can you say what it is?

What? You say it's a problem that the badger-hair brush is standing bristles up and it will hurt the badger hair? Are you MAD? Have you ever met a badger? Badgers don't mess around. Badgers could take down bears. Chuck Norris's sensei is Badger Badger-san. Ever see a badger take a bath and then dangle from a brach by its teeth so that its hair dried the right way? Of course not! If shaving brushes weren't meant to dry bristles-up, why would they make the ends of them flat so you could stand them that way? The badger can handle it! DON'T DISRESPECT THE BADGER, YOU DISTRAUGHT PINK-CHEEKED BADGER-PAMPERER!

(sorry for the outburst--I just wanted a chance to use the phrase "distraught pink-cheeked badger-pamperer")

However, having said that, the stand DOES have a serious problem: the 1" round section of the tee is simply too small to offer proper support to the badger. Something more stable is necessary. Either get a larger diameter elbow (if you're okay with a bristles-up stand) or see the next step to rectify the situation.

Step 5: (optional): Cut the brush stand

Picture of (optional): Cut the brush stand
We can give the badger a more stable base by cutting a slot in the elbow for the top of the brush (the flared end). You'll have to base this on your particular brush, but in general we want something so that the flared end of the brush fits into a slot and won't fall out.

You can do this pretty easily with a hacksaw or miter saw, and it will probably generate a lot of PVC shavings, so do it outside (yes! Sawing on PVC pipe, outdoors, to make a shaving stand! It doesn't GET more manly than this!)

Two cuts will make the slot; drilling the ends of the slot with a large bit should give you a rough cut of what you need.

Step 6: (optional): Smooth the brush stand

Picture of (optional): Smooth the brush stand
PVC cuts very well with a PVC cutter, but when you have to saw it like this, it produces pretty rough edges. You should smooth these down with an abrasive; if you're not concerned about a perfect finish, I recommend rasping with a file.

It's best to use a half-round bastard file. There is no true reason for this, and another file would probably get better results, but in truth I think there is no more manly phrase than "rasp the rough edges with a half-round bastard."

No, seriously. "Quench the red-hot metal in water" is pretty manly, I'll grant you, as is "hold the arc until the alloy melts", and such. But they just don't have the resonance of "rasp the rough edges with a half-round bastard."

I like it. It's got a ring to it.

Step 7: (optional): Dangle your badger.

Picture of (optional): Dangle your badger.
Test fit your brush; the flange of the brush should fit nicely in the slot you just cut, cradling the brush so that the bristles hang down (which should satisfy the hordes of badger-pamperers out there). You're looking for a good but easy fit--you want the brush to be easily removed and replaced, after all.

And yes, I will grant you that "dangle your badger in the rasped PVC elbow" is almost as manly a phrase as "rasp the rough edges with a half-round bastard." But I still feel the latter has a better cadence.

Step 8: The final stand

Picture of The final stand
And there you have it, the final $5 shaving stand. It's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it does work just fine. If you have very hard water, as I do, it's also nice not having something else that you'll feel bad about when it gets all crusty and scummy from water deposits.

In all seriousness, though, I think an all-copper version of this (with a bit of cushion around the brush so that it doesn't get scored by sharp edges) would actually look pretty nice--and could either be left clean (to tarnish to a nice patina) or scoured, shined, and shellac'd for a shiny pipework shaving stand.

There's probably a better way to mount the brush, too--but this is what I came up with at first blush, and as mentioned--it works; it's just not pretty.
ed.dorner6 months ago

Thanks. This was a really cool simple project!

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I made one of these. Great piece...I've got a shaving instructable up at : http://www.instructables.com/id/So-you-want-an-old-fashioned-double-edged-safety-r/ tell me what you think!
old_code6 years ago
Great Instructable; definitely a "keeper" in Favorites. Thanks.
sugg227 years ago
woohoo! someone else who uses Propraso products! BTW, there cream is real good. but right now i'm using some cream i got as a gift. its still good, though.
Hoopajoo8 years ago
Yep. Been wet shaving for over 20 years! It sure beats the crap out of electric shavers (don't care how close they claim to get either). I genuinely love this idea! I need to make this. Of course, I'll have to post my instructable on how to make you own shaving soap. I make mine out of a corn based oil. Closest shave you'll ever get without bleeding!
i'd love to see a instructable on making your own shaving soap. the good stuff is great, but it's expensive. plus i'd love to tinker with my own recipe.
vputz (author)  ktulu11157 years ago
Actually, do some searching--I haven't seen much on making your own shaving soap, but I have seen some on tinkering with premade soaps, particularly glycerin-based soaps like Col Conk's; if you put those in the microwave they melt pretty well, which makes them great for modding (I've heard that a bit of bentonite clay added can increase the "slip" of a soap that doesn't have it, and you could add scents, etc).
ktulu1115 vputz7 years ago
interesting.... i'll have to take a look at this in more detail when i get some free time. it certainly sounds fun and unique project. certainly would help to have an instructable to start from though! ;)
My parents won't let me use a real razor. It sucks because I practically have to shave twice a day.
ktulu11157 years ago
that's funny cause i first saw this i wondered what kind of razor you had - ie: would it work with my stuff? i laughed when i saw the picture - i use almost exactly the same stuff: a merkur razor, vulfix brush, and taylor of old bond shaving cream.... well i used to use that cream but switched to a great one by "nancy boy" recently. oh and i highly recommend geo f. trumper coral "skin food" aftershave (non alcohol-based of course). everything these guys are saying is right, wet shaving is the way to go both economically and performance-wise. great instructable btw. :)
vputz (author)  ktulu11157 years ago
Even funnier--since then I have switched from Taylor's to Nancy Boy, which is BAR NONE the best shave cream I have run across. But in the interim I have moved to Oxford, England and it's back to Taylor's, especially since I have now actually walked down Old Bond Street! Although honestly the fun of it aside, I miss the Nancy Boy cream; it's a fantastic product (both the original scent and the cucumber). Haven't tried the skin food yet--gotta give it a go next time I'm around London, if I can find it.
ktulu1115 vputz7 years ago
haha that is funny. yes, I must agree.... nancy boy is the best out of the ones i've used at least, although i'm not sure if i prefer the original or cucumber myself. hate how i seem to go through it so quickly though! lol i can certainly imagine old bond being a lot easier to acquire out there in there in Oxford!! i definitely recommend the skin food, it's been my favorite so far... always have to order my stuff online b/c i can't find anywhere here in NJ (nearby or anywhere period!) that carries these products... so i'm sure you could order skin food via the web if you're willing to pay for s/h.
crapflinger8 years ago
you want really manly...switch the pvc for pure lead pipe...nothing like shaving with utensiles that have been stored in lead! good instructable!
Darkman9 years ago
Wow, I didn't mean to turn this instructables into an advertisement but I have to say that you guys just inspired me like a catchy infomercial. Once again though, nice project.
vputz (author) 9 years ago
>> ho did I mention it's not tested on animals!!! Wha--you just said you tested it on a badger! Juuust kidding. Sounds good about the Dove, though I'm stickin' with the good creams for a while at least...
xsmurf9 years ago
On using a badger. It changed my life!! I still use a 64-baldes cartridge razor, but I totally dropped the shaving cream/foam in favour of a good badger and..... soap! Just get a good bar of Dove (the unscented, no chemicals type), wet the badger just a little and rub it on the soap to make a nice heavy foam. It's über cheap and undoubtedly much better for your skin than the 2" long list of chemicals Gillette type shaving foam contains... and ho did I mention it's not tested on animals!!!
xsmurf xsmurf9 years ago
Eeeek, instructables doesn't seem to like UTF chars.... that was "uber". Not uber leet if you ask me ;)
vputz (author) 9 years ago
Additional comment on the above for economics: Changing blades/cartridges and using the good brush, the Merkur razor, and $0.50/blade refills, you've come out ahead of the Mach 3 Turbo and its $2.50/blade refills at about 39 weeks and thenceforth save about $104/year by using the DE razor--and get a better shave in the bargain. DE wetshaving is the Linux of shaving (as compared to the cartridge razor's Windows)--takes a bit of learning, but afterward it's not only easier but can be more effective. And darn cheaper to boot.
vputz (author) 9 years ago
In case folks have any other questions: that's a Vulfix Super Badger number hmm... 2234, I think (maybe 2235?), a bottle of ProRaso aftershave (available at your local Target in the "spa aisle" along with their VERY COOLING shaving cream), a tub of Taylor's of Old Bond Street shaving cream (rose-scented, very nice) and a small bottle of Jojoba oil (as an alternate aftershave). Hey, don't laugh--it beats my old kit of a Mach 3 Power and expensive cartridge refills HANDS DOWN.
CrackMonkey9 years ago
From the looks of it, it's a Merkur "Hefty" (or "HD" for "Heavy Duty") double-edged razor. It's a fantastic way to shave, and the blades are less than 50 cents each.

http://zork.net/motd/nick/shave/
vputz (author) 9 years ago
Why, that's the Merkur HD "Hefty Classic", a fine modern double-edged (DE) safety razor. Highly recommended as a good beginner's razor when learning the basics of wet shaving with a DE razor. Better (and cheaper in the long run) shave than your average 32-blade cartridge razor.

The HD looks more normal outside the PVC tube, obviously: http://www.classicshaving.com/catalog/item/522941/284057.htm
Darkman9 years ago
Nice creation but dude, what kind of razor is that?