Keep at it, friend. It's early in the game, the good shaves will follow shortly!
Keep at it, friend. It's early in the game, the good shaves will follow shortly!
One foot on the gas, one foot in the grave... -Streetlight Manifesto
I did a bunch more stropping on the leather and i think that combined with my improving technique resulted in a really fine shave. My 5 year old daughter even watched the whole process and was asking questions throughout.
I used (new) Williams, which btw has been so far so good, with the Shea Moisture brush, and the GD108 (as that is the only razor I have).
I tried to greatly decrease the amount of pressure and work on angles. only 1 little small (re)cut near my adams apple, but all in all a great shave. 3 passes..
1. face & neck WTG,
2. face & neck XTG
3. face ATG & neck A/XTG
I am noticing the general skin tone after shaving is much less visibly irritated than i expected after about a half hour, however, witch hazel feels nice, but alum and aftershaves kinda tingle...
It looks like your off to a good start...In my humble opinion, I have the following to offer as far as advice (from my limited noob experience ):
1. Don't worry about size and grind of blade right now...just make sure it's shave ready (which it seems that you've got covered).
2. Make sure you do a very thorough beard prep before your shave...i.e., warm shower, pre-shave prep. I found that what helps soften my tough beard is Stephan's Conditioning Smooth shave creme (I rub it on the beard with fingers, leave it for 2-3 minutes and wash it off before lathering with my creme/soap).
3. Make sure that you:
- Make very good, creamy lather
- You spend time working that lather into your whiskers
- Use very good quality product(s)
4. Shave as you do (make sure edge is stropped and smooth)
5. Rinse face thoroughly with warm water to get remnants of creme/soap off.
6. Follow with cold water rinse
7. Thayer's Witch hazel (no alcohol). Let dry
8. ASB (no alcohol) or skin food followed by facial moisturizer
Voila!!! This is what I do daily...Thought I'd share. Some weekends, I give my skin a break and start over in a day or two...Skin loves a break .
This one took me a long time...
I have been stroping post shave since shave #3
pre-shave, I stropped leather only for a while ~50-60x
I lathered Williams up with a Vulfix 44. It wasn't as great as with a smaller brush. The 44 is huge and the lather was fine. It's harder for me to get the water content right with this big brush.
I did about 3-4 passes and found that my XTG cheeks gets way more reduction than a WTG in that area, almost to the point that i am going to try XTG first next go around...
neck was pretty decent.
I had to relather the brush after pass #2. It's really hard for me to tell if there wasn't enough water or too much with this brush. just when i think there isn't enough and i add some more, the lather is spent.
no blood, no nicks, no cuts, but the moustache area was tender...
all in all, a very very good & decent shave, maybe a bit over on the # of passes and touch-up. I am wondering if my lather with williams doesn't have enough slickness for my style. Maybe I'll give Cremo Cream a go.
whats really nice is using the leftover "lather" of williams on the strop and seeing it go from pale beige to conditioned brown. Interestingly, after stropping after lather, the soap kinda hardens on the razor spine. easy to wipe off.
plus, i've obviously nicked my strop on the edges nearer the hardware sides. Do i fix that with a little fine sandpaper?
It felt terrible. I couldn't finish. I only had 2 day beard growth.
it was bad on cheeks, worse on my moustache area, and miserable on my neck and jaw.
I think either through my technique, shaving, stropping or maybe just general dulling, the razor may not be sharp anymore. Maybe the Gold Dollar 108s just don't hold an edge well.
I was noticing a lot of friction with my 6th shave, with Williams. I decided to try Cremo out as I remember it being very slick...
I have not applied anything to my felt strop, nor leather part (except spent Williams) I stropped on felt 20x and on leather 50x.
I hand lathered it and applied some water and went to work.
It was very difficult to make a smooth pass, even on my cheeks.
Ironically, it offered me the opportunity to try out my non-dominant hand again, to see if it was technique, and it wasn't that uncomfortable.
In the end, no cuts or nicks so no blood.. I finished up with a Feather All Stainless. I haven't used a DE for a bit and it was really smooth like I remembered.
I am off to Harbor Freight (down the street) to see what type of paste, spray or hones they have. Anyone have any suggestions?
Last edited by global_dev; 08-07-2010 at 03:45 PM. Reason: minor spelling
For your strop, yes, sandpaper. I use 1200, the strop won't look pretty but as long as you don't have anything sticking out it's good. The surface must be smoother in both directions when you strop.
Bummer for your last shave.
I would hold on the hones for now. Hopefully you didn't roll the edge after 7 shaves but it's possible. Are you applying any pressure on the strop?
You could try a paste but it might be easier to get a honemeister looking at the edge if it's as bad as it sounds.
I went to Harbor Freight, found the sandpaper and a polishing compound, but couldn't determine it's grit. didn't buy anything. the salesman said that I would have better luck at Lowe's and when i got there they had nothing, not he sandpaper nor the paste...they had a porter cable metal polishing compound, but it looks like it is only supposed to be used with a buffer, as it was hard as a rock...
so i went home determined to see if i could strop this GD back into shape. Instead of hanging the strop i laid it on the table and used the felt 30x, leather 60x, and then newspaper 75x. i tried to use minimal pressure and it seemed a bit obvious that I had previously not been holding the strop tight enough and had been applying too much pressure.
i went for another shave with only 1 day stubble and it was much smoother. I was able to complete the shave visible-irritation and blood free. I got a pretty consistent shave, but nowhere near DFS.
some other thoughts, i whipped up a great batch of col conk lime or so it seemed and it completely disappeared on my neck while I was going slowly on my cheeks i didn't think i was going that slow... i figured i would add a bit more water to no avail. Then I thought I would only lather the parts i was shaving, but it still wasn't lasting. it looked great, but no staying power. i finally added a squirt of KMF to allow me to keep shaving. I think col conk has been my least favorite.
as far as sandpaper goes I get mine from auto supply stores if they stock car paints they should stock the sand paper to wet sand with witch should be down to 2000 grit.
Are you doing any sharpness test before you shave with the razor? I may be a little anal but I do a hanging hair test on the full length of the blade before every shave. If it doesn't pop the hair fairly easily then I go back to the strop or felt then strop.
I also hang my strop at waist level this may just be preference but it seems easier for me to strop correctly this way rather then having it hanging say head height.
last straight shave was over a month and half ago.. just didn't have a shave ready razor until last week and time flies... I used another gold dollar, this time from seraphim's lot and proceeded to have a sunday morning shave with a 24 hour beard, not a lot to mow through, but for me that's enough to practice technique.
it was a beveled squarepoint (muted tip), hollowed heel, modified monkeytail 13/16 GD straight.
I think i prefer a squarepoint over a round, even if muted on this one... easy for me to get under the nose and around the ears. I have a great 2 pass shave that left me nice and clean and only one long but shallow vertical cut under my eye... my wife tells me I look like a pirate.
I also used a car wash sponge on the laying on the side of the sink (i think i saw this in Chimenschs video) instead of running water and it was nice and easy to clean off the razor, i could see the hair come off and no worries about the razor hitting anything...
I also spent about 90 minutes in Woodcraft on Staurday looking at all the stones, grinders, exotic wood stock and talking to the staff... talk about a kid in a candy store. I left with a DMT dual sided C/F diasharp stone, a granite surface plate (that thing is a monster) and some honing films...
I used Mama Bear Dublin Tweed with a CO Bigelows Best Badger brush.
Last edited by global_dev; 09-27-2010 at 06:49 AM.
I got to No. 10!!!
same razor as No.9
I waited until about 10:40PM to start this shave and I was going to take my time and enjoy it. Prep was a bit slow as I was trying to find everything I needed in the dark so i didn't wake anyone up (I store some of my shave stuff outside the bathroom depending on the rotation.)
Stropped a bit on leather and used proraso pre and tea/aloe cream and slowly went about my business...
remembering to lay off the pressure and keep the movements smooth.
a superb first WTG pass followed by a second great WTG pass... i was thinking "stop now" and enjoy what has just transpired, but I could not help myself and went for a third pass XTG on face and ATG on neck... cheeks came out great and got a little bit of irritation on my neck...
followed up with a splash of some regular WH and then some Thayers cuke.
I felt some of the irritation this morning (~5AM) after washing with some tea tree oil soap. wasn't painful, but I could tell it was irritated.
Hang in there...little irritation is normal when you're starting out but you should have gone with your gut...but I know how that goes, I've been there too
Congrats again and what is Thayers cuke?
[I]"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."[/I] John Henry Newman