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1. Pretty much the same today as yesterday, i.e., sem-thorough pass with str8 followed by light cleanup with DE leading to a Close Comfortable Shave.
2. Noteworthy: stropped with the x-motion today and paid closer attention. I'd for some time suspected that the half of the strop-pass that brings the razor back to you was not being done as well as the first half, that takes the razor away. Seems to me that would lead to an unevenness of some sort of the blade, and possibly to the blade being less sharp when shaving the left side of the face. Don't know if that's a physical possibility, since the edge is so thin, but I did notice when oiling the blade after shaving, and looking at it closely, that the unetched side, i.e., the side that shaves the left side of the face, had some small diagonal marks spaced about 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch apart. Went to the strop and carefully stropped until they were gone.
3. Also noteworthy, when shaving chin and adjacent jaw, rather than switching hands at the middle, allowed the hand holding the blade to go as far to the other side as it could reach. So, the right hand shaved a portion of the left side of the chin and beyond, as did the left hand shave the right side. Seemed to work fine. Doing this was just "doing what's comfortable" which seems like a good way to go.
4. Over and out.
I tend to do that with my chin as well.
1. Lot to journal today. Second razor arrived in today's mail and so I was able to shave with a shave-ready blade not yet stropped by me. First off, let me say that it's a nice razor! Hart 6/8 round point. It's about an ounce heavier than the Dovo Best Quality I've been using (Dovo = 42 gms, Hart = 72 gms) and that seems a lot heavier. The build quality seems very good, the white resin scales are beautiful, and the detail is good, e.g., there is an allen wrench included for tightening the screw and the wrench clings magnetically to the inside of the box. Overall, nice.
2. I was reading Beatnik's and Noahpictures's journals and noting the awesome detail they include. A lot of specifics!
3. Lathered with the new Proraso Red. Probably not the best idea since that really amounts to changing two variables, the blade and the lather, but when last used the new Pro Red seemed to leave some moisturizing film on the skin and somehow (??) that seemed like a good idea (?) when using a potentially sharper blade.
4. After lathering thickly, the test pass, right side cheek with right hand, had approximately the same amount of drag as I've been getting with my Dovo Best, which indicates that I probably haven't dulled the Dovo with bad stropping technique. Did right and left cheeks and then approached the front of the chin: what with the unfamiliar heaviness (one ounce seems a lot heavier), the somewhat larger blade (6/8 vs 5/8 for the Dovo), I couldn't really get comfortable. I was working on miniscule areas, like 1/4 by 1/4 inch. Proceeded to shave the right side of the neck some.
5. In retrospect, I forgot to spend some time getting the heft of the razor, letting the hands accustom themselves to it.
6. One thing noteworthy, even though the drag seemed about the same (drag is exacerbated by flat angle, I think) the hair seemed to be cut better, more cleanly.
7. Tried to finish off with a Mergress that arrived in the mail today but I didn't like it. Don't seem to like Merkur razors. So switched to the usual Fatboy for a quick cleanup. Mergress is currently for sale on the BST.
Over and out... :-)
1. Saturday, I took about 35 minutes to shave, not that I couldn't do the same on a weekday since I seem to be more or less retired.
2. Went back to the Dovo 5/8 Best Quality and found it much more comfortable to handle than the Hart 6/8. Did some reading on the grind the experienced recommend newbies to learn with. In general they seem to say that full hollow is more difficult but I certainly had an easier time with the full follow as opposed to the quarter hollow Hart. Possibly because I'm used to it.
3. Lathered with new Proraso Green and spent almost all of the shave time messing around my chin and adjacent jaw. Everything else was more or less easy. The right side of chin seems relatively easy now that I see to reach around with my left hand, behind my head, and do a nice tightening of the flesh on the jaw, grabbing the right jaw between chin and ear. Doing the same on left side didn't seem to work as well. That left area will be the focus. Didn't hurt myself though... :-)
4. Quick clean up with Fatboy.
5. Over and out.
It sounds like your making good steady progress there ...keep it up!
Proud member of Old Spice Mondays. Go ahead, smell like your Grandpa!
1. Chin only, with Hart. Sometimes I'll want to skip shaving a day but the ritual and fun have become such a part of my life that I rarely do skip. At least not when I'm in one of these intense beginning learner phases.
2. Razor more comfortable in hand, more attention to skin stretching.
3. Interesting to note cheeks feel ever so slightly irritated even though I didn't shave them at all. Some artifact of face lathering or reaction to soap, I suppose.
4. Off to visit 95 year old Dad next week. To take strop or not to take strop?
Over and out.
You can aways strop on newspaper.
Tis merely a flesh wound.
Thanks Zeg. Found an interesting thread on newspaper stropping on another forum. The various stropping methods and the subtleties of each - it's wild. For a fine finish, try air stropping! (Just kidding.)
Lol. You can strop on the palm of your hand, or arm if your careful. I usually use my poorman's strop as my travel strop.
Tis merely a flesh wound.
1. Incremental progress. I'm suspicious of the expectation of incremental progress but inching slowly in the desired direction seems to be more or less the case. Packed up the Dovo Best to take back to Ohio with me. Will also take strop and Wee Scot. Already have DE razor + soap + blades stashed back there at folks' house.
2. Shaved with Hart, with a touch of nonchalance until reaching the difficult spots. The difficult spots are generally on the left. For some reason, it's as if the left side of my face is a very different shape than the right, because I can easily find a good angle on the right side but the left area for about three or four inches around the mouth... the good (i.e., safe) angle eludes me. But I'm determined and tried all sorts of different approaches. Took a long time about it.
3. After cleaning up with a DE I have a DFS.
4. Was reading some stuff on TheSuperiorShave.com and took comfort in the fact that my newbie arc exactly coincides with what Jarrod says is the arc of the typical newbie. I.e. (and I quote from thesuperiorshave.com without permission, hoping Jarrod doesn't mind and that my saying his site is laced with intelligently down-to-earth insights will compensate):
"Here's the general order of operations for the majority of beginners, which has little to nothing to do w/ the blade condition;
- Get poor, frustrating shaves w/ supplied razor, and finish w/ more familiar methods
- Gets increasingly better shaves w/ same razor, already a bit less sharp than before from use..."
5. He has more to say but I haven't gotten that far yet.
6. Over and out.
1. Flew to Ohio for a week, family visit, brought gear, including strop, which have fastened to handy bar in bathroom. Shaved last night for first time, 1 lengthy pass with straight, light DE cleanup.
2. Great DFS shave which is all I ever want, don't go for BBS.
3. The insight of the day concerns the fact that these one-pass str8, DE clean ups are such great shaves - i bet it's because the str8 shave is in fact a form of very lengthy prep. I mean lathering and relathering for half an hour...
4. Still eluding me is the proper grip and angle for left side of lower jaw and chin.
1. Away from home, didn't shave yesterday. This a.m., did my first real str8 only shave. Usual left lower jaw/chin area clumsiness, otherwise pretty aok. Being away from home I lathered with Wee Scot, no scuttle or bowl, just kept replenishing face lather with Scot, often just adding water to the lather already on face.
2. Not a bad shave really. I ordinarily don't cut myself but this morning I got a couple of tiny, tiny spots red on the lower left jaw/chin - I'm sure this was from belaboring the area with my left hand in order to complete the shave without DE cleanup. Touch of the styptic fixed them.
3. Straight shaving philosophical musing: I've never been a fan of BBS, DFS has always been plenty for me. Now I'm wondering if I'll be a fan of the ultra-sharp straight. The reason I'm wondering is this: from the beginning I'd worried, as many new str8 shavers seem to, if I'd dulled my blade with poor shaving and stropping techniques. The sharp edge seemed to be a grail. But today I noticed how I could bring the blade to my face without much worry and begin the stroke. Bringing the blade to the face has been the hardest part of the art, and the fact that the skin doesn't part when the edge touches down is, to me, a good thing. So, surgically sharp edge? Maybe not.
4. Over and out.
1. Somewhere between SAS and CCS. Cheated and did a teeny bit of chin cleaning with DE because I was rushed.
2. Able to bring razor to face comfortably without worry indicating blade is no longer scalpel sharp. That's fine with me.
3. Stropping much easier after watching video at thesuperiorshave.com
4. writing this on an ipad and can't see the cursor so can't correct typos. chin cleanup was with de. back home on wednesday.
5. over and out (p.s. discovered i can see the cursor by going into edit post mode.). thanks for everything b&b!
Last edited by erudolph; 05-14-2012 at 09:03 AM.
1. str8 razor only. i'm away from home but brought a strop that i bought from whippeddog and of course i nicked it somewhat badly immeediately. so, i bought a replacement leather from larry and put it in here and stropping is much easier - wasn't limited to 10" of the length... :-)
2. fairly comfortable shave two days in a row, still solving certain familiar problems. today i started on the easy right side (dominant hand) and did that whole half, including neck and chin. got one teeny nick right under the nose, on the approach. i was going closer to the bottom of the nose than i usually go.
3. left side harder as usual, in every way. more skipping, more awkwardness in the hold. finally got to the hard part, shaving the jaw close to the chin and the chin itself and today i went cross-handed - and did a different stretch. used left thumb pulling upward to get a good tight stretch. thumb was positioned with the tip of it just below the cheekbone and pointing downward. stretch was accomplished by pulling up. stretching seems to be the key ingredient for me, maybe because i'm in my 60s and my skin is looser? maybe.
4. more or less close comfortable shave. was fussing around with the left side of the chin for so long that finally i managed to nick myself on the underside of my jaw, just to the left of the chin, on the approach. decided to stop there.
5. i cleaned my gear, stropped, oiled and will pack it all away. tomorrow i'll use a de razor that i keep here and tomorrow afternoon i fly home.
6. one last weird thing - about how the mind (i.e., my mind) reacts to learning how to do this straight razor shaving. after shaving, i was on a long distance phone call to my brother, who wanted to know how things are here at home (our dad is 95 and our mom died a few months ago - those are the reasons why i'm here - so he'd have some family here for her birthday last friday and on mother's day). while we were talking i began vividly imagining that i was shaving with a straight razor, a sharp and heavy one, and that i was always at risk of slicing myself. it was quite visual and involuntary! weird.
7. over and out.
Last edited by erudolph; 05-15-2012 at 08:54 AM.
Ed, you really have a fantastic journal going here ...I'm really enjoying it. Again, it sounds like you are making sure, steady progress, keep at it!
Proud member of Old Spice Mondays. Go ahead, smell like your Grandpa!
Robert, there is something compelling about this kind of shaving... dunno, it really gets into me, or it's got me going, or something.
1. Flying home today, so DE shave. Flairtip SS that I keep here, an old Plisson brush that my Dad gave me 26 years ago on my 40th birthday. - what a great birthday present that was, something that gave and gives pleasure on a daily basis. But now it's been retired to the occasional use when I'm here visiting - and a Personna 74 blade. I scored a few of them and keep a 5 pack here. Very nice shave. Once again, the DE shaves seem much improved . I've been DE shaving quite a while, starting in the 60s on into the 70s, with the typical multi-blade hiatus through the 80s on into the early 2000s, then resuming the DE about 3 years ago, using razors and even blades that I'd had for forty years, and the same Plisson (don't know the grade but it cost about 100 bucks in 1985 - great present!). And my Dad was and is pretty frugal, so that was unusual for him. So... in short... I'd say the improvement in the DE shave is owing to the fact that straight shaving points out weaknesses in your technique.
2. Back to San Francisco. Over and out.
Last edited by erudolph; 05-16-2012 at 06:46 AM.
1. This was not a shave, it was a test. For the past several weeks I've been writing about how comfortable it is, i.e., easy, to shave with a razor that is slightly dull. I should have said how forgiving it is.
2. Shaved closely yesterday afternoon, but this a.m. stropped my Dovo Best Quality on a balsa board with oxides from Whipped Dog, then stropped lightly (I'm becoming accustomed to the feeling of "no more pressure than the weight of the razor on the strop) on leather.
3. Wanted to see the difference in the blade, so I lathered up with, for a change, AdP (hoping for more slickness) and set out to shave only my cheeks and upper lip. Well, as you see, I changed a number of things in the normal routine. I proceeded with somewhat greater carefulness than usual too, but it seems I increased the blade sharpness more than I increased my carefulness. Furthermore, I tried to shave the one spot that didn't get close yesterday: the concave area just under and to the side of the corner of the lower lip. In other words, in that spot I was shaving with an unfamiliar angle too. I guess there's a reason why that spot is often not as close shaven as most of my face.
4. Result: the first good nick in a long while. Lesson learned.
5. For a newbie, in some ways, a less sharp blade is good, but then, of course, one doesn't learn the proper carefulness.
Over and out.