04-11-2018, 06:14 AM
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Quote:Anyway, all told, I had to use the Schick Repeater in one spot on the left neck.  And then, near the end of the shave when I realized that I was in a big hurry, I actually pulled out the Atra to clean-up the chin and jawline.  And wouldn't you know it, I got a weeper from the Atra!  No weepers or cuts from the straight razor in a couple of weeks.  So I stand by my prior assertion that, at least in some ways, a straight razor actually seems safer to me than a safety razor (or, in this case, a cartridge razor!). 


Kingfisher, I'm about 200 shaves in with the SR, and I've found this too. Other than a small nick on my 3rd shave, I haven't drawn blood with the SR. However, when I choose to clean up with a DE, I've found that I will sometimes get some small 'spots' of blood.

Since the DE has a safety bar that stretches the skin a bit before the blade cuts the beard/skin, I'm thinking it's possibly because with the SR, you can adjust the amount of stretching.

Also, FWIW, my first pass is north/south, second pass south/north on the neck and XTG on the cheeks. I've found that my beard grows downward and definitely west to east on both cheeks. So the first part of my XTG is ear to nose on the left side of my face, and then nose to ear on the right side of my face. I was getting some slight redness on my right cheek before I started doing this because I was doing ear to nose on both sides of the face. Now that I'm going XTG but with the grain, that has disappeared.

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 04-11-2018, 03:03 PM
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Randall,

I have be using straights solely for over 3 years and I was always shooting for that BBS and then about a year ago I finally accepted the fact that a BBS is not going to happen every time so rather than chase that BBS at the risk of a cut or razor burn I just accept what I get and it’s usually a DFS that’s very close and comfortable but sometimes. I do get that BBS when all is going my way, as I have said it does not matter how keen an edge is a blade will only cut the hair to skin level so stretching and good hydration of the skin is paramount along with a good lather that will soften than hair.

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 04-12-2018, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for the pointers and encouragement, gentlemen. 


SR #60, open blade #97 this morning.


Went back to Sudsy Soapery in the Cola scent. It really lives up to its name; it lathers up very sudsy, which I generally don't like. If you keep at it, though, it gets better, although it remains fluffier than my usual soap's lathers. HOWEVER, I get outstanding shaves with this soap. The scent I kind of like, if only because it doesn't smell anything like any other soap I've ever used. 

Anyway, on to the shave. Really good this morning. I stropped it well last night and it appears to have paid off. Either that or there are just so many variables and a lot of them lined up for this morning's shave. 

Two passes on the neck, chin, and mustache area, three on the cheeks. CCS+/DFS- all over, without any irritation at all. No cuts, nicks, or weepers. My face feels great after the shave. No sting from the Myrsol. 

All in all, another winner. And just like that, I'm back. [Image: clear.png]

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 04-12-2018, 09:33 PM
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Glad to hear this good news, my friend! Keep it up!

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 04-13-2018, 09:05 AM
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A bit less successful today, but not too bad.  Got some irritation on the left side of the neck when I tried a new approach; a cross-handed XTG on a tricky part of the neck.  Felt awkward, and ended up irritated.  No cuts or anything.  

Used Obsessive Soap Perfectionist and cleaned up with a Schick.  A bit of burn in the trouble area with the splash.  

This was straight shave #62 and open blade shave # 98.   

Tomorrow is another day.  It is interesting how much the shave varies from day to day.  Don't get me wrong, today's shave would have pleased me no end if it had happened 3 weeks ago.  It would've been my best shave yet.  Expectations have changed, and now that I  know what a good straight shave feels like, I'm a bit disappointed when I don't get what I want.

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 04-13-2018, 12:42 PM
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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You're getting there, congrats. Remember that when talking about straight razors, the razor doesn't cause razor burn. Razor burn comes from the honing or the technique!

Cheers, Steve

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 04-15-2018, 11:09 AM
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SR #62, open blade #99 yesterday; DE this morning (Sunday is my day off of open blade stuff)


So, funny story. Friday evening I decided to refresh the edge on my ZY razor, so I did 15 laps on the CrOx and 15 on the FeOx. Then I remember thinking, "Time to strop this up good." 

On my very first lap, I started to turn the razor over its edge instead of its spine! I have no idea why. I have never honed a razor, only stropped, so I have never intentionally turned a razor that way. I had just finished 50 laps of turning the razor on its spine. What in the world was I doing??? 

I stopped in horror immediately as soon as I saw what I was doing, and then thought, "Now what?" The only thing I could think was that perhaps I had ruined the edge or dulled the edge. So the only thing I could do is try to sharpen it again. So, I went back to the CrOx and the FeOx again, and then stropped. After all that, I tested it with some treetopping on my forearm, and it seemed to be cutting well, so I put it away for the evening. 

On Saturday I had a lot of yard work to do in the morning, and then I went to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls (weather was finally nice), and then came home and took a shower. Even though it was after two in the afternoon, I decided to shave, for two reasons: 1) I like it, and 2) to see how the edge was. I was thinking, I really wish I had some lime-scented soap! Then I remembered that I had a sample of Soapy Science in the Citrus Lollipop scent, which is mostly lime. So I lathered that up and set to work. 

The edge was fine. I did 2 passes and called it good. I didn't use any other razor. No DE, no Schick Repeater. Just the straight. It was SAS, and not much beyond, but I was OK with that because it was afternoon and I knew I was going to shave again early Sunday morning. 

So, I guess a lesson learned. Even when something doesn't go like I planned, I can figure out a way to get it back to workable. Going back to the pasted balsa was the right call. 

This morning I used an RFB NEW loaded with one of those cheap Chinese blades that came with the cheap Chinese copy of the Futur. Shave went fine, but I really missed the straight razor. The DE just doesn't have the same feel on the face. I remember how much I hated that feel on my very first straight razor shave.

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 04-16-2018, 08:18 AM
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SR #63, open blade #100 today. 


Big milestone, I guess, at 100 open blade shaves (Feather SS kamisori makes up the difference between the two totals).  

This morning I went with the ZY again and the Lollipop Citrus from Soapy Science.  Three easy passes on the cheeks, two on the neck.  Went for about 4 on my chin, and paid for it with some irritation.  There are a boatload of tiny little gray hairs on my chin that I just can't seem to get smooth with the SR.  It LOOKS smooth, but it doesn't FEEL smooth.  So this morning I tried to get it so that it FELT smooth, but now it pretty much just feels irritated, lol.  

Guess I learned another lesson.  Otherwise, a pretty good shave.  

Oh, and I just heard from Will that he finished honing my other two SRs, and that they will be in the mail back to me pretty soon.  I'm looking forward to trying two different JNAT edges on two different razors.  I'm anxious to see whether I can even tell the difference.

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 04-16-2018, 04:49 PM
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Randall,

One razor was slightly warped and hopefully I got the edge to your liking, the other was pretty straight forward, the one not warped was honed on a Nakayama Kiita with a double tomo slurry and stropped the warped edge was done on a Nakayama Kiita like stone but much harder and gives somewhat of a surgical edge that I softened with some water only laps on a coticule but not enough to get rid of the JNAT edge.

Both started at the 4K for a fresh bevel then 8-12k and then the finisher, I hope the edges shave well for you, also tightened up the blade that was loose

[Image: uFSUNwO.jpg]

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 04-16-2018, 06:35 PM
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Wow. Thank, Will.  I had a feeling that the black one had a slightly warped blade, but because I lack experience I wasn't sure.  

Can't wait to try out the edges.  

Thanks for tightening the pin, too.  I felt like it was kind of dangerous when the pin was that loose (not during the shave, but at other times).

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 04-17-2018, 11:18 AM
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SR #64, open blade #101 this afternoon.


Off this week from work, preparing for a trip today, so another late shave.  Did some more clean-up from the windstorms we've had, vacuumed out my car, and did a variety of other things.  By the time I got around to showering, it was about 1 p.m.  Decided to shave anyway, because why not?  

Used Soapy Science again, this time in the "Doc's Special Blend" scent (named for me!).  This is a great scent.  Has some peppermint and/or spearmint, definitely has wintergreen, and some vetiver (not smoky).  It's just a very interesting scent and it has a bit of cooling even though I don't think it has menthol in it.  

Three easy passes on the cheeks led to CCS+ there, without irritation.  I approached the chin a bit differently, with better success.  Two passes on the neck was SAS.  Cleaned up a little there and along the jawline.  Great shave.  

I applied a little Stirling aftershave balm in the lime scent and I was good to go.  No muss, no fuss today.

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 04-23-2018, 09:16 AM
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SR shave #65, open blade #102 this morning. 


Just got back from New Orleans yesterday.  Fired up the straight razor this morning for the first time in a while.  While gone, I used the Schick Repeater, except on Saturday.  I played bass guitar in a band back in med school and they begged us to get back together to gig Saturday night.  The gig was at Galatoire's, a famous, upscale restaurant (more of an institution by now) on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.  We practiced almost all day, and they needed all the equipment set up by 5 p.m. so as not to disturb the dinner guests.  By the time we finished practicing we had maybe 30 minutes total to get showered/shaved and get the equipment over there.  So I used an Atra and for software some I Coloniali cream just applied quickly by hand.  It got the job done, but it was nothing like a good shave should be.  

I had to get up really early on Sunday morning to catch our flight and we had very little sleep, so I decided to forego the shave on Sunday (yesterday, for those of you keeping track).  So this morning I had a day and a half's growth off a terrible one-pass cartridge shave, so this was more stubble than I've ever had for the straight to tackle. 

First pass went great except that on the densest parts of the neck it was tugging a bit.  I switched to the Repeater to finish the first pass.  Second pass (Chimensch style) and third pass (XTG on the cheeks) went smoothly.  Touched up a bit along the jawline and had a great shave.  It felt really good to get back to the straight razor.  

I'm looking forward trying my other two straights, honed by Will, that will be awaiting me when I get home from work today.  



Oh, by the way, the gig went fantastically.  We had a good time, the crowd had a great time, too.  And, just for fun, here's a little side story about the gig.  I told the bass player, who lives close to New Orleans, that I would play with the band, but that I wasn't going to haul my bass and my amp to the gig, so he would have to find equipment for me.  He said he would do so.  

So, I opened up the soft case to take a look at what instrument he got for me.  I found a classic Gibson in there that had obviously be well loved and often used.  The stain was completely worn off the back of the neck in the areas most often played, and there were chips here and there from drops.  An instrument that had clearly seen thousands of gigs.  I asked Chuck about the bass.  He told me that it was found floating in the streets after Katrina.  Nobody knew who it belonged to.  A friend of Chuck's pulled it out of the water and took it his music shop, where they dried it out and replaced the pickup and all the electronics, which had been destroyed (obviously).  They then put strings on it and gave it a try.  Everybody loved the tone.  Since then it has once again been involved in hundreds of gigs, and everybody who plays it loves its warm, full tone.  They call it "Swamp Thing."  

So, yeah, I got a chance to put one more gig's worth of wear on it.  It was a privilege.

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 04-24-2018, 05:57 AM
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SR shave #66, open blade shave #103 this morning.


Used Sudsy Soapery in the Lavender/Peppermint scent (thanks, Chris!).  This morning I think I got the best lather I have ever made with Sudsy Soapery.  It was just perfect.  

For the razor, I used my Tilquin (apparently these were made by LeGrelot but for the Dutch market, so they used a different name).  It was just back from a quick trip to Texas, where it was honed by Will (thanks, Will!).  

So, I was eager to try out the razor after its fresh honing.  I had received the razor in trade, and had shaved a few times with it, but it had a couple of problems.  The first was that the pin was way too loose.  The second was that it appeared to me that the blade itself was at least slightly warped, making it hard for me to properly strop.  Finally, it was sharp but not as sharp as I would have liked it to be.  Will was kind enough to fix the pin as well as hone the razor.  He also confirmed my impression that the blade was a tiny bit warped, but apparently not so much as to make it not functional.  I pulled it out of the package last night and was pleased that the pin was perfect.  All that remained was to find out how the edge was. 

On the first couple of strokes, I could tell that the edge was keen, but I still felt just a little tiny bit of tugging, but thereafter I think I adjusted the pressure and angle very subtly and the razor just started shaving off the stubble with almost complete smoothness.  It was like the heavens parted, rays of light came shining through, and angels were singing (OK, maybe not quite like that, but close).  I did the entire first pass without any problem whatsoever.  It just sailed smoothly through the stubble.  Wow.  Best edge I've ever tried.  (Take that with a grain of salt, since I've only used three razors and I only have 66 shaves under my belt, but still it was very nice.) 

Second pass like butter.  Third pass XTG like butter.  I was running late, so I touched up the neck and jawline with my Atra.  I really wanted to try some new approaches to a third pass on the neck with this awesome edge, but I didn't think rushing something I'd never tried was such a great idea.  

CCS+/DFS- all over.  No nicks, no cuts, no weepers, no irritation.  Nada.  Just a great shave.  

Have a wonderful day, gents.

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 04-25-2018, 05:27 AM
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SR shave #67, open blade #104 this morning.


Once again went with Sudsy Soapery in the Lavender/Peppermint (thanks, Chris!).  I'm really digging Sudsy Soapery more and more the more I use it (and yes, I did just use the word "more" 3 times in one sentence and once in a parenthetical phrase).  

I was torn between using the same razor as yesterday to see how well I could keep the edge through good stropping versus using the Noonan and Sons razor that also came back freshly honed so I could compare the two edges (they were honed with two different JNATs).  Ultimately I decided to use the Noonan so the memory of the Tilquin edge would be fresh and I could do a reasonable comparison. 

Remember when I said the Tilquin had the keenest edge I'd ever used?  Forget about that.  The Noonan was even sharper!  Maybe not QUITE as smooth, but definitely sharper.  Wow.  

When I first started, and I heard that high-pitched shaving sound (the Noonan is a full hollow), I worried that it wouldn't cut through the stubble.  I've always thought that the full hollows didn't have enough structural integrity.  Turns out I was wrong.  

Went through everything with ease on pass 1, including the densest parts on the chin and neck.  Second pass smooth, as well.  Went a bit more XTG on the neck on pass 2 rather than just a second WTG like I've been doing.  Went well.  Third pass true XTG on the cheeks was fine.  Very sharp blade.  Didn't have time for anything more so I cleaned up the neck/jawline with the Atra and called it a day. 

Got to DFS on the cheeks, DFS- on the chin/mustache area, and SAS+ on the neck with the straight razor alone.  No cuts, no nicks, no weepers.  A tiny bit of irritation where I was applying too much pressure in a couple of spots, but very little.  

Another good shave.  I'll probably go back to the Tilquin tomorrow.  

Have a good day, gents.

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 04-25-2018, 05:56 AM
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Congrats sounds like your getting along great. Focus on your stropping and maintaining your edge. Once that is going well you can disappear down the rabbit hole of honing to refresh your edges. It’s good to see you enjoying the straight

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 04-25-2018, 06:24 PM
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Randall,

Glad you liked the edges and yes the second razor you used gives a keener almost surgical edge that is a tad harsh for some so I always try to soften it some by doing some water only laps on a LV coti but not enough to get rid of the JNAT edge, it should soften up after a few shaves and be comparable to the first edge.

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 04-26-2018, 05:15 AM
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Thanks, Will.  You did good work on these razors for sure. 


SR shave #68, open blade shave #105 this morning


Sudsy Soapery in the Cola scent today.  I like this scent better now that I know the scent notes are essentially lime and bay.  I guess once they made it they noticed it kind of smelled like Cola, but it really doesn't, at least not all that much.  Anyway, it's pleasant and I had a good lather. 

Back to the Tilquin today.  Stropped it up last night.  Felt sharp and smooth again this morning.  I had a bit of trouble in the hollows of the neck again, especially on the left.  When this problem arises, I just put the razor down and hit that area with something else.  I don't stress about it.  I know it will be fine again, probably tomorrow.  

Anyway, I tried two different things today and paid for both of them; I tried an even more XTG second pass on the right neck and got a tiny little weeper that stopped spontaneously before the pass was even finished (but still, I haven't had one of those at all in weeks), and then I tried a different cross-handed approach to the area just lateral to my lips on the left side, and that led to a tiny bit of sting with the splash.  

Other than that, it was a good shave.  SAS after one pass, CCS+ all over when it was done.  

A nice start to what I hope will be a great day.

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 04-28-2018, 12:56 PM
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SR shave #69, open blade shave #106 today


Skipped yesterday because of an early meeting; didn't shave at all, which is rare for me.  Mowed the lawn and did some other work this morning, so by the time I got around to the shave I had about 2.5 days' growth.  It was a boatload of stubble.  I had never tried a SR on this much stubble before, so I was a bit worried.

Used the Tilquin (shave 3 since the honing) and Mike's Orange, Cedarwood, and Black Pepper.  Had a gorgeous lather.  

The razor was up to the task.  It tugged a little bit in the toughest spots, but I had a pretty good shave, 3 passes on the cheeks and 2 on the neck.  Called it good.  

No nicks, weepers, irritation.  Another victory.  

Have a good weekend.  Tomorrow is my day off open blades.

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 04-29-2018, 05:20 PM
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Randall, 

Glad the razors are working out for you, I throughly enjoy reading your travels with a straight.

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 04-30-2018, 10:04 AM
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(04-29-2018, 05:20 PM)Panther308 Wrote: Randall, 

Glad the razors are working out for you, I throughly enjoy reading your travels with a straight.

Thanks, William.  


SR shave #70, open blade shave #107

This morning I used Soapy Science Mint for the lather and the Tilquin for the shave.  Lather was nice, shave was good.  It's almost getting to be routine.  Three passes on the cheeks, two on the neck to a CCS+ on the cheeks, SAS+/CCS- on the neck.  No time to try too many new things in the morning before work, but this morning I did try slightly different angles on the neck for the second pass, more XTG than before.  It went smoothly. 

At this point in my straight shaving journey, I've become quite comfortable shaving with the straight.  I know pretty much what is going to happen.  The problem is that in the densest areas of growth I just can't quite get as close with the straight as I can with my other razors; this includes especially the chin.  This morning I went over it 4 times and still had some clean-up work to do.  I didn't get irritation, but I just can't get as close as I'd like to there.  

It almost feels like a fixed problem at this point, as though there is never going to be a way to solve it.  Having said that, I remember when I couldn't even get one pass done on the neck without abandoning the straight, and I remember feeling like that problem would likely never go away.  So I understand that even at 70 shaves I have a ton to learn and that in straight razor shaving, sometimes problems that seem unsurmountable just melt away without even any conscious effort.  

So, for now I am pretty content with how things are going, and I'll just keep plugging away and see if new lights come on sometime in the near future.  

(For Sunday, my day off of open blade shaves, I used Stirling Peach lather and my Bullet-tip Micromatic with a brand new blade.  Shave was close and nice.  I actually got a bit more irritation than I do with the straight, but I remember that the first shave on a new SE blade can sometimes be harsher than subsequent shaves.)

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