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Gustav
06-15-2010, 02:22 AM
As you can see from the title, I am copying the idea of many others such as Luc in order to motivate myself to keep going on this straight razor adventure and I hope you will encourage me to continue even if I threaten to ditch the whole project.

I have been DE-shaving since the beginning of September and although I have enjoyed every minute of it, I have had a constant nagging yearn for straight razor shaving. Last X-mas, SWMBO arranged for me to take over her late grandfathers ' straights and after sending them away for honing at RasurPur in Münster, Germany and ordering a cheap dovo strop I was ready to go.

Last night I stropped my Eichelnberg & Mack round tip on linen 35 laps and 60 laps on leather as suggested by Luc, prepped in the usual way: face-wash followed by warm wet towel for 30 secs, lathered up thoroughly with Valobra shave stick and made my first full WTG pass taking it nice and slow. There was some bloodshed on my neck but nothing major. I am really enjoying this, somehow it feels as though I should have been doing this all along instead of spending about 15 years on carts (almost complete waste of time). If I can permit myself an analogy I have always felt comfortable with the potato peelers where the blade is in the same line as the grip (just like a straight) and hopelessly inadequate with the one where the blade is mounted perpendicularly to the handle (like a DE-razor or a cart).

After the first pass, I felt around the cheeks and was rather disappointed to find that a great deal of stubble was left, I think I might have had too steep of an angle so that I ended up scraping off more than cutting which is of course not especially effective. Does anyone have a good tip on how to get the angle right?

I lathered up for a second XTG pass but I felt uncomfortable with the strokes and decided to quit while I was ahead and try it again after a spot of reading on the subject.

I would appreciate some feedback on how it is supposed to feel when you guide the razor over your skin. Should it feel like dragging a hot knife through butter? I find that once I have positioned the blade, it is a bit of a bumpy ride to get the blade going and feels as though I was cutting through fabric or paper. Is this how it should feel? If not how can I remedy this? Would some strop paste on linen do the trick? Perhaps my prep is not thorough enough?

Thank you all in advance for your helpful comments.

honed
06-15-2010, 03:13 AM
Hang in there, nice of you to share!

Some thoughts;

1) I haven't tried Rasurpur edges myself, but I've heard many good men swear by Martins hone-work, so you can be confident that your straight have a good edge. So no paste needed there.
2) Regarding angle, do just like with a DE. Start parallel & then raise the spine slowly until it's beginning to cut.
The tricky part is to have a constant angle around bends, but you'll get there eventually.
3) Use a light, but firm touch.
4) Short, rather quick strokes, if you get stuck, change the angle/direction slightly.
5) Watch some videos, my favorite is Jockeys & Chimensch, but there are loads of them on the Tube.

And most importantly, have fun with it!

Lycka till :thumbup1:

Luc
06-15-2010, 03:17 AM
First, happy that you are keeping a journal! Mine helped me heaps when I started, as always, this community is very helpful!

Now, from what I remember, when I first started the blade didn't shave very well. I didn't use a strop, I had newspaper and when I decided that I should get the proper equipment, it made all the difference.

You already use a combo strop (linen/leather) which is good and you do the same laps that I do.

What happened over time is that I would try to do a pass or go in a different direction, it didn't feel right, it didn't feel like this is going to be great. I would then do it the next day, still not right but better. After 3-4 times, it was all right.

Next shave, hold your straight, you want a firm grip but then you don't want to cut yourself. Try to shave while applying a minimum amount of pressure. This might sound strange and it won't shave much but trust me, with time, you will get closer and closer.

The only advice that I can give you is don't force it. If you think you can do it, do it, if you think you can't, don't.

As I remember someone honed the straight for you. Hopefully it's fine but if you want to be sure, buy another shave ready straight. Having a different honer will give you a different idea.

Gustav
06-17-2010, 02:29 AM
Shave number 2 planned for tonight. Thanks for all the tips, I have been looking at numerous videos and especially on the techniques used when shaving XTG. There seems to be different takes on this: some people shave their right cheek with their right hand starting from the mouth and going backwards to the ears, whilst others shave their right cheek with their left hand starting from their ear and moving forward toward the mouth.

I instinctively prefer the latter because I tried the former and was anxious I would slip and cut into my ear.

What would you recommend to a beginner and why?

Luc
06-17-2010, 03:41 AM
For me, what's easier is to use my left with my left side and right with right side.

The only exception is when I go ATG. On my right side I need to go from ear to mouth and using my left is easier (pulling the razor rather than pushing it with my right hand).

It's a matter of preference more than anything. Do what's easiest for you but don't force anything. If it's not going or your not confident, don't do it.

How long did it take you?

Gustav
06-17-2010, 03:49 AM
I have not done it yet, this post was just in preparation. The first shave I did which was just one WTG pass followed by a short attempt at a XTG pass took me about 30 minutes. I then finished off with my DE. I am already looking forward to tonight's shave.

Luc
06-17-2010, 03:54 AM
I have not done it yet, this post was just in preparation. The first shave I did which was just one WTG pass followed by a short attempt at a XTG pass took me about 30 minutes. I then finished off with my DE. I am already looking forward to tonight's shave.

30 minutes, that's not so bad. Take it slow and it should go well!

sanfranciscian
06-17-2010, 07:47 AM
congrats, sounds like you did well for the first time, hang in there. i am relatively new myself (2mos.) and started out with one of martins edges, which in hindsight i did not really appreciate until much later in the game. the angles just kind of worked their way out for me and i suspect that it may be similar for most. enjoy your new discipline!

Ian

Gustav
06-18-2010, 12:49 AM
Shave #2 Thursday evening 18.06.2010

Setup:
Eickelnberg & Mack razor
Valobra shave stick
Plisson silvertip badger brush

Implimentation:
I stropped the razor as before (35 laps linen and 60 laps leather), prepped more thoroughly than usual applying the hot towel for a minute with some proto-lather on my face, lathered up and did a first WTG pass using short strokes as recommended whilst keeping a shallower angle than during the first shave. This pass was so much better than during the first shave, a lot of stubble left but so much better than the first shave where I must have spent my time scraping the skin more than anything else. Shaving WTG on my neck seems to be a bit pointless because the stubble seems to grow down and sideways and only a minimal amount is caught by the blade. I will carry on for the time being for the sake of practice. A real problem area throughout the shave is, no surprises, the area around the mouth and the chin but hopefully with trial and error and some patience I will figure it out. For the time being I am so slow that it really only makes sense to lather up half of the face at a time.

On my second XTG pass, I first tried shaving the left cheek with my right hand going from ear to mouth and vice versa, then I actually relathered and tried shaving my right cheek with my right hand from mouth to nose and vice versa. Although I had not thought so from the start this was much easier. Again, shaving the mouth area was unsatisfactory and resulted in minor bloodshed before I gave up.

I made a real mess on the neck area, after some initial struggling which must have looked comical, I realised that it is nigh impossible to shave clean across the grain as you might do with a DE, instead I tried something more akin to shaving against the grain, starting from the lower left corner of the neck and moving up and sideways towards the center. I found this very difficult and I ended up with several weepers and some redness and the amount of stubble removed was marginal. I should have stopped here but stubborn as I am, I attempted to do a ATG pass and realized that I was not yet ready for it because I did not know really how to do it properly. I finished up with my Merkur 34c/derby blade and Speick ASB.

In summary:
-WTG pass: immensely improved although the chin area is causing trouble. WTG on the neck feels redundant.
-XTG pass: upper part of the face seems doable excepting chin area.
-ATG: I will leave that until I have more confidence and skill.
I realize now that this is going to take time but the experience is very interesting and when I switch to the DE at the end it felt boring in comparaison.

Questions:
How do you shave XTG on your neck?
How do you position the scales relative to the blade on the neck?
Do you grip your razor significantly differently when shaving the neck XTG?

Thanks in advance for your response, next shave is either tomorrow morning if my wife and daughter permit it or on sunday evening.

Luc
06-18-2010, 02:20 AM
Good work mate!

XTG I point the chin up and to the left when I shave the right side. It stretches the skind and it's easier to get it shaved.

I hold the razor with the scales at 90 degrees. Have a look at the how to hold a straight thread. I'm still didn't get around making good pictures for Wiki but it should give you an idea.

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=151933

See post 14. 1st pic, WTG, 2nd pic, ATG, 3rd, XTG

Post 27 is also excellent for all 3 directions!

Gustav
06-18-2010, 11:41 PM
Shave #3 saturday 19th june

Setup:
Razor and brush see above
D.R.Harris Arlington shave stick

Thank you Luc for your tips, this helped a lot. I had planned to do a DE shave this morning because usually my baby daughter wakes up during my shower but this time she did not so I thought maybe I can steal just one pass. I had done the usual stropping yesterday so I went straight to it. I felt much more confident and the bristle on the upper part of the face got a really good beating on the first WTG pass. I also found it easier to maneuver around the chin and lips but the bristle removal here is still far from satisfactory. The XTG pass was far better this time and really did some good. When I was done, I had a definite SAS with some rough spots along the jawline and in the chin area and, on the whole, I was quite satisfied especially since it was nearly bloodless.

I finished off with the DE with a derby blade that is still not tugging although I must have used it for the last 6 shaves or touch-up shaves hinting that hair removal is definitely happening. I only had to do one pass ATG to get a DFS.

I notice that I seem to shave more with the tip-half area of the blade, is this ok or should I concentrate on having the whole blade on the face as much as possible?

In summary: I feel more confident and the blood is no longer thundering in my ears when I put the blade to my face. I still have a very long way to go but at least I know that I want to go there and I am enjoying the process immensely.

Thank you all for your comments.

Luc
06-19-2010, 12:09 AM
No worries, glad I can help.

If you are having good results using the middle/tip part of the blade, that's all right. There aren't any good or bad ways. I think I was using the heel of the blade more than the tip. I use the tip for precision usually. When I shave, I usually have the middle bit doing all the work. Don't change anything if it works.

It's great that you are now more confident. I had the same thing, I was scarded of the blade at first but it's not so bad. You need to be aware it's a knife to your throat but other than that, it's a great tool!

Gustav
06-21-2010, 01:06 AM
Shave #4 Sunday evening 20.06.2010

Eickelnberg & Mack 6/8 round tip razor
Brush as above
Tabac SS
Tüff A/S

This time I tried applying a touch more force to get the razor going which turned out to be easier than the slow drag I have used before. I got a few weepers at the base of the neck and on my top lip. Confidence is growing and fear abating.

Quality of the shave was about on par with shave #3 but it seemed I did a better job on the chin area. The overall shave is still far from being a DFS, but if my DE shaving experience is anything to go by, I am not too worried because I am quite sure it will sort itself out with experience.

I also noticed what a great help it is to have found a selection of soaps and creams that I know are solid performers. The valobra SS is great but somehow, in my hands, the first pass lather from a shave stick is never quite as good as that from a puck. In this category, Tabac is superb.

Questions:
1. When stropping, is it important that the strop is completely parallel to the floor? I hang mine on the window grip and thus it has a bit of slope.

2. I have a second razor: a swedish Erik Anton Berg 5/8 (I think) with a square slightly rounded tip. Would you keep going with the E&M for another while for the sake of establishing a routine or would you try it to see if it suits you better?

3. Can razors with broken tips be mended?

Thanks for your support and comments.

Luc
06-21-2010, 02:02 AM
Shave #4 Sunday evening 20.06.2010

Eickelnberg & Mack 6/8 round tip razor
Brush as above
Tabac SS
Tüff A/S

This time I tried applying a touch more force to get the razor going which turned out to be easier than the slow drag I have used before. I got a few weepers at the base of the neck and on my top lip. Confidence is growing and fear abating.

Quality of the shave was about on par with shave #3 but it seemed I did a better job on the chin area. The overall shave is still far from being a DFS, but if my DE shaving experience is anything to go by, I am not too worried because I am quite sure it will sort itself out with experience.

I also noticed what a great help it is to have found a selection of soaps and creams that I know are solid performers. The valobra SS is great but somehow, in my hands, the first pass lather from a shave stick is never quite as good as that from a puck. In this category, Tabac is superb.

Questions:
1. When stropping, is it important that the strop is completely parallel to the floor? I hang mine on the window grip and thus it has a bit of slope.

2. I have a second razor: a swedish Erik Anton Berg 5/8 (I think) with a square slightly rounded tip. Would you keep going with the E&M for another while for the sake of establishing a routine or would you try it to see if it suits you better?

3. Can razors with broken tips be mended?

Thanks for your support and comments.

Good work on the shave. It will get better, I had a few weepers when I started too...

1. I would say it's all right, if you can easily strop and you find it comfortable, then it's fine.

2. The less things that you change, the quicker you will learn. Then, I'm not a good example as I started with the same straight for ~10 shaves. I got 3 other straights that I bought shave ready, I couldn't resist. If you think you can resist, that's all right, but I would try it. What if, it's easier...

3. Depending on the how badly it is, probably, someone who does restorations would be able to advise. Usually, the tip can be rounded and the razor is shorter but usable.

Gustav
06-21-2010, 03:17 AM
Thank you, I think I will heed your advice on not changing the razor right now. This WE there is going to be a huge back yard flee market in a central part of Munich and I hope to be picking up some vintage shaving gear. Hopefully I can find a few nice razors, send them to Martin Nienberg at RasurPur to have them honed and by then I should have enough experience to start changing parameters.

Luc
06-21-2010, 03:46 AM
That's pretty cool! I hope you can find a good score over there!

honed
06-21-2010, 03:26 PM
Looks like you are doing great, hang in there & good luck at the loppmarknad!

Gustav
06-23-2010, 02:41 PM
Shave #6 Wednesday evening 23.06.2010

Setup see #5 except for Speick ASB instead of Tüff A/S.

We had a customer visit at work on Tuesday so I decided to play safe on Tuesday morning and had very nice DE-shave (Merkur HD, Derby and Tabac) but without the exitement of the straight razor shave.

I concentrated a lot on stretching this time and it paid off. I have been watching Chimensch's (?) video and used my styptic in order to bet better "traction" on the skin and it works beautifully. I did the usual WTG followed by 2 XTG passes. One of them going from nose to ear and the other the other way around using the grip which some nice gentleman suggested in the pictoral thread devoted to razor grip started by Luc. On the neck I did the same XTG pass twice. This resulted in a DFS above the jaw-line with the exception of the chin which was still rough. The neck was still very rough and pretty much red from trying too hard. However when I did a quick ATG pass with my DE to clean up, it felt as though there was not much more left to cut.

I am quite satisfied with the results of skin stretching above the jaw line and for my next shave, I hope to have acquired an Alun block which will make traction even easier. Also I think I will give up the WTG shave on the neck since, in my case, this is a complete waste of time. I will replace it with a further XTG but in the long run, I think the only way I am going to achieve DFS on my neck with this razor is by going ATG because it would seem that the stubble is growing flat against the skin.

In summary, it is safe to say that I am very satisfied with my progress although the neck is causing me some concern. Most importantly I am enjoying myself. SWMBO came in whilst I was cleaning up and wondered what I had been doing for the last hour. I am not worried about how much time it is taking me because it really is quality time.

Luc
06-23-2010, 03:04 PM
Excellent work!! Keep a it that way, it will get closer.

For the time, nothing to worry about. I think I did a new record yesterday 15 minutes instead of 20 and BBS... I usually shave and it takes me 3 songs on the radio, I realised that I started pass #3 during song #2... Still, loved it!

Gustav
06-23-2010, 11:37 PM
Yup! That is what I am thinking of doing. I just realised I made a mistake in the title: it was of course shave #5 with setup of shave #4. Thank you for your input, 15-20 minutes really seems like pie in the sky to me at this point.:w00t:

Luc
06-24-2010, 02:11 AM
Yup! That is what I am thinking of doing. I just realised I made a mistake in the title: it was of course shave #5 with setup of shave #4. Thank you for your input, 15-20 minutes really seems like pie in the sky to me at this point.:w00t:

Yeah, I didn't think I would be as quick as a DE eventually but having a larger blade helps for a few sections.

Gustav
06-25-2010, 01:13 AM
Shave #6: Thursday 24.06.2010

Setup same as #5 but for Hega ASB
I was in a hurry today because shortly after SWMBO and I woke up, baby Matilda was already in full swing. I did a sloppy shave and was punished for it with a cut on the central part of the neck and the right side of the neck dented with superficial abrasions making it look like venician blinds. I am thinking of reverting to my 48 hour shave routine so I can take things nice and easy. Initially, I thought that I would shave with the DE on mornings and get a rest from the straight but I am having so much fun with the straight that it has become quite irresistible. I got myself an Alum block which probably saved me from further damage.

I did a full WTG pass which removed quite a bit of stubble on the face but not much on the neck as usual. I then did two mixed XTG-ATG passes: XTG on the face, first on mouth to ear and second ear to mouth and ATG on the neck. The ATG on the neck was not particularly well done as mentioned earlier but it was not a total dead loss because it gave very satisfactory stubble removal. At the end of it all, I had achieved a near DFS on the face with some rough spots and definite progress on the neck area.

I finished up with an ATG with my trusty Merkur 34c and then splashed on some very soothing swedish Hega ASB.

I am wondering if I should perfect my skills on the ATG on the neck or if I should keep doing at least one XTG on the neck to see if this somewhat safer pass gets better with time. What do you think?

Luc
06-25-2010, 02:26 AM
That's the bummer bit with shaving, if you rush it, nicks and cuts.

When you will get more used to it, your time will go down and it will be easier to fit it in your routine. I couldn't imagine taking 45-60 minutes in the bathroom and then be ready for work, unless I woke up at least 30 minutes before my usual time... Now, it's easier.

I think that doing XTG helps before ATG but that's how my face reacts. Try it, if you feel confident, and you will know very quickly. Just remember, if it starts pulling, gripping, skipping, stop.

Gustav
06-27-2010, 02:47 AM
Shave #7 Saturday 26.06.2010

Setup:
E&M 6/8
Plisson silvetip
Fitjar Norwegian Fern SC
Aqua Vera A/S

My first overall SAS shave probably due to a more thorough prep. I washed my face with soap followed by application of C&E Nomad SC with my hands (I got this as a gift and I did not really like the scent and it contains SLS which I am trying to avoid). I let the cream sit there whilst I stropped my razor and then I applied the warm hot towel on my face with the cream still on it and held it there for a minute. Then I rinsed my face, put a dollop of Fitjar SC in my brush and started face-lathering. I think in future I will only apply lather to either face or neck because I am so slow that by the time I finished the face, the neck lather has lost some of its moisture and hence its slickness.

I did the usual WTG on the face paying attention to streching, angle and keepin the full length of the blade on the face. Then I did a XTG on my neck which seemed to remove quite a bit of stubble. I then did a XTG on the face, mouth to ear followed by ATG on the neck and finished up with a XTG, ear to mouth on the face and ATG on the neck. The overall impression was that of a SAS containing DFS areas on the face. The touch-up with my DE is feeling less and less necessary. I am getting much more confident on the chin especially WTG and the XTG chin shave movement is getting there. It seems that on my face the XTG ear to mouth is more effective than the other way round so perhaps I should concentrate more on this pass.The ATG pass still needs a lot of work since I seem to cut myself lightly when positioning the blade.

I am getting the hang of this but I am very impatient. I suppose I just have to have the confidence to realise that this was shave 7 and I still have another 93 to go before I can make up my mind.

Luc
06-27-2010, 03:38 AM
Shave #7 Saturday 26.06.2010

Setup:
E&M 6/8
Plisson silvetip
Fitjar Norwegian Fern SC
Aqua Vera A/S

My first overall SAS shave probably due to a more thorough prep. I washed my face with soap followed by application of C&E Nomad SC with my hands (I got this as a gift and I did not really like the scent and it contains SLS which I am trying to avoid). I let the cream sit there whilst I stropped my razor and then I applied the warm hot towel on my face with the cream still on it and held it there for a minute. Then I rinsed my face, put a dollop of Fitjar SC in my brush and started face-lathering. I think in future I will only apply lather to either face or neck because I am so slow that by the time I finished the face, the neck lather has lost some of its moisture and hence its slickness.

I did the usual WTG on the face paying attention to streching, angle and keepin the full length of the blade on the face. Then I did a XTG on my neck which seemed to remove quite a bit of stubble. I then did a XTG on the face, mouth to ear followed by ATG on the neck and finished up with a XTG, ear to mouth on the face and ATG on the neck. The overall impression was that of a SAS containing DFS areas on the face. The touch-up with my DE is feeling less and less necessary. I am getting much more confident on the chin especially WTG and the XTG chin shave movement is getting there. It seems that on my face the XTG ear to mouth is more effective than the other way round so perhaps I should concentrate more on this pass.The ATG pass still needs a lot of work since I seem to cut myself lightly when positioning the blade.

I am getting the hang of this but I am very impatient. I suppose I just have to have the confidence to realise that this was shave 7 and I still have another 93 to go before I can make up my mind.

Nice!

I was always curious about the Plisson, how is it?

Fitjar is something I will need to try one day, I heard so much about them! How do you find it?

You don't have to go 93 more shaves. At shave 20 I knew that I was going the straight razor way and I wouldn't turn back!

Gustav
06-27-2010, 03:52 AM
The Plisson is nice although I must admit I do not have much to compare with since SBAB has not set in yet. I got it from my father who had not used it much it has a huge knot and carries a lot of lather once it is fully loaded. Its tips are nice and soft yet the bristles themselves are very stiff.

You owe yourself to try the Fitjar creams. When I was exclusively DE shaving I went through a lot of samples from Trumpers, T&H, TOBS, Weleda, Speick and Fitjar. But I found Ftjar's samples to be better than all of them.

Gustav
06-28-2010, 10:58 PM
Shave #8 Monday 28.06.2010

Setup as in shave #7 except for Speick ASB at the end. I spent a bit of time looking at the hair on my neck and realised it grows quite a bit more down and to the sides than I had thought so XTG should be more effective than ATG.

I had a tremendous shave last night, I prepped the same way as in shave 7 and then started my WTG pass on the face trying to hold the razor slightly askew to get the slicing motion I have heard so much about. I must say it was quite effective. I then did a XTG on the neck which left it feeling quite rough. I then relathered the face and went XTG from ear to nose, then lathered the neck and did yet another XTG pass. Finally I repeated this full XTG pass and when I then rinsed with cooler water I was standing there thinking to myself: WOW a definite SAS with large stretches of DFS. The beauty of it was that I skipped the DE-touchup and did some straight razor touch-ups. I still have some rough spots along the jawline, chin and especially the adam's apple but for the first time in 8 months the DE was out of work!

Maybe this was just a fluke but if not I am seriously getting the hang of this. How do you shave the adam's apple area with a straight?

michiganlover
06-29-2010, 05:25 AM
Maybe this was just a fluke but if not I am seriously getting the hang of this.

I am sure you are improving. Congrats!! It's amazing how little improvements can add up over time, and then you are like wow, that was a good shave!! :w00t::w00t:

Luc
06-29-2010, 05:31 AM
Nice work! :thumbup1:

I don't have a pronounced Adam's apple but I would imagine that stretching the skin would be the trick. I would try to look up and left then pull the skin up and right to stretch the skin. Opposite for the other side.

Gustav
07-01-2010, 01:19 AM
Shave #9 Wednesday 30.06.2010

Setup: same tools as usual, Fitjar Folgefonn SC (pine and mint very soothing) and Hega ASB

I did much the same shave as during shave #8 with minor modifications and ended up with a DFS on the face with a minor weeper on the jawline. What a fabulous feeling.

The neck was also much improved thanks to Luc's suggestions on shaving technique around the adam's apple. I spent quite some time messing around on the neck, trying this and that with mixed success. I am confident that the adam's apple area issue will be solved with practice so now I must tend to another rough spot: when I stretch my neck backwards, it is the area just next to and under the jawline, half way between the adam's apple and the chin. I cannot seem to get at these hairs XTG because the blade is too long to maneuver in the corner area and if I stretch my neck back even more to flatten it out I cannot see what I am doing. I suppose I will try a light ATG on it next time.

Once again DE-touchup felt completely superfluous. The ASB on the other hand hit the spot and took care of the inevitable razor burn on the neck area following too much messing about.

I am astonished at the rate of my progress. I realise that I am nearing a plateau where progress is going to be slower but where I will be able to concentrate on consistent shave quality and speeding things up.

To up the ante slightly, starting next week, I think I might switch razors from my Eickelnberg and Mack/Solingen to my swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg which is slightly smaller and with a more pronounced tip. This weekend when I have some more time I will try to post some pictures.

Luc
07-01-2010, 01:45 AM
Don't worry too much about the progression. If you are happy with the shave, it all that matters. It will get closer with time but I have to admit, it took a while before I said, that's BBS.

Gustav
07-01-2010, 02:01 AM
I agree with you and and if my DE-experience is anything to go by, if I may paraphrase: "If you take care of your DFS-shaves, your BBS-shaves will take care of themselves".

Luc
07-01-2010, 02:04 AM
Yes, the good thing about knowing how to shave with a DE is that you already know a good lot of what you need to do (prep, lather, post-shave)!

bran
07-01-2010, 08:05 AM
Gustav- I have enjoyed reading about your progress. It has been an inspiration for me as I get started. Glad to read that the adams apple area got better for you. I have yet to tackle my neck area. I can;t even get the left cheek much yet. Hope your next shave goes even better.

Gustav
07-03-2010, 10:57 AM
Shave #10

Setup as in shave 9 except for Aqua vera ASB

Same routine as in shave 9 all around. Paid a lot of attention to stretching which seems to pay off. I again spent a lot of time on the adam's apple area stretching this way and that, slicing and scything. It did some good but I also got a lot of razor-burn and a long superficial cut under the chin. Then end result was a DFS all around with which I was quite satisfied. I think I am going to back off from this obsessive neck shaving because it does not seem worth taking big risks to shave off just a few whiskers.

I have taken some pictures which I will hopefully find time to post tomorrow.

Pumpkin
07-03-2010, 01:21 PM
Congratulations Gus, it sounds like you're getting the hang of it! :thumbup:

I'm only just at 40 shaves with a str8. I'm already finding that it's taking much less time and getting better results as my technique improves. I find that I can do a WTG followed by an ATG on my neck with no major problems....certainly with less irritation than I used to get with DE's. Under my jawline (near my earlobe) is a bit easier with a 4/8 rather than a 6/8 (for me), although even that's getting easier! :001_smile

Gustav
07-03-2010, 03:42 PM
Congratulations Gus, it sounds like you're getting the hang of it! :thumbup:

I'm only just at 40 shaves with a str8. I'm already finding that it's taking much less time and getting better results as my technique improves. I find that I can do a WTG followed by an ATG on my neck with no major problems....certainly with less irritation than I used to get with DE's. Under my jawline (near my earlobe) is a bit easier with a 4/8 rather than a 6/8 (for me), although even that's getting easier! :001_smile

That sound promising because I have a great little 5/8 Swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg that I am going to try on Sunday evening. Hopefully that thinner blade will make a difference.

Luc
07-03-2010, 06:11 PM
Good work!

The smaller blade is easier to work with in difficult places (under the nose) but I find that big razor shave more hair. YMMV!

It's good that you didn't force it on the neck. That's how you cut yourself! It will get closer, at 10 shaves in, you already made giant leaps with the results you got!

Gustav
07-03-2010, 11:43 PM
Indeed, I had never imagined that I could learn this technique so fast. I still have a long way to go but that does not bother me since I am enjoying it so much.

When I think about my transition from DE to straights, snorkeling and diving springs to mind. When I started snorkeling I found it was absolutely fantastic and that I would always enjoy it. Then I did my open water diving certificate whilst on our honeymoon in the Maldives and almost overnight snorkeling lost most of its appeal compared to diving.

Luc
07-03-2010, 11:50 PM
Indeed, I had never imagined that I could learn this technique so fast. I still have a long way to go but that does not bother me since I am enjoying it so much.

When I think about my transition from DE to straights, snorkeling and diving springs to mind. When I started snorkeling I found it was absolutely fantastic and that I would always enjoy it. Then I did my open water diving certificate whilst on our honeymoon in the Maldives and almost overnight snorkeling lost most of its appeal compared to diving.

Great comparison! Happy to know that you love it! :thumbup1:

Gustav
07-04-2010, 01:43 AM
Here are some pictures: the bottom razor is the Eickelnberg & Mack/solingen 6/8 with wooden scales that I have been using up until now. Over it is the swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg 5/8 with horn scales which I have planned to use for this evenings shave. I cannot wait:thumbup:

Luc
07-04-2010, 02:42 AM
Nice straights!

Shame that Eickelnberg was dropped and the tip was rounded!

Gustav
07-04-2010, 03:06 AM
Yes I was wondering about that, thank you for pointing that out.

Gustav
07-05-2010, 01:45 AM
Shave #11 sunday 04.07.2010

Setup:
Swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg 5/8
Plisson silvertip
Fitjar Telemark SS
Hega ASB

I had a very nice shave last night. I did the usual WTG on the face and then I went XTG on the neck. After relathering I did the usual XTG on face and neck and noticed how effective it is to pull the ears backward when starting a XTG stroke from ear to mouth. When you have taken some stubble and lather off you can then advance your grip onto the cheek and it helps if you pull back and up.

The overall result was a tad worse than shave no 10 because I was being a bit more careful with this razor and as Luc has already pointed out it would seem that the broader blades seem to be a bit more effective at hair removal. I would say the face was DFS and the neck a solid SAS with which I felt no shame going to work.

It is going to take more shaves with this razor to find out what I think about it but the first impression was quite nice. It is a bit lighter than the E&M and thus easier to maneuver. On the other hand it feels as though it is not staying put on the skin as much as the E&M.

Luc
07-05-2010, 01:54 AM
Don't worry too much about the size of the blade. With experience, you might get better results with it. I have a 4/8 and I won't sell it. I get excellent shaves out of it but the feeling is very different!

Gustav
07-07-2010, 01:23 AM
Shave #12 Tuesday 06.07.2010

Setup:
Erik Anton Berg 5/8
Fitjar Wild thing shaving soap with tallow
Speick ASB

Quite possibly the best shave up until now, a no-nonsense DFS. Even now 10 hours post-shave, my face feels well shaven in a "homogenous" sort of way meaning that there does not seem to be any distinct rough spots anywhere.

I shaved in much the same way as the previous shave but the thing that did the trick was something I remembered from a video I had seen wherein the razor is placed slightly askew in relation to the direction of movement. So if you are going WTG on your cheeks, the razor is not placed parallel to the floor but rather a touch tilted. I do not know if this is the definition of the Sheffield slide but it makes for most effective shaving.

I keep spending time on my trouble spot on the neck, trying different contortions and stroke directions. Mostly I keep generating the most impressive razor burn. At least I found out that ATG is pretty much useless on this area.

With another shave down with this razor, I have an increasing feeling that I actually do prefer the E&M I started shaving with, it just feels more sturdy and effective compared to this one. I will give the EAB another few shaves and then I think I will switch back to the E&M.

On a separate note, I tried a sample of the fitjar soap with tallow during yesterday's shave. Being a swede, I am a sucker for scandinavian goods so I may be biased but I must say that it is a mighty fine soap which generates a thick cushy and slick lather which provides shaving on par with the european palmolive stick.

Luc
07-07-2010, 03:08 AM
Nice work Erik! Giant leaps! I don't think I got a DFS that quickly! :thumbup1:

Gustav
07-09-2010, 01:17 AM
Shave #13 Thursday 08.07.2010

Same setup as for shave #12 except for Hega ASB

The blade felt slightly dull and as a result, whilst the quality of the result was still ok it was not as good as shave #12. Perhaps it had something to do with stropping and on that note I have a question: Is it important that you strop your razor just before you shave? I have been stropping the razor in the morning or during the day when I had time to spare. Can the edge-quality really deteriorate within a few hours?

Apart from that I did the usual set of passes paying attention to holding the razor slightly askew and stretching the skin. On the neck area I think I might be on to something regarding flattening the area which seems to give me the most trouble. I bent my upper body forward, pushing my backside backwards and the neck backwards as far as it will go. This posture, which will make a man look like a chump and a sexy woman look very kinky indeed, allows you to stretch the neck skin taught whilst still being able to see what you are doing in the mirror. This seemed to allow me to snag some of those pesky hairs but I will need to try it out a few more times before I dare bring it to the attention of the general public.

I think I am currently at a point where it is not useful to continue posting after every shave. Instead I will do so when I have questions or have accumulated some major progress.

Luc
07-09-2010, 05:00 AM
I always strop between shaves when I can, not before the shave. Apparently, it's better to give ~10 laps after the shave to dry the edge and strop a tiny bit just before.

I always strop my razor before the next shave and store them. At the moment, I get back to the same razor in ~10 days.

Gustav
07-09-2010, 10:14 AM
At the moment, I get back to the same razor in ~10 days.

I can easily see that happen myself. I spend a lot of time on various sites looking at razors but I am going to back off until I have mastered the skill and found out what kind of razors I like. In the mean time I will stick with stuff I can get hold of on jumble sales and relatives.

Luc
07-09-2010, 03:27 PM
I can easily see that happen myself. I spend a lot of time on various sites looking at razors but I am going to back off until I have mastered the skill and found out what kind of razors I like. In the mean time I will stick with stuff I can get hold of on jumble sales and relatives.

I always end up buying one last straight. I'm fixing some myself, others I send them out. They need to go out anyways to get honed but when I'll get my next batch back from the honemeister, it should take ~20 days before I get back to the same straight...

Gustav
07-13-2010, 11:39 AM
Shaves #14(EAB 5/8), 15(EAB 5/8) and 16(EM 6/8), Plisson brush and tallow added soap: Fitjar wild thing or tallow soaps: Palmolive and SIM.

I am at a most wonderful point in this endeavour when I think it is safe to say that I am consistently getting DFS shaves. I feel confident using my razors, I have a routine which I go through and at the end of it all, I always have a result with which I am very happy. I can then spent the next half day faceturbating with satisfaction.

I think I may have found a solution for the neck area and I hope others can benefit from it: when you are standing in front of the mirror with both feet roughly next to each other, take a step back with one leg and bend your upper body slightly forward. Then bend your head backwards as far as it will go. The beauty of this posture is that you can still see what you are doing, the skin on your lower neck should be stretched nice and taught and your "razor-hand" can work freely without being hindered by your upper body. On the lower part of the neck and around the adam's apple, this allows you to position your razor flat on the skin with the blade in the N-S direction (or perpendicular to the floor if you prefer) and shave XTG from outside to center just as you would easily do with the shorter DE blade. If my right leg is back, I shave the left side of my neck using my right hand going from outside to center, XTG. I also find this posture helpful when shaving XTG the usual way.

I still have a lot to learn, for example I am still being very aggressive to my skin but that is also getting better with the nicks growing at least smaller. The DFS related confidence I have gained has also made me relax. Before I was chasing BBS, now I am taking it easy because BBS is only going to the logical consequence of my constant progress. I expect that one day on shave 30, 40, 50 or 60, it will just be there.

Thanks for all the newbie-threads which I have read intently and the helpful comments from the experienced shavers, it makes all the difference.:thumbup:

Luc
07-13-2010, 03:05 PM
I was starting to wonder if you stopped!!

Take it a bit slower if you can, it should help prevent the nicks!

Gustav
07-13-2010, 03:37 PM
No, no, no, no, no! If anything I am more hooked than ever. One part of me is seriously contemplating getting some other razors whilst the other is trying to fend it off until I have more experience. What is the use: SRAD is hauling in another victim, I'm afraid.

First stop is going to be to see if anything can be done about a half dozen rather rotten looking Swedish framebacks that SWMBO's granny gave to me. Does anyone know if these can be restored? Will post pictures once I have fetched them but last time I looked they looked pretty much past it.

If that does not help I will just have to do something more than just :drool: over the razors at rasurpur.de

Gustav
07-16-2010, 12:13 AM
I was starting to wonder if you stopped!!

Take it a bit slower if you can, it should help prevent the nicks!

Shave #17(EAB, Speick shave stick) and 18 (EM, Fitjar tallow added sandalrose sample)

Shave no 17 was a bit sloppy, I did a crap job on my strop trying to go fast. I did not cut it but the result was sub-par. I would say the shave itself was of lower quality than my usual standard barely qualifying as a DFS, probably more like a good SAS. So I learnt a lesson: skimp on stropping and you will be punished with a crap shave, it is as simple as that.

Shave no 18 was a good shave, I took my time doing a proper job on the strop concentrating on X-pattern and applying light pressure. For the first time I could actually feel when the edge was ready in that the drag seems to diminish gradually until it hits a constant. Is this just an illusion or does that happen to you also?

The shave was a classic DFS. Since I have now found a way of shaving my neck with better efficiency, I went back to shaving all my face WTG on the first pass instead of going WTG on the face and XTG on the neck. I also went slower on the subsequent passes as suggested by Luc. The result was less razor burn. The WTG on the neck is still not effective but the stubble reduction is sufficient to make it significantly easier to go XTG.

Luc
07-16-2010, 02:41 AM
Pictures are a must to know if the razors can be saved! If you don't have rust on the edge, there shouldn't be much of a problem, however, please post some pictures so you don't send them for nothing...

Gustav
07-18-2010, 03:09 AM
Shave #19(EM, L'occitane SS) and 20 (EM, Golddachs SS)

My wife I away so I have been dancing in the shave supply shops and I purchased the two soaps that I thought were lacking in my collection. Also I have been shaving everyday instead of every other or every 36 hours.

The shaves themselves went well, especially 19 where I went ATG on my face as a last 4th pass to see if it would make a difference and it did. I am too much of a chicken to do this all over my face as yet but at least I now know what level of closeness can be achieved.

The L'occitane shave soap was a real eye opener for me. I have been relying a lot on tallow soaps since I started straight shaving just because of the richness of the lather but I must admit that l'occitane comes pretty damn close to the lather of SIM or even Valobra and might be better than my reformulated Floris no89. The Golddachs was also very nice but the lather was not quite as creamy and it does seem pretty aggressive on my face. I will have to do some more testing to be conclusive. Last but not least, I could not resist picking up some Proraso which I shall try tomorrow, If the fame of this cream is anything to go by, I am in for a nice shave.

Shave 20 was enlightening in that I took the alum block in the palm of my moist hand then put that hand on my neck and squeezed my hand applying pressure on the back of my neck with my fingers and pulling the neck skin drastically sideways. This way I can flatten the Adam's Apple area and it seems easier to do than some of the other stuff I have tried earlier.

Finally I have two questions:

The hinge pin on my EAB seems to be coming out, what would you use to tap it back in order not to damage pin or scales?

When stropping can you actually feel when the blade is sharp enough? To me it seems as the resistance on the strop becomes constant at some point. Is this when the blade is aligned?

Thank you for your comments.

Luc
07-18-2010, 03:28 AM
Shave #19(EM, L'occitane SS) and 20 (EM, Golddachs SS)

My wife I away so I have been dancing in the shave supply shops and I purchased the two soaps that I thought were lacking in my collection. Also I have been shaving everyday instead of every other or every 36 hours.

The shaves themselves went well, especially 19 where I went ATG on my face as a last 4th pass to see if it would make a difference and it did. I am too much of a chicken to do this all over my face as yet but at least I now know what level of closeness can be achieved.

The L'occitane shave soap was a real eye opener for me. I have been relying a lot on tallow soaps since I started straight shaving just because of the richness of the lather but I must admit that l'occitane comes pretty damn close to the lather of SIM or even Valobra and might be better than my reformulated Floris no89. The Golddachs was also very nice but the lather was not quite as creamy and it does seem pretty aggressive on my face. I will have to do some more testing to be conclusive. Last but not least, I could not resist picking up some Proraso which I shall try tomorrow, If the fame of this cream is anything to go by, I am in for a nice shave.

Shave 20 was enlightening in that I took the alum block in the palm of my moist hand then put that hand on my neck and squeezed my hand applying pressure on the back of my neck with my fingers and pulling the neck skin drastically sideways. This way I can flatten the Adam's Apple area and it seems easier to do than some of the other stuff I have tried earlier.

Finally I have two questions:

The hinge pin on my EAB seems to be coming out, what would you use to tap it back in order not to damage pin or scales?

When stropping can you actually feel when the blade is sharp enough? To me it seems as the resistance on the strop becomes constant at some point. Is this when the blade is aligned?

Thank you for your comments.

Sounds good! :thumbup1:

For the Golddachs, you might need to charge your brush a bit more. I get good lather out of it but I need to overcharge compared to other soaps.

Is the pin coming out or the blade is just loose and can fall in the scales (doesn't hold by itself)? If it's the second, I would recommend a small hammer, put the other side of the pin against something that's really hard and proceed with gentle taps.

Second question, it might be but I do my laps anyways. I don't think I feel the resistance going up or down when I strop.

Gustav
07-19-2010, 03:26 PM
Shave #21 EAB, Proraso SC

I have to apologise for any and all mistakes in this post since writing partly with one hand is noot eesy, the other is too busy faceturabatin :lol:.

Anyway, I had an errand to run in the city and on the way back I passed a shopping mall in which I had never been. In an electronics store I thought I would check and see if I could find a mug warmer device of some sort. Unfortunately there were none but I did buy a small electric kettle which will also come in handy for boiling up water for our daughter's nightly milk bottles.

I boiled some water and poured it into a bowl to soak my brush and then made a makeshift scuttle by placing the bowl on a latte-cup which I also filled with warm water, I prepped using a towel so warm that I could barely hold it on my face, then I took out the brush, ditched the water in the small bowl, shook the brush, parted the bristles, squirted in some proraso and started face lathering. I understand now why everyone is making such a fuss about this stuff, it is surprisingly effective. The prep and the hot lather also did its job beautifully, I could feel a huge difference when shaving, there was a lot less getting caught in the stubble and tugging.

The end result was breathtaking, this shave could certainly compete with my previous DE shaves. In fact I have half a mind to DE-shave next time to feel the difference. It is not BBS but it is, what I would like to call, a DF-DFS.

Conclusion, really hot towel and scuttle does make a huge difference.

P.S. to Luc: samples southbound!

Ru4scuba?
07-19-2010, 04:33 PM
Amen to the hot towel method! I dont always use it, but when I do it really completes the shave!

Defend Tacoma
07-19-2010, 06:08 PM
. It is not BBS but it is, what I would like to call, a DF-DFS.

Hah! I love it! Congrats, Gustav on the strong progress. Great to see people that started around the time I did doing well. I am loving my journey so far. Having a ball!

Happy shaves to you

Gustav
07-19-2010, 10:52 PM
Hah! I love it! Congrats, Gustav on the strong progress. Great to see people that started around the time I did doing well. I am loving my journey so far. Having a ball!

Happy shaves to you

You really need to try this hot lather stuff if you have not already. My scuttle could not be simpler to put together: latte cup and a wide brimmed bowl the lower part of which dips into the water beneath. Of course at some point I am just going to have to go for the real thing.:001_cool:

Luc
07-20-2010, 03:35 AM
Shave #21 EAB, Proraso SC

I have to apologise for any and all mistakes in this post since writing partly with one hand is noot eesy, the other is too busy faceturabatin :lol:.

Anyway, I had an errand to run in the city and on the way back I passed a shopping mall in which I had never been. In an electronics store I thought I would check and see if I could find a mug warmer device of some sort. Unfortunately there were none but I did buy a small electric kettle which will also come in handy for boiling up water for our daughter's nightly milk bottles.

I boiled some water and poured it into a bowl to soak my brush and then made a makeshift scuttle by placing the bowl on a latte-cup which I also filled with warm water, I prepped using a towel so warm that I could barely hold it on my face, then I took out the brush, ditched the water in the small bowl, shook the brush, parted the bristles, squirted in some proraso and started face lathering. I understand now why everyone is making such a fuss about this stuff, it is surprisingly effective. The prep and the hot lather also did its job beautifully, I could feel a huge difference when shaving, there was a lot less getting caught in the stubble and tugging.

The end result was breathtaking, this shave could certainly compete with my previous DE shaves. In fact I have half a mind to DE-shave next time to feel the difference. It is not BBS but it is, what I would like to call, a DF-DFS.

Conclusion, really hot towel and scuttle does make a huge difference.

P.S. to Luc: samples southbound!

Excellent work and thanks!!:thumbup1:

Ru4scuba?
07-20-2010, 07:57 AM
You really need to try this hot lather stuff if you have not already. My scuttle could not be simpler to put together: latte cup and a wide brimmed bowl the lower part of which dips into the water beneath. Of course at some point I am just going to have to go for the real thing.:001_cool:

Until you get ScAD...or Scuttle Aquisition Disorder...real bummer as they are expensive and you end up paying alot for shipping :lol:

I have a Georgetown Pottery v4 and a small Moss scuttle from Sara Bonnyman...love both!

Gustav
07-20-2010, 09:44 AM
Until you get ScAD...or Scuttle Aquisition Disorder...real bummer as they are expensive and you end up paying alot for shipping :lol:

I have a Georgetown Pottery v4 and a small Moss scuttle from Sara Bonnyman...love both!

That is part of the reason why I am eyeing a SWK! Shipping from "Rheinbach" to "München" should not be so bad. A bigger problem is going to explain to SWMBO why this contraption is absolutely necessary, especially since I have been doing all right without it up until now:confused1

Ru4scuba?
07-20-2010, 12:32 PM
That is part of the reason why I am eyeing a SWK! Shipping from "Rheinbach" to "München" should not be so bad. A bigger problem is going to explain to SWMBO why this contraption is absolutely necessary, especially since I have been doing all right without it up until now:confused1

I was looking at those too...too bad I didn't get into this hobby when I lived over there!!!!

Could have saved me a ton on shipping and I could get local European aftershaves much cheaper! :lol:

Gustav
07-22-2010, 12:05 AM
Shave #22 Solingen 6/8 + EAB 5/8 Yardley shaving soap

I realized yesterday that I have been shaving for a month with straights and that is good enough for a celebratory Yardley shave. The lather of this soap is fantastic: shiny, slick and rich, a joy to shave with.

I had planned to shave in the evening but I woke up at 6 and felt so much awake that I stared at the ceiling thinking what now? I am going to a friend for dinner tonight and will not have time to shave till then so I may as well do it now, I thought.

I bought t 35 € razor I was on about and I stropped it up and did the HHT and found that it actually cut it, so I did some further stropping and included it in todays shave. I have attached some pictures of it just to give you an idea. It is an absolutely ideal candidate for honing practice. My father whom I will meet soon, is a dab hand at knife honing and perhaps we can share the experience together.

Today's shave resulted in a DFS and I now know from yesterdays DE shave that I am pretty close to what I can get doing the same passes with a DE. It was not as good as last shave but pretty close. I did the first pass using my new razor and it did feel a bit dull but there was a lot of stubble in the lather.

Luc
07-22-2010, 02:15 AM
I don't know if it's an illusion but it looks like that straight is having a frown... Not a big one...

You might need more time on the stones to get it sharper... But then, I don't hone myself...

Gustav
07-22-2010, 02:18 AM
I don't know if it's an illusion but it looks like that straight is having a frown... Not a big one...

You might need more time on the stones to get it sharper... But then, I don't hone myself...

I see what you mean but I think it is an illusion, as far as I could see the edge was fine and totally straight.

Luc
07-22-2010, 02:20 AM
I see what you mean but I think it is an illusion, as far as I could see the edge was fine and totally straight.

That's good! It's a good pick-up for what you paid! :thumbup1:

Ru4scuba?
07-22-2010, 06:19 AM
Stuck with the str8s for a month?? You deserve a celebration...congrats!

Gustav
07-29-2010, 10:13 PM
Shaves #23-27

I have been shaving mostly with the EM and getting consistently good results. On the second XTG I have been tilting the razor in a pseudo ATG way to get an even closer shave and I have been rewarded with fantastic cheek smoothness. The neck area still offers challenges but I keep trying new things to get those last hairs such as a last WTG pass or scything motions which seems to do some good. I have also had to modify my shave routine, shaving the middle of the face first so that I can stretch the side burn area to the front and up so that I can catch the thin line of hair that runs next to the ear and especially at the jaw corner.

Once I have solved the mystery of the elusive neck hairs and cleared up the little details here and there, BBS is going to be a mere formality. In the mean time, I am enjoying shaves of outstanding quality, very worthy of some serious faceturbation.

Last but not least, a few days ago I went to a little antique's dealer I was meaning to check out and asked him the usual questions. He started rummaging around in a box under the cashing device and soon a tang was visible in the motly crew of bits and bobs. I had a look at it and thought: blade does not look too bad, scales can be fixed up or replaced, I'll give him 5 € for it. So I asked him: "what do you want for it?" and he said "let's say 3€". I bought it straight away, I will try to post a picture later, it is a Tuckmar world crown solingen razor with scales alternating mother of pearl and some other probably woody material that has unfortunately (or fortunately for the price) fallen off. Some preliminary comparaison on the internet indicates that I might have found myself a bargain, provided that the blade is alright.

Luc
07-29-2010, 10:24 PM
Sounds good! I was wondering if you stopped or not!

Gustav
07-29-2010, 10:41 PM
Sounds good! I was wondering if you stopped or not!

No, I have just changed location for a while, making internet access more difficult. Also the student has not had much to report to his mentor. I am going to stick with it for a while yet, it is too early to know if I will shave all the time with a straight or if it will be something I reserve for the WE. I will soon make a short reversion into DE-shaving but there is a very good reason for it: I am going to attempt to teach my father to shave properly. Instead of shaving with an electric shaver followed by M3 touch-ups, I hope to teach him to use a Merkur 34c or a Gilette Slim twist (the one with the ugly plastic handle) all the way.

Luc
07-29-2010, 11:10 PM
That's good! Straight razors require commitment and not everyone can!

Gustav
07-30-2010, 11:08 AM
Here are some pictures of the straight I scored: Tuckmar world crown silver steel solingen 5/8 with striped mother of pearl scales:

Luc
07-30-2010, 04:10 PM
Nice, looks like it needs a clean up + honing and you are good to go!

Ru4scuba?
07-31-2010, 04:23 AM
Nice score Erik...whats with the gaps in the scales? Never seen that before!

Defend Tacoma
08-01-2010, 10:32 PM
Nicely done, Gus! Glad to see you are still at it, and the shaves are continuing to improve. Nice score for the price! :w00t:

Klarion
08-01-2010, 10:52 PM
Nice score Erik...whats with the gaps in the scales? Never seen that before!

They're supposed to be some other material. If Gus restores it, he can go crazy with some kind of wood, acrylic or turquoise even.

honed
08-02-2010, 03:41 AM
That last straight looks really nice!

And I'm glad to hear that it's going well.
Patience really is rewarding when it comes to straight shaving.

Gustav
08-02-2010, 02:16 PM
I could not resist posting this aquisition on the score and here is the answer I got from a fellow member. Abalone is some kind of sea snail. I have hope for my blade because in a later post it turns out that his blade is a wedge, I am not sure but mine looks like a hollow.

Originally Posted by wolfmanxiii View Post
Those scales look almost identical to the scales on a straight I have. Do they seem kind of bulky and thick? Check the spacer at the end of them, does it look like coral?


I have a straight with those, but it is smaller than a normal straight. The stripes are abalone (and it looks awesome). Unfortunately apparently the blade that came in it is junk (Eagle Brand Cutlery) according to others on here and they say it doesn't take an edge.

Ru4scuba?
08-02-2010, 05:25 PM
They're supposed to be some other material. If Gus restores it, he can go crazy with some kind of wood, acrylic or turquoise even.

Sweet!

Gustav
08-14-2010, 01:04 PM
Shaves #28-34

I have been away for a while visiting my parents and amongst others attempting to teach father to use a straight. I have been using my Erik Anton Berg 5/8. The scales are a bit loose but if you wrap a sheet of toilet roll around the scale and joint you can still strop such a razor quite easily.

I am getting very good results by now, still not BBS but definitely getting there. I found a way of getting at the hairs on my neck just under the jawbone by stretching the skin on my cheeks upwards and forwards, that part of the neck ends up on the lower jaw, then you shave XTG over the lower part of the cheek. It also makes a beautiful job of getting rid of the stubble on the corner of the jaw where it goes over to the neck, which has always been an elusive spot. Adam's apple is also better due to consequent hand squeeze move described earlier which shifts this flap of skin over to the right or left of the adam's apple.

I have left my strop with my father as described in a separate thread. Do you have any suggestions what I may use instead with a good chance of success until I can lay my hands on a new one?

Luc
08-14-2010, 04:40 PM
Shaves #28-34

I have been away for a while visiting my parents and amongst others attempting to teach father to use a straight. I have been using my Erik Anton Berg 5/8. The scales are a bit loose but if you wrap a sheet of toilet roll around the scale and joint you can still strop such a razor quite easily.

I am getting very good results by now, still not BBS but definitely getting there. I found a way of getting at the hairs on my neck just under the jawbone by stretching the skin on my cheeks upwards and forwards, that part of the neck ends up on the lower jaw, then you shave XTG over the lower part of the cheek. It also makes a beautiful job of getting rid of the stubble on the corner of the jaw where it goes over to the neck, which has always been an elusive spot. Adam's apple is also better due to consequent hand squeeze move described earlier which shifts this flap of skin over to the right or left of the adam's apple.

I have left my strop with my father as described in a separate thread. Do you have any suggestions what I may use instead with a good chance of success until I can lay my hands on a new one?

You can always try to tighten the pivot with a big spoon or a small hammer. You will need to be on a very hard surface on the other side and lightly tap the pin. Keep in mind that scales are not indestructible... I often do that with my straights...

2 things come to mind for a strop. If you have a flat leather belt, not decorations, smooth, leather of course, you can use that.

If not, ~10 pages of newspaper. Newspaper stropping works but it's not as good as leather.

Gustav
08-14-2010, 06:49 PM
You can always try to tighten the pivot with a big spoon or a small hammer. You will need to be on a very hard surface on the other side and lightly tap the pin. Keep in mind that scales are not indestructible... I often do that with my straights...

2 things come to mind for a strop. If you have a flat leather belt, not decorations, smooth, leather of course, you can use that.

If not, ~10 pages of newspaper. Newspaper stropping works but it's not as good as leather.

Thanks, I'll try both of those pseudo strops but for now I will avoid attempts to tighten the pivot since I lent the only other honed razor I have to my father. I can not bear the thought of not being able to straight shave at all for about a month. Shortly, I will send a half dozen razors to RasurPur for honing and I expect at least half of them to come back fit for duty.

Luc
08-14-2010, 06:56 PM
Thanks, I'll try both of those pseudo strops but for now I will avoid attempts to tighten the pivot since I lent the only other honed razor I have to my father. I can not bear the thought of not being able to straight shave at all for about a month. Shortly, I will send a half dozen razors to RasurPur for honing and I expect at least half of them to come back fit for duty.

Your other bid could be to pick-up a vintage strop off ebay.

Klarion
08-14-2010, 06:57 PM
As a "finish", you can use the skin on your thigh if you pull your skin taut and aren't ultra hairy or anything. It's somewhat like hand stropping, but much quicker, and no callouses.

Wid
08-14-2010, 09:07 PM
Larry@Whippedog has what would make a good temporary strop for cheap.

Ru4scuba?
08-15-2010, 05:13 AM
I am getting very good results by now, still not BBS but definitely getting there. I found a way of getting at the hairs on my neck just under the jawbone by stretching the skin on my cheeks upwards and forwards, that part of the neck ends up on the lower jaw, then you shave XTG over the lower part of the cheek. It also makes a beautiful job of getting rid of the stubble on the corner of the jaw where it goes over to the neck, which has always been an elusive spot. Adam's apple is also better due to consequent hand squeeze move described earlier which shifts this flap of skin over to the right or left of the adam's apple.


Gustav,

Nice to hear of your recent success! :thumbup1: I do something similar with my jawline...pull up to get the skin just directly beneath the jawline to move up on the jaw and create a flat surface...shave...return skin to normal.

Works great!

In fact, now that I finished typing this I remembered that Joel did this in his pictorial in the How to Shave with a Str8 Razor thread....same technique

Gustav
08-15-2010, 05:53 AM
Gustav,

Nice to hear of your recent success! :thumbup1: I do something similar with my jawline...pull up to get the skin just directly beneath the jawline to move up on the jaw and create a flat surface...shave...return skin to normal.

Works great!

In fact, now that I finished typing this I remembered that Joel did this in his pictorial in the How to Shave with a Str8 Razor thread....same technique

Well it serves me right for not looking properly at his great thread.

On another note, I have found a antique paddle strop mounted on a frame which will do until I have acquired something more permanent. It is in pretty poor shape but it will do for now. I will also give my regular belt a shot, it is nice and flat with no seems or decorations.

Ru4scuba?
08-15-2010, 08:27 PM
You know...I stropped tonight for the first time on a CroOx pasted balsa strop...gotta say that I didnt like the motions as much as I did a simple pasted leather strop.

I know...I know...you have to keep it super taut otherwise you'll dull the blade blah blah blah...but it just seemed eaiser than balsa...maybe its just because its my first time doing it!

Gustav
08-18-2010, 11:04 AM
Shaves 35-37

Shave 35 was my last shave with the EAB stropped on my Dovo linen/leather strop. On the last two, I have been using my leather belt doing 100 laps on the inner side which is reasonably flat. There are no decorations or seams, it is just a piece of leather. To my delight it seems that this actually works, the razor is ever so slightly more pully but I still get a very decent DFS shave out of it.

The one thing I keep asking myself is if I run the risk of causing any lasting damage to the edge using a sub-standard strop or if it will sort itself out once I do the usual routine on a proper one?

Defend Tacoma
08-19-2010, 12:03 PM
I am getting very good results by now, still not BBS but definitely getting there. I found a way of getting at the hairs on my neck just under the jawbone by stretching the skin on my cheeks upwards and forwards, that part of the neck ends up on the lower jaw, then you shave XTG over the lower part of the cheek. It also makes a beautiful job of getting rid of the stubble on the corner of the jaw where it goes over to the neck, which has always been an elusive spot. Adam's apple is also better due to consequent hand squeeze move described earlier which shifts this flap of skin over to the right or left of the adam's apple.

This is a great technique that I learned in my DE days. Works great! Glad to see you are still progressing well. I'm still a ways from BBS, but having a great time, and learning new techniques like this all the time! :thumbup:

Luc
08-20-2010, 01:28 AM
Shaves 35-37

Shave 35 was my last shave with the EAB stropped on my Dovo linen/leather strop. On the last two, I have been using my leather belt doing 100 laps on the inner side which is reasonably flat. There are no decorations or seams, it is just a piece of leather. To my delight it seems that this actually works, the razor is ever so slightly more pully but I still get a very decent DFS shave out of it.

The one thing I keep asking myself is if I run the risk of causing any lasting damage to the edge using a sub-standard strop or if it will sort itself out once I do the usual routine on a proper one?

I don't think the Dovo strop will damage your razor. I had the same linen/leather combo strop and used it for months without any problems and on various razors.

If you are referring to your belt, if it's flat and smooth then I don't think there will be any problems either.

honed
08-20-2010, 05:21 AM
Shaves 35-37

Shave 35 was my last shave with the EAB stropped on my Dovo linen/leather strop. On the last two, I have been using my leather belt doing 100 laps on the inner side which is reasonably flat. There are no decorations or seams, it is just a piece of leather. To my delight it seems that this actually works, the razor is ever so slightly more pully but I still get a very decent DFS shave out of it.

The one thing I keep asking myself is if I run the risk of causing any lasting damage to the edge using a sub-standard strop or if it will sort itself out once I do the usual routine on a proper one?
Nope, no worries for damage, as long as there isn't anything in the way that can actually tear into the edge.
Or you use excessive force or anything, but that would kill a blade even on a TM horsehide...

If it's a tad pulley, give newspaper a go, 100 laps, preferably on a colored ad with lots of black in it.

Either fold the paper 3 times or wrap a couple of pages around a hardcover book or similar.
That is exactly the way or grandfathers did it!

Newspaper is good for every-day stropping too, 40 or 50 laps is good.

Infact, I've spoken with a couple of old-timers and none of them used a leather strop before well into the 50's (When Sweden got going & people could afford more "luxuries") They all stropped on newspaper, everyday!
Some stropped on their palm as finishing and some used the soles of their finest shoes.
But that was often done when the wife wasn't watching, since she really didn't like the chance of hubby ruining his go-to-church shoes.
See, SWMBO ruled shaving accesories even back in the days :lol:

Go with newspaper or your belt & don't worry about it.
Njut av rakningen! :biggrin1:

Gustav
08-25-2010, 02:45 AM
Thank you for that advice, I shall have to try it. On shave 38 during a short trip to my granny's it felt really pully but I attributed it to the luke warm water in my hotel not allowing for a proper prep. On the way there, I found an antiques store where I bought an outrageously expensive Rolls razor that was so cool that I had to have it. On the upside, I also found a vintage Soederen frameback with bakelite scales for about 10 bucks and what appears to be close to a wedge shaped vintage Heljestrand with scales of polished steel for about 20 bucks. I will post pics later.

When I was back in a place with warm water, I used my trusty EAB on shave no 39 after 100 laps on my belt with much the same result as on my trip. I will try it one last time stropping on newspaper as suggested. If that does not help, I will try stropping on a paddle with Cr-oxide.

The shave quality of these last shaves are still great and I still get DFS but the shaves are just not as comfortable anymore. Is it normal that a razor should need some kind of maintenance other than stropping after about 25 shaves? Will a pasted strop do the trick or should I get a Swaty?

For the time being I think I will stick to touch-ups and leave learning to hone to some later time when I have graduated from straight razor shaving wannabee to confident straight razor shaver.

honed
08-25-2010, 03:20 AM
25 shaves is a lot!

I might get away with 8 or 10 before a touch-up.
Pasted strop is fine. 10 or 15 laps should take it back.
If not, then do another 10 and so on.

Luc
08-26-2010, 02:06 AM
The prep could be to blame here but then, maybe not... Hopefully you will get that edge back soon!

Gustav
08-30-2010, 09:04 AM
Shaves #40-42

I have been getting much the same results as on shave 38 and 39 with my EAB irrespective of what I used as a material for stropping. The newspaper strop might have been a bit better probably because the blade was stropped equally on its full length whereas when using a belt it might be less homogeneous since I have had to do a X-motion on account of the limited width.

Yesterday, I got back home after a holiday and stropped on a paddle which has belonged to SWMBO's grandfather. It seems as though he has been using some sort of paste because one side is darker that the other. I did about 30 laps on this darker side which seemed to release some fine particulate material, slightly reminiscent of rust. I then did 100 laps on the leather-only side and then shaved. The edge seemed sharper on shave 42 and I had a fine DFS shave with none or little of the pulling I have experienced these last five shaves or so.

I have been achieving DFS results for the last 10-15 shaves and I have started to go more and more pseudo-ATG on my XTG passes with good results. I shall be sending away some razors to be honed and in the mean time I am going to make serious efforts to attempt to achieve the elusive BBS. It is not particularly important to me but I just want to have done it once to prove to myself that it can be done.

Hereunder you will find a few pictures of the recent purchases I made: a rolls razor which was not a bargain but irresistable nonetheless, a vintage swedish Soederen frameback with black bakelite scales and finally a vintage swedish Heljestrand wedge with polished steel scales. This last razor has a stain on the blade but I am confident I can get rid of it somehow. Any suggestions?

gull
08-30-2010, 09:32 AM
For stropping I feel your pain with the X shaped pattern. What I do is just do 60 laps on the lower half of the razor, then 60 on the top half. I don't think I'll ever be able to use the X movement without cutting up my strop.

Gustav
08-30-2010, 09:38 AM
For stropping I feel your pain with the X shaped pattern. What I do is just do 60 laps on the lower half of the razor, then 60 on the top half. I don't think I'll ever be able to use the X movement without cutting up my strop.

Well I am glad I am not the only one having trouble with this awkward movement:biggrin1:.

Gustav
08-31-2010, 03:42 AM
As mentioned earlier, I have been shaving exclusively with my swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg 5/8 razor for the last ten shaves at least and I have been feeling that it has lost its edge. Yesterday, I applied some paste to a strop and this morning, when it was nice and dry, I did 15 laps on the pasted side and a further 90 on the leather side. I could not wait to try it out and when I considered the following set of circumstances, I thought to myself this is it, it is now or much, much later.

1. My razor is freshly tuned and should be nice and sharp.
2. I know this razor very well since I have not been shaving with anything else for the past month.
3. I am alone in the house.
4. I have time on my hands.
5. I am about to send some razors for honing and when they get back I will be busy testing them instead of concentrating on progress.

I washed my face with Floris no.89 soap and then I applied some C&E Nomad SC followed by the warm towel for 2 x 30 seconds. I then lathered up with l'occitane SS and then did the usual three passes paying particular attention to skin stretching and tilting the razor as far towards a ATG on my XTG passes as I dared.

I then proceeded to do touch-ups and found a neat trick for this purpose, if I may say so myself. I squeezed my brush with my free hand, thus getting lather on my hand and then proceeded to apply this lather in areas that needed touching up with this hand before shaving over it. When doing this, you are always in intimate contact with the area in question and you can better determine how to attack that area for the best result.

The end result was stunning although I must admit I did suffer some superficial abrasions and a great deal of razor burn. My face feels like a billiard ball with only my upper lip feeling slightly stubbly if I feel it ATG whilst pushing hard. I cannot think that I can get significantly closer to BBS than this. It has to be the closest shave I have ever experienced. I finished off with some HEGA ASB to sooth my face followed by Pen's BB AS.

There is still a lot of work to be done in order to reduce the time it took from an hour to something more SWMBO-compatible and to reduce burn and weepers. With a bit of luck I shall find a razor even better suited to me in the bunch I am momentarily going to send for honing.

Luc
08-31-2010, 04:11 AM
Sounds good! Practice only will reduce your time... It took me a few months but I was shaving part time... You will get there!

The razor burn will get better eventually, you are probably applying too much pressure. Try holding the razor firmly so it doesn't skip while you make sure the edge is having a light touch on the skin. If that makes sense...

Try to keep the angle low, almost flat.

sanfranciscian
08-31-2010, 07:23 AM
Good job Erik, I think Luc is right about the pressure. If memory serves me right we are about in the same graduating class and i finally had that really light touch appear for me recently so it sounds like you are right on the cusp. I have had the luxury of being able to spend more time with this than probably most people and i am sure that has given me a boost in the learning curve but i know all too well about the razor burn and what a joy it was when it just kind of went away.

Ian

Gustav
09-02-2010, 02:15 AM
Good job Erik, I think Luc is right about the pressure. If memory serves me right we are about in the same graduating class and i finally had that really light touch appear for me recently so it sounds like you are right on the cusp. I have had the luxury of being able to spend more time with this than probably most people and i am sure that has given me a boost in the learning curve but i know all too well about the razor burn and what a joy it was when it just kind of went away.

Ian

I tried this yesterday on shave 44 with some success but two issues sprung to mind with I kept wondering about
throughout the shave:

1. Do you keep your wrist locked and make the blade move with your upper arm or do you keep your upper arm more or less locked and do the movement with your wrist?

2. How long are the strokes you do? My strokes yesterday were so short (2 or 3 millimeters nearly like buffing) that I probably ended up hacking at my face more than anything else. Result: razor burn! Before I have been doing strokes of about 5 mm to a centimeter and I think I will get back to those, they were much more comfortable.

Luc
09-02-2010, 02:28 AM
I tried this yesterday on shave 44 with some success but two issues sprung to mind with I kept wondering about
throughout the shave:

1. Do you keep your wrist locked and make the blade move with your upper arm or do you keep your upper arm more or less locked and do the movement with your wrist?

2. How long are the strokes you do? My strokes yesterday were so short (2 or 3 millimeters nearly like buffing) that I probably ended up hacking at my face more than anything else. Result: razor burn! Before I have been doing strokes of about 5 mm to a centimeter and I think I will get back to those, they were much more comfortable.

My wrist is usually locked. It's easier to control the blade that way...

I tried the blade buffing for a bit, it works but not as well as ~3cm/1" strokes. I often do long strokes when I go XTG on the cheeks and WTG on the throat.

gull
09-02-2010, 06:54 AM
I tried this yesterday on shave 44 with some success but two issues sprung to mind with I kept wondering about
throughout the shave:

1. Do you keep your wrist locked and make the blade move with your upper arm or do you keep your upper arm more or less locked and do the movement with your wrist?

2. How long are the strokes you do? My strokes yesterday were so short (2 or 3 millimeters nearly like buffing) that I probably ended up hacking at my face more than anything else. Result: razor burn! Before I have been doing strokes of about 5 mm to a centimeter and I think I will get back to those, they were much more comfortable.

I don't know if you should take my advice, but I'll give it anyway!

I keep my wrist loose. It doesn't wiggle around but it does move when it needs to. I've tried keeping it locked but then when I get to a curved portion of my face, it's hard to keep a consistent angle.

For the strokes, I've mixed it up. When I get to some tricky parts I go with very small strokes. When I'm doing my cheeks, I go with larger strokes. Generally though, I do small strokes, then go over the same area with a larger stoke. Again, I'm still experimenting and just doing what feels natural at the moment, so feel free to ignore everything I just wrote :tongue_sm

sanfranciscian
09-02-2010, 07:32 AM
like Luc i lock my wrist unless i am in a tight spot and want to do some flicking with the tip. I was a buffing junkie for a long stretch and i am convinced that was most of my razor burn source. Now i use long strokes and make a effort to not buff, I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that when i would get to buffing i would get lazy and not keep the shaving area soaped up enough but what finally changed me was that i wanted to reduce the time of my shaves which were still taking way too long and i decided to just trust that any left over stubble would get picked up in my xtg or atg pass. quite possibly the longer strokes are where i started to develop my lighter touch. as and example both of my sides are done with 3 long strokes and my neck is done with strokes from chin down in long strokes top to bottom. my next experiment is going to be to take my cheek strokes and run them all the way down over the jaw and neck as one stroke ala the chimensch and a few other videos i have seen. It really does seem you are on the verge of another breakthrough. good luck.

Ian

Gustav
09-02-2010, 07:34 AM
I don't know if you should take my advice, but I'll give it anyway!

I keep my wrist loose. It doesn't wiggle around but it does move when it needs to. I've tried keeping it locked but then when I get to a curved portion of my face, it's hard to keep a consistent angle.

For the strokes, I've mixed it up. When I get to some tricky parts I go with very small strokes. When I'm doing my cheeks, I go with larger strokes. Generally though, I do small strokes, then go over the same area with a larger stoke. Again, I'm still experimenting and just doing what feels natural at the moment, so feel free to ignore everything I just wrote :tongue_sm

All advice is welcome IMO even if you started after me because you may have concentrated on a topic which I may have skimped all along.

I am also grateful for your input Ian, it gives food for thought and for experimentation.

Gustav
09-04-2010, 05:25 AM
like Luc i lock my wrist unless i am in a tight spot and want to do some flicking with the tip. I was a buffing junkie for a long stretch and i am convinced that was most of my razor burn source. Now i use long strokes and make a effort to not buff, I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that when i would get to buffing i would get lazy and not keep the shaving area soaped up enough but what finally changed me was that i wanted to reduce the time of my shaves which were still taking way too long and i decided to just trust that any left over stubble would get picked up in my xtg or atg pass. quite possibly the longer strokes are where i started to develop my lighter touch. as and example both of my sides are done with 3 long strokes and my neck is done with strokes from chin down in long strokes top to bottom. my next experiment is going to be to take my cheek strokes and run them all the way down over the jaw and neck as one stroke ala the chimensch and a few other videos i have seen. It really does seem you are on the verge of another breakthrough. good luck.

Ian

I put Ian's and Luc's advice into practice on shave 45. I shaved in a very carefree and almost nonchalant way, doing fairly rapid and long strokes, holding the razor firmly and slightly askew and with very little pressure. The result was stunning, it was almost as good as the forced BBS shave no 43 but with much less razor burn and it only took half as much time.

I also finally sent 7 razors to be honed at rasurpur and shall be inpatiently awaiting their arrival. My Erik Anton Berg razor is really nice but I do so long for more variety.

Ru4scuba?
09-04-2010, 05:43 AM
Well I am glad I am not the only one having trouble with this awkward movement:biggrin1:.

Thats why I went with a 3" strop Gus...dont have to worry about an x pattern that way! :thumbup1:

Luc
09-04-2010, 04:55 PM
7 razors to be honed? :lol:

That sounds like me... :lol:

Any pictures?

Gustav
09-04-2010, 11:00 PM
7 razors to be honed? :lol:

That sounds like me... :lol:

Any pictures?

For the time being there are pictures on four of them in the previous posts. I will upload pictures of the others later.

Aaron W.
09-04-2010, 11:48 PM
Well this gives me courage to keep trying. I find myself completely shaving with hd at least one day a week. I won't give up yet. Congrats on your progress.:thumbup:

Shangas
09-05-2010, 01:17 AM
Well I am glad I am not the only one having trouble with this awkward movement:biggrin1:.

I found it fairly easy to do the X or diagonal stropping pattern, but I agree, it's easier and faster to do one half of the blade, then move it, do the other half, and then flip the blade over and do it again.

sanfranciscian
09-05-2010, 08:00 PM
great to hear erik, sounds like you just made another breakthrough. i seriously think that particular way of going about it has at least cut my shave times in half without any loss of quality. shave on. I am a little envious you have martin at your front door so to say, that man has some honing skills.

Ian

Gustav
09-06-2010, 02:47 AM
great to hear erik, sounds like you just made another breakthrough. i seriously think that particular way of going about it has at least cut my shave times in half without any loss of quality. shave on. I am a little envious you have martin at your front door so to say, that man has some honing skills.

Ian

Shave 46 was even better than 45 on account of better shave prep using the sequence: lather up with proto-lather, let it sit while stropping, apply warm towel to face over lather, rinse and relather properly. This works absolute wonders and seems to allow me to get a significant portion of neck stubble which was probably too hard to cut when I did not do this type of prep. Furthermore it does not increase prep time because the first pass lathering is just kind of cut in half and the actual shaving lather is far better because the first proto-lather has been rinsed away. I then concentrated on doing the long confident light strokes and had a marvellous CCS. I did not even bother with touch-ups because the shave was simply so satisfactory.

I am also, as you rightly pointed out, privileged to have Martin just round the corner because although I have nothing to compare with, I got at least 15 really good shaves with my Erik Anton Berg before it needed tuning and after that it only needed 15 laps on a TI-pasted paddle to be almost as good as new. That has to be good by any standards. My mouth is presently watering at the prospect of another up to 7 Nienberg-honed razors to try out.

Am I right in understanding that I should avoid stropping freshly honed razors before shaving with them?

honed
09-06-2010, 03:09 AM
I am also, as you rightly pointed out, privileged to have Martin just round the corner because although I have nothing to compare with, I got at least 15 really good shaves with my Erik Anton Berg before it needed tuning and after that it only needed 15 laps on a TI-pasted paddle to be almost as good as new. That has to be good by any standards. My mouth is presently watering at the prospect of another up to 7 Nienberg-honed razors to try out.

Am I right in understanding that I should avoid stropping freshly honed razors before shaving with them?

I think it's hard to find a better honer IMO.

No, just wipe the oil of & shave away.
A pro always strops before sending out, so you don't need to strigla until after the first shave.

Luc
09-06-2010, 03:12 AM
Shave 46 was even better than 45 on account of better shave prep using the sequence: lather up with proto-lather, let it sit while stropping, apply warm towel to face over lather, rinse and relather properly. This works absolute wonders and seems to allow me to get a significant portion of neck stubble which was probably too hard to cut when I did not do this type of prep. Furthermore it does not increase prep time because the first pass lathering is just kind of cut in half and the actual shaving lather is far better because the first proto-lather has been rinsed away. I then concentrated on doing the long confident light strokes and had a marvellous CCS. I did not even bother with touch-ups because the shave was simply so satisfactory.

I am also, as you rightly pointed out, privileged to have Martin just round the corner because although I have nothing to compare with, I got at least 15 really good shaves with my Erik Anton Berg before it needed tuning and after that it only needed 15 laps on a TI-pasted paddle to be almost as good as new. That has to be good by any standards. My mouth is presently watering at the prospect of another up to 7 Nienberg-honed razors to try out.

Am I right in understanding that I should avoid stropping freshly honed razors before shaving with them?

Normally, the honemeister will send you a pre-stropped razor. You could always ask and see what he says. I usually wipe the oil and shave right away!

Gustav
09-14-2010, 02:26 AM
Shaves #47-50

During these last few shaves I have been concentrating a lot on locking my wrist and doing long confident strokes, with very good results. During yesterday's shave I was somewhat in a hurry because I shaved very late in the evening but I nonetheless managed a very nice 3 pass DFS in 30 minutes including prep, stropping and cleaning up. I have also been trying to do ATG passes and I am just getting the hang of it. Last night's shave was also almost devoid of razor burn on account of keeping a shallow angle on XTG and ATG passes. I have also learned to better maneuver my razor around the jawline from the neck up to the cheek which is useful for removing stubble in some areas. I think a lot of the small steps of progress on these last shaves have come about as a result of sticking to one razor only.

I still have not had any news on the 7 straights I sent to RasurPur other than that he has received them but I suppose that if you want one of the best you have to be prepared to wait. I have order a 3 inch horse hide Paladin strop from Ruprazor which I am avidly awaiting. In the mean time I will have to make do with my trusty Erik Anton Berg razor and an old paddle strop.

Gustav
09-22-2010, 07:05 AM
Shaves #51-54

It seems that I am more or less stuck. I am getting very good shaves from my Erik Anton Berg but since my Paladin strop has not yet arrived and my six vintage + one new straights are still at the honer's, progress seems to have ground to a halt.

To add insult to injury I got my first serious cut yesterday: I went too quickly along an unstretched jawline and must have caught a tiny flap of skin. I barely felt the cut but, my god, it bled! One reason for this mistake is probably the arko soap I am currently testing. It lathers up a treat but I find the lather rather bubbly and un-protective. Next time I will use Tabac. I also have the feeling that this straight is probably not going to be my favourite one, it just feels a bit flimsy and to skip no matter how firmly I hold it.

This is definitely a low-point on this journey, my contingency of fresh straights is nowhere in sight and the paddle-strop I am using looks like something a cat might have used to do its claws on. I will just have to stick with it I guess and hope for better luck next time.

gull
09-22-2010, 07:44 AM
Ouch! I got two cuts on my jawline today. Cuts can really ruin a day. The good part about straight shaving is that you KNOW why you got cut. Next time go slow and stretch your skin and I bet you will not get cut at all:001_cool:

Gustav
09-24-2010, 03:15 AM
Shave #55

I had a fantastic shave yesterday: near BBS in 3 passes with touch-ups. After tuesday's debacle, I decided to play it safe and use Tabac SS instead of Arko. The difference could not have been greater. It just goes to show that when straight razor shaving, you should ONLY use your very best rotation and not mess around with 2nd choice soaps or creams.

tylerdurden
09-24-2010, 04:23 AM
Ive also found that some soaps that work great with DE just dont work for me and straight shaving. Sounds like your doing well

Gustav
09-24-2010, 05:09 AM
Ive also found that some soaps that work great with DE just dont work for me and straight shaving. Sounds like your doing well

My sentiments exactly, IMO there are only a select few which fit the bill especially when you are, like me, still in the learning phase. Last week I shaved with Valobra shave stick which used to be one of my absolute favourites when I was DE-shaving. Now, shaving takes more time and in my hands, the staying power of the Valobra lather is just not good enough. Tabac on the other hand has never disappointed me.

Disburden
09-24-2010, 07:56 AM
Have you tried the scything/slicing motion yet? It may help you eliminate the need for an ATG pass and it has helped many I know not even need the ATG anymore. You slice forward ina very subtle way while stroking with the razor, kind of like slicing bread?

It works wonders....

Go slow! :tongue_sm

Gustav
09-24-2010, 08:12 AM
Have you tried the scything/slicing motion yet? It may help you eliminate the need for an ATG pass and it has helped many I know not even need the ATG anymore. You slice forward ina very subtle way while stroking with the razor, kind of like slicing bread?

It works wonders....

Go slow! :tongue_sm

Yes, I have tried it but not really systematically. Maybe it would be worth a shot to do so. I do however do guillotine strokes and they seem to do a lot of good and they feel a whole lot safer. I only really do ATG on the face, on my neck it is more or less useless because of the outward direction of my hair growth. Quite frankly the ATG is not really necessary when I aim for DFS but I would like to push for BBS and succeed even if it were only once.

Luc
09-24-2010, 04:00 PM
Going well...

I think I cut myself this morning but no blood... Either I don't bleed anymore or it will later... I'll go with the second...

Hopefully, nothing serious in your case!

Ru4scuba?
09-25-2010, 08:59 AM
Have you tried the scything/slicing motion yet? It may help you eliminate the need for an ATG pass and it has helped many I know not even need the ATG anymore. You slice forward ina very subtle way while stroking with the razor, kind of like slicing bread?

It works wonders....

Go slow! :tongue_sm

+1...that scything motion has helped me on my neck where the hair grows in circles! :lol:

noahpictures
09-27-2010, 04:16 PM
Shave #55

I had a fantastic shave yesterday: near BBS in 3 passes with touch-ups. After tuesday's debacle, I decided to play it safe and use Tabac SS instead of Arko. The difference could not have been greater. It just goes to show that when straight razor shaving, you should ONLY use your very best rotation and not mess around with 2nd choice soaps or creams.

Thanks for the journal. Love Tabac soap. I will be shaving with a straight soon. Could you please list a few important lessons that you've learned that improved your experience with a straight razor (excluding prep and razor angle).

Gustav
09-28-2010, 01:36 AM
Thanks for the journal. Love Tabac soap. I will be shaving with a straight soon. Could you please list a few important lessons that you've learned that improved your experience with a straight razor (excluding prep and razor angle).

That's great, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. Now for tips here are the ones I can think of right now:

1. Never push yourself into doing something that does not feel right. Start off on the cheeks WTG and add other parts of the face and other passes as you build confidence. It is quite alright to finish off the shave with another type of razor until you get the hang of it.

2. Skin stretching: everything becomes much easier once you learn to stretch your skin properly. You can get a good grip on your face using an astringent, such as alum, on your fingers. Watch Chimensch's videos in the stickys and you will see how it is done.

3. As has already been discussed above, use nothing but your absolute favourite soap or cream. You will also see that you may have to re-evaluate what this is. It has to lather well, be slick and have good staying power. Learning to shave with a straight razor takes time and the shaves themselves will take time so you do not want your lather to dry out on one part of the face whilst you are shaving another part. This happens to me with Valobra shave stick but less so with Tabac. Of course YMMV.
Actually in the beginning it is a good idea to lather and shave in sections, that way the lather is always nice and slick. As you progress you can then lather up the whole face and shave the awkward part of the face first: for me these are all parts I shave with my non dominant hand.

4. Learn to shave with both hands: it may sound daunting but it is actually easier in the long run because it is easier to mirror what you are doing with your dominant hand on your non dominant hand than to learn really awkward moves with your dominant hand if you were to attempt to shave the whole face with it.

5. Lock your wrist: try to avoid moving your wrist when you do strokes. Your strokes will have a more consistent quality and you will avoid some weepers cause by movements sideways.

6. I will not bore you with prep and angle since you asked me not to. However keeping the spine near the face has helped me during the last few shaves and I would recommend a slightly more thorough prep before a straight shave than before a DE-shave. After I wash my face with soap, I apply a shave cream directly to the face and let it sit there while stropping (100 laps on leather). Then I soak a towel in hot water and apply it to the face 2 x 30 secs (observe the cream is still there). Then you lather up with your favorite soap.

7. Shave in the evenings or any time of the day where you can take relax and take it easy. Hurrying through a straight shave is always a bad idea especially whilst learning. With time the shave will take less time.

Hopefully others can chime in if I forgot something really important, good luck!

Gustav
09-28-2010, 01:50 AM
Shave #56 and 57

I have been applying the slicing and scything motions on my neck with some success and in the interest of BBS, I have found a very strange move that gets rid of some troublesome stubble on the right side of my face and neck that the XTG with my left hand just was not dextrous enough to take care of. This move is during the touch up phase so I allow myself not to use my non dominant hand. Thus, I hold the razor upside down with my right hand and then shave XTG, from ear to mouth, on my cheek whilst sometimes puffing the cheek slightly. I do the same move on my neck near the adma's apple (without puffing since I am not an amphibian :001_tt2:). Yesterdays shave using my EAB razor and Speick cream was the closest I have been to BBS, ever! It was nothing like the forced BBS-like shave I did on shave 43. I had some razor burn but barely any cuts. There was only a few places where I could feel a bit of stubble and apart from that my face was so smooth that I could not seem to stop faceturbating.
:001_wub:

Luc
09-28-2010, 03:08 AM
:thumbup1:

noahpictures
09-28-2010, 05:42 PM
Erik, thanks for the great advice. I shall follow it. I just ordered my first alum block and a "nick stick". While reading your journal I noticed that "long confident strokes" work better for you. I think I'll go that rout too.

I will also begin shaving with my left hand the left side of face, that way I'll have some practice shaving with my weak hand.

I really like number one on the list, "Never push yourself into doing something that does not feel right." I have to be disciplined about that.

I can't wait until you get your new razors back so I can read about your experience. Thanks again for your help.

Ru4scuba?
09-28-2010, 07:40 PM
Shave #56 and 57

I have been applying the slicing and scything motions on my neck with some success and in the interest of BBS, I have found a very strange move that gets rid of some troublesome stubble on the right side of my face and neck that the XTG with my left hand just was not dextrous enough to take care of. This move is during the touch up phase so I allow myself not to use my non dominant hand. Thus, I hold the razor upside down with my right hand and then shave XTG, from ear to mouth, on my cheek whilst sometimes puffing the cheek slightly. I do the same move on my neck near the adma's apple (without puffing since I am not an amphibian :001_tt2:). Yesterdays shave using my EAB razor and Speick cream was the closest I have been to BBS, ever! It was nothing like the forced BBS-like shave I did on shave 43. I had some razor burn but barely any cuts. There was only a few places where I could feel a bit of stubble and apart from that my face was so smooth that I could not seem to stop faceturbating.
:001_wub:

I've got a couple of moves similar to that...holding the razor that way never feels quite right and I dont think I've mastered those moves by any means...but I'm getting there too!

noahpictures
10-01-2010, 05:52 PM
Erik, I take back what I said about using long confident strokes. I finished my second shave and short strokes work much better until I get more practice.

Gustav
10-02-2010, 12:28 AM
Erik, I take back what I said about using long confident strokes. I finished my second shave and short strokes work much better until I get more practice.

That is alright, with increasing confidence you will get the hang of it. Meanwhile the important thing is to do whatever works for you.

Gustav
10-10-2010, 07:38 AM
Shaves #58-62

I have been shaving three-four pass shaves integrating a ATG pass on my face into the routine and I am not sure it is such a good idea. On my mustach area, the stubble grows so thick that no matter how many times I have gone WTG and XTG across it, the razor still gets caught when going ATG and often I get small weepers and very little to show for it.

This week I finally got my paladin 3 inch Leather/canvas strop from Ruprazor and 5 honed razors out of the 7 that I sent out to Rasurpur at the beginning of September (the two others were not really worth it according to the honer).

The shaves I have been getting from my Erik Anton Berg have been fantastic but it seems I have reached a point where I cannot make any more progress with it. I hope I will find a favourite among the "new" razors. I thought I might do 5 shaves with them each and yesterday I tried the "Made in Solingen" from post #67 without stropping it since I expect the honer has already done this. There is nothing fancy about this razor so I will spare myself the trouble of making further pictures.

The shave with this razor was a huge disappointment. Some portions of the face were still stubbly although I had gone over it several times. It was nowhere near as good as the shaves I was getting from my EAB. I hope stropping it will make a difference and maybe the fact that it is slightly bigger 6/8 instead of the 5/8 of the EAB makes more of a difference than I had anticipated. I'll see how it goes on Monday when I shave with it again.

Ru4scuba?
10-10-2010, 11:36 AM
I learned this lesson myself...now I strop every new blade regardless of where it came from.

Give it a shot and let us know how it goes!

Luc
10-10-2010, 03:00 PM
I usually don't strop them because I know where the razor came from and it's pre-stropped. If I don't know or it's the first time that I use a particular honemeister, I will strop it.

Gustav
10-11-2010, 10:49 PM
Shave #63

Again I used the "Made in Solingen" 6/8 full hollow round point from post 67 after stropping it 40 laps on canvas and 70 on leather on my new ruprazor paladin. I then did my usual prep, lathered up with Tabac SS and started shaving. I knew immediately this was going to be another substandard shave. There was none of the comparatively effortless glide expeienced with the Erik Anton Berg, it was just a huge amount of tugging. I could barely manage a DFS, in fact on the chin and mustach area it is a definite SAS. Even the cheeks are substandard although I must admit I did not dare go ATG this time.

For now I will trust my feelings that this is a substandard razor and move on to the Tuckmar of post 76 for my next shave. I must say however, that I am very puzzled. The place I bought the "made in Solingen" in, was a bit dodgy and it was not particularly expensive, could it be that this razor is just CRAP and will not take an edge? Would going on a stropping frenzy do any good? Should I try stropping on paste? I tried the HHT after stropping and the edge was not near to catching the hair, I had to give up! On my EAB it would always catch and cut the hair after at least a few attempts. I shall look forward to your comments.

Luc
10-12-2010, 02:52 AM
Shave #63

Again I used the "Made in Solingen" 6/8 full hollow round point from post 67 after stropping it 40 laps on canvas and 70 on leather on my new ruprazor paladin. I then did my usual prep, lathered up with Tabac SS and started shaving. I knew immediately this was going to be another substandard shave. There was none of the comparatively effortless glide expeienced with the Erik Anton Berg, it was just a huge amount of tugging. I could barely manage a DFS, in fact on the chin and mustach area it is a definite SAS. Even the cheeks are substandard although I must admit I did not dare go ATG this time.

For now I will trust my feelings that this is a substandard razor and move on to the Tuckmar of post 76 for my next shave. I must say however, that I am very puzzled. The place I bought the "made in Solingen" in, was a bit dodgy and it was not particularly expensive, could it be that this razor is just CRAP and will not take an edge? Would going on a stropping frenzy do any good? Should I try stropping on paste? I tried the HHT after stropping and the edge was not near to catching the hair, I had to give up! On my EAB it would always catch and cut the hair after at least a few attempts. I shall look forward to your comments.

I had the same type of experience at one stage where I had one favourite and 2-3 others that I didn't use much because I couldn't get shaves as good. I'm thinking, you could either send it somewhere to have it honed/touch up or wait a bit and try again. However, with the number of shaves that you have, you should get something a bit more consistent I would think and not fight the DFS...

Gustav
10-13-2010, 10:42 PM
Shave #64

Well that is more like it! I decided to quit shaving with the "made in Solingen" and used the Tuckmar from post 76 instead. This razor mowed down my stubble in a jiffy. I got a DFS after three passes and some touch-ups without having to strain myself. I cut myself once due to the deceptively long tip of this razor. It also has more heft than the EAB which seems to be an advantageous since it seems to "stick" to the skin better. All this is mostly speculative but I will keep shaving with it for a while and see if my findings are confirmed.

Ru4scuba?
10-14-2010, 05:48 PM
Id give the paste a go and see if that is enough touch up to get it to standard. If not, you could always send it out for a touch up!

Best of luck!

Luc
10-14-2010, 05:50 PM
Shave #64

Well that is more like it! I decided to quit shaving with the "made in Solingen" and used the Tuckmar from post 76 instead. This razor mowed down my stubble in a jiffy. I got a DFS after three passes and some touch-ups without having to strain myself. I cut myself once due to the deceptively long tip of this razor. It also has more heft than the EAB which seems to be an advantageous since it seems to "stick" to the skin better. All this is mostly speculative but I will keep shaving with it for a while and see if my findings are confirmed.

I would offer to touch it up for you but I think I might be a bit too far for that...

Good work on shave 64!

Gustav
10-14-2010, 11:00 PM
Id give the paste a go and see if that is enough touch up to get it to standard. If not, you could always send it out for a touch up!

Best of luck!

I think I might give that a shot once I am through trying the other razors. It is worth a try and its simple enough to do. Thanks Luc for the offer but as it happens I am toying with the idea to send the Tuckmar to Larry at whippeddog to have it restored and I might just send the "made in Solingen" along with it.

Ru4scuba?
10-16-2010, 12:48 PM
I wasn't sold on pastes at first, but I bought a cheap bottle of CroOx from Jim at Vintage Blades and am very happy with the results.

Plus, if this is your first time using str8s...just FYI.

There are alot of posts talking about the benefits of using pastes on a "hard" strop (ie balsa or wood) vs a leather strop. The reason for this is because you can easily dull the blade if you dont keep your leather strop taut enough.

At first I was worried but pulled on the strop pretty hard during my first touch up and did just fine...so, bottomline...with the amount of experience you have at this point in stropping I'd say you'd be fine IMHO.

Gustav
10-22-2010, 01:23 AM
Shaves #65-68

Razor Tuckmar/solingen 5/8 full hollow (see post 76)
SS: Tabac and Palmolive

I have now had 5 shaves with this razor and in comparaison to my Erik Anton Berg it is a mixed bag. The blade itself is about as big as as the EAB but the shank on this shoulderless blade is very long compared to the EAB making it difficult to maneuver in tight areas, IMO. Nonetheless I have been getting some mighty fine shaves out of this razor. Its heft seems to make it a more efficient cutter allowing you to let the razor do most of the work and ultimately I get shaves with less razor burn. Once I did not even feel the need to use ASB!

On another note, I have been using another brush. It looks as though it has been through the war, being old and cracked, it is much smaller than my Plisson and probably has boar bristle. It is an heirloom from SWMBOs gramps. This little beauty loads up lather in a jiffy without making a mess. My big plisson on the other hand takes an age to load up with a lot of pumping motions and lather flying of the edges of the bowl and quite frankly I enjoy the lather from the small brush more because it is easier to control moisture content when the lather volume is small and thus I can get it slick and almost runny which makes for a great straight shave. It is quite clear that I will have to make an in-depth on the subject of brushes very soon since it appears that bigger is not necessarily better and badger is not necessarily better than boar.

As for the disastrous "made in solingen", I have stropped it on paste (100 laps) and I will see later if it has done any good. Next I will test the Soederén frameback of post 100. I cannot wait for tomorrow's shave.

Luc
10-22-2010, 02:40 PM
Shaves #65-68

Razor Tuckmar/solingen 5/8 full hollow (see post 76)
SS: Tabac and Palmolive

I have now had 5 shaves with this razor and in comparaison to my Erik Anton Berg it is a mixed bag. The blade itself is about as big as as the EAB but the shank on this shoulderless blade is very long compared to the EAB making it difficult to maneuver in tight areas, IMO. Nonetheless I have been getting some mighty fine shaves out of this razor. Its heft seems to make it a more efficient cutter allowing you to let the razor do most of the work and ultimately I get shaves with less razor burn. Once I did not even feel the need to use ASB!

On another note, I have been using another brush. It looks as though it has been through the war, being old and cracked, it is much smaller than my Plisson and probably has boar bristle. It is an heirloom from SWMBOs gramps. This little beauty loads up lather in a jiffy without making a mess. My big plisson on the other hand takes an age to load up with a lot of pumping motions and lather flying of the edges of the bowl and quite frankly I enjoy the lather from the small brush more because it is easier to control moisture content when the lather volume is small and thus I can get it slick and almost runny which makes for a great straight shave. It is quite clear that I will have to make an in-depth on the subject of brushes very soon since it appears that bigger is not necessarily better and badger is not necessarily better than boar.

As for the disastrous "made in solingen", I have stropped it on paste (100 laps) and I will see later if it has done any good. Next I will test the Soederén frameback of post 100. I cannot wait for tomorrow's shave.

I'd be curious to know how the paste helped... Some swear by it... However, I don't think it would do a miracle...

Gustav
10-23-2010, 06:15 AM
I'd be curious to know how the paste helped... Some swear by it... However, I don't think it would do a miracle...

I do not believe in it either but it is worth a shot. On the other hand what was more or less miraculous was shave #69 with the soederén frameback of post 100. This razor is like nothing I have ever tried before, lightweight yet in no manner flimsy and a real smooth shaver to boot. I barely felt the blade on the first WTG pass. It is maneuverable and the lack of a sharp point allows you to go into the the nose and along the ear without being afraid to nick yourself. In the end I had one of those near miss BBS in three passes with touchups. This razor outshaves anything else I have tried thus far. It is absolutely stunning.
:thumbup:

Ru4scuba?
10-23-2010, 09:53 AM
Dont post stuff like this Erik...its going to make me want to go out and get a frameback! :lol:

Gustav
10-23-2010, 12:54 PM
Dont post stuff like this Erik...its going to make me want to go out and get a frameback! :lol:

You owe it to yourself to get hold of one. Go on, give in to the urge, you know you will sooner or later anyway and nobody around here is going to tell your SWMBO that you have just got yet another razor!

Gustav
10-26-2010, 11:52 PM
Shaves #70 and 71

Shave 70 was another superb one using my Soederén frameback and SIM SS. I am really liking this razor. :thumbup1:

On shave 71, I decided to try the "Made in Solingen" again (the one that was so pully and uncomfortable, see above). I gave this razor a 100 lap tune up on a paddle covered with Thiers Issard paste followed by 60 laps on canvas and 120 on leather. It passed the HHT immediately on two separate hairs (this was completely hopeless before) and gave me quite a nice shave. It was not as comfortable as my Soederén, Tuckmar or Erik Anton Berg razors but a whole lot better than before and a lot less tugging and pulling.

Maybe I could get it to shave even better if I got a barber's hone or perhaps I should just give in to the urge and get a coticule off my father and practice honing on it. If I am successful, I can do the same on "the Flic celebrated razor" I scored in a jumble sale the past WE. Pics on that one to come later together with some other gear I have bought recently.

honed
10-27-2010, 01:20 AM
Your doing great!

No wonder you get supreme shaves out of that frameback.
That particular model is divine, once you get used to the thinner shank.
They are rather common in Sweden, they seem to have been the standard model of the 1880&1890's.

And F.W Söderén is maybe one of the best kept secrets of Eskilstuna razor history :w00t:

Gustav
10-27-2010, 04:56 AM
Your doing great!

No wonder you get supreme shaves out of that frameback.
That particular model is divine, once you get used to the thinner shank.
They are rather common in Sweden, they seem to have been the standard model of the 1880&1890's.

And F.W Söderén is maybe one of the best kept secrets of Eskilstuna razor history :w00t:

That is great news, hopefully I will have the opportunity to lay my hands on another few before the non swedish natives of the Straight razor forum decimate the stocks.
:lol:

Luc
10-27-2010, 02:17 PM
That is great news, hopefully I will have the opportunity to lay my hands on another few before the non swedish natives of the Straight razor forum decimate the stocks.
:lol:

I already started! :laugh:

honed
10-28-2010, 06:37 AM
I already started! :laugh:
HEY! Get off my lawn :hand:

Luc
10-28-2010, 01:55 PM
HEY! Get off my lawn :hand:
:laugh:

Gustav
11-06-2010, 08:09 AM
Shaves #72-76

I have been getting fabulous shaves from my no name solingen from post 67 and especially from the Soederén faux frameback from post 100. The last shave was a disaster because I tried out a cream which was probably amongst the worst I have ever used: Alverde shave cream. Next up is the Heljestrand from post 100. In comparaison to what I have used before this appears to be a really heavy wedge owing partly to the metallic scales and I cannot wait to try it out tomorrow because it is bound to be a huge contrast to the lightweight Soederén. I include a few pictures. In the first one you will see the Soederén on the right, the Heljestrand on the left and my most recent score a "the flic celebrated razor" in the center. You will also see the Plisson badger which has been the mainstay of my wet shaving experience so far and the small sized boar that has become a recent favorite on account of the ease of water to soap ratio adjustment. In the background you will find my 3 inch Paladin strop from Ruprazor. The second picture is an attempt to show the wedge profile of the Heljestrand.
131228
131229

sanfranciscian
11-06-2010, 08:43 AM
Hi Erik, i have been away for awhile. sounds like you are doing great and are up to your neck in new Gear. Good spot to be in. As my strop is the weakest link in my set up i have decided to remedy that, how are you finding the palladin to work with, as that is definitely near the top of my list. seems like a good value, especially if i could have the advantage of shopping with the euro, but alas i am stuck with a crumbling dollar.

Ian

Gustav
11-06-2010, 10:27 AM
Hi Erik, i have been away for awhile. sounds like you are doing great and are up to your neck in new Gear. Good spot to be in. As my strop is the weakest link in my set up i have decided to remedy that, how are you finding the palladin to work with, as that is definitely near the top of my list. seems like a good value, especially if i could have the advantage of shopping with the euro, but alas i am stuck with a crumbling dollar.

Ian

The Palladin is highly recommended. It is 3 inches broad which means that I do not have to worry about doing X-patterns any more. Although I only have my Dovo and an old paddle strop to compare with, I find that the Palladin seems very well built and should last me a long time. It comes pre-broken in so you do not have to worry about any stiffness. The rough side of the leather is treated with CrOx so that you can touch up your razors with it.

Gustav
11-08-2010, 02:03 AM
Shave #77

Razor: C.V. Heljestrand 5/8 Wedge
Speick SS
Boar Brush
Alverde ASB
and lots of astringent

The shave with this razor is totally different to all others I have tried. It felt very unforgiving and I consequently used as little pressure as possible. The metallic scales in addition to the hefty blade make this razor quite heavy. On my third pass, going ATG below my lip, I made the mistake of moving my lip slightly sideways and immediately I felt a sting and the lip started bleeding profusely. I managed to stop the bleeding with alum and a blood stopper gel. Now 12 hours post shave it still looks pretty ugly. The shave itself was barely a DFS since the bleeding cut short my desire to do touch ups. At least I know there is nothing wrong with the hone-work on this one. :laugh:

Luc
11-08-2010, 01:02 PM
Shave #77

Razor: C.V. Heljestrand 5/8 Wedge
Speick SS
Boar Brush
Alverde ASB
and lots of astringent

The shave with this razor is totally different to all others I have tried. It felt very unforgiving and I consequently used as little pressure as possible. The metallic scales in addition to the hefty blade make this razor quite heavy. On my third pass, going ATG below my lip, I made the mistake of moving my lip slightly sideways and immediately I felt a sting and the lip started bleeding profusely. I managed to stop the bleeding with alum and a blood stopper gel. Now 12 hours post shave it still looks pretty ugly. The shave itself was barely a DFS since the bleeding cut short my desire to do touch ups. At least I know there is nothing wrong with the hone-work on this one. :laugh:

I got the same type of shaves the first time I picked-up a wedge. It will require a bit of practice and then, they will give you good shaves. Some pick them up and are fine with those on the first try. I don't change anything when using a wedge, I use it like any other straight.

I like the heaviness of the blade!

Gustav
11-18-2010, 01:24 AM
Shaves #78-82

After the first disastrous shave with the Heljestrand Wedge, I have been enjoying DFS shaves with little or no irritation. I would not go so far as to say it is my favourite shaver but it is among the best. For some reason I seem to get very little razor burn with this particular razor which makes it particularly interesting.

For shave number 82, I used the last of the five razors that I had honed after the summer. I will try to post some pics of it this WE. It is a beautiful Törnblom hollow blade with a barber's notch. It is quite small, probably 4/8 and very lightweight. After using the Heljestrand Wedge it almost feels a bit flimsy. I got a nice shave out of it albeit with some tugging and pulling.

I cannot say that I am really making any progress on a regular basis anymore, I have a few troublesome spots where there is always a bit of stubble left, particularly on the neck and chin. On the whole I am not to worried about it since the rest of the face is very smooth. Razor burn is not so much an issue anymore, probably on account of laying the razor almost flat on the face and because of improved lather making skills.

I am nearing the end of the 100 straight shaves that I had set out to do and it is becoming quite clear to me that straight razor shaving will probably be the mainstay of my shaving routine, not because it gives me BBS (it does not yet) but because it is such tremendous fun! :thumbup: Nothing I have ever tried thus far has been so fulfilling and enjoyable. Also my father is going to let me have my great grand father's coticule and a belgian blue whetstone so if I buy a DMT, I should have a rudimentary honing setup. It must be a feeling of achievement to go to a jumble sale, pick up an old razor, clean it up, hone it, strop it and then shave with it.

Luc
11-18-2010, 01:32 AM
I have the same issue when I put down a big razor and I pick up my 4/8.

sanfranciscian
11-18-2010, 08:11 AM
sounds familiar Erik, I have the same problem just moving down to a 5/8 it seems so tiny compared with a 6/8, I have pretty much resigned myself to the larger razors. Great gift to be getting on those stones and with the history of them hopefully you can channel great grandpa's knowledge. I have a couple of old razors that i have picked up for restore but so far have only looked at them as i try to assemble the tools on the cheap. I am looking forward to that accomplishment and can see it as a perfect hobby to get me through some rainy winter days.(He puts the television remote down)

Ian

Gustav
11-21-2010, 05:42 AM
Shaves #83 and 84 with the Klas Toernblom.

This razor is really quite nice once you get used to it. Its small size makes it easier to get into the troublesome areas and the absence of point makes it less tricky to shave the mustach area than the Heljestrand Wedge. The feeling of the shave is somewhat reminiscent of the F.W. Soederén. I am still not sure if I am a small razor or big razor guy but so far it does look as thought the small ones have the "edge" since I feel I need to get my razor almost perpendicular to my jawbone to mow down some of the stubble on my neck.

As promised here is a picture of my little Toernblom resting against a can of Golddachs.

Luc
11-21-2010, 01:23 PM
Shaves #83 and 84 with the Klas Toernblom.

This razor is really quite nice once you get used to it. Its small size makes it easier to get into the troublesome areas and the absence of point makes it less tricky to shave the mustach area than the Heljestrand Wedge. The feeling of the shave is somewhat reminiscent of the F.W. Soederén. I am still not sure if I am a small razor or big razor guy but so far it does look as thought the small ones have the "edge" since I feel I need to get my razor almost perpendicular to my jawbone to mow down some of the stubble on my neck.

As promised here is a picture of my little Toernblom resting against a can of Golddachs.

Is this a 4/8?

Funny, they are growing everywhere lately...

Gustav
11-21-2010, 02:27 PM
To be quite honest, I am not sure but I shall measure it until next time. It might be a 5/8 but it is by no means a 6/8.

Gustav
12-03-2010, 02:45 PM
Shaves #85-90

After the last shave with the 4/8 Klas Törnblom I wanted to finish off my test shaves with the four new vintage razors and one new one I got this fall with the razor with which I have shaved the most: Erik Anton Berg 5/8 full hollow. I realize now that this will probably not be among the favorites but I will keep it around on account of how much I have learnt from it. It is also a SWMBO's family heirloom so selling is out of the question.

My shaves have pretty much settled down to a nice routine. I have given up pushing for BBS and I now concentrate on getting enjoyable, irritation free DF-DFS shaves with quite some success. I have also gone back to testing SSs and SCs and it has started to dawn on me that it is high time I started to focus on brushes in general and small brushes in particular. I need to find a decent replacement for my small boar brush the handle of which is showing the signs of irreparable damage.

It feels strange to hit 90 shaves already and the 100 that I have set out to do are within reach but that will not be the end. To paraphrase a most refined gentleman from the British isles: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Luc
12-03-2010, 02:51 PM
Nice! :thumbup1:

Gustav
12-13-2010, 01:32 AM
Shaves #91-94

After a final shave with the EAB, I switched to the Soederén once again since this appears to be the pick of the litter. Since relearning how to make lather fit for straight razor shaving, I am busying myself with the re-evalutation of the soaps in my possession. Last week I turned my attention to the reformulated palm oil based Floris no89 shave soap which I got from Floris's customer service after telling them that the previous offering I had bought was of disastrously low quality. For detalis see this thread started by "Tha Baron": http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=124183&highlight=Floris

Whilst DE shaving I enjoyed this soap tremendously, it is slick as hell, has a wonderful scent, lathers up nice and thick but as one poster remarked, it had no cushion. At the time, I did not really realize the meaning or the importance of this feature but now I do. I got the usual DFS shave with the Soederén on account of the slickness of the soap, but the shave did not feel as smooth and at the end of it my face was littered with small superficial abrasions and razor burn galore. Also the lather did not have enough staying power to survive a whole pass without starting to melt away. When you shave the razor glides alright but the lather is removed quantitatively from the face with no slippery residue remaining behind like when you use for instance Tabac or Cade, thus when you sometimes adjust your angle or direction ever so slightly during a stroke you run a far greater risk of cutting yourself. I have another Palm oil based soap from Bulgaria which behaves in much the same way: good slickness and no or little cushion.

Is there a trick for making Tabac-like or Cade-like lather with palm oil soaps? I have tried the usual moistening the puck with hot water and adding water gradually. I start with a soaked brush which I shake the excess water out of without wringing. Perhaps I should try scalding hot water for lathering and soap prep instead of the hot water from the tap. Any ideas?

Luc
12-13-2010, 01:51 AM
Shaves #91-94

After a final shave with the EAB, I switched to the Soederén once again since this appears to be the pick of the litter. Since relearning how to make lather fit for straight razor shaving, I am busying myself with the re-evalutation of the soaps in my possession. Last week I turned my attention to the reformulated palm oil based Floris no89 shave soap which I got from Floris's customer service after telling them that the previous offering I had bought was of disastrously low quality. For detalis see this thread started by "Tha Baron": http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=124183&highlight=Floris

Whilst DE shaving I enjoyed this soap tremendously, it is slick as hell, has a wonderful scent, lathers up nice and thick but as one poster remarked, it had no cushion. At the time, I did not really realize the meaning or the importance of this feature but now I do. I got the usual DFS shave with the Soederén on account of the slickness of the soap, but the shave did not feel as smooth and at the end of it my face was littered with small superficial abrasions and razor burn galore. Also the lather did not have enough staying power to survive a whole pass without starting to melt away. When you shave the razor glides alright but the lather is removed quantitatively from the face with no slippery residue remaining behind like when you use for instance Tabac or Cade, thus when you sometimes adjust your angle or direction ever so slightly during a stroke you run a far greater risk of cutting yourself. I have another Palm oil based soap from Bulgaria which behaves in much the same way: good slickness and no or little cushion.

Is there a trick for making Tabac-like or Cade-like lather with palm oil soaps? I have tried the usual moistening the puck with hot water and adding water gradually. I start with a soaked brush which I shake the excess water out of without wringing. Perhaps I should try scalding hot water for lathering and soap prep instead of the hot water from the tap. Any ideas?

I'd say try to overcharge it and see how you go.

Superlather would be option #2

Gustav
12-13-2010, 02:51 AM
I'd say try to overcharge it and see how you go.

Superlather would be option #2

Sounds like good advice, I really do not have anything to loose since the only other option is to degrade the soap to a permanent DE-soap.

Gustav
12-21-2010, 01:38 AM
Shaves #95-98
Razor: Solingen 6/8 full hollow from post 67
Cream: Fauldings (nice cream :thumbup1:)
and various brushes

The quality of the shaves as such do not seem to be improving any more except maybe on the neck where I have settled on scything strokes to remove remaining stubble in the adam's apple area, with satisfactory results. Just beneath the jaw bone my stubble grows along the skin and backwards making it devilishly difficult to get at them. One thing however which has improved considerably during the last 10 or so shaves is the level of irritation which is now so low that I can splash on after shave directly on my face after the shave without resorting to intermittent use of a balm.

Pretty soon I will be celebrating 100 shaves involving a straight but it will be another further seven shaves before I can claim to have done a 100 shaves solely with a straight since the first seven were done with the assistance of my Merkur 34c. It has been a very fulfilling experience and I am quite sure that it has been the dawn of a hobby which will keep me busy for the rest of my hopefully long life.

Luc
12-21-2010, 02:10 AM
Sounds like you are doing very well! :thumbup1:

Gustav
01-14-2011, 12:49 AM
Shaves #99-107

I have been getting superb consistent DFS shaves for the last month. Yesterday was my 100th full straight razor shave and I found an easy way at getting at the hairs under my jawbone: you bend your head forwards as far as it will go, then if you are shaving the right side tilt your head to the left and with your left hand stretch the skin upwards and finally shave the exposed area. Doing this systematically combined with the scything motion in the adam's apple area gave me one of the finest effortless shaves up until now.

I have been preparing a write-up of my 100 shave trial period which I shall post shortly. But first here is a picture of last night's setup if you had not already seen it on SOTD.

Gustav
01-14-2011, 12:54 AM
I have always wondered what it was like to shave with a straight and now I know. After 100 shaves using only a straight razor here are some thoughts about what I have learnt so far which I hope will be of use for prospective straight razor shavers:

1) Shaving with a straight is a lot of fun: after 100 shaves I still have a lot to learn and it never seems to get boring because there is always something you can improve. It is also immensely relaxing for your mind because you need to keep focused on what you are doing at all times and so there is no brain capacity left to think about anything else. I enjoy this tremendously, when I poise my razor and start shaving, my minds goes blank and I can savour 20-30 minutes of care and trouble free time focusing entirely on an age old skill. If you do decide to take the plunge, you will however have to accept that it will take time to master this skill.

2) The bark of the straight razor is worse than its bite. For some obscure reason straight razors have a very bad reputation. The kitchen knife probably causes far more bloodshed worldwide but nonetheless it is not considered as a particularly lethal object. When I first mentioned to a collegue that I was thinking of learning straight shaving, he looked at me as though I was a madman and expected me to come back with so many scars on my face that I would be unrecognizable. The truth of the matter is that during these first 100 shaves I have had a total of two cuts where bleeding was slightly problematic and countless weepers that were so insignificant that they healed during the shave, by application of cold water or with aftershave. Handled with care and dexterity, the straight razor will give you a damn fine shave and leave your skin with a silky quality unequalled by any of the shaving methods I have tried thus far.

3) Shaves build on each other, if you want to learn straight razor shaving properly you have to be committed. Also do not go changing razor, soap and brush on every shave in the beginning or else trouble shooting will be very difficult. As you will see later in this account, it does not matter if the razor you start out with is not the optimal one for you. Also keep a diary, it helps you:
a) keep track of your progress.
b) provides a place to ask your questions and follow up problem.
c) helps other straight shaver newbies to get started (I still read other peoples diaries and always learn something new from them). I think this aspect is overlooked, the diary is not only for yourself.

4) Stretch your skin: stretching your skin does not only allow for a closer shave it also helps you to keep safe. In my experience, bad cuts are often caused by flaps of unstretched skin getting stuck in the razors path.

5) Stropping: I think I was lucky on this point because I never really had any issues, get yourself a cheap strop to start with and when you got the hang of it, get a nice broad one, the X-pattern on a thin strop is something I never really got the hang of. On the bright side, it did not seem to affect my blades.

6) Prep and lather: preparing properly for your shave is even more important when shaving with straights than with other methods as you will feel a remarkable difference in ease of cutting. Also, when your shaving with DEs or carts you can get away with poor quality lather and still get a good shave. With straight razors, lather quality is very important. If need be, like in my case, you will have to relearn to lather. Also, I find soaps and creams that leave a small slick film residue on your skin when the razor has passed (cushion?), to be the soaps and creams of choice: in my hands soaps such as Tabac and L'occitane Cade and creams such as Fitjar provide this whereas the reformulated (non tallow) Floris no 89 soap is seriously lacking in this respect resulting in lots of irritating small weepers. Thus, you might find that the order of preference of your soaps and creams might be very different when you are shaving with a straight compared to whatever you used before.

7) Tuning/honing: get your first razors honed by a pro, I still have not started honing and have been maintaining my blades successfully using a paddle pasted with Thiers Issard paste. When you read the threads on this forum you will see your fair share of what I would call hard-liners (no offence intended) who want to learn to shave and hone their razors all in one go. Some do surprisingly well on this, whilst others run into serious trouble because when they repeatedly get poor shaves, they have no frame of reference to assess if the trouble is in poor technique or in poor honing. Learning to shave with a straight razor is difficult enough in its own right. Do not make it even more difficult by adding further unknowns to the equation.

8) Take it easy: it is not a race, do not try to go ATG or even XTG before you have learnt the basics. You can take it from me that if you do, you will end up cutting yourself and you might be disgusted by the whole thing and throw in the towel before you have had a good shot at it. Never, ever, do something that you do not feel ready for. There is no shame in touching up or preparing your shave with whatever you used previously. The object of the exercise should be to learn a new skill whilst having fun in the process and with as little bloodshed and irritation as possible.

The following is an account of my straight shaving experience:

Shaves 1-7: figuring out a basic routine and using DE for touch-ups.
Re-reading these posts makes me realize how far I have progressed. These first shaves were quite daunting because I did not have a clue about how to place the blade, how to hold the razor on different parts of the face, correct angle and how much pressure to use. It is nonetheless amazing to see how fast you pick up the essentials and acquire enough confidence to stop thinking that what you are doing is outright dangerous. On shave 6, I began paying attention to skin-stretching which was very fruitful indeed.

Shaves 8-12: weaning myself from the DE and progress in leaps and bounds.
These shaves felt like a reward after the fits and starts of shaves 1-7. I remember the exhiliration I felt when I did not need my DE anymore and how good it felt to achieve the first DFS.

Shaves 13-21: trying out different things to gain better access to troublesome parts of the face, especially the neck with some success. I also discovered that a more thorough prep makes a huge difference although I must admit that nowadays I am just too lazy to boil water or use the makeshift scuttle. I noticed how poor stropping results in a lousy shave. On shave 21, I had my first really good shave.

Shaves 22-34: still testing different things to get at neck hairs but on the whole I was getting very nice shaves at this point. I found a cheap new Solingen no name razor which turned out to be really nice once honed and stropped on paste.

Shaves 35-42: I had lent my cheap strop and my Eickelnberg & Mack to my father and being on holiday I was stuck with my Erik Anton Berg and makeshift strops such as my seemless belt and newspaper. Although it works it is just not as good as even the cheapest of strops. Being forced to stick with one razor on the other hand proved to be very fruitful even though I noticed later that the EAB is not among the favourites. Finally I got hold of three very nice vintage razors and a Rolls Razor which is in dire need of honing.

Shaves 43-61: shave 43 was a forced BBS where I just continued to touch up until I could feel no more stubble on my face. However I had loads of superficial abrasions and razor burn galore on account of doing short strokes, holding the razor too loosely and applying to much pressure. Consequently, Luc and sanfransiscan suggested that I try to do just the opposite. So I tried doing long strokes, with a locked wrist and minimal pressure. This was a huge turning point for me and gave me a tremendous confidence boost. A few shaves later confidence turned to cockiness and disaster. I went too fast on my jaw without stretching properly and caught a flap of skin which slit open into the worst cut thus far.


Shaves 62-68: finally my new 3 inch strop and 5 newly honed razors arrived. What a difference it made to have a broad strop and not have to worry about doing the X-pattern anymore. Unfortunately the first razor I tried the no name Solingen from post 67 turned out to give less than satisfactory shaves. Later on, I managed to salvage it by doing 100 laps on a pasted strop and it is now among the favourites. I then shaved with the Tuckmar from post 76 which gave good shaves but its elongated blade makes it more challenging to maneuver.

Shaves 69-76: Enter the Soederén frameback from post 100. Just to look at it you would not think it is the great shaver it is. The tang is thin, the razor is quite lightweight but for some reason I just immediately connected to it. Around shave 70 I was starting to get consistently good shaves. There were still some spots where it just seemed impossible to achieve 100 % stubble removal particularly under my jawbone but this really is not a big deal because the overall shaves have been fantastic DFS shaves so I stopped chasing these odd hairs.

Shaves 77-90: these shaves included the Heljestrand Wedge from post 100 which was a bit more tricky to use and resulted in another serious bleeding cut during one shave, apart from that I learnt that hefty shavers give very smooth strokes. In stark contrast to this razor I then tried a very lightweight 4/8 Klas Törnblom from post 168 which felt very flimsy and tugged quite a bit but after some adjustment, I had no trouble shaving with it either. Finally I retested the EAB and found that it was far from being my favourite. Razor burn is no longer an issue.

Shaves 91-107: there is not much to add, except that I have been comparing my shaves with those I get from a GEM Jr. SE and come to the conclusion that I get a better shave with straights. Also the post shave skin quality is slightly different, with straights it is silky soft whereas the SE razor makes it feel ever so slightly more bumpy. The difference is slight but very definite.

That is it :107 shaves, 7 of which were assisted with a DE. Thus 100 full straight shaves.

Finally I would like to thank all those who have posted helpful videos, tutorials and diaries and those who have supported me during this project especially Luc who took it on himself to consistently comment my posts and also Ru4scuba, sanfransiscan, honed and many others.

Needless to say, I am quite sure straight razor shaving will be a significant part of my hopefully long life.

Luc
01-14-2011, 02:09 AM
Awesome summary and good that you are now hooked! :thumbup1:

global_dev
01-31-2011, 06:15 AM
nice concise write-up.. what an achievement... you remember much more than I do and I am at, at most, half of the straight shaves you have accomplished to this point...



1) Shaving with a straight is a lot of fun
while fun isn't the exact word i would use, i can't exactly find the correct word in English.. to me, the process is more like the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi, but even that misses some of the elements of "fun"


3) Shaves build on each other without a doubt.. but i don't know if 100% dedication is an absolute in learning. It was nice to take a couple of breaks.


4) Stretch your skin: IMO, sometimes what seems like the most obvious way to stretch thr skin isn't. Like on the neck. You'd think stretch down, but sometimes that is not where the elasticity is. play around, find the most responsive area,


5) Stropping:..get a nice broad one, the X-pattern on a thin strop is something I never really got the hang of. i don't know if i like my broad one... i guess honing has given me some perspective on the x-stroke. it's refreshing to ave choice.


6) Prep and lather: I agree you have to find the right balance of slickness and cushioning, but the whole stick to one soap and brush doesn't appeal to me.. I figure it's just as easy for me to spot the issue with a cream or a soap and work with it... react on the fly.. I appreciate some need more stability, but I really haven't found a shave cream or soap that I haven't enjoyed, except Col Conk lime and I am glad t was inexpensive.


7) Tuning/honing: get your first razors honed by a pro, I agree a couple of straights honed correctly will let you understand what the motions should be, not wonder if a blade is sharp enough. To tell you the truth, time and money could be better spent than on some hones, but it is an substantial feeling to not only shave with a straight, but maintain the straight yourself..


8) Take it easy: it is not a race, do not try to go ATG or even XTG before you have learned the basics. Honestly, i think i have ideal balance of close & comfort, by sticking to the basics. My skin has never felt so nice and looks so well as it has when straight shaved.


Finally I would like to thank all those who have posted helpful videos, tutorials and diaries and those who have supported me during this project especially Luc who took it on himself to consistently comment my posts and also Ru4scuba, sanfransiscan, honed and many others.

Needless to say, I am quite sure straight razor shaving will be a significant part of my hopefully long life.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. The support and watching others on these boards gives the inspiration to give a straight a chance and keep it going... it is a bond, no matter how distant and shallow, that you know at least someone else is encouraging/supporting you to master a distinguished skill ...

I can't wait until i get to a hundred. If I shave every weekday and twice a day on weekends, it will still at least be a month. However even a hundred sometimes sounds insignificant on it's own... but at least we know what it took us to get there.

great job!

Gustav
01-31-2011, 07:09 AM
Thank you! It was actually quite an eye opener to sum up in this way. You do not usually go back and read your own diary but if you want to do a write up, you have to and then you get further confirmation on how far you have come.

On the subject of lather, this issue might be more important on some faces than on others. Some soaps that are quite alright with DEs just do no work as well with straights. Reformulated Floris no89 is one of them: in my hands it is slick as hell but it has no cushion. Valobra crema di sappone purissima (not the stick the soft soap) with almond scent gives great lether and feels slick and cushiony on the first pass but on subsequent passes the razor just seems to get stuck. I have tried all kinds of soap/water ratios but I cannot get it to work. The post shave feeling on my face is awful: no irritation but just stiff and dry. This sort of thing never seems to happen with Tabac, SIM, Euro Palmolive, L'Occitane Cade or Joris and they leave my face feeling neutral or even better than before I started. This is of course one of those YMMV things.

For my next hundred, I am hoping to get more proficient in quality and speed of shaves and hoping that I will have the nerve and dedication to try my hand at maintaining my own razors.

global_dev
01-31-2011, 08:25 AM
Every once in a while, i revisit the earlier parts of my journal just to see what i was thinking.. it' feels like a long time ago, but really isn't. I kept other small journals when i lived overseas and it's a trip to read them now..

on lathers, i have found that issue as you describe as stickiness here and there. I don't remember which soap, but i have seen it... and felt it, but i find if i am near teh end of a shave, i'll "cheat" and toss in a small amount of KMF and water to up the slickness and get me past the issue.

i am finding that my shaves are going pretty quick; however i am exercising some caution..

komodo
01-31-2011, 09:22 AM
Dear Gus. Thanks for the great read! Really good for someone who's still at the beginning of the learning phase.

Gustav
02-01-2011, 12:45 AM
You are welcome! I hope you will enjoy your journey as much as I have mine. As you may have noticed, it takes time. I still have some spots where I can get a closer shave with an SE but do not let that discourage you, finding out for yourself how you are going to deal with those spots is part of the fun.

Luc
02-01-2011, 12:47 AM
Great journal Erik! :thumbup1:

komodo
02-01-2011, 01:01 AM
You are welcome! I hope you will enjoy your journey as much as I have mine. As you may have noticed, it takes time. I still have some spots where I can get a closer shave with an SE but do not let that discourage you, finding out for yourself how you are going to deal with those spots is part of the fun.

So far, I am really enjoying this way of shaving, and learning so much about my face. I'll stick with it for the time being. :thumbup1:

Gustav
02-09-2011, 02:53 AM
Shave #109

For the last 4 shaves I have been using my newly acquired Le Grelot 6/8, which has been a most interesting experience. The fame of this razor made me expect that it would put my collection of predominantly Swedish straights to shame but to my delight I have discovered that this is far from the case. My Söderén frameback is still my favourite razor. Le Grelot has given me 4 consecutive DFS shaves but much the same as with my Heljestrand Wedge I feel it leaves a trail of weepers in its wake. Perhaps I am just not cut out to wield these hefty and unyielding razors or perhaps I should try it again with Tabac instead of Speick which I find a touch underprotective.

I have also tried to concentrate on some of the last areas of residual stubble resistance: the moustache area and the chin. Especially on the moustache, I can get this area pretty clean by making an "o" with my mouth and then shaving ATG, but never without a trail of blood!

QUESTION: Could lack of devoted preparation attention be the culprit in these areas? Do any of you do something special to prep these areas?

Luc
02-09-2011, 03:19 AM
Shave #109

For the last 4 shaves I have been using my newly acquired Le Grelot 6/8, which has been a most interesting experience. The fame of this razor made me expect that it would put my collection of predominantly Swedish straights to shame but to my delight I have discovered that this is far from the case. My Söderén frameback is still my favourite razor. Le Grelot has given me 4 consecutive DFS shaves but much the same as with my Heljestrand Wedge I feel it leaves a trail of weepers in its wake. Perhaps I am just not cut out to wield these hefty and unyielding razors or perhaps I should try it again with Tabac instead of Speick which I find a touch underprotective.

I have also tried to concentrate on some of the last areas of residual stubble resistance: the moustache area and the chin. Especially on the moustache, I can get this area pretty clean by making an "o" with my mouth and then shaving ATG, but never without a trail of blood!

QUESTION: Could lack of devoted preparation attention be the culprit in these areas? Do any of you do something special to prep these areas?

Excellent work! :thumbup1:

Loved that you put the question at the end, you are just missing the:
http://www.topfungames.com.au/picture_library/Flashing%20Arrow.gif

To your question, I'm unsure if you need more prep on a few spots. Maybe do shorter strokes and pay special attention to your blade angle. Which should be pretty much right by now. What you could do is try Kyle's prep on top of what you do already as a prep and see how you go. It should give you an indication if you need more prep or not.

honed
02-09-2011, 04:31 AM
Impressive diary Gustav!

I seldom go ATG on the mo, when I do, it has to be a super-sharp razor i.e, 0.25 diamond, 30K Shapton or similar.
Everything else leaves a trail of blood. Not worth it for me.

I generally go N-S, Nose-Ear, Ear-Nose, last pass with rather tight streching with free hand on cheek.

Gustav
02-10-2011, 12:25 AM
Shave #110

I cannot help reporting on this mornings shave. Today I used my Clas Törnblom 4/8 faux frameback and the difference to the Le Grelot could not be greater. This light razor out-maneuvers the heavy TI in nearly every respect. I could just whizz across my face in complete security with little or no loss of blood. On difficult spots you can just tuck it around the stubble and shave it off. The smaller scales do not get in the way as much as the TI's. At the end of it all I got a near miss BBS with very little irritation. :thumbup:

Gustav
04-19-2011, 09:15 AM
Shave number 131

For my 1000th post on this forum, I thought I would blow the dust off my old diary-thread and make a short update on the latest developments.

Progress has been really slow lately, but there is progress nonetheless. I have learnt to get the chin area really smooth, the lip-areas can still be a bit tricky but if I really concentrate I can get that clean too. Mostly I do not bother because by settling for DFS I avoid a lot of nicks in this area.

The area under the jawbone is the one I am most proud of: I can now shave, for instance, the right under-the jaw bone area under my right cheek, holding the razor in my right hand, starting from the ear and going towards the mouth whilst stretching the skin with my left hand. The trick is to hold the razor with the point downwards and the tang upwards, thus doing an "inverted" XTG pass. The stretching forces the skin over the jawline providing a much smoother and safer ride. It sounds complex like this but it is a sinch once you get the hang of it.

Apart from that, the recent study on the merits of the BBW hone has convinced me to get hold of these very affordable stones and start to work on some honing skills. I will get back to you once I have made my first attempts.

Luc
04-19-2011, 08:59 PM
:thumbup1: Congrats on the 1000th!

Gustav
05-03-2011, 02:10 AM
Shave number 136

C.V. Heljestrand 5/8 Wedge
HJM Boar
Proraso cream as preshave
Speick SS
Alverde ASB

I decided to give the wedge a shot again after enjoying 7 fabulous shaves with the Boker that I bought from Luc. I have had some pretty bad nicks from the wedge and I will admit to being a bit frightened by it. But yesterday the stars aligned and after lathering up and starting my first stroke, I was rewarded with the most comfortable feeling I have ever had with a straight, it felt completely effortless, like running a hot knife through a vat of butter.

After the first WTG pass, I noticed that it had removed quite a bit more stubble than my other straights. I also noticed that the razor moved better if I kept the spine further from my face than I would with a hollow straight. Needless to say I shall continue shaving with this straight for some time in the near future.

:thumbup:

Luc
05-03-2011, 02:53 AM
Awesome!! :thumbup1: My Wedge is scheduled to be used tomorrow morning!

global_dev
05-03-2011, 05:46 AM
nice, the feeling of a fresh blade is sweet...

Gustav
05-11-2011, 01:23 AM
Shave #139

C.V. Heljestrand no 23 5/8 Wedge
Muehle Pure badger
Proraso cream as preshave
Speick SS
Nivea Sensitive ASB

Still shaving with the wedge and enjoying it a lot, it is a mean and unforgiving razor but one you get the hang of it, it does a very neat job. Yesterday I decided to massage the cream thoroughly into my chin and moustache area and then leave the cream on my face while I stropped my blade. I then applied the hot towel, rinsed my face and lathered up. After that I enjoyed one of the smoothest shaves I have ever had especially on the chin and moustache area. The result was a near miss BBS. So it looks like the runt of the 2010 straight razor class :001_smile might achieve BBS after all just by paying more attention to his prep.

On another note, the BBW:s were delivered to me yesterday. Naturally I want to try them out as soon as possible. To start with I thought I might tune a honed blade that feels a bit.

Question: Is there any risk that I dull the blade or mess up the bevel by honing on the BBW?

Gustav
06-29-2011, 02:44 PM
I managed to locate a NOS C.V.Heljestrand the other day and the seller said that although it has a factory edge some really thorough stropping should make it shave ready. So I did 100 laps on TI shave paste and then 100 laps on leather. To my surprise and delight it gave me a really fine shave. The razor, a 5/8 Full hollow only bearing the name "Kloster" as distinguishing feature on the back side of the tang is most probably one of their last series since it was part of small consignement that the seller had bought from the company before it stopped manufacturing razors. I will post pics once I have found my USB adaptor.

Luc
06-29-2011, 03:20 PM
Awesome! You know the rules, pictures or it never happened! :biggrin:

Gustav
07-02-2011, 03:07 AM
Awesome! You know the rules, pictures or it never happened! :biggrin:

Well here it is, I am sorry about the poor picture quality but it is all my old digital camera can muster.

Gustav
07-02-2011, 03:28 AM
I also managed, through an extraordinary stroke of luck, to acquire a most unusual shave box containing a series of goodies and nasties as shown below. The highlights are the box itself and two Heljestrand razors: one with a barbers notch with a few dents on the blade, excellent honing practice material and an impecable no 4 with broken scales. The DE-stuff is of secondary interest as is the colgate plastic container which may serve as a travel container for a shaving stick.

The box itself is very interesting: on the top of the lid there is an "eight shaped" knob which can be displaced to the right. This allows the top part of the lid to be rotated. You then remove a small wooden cover on said top part of the lid revealing a vertical slot comprising a locking pin which can only be removed if said top part of lid is at 180 degrees from its starting position. With the locking pin removed, the whole lid can be displaced to the right and turned on a hinge giving you access to two compartments. This box was evidently designed to keep inquisitive fingers at bay.

Gustav
07-02-2011, 03:40 AM
Last but not least, I got hold of the coticule a relative had promised me. It is a old family heirloom from my great grandfather or possibly even his father. To give you an impression of its size I included a fat handled tech in the picture. It will need some lapping but apart from that I think it is safe to say that I will not be needing any further coticules. Taking no chances with such a priceless artifact and tool, I left it in Sweden where I spent my holidays to avoid the risk of it getting broken in the checked in luggage or confiscated by an overzealous ATC agent. Next year I will be taking the car and in the mean time, I will make due with my BBWs.

Zephyr
07-02-2011, 03:53 AM
That's some really nice stuff you got there Erik, and that box is something of it's own, very cool :thumbup1:

Luc
07-02-2011, 05:22 AM
Very nice mate! :thumbup1:

Gustav
07-03-2011, 04:01 AM
Shave 156: first with a self honed blade

I happen to be home alone which is a rare treat nowadays and I figured it is now or not in a while if I want to take my first staggering steps into honing. As a first candidate I took the Heljestrand with the barbers notch that I got in the unusual shave box. It is very similar in shape and weight compared to my Törnblom. It had a few dents in it so I honed those out on a DMT 600 until they were gone, I then flipped the DMT over and perfected the bevel on the 1200 side until it shaved a few arm hairs when pulling it across the skin. I then went over to the BBW on which I generated a slightly milky slurry and did 100 laps to the best of my ability. By now when doing the TPT it cut the outer layers of my skin effortlessly. I then thinned the slurry out and did a further 50 laps before stropping the blade 50 laps on wet stone with no slurry. I then stropped twice as long as usual and shaved.

Now I really understand why it is so important not to get into honing before having learnt to shave with a razor honed by a pro, I could immediately feel that although it was cutting hair, it lacked the keenness that my other razors and especially the similar Törnblom have which felt strange considering the TPT test was so successful. I am thinking that I might have left the DMT 1200 a little early since at that point it did not shave arm hair clean off.

On the whole though, I am very satisfied with this first experiment, the razor nonetheless gave me a DFS. I am tremendously excited at the possibilities of this new hobby.

:w00t:

Luc
07-03-2011, 03:04 PM
I would suggest to get a small and cheap microscope or loupe so you can look at the edge. It should help you on getting a more consistent edge.

kirk 988
07-03-2011, 05:06 PM
now that box is sweet you should draw a plan and build one. what a smart idea i might try making one after i work it out

Gustav
07-03-2011, 10:53 PM
now that box is sweet you should draw a plan and build one. what a smart idea i might try making one after i work it out

You know that is actually a good idea, I never won any prizes for my wood work but I know somebody who could do it for me. It is obviously unusual or unheard of judging by the response I have gotten from the forum and it has an unquestionably sophisticated appeal. Thanks for the tip!

Gustav
07-18-2011, 04:26 AM
Shave #161

Shaving quality has dropped a little in the last few weeks on account of the variable quality of my self honed blades. I am not too worried about it because it is so thrilling to learn honing skills and very satisfying to be able to shave with my very own edges. I have been using two combination DMT plates 220/325 and 600/1200 followed by a belgian blue whetstone with slurry dilutions without taping the spines, according to Bart Torfs's detailed instruction on the first page of my honing thread here: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/239061-Newbie-honer-with-questions!

So far I have honed two 4/8 Heljestrand razors and shaved successfully and comfortably with them. I have further honed a 5/8 Hellberg frameback and a 5/8 Heljestrand which I will test shave later this week and I have touched up a pro-honed razor which was a bit off colour and shaved with it, delighted with its much improved edge. I have a few razors with heavy damage, warped and frowning blades which I will attend to later. On the whole I think I am getting the hang of basic honing and it seems very strange to think that I could do without replacement blades of any kind from now on if I would like to. I would like to thank all who have helped me thus far, B&B is really a most special place full of very friendly and helpful people.

sanfranciscian
07-18-2011, 09:49 AM
Once again we seem to be on parallel tracks, until recently i had been just touching up my razors with a finisher and that was fine. But my curiosity got the best of me and i started to take them back to bevel on up. Dulled some razors in no time and have been paying the price in the shave Dept. fortunately it has taught me a lot about honing. finally a few days ago i started using slurry with my nani's and got 3 of them back in the fold and sneaking up on the other 2. Good luck. I think a lot if my issues were not using any pressure, finally decided if i was going to cut steel i better get the blade in touch with the stone.

Ian

Gustav
07-18-2011, 11:26 AM
Once again we seem to be on parallel tracks, until recently i had been just touching up my razors with a finisher and that was fine. But my curiosity got the best of me and i started to take them back to bevel on up. Dulled some razors in no time and have been paying the price in the shave Dept. fortunately it has taught me a lot about honing. finally a few days ago i started using slurry with my nani's and got 3 of them back in the fold and sneaking up on the other 2. Good luck. I think a lot if my issues were not using any pressure, finally decided if i was going to cut steel i better get the blade in touch with the stone.

Ian

Thanks to Bart I found out pretty quick that, at least on slow stones like the BBW, you have to use pressure, it is also easier to keep the razor on the hone if you apply a bit of pressure IMO.

Gustav
10-06-2011, 07:08 AM
Shave #187

The Flic Celebrated razor 4/8
Palmolive SS
Thäter Best Badger

It never ceases to amaze me that although I have been shaving with straights for over a year (albeit only every other day), I still discover new things that improve on the overall shave. It seems that my neck hairs are not all created alike in terms of growth direction and therefore a combination of scything motions under the jawbone and guillotine strokes on the adam's apple level and under has brought me closer to BBS on this elusive part of my shaving routine. Apart from that, I have managed to cut down on total bathroom time for my shaves from around 40 minutes to about 30 minutes.

Question: do you consider face mapping essential to understand how to shave your face with a straight?

sanfranciscian
10-06-2011, 09:04 AM
First off, welcome back stranger, I know your brood at home has expanded and probably has you quite occupied! I can say you have probably hit the nail on the head here. It was almost to a year exactly where i had somewhat gotten in to a comfortable rut, and though satisfied i was wondering if there was more to come. I have been shaving roughly about the same length of time as you albeit mostly everyday and that has afforded me the luxury of more on the shave count. at any rate magically one day things took a good turn and I have had a remarkable jump in my curve. I have since taken the time to think about what might have accounted for this and it comes down to two factors, the first was that I had been pretty much using the N-S, E-W pass routine to accomplish things and was leaving a few small but noticeable spots that were un BBS like. upon further review i found that on certain places the hair grew completely opposite than the corresponding spot on the other side of my face. Now i have it down to where i just do a quick two pass attack and hit the trouble spots with correct angles and like you stated some good ole swirl,scythe,guillotine action and voila. the second thing has been the quality of my edges has taken a rather nice turn as i am better understanding the honing game. I really feel the face mapping was the biggest trick though and would recommend anyone to spend the time to review theirs and make the very slight adjustments needed. I now have my shave time down to 10 minutes for a workman like shave and 15 if i want to luxuriate. congrats on your improvement and enjoy your new step forward.

Ian

Luc
10-06-2011, 02:18 PM
Shave #187

The Flic Celebrated razor 4/8
Palmolive SS
Thäter Best Badger

It never ceases to amaze me that although I have been shaving with straights for over a year (albeit only every other day), I still discover new things that improve on the overall shave. It seems that my neck hairs are not all created alike in terms of growth direction and therefore a combination of scything motions under the jawbone and guillotine strokes on the adam's apple level and under has brought me closer to BBS on this elusive part of my shaving routine. Apart from that, I have managed to cut down on total bathroom time for my shaves from around 40 minutes to about 30 minutes.

Question: do you consider face mapping essential to understand how to shave your face with a straight?

I usually take ~30 minutes and I am not rushing. Like you, I used to spend much more time...

I don't have much to add to what Ian said. My skin seems to be right if I go ATG on pass #1 (so regardless of the direction it grows). I do not do that however. The way I do the passes it's more of XTG-XTG-XTG/ATG... So, to answer your question, I do consider it, but I don't go by the book with it...

oh and you know, YMMV! :biggrin:

Gustav
11-17-2011, 01:53 AM
Yesterday I completed my second century using straight razors. During these last 100 shaves I have noticed that the less I worry about the closeness of the shave, the closer they get and there is less razor burn to boot. For familial reasons I have spent a great deal of time in hospital lately under less than optimal shaving conditions, so naturally I reverted to my Merkur DE travel razor. When I have been at home, I have enjoyed the straight shave all the more and to my delight, it is now apparent that the end result is decidedly better than DEs especially when it comes to skin softness.

Also, even if basic technique was well perfected during shaves 1-100, I have still managed to pick up the odd tip, here and there on the forum, that have enabled further improvement. I have also shaved with various safties, as a side line and to satisfy my curiosity, but this activity seems more and more pointless now that the straight shaves provide such a dependable quality.

Last but not least I have discovered the delights of honing and although my skills here are as of yet, at best, rudimentary, I shall persevere until most of my razors have the same keen edge as the NOS Heljestrand 6/8 "Kloster" razor I bought during the summer.

Yesterday's setup:
-6/8 full hollow "no name" solingen
-Golddachs shave soap
-Thäter super badger
-Sienna ASB

Currently, delightedly faceturbating at work!

Luc
11-17-2011, 02:24 AM
Excellent! Good to have you around mate! I hope that all is well for you and your family!

Gustav
12-03-2011, 04:02 AM
Shave #206

-no name solingen 6/8
-omega professional boar
-Fitjar Telemark SS + Palmolive sensitive
-Tuff sensitive A/S

I have been shaving quite a lot with the Fitjar soap lately. This particular one has no tallow and is unfortunately quite a poor performer if you do not make superlather. I have not been using the huge Omega brush for a while but I will do more so in the future because it seems to mix the soap and the cream to a very effective mixture in a much more efficient way than the smaller brushes boar or otherwise. Needless to say, after that, I enjoyed a fabulous shave.

Luc
12-03-2011, 02:35 PM
Shave #206

-no name solingen 6/8
-omega professional boar
-Fitjar Telemark SS + Palmolive sensitive
-Tuff sensitive A/S

I have been shaving quite a lot with the Fitjar soap lately. This particular one has no tallow and is unfortunately quite a poor performer if you do not make superlather. I have not been using the huge Omega brush for a while but I will do more so in the future because it seems to mix the soap and the cream to a very effective mixture in a much more efficient way than the smaller brushes boar or otherwise. Needless to say, after that, I enjoyed a fabulous shave.

I had the same observations with the Fitjar soaps as you already know! I still use it with an unscented puck of glycerine soap and it works wonder!

global_dev
12-05-2011, 07:04 AM
i thought I had heard that fitjar was nice..

i totally hear you on the honing and trying to attain a great edge... are the bbw the only thing you are using? i'd like to eventually try one.

Gustav
12-05-2011, 09:37 AM
The Fitjar Creams are absolutely fantastic but the soaps are unfortunately not in the same league. So if you want to try Fitjar go for the creams and you will not be disappointed.

On the subject of BBWs, my experience thus far have led me to a few conclusions the value of which you will have to judge for yourself on account of the fact that the DMT/BBW is the only thing I am using right now and I have no experience whatsoever of any other stones. When using the BBWs I use Bart's adaptation of the dilucot according to the following: 100 X-stroke laps on thick slurry using eraser like pressure followed by rinsing of stone and a further 50 X-stroke laps on water and residual slurry from razor with eraser like pressure. Then I rinse the razor and the stone and rub the slurry stone once using small circular motions back and forth over the hone to obtain a light slurry on which I do a final 30 X-stroke laps with light pressure.

My conclusions:

1. Using the above procedure you can tune a razor with an existing bevel that has gone slightly dull. The results are convincing.

2. When I have set the bevel to the best of my ability on a DMT 1200 or on a progression of DMTs as needed, I seldom get a shave ready razor on the first shot using the above procedure. But if I repeat it 2-3 time more, I can get a really good edge. I am only speculating here but I think that I could speed up things by having a suitable grit stone (4000?) in between the DMT1200 and the BBW. The BBW is probably just too slow to efficiently remove the coarse scratch marks of the DMT. Perhaps I would have been able to get a decent edge directly if I had done 4x100 laps + 4x50 laps + 4x30 laps, but I am just too lazy for that kind of game. I have been reluctant to buy a coticule or a naniwa at this stage because I have a nice coticule waiting for me in Sweden where I will pick it up during next summer.

3. Bart's beer bottle trick which is in effect, dulling the DMT1200 edge on a beer bottle before moving on to the BBW is imperative to get a smooth edge off the BBW.

4. I do not believe that you can correct a bevel in an efficient way with the BBW, therefore you must have a very decent bevel to start with if you go straight to the BBW or else it will be almost hopeless to get the razor shave ready.Perhaps this is also an advantage for the beginner because it is probably difficult to do any damage to the bevel once you go over to the BBW.

Gustav
12-09-2011, 07:45 AM
Shave #208

-C.W. Dahlgren 6/8
-omega professional boar
-Fitjar Telemark SS + Palmolive sensitive
-Speick ASB

I had test shaved the Dahlgren previously but the edge was rough so I tried Bart's beer bottle trick and subsequently re-honed it on the BBW. It turned out to do the trick in as much as the edge was much more comfortable to shave with. I then saw that some people use CrOx as a finisher for their razors so I took out the CrOx on balsa which Legion gave to me and gave it 50 laps with no pressure and then test shaved with it after my usual stropping routine. To my delight the result was even better in that the blade seemed to have become sharper.

I realize that I have no been over indulgent with pictures lately so here are a few of my current arsenal. I am sorry the pictures are a bit dark but it is the best my current camera can achieve In the top left picture you will find the Dahlgren on top, followed by a Borlänge maskinaffär in the middle, which looks like it has a frown and the E.A. Berg I started out with on the bottom. In the top right picture you will see my framebacks, from left to right: Törnblom 4/8 and Heljestrand 4/8 with barber notch, Heljestrand 5/8 real frameback and then Hellberg 5/8 and Söderén 5/8 faux framebacks. In the middle left picture from left to right you will find my Heljestrand wedge 5/8, a Heljestrand no2 4/8 and a Heljestrand no4 6/8 with the broken scales. In the middle right picture you will see my BBW hone and slurry stone together with my NOS Heljestrand Kloster 6/8 which is my current absolute favourite shaver. The factory edge just needed some stropping on TI paste (100 laps) on my paddle strop followed by stropping on leather (200 laps) and it was shave ready. They do not make them like they used to. The last picture is self explanatory.

Gustav
12-23-2011, 12:34 AM
Shave #214

Söderén faux frameback 5/8
La Toja Shave stick
Vie Long horse hair brush
Hega balsam

I have not shaved with this razor for a long time because I have been having a bit of trouble with it! It used to be my absolute favourite and then I must have rolled the edge or something because it gave a very uncomfortable shave. I gave it the BBW treatment but it still felt a bit off. Anyway, in the last few weeks I have been testing the effect of Legion's balsa CrOx strop on the edge of my razors and it is astonishing what 50 laps with no pressure can do for the edge. I did not even feel the first stroke but when I wiped off the lather on my towel it was blackened with stubble. Three passes later I was comfortably clean shaven with only a minute quantity of bloodshed on my upper lip. The Söderén is now definitely back in business. It feels like I have just said hello to a dear old friend that I had not seen for a very long time. Here he is in a SOTD that I took for my 100th shave about a year ago.

Gustav
01-17-2012, 01:41 AM
Shave #227

4/8 Heljestrand with Barber's notch
Fitjar Telemark SS superlathered with Aussie Palmolive SC
Vie Long Horse Brush
Speick ASB

Lately I have been trying to cut down on my shaving time by doing long confident strokes using a locked wrist and only my arm to do the movement: a move that Luc taught me and that has served me well. It is a bit daunting at first but if you contort your face in such a way as to present a nice flat stretch to the razor, it works really well. It is very satisfying to see the blackened lather smear that I wipe off onto my towel when I have shaved the right or left side of the face above the jaw line, using little more than three strokes. Obviously you need to be a bit more careful on the contours of your face. I also have to remember not to do this when I have had a few glasses of wine or I will run the risk of slicing into a birthmark I have on my right cheek which has been the scene of repeated bloodshed during inebriated shaving. :crying:

I am also growing very fond of the horse hair brushes, they are softer than the boars and seem to deliver more water to the lather, making it very easy to get the kind of slick watery lather that you want for straight razor shaving. I can only recommend anybody with BAD to get one and try it out. The basic model will only set you back about 10 €.

After three comfortable passes, I ended up with a very nice DFS using the above mentioned little razor which was honed entirely on my Belgian Blue Whetstone after refreshing the Bevel on a DMT1200.

Gustav
01-25-2012, 03:22 AM
Shave #231

4/8 Heljestrand with Barber's notch
Palmolive SS
Vie Long Horse Brush
Speick ASB

Another great and uncomplicated shave. I have been shaving with straights only for around a month by now and I can easily see myself continuing this way for the foreseeable future once I have tried out all major types of razors. I still want to a try a slant and revisit my Sensor Excel and maybe even my Mach3 to see if better shave prep and software makes any significant difference. Anyway when I visited the local brick and mortar shops in order to acquire a slant they either did not have them or had discontinued them on account of customers who had done themselves a series of serious injuries. Instead I purchased a Dovo Shavette which will be the next item I want to try as a sideline to regular straights. I thought I might give it a go on Saturday so that my face has time to heal on Sunday before going back to work. I have loaded it with half of a no name Personna blade which I know to be quite forgiving. I feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety at the prospect of shaving with this device because it is lightweight and the blade is probably much sharper than most of my much heavier straights. Light and sharp seems like a very daunting combination to me. Anyway I will keep you posted on my progress.

Gustav
01-29-2012, 01:07 AM
I enjoyed my first shavette shave yesterday evening and to my delight I could do the usual routine of three passes in much the same way I do with my regular straights. The one thing I did pay particular attention to was not to apply any pressure. I only nicked myself once under my lower lip but it was more through excess abrasion more than a true cut. I found the whole shave rather enjoyable since only my best straights have a sharpness at the same level making for a particularly mild and irritation free shave. I was pleasantly surprised at how well balanced this light weight shaver is. Last but not least, I am glad I tried it after learning on regular straights since I can see that this light-weight and sharp razor would have been a menace in my inexperienced hands when I started to shave with straights

Gustav
01-31-2012, 03:13 AM
The second shave with my Dovo Shavette last night was a nick free repeat of the first shave. Thus it appears that if you have learnt to shave properly with a regular straight, there is no learning curve when switching to a Dovo Shavette. I find this very surprising considering that there is such a huge difference in weight and blade sharpness between the two. I must say that I am enjoying this sharp edge a lot and hope that it can be emulated on a regular straight. I have a NOS Heljestrand straight which I bought and then just gave it 100 laps on TI alumina paste followed by 200 laps on leather and it comes really close but I do not have the faintest idea how it was honed.

Question: Is it possible to get the same level of sharpness on a regular straight? If so how do you go about achieving it, do you use a progression of hones or a progression of pastes?

global_dev
01-31-2012, 06:50 PM
great question... i have straight edges that were really really sharp and some that were smooth... i think finding the progression for your likes is key though... just keep moving up the stones/films into pastes/sprays and you might find yourself too sharp for comfort.

does it really matter how it was honed up until 8K? probably not... as long as bevel was good and progression was fine... i think when you lok at some of the spray past experiments, you see people talking about how "crispy" an edge might be... to me thats an indication of too sharp...

Gustav
02-01-2012, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the answer, that is very interesting! I might have to give some serious thought to purchasing RasurPur's 4 sided paddle strop and diamond pastes to go with it.

Gustav
04-03-2012, 04:34 AM
Shave #257
Heljestrand 6/8 full hollow Kloster
Floris no 89 shave soap
HJM Boar
Balea ASB

Last night's shave was not particularly comfortable, I have been tinkering with this Floris soap on and off sporadically since I got it from Floris customer service in 2009 (as a replacement for a particularly disastrous offering) and have now decided to give it a solid 30 shave trial to see if it is just a matter of finding some sweet spot. If not it will become bath soap. If I soak it in copious amounts of warm water and use a good stiff brush, I can produce mounds of rich lather with good staying power and slickness but very little protection. On previous shaves I was using Tabac and the difference in terms of protection is off the charts. With Tabac you can complete an entire pass and then go back to touch up any part of the face without reapplying lather and get acceptable glide, with Floris it is like shaving a dry face if you attempt to do the same.

I am now back to regular straight razor shaving after doing some comparative experiments using one razor on the left part of the face and the other on the right side: Dovo Shavette vs Gillette Slim adjustable at setting 9 and in a separate set Heljestrand 6/8 Kloster vs. Gillette Slim adjustable at setting 9. I was expecting to get better and longer lasting shaves with the straights or even the shavettes but it was not to be. Even SWMBO you did not know which side was which could not tell the difference, directly after the sahve or even 12 or 24 hours post shave. Obviously this is a YMMV thing. I will go on shaving with regular straights because I enjoy the whole process more. If I am on a sort trip or somewhere not suitable for straight razor shaving under optimal conditions, I will shave with a DE, knowing that the shave will be just as good.

Grips
04-03-2012, 10:13 PM
Gustav. Good to see the update. I thought that you might have given up on the journal.

Gustav
04-03-2012, 10:46 PM
Gustav. Good to see the update. I thought that you might have given up on the journal.

It is nice to see it is appreciated! How are you doing?

cleanshaved
04-03-2012, 10:58 PM
Gustav. It is the art of using and maintaing a straight that I like the most.
have you thought of mixing a small amout of cream with the Floris soap to see how that works for you?

Gustav
04-04-2012, 12:35 AM
Yes, I have done that with Aussie Palmolive and it works a treat and that is probably what I am going to end up doing most of the time. Every now and again however I test the soap on its own again to see if the repetitive loading has resulted in my drilling deeper into the soap and hopefully hitting some sweet spot where the lather all of a sudden becomes more protective. Up until know no such luck.

And I agree with you, the maintenance of the razors are one of the most enjoyable things about straight razor shaving. Whilst cleaning out a relative's apartment, my in laws found two Heljestrand razors that they passed on to me. So some time later on I will team them up with some other razors that did not make the cut last time around and engage on a new honing spree. I was also delighted to find a coticule that my father had given me a while back and that had disappeared out of sight and out of mind during a recent move. It has some imperfections and will probably need some lapping but after that it is going to be great to try it out.

Question: What do I use to generate a slurry on the coticule when I do not have a coticule bout? Do I use a coarse DMT, sandpaper or could I use my BBW bout or will it contaminate the coticule somehow?

sanfranciscian
04-04-2012, 07:58 AM
HI Gus, as noted good to hear from your again, I tend to drop out of sight myself every winter, any ways, I have one of those dmt cards that can be had cheaply, i believe it to be 325 and it works a charm for the slurry.

Ian

Grips
04-04-2012, 10:20 AM
It is nice to see it is appreciated! How are you doing?

I am doing well and hope you are the same. Yours is one of the many journals I've gained a lot of knowledge from.

Gustav
04-04-2012, 11:46 AM
HI Gus, as noted good to hear from your again, I tend to drop out of sight myself every winter, any ways, I have one of those dmt cards that can be had cheaply, i believe it to be 325 and it works a charm for the slurry.

Ian

Great, thanks for the hint!

To Grips: I find I learn from all the journals I read, we all go down a slightly different road and raise questions that complement each other. It is great to see that so many have caught on relatively recently.

Gustav
04-04-2012, 10:49 PM
Shave #258

Same stup as last time except for adding some Aussie Palmolive cream to the soap. The difference could not be bigger. I enjoyed a comfortable shave and did not need to worry at all about skipping during touching up. It is a mystery to me why so many companies seem reluctant to add some vegetable based stearates to their formulation when it makes such a difference.

cleanshaved
04-04-2012, 11:39 PM
good stuff another soap saved.
I have trouble with getting a good lather out of my GFT Eucris soap. waiting for a boar brush to see if that does the trick.
have mixed with a little cream and got ok results. soap seams too hard for my silver tip badger brush.
have found if you have a bad lather no matter what you do from there your shave will be bad as well.

It's the simple things that matter with the SR. get all the small things right on the day and results will follow.

Gustav
04-05-2012, 01:22 AM
I could not agree with you more Chris. When I was DE shaving I had a ranking list for my soaps and creams where amongst others Tabac SS, Floris SS and Fitjar SC were all near the top but when I started straight razor shaving I had to make a new list which was surprisingly different from the DE list. IMO, when DE shaving high quality lather is not necessarily a prerequisite to getting a good shave, in the world of straights however it is. Tabac SS is still in the top tier, but Floris SS is now on the list of soaps to finish and not buy again. The criteria which determine where on my list the soaps and creams lie are surprisingly subtle, how much touching up you can do safely without relathering is one of them (aka protection or cushion), how much water you can add to the mix without the lather collapsing is another since I tend to use very wet lathers, how moisturising the soap feels, is a third. With Tabac SS I hardly feel the need to put on ASB at the end of the shave. Another aspect is how much work I need to put in to get a decent lather, here Tabac SS excels whereas Floris SS has to be soaked repeatedly in warm water and then worked hard with a stiff brush to get anywhere near shaveable lather.

Obviously this is yet again a YMMV issue and probably depends on water hardness and such things but at the end of the day, it is so much easier to use a no fuss shave soap which gives great protective lather every time than to have to resort to soaking pucks and making superlather in order to try and coax a good shave out of a sub-standard soap.

Luc
04-05-2012, 05:31 AM
Love to see that you're still at it mate! :thumbup1:

sanfranciscian
04-05-2012, 07:55 AM
I couldn't agree more with you erik, I have tried a goodly number of soaps while DE shaving and was surprised how many didn't make the cut when moving to straights. Tabac still seems to rule the roost though and not to go into any long soap stories but if you haven't tried pdp or arko give them a shot, they seem to meet my and apparently your criteria for taking the water needed to get them to that spot just short of running off my face without breaking down. and both are slick as *** and the pdp seems to leave my face feeling happy. must be the cocoa butter or sumthin.

Ian

Gustav
04-05-2012, 10:13 AM
I couldn't agree more with you erik, I have tried a goodly number of soaps while DE shaving and was surprised how many didn't make the cut when moving to straights. Tabac still seems to rule the roost though and not to go into any long soap stories but if you haven't tried pdp or arko give them a shot, they seem to meet my and apparently your criteria for taking the water needed to get them to that spot just short of running off my face without breaking down. and both are slick as *** and the pdp seems to leave my face feeling happy. must be the cocoa butter or sumthin.

Ian

I have got Arko but up until now I have not had and luck with it. I will try mashing it into a bowl and see if that improves the situation. as for PdP, if I remember correctly it is not available in Europe.

sanfranciscian
04-05-2012, 03:16 PM
Hi erik, with the arko i grate and smush it in a bowl and that is the only way i know having never tried it as intended as a stick, the other pdp is pre de provence which is a french soap so pretty sure you got it there. you might be thinking vdh which is van der hagen which i happen to have a truck load of so if you shoot me a pm with an address i will send some along. the vdh is great, to be honest its only fault? IMHO is that it is too slick, I can hardly grip my skin even with the use of alum. tons of great and easy lather.

Ian

Gustav
04-06-2012, 12:20 AM
Hi erik, with the arko i grate and smush it in a bowl and that is the only way i know having never tried it as intended as a stick, the other pdp is pre de provence which is a french soap so pretty sure you got it there. you might be thinking vdh which is van der hagen which i happen to have a truck load of so if you shoot me a pm with an address i will send some along. the vdh is great, to be honest its only fault? IMHO is that it is too slick, I can hardly grip my skin even with the use of alum. tons of great and easy lather.

Ian

Thank you for that kind offer which I might get back to you on. Obviously this works both ways so if there is something from this side of the bond you are dying to try just drop me a pm and I will send it along.

Gustav
05-08-2012, 03:10 AM
Shave #275

Heljestrand 5/8 wedge
Floris SS superlathered with Palmolive Classic
HJM Boar Brush
Balea ASB

I decided to try the wedge again, this is probably my heaviest razor on account of the all steel scales. I do not know what it is but I cannot seem to grow very fond of this razor, perhaps it is the lack of sound as it plows effortlessly through the stubble or maybe it is just a touch too heavy. The first times I used this razor I remember it leaving a trail of blood especially around places I had touched up such as the nostril area, lips and sideburns (cuts on my earlobes when going ATG), so this time I took it really easy and whilst this time it was bloodless it did not feel as close as with the hollow blades. All the same I will keep it around since I have no other wedge, who knows one day it might grow on me.

Luc
05-08-2012, 05:34 AM
Shave #275

Heljestrand 5/8 wedge
Floris SS superlathered with Palmolive Classic
HJM Boar Brush
Balea ASB

I decided to try the wedge again, this is probably my heaviest razor on account of the all steel scales. I do not know what it is but I cannot seem to grow very fond of this razor, perhaps it is the lack of sound as it plows effortlessly through the stubble or maybe it is just a touch too heavy. The first times I used this razor I remember it leaving a trail of blood especially around places I had touched up such as the nostril area, lips and sideburns (cuts on my earlobes when going ATG), so this time I took it really easy and whilst this time it was bloodless it did not feel as close as with the hollow blades. All the same I will keep it around since I have no other wedge, who knows one day it might grow on me.

I got the same with my wedge. I tried a few, they work but I prefer 1/4-1/2-3/4-full hollow...

global_dev
05-08-2012, 08:28 AM
i wasn't around for the great wedge vs hollow dust-up that caused joel to create that kron-punkt video about hollows giving a good shave.. i don't get the argument for coarse beards needing a wedge... i haven't really heard a solid discussion on it though...

Gustav
05-25-2012, 07:33 AM
Shave # 285

No name Solingen 6/8 full hollow
Palmolive SS
Vie long horse hair brush
Balea ASB

I am approaching 300 shaves and it never ceases to amaze me that I keep finding ways to improve on the shave. Lately I have found that I can get rid of the third pass and still get a very decent DFS shave. Thus I now only do a WTG followed by a XTG and some touch ups on difficult spots on both passes. Funnily enough, it seems easier for me to shave the strip on my neck between the chin and the chest and the whole chin area clean going ATG as a touch up on the first pass whilst the stubble is still quite thick and resilient. I just need to carefully push through it. After the second pass, I touch up on sideburns and moustache areas by dabbing fresh lather on each spot in turn and shaving it directly afterwards leaving no time for the lather to deteriorate.

With this way of shaving, I can cut down both total shave time and skin irritation and still get only a marginally worse shave. I think I will stick to this for a while and see how it goes.

Grips
05-25-2012, 07:55 AM
Congrats on the 300 shave mark. I'm only around the 90 mark and am always trying new things to get that better , more comfortable shave.

Gustav
05-26-2012, 07:56 AM
Congrats on the 300 shave mark. I'm only around the 90 mark and am always trying new things to get that better , more comfortable shave.

Do not worry, if you shave every day it will only take you around a year to catch up with me since I only shave every other day!