01-19-2013, 07:53 PM
#1
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Picked up 3 GEM 1912s a few weeks ago and have been waiting on the PTFE coated blades from Connaught's. Each of the razors is slightly different. 2 British made, one U.S. made. The handles differ slightly as seen in photo. All in nice condition and cleaned up well with some simple measures. One with its original bakelite box and some original British made GEM blades (partly rusted and certainly not for using).

Had my first go this morning. Took it slow and easy. Good prep and lots of TOBS lather. Was careful to not overdo the angle. Kept the flat of the razor head at 5-10 degrees throughout most of the shave.

The feel was totally different to a DE. Did not expect to notice so much of a difference. Handling the razor felt intuitive. Correct angle very easy to find. Tricky parts were the chin area and under the nose - as always. With 2 passes I had a DFS. Neck area cleaned up beautifully with 2 passes and a touch up. No nicks or cuts. Did not push my luck and stopped at that point.

Definitely keen to use these more.
   

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 01-19-2013, 07:57 PM
#2
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Congratulations on the new acquisitions and the shave. Good luck to you. i had no luck with those darn blades. They were just too rough.

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 01-19-2013, 08:04 PM
#3
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Thanks for the review. I tried single edges, and while I liked the auditory feedback, especially with the 1912s, and could get a close shave without nicks if I was careful, I could never quite get used to the angle and the apparent stiffness of the blade. It just never really felt comfortable for me. So back to double edges I went. I hope it works out better for you.

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 01-19-2013, 08:16 PM
#4
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Well done & congrats. I'm a complete SE-aholic. All I use are SEs. While the gents above didn't get along with them, I don't get along with DEs. It's all about finding what works best for you. You have used what many consider to be the best SE to start with. Now that this went well you should start looking for some Micromatics.

Congrats again & let us know if you have any questions.

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 01-19-2013, 08:22 PM
#5
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Those are great blades,Connaught Shaving is where I get mine,good call.

The stiffness of the SE blade is what makes the shave a better experience for me...
I haven't shaved with a DE razor for a long time.

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 01-19-2013, 08:25 PM
#6
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(01-19-2013, 08:16 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Well done & congrats. I'm a complete SE-aholic. All I use are SEs. While the gents above didn't get along with them, I don't get along with DEs. It's all about finding what works best for you. You have used what many consider to be the best SE to start with. Now that this went well you should start looking for some Micromatics.

Congrats again & let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks SharpSpine. I also have a couple of Valets that I recently acquired. Awaiting the feather SE blades for those. I have the VC2 and the VC3. Got lots of info already from lurking on TSN. Lots of LOSERs (lovers of straight edge razors) it seems. Thanks to everyone here for the tips I've already used.

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 01-19-2013, 08:40 PM
#7
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I get the BEST shaves from my SEs! Sometimes I get caught up in all the new DE razors that get mentioned and figure I'll give them a try only to ask myself why?...I still get better shaved from my 100+ year old razors.

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 01-19-2013, 08:45 PM
#8
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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I have the Valet that takes regular single edge blades with the spine removed. Have 2 more that need the special blades. One has a safety bar and the other has an open comb. Unfortunately the comb is bent pretty bad. Haven't had a chance to order the Feathers that fit them. The one I have working shaves like a dream. VERY different and VERY close. I just purchased a Gem Featherweight today and I'm looking forward to it's arrival. I also have my eye on a Micromantic but I've reached my limit this week... (3 razors)...lol If swmbo gets em before I do I'm in trouble...lol

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 01-19-2013, 09:15 PM
#9
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Biggrin SJR! BTDT!

Welcome to the sharp side PB! (Brian, did I steal that from you?)

There are some minor differences that identify the various 1912s, but unless I miss my guess, that reflection on the inside cover of the center one says it's a Damaskeene. I have no idea what the others are. Typically the 1912s are great shavers and there is generally one that will satisfy. Plus they have great handles.

Most of us get more shaves from a SE blade than from the typical DE blade too, so don't be surprised if the blade lasts a very long time. It'll change character but still be well behaved and give great shaves. They start out extremely sharp, tame down a bit after about the 3rd shave, and still give good shaves to somewhere near 12-20 shaves. I figure 14 is my average. They never give weepers or grab as with a spent DE blade, rather the shave begins to suffer and more passes are required. At least that's what I find, YMMV.

Enjoy your SE expedition of discovery.

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 01-19-2013, 09:25 PM
#10
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(01-19-2013, 09:15 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Biggrin SJR! BTDT!

Welcome to the sharp side PB! (Brian, did I steal that from you?)

There are some minor differences that identify the various 1912s, but unless I miss my guess, that reflection on the inside cover of the center one says it's a Damaskeene. I have no idea what the others are. Typically the 1912s are great shavers and there is generally one that will satisfy. Plus they have great handles.
.

Thanks ShadowsDad. It was many of your posts I saw that encouraged me to look into the SEs.

The central GEM has Brooklyn, NY etc on it. Razor head is the same flip top as the other 2. I am certainly on the look out for a MM. Found 4 valets at a flea market today but no GEMs.

   

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 01-19-2013, 09:47 PM
#11
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Well, I was wrong on that! Biggrin At least we know it's a 1912.

It's good to know that what I write is actually read. Time not wasted. Sometimes I think it is.

If you don't have a copy of Waits Safety Razor Compendium (it's a $15 download last I knew) it's really worth having if you intend to continue buying vintage razors. Trust me, just buy a copy if you intend to stick with it. No wait for delivery down under, and it's inexpensive for what you'll receive. I've bought a few lather catchers because of Waits info.

Dump it all into a directory and make a shortcut to the file "SRC_TOC.pdf" (Safety Razor Compendium_Table Of Contents)and haul the shortcut onto your desktop and Bobs your Uncle from then on. (did I use that correctly?)

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 01-19-2013, 09:56 PM
#12
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I've seen the compendium links and have been tempted. I'll go ahead and get it. Looks like it's an interesting read. Cheers!

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 01-19-2013, 10:06 PM
#13
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I hope you have a few years! It's a reference work. I think you'll be blown away by what's there.

Just a heads up. there is a bug in it. I think it's the "Kampfe" section... it doesn't return to the table of contents. I contacted the gent and he doesn't remember enough of Adobe to fix it. It's minor.

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 01-20-2013, 04:13 AM
#14
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(01-19-2013, 09:47 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Well, I was wrong on that! Biggrin At least we know it's a 1912.

It's good to know that what I write is actually read. Time not wasted. Sometimes I think it is.

If you don't have a copy of Waits Safety Razor Compendium (it's a $15 download last I knew) it's really worth having if you intend to continue buying vintage razors. Trust me, just buy a copy if you intend to stick with it. No wait for delivery down under, and it's inexpensive for what you'll receive. I've bought a few lather catchers because of Waits info.

Dump it all into a directory and make a shortcut to the file "SRC_TOC.pdf" (Safety Razor Compendium_Table Of Contents)and haul the shortcut onto your desktop and Bobs your Uncle from then on. (did I use that correctly?)

Downloaded the compendium. Great stuff. Yes .. Bob's now my uncle, just as you indicated!

Re-reading your great post on the Valets. Excellent information.

http://shavenook.com/thread-se-razor-rev...-vc1-2-3-4

Cheers

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 01-20-2013, 04:24 AM
#15
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Possumbelly, you might want to finish off those SE shaves with some Krampert's Finest Bay Rum! Wonderful stuff!

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 01-20-2013, 04:25 AM
#16
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Beware of L.O.S.E.R.s they will drag you on dark side of shaving!

ohh no I am L.O.S.E.R. see I even didnt know when it happend! Biggrin

Good luck on your journey. Sit comfy and enjoy!

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 01-20-2013, 04:49 AM
#17
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From the compendium, my GEM with the shorter handle and Brooklyn, New York imprint - is possibly a "GEM peerless" 1912 (released 1927/28). Handle looks spot on with that in the compendium at least.

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 01-20-2013, 08:03 PM
#18
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The Peerless is a 1925 catalogued set, basically the case.

Waits shows your handle from 1919 and again in '24. I'm not saying it wasn't part of a Peerless set, but without the rest of the set no one knows. To complicate things, those handles change in a heartbeat. If you get a razor from someone like me who has lots of handle it's almost impossible to date a razor that way, but if you got it from the wild, then the chances are good of it being a clue. Most times I'll keep the proper handle with the head it came with however, or I'll at least label the displaced handle as to what razor it came off of.

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 01-21-2013, 12:35 PM
#19
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I had my third shave with the GEM this morning. Getting better each time.

Wielding this unusually shaped razor is becoming easier with each shave. I've been using a "pinch hold" on the neck area of the handle, just below the head. This is starting to feel pretty comfortable and natural. Allows for a light touch with no excess pressure. The area below my nose - which often poses some difficulty with a DE - is becoming surprisingly easy.

I went for a careful ATG 3rd pass this time which went really well. The feeling on my cheeks was amazing. I needed to adjust my angle a few times but I ended up with a mighty fine smooth shave. One of my best ever. The blade is starting to feel nice and smooth but it was still slicing through nicely.

Holding a DE razor again will seem odd after a few more days of using this baby.

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 01-21-2013, 01:06 PM
#20
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(01-21-2013, 12:35 PM)possumbelly Wrote: I had my third shave with the GEM this morning. Getting better each time.

Wielding this unusually shaped razor is becoming easier with each shave. I've been using a "pinch hold" on the neck area of the handle, just below the head. This is starting to feel pretty comfortable and natural. Allows for a light touch with no excess pressure. The area below my nose - which often poses some difficulty with a DE - is becoming surprisingly easy.

I went for a careful ATG 3rd pass this time which went really well. The feeling on my cheeks was amazing. I needed to adjust my angle a few times but I ended up with a mighty fine smooth shave. One of my best ever. The blade is starting to feel nice and smooth but it was still slicing through nicely.

Holding a DE razor again will seem odd after a few more days of using this baby.

With GEM & Ever-Ready razors my grip is similar to yours for XTG....
For WTG and ATG I've found I can get the proper shaving angle and pressure (hardly any) easier by holding the handle futher down towards the end.

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