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Thread: Shave Journal - Ed

  1. #21
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    I would recommend picking up the poorman's strop kit from Larry at Whippeddog. You'll get an extra practice strop, and a balsa strop that is charged with chromium oxide and iron oxide, this is used for touching up an edge when the strop just doesn't seem to cut it. Larry will provide some instructions along with it. Then if you decide to stay with straight shaving you can look into investing into a more expensive edge care solution.

    http://www.whippeddog.com/products/v...-man-strop-kit


    Jim
    Tis merely a flesh wound.

  2. #22
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    Default Day 7

    Thanks, Jim, for the pointers to the refreshing materials!

    Day 7... my wife has been out of town for a little less than two weeks and is coming home today, so I need more than a haphazard shave. Gotta go for the DE today! Tomorrow for the first time, she will see the blade in action.
    Ed

  3. #23
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    Default Days 8 and 9

    1. Both days 8 and 9 combined straight with DE cleanup, and there was a fair amount to clean up... :-)
    2. Hardest spot is right side of neck. Left side of neck works best shaved with right hand, will try to shave right side of neck with left hand. This crossover technique works.
    3. Learning the straight shave has sort of raised my shaving consciousness so I am getting better results with DE shaving. E.g., ave returned to DE blade buffing technique on curviest parts of chin. This caused the only nick of the two days, underneath chin when I was DE blade buffing and not paying enough attention.
    4. It's clear that when straight shaving I need much thinner lather, otherwise the blade seems to bog down. Is this because I'm using such a flat angle?

    Ed

  4. #24
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    Sounds about right Ed, I know what you mean about the DE part, after awhile you will be amazed how much your DE shave will improve. IMHO there is no such thing as too flat of an angle so I suspect that it really is just a technique thing , it really is a slow process and your new girlfriend is a virtuous sort who will require a lengthy courtship before moving forward. It is also possible that after 9 shaves your razor is not as sharp as when you received it. between the stropping and shaving abuse inflicted during the start up period it would be understandable. It seems you have made a move toward acquiring some thing to maintain the edge? could be time. What part of California are you in? PM me and maybe we can make something happen for you.

    Ian

  5. #25
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    Default Day 10

    1. Pretty much the same as Day 9, i.e., a partial shave completed with DE, exploring different parts of the face with the blade but really just letting the hands accustom themselves to the razor and me accustom myself to putting it to my skin.

    2. Some drag pulling the blade through the lather.

    3. Per Sanfranciscian's suggestion I scored some After-Shave Replenishing Gel from the Nancy Boy store which is a couple miles from my house. I like cucumber smell so find the gel pleasant, but... never really used balms or any after-shave products before... so, the question is, with after-shave products, why worry much about the scent of the soap or cream... isn't it masked or removed by the scent of the after-shave product?
    Ed

  6. #26
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    Default Day 11

    1. Pretty much a one pass WTG using the straight. The difference today is that I remembered to use as little pressure as possible. Blade still feels draggy and I suspect Ian is right, that it needs a refresh.

    2. Used left hand for left side, right for right, switched to right to do left side of neck. Big remaining problem is rounding the chin.

    3. No nicks, no burn. Completed with DE. One reason for the DE finish is that with the higher level of attention and shave-consciousness one gets from using the straight, all shaving is more fun, and it's more fun to wind up with a DFS than the indifferent and spotty shave I'd be left with if I only used the straight.
    Last edited by erudolph; 04-23-2012 at 01:27 PM. Reason: none
    Ed

  7. #27
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    Default Day 12

    1. Ritual. There's more ritual in straight shaving than DE shaving.
    2. Am thinking that one reason the shave went better today, other than maybe having done this for one more day, is a better job of stropping. Stropped with more velocity (remember the barber when you were a kid) - much more velocity.
    3. There were still spots I was hesitant to put the blade to. In fact, had a slight tremor in my hand, an age tremor and certainly not fearfulness. That slight tremor appears from time to time and if it does when straight shaving I need to be careful about bringing the blade to skin. Once there everything's okay.
    3. Still haven't managed to do any sort of job of under the chin.

    over and out

    Ed

  8. #28
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    I like your observation on stropping. I believe that we newbies tend to start out stropping very tentatively and with out much velocity, so as a consequence are stropping is not very effective. I'll have to pay attention to velocity in my stropping and see if it makes a difference. You are making excellent progress, keep at it!
    -Robert

    S.A.S.S. & Proud member of Old Spice Mondays: -Go ahead, smell like your Grandpa!

  9. #29
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    Default Day 13

    1. Lathered with the new Proraso Red today, which I bought off the BST. I'm basically a long time soap user and this cream stuff is new. Had to squeeze the tube some to straighten out some creases and wrinkles from the previous user. The result was I had more cream than I would have otherwise. Bowl lathered, it made a huge amount.

    2. Started out with under the chin, the tricky area, not worrying about the grain too much, just short short strokes, a la blade buffing. Then cheeks. Switched hands when convenient. Once again, still not trying for anything resembling a complete shave, but did shave all parts of the face.

    3. Finished with DE: Fatboy and Personna 74 blade. This is the first Personna 74 I've tried and I'm on shave ten with it. Some of these have been full shaves predating the straight adventure, some have been two pass cleanups after straight shaving. The blade is still plenty sharp and is exhibiting just a bit of roughness which is heard more than felt.

    4. Starting to think that Nancy Boy After Shaving Gel might be causing me to break out. Who needs to break out when you're in your 60s??? Maybe the Gel in combination with some skin irritation from scraping the skin so laboriously?

    5. Ordered strop kit from Whipped Dog. Talked to Larry on the phone and he seems like a pretty good fellow! Kit should be here next week so I can attempt blade refreshing. At some point I'll drop the DE cleanup and let the straight razor be responsible for the entire shave. Maybe in a week, should be fairly comfortable with the blade by then. Actually, last couple days my hands have been a bit shaky during shaving, so... caution.

    Over and out.
    Ed

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by erudolph View Post
    Once again, still not trying for anything resembling a complete shave, but did shave all parts of the face.
    That's a great milestone ...congrats!
    -Robert

    S.A.S.S. & Proud member of Old Spice Mondays: -Go ahead, smell like your Grandpa!

  11. #31
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    Default Day 14

    Day 14.... thanks for the support beatnik. Are you really a beatnik? That -nik suffix takes me back. Peacenik, Nogoodnik, Beatnik, etc.

    1. Day 14 I lathered with some of the new Proraso Green that just arrived from Maguire's Barber Shop in the UK. 2.6 oz size. I just ran out of the old Pro Green and so am happy to have this new. Good size to travel with.

    2. One pass all over with straight. Had hoped the straight would feel sharper, since I watched some stropping videos before stropping it, but it didn't really. Maybe a little.

    3. For a few seconds there had a nice feeling of "the right amount of pressure," guiding the blade, etc.

    4. Tried for a little bit of a second pass on the cheeks XTG but on both sides the angle was not good so aborted.

    5. Very light single pass DE cleanup.

    6. This amounts to some progress, I'd say.
    Ed

  12. #32
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    Default Day 15

    1. One pass shave with straight only. Very good prep, using the new Proraso Green, bowl lathered. The Bonnyman small scuttle is just excellent for keeping the brush nice and warm after lather is produced. Also doesn't take much room up on the small, counterless sink.

    2. Stropped, but then watched a couple of stropping videos and read some about stropping and then, restropped. Perhaps the blade is a bit better today than yesterday.

    3. Indifferent results on shave, not too bad on neck, spent most of the time approaching the chin and jawline near it from different angles. Best result was on the spot where I used the smallest of blade buffing motions, small, small strokes.

    5. No DE cleanup. My wife would not find this to be one of the more romantic shaves.

    6. No balm after shave, just Dickinson's witch hazel. The Pro Green and the witch hazel make for a nice cool feeling!

    Over and out.
    Ed

  13. #33
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    Default Day 16

    1. I was going to take the shave-day off but a parcel arrived from Larry at whippeddog.com (somehow I doubt that he really whips that dog!). The stropping kit containing a piece of balsa with pre-applied abrasives. So I followed his directions: 20 passes on the green side, 20 on the red side, and 40 on the leather strop. I put the balsa strip flat on a table. Also, I noticed that Larry included some neats foot oil and recommended its use before the first strop. I believe Jim of Vintage Blades suggests skipping the oiling. Not really sure which is the way to go in the oil vs. no-oil school of thought.

    2. Shaved with straight only, lathering again with that Gold Dach I got off the BST. In retrospect I would rather have used the new Green Proraso because of its menthol and eucalyptus, good for newbie straight shavers such as me. The shave began as always with right hand shaving right cheek. The blade did seem somewhat sharper. Not like one of those sharp DE blades, but with less drag. Then the left hand doing the left cheek. The upper lip on both sides, then the neck on both sides.

    3. For last I saved the chin. I recall in the Lynn Abrams video Lynn started at the bottom of the chin/jawline and worked his way up in small strokes. However, I also seem to be starting at the top of working downward. Sometimes, too, when tightening the chin by tilting the head back, it seems as if I'm shaving, in part, by moving the chin against the blade. Not sure this is a good idea and don't really see any reason to do it.

    4. Spent a long time on the chin. The chin hair is gristly and tough, but I managed to reduce it to some degree. Better than usual.

    Over and out...:-)

    Ed

  14. #34
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    Default Day 17

    1. I like EvilZeg's shave journal notion, which is, don't journal every day but note the key points. Still, I'm journaling daily.
    2. Menthold Pro Green today. Straight shave only. Began with chin and worked outwards. Better shave than yesterday.
    3. Difficulty stretching skin around chin area. Got a little stinging cut on left jaw, below left corner of mouth, reallt this is part of the chin area. The cause: probably from trying to shave that left side of the chin/jaw with right hand, causing the angle to be too great. I've been keeping a fairly flat angle and thus, at the expense of less closeness, avoiding any sort of damage.
    4. I like that My Nik Is Sealed rollerball styptic!
    5. For really the first time used a greater angle and slowly brought the blade to the skin and kept the greater angle for the stroke. This is different from the keep it pretty much totally flat as it approaches the skin. The greater angle thing only works on areas where I can see clearly, such as the front of the chin. On the cheeks, where I'm looking out of the corner of my eye and the hand is blocking the way, still gotta do the flat approach.

    Over and out!
    Ed

  15. #35
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    Default Day 18

    1. After reading a few posts on the thread about the guy who tried to catch his razor when it fell off the sink, I noticed this a.m. that I was barefoot while shaving. Went and put on some shoes and a bathrobe.

    2. Razor stropped with attention to directing the pressure towards the spine of the blade and keeping the spine on the strop. Noticed that my strop has a curve towards the end I hold in my hand so avoided that part of the strop. It's a downward curve so that the tip of the razor is not quite in contact with the leather when it's at the very end of the strop.

    3. Hands not that steady today. Tested razor with sideburn to jaw pass. Felt okay, not real sharp, not at all draggy.

    4. Shaved cheeks and upper lip. Began front of chin below lower lip and noticed hand unsteadiness so switched to DE, a Fatboy with Gillette Platinum Plus blade, and completed nice, close shave.

    5. During DE shave noticed that the cut from yesterday is closed but every so slightly red and swollen at the margins, ever so slightly, so that it seemed a wise choice not to go over it with the straight today. With the DE I could really lighten up and glide over that spot, as opposed to the scraping of the straight.

    Over and out!
    Ed

  16. #36
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    Default Shave 19

    1. Shave 19, not Day 19, since I didn't str8 shave for the past two days.
    2. You expect incremental progress, either you slowly get better, or perhaps you give up. But the fact is that for me the str8 shave is like a bunch of components all put together, the sum of which is the shave. The prep of the blade, the prep of the face, the shave, and in fact, shaving each part of the face is its own piece of the result.
    3. I have no idea how the prep of the blade is going. Am I stropping properly? Dunno. I've ordered a second razor, per the recommendations of some here, with the thought of rotating it and also of the time when the first razor will need to be sent to a sharpening service. When the second gets here, shave ready, I'll shave with it before stropping and thus have an idea of how I'm doing on stropping the first.
    4. The facial prep I've got down.
    5. The shaving of the different parts of the face: cheeks go well, right with right hand, left with left hand. The neck and upper lip go fairly well, let's say okay, with more attention and labor required. The right side of the chin isn't bad. The portion of the shave that's lagging behind is the left side of the chin and the jaw near it. I use my left hand and it seems less steady. The approach is difficult. Much care is required there.
    6. Today's shave, Wee Scot + Gold Dachs soap (both nice, love that Wee Scot, though after three or four days with it I'm ready to rotate in another brush). One pass with str8. Quick light clean up pass with DE (Fatboy with Gillette Platinum Plus). The result: a Close Comfortable Shave. I'm surprised it's as close as it is.
    Over and out!
    Ed

  17. #37
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    Great post Ed!

    Quote Originally Posted by erudolph View Post
    2. You expect incremental progress, either you slowly get better, or perhaps you give up. But the fact is that for me the str8 shave is like a bunch of components all put together, the sum of which is the shave. The prep of the blade, the prep of the face, the shave, and in fact, shaving each part of the face is its own piece of the result.
    You put this well ...I enjoyed it very much. Hang in there and enjoy the journey.
    -Robert

    S.A.S.S. & Proud member of Old Spice Mondays: -Go ahead, smell like your Grandpa!

  18. #38
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    Thanks Beatnik. I am hanging in... :-)

    I'm not sure why I started str8 shaving, maybe because I was enjoying DE shaving so much and wanted to push it. Or, maybe it's the other way around, i.e., I'm enjoying all shaving more since starting with the str8. In any case, this practice where gear and skill meet is just real fun!
    Ed

  19. #39
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    Great journal Ed! If you like the ritual of shaving with a straight then you owe to yourself to learn honing. I am a newbie myself, honing for about two months and it makes a huge difference. The easiest and least expensive way is to buy lapping film in different grades (12, 5, 3, 1 micron sheets) and a piece of flat marble ~ 3x9 (home depot $5) or flat glass to using as a lapping plate. This will cost you less than $30. I have honed over 30 razor using lapping films and my edges are as good if not better than razors sharpened on stones. Let me know if you have any questions.
    ShaveReady.Net
    Find my GOODS at the Hobbyist section in the Marketplace
    Shave Ready Straight Razors
    Pre Shave Oil, Cella brick, honing & more!

  20. #40
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    Thanks Noah. I expect I'll be talking to you in the future about this. Right now, concentrate on the shave!

    Two questions: where are you in California? and what's your avatar a picture of?
    Ed

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