03-17-2021, 04:13 PM
#1
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The Asylum 17-4 is such a beautiful and well made razor and I did not feel good about relegating it to the parts bin and so tonight I tried an old trick to see if I could coax the razor to shave the way it was designed to. Ever since my first shave the other night, I examined the razor closely to see how the shave could be improved. We all figured out that the bevel on the SB was not fully what it should have been, however there was a very slight bevel which gave the razor a negative blade exposure:

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I decided to do an old trick I learned a long time ago to turn any razor into an adjustable. I got a rubber (or silicone) O-ring and placed it between the base plate and the handle similar to how folks like to put a nylon washer there. The purpose of the O-ring is to allow constant pressure to the base plate while loosening the handle to allow for slight adjustment in blade angle relative to the base plate. This does not allow for a full 1-9 type setting like a regular adjustable razor, but does allow for some adjustability.

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Tonight, I was able to adjust the 17-4 so that the blade was more neutral or slightly positive and loaded a blade that was a couple of shaves from being tossed.

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The reason I used an old blade was so I could feel what the blade was doing, and if I could get a decent shave with an old blade, I would get a better shave with a slightly new blade. WTG and ATG passes went extremely well - about what I was expecting from the 17-4. I finished off with an XTG pass along my jaw line and under my chin and ended up with a very comfortable BBS. this was definitely a change from my original shave where it took me four passes and a lot of skin stretching and buffing and still I needed to touch up with a different razor.

For all those folks that insist on using an equivalent to a stainless steel buzz saw to take care of your barbed wire beard, you can loosen the handle just a little more to get a positive blade exposure. this is something that I never tried nor want to try, but just letting you all know that it is possible.

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Give it a try, all it takes is a trip to the plumbing section of your local hardware store. Phil was nice enough to let us keep the razors, it's just an additional 10 cent investment to get a great shave.

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 03-18-2021, 01:51 AM
#2
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Great suggestion, I will give it a try myself, as I agree it is a beautiful razor.

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 03-18-2021, 01:34 PM
#3
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So I hated to waste a beautiful razor so I paired the Top cap and handle with my Timeless.95 Ti dual comb. It stepped up the blade feel and efficiency but was still very smooth. I got a great WTG, XTG shave
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 03-24-2021, 04:43 PM
#4
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Okay, so enough fooling around with shims and O-rings. Today I decided to take the final step and totally ruin the 17-4. I pulled out my Paradigm Ti2 baseplate and started marking the 17-4 baseplate. According to Paradigm, the head of the Ti2 and 17-4 was supposed to be identical and so I figured that would be a good start. I them went to my mini grinder/polisher and set a bevel  and then pulled out my 4 way DMT hone and started with the 200 side and stayed there for a couple of hours. Eventually I moved to the 400 and the 600 sides. When I got it close to what I thought would be right, I did a quick polish on the SB just so it wouldn't scratch my face.


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Not having precise tools or anything like that, one side did end up more aggressive than the other, and so I can lie to all of you and say that I really wanted a dual aggression razor.  Winky


Tonight I loaded a blade that I just tossed the day before and took the 17-4 out for a shave. The razor was a little more rough than I was expecting, but it did remove whiskers, which is a definite improvement over the original base plate. I am also not sure how much of the roughness came from an old blade and how much came from the fact that I was dry shaving with this head to test it out a couple of times this afternoon.

Friday, I will try this razor again, this time using a blade that has only a couple of shaves to it. Hopefully it will work.

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 03-24-2021, 07:14 PM
#5
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I used my ti2 plate with the new 17-4 and and handle and had a surprisingly good shave. Excellent work you did on that plate.

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 03-26-2021, 08:11 AM
#6
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This sounds like fun. I'd be surprised if any mods comes close to what the final version will be capable of but still, fun!

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