Well here it goes, I will try to be as explicit and detailed as I can be.
After much trepidation, I finally decided to put the blade to the flesh and give this thing a go-round, for better or worse. I must say, all things being considered, it went better than I thought. I didn't cut myself once, but the shave wasn't problem free, including me having to cut it short.
Here's my prep. Shavemac XL Silvertip, Pre-shave oil, Taylor's Mr Taylor Cream, good face prep with hot water, hotpot action a' brewin'..things were going well. Lathered up with a lather that looked great. Time for the money, blade to face.
This blade is a 5/8 and was honed/stropped by Rik prior to my use. I set it on my face, rolled it up and started with one small pass on my left cheek with the skin stretched with the other hand. I first noticed how awkward it is to hold my skin with my other hand while trying to shave with my non-dominant hand. That was bizarre. I felt like I couldn't get the proper angle on the blade and that I was constantly checking & re-checking the angle. Anyway, the first pressure I pulled down on and it felt like the hairs were being tugged at before they were cut. Now I don't know if this was because I was going slow or if my beard was extra tough or what, but it did feel like the hair was being tugged at. So I ever so gingerly proceeded to shave my left cheek, with short, slow & deliberate passes. With every pass I was just hoping I didn't see blood behind the pass as cream turned to skin. Anyway, I get to my chin area and managed to get a decent shave with the blade, getting the skin pretty smooth. Then I did the other cheek, again feeling like the hairs were being tugged at.
Then, this is where I got too nervous to continue. I re-lathered and started to go against the grain and man, it felt like my blade was being stopped by my hair. I was afraid to push the blade hard against the hair in fears of seeing blood shoot all over my mirror. I tried a couple of short passes and it wasn't working. So that's when I decided to whip out the Vision and finish her' up.
The down strokes I did get in seemed to be pretty smooth and there was absolutely NO irritation. But when I started trying to get against the grain, the whole show stopped. It really felt like I was trying to pull my face with the razor when it hit the hair.
So what am I doing wrong? Blade too steep? Too shallow? Should I have pushed it harder? Is my face too soft for a straight? I'm not chalking this up as a loss by any matter of means. Just a learning experience and when my strop comes in, I'll reload and try again.
Funny enough, when I finished up with my Vision, I cut the side of my chin. HAHA..so much for fearing the mighty straight.
Ok str8-meisters, i'm listening.