02-04-2018, 08:34 PM
#1
  • JABF99
  • Junior Member
  • Illinois
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I'm using a Feather SS with the Japanese style straight handle, and using it with the Feather Pro blades.  I'm still new to this, and going through the learning curve.  After my first couple shaves I was not doing so well.  But now it's going a lot better, and I am actually enjoying my shaves.  Each shave seems to be a bit better than the last.  I was a bit dejected after my first shave or two though.  It was a humbling experience for me... there's a lot to learn going from my DE to the Feather SS.

I have my 65th birthday in 6 months and I think my wife will let me buy a straight razor for my birthday.  I am considering having a custom razor made by Jerry Stark.  Has anyone here had experience with his razors?  My first question is about the steel material options.  What would you recommend as a steel, and why?  Thank you in advance for any input.  I appreciate it.

High Carbon 52100
D2 Tool Steel
W2 Tool Steel
High Carbon 1095
Damascus

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 02-05-2018, 04:28 AM
#2
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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High carbon 52100 if worked properly will make an amazing knife, I'm not sure what kind of razor it will make.  Have you asked Jerry what he recommends and why?

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 02-05-2018, 04:42 AM
#3
  • JABF99
  • Junior Member
  • Illinois
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(02-05-2018, 04:28 AM)Sully Wrote: High carbon 52100 if worked properly will make an amazing knife, I'm not sure what kind of razor it will make.  Have you asked Jerry what he recommends and why?

That is my next step.  I am trying to get a general idea of what I want first, and then run it all by him and see what he recommends.

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 02-05-2018, 06:07 AM
#4
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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they certainly are good razors but you're talking about a serious amount of money, what if you find out it's not for you? I would dip my toe in the water with a secondhand razor honed by someone here on te forum. It might give you some idea about your preference regarding weight, length and what not.

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 02-05-2018, 06:36 AM
#5
  • JABF99
  • Junior Member
  • Illinois
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(02-05-2018, 06:07 AM)Snuff Wrote: they certainly are good razors but you're talking about a serious amount of money, what if you find out it's not for you? I would dip my toe in the water with a secondhand razor honed by someone here on te forum. It might give you some idea about your preference regarding weight, length and what not.


That is excellent advice.  I will do that.  I have six months before I am even going to be able to make a purchase like this.  I just thought I would begin exploring options at this point.  And right now I am just getting comfortable with the Feather SS shavette.  I have plenty of time to take this slow, and be thoughtful.  Thanks.

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 02-05-2018, 07:42 AM
#6
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Dave, taking it slow is a wise move.  Jerry Stark's razors are superb, but not suitable for a beginner.  There is a learning process with straights.  In addition to learning to shave with the straight, you will also have to learn stropping, maintaining your edge, and honing.  Honing, in particular, takes a lot of practice and you don't want to practice on a razor as nice as a Jerry Stark.   If you want a new razor to begin with, you could go with a Dovo Best Quality, which is their least expensive, basic model.  The key here is to buy one which has been honed to be shave ready by the vendor.  Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive used razor which has been properly honed.  It won't be pretty, but it will shave well and you'll be able to practice honing without worrying about damaging your Jerry Stark.  You may want to contact William (Panther308), one of our TSN Artisans, about a used straight.

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 02-05-2018, 08:12 AM
#7
  • JABF99
  • Junior Member
  • Illinois
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(02-05-2018, 07:42 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Dave, taking it slow is a wise move.  Jerry Stark's razors are superb, but not suitable for a beginner.  There is a learning process with straights.  In addition to learning to shave with the straight, you will also have to learn stropping, maintaining your edge, and honing.  Honing, in particular, takes a lot of practice and you don't want to practice on a razor as nice as a Jerry Stark.   If you want a new razor to begin with, you could go with a Dovo Best Quality, which is their least expensive, basic model.  The key here is to buy one which has been honed to be shave ready by the vendor.  Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive used razor which has been properly honed.  It won't be pretty, but it will shave well and you'll be able to practice honing without worrying about damaging your Jerry Stark.  You may want to contact William (Panther308), one of our TSN Artisans, about a used straight.

 That is good advice and I will do that.  I will try an inexpensive razor first, and then take the next step when ready.  And while I am not getting any experience now, with stropping and honing, my hope is that I am getting some helpful experience using the Feather SS.  The next logical step would be as you suggest, and try an inexpensive straight razor to practice shaving/stropping/honing.  Thanks for your advice.

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 02-06-2018, 09:09 AM
#8
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I see the above tagline says [SOLVED].  So what did you decide on?  Not sure what part of the country you are in, but there are some great mentors on this forum.

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 02-06-2018, 09:39 AM
#9
  • JABF99
  • Junior Member
  • Illinois
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(02-06-2018, 09:09 AM)Johnny Wrote: I see the above tagline says [SOLVED].  So what did you decide on?  Not sure what part of the country you are in, but there are some great mentors on this forum.

I received some good advice here and after reading their posts I realized that I had the cart in front of the horse.  Before I consider an expensive new razor (and things like what kind of steel is best) I should slow down and try an inexpensive straight razor to practice shaving/stropping/honing - and better understand what I truly need/want.  TheLegalRazor mentioned that I could contact William (Panther308), one of the TSN Artisans, about a used straight.  I did that, and he was VERY gracious and helpful.  He will set me up with a very reasonable shave ready, but old and affordable razor and I can begin to learn with it.  I'll be honest... I found it amazing that someone would provide this affordable opportunity so newbies don't blow a lot of money on a new razor before they even know what they really want.  Kudos to him AND this messageboard.

After I have a better idea of what I really want in a razor, I am going to contact Jerry Stark and just go over the options at that point, with him (like what steel to use and all of that).  

I know I'm on the right path now.  I deeply appreciate everyone's advice and help.  

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 02-06-2018, 09:43 AM
#10
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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That's great to hear.  I wish you good fortune as there is nothing more enjoyable than a good straight shave if you can do it.

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 02-13-2018, 09:53 AM
#11
  • JABF99
  • Junior Member
  • Illinois
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(02-05-2018, 07:42 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Dave, taking it slow is a wise move.  Jerry Stark's razors are superb, but not suitable for a beginner.  There is a learning process with straights.  In addition to learning to shave with the straight, you will also have to learn stropping, maintaining your edge, and honing.  Honing, in particular, takes a lot of practice and you don't want to practice on a razor as nice as a Jerry Stark.   If you want a new razor to begin with, you could go with a Dovo Best Quality, which is their least expensive, basic model.  The key here is to buy one which has been honed to be shave ready by the vendor.  Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive used razor which has been properly honed.  It won't be pretty, but it will shave well and you'll be able to practice honing without worrying about damaging your Jerry Stark.  You may want to contact William (Panther308), one of our TSN Artisans, about a used straight.

I thought I'd follow-up and thank you - and thank William (Panther308) too.  William did ship me a very inexpensive, used razor that had been properly honed, so I could try a straight razor.  I was amazed by how sharp the razor was.  It seemed every bit as sharp as the Feather SS shavette that I use.  I didn't expect that.  It gives a wonderful shave.  And I didn't have to mortgage the farm to buy a good straight razor :-)

Thanks again.

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 02-13-2018, 10:24 AM
#12
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(02-13-2018, 09:53 AM)JABF99 Wrote:
(02-05-2018, 07:42 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Dave, taking it slow is a wise move.  Jerry Stark's razors are superb, but not suitable for a beginner.  There is a learning process with straights.  In addition to learning to shave with the straight, you will also have to learn stropping, maintaining your edge, and honing.  Honing, in particular, takes a lot of practice and you don't want to practice on a razor as nice as a Jerry Stark.   If you want a new razor to begin with, you could go with a Dovo Best Quality, which is their least expensive, basic model.  The key here is to buy one which has been honed to be shave ready by the vendor.  Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive used razor which has been properly honed.  It won't be pretty, but it will shave well and you'll be able to practice honing without worrying about damaging your Jerry Stark.  You may want to contact William (Panther308), one of our TSN Artisans, about a used straight.

I thought I'd follow-up and thank you - and thank William (Panther308) too.  William did ship me a very inexpensive, used razor that had been properly honed, so I could try a straight razor.  I was amazed by how sharp the razor was.  It seemed every bit as sharp as the Feather SS shavette that I use.  I didn't expect that.  It gives a wonderful shave.  And I didn't have to mortgage the farm to buy a good straight razor :-)

Thanks again.

Dave, it seems you're off to a great start.  Keep us posted on your progress and post any questions you have.

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 02-13-2018, 03:48 PM
#13
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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That is good news, Dave.  Practice, practice, practice.  Pretty soon it will be second nature to you.

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 02-13-2018, 05:20 PM
#14
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Dave, for what it's worth, it took me six or eight weeks of almost-daily shaves to truly get the hang of the Feather SS. So, whatever razor you choose, give yourself whatever time you need to get used to straight shaving. It will be time well spent -- it's a great skill to have under your belt. Smile

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 02-14-2018, 10:02 PM
#15
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Dave,

Glad you liked the razor, that particular razor should last you a long time and provide many years of quality shaves if properly cared for but be careful as one tends to lead to more.

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