His results are good and so-so. The shaves have been good in the sense no blood (just one minor nick) and decent shaves. The so-so part is the shaves are not close shaves versus safety razors. His biggest technique challenge is using his left (off) hand. He notices a less close shave on that side of his face.
As for stropping, he's put a couple minor cuts in the strop but he's slowly learning to get the hang of it.
One good thing he reports is zero razor burn...one of my big issues.
He seems to be enjoying his straight razor apprenticeship and will continue.
Keep us posted on your progress, Para.
Last edited by retturn2blades; 06-27-2012 at 06:14 AM.
Echo Recon, 1st Battalion/5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, RVN 1968
When it's dark, who will kill the hungry wolf?
Pressure, Angle, Direction, stretching. Those are the things that should be foremost in your mind as you get set to make the first stroke in your first shave. Pressure should be fairly light. The weight of the razor plus the weight of a finger. Angle should be only just deep enough for cutting action. Begin with the spine of the razor against your face, and tilt it outward until you get cutting. If the gap between the spine and your face is about one spine thickness, it is about right. That is a 22 to 25 degree angle, approximatifically. One and a half spine thicknesses is about 35 degrees and is on the verge of being too much. Too much angle will wear your edge and irritate and cut your face. Direction is not always obvious. You need to get to know your face because the whiskers in one spot might grow exactly opposite to the ones only an inch away. The shave doesn't have to be exactly precisely WTG but it should be in the ballpark. Topography of the face sometimes makes true exact WTG impractical. Stretching the is particularly important. It pops the whiskers up so the razor can get them, and it flattens the skin. Taut, flat skin is harder to cut. Loose flappy skin invites cuts. You can stretch with your off hand fingers, and you can stretch by making "shaving faces", and in practice you will use a combination of both. Much of your DE shaving skill set will carry over into straight shaving. One difference is with a straight you have much greater angle control. Also you typically stretch harder with a straight than a DE.
I guess the only thing to do is when you get your razor, give it a go. Don't strop before your first shave. Your untried stropping skills will not improve the fresh shave-ready edge. If you find yourself without a strop, you can make one out of newspaper. Just fold a whole sheet lengthwise a few times until it is 3" wide or a little less. Loop one end over your towel rack and pinch both ends together, pull it tight, and walah. A strop. Not as good as leather but it will work. Use that before your second shave. Meanwhile order a cheap one for learning on. The www.whippeddog.com poor man strop kit is a good beginner setup. After a couple of months you can upgrade to a www.starshaving.com Big Daddy, and if the poorman is still intact, use it for a travel strop and a backup. The pasted balsa in the kit is a valuable tool for extending the life of your freshly honed edge.
A lot of guys will tell you to use your DE to clean up after your straight. I suggest you not use your DE as training wheels. Your straight shave will improve much more quickly if you totally rely on it. YMMV of course.
Banned for Life from "Over There"... TWICE!
My first straight shave left me with stubble that resembled what I'm left with after an electric... or about 48 hour's growth.
I did the 2nd and 3rd passes with my DE.
2nd night, I committed to the Straight, and it went pretty well, but my technique was bad and for the first month or so I was dulling my blades quickly.
Now after 6 months, I only think about the hones every 3 or 4 months, and the last time it was more of a maintenance thing where I just decided to sit down with all 6 straights and freshen them up. The two in my normal rotation were working fine, but losing the edge that allows for a bloodless ATG under the nose. I'd been getting weepers and some pulling on that pass.
I have been asking myself the same question. I have enjoyed the TECH immensely, but I have been wondering if grandpa knew something I didn't?
I'm gonna find out. My Whipped dog sight unseen deal shipped today. Should be able to try it b4 the 4th.
"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."
We can talk about it all day but the zen of straight shaving is best enjoyed - not discussed. It takes a while but you have a great sense of accomplishment when you master it. And mastering is not an impossible goal... you just need to practice.
Inventor of the world's first safety vibrating Kamisori with night light. Go to http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/299465-A-milder-Kamisori: Inventor of the Weckisori - (thanks sychodelix)
I Came. I Shaved. I Conquered.
Just do it! I went from a Mach 3 to a Red point straight and didn't kill myself-so you should be fine. Do it-just do it...
That which does not kill you will probably hurt like hell...
Well, my straight honed and in the mail, heading my way. Very exciting. Will update when it arrives and I've had my first shave.
Never went DE myself. I started on an eco kick decided I didn't need to put plastic into the landfill. 15 years learning the hard way.
Ok, well -- the straight arrived today! Look forward to trying it out tomorrow (heck, maybe tonight)!
I de's for 2.5 years before waking up 1 day.."im bored"..I need more of a challenge!..I never regretted it!..yea had my downs and ups..always told myself NOT to quit..too much time and patience "invested" in it
First shave this morning. It did not go well. Will post about it in a separate thread. But, in answer to my own question, I'm not ready for a straight. Not that I'm giving up -- no way. Just not ready for prime time.
Had hoped that, having become quite competent with a DE, the straight would be easy. No such luck. Didn't cut myself and nothing really bad happened. Just pulled and tugged like crazy -- so much so that I loaded the Fat Boy and the Futur with a Feather and Astra, respectively, and did it the way I know how.
Was disappointing but the silver lining is this community. I knew that the men here would have both the knowledge and the desire to help me. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to do likewise for guys then-new to the world of straights.
I don't know who honed it for you but if they are here and willing to hone it for you, most likely that is not the issue.
All newbies suffer from dull razor syndrome, blame the razor but the real culprit is technique.
Honing & Restorations
It may not be that you were not ready for a straight.
It could be that the straight was not ready for your face.
And even with a sharply honed blade, poor technique will also cause what you described.
Practice makes perfect. That being said I thought I was getting worse at it for the first couple weeks