01-18-2014, 10:20 PM
#1
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Anyone know if there is a honemeister in the greater vancouver area? I've decided I want to give a straight a shot but I'd rather worry about learning to shave and strop one before tackling the honing process.

Also, is there anything to stay away from for a first straight? I don't know anything about anything but I've liked what I've been seeing about the boker straights. I was thinking maybe a new king cutter or something along those lines. Maybe carbon and 5/8s or 6/8s. I thought about getting one of those Feather shavettes but they sound pretty unforgiving and a different experience than a good straight. Plus the straights are just so beautiful!

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 01-19-2014, 03:35 AM
#2
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I would buy your first razor shave ready. A 5/8 or 6/8 in size, half or full hollow ground would, preferably round point would serve you well. Even a 1/4 hollow would be great. The only thing I'd recommend avoiding at first, would be a wedge grind, because the audio feedback is not there (they shave great) and a spike point.

Where to buy? new or vintage? depends on your budget and what what you think looks nice. As long as it is of a decent make (Solingen, Sheffield, US) and it was honed properly, any razor would work very well. I bought some wonderful razors on the forums that I enjoy a lot and they were not very expensive at all.

I would not buy on ebay because what they claim is shave ready, even with over a 1000 positive reviews, can not be relied on period. They could be in great shape, like the one I bought recently, but it was *not* shave ready.

StraightRazorDesigns, TheSuperiorShave are the two names that are well known. Lynn and Jarrod worked hard to make a good name for themselves.
I bought a brand new Dovo Best Quality from SRD. Excellent service.
I actually do not recommend the Best Quality Dovo, not because of the blade which is fine, rather the scales very flimsy. I managed to ruin mine: I got water in the pivot (a big no-no), forgot to dry it, it rusted, the rust "glued" the scales and when I forced it open they broke. As you can see, it was not my fault at all...


You could also buy a nice vintage one here on BST, or on B&B or on SRP. On B&B, check the Vendor and Hobbyists page, there are some excellent deals going on there.

If you are thinking the feather artist club system, make sure you start with the ProGuard blades. I think it is a fantastic system, I have a CJB (Korean made clone) which I enjoy a lot.

Get a nice 3" strop with a replacement leather up ront, either from SRD or from Whippeddog, at the very least. I would not start with a smaller strop. Whippeddog also sells "unseen" razors. I am sure they are great shavers. I just like to see what I am buying. Part of straight razor shaving, for me at least, is the aesthetics of the ritual.

As for honing your razor or maintaining the edge. Once you get proficient enough with shaving you can either send it out for $20 plush shipping, or your get do it yourself, depends how much time you have to spend on this hobby.

For me, since I don't speak Czech, I don't like going to the post office, not one little bit. I got my hands on some lapping film and decided to touch up a blade myself. I then banged the tip of the razor on the desk... so I had to do a full progression... it turned out just fine. In fact, it is my currently favorite shaver. It could have been beginners luck, or maybe I'm gifted... it is not rocket science you know.

Anyway, pick up the path that looks the best to you and keep us updated on your progress!

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 01-19-2014, 05:24 AM
#3
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A lot of good info, thanks. I guess I'll have to weigh out if sending it from Canada every time it starts to get dull is worthwhile. I'm hoping to to find someone who does it around the area so I can focus on shaving with it first. If I do find someone, it seems like I'd only need a strop? I was looking around and it appears like a paddle strop might not be a bad idea and like you said, 3" wide so you don't have to worry about any patterns.

I don't like the idea of not being able to get the pin/scales wet though considering you're working with a wet brush between passes and having to rinse it off under the tap. Is this something is all straights have in common?

For whatever reason this got my attention but it appears to have the square tip. Maybe something like this or this would fall under your suggestions better.

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 01-19-2014, 06:01 AM
#4
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I'd start with a shave ready Gold Dollar from Buca3152 over at B&B for $20, find out if you like it first, then go nuts....Tongue

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 01-19-2014, 06:31 AM
#5
  • u2u
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Been using straights for fifteen years and I get the pivot wet every use. Just dry the razor before putting it away. A light layer of oil if you desire as insurance. Recently I have taken this added step using products from Classic Shaving and Dovo. Never an issue with rust. Razors are expected to get wet.

Your first Boker selection is an elusive piece. Some, including one Boker vender, have called it vapour ware. It seems SRD rarely has Boker stock but they advertise a good price.

If you are set on a Boker, MenEssentials in Toronto has stock as does Superior Shave and The Invisible Edge. I name them because I have dealt with all three with success. I have a bias towards MenEssentials as they have a store in town, offer extraordinary service, and are a ground breaking Canadian business.

On the forums there is a tendency to fret excessively over minutia. You can go for a long time, as in years, maintaining a good edge by applying a pasted strop as necessary. Don't let the need to hone dissuade you.

Hope you enjoy sifting through the forum and selecting a straight.

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 01-19-2014, 06:36 AM
#6
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The boker ones look very nice. I have a vintage "Good As Gold" boker en route and I cannot wait.

After a few months I finally managed to keep the handle area dry during the shave even though I kept rinsing it. Some folks don't rinse the blade rather wipe the lather on a towel. I tried that and it didn't work for me.

In the meanwhile, pass a paper towel through the scales and get them dry inside as much as you can. Also, I use Ballistol to oil the blade and I apply it to the pivot after each shave. It penetrates inside and when it dries it forms a protective gel-like layer on the surface. I got the recommendation for Ballistol from Obie. The only thing is that it does have a scent (while I did not like it, my wife thought it was a nice smell). I let it air before putting it back in the case.
Others use paraffin oil.

Another option is to buy a stainless steel razor, aka INOX steel. Dovo and Boker make them. Dovo has a model with metal scales, while I have not tried it, I would ask if the scales are heavy and if they through the razor off balance. A friend of mine gave me a Thiers Issard razor with heavy stainless steel scales that I find useless and will have it rescaled at some point. I have a 6/8 Henckels Friodur razor. The Friodur line are INOX steel. One of my favorite razors. It is really superb with wonderful balance. My above mentioned ebay purchase was for a 5/8 friodur. While not shave ready, it is really wonderfully built and designed. Note that INOX steel will rust if abused, but in a very slow rate, slow enough to sustain an occasional user mistreatment. Carbon steel does not.


I have a 3" wide paddle strop from starshaving. I am not thrilled with it, unless you hold it in air, there is no "give" to it, so you have to be careful not to apply too much pressure (beginners error) while stropping. A hanging strop might be more forgiving. Both are tough to explain to guests if you leave them in the bathroom....

I bought one of my razors from Brooksie967 on B&B, he is from Nova Scotia, not sure if it helps you being in Vancouver, but he might know the "hood" better in your area. About honing. Even if you have a local guy in town, you still have to drive to him and back. You can probably touch up a blade just fine on blasa with crox poweder (whippeddog sells those, others as well). But if your razor does not have any real issues, I think it makes more sense to buy some lapping film (its very cheap) and do it yourself. If *I* managed to do it, anyone can.

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 01-24-2014, 09:02 AM
#7
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I don't like the idea of not being able to get the pin/scales wet though considering you're working with a wet brush between passes and having to rinse it off under the tap. Is this something is all straights have in common?


Sorry to tell you, most str8s aren't going to be too happy with any water in there. The "Best Quality" Dovos are particularly absurd in their tolerances, however, due to the horribly fragile scales given to it.

Though I'd still recommend doing everything possible to keep water out of there, the only blades of modern production that I can think of which likely won't care if you dunked the whole thing in water are Dovo #s 4155846, 1055835, & 1055865.

Ballistol's terrific; head and shoulders better than all its competitors to me. I just don't use it b/c it is a lil' bit messy & I'm def. a whiner about that. But if there's another similar lubricant which allows evaporation of unintentionally-covered moisture, I'm not familiar with it.

Something I don't see mentioned a lot on forums about the pivot pin, and should be; nothing works like lithium grease in that pivot pin zone! Get a shot in an unused, bone dry razor right where it matters and the tension is properly "emulsified" (remember, this stuff's used for car door hinges) and moisture's got no space to do its job.

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 01-24-2014, 11:37 PM
#8
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(01-24-2014, 09:02 AM)kwigibocity Wrote: I don't like the idea of not being able to get the pin/scales wet though considering you're working with a wet brush between passes and having to rinse it off under the tap. Is this something is all straights have in common?


Sorry to tell you, most str8s aren't going to be too happy with any water in there. The "Best Quality" Dovos are particularly absurd in their tolerances, however, due to the horribly fragile scales given to it.

Though I'd still recommend doing everything possible to keep water out of there, the only blades of modern production that I can think of which likely won't care if you dunked the whole thing in water are Dovo #s 4155846, 1055835, & 1055865.

Ballistol's terrific; head and shoulders better than all its competitors to me. I just don't use it b/c it is a lil' bit messy & I'm def. a whiner about that. But if there's another similar lubricant which allows evaporation of unintentionally-covered moisture, I'm not familiar with it.

Something I don't see mentioned a lot on forums about the pivot pin, and should be; nothing works like lithium grease in that pivot pin zone! Get a shot in an unused, bone dry razor right where it matters and the tension is properly "emulsified" (remember, this stuff's used for car door hinges) and moisture's got no space to do its job.

Is the Ballistol what you coat the blade with, post shave?

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 01-27-2014, 12:05 PM
#9
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Yes, u apply Ballistol post-shave.

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