05-04-2014, 08:32 PM
#1
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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Where do I even start? The mere idea of it scares the b'jesus out of me because I'm super accident prone. But I do want to see what this is all about and the straights are so gorgeous!

My question is this. Say I do end up liking straights. I end up with a shave ready one. How often does it need to be honed? What kind of maintenance am I looking at?

I like the idea of the artist club as a starter since the need to hone and strop is non existent. But does it teach the right technique or is an actual straight a totally different technique?

Where do I start?

Thanks for taking the time to help me out. Just don't want to have unrealistic expectations Smile

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 05-04-2014, 09:18 PM
#2
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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You should take a look at the wiki on SRP.

For a short answer: A shave ready razor in the hands of a beginner won't stay sharp very long because you don't have the technique to strop and shave properly yet. In you place I would look for a couple on the BST that are cheap and honed by someone not to far from your place so you could send them back to hone if necessary.

There is the possibility to use pastes and sprays to keep it sharp for a rather long time in between honings. Once you have developed the good technique a razor doesn't need honing very often, just stropping really and a light touchup every few months (by then you will be able to do it yourself)

If you're a impatient person straights are not for you probably because it takes a few months before you got everything down.

The Feather Artist club (or KAI for that matter) razors are excellent, blade is always sharp, no maintenance. Technique is about the same but you must use even less pressure then with a straight.

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 05-04-2014, 09:37 PM
#3
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Buy one traditional straight razor and one strop. Preferably a razor and strop you desire.

Make sure the razor has been honed by a reputable hone meister.

Videos and articles can help you figure out how to shave with a straight, its different from a DE but your DE experience should help you. The Feather razors are different from traditional straights and don't offer any gateway to them, that can't be found in having confidence.

Find a nice quiet time with no distractions, take your time and shave only a part of your face, like the cheeks to get you started.

I have cut myself and the cuts have been no mere nicks. Biggrin But that was me clumsily trying to find an angle of attack, that in hindsight was senseless.

Straights for me are occasional with long lapses in use. However it is a unique and good shaving experience and I hope you enjoy it.

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 05-05-2014, 02:56 AM
#4
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I started with a straight and then ended up going the feather route with a dx artist club in teak.

I don't have any real urge to go back, but after some 30 shaves my technique has come a long way. I now achieve super close/comfortable shaves and do not need to worry about dulling the blade. Above the lip still presents issues as I find it hard to get close without irritation, but hey it's a learning curve.

I use the Feather super blades and find them to have a good degree of smoothness by the second shave. A new blade needs to be treated with care but otherwise after that you can use it with a degree of confidence without worry.

The biggest challenge you will have coming from a DE is developing an awareness of the entire length of the blade; as using a steep angle or coming across a curve in your face will result in a cut, but you soon learn to tackle those with technique.

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 05-05-2014, 04:32 AM
#5
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Dustin,

If you want to shave with the straight razor, by Jove, then start with the traditional straight razor. The Feather Artist Club is a superb razor and will give you a superb shave, yes, but it does not embrace the complete, and colorful, ritual that comes with the traditional straight razor.

Every element of shaving with the traditional straight razors embraces its own set of skills: shaving, stropping and honing. At first, you need not worry about honing; find a professional to do it for you. Starting with, say, one quality and shave ready razor, and say you shave daily, you will need to have it honed probably in about three or four months, or until the blade starts tugging.

In the meantime, a proper stropping technique will keep that razor shave ready — you must strop before each shave. The strop does not sharpen your razor; rather, it re-constructs and re-aligns the edge for your next shave. I put major importance in the strop and the stropping technique.

All you need are a straight razor, preferably a 4/8 or 5/8, and a quality strop. Patience, tenacity and desire take care of the rest. I'll be delighted to mentor you, if you like. This is as good a time as any to start with the traditional straight razor. Don't talk about it, but do it, and if it click with you, you will never go back to anything else.

Good luck.

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 05-05-2014, 08:55 AM
#6
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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It would be cool if there was a loaner program before you buy to see if you liked it first you know? If I were to pick one up I'd want it to be a good one that would last a while and that means some decent money before I even know if I want to do it.

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 05-05-2014, 09:03 AM
#7
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I said when I started DE shaving in 2006 that I NEVER would use a straight. 7 plus years later and there could be nothing further from the truth. Place a Want to Buy on the classifieds for a shave ready 5/8 full hollow ground Solingen straight and purchase a reasonable strop and you are off to the races. I used to own over 800 straights ( be careful its addictive) and now am down to a couple that actually stay in the den. You need to do lots of reading first and asking questions like you are. Dr. Chris Moss has an excellent tutorial on http://www.shavemyface.com and the guys HERE and SRP are fantastic. It is sort of an organic process that just "happens". It is a life changing event.

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 05-05-2014, 03:36 PM
#8
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(05-05-2014, 08:55 AM)Lutebro Wrote: It would be cool if there was a loaner program before you buy to see if you liked it first you know? If I were to pick one up I'd want it to be a good one that would last a while and that means some decent money before I even know if I want to do it.

There are plenty of very good options that are about $30 or less for a shave ready razor.
Check the bst and hobbyist sections here and at b&b.

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 05-05-2014, 05:31 PM
#9
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I just got me first two. Refurbished by a hobbyist on another forum. Scary doing the fist shave but I got one pas in everywhere and followed up with a second pass with a de. No nicks. Second day was better. Third day better still. Today I used a de sue to lack if time but I'll go back to the straight tomorrow. Haven't cut myself yet and I am getting better. No strop yet but I did buy some leather cut offs from Tandy leather and just layed a wife piece on my counter to strop a little. In the process of making a 4 sides strip now to use some abrasives on felt. Picked up a boker razor in need of a restoration today at a junk store. Guess ill order some honing supplies and learn to hone on this one before it touch my others with a stone.

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 05-10-2014, 11:40 AM
#10
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Both Minimalist and Obie are correct. Learning straights is a time consuming process, The Feather AC series is a way to shave with a "straight" (I have several), but there is a "zen" like experience to true straight shaving. On a normal day I use one of my AC compatible razors, on a day I am rushed, it's a DE ..... but on a day where I have some time it's still a standard straight. The stropping is actually quite relaxing and you will get the hang of it soon enough. Be prepared for your first razor to need to get honed a couple times over the first few months as poor technique will quickly dull the blade. There are several great people here who can help you for a very reasonable charge.

I would recommend checking out whipped dog for your first straight. Get one of the blind starter kits. You'll get everything needed to get started for a very reasonable price. Once you get the process down, then you can look at more expensive items. You will slice your first strop sooner rather than later so the whipped dog is a great place to start.

I had the pleasure of being taught the basics in person by our own Obie, he's our own Yoda. Sadly I went up to visit with a cheap strop and a gold dollar razor and drove home after buying 3 or 4 more straights so perhaps visiting in person is not a good way to start.

(05-05-2014, 08:55 AM)Lutebro Wrote: It would be cool if there was a loaner program before you buy to see if you liked it first you know? If I were to pick one up I'd want it to be a good one that would last a while and that means some decent money before I even know if I want to do it.

Dustin, if you can find a strop from someone, PM me and I can let you have my gold dollar 200. It has been honed by Obie.

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 05-10-2014, 05:50 PM
#11
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(05-10-2014, 11:40 AM)wingdo Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 08:55 AM)Lutebro Wrote: It would be cool if there was a loaner program before you buy to see if you liked it first you know? If I were to pick one up I'd want it to be a good one that would last a while and that means some decent money before I even know if I want to do it.

Dustin, if you can find a strop from someone, PM me and I can let you have my gold dollar 200. It has been honed by Obie.

Dustin - If you take up Doug on his offer of a Gold Dollar honed by Obie, I'll set you up with a 3" strop. You'll be all set to go. PM me if interested.

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 05-10-2014, 05:53 PM
#12
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Super nice Ricardo! Next time I am in Miami I am buying you a drink!

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 05-10-2014, 05:55 PM
#13
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(05-10-2014, 05:53 PM)minimalist Wrote: Super nice Ricardo! Next time I am in Miami I am buying you a drink!

Harumph. Dodgy

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 05-10-2014, 06:57 PM
#14
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I'm in the same camp...I've been eyeing the straights and am quite a bit drawn to them.

Could someone break down in line item form what the rough cost associated with straight razor shaving is (apart from the initial razor purchase, soap and brush)?

Like oils, strop, honing stones, unicorn water, etc.

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 05-10-2014, 07:38 PM
#15
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(05-10-2014, 06:57 PM)Darkbulb Wrote: I'm in the same camp...I've been eyeing the straights and am quite a bit drawn to them.

Could someone break down in line item form what the rough cost associated with straight razor shaving is (apart from the initial razor purchase, soap and brush)?

Like oils, strop, honing stones, unicorn water, etc.

Whipped dog, $50ish for a complete starter kit including razor and strop.

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 05-10-2014, 08:53 PM
#16
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This video totally makes me want to start using a straight razor...

Look how easy it is Biggrin




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 05-11-2014, 09:52 AM
#17
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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TSN is amazing. A PIF from Jim at WSO, another offer from Doug and a PIF strop from Ricardo! Goes to show why I love this place!

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 05-11-2014, 10:06 AM
#18
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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(05-11-2014, 09:52 AM)Lutebro Wrote: TSN is amazing. A PIF from Jim at WSO, another offer from Doug and a PIF strop from Ricardo! Goes to show why I love this place!

The 8 and 12 k stones are in water right now as Im preparing to finish the hone on your straight right now! The scales and blade have been nicely cleaned up and polished a bit, the bevel is set(on a 1k) and refined a bit (on a 5k).
BTW isnt my wife an angel - Mothers Day and she says I know you want to finish honing those 2 razors (yours and one of mine), why dont you go ahead and do that and Ill go outside with the kids for a little while then you can start the grill for dinner- man I am lucky or what!
Anyway good things happen to good people & you are right - this place is great.

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 05-11-2014, 11:53 AM
#19
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
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Lutebro,
Please report your experience with the straight. Sounds like your getting together a nice kit. I want to experience it eventually, maybe sometime soon.

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 05-11-2014, 12:01 PM
#20
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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(05-11-2014, 11:53 AM)eengler Wrote: Lutebro,
Please report your experience with the straight. Sounds like your getting together a nice kit. I want to experience it eventually, maybe sometime soon.

I sure will!

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