08-02-2021, 10:36 AM
#1
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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The mail came today, about an hour AFTER I shaved.  
In it was an old GEM single-edge razor and a couple packs of GEM blades.  
Of all the infernal timing!  
I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try it out!
[Image: 6ZfU5UD.jpg]
First pic is the razor and blades that arrived.  Second pic is a close-up of the GEM -- it's a beauty!   The last pic compares it to the grandfather of my razor shelf, a 1940s Gillette Super Speed.

I was worried the safety bar would be bent or damaged, since it wasn't mailed in a box... just a padded envelope (!).  I dropped in a blade and checked out its alignment with a magnifying glass... the safety bar looked straight and un-bent, so that's good.  The blade mounted straight and snugly.  That was good.  The TTO worked flawlessly.  I may have a winner here!

It's a bit bigger than the venerable Super Speed, but not by much.  Although it was already clean, I sterilized it anyway and lubed up the TTO action with mineral oil.  I'll see how it shaves tomorrow.  This will be my first Single Edge adventure, so it should be fun!  I think it's called a "micromatic" (which reminds me of the scientist Matt Matic on the old "Fireball XL5" TV show).  Tonight I'll surf around online like young fellers do these days, to learn more about this shiny new razor that I've now got in my Shaving Nook!  
   :-)
- Bax

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 08-02-2021, 10:48 AM
#2
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Congratulations on your first GEM.  I don't get good results with GEM blades, but a lot of other guys do.

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 08-02-2021, 12:05 PM
#3
  • Wolf
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  • Valencia, Spain
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It's a very nice razor, congratulations Bax.

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 08-02-2021, 12:19 PM
#4
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 08-02-2021, 01:11 PM
#5
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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That's a nice Micromatic - one of the best of the GEM's in my opinion, and I have tried many .. just be aware that the shave angle is distinctly different from a DE ... I never had a GEM when I was coming up, and upon trying my first one (a Micromatic as well) a dozen years ago I had a horrible shave.  I put it away for awhile before someone's post on a shaving forum made the light go on, since that time I've use the SE GEM regularly.  The angle is oft said to be "cap against the face", which is a little lower than I ended up employing but markedly different than your DE's.

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 08-02-2021, 01:34 PM
#6
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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Very nice, Bax. It seems to be in top notch condition. Make sure to remove the blade and dry it thoroughly to avoid rusting your shiny new MM. Looking forward to your report!

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 08-02-2021, 06:52 PM
#7
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I'd recommend GEM stainless steel blades, a shallow angle, short strokes and an open mind because these are a bit unique.
Great razors IMO.

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 08-03-2021, 04:33 AM
#8
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Good luck. Micromatic was not one razor but a series of razors in production 1930-1950. Yours is the Clog-Pruf which came in two editions 1940-1947. It's a bit less aggressive than the original open comb model which was the first TTO. They're tanks and great shavers.
[Image: 3974b34f8e32f5c1400e3704062a0cdc.jpg]

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 08-03-2021, 08:56 AM
#9
  • Bax
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I wonder what the difference is between the two editions between '40 and '47?
There are lots of Gillette references online, but finding GEM info is a lot more difficult.
GREAT AD!  Thanks for posting!
- Bax

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 08-03-2021, 09:39 AM
#10
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From what I can gleam from a post over on Reddit, not a lot.

I quote:
Quote:Produced in the early 1940s, the Clog-Pruf has 2 variants that are regularly confused. The first generation of the Clog-Pruf has a 12 nib safety bar and is typically seen with chrome plating, but unplated brass ones can be found occasionally. The second generation of Clog-Pruf is known as the “Peerless'' model and has 17 nibs on the safety bar. The Peerless model was typically found with gold plating. Both models have the blade tray bumps that were introduced with the Gen 2 MMOC.

Gen 1 Clog-Pruf
Gen 2 "Peerless" Clog-Pruf

Which means, incidentally, that mine is a Gen 1 Smile

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 08-03-2021, 09:50 AM
#11
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(08-03-2021, 08:56 AM)Bax Wrote: I wonder what the difference is between the two editions between '40 and '47?
There are lots of Gillette references online, but finding GEM info is a lot more difficult.
GREAT AD!  Thanks for posting!
- Bax
The post war Peerless model has 17 nibs on the safety bar, the prewar 12. That's it . Oops you already got that , carry on.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

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 08-03-2021, 10:27 AM
#12
  • Bax
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Looks like mine's a pre-war 12-nib Clog-Pruf model, in the common chrome plated finish.  

This morning was my first GEM shave.  It was flawless, except for the stubble and blood left behind!  I figure I need to work on my angles; I tried to "ride the cap" like Gary said (above), but couldn't resist the urge to angle it like a super-speed (which is when the trouble occurred).  As long as I was doing it right, it was swell.  In the end, I made another pass with the right angle and got rid of the stubble.  Pass #2 didn't fix the bleeding, though.  I reminded me of plowing the long driveway in winter; if I drop the blade too low, it'll scarf up all the snow AND some of the gravel.  Unfortunately, I can't just hop out an shovel the gravel back into the hole in my face when I'm shaving... it just bleeds.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  I'll try again tomorrow.  (As an aside, I learned that styptic pencils are REALLY owie to use.)  Now that I know how the Gem feels and how much angle is bad, I think I'll do better next time.
Here are the tools of today's adventure:
[Image: wuPQ4Ob.jpg]

I couldn't find my red Hello Kitty bowl, so I had to use the blue dancing penguin bowl instead.  Same favorite Cella aftershave splash and Semogue boar brush.  For an early 1940s razor, that GEM sure is in good shape.  I'm going to keep at it until I can get as good a shave with it as I can with a Gillette Tech or Super Speed.  
Provided I don't run out of blood first...
   :-)
- Bax

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 08-03-2021, 01:59 PM
#13
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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Go for it, Bax! Keep us posted on your journey. It sounds like you’re having a ton of fun  Thumbup

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 08-03-2021, 04:04 PM
#14
  • Bax
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Yes, it's fun! Gashing my face and spurting blood across the bathroom, all over the mirror, and frantically dialing 911 so they could send a helicopter before I blacked out from loss of blood was a blast! Okay, that was theatrically melodramatic. But I really DID get a little boo boo and even had to get out a styptic pencil. It was owie. Honest! Next time I'll be more careful.
:-)
- Bax

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 08-03-2021, 09:02 PM
#15
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You DO NOT want to hear about my very first shave with a "safety razor" Bax... my Better Half wondered if I shouldn't try growing a beard while on deployment instead of bringing that thing... Tongue

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 08-04-2021, 05:42 AM
#16
  • Bax
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Au contraire, mon frere!
I think you need to share... now that you STARTED!

When you pique other Nookers' interest with a lead-in like that, you're obligated (by the unspoken Oath of the Lather) to share the REST of the story!  It's an ancient, time-honored tradition here in the Shave Nook (that I just invented).   :-)

Share the Tale of the First (un)Safety Razor!

- Bax

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 08-04-2021, 07:43 AM
#17
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If you insist on me threadjacking Bax, allow me to share an excerpt on a post I made back in 2015:

WegianWarrior Wrote:The anticipation when I slid the Feather blade into my Parker R22 and slowly twisted is closed was palatable… and I promptly opened and closed it a few times to make 100% absolutely sure I had put it in right. I was happy with the lather I had made with my brand new Omega boar brush and my just as new tube of Proraso Green… even if looking back it was frankly not particularly good. And the less I say about my pre-shave, the better… because there is not much to say about splashing some warm water on ones face.

The feeling of sliding a traditional safety razor over my cheeks for the first time? Unforgettable. The actual sound of stubble being sliced through by a piece of wicked sharp steel? Simply wonderful.

Yes, there was several nicks. Blood was drawn. The Feather is, in hindsight, way to sharp for an aggressive razor like the R22. My lather was too watery and provided little cushion. But despite all that I knew one thing for sure when I rinsed the bright red remains of watery lather of my face:

I wanted more. Much more.
It was a few weeks before I mastered the idea of no pressure and letting the edge do the work... by which time I was already in Sudan.

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 08-04-2021, 11:35 AM
#18
  • Bax
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Funny, Hans, I guess we've all shed blood for this "hobby."  

Shave #2 with the GEM.  Same blade as yesterday (stropped on denim).  These were only 24-hr whiskers.  Used Cella pre-shave gel.  I had a good lather with my badger brush.  I was very cognizant of the angles and whatnot.  But instead of sounding like buttering toast, it was kinda like buttering incredibly burned toast... without the butter (never quite heard THIS sound with any of my Gillettes).  The Burned Toast sound didn't do a good job, and decreasing (or increasing) the angle didn't rectify the problem.   I had no nicks, scrapes, or cuts, but it was a terrible shave -- after 3 passes (WTG, XTG, ATG)!  But it just didn't seem to work.  I didn't want to abuse my face with a 4th futile pass (I'm usually a 2-pass shaver), so out came my '50 Super Speed for one quick ATG pass, and the results were great!  Had a devil of a time under my nose (shaving my philtrum) with the GEM, but it was a breeze with the Super Speed.
[Image: ggHcMEN.jpg]
Shave #2 with the GEM was a lot worse than Shave #1... even though it wasn't as bloody.  Maybe I'm still not getting my angles right.  Maybe I shouldn't have stropped the SE blade; perhaps I goofed up the edge by being so clever.  Maybe those GEM blades are only good for 1 shave and I should've used a new blade.  I dunno.

I've made two conclusions:
1)  it takes more skill/technique to wield a GEM than it does a classic Gillette Super Speed, and 
2)  shaving with the GEM gives me a craving for toast.

Not sure if I like the GEM or not.
The jury's still out (and I'm hungry).
    :-)
- Bax

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 08-04-2021, 03:15 PM
#19
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Bax, only time and use will tell whether GEM blades are for you.  If you do like them, you may be looking at the Blackland Sabre.  It's an excellent modern GEM razor.

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 08-04-2021, 03:36 PM
#20
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You might want to use the SS teflon (PTFE) coated blades rather than the Blue Star blades. Doesn't sound like they're working for you to put it mildly.

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