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Thread: Grip's Journal (and so it has begun....)

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by noahpictures View Post
    I found a fix (at least for me). I moved the strop higher so it is vertical (wall) instead of horizontal (floor). I stropped three razors and didn't slap the edge. It should also reduce chances of cutting the strop.
    That is a great idea Noah. I will have to try it. Love the shared knowledge that happens on this forum.

  2. #122
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    Default New Scuttle

    Just picked up my custom made scuttle from a local potter. Haven't tried it yet but looks good. Made from thick porcelain (she said you can put boiling water right in it) and I helped to design it. She has three more already made so if anyone is interested let me know.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    She had never made a scuttle before,but she did a hell of a job.

  3. #123
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    That's is a nice looking scuttle Grips. enjoy.
    Be carefull with using boiling water, the scuttle may be able to handle it but your lather may not.
    Chris. - "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary

  4. #124
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    Yah. I think you're right. After the first pass all I might have is some soap residue.

  5. #125
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    My hot water is a infinity gas system. It heats it as you use it. very good but could be just a couple of degrees hotter for my scuttle.
    I am going to play with a few different water combos to find the best for my set up. 1) boil some water before shower so it drops in temp a bit
    2) 50/50 mix hot tap and kettle water or differnt %.
    If it dries in the bowl between passes just add a few more drops of water.
    Chris. - "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary

  6. #126
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    Great shave journal! I haven't gotten the chance to read it all today, just the first couple of pages, but you have some very good tips, and I will be following this journal some. Thanks for the time, I just started mine last night as it was my first straight shave. Giving my face a rest today to let some scrapes heal but back at it tomorrow.
    -Daniel

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntingdan View Post
    Great shave journal! I haven't gotten the chance to read it all today, just the first couple of pages, but you have some very good tips, and I will be following this journal some. Thanks for the time, I just started mine last night as it was my first straight shave. Giving my face a rest today to let some scrapes heal but back at it tomorrow.
    I am happy my observations have helped you. Best of luck on your straight shave journey. I would recommend staying with it for at least 25 shaves. Big leaps in progress tend to happen around that mark.

  8. #128
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    Shaves ~62 - ~80:

    It has been awhile since my last update. Mostly working on three things:

    1)Getting consistent lather results with my new scuttle (pretty much there).
    2)Keeping and maintaining a consistent edge.
    3) Getting closer on the chin area.

    Lather with scuttle:

    Not too much trouble replicating results with my Proraso or my e-shave soap and cream. I just have to watch I don't get the scuttle too hot. I have started using QCS Cayman the past week. It is my first tallow soap. I am getting a decent lather but it seems to break down quite easily. I have reduced the heat of the water in my scuttle which seems to help. I have also read that with MWF soap you need to really load your brush. This soap has lanolin as well, so I am trying to load as much as possible. It is helping, but I think I just need to make small adjustments until I find the right formula. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Edge Consistency:

    This is one I struggle with. I have touched up the edge with the lapping film. My order with Rick Boone fell through so I am still finishing with 0.5 micron on wetted paper.The first shave is great but then goes downhill. A close look at the edge looks like a very slight, possible rolling of the edge. So I puzzled and analyzed until my puzzler and analyzer were sore. I examined my stropping. I definitely did not strop just on the edge but noticed that on my return stroke that the edge was not always in contact. My theory is that while I am not stropping on the edge, one side gets edge contact & the other side not as much. So while not techniquely a rolled edge, the results seem similar. Being more aware of proper edge contact on the return stroke has seemed to help; so there is something to it.

    The other thing that helped was refreshing the CrOx on my balsa strop. Really helped get the edge back.

    Closer on Chin:

    Still working on this one. I seem to get SAS in this area but to get it to a higher level is slow in coming. Trying many combos of things hoping to hit the right formula. Having a keen edge is definitely a must.

    So progress and set-backs still come. But I am a patient man and enjoy learning curves. Still super-busy and have to go to a DE sometimes but always come back to the straight, it just feels right.
    Last edited by Grips; 05-22-2012 at 01:03 PM.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by .

    [U
    Edge Consistency:

    [/U]This is one I struggle with. I have touched up the edge with the lapping film. My order with Rick Boone fell through so I am still finishing with 0.5 micron on wetted paper.The first shave is great but then goes downhill. A close look at the edge looks like a very slight, possible rolling of the edge. So I puzzled and analyzed until my puzzler and analyzer were sore. I examined my stropping. I definitely did not strop just on the edge but noticed that on my return stroke that the edge was not always in contact. My theory is that while I am not stropping on th edge one side gets edge contact the other side not as much. so while not techniquely a rolled edge the results seem similar. Being more aware has seemed to help so there is something to it.
    I noticed the same thing a month or so ago myself. for me I had not cleaned all the lather off the edge, so a thin film was on it. after stropping this thin film of lather was still left behind, at a close look it was my return stroke lacking contact.
    I have not tried this but sounds like it could work. try leaving a thin layer of lather to dry on both edges, give it a few laps up and down your strop. if you have contact it should scub it clean. a loup would be of use here.
    feel and sound are a good indicator of correct stropping for me.
    Chris. - "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Sir Edmund Hillary

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleanshaved View Post
    I noticed the same thing a month or so ago myself. for me I had not cleaned all the lather off the edge, so a thin film was on it. after stropping this thin film of lather was still left behind, at a close look it was my return stroke lacking contact.
    I have not tried this but sounds like it could work. try leaving a thin layer of lather to dry on both edges, give it a few laps up and down your strop. if you have contact it should scub it clean. a loup would be of use here.
    feel and sound are a good indicator of correct stropping for me.
    That is a great idea Chris! I will have to try it. Nothing like some good hard evidence. If the film is gone on one side and not on the other, then contact is not being made. I am thinking more and more that the stropping is harder to get right than the honing. It is definitely both an art and a science.

  11. #131
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    I'm curious how your strop is breaking in. I've neet's foot oiled mine twice, and it seems to be slowly developing more and more draw. I have no idea how that impacts the edge when stropping, but it's another variable in the process.

    I recall we have the same Star Shaving hardware (?), so I wonder how yours is faring. Any noticable changes since it was new?

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraflier View Post
    I'm curious how your strop is breaking in. I've neet's foot oiled mine twice, and it seems to be slowly developing more and more draw. I have no idea how that impacts the edge when stropping, but it's another variable in the process.

    I recall we have the same Star Shaving hardware (?), so I wonder how yours is faring. Any noticable changes since it was new?
    I have not oiled it since I got it. Just rubbed it with my hand before stropping. It was quite supple to begin with so I haven't felt the need to oil. I have both Neet's and Dovo Yellow paste to try when I do. I find the draw slightly less than the Poor Man's strop which is English Bridle Leather as well; however, that one I did give it the Neet's treatment.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grips View Post
    Edge Consistency:

    This is one I struggle with. I have touched up the edge with the lapping film. My order with Rick Boone fell through so I am still finishing with 0.5 micron on wetted paper.The first shave is great but then goes downhill. A close look at the edge looks like a very slight, possible rolling of the edge. So I puzzled and analyzed until my puzzler and analyzer were sore. I examined my stropping. I definitely did not strop just on the edge but noticed that on my return stroke that the edge was not always in contact. My theory is that while I am not stropping on the edge, one side gets edge contact & the other side not as much. So while not techniquely a rolled edge, the results seem similar. Being more aware of proper edge contact on the return stroke has seemed to help; so there is something to it.

    The other thing that helped was refreshing the CrOx on my balsa strop. Really helped get the edge back.
    Hi, nice journal,

    I feel like edge consistancy is the only thing I can say I have convincingly become competant in! When I first recieved it, I also felt like the razor was sharp for maybe one or two shaves, but that no amount of stropping returned the edge after that. So, I would go to the Balsa, get a really sharp edge, two shaves, etc. etc. Finally, I caved and got the Norton 4K/8K and did what I could. After still not being satisfied, I quickly used my old 1k stone to set the bevel so that there was no doubt the bevel is set. Then spent the required time on both sides of the Norton again. Since setting the bevel well, I find the razor to stay sharp much longer. Only after 10 shaves did I feel like the Balsa may be helpful again.
    Razors don't shave people. People shave people!
    There are three critical types of moments in life: Times when we should be enamoured of the finer details, and times we should ignore the minutia.

  14. #134
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    Shave # ~85:

    I have been working on keeping the edge down on my return stroke and also hitting the balsa with CrOx more often (after 3 or so shaves). This has done wonders for my blade consistancy and quality of shaves.

    Shave 85 (or there abouts I've lost track) was a case in point. One of my best shaves. Still using the QCS Cayman. I think I finally got a handle on how to lather a tallow soap. Load the brush, then load some more, then....load some more. Also kept the temperature of my scuttle lower. I am now getting a really good lather and the lather is not breaking-down. The QCS is a great soap, very pleased.

    I had three days growth on this one so I used some Proraso Pre/Post.

    1st. Pass (WTG): Considering the growth (my beard grows in fast) very smooth. Big reduction in whiskers.

    2nd. (WTG): Did another WTG as I didn't feel the whiskers reduced enough for a XTG. No problems. I was probably at a SAS level after this pass.

    3rd. (XTG): Ear-to-mouth. The edge just went through whiskers like nothing. No tugging.

    Touch-up around chin and done. DFS all around. I don't really hunt for a BBS. I can get it with a DE; a few times with a straight; but my skin usually rebels after a few BBS shaves. DFS is great for me.

    I think too many people concentrate on shaving technique and honing and do not put enough time and attention to stropping. I certainly did. Just remember that being able to strop at speed without nicking/cutting your strop does not neccesarily mean you are stropping well. Keep in mind the purpose is to maintain/touch-up the edge, not look like a classic barber from the movies.
    Last edited by Grips; 05-28-2012 at 08:30 AM.

  15. #135
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    Nice to see the QCS is working for you too. It certainly is hard, like Tabac, the hardness makes it seem like you will never go through a whole puck. I find that putting a warm sheet of water on the puck while I am in the shower helps to soften up the top layer of the soap and makes loading easier. Either way, it is great product, since I started using it I still haven't used anything else for the straight shaves.
    Razors don't shave people. People shave people!
    There are three critical types of moments in life: Times when we should be enamoured of the finer details, and times we should ignore the minutia.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grips View Post
    I think too many people concentrate on shaving technique and honing and do not put enough time and attention to stropping. I certainly did. Just remember that being able to strop at speed without nicking/cutting your strop does not neccesarily mean you are stropping well. Keep in mind the purpose is to maintain/touch-up the edge, not look like a classic barber from the movies.
    Slowly learning this, while I do not try and go fast with the strop, I really think I put to much pressure on the blade. I do not do it on purpose, just trying to make sure I keep the blade in contact while stropping. I really think it has turned a couple of great shaves with the hair removal to OK shaves because of the irritation for me.

    How do you find your sweet spot of pressure between the blade and strop?
    -Daniel

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntingdan View Post
    How do you find your sweet spot of pressure between the blade and strop?
    I'm new at stropping and have the nicks in my strop to prove it, but I'm slowing homing in on the sweet spot of no pressure. Similarly to shaving, when increasing pressure cause the blade to dig into skin and what you should really be adjusting is the angle of the blade, I've found the same principle applies to stropping. I found I could get a good action going but tended to be a bit heel heavy, I couldn't find a comfortable way to fix my motion, so I fixed the strop angle instead. I tilt my strop so it's slightly lower at heel side so now I get low pressure contact across the blade with a motion I'm comfortable with. So go slow and see where any issues are, you may find lifting, lowering or tilting the strop is the easiest way to fix things. Once you get a good action muscle memory starts to take over and speed develops.

  18. #138
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    Those are great points. My biggest problem was unequal contact between the going away stroke and the return. I did not get consistent good contact with the edge. I was going fast, not nicking my strop and so thought I was doing a great job. Not so.

    Make sure the stropping is good then go for speed. Some speed and pressure is neccessary in my opinion to make the stropping work. Too much is no good either.

    Adjust things until you are getting good consistent contact both ways. Then increase speed. It's like my Dad always said, "learn to do it right; speed comes later".

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grips View Post
    Some speed and pressure is neccessary in my opinion to make the stropping work.
    Yeah, I'm probably erring on the side of too little pressure as I seem to need twice as many laps as experienced stroppers. I figure that's OK as I need the practice

  20. #140
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    what leather strop are you using?
    --Jon. "Love me some 14s"

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