10-12-2014, 01:52 PM
#1
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Well as the title says I had my very own first razor shave. Was it good not so sure lol. I have been wet shaving for over 7 years - over the last year exclusively with SE's. Well since last month started to get interested in straights and have been amazed at the nice looking straights out there. Well I took the plunge and bought a heljstrand off a fellow shaver on TSR - tonight it got its first outing. I shaved my whole face but the shave was poor - I could only manage WTG, couldn't get the blade angle right to go ATG or XTG. Also really struggled to get the blade right to shave my neck line. I found
The balde to keep pulling and tugging - think this was more to my technique than blade not being sharp. Well anyway had to finish and tidy up with my streamline. A positive had no weepers or cuts lol.

I have watched most of the videos and such on the forums but anyone have decent guides to holding the straight - I just don't seem to get the blade angle correct. I assume I should be able to get a bbs shave with a straight. )

Also received my strop today also haven't tried it as yet again I see on videos the blade is somewhat flat against the strop and a gentle swipe up and down - again anything easy guides to stropping or pointers most welcome.

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 10-13-2014, 01:38 AM
#2
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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For the angle on the blade I would start with about a 2 spine width gap between face and spine for WTG. You can adjust from there to see what works for you. I use less of a gap doing XTG and next to no gap going ATG. You just have to experiment a bit.

Stropping can make or break an edge for a beginner. It is awful easy to turn an edge when you first start to learn how to strop. That is from personal experience and seems common enough.

You want to have a hanging strop nice and taut but not to the point where you are struggling to keep every last bit of slack out of it. Strop spine leading and edge trailing. Yes, people have tried doing it the other way round. Spine and edge should be in contact with the strop and next to no pressure is applied on the stroke. As you come to the end of the stroke lift the edge off the strop all the while keeping the spine in contact and start reversing your stroke so you are already going the other way as the edge comes back down onto the strop. Do not go for speed when learning to strop. Speed kill, the edge and strop, at that stage. I mean nick your strop you damage the edge. Lifting the spine off the strop puts too much pressure on the tin foil thin edge and you wind up with a turned edge. Also if your strop is less than 3 inches wide you will have to learn to do an X stroke to cover the whole length of the blade.

Bob

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 10-13-2014, 06:49 AM
#3
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Bob

thanks for that - will try again in a day or two when i have a slightly heavier beard growth.

regards stropping so if i have understood the blade should horizontal with the strop so the side of the cutting edge is touching the strop - so would expect that the cutting edge is a couple of degrees lower than the spine due it the spines raised nature - sorry but i hope that makes sense - but i think i know what you mean.

i am getting a wide strop so i dont have to learn to X strop just yet Smile

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 10-13-2014, 09:16 AM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(10-13-2014, 06:49 AM)Nrahuf Wrote: Bob

thanks for that - will try again in a day or two when i have a slightly heavier beard growth.

regards stropping so if i have understood the blade should horizontal with the strop so the side of the cutting edge is touching the strop - so would expect that the cutting edge is a couple of degrees lower than the spine due it the spines raised nature - sorry but i hope that makes sense - but i think i know what you mean.

i am getting a wide strop so i dont have to learn to X strop just yet Smile

Just lay the blade flat on the strop. There are some videos on you tube that you may want to look at like this one
. You can always try practicing with a butter knife to get the idea too.

Bob

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 10-13-2014, 08:06 PM
#5
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Best of luck with your future shaves!
I too am still struggling with straights. My Weber DLC has made things so easy! Biggrin

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 10-14-2014, 11:12 AM
#6
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Thanks bob - video very helpful.

Well due another shave tomorrow so let's see what happens )

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 10-16-2014, 02:35 AM
#7
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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(10-14-2014, 11:12 AM)Nrahuf Wrote: Well due another shave tomorrow so let's see what happens )

Nrahuf,
Congratulations on trying a straight, Its a great way to shave.
The 2 best pieces of advice I got when learning are:
1: Take your time. If you rush the learning curve, you could end up with a unfortunate reminder.Undecided
2: Start with just your cheeks and use your DE for the rest of your face. This gives you a chance to figure out your: angle, pressure, pace and build confidence on the flattest part of your face.
Then as you get more comfortable and confident, start to expand the area that your using the straight.
You will get some great advice here at the nook, its a wonderful community.

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 10-18-2014, 03:44 AM
#8
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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The good news is, you most certainly can get a BBS with a straight razor assuming it is honed and shave ready. In fact, many gents will declare the straight shave smoother and more comfortable than other blades.. there is an obvious YMMV component to this though.

The not-as-good news is most will also agree that it's going to take a good number of shaves to master the straight (100 shaves?) and there after, it might be a shave or two each time you change razors as they each have a personality that needs to be discovered. Edge shape, length, grind, balance..all different with each straight.

It will take time but it's well worth it in my opinion. I am a devoted straight user.

(10-13-2014, 08:06 PM)celestino Wrote: ...I too am still struggling with straights. My Weber DLC has made things so easy! Biggrin

The Weber, in any flavor, is what moved me to try straights. Like many of you, I went on a quest to find that perfect DE. I tried countless razors and amassed quite a collection (most of which are gone now, save for some old, and rare iKons, a Tradere and a few Hoffritz). Once I found the Weber the game was over. It's DE nirvana. The quest, and the challenge, was over. With the Webers being so dependable ( I have multiples of all of them) I wanted a new challenge, and found it in straights.

Have fun. Take your time. Divide your face up and tackle smaller sections until you are comfortable to add more, and change direction. I am straight shaving for a good number of years and still I learn new ways to improve my shave. A tug in a different direction, a change in grip, an angle adjustment...all make for a smoother more enjoyable shave...

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