04-01-2018, 12:29 PM
#1
User Info
Hello fellow SR users,

I am happy to announce that I had my first SR shave last night! Overall, I felt that the shave went great and I was careful enough to not draw any blood (knock on wood)! That being said, I felt holding the blade in the correct angle to be something that I constantly had to focus on. I have heard that an angle at about two spine widths is generally the most ideal (this angle is what I was trying to maintain). Also, getting used to a longer blade is different compared to a shorter DE head.

I had a shower before hand and took my time. I was slow during my first WTG pass. The razor felt smooth, but left hair in certain areas (due to lack of holding correct angle and novice user technique). I did not get any pulling or tugging, but I have to say that the razors edge did not feel like "a hot knife cutting through butter". Perhaps this may be due to inexperience or I may prefer a different honemeister's edge/stone progression better? Likely, inexperience (I'd like to think).

After the WTG, I moved onto XTG and again, felt comfortable, no pulling or tugging. I really tried to focus on light pressure. I did notice that hair around my chin was much more difficult to cut (felt a little tugging-likely due to incorrect angle?). I did not attempt an ATG pass, since it was my first time and everything had gone pretty well so far.My plan is to master WTG and XTG for the time being.

I did not have any irritation, and I finished up my shave with a DE IKON 102 ATG pass for a DFS.

I did not strop the razor beforehand, since I was afraid I might roll the edge. I did strop the razor after. 20 on cloth, 40 on leather. Stropping felt nice, and I focused on light stropping pressure.

I think that I like SR and will be patient. It took me about 2 years to completely "master" DE shaving, I I figure that it may take that long to master a SR.

I'd like to thank Obie for his guidance and for convincing me to focus on shaving and stropping at the moment, instead of honing. I look forward to reaching out to other experienced SR shavers for guidance and posting updates on my progress.

Prep: hot shower
SR: Joseph Allen and Sons NONXL (near wedge)
Soap: B&M Bay Rum
AS: B&M Spice

Cheers,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-01-2018, 12:40 PM
#2
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
User Info
Sanjay, my friend,

Good show. Well done. It will get better with each shave. Zero pressure, about a 20 to 30 angle — generally — and nice and easy does it.

I strop about 25 to 30 strokes on linen and double it on leather — before each shave. After the shave, I strop 10 strokes on linen and 10 on linen — this is mainly to clean and dry the blade further.

Stay with and you'll do well. Congratulations.

168 3,491
Reply
 04-01-2018, 12:49 PM
#3
User Info
(04-01-2018, 12:29 PM)someghai Wrote: Hello fellow SR users,

I am happy to announce that I had my first SR shave last night! Overall, I felt that the shave went great and I was careful enough to not draw any blood (knock on wood)! That being said, I felt holding the blade in the correct angle to be something that I constantly had to focus on. I have heard that an angle at about two spine widths is generally the most ideal (this angle is what I was trying to maintain). Also, getting used to a longer blade is different compared to a shorter DE head.

I had a shower before hand and took my time. I was slow during my first WTG pass. The razor felt smooth, but left hair in certain areas (due to lack of holding correct angle and novice user technique). I did not get any pulling or tugging, but  I have to say that the razors edge did not feel like "a hot knife cutting through butter". Perhaps this  may be due to inexperience or I may prefer a different honemeister's edge/stone progression better? Likely, inexperience (I'd like to think).

After the WTG, I moved onto XTG and again, felt comfortable, no pulling or tugging. I really tried to focus on light pressure. I did notice that hair around my chin was much more difficult to cut (felt a little tugging-likely due to incorrect angle?). I did not attempt an ATG pass, since it was my first time and everything had gone pretty well so far.My plan is to master WTG and XTG for the time being.

I did not have any irritation, and I finished up my shave with a DE IKON 102 ATG pass for a DFS.

I did not strop the razor beforehand, since I was afraid I might roll the edge. I did strop the razor after. 20 on cloth, 40 on leather. Stropping felt nice, and I focused on light stropping pressure.

I think that I like SR and will be patient. It took me about 2 years to completely "master" DE shaving, I I figure that it may take that long to master a SR.

I'd like to thank Obie for his guidance and for convincing me to focus on shaving and stropping at the moment, instead of honing. I look forward to reaching out to other experienced SR shavers for guidance and posting updates on my progress.

Prep: hot shower
SR: Joseph Allen and Sons NONXL (near wedge)
Soap: B&M Bay Rum
AS: B&M Spice

Cheers,

Sanjay
Sanjay, you are a better man than I..... Cheers
Strait razor scares me.

0 407
Reply
 04-01-2018, 02:07 PM
#4
User Info
Congrats it only gets better !!!!!

7 1,597
Reply
 04-01-2018, 08:13 PM
#5
User Info
Congrats, someghai! You're very fortunate to have Obie to give you advice. He was so kind and patient with my newbie questions about straight razors when I began.

Honing will come later, after you get a feel for the straight and what kind of shave you prefer. 

You're smart to focus on the angle and light pressure. They are truly keys. 

And be patient. Breakthroughs come unannounced, and after 30 shaves, you'll feel competent, after 100 shaves, you'll feel like it's 'just shaving' and then you can work on the nuances of the chin and tricky areas on your face.

29 831
Reply
 04-01-2018, 08:18 PM
#6
  • pbrmhl
  • Senior Member
  • Seattle
User Info
I'm following this closely, Sanjay. My first straight arrived at my office yesterday, so I'll see it for the first time tomorrow. Your cues are important to me (and my face).

9 517
Reply
 04-02-2018, 09:51 AM
#7
User Info
Good start, Sanjay, and welcome aboard.  I'm a newbie myself (just did shave number 51 this morning).  It is truly surprising how much things can change in a matter of a few days.

3 1,844
Reply
 04-02-2018, 11:42 AM
#8
  • TN4
  • Member
  • Ohio
User Info
Sounds like you're doing great! I haven't been straight razor shaving for very long (40-50 shaves), but I can say that it gets a little better each day, and when you look back after a period of about a month, you'll be surprised at how much better you are at it. Also, I'm already getting the most comfortable shaves of my life, so keep it up!

2 101
Reply
 04-03-2018, 07:21 AM
#9
User Info
(04-01-2018, 08:13 PM)Michael P Wrote: Congrats, someghai! You're very fortunate to have Obie to give you advice. He was so kind and patient with my newbie questions about straight razors when I began.

Honing will come later, after you get a feel for the straight and what kind of shave you prefer. 

You're smart to focus on the angle and light pressure. They are truly keys. 

And be patient. Breakthroughs come unannounced, and after 30 shaves, you'll feel competent, after 100 shaves, you'll feel like it's 'just shaving' and then you can work on the nuances of the chin and tricky areas on your face.

Hi Michael!

Yes, Obie has given wonderful tips and advice. Looking forward to the next 99+ shaves!

Best,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-04-2018, 11:44 AM
#10
User Info
Second SR shave went much better last night! I felt like I was able to maintain the correct blade angle for a larger portion of the shave. I was really surprised that I was so smooth after two passes on my cheeks (WTG and XTG) and neck (WTG and ATG). I did use a DE for final touch ups. I did have a slight bit of sting all over when applying AS, but nothing major. My goal is to improve shaving around my chin area and also getting slicker lathers. I also felt quite comfortable using my left hand. Looking forward to the next shave!

Best,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-04-2018, 12:27 PM
#11
User Info
Nice work.  You are way ahead of the curve.

3 1,844
Reply
 04-08-2018, 06:24 PM
#12
User Info
Third SR shave in the morning went well! I was able to complete 95% of the shave with SR and touched up with a DE. Overall, my chin is the most difficult area to get smooth due to technique. No stinging from aftershave...I was really focused on light pressure. Feeling more natural with both hands. I completed WTG, XTG, and ATG strokes with SR. Getting better each shave!

Thanks,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-10-2018, 09:23 AM
#13
User Info
Awesome.  Keep up the good work.

3 1,844
Reply
 04-11-2018, 05:02 PM
#14
User Info
4th shave last night. All SR, no DE used! Results were smooth, not BBS but very happy. I noticed a drop in sharpness that caused brief stinging when applying AS. I will try and do a few more laps on the strop and see if any changes are seen. My chin was easier to navigate around this time. I also need to work up a better lather, or apply to each quadrant separately since drying out has been occurring. Thank you for the support!

Best,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-11-2018, 07:19 PM
#15
User Info
Sanjay, don't worry about the lather drying out. That happens to many-I know it did to me-when first starting. 

It's because the SR can seem intimidating at first, and if you heed the good advice to go slowly and carefully at first, it takes time. When you get to the other side of the face, the lather can be dry. Just apply some water with the hand or brush, or some more lather, and continue.

Most of all, at the beginning, if at any point you feel uncomfortable and feel unsure, just stop the SR for the shave, clean up with a DE, and start again on your next shave.

There is a big learning curve, and it requires a lot of patience. I've found it to be worth it-the feel of my face after one pass and a light 2nd pass is what I'd need 4 passes with a DE to achieve. Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate the DE, but the SR shaves are something special.

29 831
Reply
 04-12-2018, 06:18 AM
#16
User Info
(04-11-2018, 07:19 PM)Michael P Wrote: Sanjay, don't worry about the lather drying out. That happens to many-I know it did to me-when first starting. 

It's because the SR can seem intimidating at first, and if you heed the good advice to go slowly and carefully at first, it takes time. When you get to the other side of the face, the lather can be dry. Just apply some water with the hand or brush, or some more lather, and continue.

Most of all, at the beginning, if at any point you feel uncomfortable and feel unsure, just stop the SR for the shave, clean up with a DE, and start again on your next shave.

There is a big learning curve, and it requires a lot of patience. I've found it to be worth it-the feel of my face after one pass and a light 2nd pass is what I'd need 4 passes with a DE to achieve. Don't get me wrong, I still appreciate the DE, but the SR shaves are something special.

Hi Michael,

Yes, I agree with you. I will focus on going slow and easy. I may have been too eager. I’ll use your tips and keep enjoying the learning process. I appreciate your support!

Best,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-15-2018, 03:01 PM
#17
User Info
Hello Friends,

Fifth SR shave this morning was spectacular. Used a new 6/8 SR with an outstanding edge put on by my friend/mentor, Obie. I was able to shave WTG, XTG, and ATG (few days growth) without any irritation!!! Seriously, no stingy feeling or burn from applying AS!!! How crazy is that? This shave was all SR, no DE. The results were almost, if not the same compared to my perfect DE shaves. I am enjoying the learning process and know that I have traveled (and will remain) into another division in the wet shaving world. My lathering has improved some, I have been experimenting further with water ratios. Perhaps, DE shaving does not require as slick of a lather as I feel SR shaving requires? Stropping is fun and I feel that I have been doing a good job learning how to properly keep the razor flat against the surface. Shaving around my chin has become mush easier, and I have been practicing making better shaving faces to reach different areas of skin. I still need to keep working on skin stretching, but I'll keep learning. I was also able to complete the shave faster, still taking my time of course.

Couple of question:

How can you tell if you are stropping correctly? Do you not experience a drop in sharpness?

Are bigger razors (6/8 or 7/8) easier to use (compared to 5/8)?

Are different strops better than others?

Is linen superior to polywebbing cloth strop component? What exactly is the purpose of the cloth (besides drying and prepping the razor)?

Thank you,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
 04-15-2018, 05:27 PM
#18
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
User Info
(04-15-2018, 03:01 PM)someghai Wrote: Hello Friends,

Fifth SR shave this morning was spectacular. Used a new 6/8 SR with an outstanding edge put on by my friend/mentor, Obie. I was able to shave WTG, XTG, and ATG (few days growth) without any irritation!!! Seriously, no stingy feeling or burn from applying AS!!! How crazy is that? This shave was all SR, no DE. The results were almost, if not the same compared to my perfect DE shaves. I am enjoying the learning process and know that I have traveled (and will remain) into another division in the wet shaving world. My lathering has improved some, I have been experimenting further with water ratios. Perhaps, DE shaving does not require as slick of a lather as I feel SR shaving requires? Stropping is fun and I feel that I have been doing a good job learning how to properly keep the razor flat against the surface. Shaving around my chin has become mush easier, and I have been practicing making better shaving faces to reach different areas of skin. I still need to keep working on skin stretching, but I'll keep learning. I was also able to complete the shave faster, still taking my time of course.

Couple of question:

How can you tell if you are stropping correctly? Do you not experience a drop in sharpness?

Are bigger razors (6/8 or 7/8) easier to use (compared to 5/8)?

Are different strops better than others?

Is linen superior to polywebbing cloth strop component? What exactly is the purpose of the cloth (besides drying and prepping the razor)?

Thank you,

Sanjay
Sanjay,

You are coming along just fine. Easy does it. A little at a time. To answer some of  your questions . . .

I would show you in person, but that is not possible. Here is the way I strop: I lay the blade flat on the strop, angle it slightly so that the toe is ahead of the heel, and then proceed to lead with the toe, turn on the spine and return with the heel. This gives me the X-Pattern automatically. As a rule, I do not use the entire length of the strop, but only about seven or eight inches. Also, the wrist remains locked. You then manipulate the razor between the thumb and the index finger, as you were playing with a pencil. By controlling the blade this way, you maintain a smooth stropping motion.

The 5/8 is a wee bit easier  to maneuver than the 6/8 or the 7/8 — for beginners. With experience, you will not find that much difference in shaving with different sizes. Obviously, the 5/8 will be lighter than the 6/8 and the 7/8, so you will need to adjust your technique to accommodate for the size difference.

Get a good strop. The strop is important, so don't waste your money on cheap stuff. Now, you don't have to get a Kanayama to start with. Get a 2 1/5" inch or 3" strop. I like English Bridle and horsehide. Cordovan is my favorite, but that costs money. Perhaps you can get one in the future.

There is not all that much difference between cotton and poly webbing. I prefer genuine linen for the second component, but that costs a little more than the others. The linen or poly webbing cleans and heats the blade before you move to leather. I usually do 25 strokes on linen and 50 on leather before each shave.

Finally, don't put conditioners on the leather. Rather, each morning, before taking your shower, give the leather a 15-second rubdown with the palms of your hands. The oils from from your hands will provide all the conditioning you need for the leather.

Stay with it and have patience.

168 3,491
Reply
 04-18-2018, 01:08 PM
#19
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
User Info
Congrats sir!

Cheers, Steve

7 593
Reply
 04-19-2018, 05:21 PM
#20
User Info
Sixth SR shave! Another great one, taking off a few days growth! All SR all directions. I’m learning better skin stretching techniques and how to navigate around my jaw line much better. It’s amazing how much skin stretching allows you to shave...something I didn’t have to worry about with a DE as much. My chin feels smoother than with my DE and with fewer passes... pretty neat! Stropping is really relaxing to me as well...just something about it. I appreciate the continued support!

Have a good one,

Sanjay

3 109
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)