04-25-2015, 12:23 PM
#1
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Been shaving with DE, Mongoose, Feather SS, DX straight handle and folding. Got a Ralf Aust 5/8 straight to try the ultimate experience. I notice that prep, cream or soap and technique are all key to a great shave. Razor felt like it was sticking and I am going to try changes to my prep. I use glycerin soap, then crown pre-shave and a number of different soaps or creams. Seems soap or cream are drying out faster and I need to constantly add water to my face. When mixed it isn't to thick. Also, the angle of the razor is almost flat compared to other razors I've been using. I did strop on a rough leather 30 times and 50 on the smooth leather. I want to try to replace the rough leather with felt. Use the SRD modular strop. Good news, just 2 nicks in places I have trouble with any other razor do to my face, not the shaving. Will have to pull the skin tighter as well. I did a wg and cg. Shave was pretty smooth considering. Love it and won't quit.

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 04-25-2015, 02:09 PM
#2
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Keep at it, you will get there.  Correct angle and no pressure is the key.  That is a great razor at a very good price.  I love mine.

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 04-25-2015, 02:12 PM
#3
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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If you have not done so, watch this excellent video by Lynn Abrams.  Watch and do what he says.  He actually used the Ralf Aust in this video.


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 04-25-2015, 04:20 PM
#4
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Congrats on the first straight shave. I'm one of those guys who believes that if you can shave well with a Feather AC, you can shave with anything. A couple of more times to get your new hardware in sync with your software, and you will have no trouble!

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 04-25-2015, 04:53 PM
#5
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(04-25-2015, 02:12 PM)Johnny Wrote: If you have not done so, watch this excellent video by Lynn Abrams.  Watch and do what he says.  He actually used the Ralf Aust in this video.

https://youtu.be/sDq-2ZRVYXA

I am big fan of Lynn and Geo's videos.  Lynn has been a big help both in his recommendations as well as his exceptional products.  Great to deal with.  His modular strop really makes it simple to strop a razor.  I find that the hard backing on the strop  makes a big difference in the results and you get everything you need in one system.  Tried a regular strop and the modular is head and shoulders better.  This is a great support for newbies like me.  Read and learn.

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 04-25-2015, 04:59 PM
#6
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(04-25-2015, 04:20 PM)Beadog Wrote: Congrats on the first straight shave. I'm one of those guys who believes that if you can shave well with a Feather AC, you can shave with anything. A couple of more times to get your new hardware in sync with your software, and you will have no trouble!

I could never get comfortable with the non-folding handle.  The SS is to narrow and the DX just doesn't fit my grip.  The SS folding feels much more natural and I can hold the angle better.  Hence moving up to the Ralf Aust.  I still like the feather SS folding if I am pressed for time.  The straight angle on the straight feels more comfortable then the angle on the SS.

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 04-25-2015, 05:53 PM
#7
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Cut

 Just opinion but the beauty of the straight shave to me is that when the stars all align it can deliver the best combination of close and comfortably smooth versus other shaves . But getting the stars to align is more difficult than with other ways. It does seem to be that the shave technique, quality of the blade edge and prep have to be at the same high level of performance  to get a great shave. Over the year for me its been when these are out of alignment that a bad shave results but the good shaves keep me trying.

I think your lather is drying on your face because straight shaving takes more time , its slower to do and its good to keep it slow and not rush and cut oneself. If I rush or go to fast due to overzealousness or get distracted in thought while shaving, disaster.

 You are right to emphasize skin stretching . When you flatten the skin for shaving you know the reason its done. To get more grip on soapy skin you can run wet fingers over an alum block , this will allow you to grip slippery skin, its an old barbers trick. Only down side is the alum can sting shaven skin.

So true to that you  emphasize  Prep its so important in straight shaving, also try hot towels as a part of the prep, it seems to play a bigger role in the straight shave.

In no way trying to say what to do, its just that your comments on what you are seeing and doing coincide with what I have seen over time to be important and you are right to notice them.

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 04-25-2015, 06:55 PM
#8
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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There is no harm in lathering your face as often as you have to, or even lathering half of your face and then shaving, then lathering the other half and shaving, to prevent the lather from drying out. 

Be patient, and don't rush things. I think that it takes a good three months to develop the skills to feel moderately comfortable shaving with a straight. After a year I now feel that 90% of my shaves surpass those that I achieved with a DE or SE, and now I can't imagine shaving with anything else. Have your razors professionally sharpened, and don't worry about honing until you've mastered shaving. I was fortunate to find a mentor who lives a short drive away. He has honed my razors, taught me the basics to maintain my razors, has shared his information about different razors, and has become a friend. I encourage you to find someone in your area. 

The most important thing, have fun.

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 04-26-2015, 01:57 AM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Like the others have said, it is a l o n g learning curve with SRs so patience is a must. Seems you have done pretty well on your first shave, congrats.

I would concentrate on the basics, which for me would be, creating a very good lather, the angle on the blade and light as in almost no pressure on the blade. You mentioned the blade sticking and an almost flat angle on the blade. There should be about 2 spine widths space between your skin and the blade, less going ATG. Too flat an angle combined with too dry a lather can cause sticking, been there done that. You should not have to add weight to the blade to force it to move, that leads to trouble. The blade should glide almost effortlessly over your skin. As others have said try lathering only the part of your face you will be doing immediately then move on to the next. 

You did not mention if you razor came with a factory edge or was pro honed by the seller before shipping. Factory edges have a reputation of being hit and miss. That is why it is important that the blade be pro honed to "shave ready" before shipping. If it was pro honed the first shave should be done without stropping to eliminate the possibility of poor stropping dulling the edge. Stropping a razor looks deceptively simple but it is not, especially for a beginner. One the second shave after stropping if the edge seems cut not as well as the first, unstropped, time you have a hint that your stropping needs work. 

Take your time, don't rush or force things or do anything that feels uncomfortable. It will all come together over time at your own pace.

Bob

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 04-26-2015, 06:02 AM
#10
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(04-26-2015, 01:57 AM)BobH Wrote: Like the others have said, it is a l o n g learning curve with SRs so patience is a must. Seems you have done pretty well on your first shave, congrats.

I would concentrate on the basics, which for me would be, creating a very good lather, the angle on the blade and light as in almost no pressure on the blade. You mentioned the blade sticking and an almost flat angle on the blade. There should be about 2 spine widths space between your skin and the blade, less going ATG. Too flat an angle combined with too dry a lather can cause sticking, been there done that. You should not have to add weight to the blade to force it to move, that leads to trouble. The blade should glide almost effortlessly over your skin. As others have said try lathering only the part of your face you will be doing immediately then move on to the next. 

You did not mention if you razor came with a factory edge or was pro honed by the seller before shipping. Factory edges have a reputation of being hit and miss. That is why it is important that the blade be pro honed to "shave ready" before shipping. If it was pro honed the first shave should be done without stropping to eliminate the possibility of poor stropping dulling the edge. Stropping a razor looks deceptively simple but it is not, especially for a beginner. One the second shave after stropping if the edge seems cut not as well as the first, unstropped, time you have a hint that your stropping needs work. 

Take your time, don't rush or force things or do anything that feels uncomfortable. It will all come together over time at your own pace.

Bob
This is what attracts me to the straight razor.  A challenge.  I was told if I am shaving right, you can hear and feel it from the blade.  The razor was purchased from a member and Lynn walked me through the correct stropping when I bought the modular strop.  His videos are fantastic.  I am starting from scratch using shaving cream and no pre-shave and then experiment to see what works.  I really had no problems shaving except for under the lip and chin.  Chin is always a problem because of surgery I had.  To stubborn to quite.

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 04-26-2015, 06:20 AM
#11
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(04-26-2015, 06:02 AM)A CUT ABOVE Wrote:
(04-26-2015, 01:57 AM)BobH Wrote: Like the others have said, it is a l o n g learning curve with SRs so patience is a must. Seems you have done pretty well on your first shave, congrats.

I would concentrate on the basics, which for me would be, creating a very good lather, the angle on the blade and light as in almost no pressure on the blade. You mentioned the blade sticking and an almost flat angle on the blade. There should be about 2 spine widths space between your skin and the blade, less going ATG. Too flat an angle combined with too dry a lather can cause sticking, been there done that. You should not have to add weight to the blade to force it to move, that leads to trouble. The blade should glide almost effortlessly over your skin. As others have said try lathering only the part of your face you will be doing immediately then move on to the next. 

You did not mention if you razor came with a factory edge or was pro honed by the seller before shipping. Factory edges have a reputation of being hit and miss. That is why it is important that the blade be pro honed to "shave ready" before shipping. If it was pro honed the first shave should be done without stropping to eliminate the possibility of poor stropping dulling the edge. Stropping a razor looks deceptively simple but it is not, especially for a beginner. One the second shave after stropping if the edge seems cut not as well as the first, unstropped, time you have a hint that your stropping needs work. 

Take your time, don't rush or force things or do anything that feels uncomfortable. It will all come together over time at your own pace.

Bob
This is what attracts me to the straight razor.  A challenge.  I was told if I am shaving right, you can hear and feel it from the blade.  The razor was purchased from a member and Lynn walked me through the correct stropping when I bought the modular strop.  His videos are fantastic.  I am starting from scratch using shaving cream and no pre-shave and then experiment to see what works.  I really had no problems shaving except for under the lip and chin.  Chin is always a problem because of surgery I had.  To stubborn to quite.
[quote pid='529382' dateline='1430056957']
I only mentioned angle and lather as you had mentioned the blade felt like it was sticking, which it should not feel like. Yes, you can hear the blade shaving if you have a hollow or extra hollow ground blade but with heavier grinds not so much or not at all the wedgier they are. Chins, jawlines and neck normally seem to give the most problems especially going ATG. Enjoy the challenge then.

Bob
[/quote]

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 05-01-2015, 10:44 AM
#12
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Keep the skin tight and taut always helps. Always try to keep as much of a level plain. Lynns videos have helped a ton. I also have the DVD they put out on SR shaving.

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