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Thread: Shave of the day?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayinhk View Post
    Works out a lot quicker and simpler for me--I've owned straights, but I'm terrible at maintaining an edge on them. :P
    They can be tricky. I recently discovered my oldest has a slight concavity in the middle of the edge, which is a bit less keen than the ends. Makes trying to shave with that one a pain. Back to the 4000 grit with it I think.

    Today I used my rickety old Joseph Rodgers straight to shave my head. Was my first time doing so with any straight. Behind the ears is THE trickiest part in my books, one has to change to an inward curving stroke to get in there properly. top and back of the head aren't that bad. Temples are a bit of a chore because the skin there isn't quite so tight. Nice to know I can do it though if needs be. A lot of it was by feel, since there's only so much one can see in a single mirror. I'm somewhat used to that, except the danger element with a straight is a wee bit higher than with my usual DE.

  2. #42
    You're a brave man! I don't even shave my face without two mirrors! I wouldn't even attempt going behind the ears without them!

  3. #43
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    Today was the sixth shave on a Super Iridium Blade in my Merkur Futur razor. Prep was a hot shower. Lather was TGQ. Aftershave was a cold water rinse followed by 70% isopropyl alcohol. Then, for church, a single spritz of Armani Code.

    Six shaves is clearly the limit for this blade. This shave is nice, but not great, and it took extra effort. Someone with a lighter beard or lower standards might soldier on with this blade, but not me, not for this price.

    My experience has been that Feather blades (to which Super Ir is often compared) wear out with what we in engineering call a "step function." Shave number four is 97% as good as shaves one and two, but shave number five -- if you try for it -- is a disaster. You get four great shaves and that's it. In my as-yet-limited evaluation of them, Super Irs seem to give three great shaves and then tapper off more-or-less linearly ending with the sixth shave. But, my experience with Super Irs is, as yet, very limited. This evaluation is still very much in-progress.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayinhk View Post
    You're a brave man! I don't even shave my face without two mirrors! I wouldn't even attempt going behind the ears without them!
    Heh, thanks. I guess I'm just used to shaving by feel primarily. For years I used my DE "blind" in the shower, but eventually became concerned with all the water I was using up. Nothing makes your sense of touch more acute than knowing there's a razor blade sliding all around your face and head!

  5. #45
    Well, today it was VDH Deluxe soap, no pre-shave oil (my mistake), 1969 Gillette black handled slim adjustable, and a Walgreens Personna blade.
    'm not impressed with the Walgreens Personna. Not a great shave, and plenty of weepers.
    4 passes and still not BBS. Tried it on 1 and 2 and it was too mild. Tried it on 3 and it was rough. Think I'll try Derby or Dorco next.
    The plus side is that the back of my neck is very soft and smooth where I shaved it after my haircut today.

  6. #46
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    I'm sorry that your experience wasn't so great. I've tried the "red label" Personna blades and, while I know that a lot of guys really like 'em, I found them to be middle-of-the-road at best.

    Derby is about the best over-all in my opinion. This does not mean that I think Derby blades necessarily give the best shave, but that they optimize more parameters further simultaneously than any other blade. They are a great blade, a favorite of mine, My silver Gillette really like's 'em.

    Dorco ST300s are the mildest blades I've tried. Do not confuse mild with dull. A dull blade pulls and tugs and rips and tears and gives a bad shave. A mild blade has a little bit higher angle, so it doesn't shave as close, but it's still shaving-sharp. I will, I think, always keep some Dorco ST300s around because there are times when any guy needs a milder shave, maybe if you got caught out on a bright day with no sun screen on, for example. And a lot of guys, especially those with sensitive skin, like Dorco ST300s for their every-day shave.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by C.S. Graves View Post
    Heh, thanks. I guess I'm just used to shaving by feel primarily. For years I used my DE "blind" in the shower, but eventually became concerned with all the water I was using up. Nothing makes your sense of touch more acute than knowing there's a razor blade sliding all around your face and head!
    Of course, I shave the back of my neck blind, but when I do delicate areas such as around my lips, I close my eyes to better "see" by feel.

    In many respects, this ties shaving to martial arts. In martial arts, we talk about the need to "see with your fingers" and to "use your mind's eye." Shaving this way can be thought of and practiced as an exercise to build and reinforce these skills.

    In my mind's eye, I can see the edge of the blade actually cutting the hairs. I can see it remarkably well now, so well that I make small adjustments to angle and such based on what I see in my mind's eye and I seem to get it right.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  8. #48
    I do have to admit that it went better than I expected for my first DE shave in over 20 years, and only my 2nd DE shave ever. Weepers aren't anywhere near as bad as the gashes I've gotten from carts.
    I may give that Personna another try to see if it's settled down some. My next blade to try will be one of the Derby/Dorco/Bic that you sent me to try. Thanks again for that.
    I've thought about ordering some Shark blades to try.

  9. #49
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    I've never tried Shark. From what I've read, they have a reputation as agressive. You might want to try the BICs first and see if that's the direction you should move in.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollnick View Post
    Of course, I shave the back of my neck blind, but when I do delicate areas such as around my lips, I close my eyes to better "see" by feel.

    In many respects, this ties shaving to martial arts. In martial arts, we talk about the need to "see with your fingers" and to "use your mind's eye." Shaving this way can be thought of and practiced as an exercise to build and reinforce these skills.

    In my mind's eye, I can see the edge of the blade actually cutting the hairs. I can see it remarkably well now, so well that I make small adjustments to angle and such based on what I see in my mind's eye and I seem to get it right.
    Hmm, as someone who doesn't practice martial arts, I find this interesting. I may not fully understand the application of that principle, but I might guess that it's got something to do with the practical application of one's tactile sense? It stands to reason that we can't use our eyes for everything all the time, and that with a slightly trained sense of touch, one can lighten the visual workload a bit... for example, not having to visually confirm that the grip on a blade is oriented properly, or as you said above, knowing that a certain stroke of the razor is more effective than a slightly different angle. You can really feel those whiskers pop when you're getting it right.. I mean, the follicles have nerves attached, right?

    Much to my disappointment, I must say I'm continuing to butcher my face with that new DE razor blade. Haven't gotten the aggressiveness taken out of it yet, and even using what I feel is a light touch doesn't seem to prevent me getting a couple nicks in spots like the corners of the mouth and chin. I might be better off going back to the straights for my next grooming session.

  11. #51
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    grow a goat tee thats how i save soem of the hard parts from beig hard
    Lloyd Richard Harner III most people that know me just call me Butch

    L.R.Harner Knives
    If you're not going to do it right, don't do it.
    www.harnerknives.com
    working mostly on kitchen knives and straight razors
    now also making balisongs

  12. #52
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    As an old song says, "The difficult, I'll do right away. The impossible will take a little while."
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  13. #53
    Yesterday was my own home made pre shave oil, VdH Deluxe soap, VdH boar bristle brush,
    and a Dollar General "made in usa" (Personna, I guess) blade in a pre 1951 Gillette fat handled Tech. I have to say that I LOVE this razor. The Tech is every bit as good as people say it is.
    Took 4 passes to get a BBS shave. I gave myself a bit of razor rash on my upper lip, though.
    The Dollar General blades aren't terrible, not fantastic either. For 20 cents a blade, I'll use them every now and then.
    Next up is going to be a Dorco ST300, either in the silver handled '62 Gillette adjustable or the '69 black handled adjustable.
    Here soon, I'll try the Bic and Derby blades Gollnick sent me. Thanks again, Chuck.

    BTW OT, I think I'm going to make my own razor/brush stand. I have some thick stainless steel sheet, and some 1/2 brass hex rod, as well as some brass 1/8" sheet, various diameters of black delrin rod, some 1.75" dia white delrin rod, and some 1/2" thick Micarta. Ideas are swirling around in my head.
    I want to make a stand that will hold my 3 DE razors and my brush. The hangers will protrude from the center at 90 degree angles from the center, like this +

  14. #54
    Tonight I tried one of the Dorco ST300s sent to me by our friend Gollnick. I washed up and lathered up with the only shave soap I've ever used. VdH Deluxe. I then put the Dorco into my H2 date coded silver handled Gillette adjustable and had at it. I have no complaints. It didn't get me as BBS as the 2 different Personnas I've tried, but it was darned close, and it didn't leave my face feeling like it had lost a fight with a belt sander. This is a great blade for me to use the day after an overly aggressive shave.
    I think I'll like this DE shaving hobby/sickness. I've kicked the cartridges.

  15. #55
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    I'm glad things went better with the Dorco. Hopefully, the milder blade will let you get your technique dialed in with this razor. Perfect.

    The legendary BBS, baby's butt smooth shave, takes great technique and extra time and effort. As such, with a new -- at least new-to-you -- razor and/or blade will take time to get dialed in with before you can expect such a shave.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  16. #56
    Thanks to you, I've been able to sample some good blades. I've gotten 3 good face shaves and 2 good head shaves from a single Dorco. I think I'll order a few boxes of Dorcos, and then some Derbys and Sharks, once I get better with my technique.

  17. #57
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    Tonight I shaved with my Merkur Futur with a Derby blade. I used a cheap shaving oil, Shave Secret, from Wal-Mart, a hot washcloth prep and C.O. Bigelow (Proraso) shaving cream lathered up with a boar brush. Got an excellent shave, but I'm still not favoring the Futur over my Gillette adjustables--I do like it just to switch things up a bit, though. It's definately a more aggressive shaver and I have to be more careful with it versus my Gillettes. I should add, in defense of the Futur, that it is still a Great razor and I have no plans to part with it.

  18. #58
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    am in the testing stages of my prototype cpm154 razor last night the shave was not super but passable (i think its jsut learnign a new honeing progression and more time stropping to get things smoothed out )

    will keep you updated
    Lloyd Richard Harner III most people that know me just call me Butch

    L.R.Harner Knives
    If you're not going to do it right, don't do it.
    www.harnerknives.com
    working mostly on kitchen knives and straight razors
    now also making balisongs

  19. #59
    I'm also having great luck with a Derby blade in my black handled 1969 Gillette adjustable, with VdH soap or with Noxzema cold cream. The cold cream gives me a better shave with NO irritation and no drying of my skin. I've gotten 3 head shaves AND 3 face shaves with one Derby blade. I have no complaints about them. I'll try the Bic blade later this week.

  20. #60
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    This morning...

    Preshave: Hot shower
    Lather: TGQ
    Shave: Supper Iridium in Merkur Futur (f/2.75)
    Aftershave: 70% Drug Store rubbing alcohol

    Result: Pretty good.

    The amazing part: This was shave #12 of this blade. I've been shaving carefully to use one edge and then the other. The first edge delivered eight... count 'em EIGHT!... shaves. The second edge only four. But, still, TWELVE shaves from a single blade! Wow!

    I have a colleague at work who drives a Toyota Prius. He's bought special hardware and software for his laptop that allows him to connect the PC to the car and fiddle around with the various internal settings in the engine computer. Sports car enthusiasts have been doing this for many years. But Larry's goal is not increased performance. No. Larry is a hard-core "hyper-miler." His goal is to get the highest fuel efficiency possible, the most miles-per-gallon. He has studied and optimized very foot of his daily route. He has timed every traffic light. He has it all down. And before he comes into the office each day, he snaps a picture of the milage display on his car to post to some website forum he belongs to to show off to his fellow hyper-miler friends.

    Can you believe that? They have web forums for people whose whole life revolves around getting the maximum milage on their car? These people just sit around all day and just discuss how to get an extra tenth of a mile out of a gallon of gas. It's absolutely silly! You'd never catch me doing anything like that. Anyway...


    Anyway, there's an old saying, "Your actual milage may vary."

    Me? I drive a supercharged Mercedes. Getting the maximum MPG is not my top priority. Some time ago, Larry and I took a product we were working on to an outside test laboratory. On the way back to the office, we got on the freeway via one of Portland's many "metered ramps." One car per green light. One at a time. When we came to the head of the line and the light turned green, I decided to show Larry how a Mercedes works. At the end of the ramp, we merged into traffic doing about 65. And, once he started breathing again, Larry's response was, "Wow. I don't think my Prius can do that."

    My reply was, "In the last four seconds, Larry, I burned as much gas as you will commuting for the next four days.... but it was worth it!"

    And, as I looked in my mirror, I caught a glimpse of the expression on Larry's face which clearly said, "Yes, by golly -- while I would never admit it-- it was!"

    Larry drives with a certain goal that not everyone shares. His standard of an acceptable, even a good drive is different than others.

    So also with shaving, some have different goals. There is a certain cult within the shaving community which I like to call the "hyper-shavers." Their goal is to extract the maximum number of shaves-per-blade, SPB.

    How many shaves a guy can get from one blade depends first on the quality of his prep. I think mine is pretty good. A nice, hot shower with a good face wash is good. The hyper-shaver would probably spend twenty minutes wrapped in a series of hot towels soaked with special oils and beard softeners; I haven't got time for that.

    Next, the products you use will factor into your SPB. I think my practice is pretty good in this area. I use TGQ soap. The hyper-shavers tend to layer on pre-shave oils and then mix up elaborate concoctions of soaps and creams to get the exact right slickness.

    Perhaps the second biggest determiner of SPB is your beard itself. If you have a sparse, light beard, then you'll get more SPB. Mine is, I suspect, about average. It gets kind of tough and wirey between my lower lip and chin, but that seems common.

    Another big determiner of SPB is how much time and how many passes you're willing to put in. For me, two passes is my usual practice. The whole process takes about 12 minutes. The hyper-shavers dedicate upwards of an hour to shaving extravaganzas involving five or six passes.

    But, the single greatest factor in SPB is just your own standards. I suspect that some of these hyper-shavers who report SPB in the dozens are quite satisfied to run around looking like they just stepped off the set of Miami Vice. Not me! I have, over the last year of DE shaving, come to expect -- rather demand -- a very smooth, close shave. And I won't compromise that to eke one more shave out of a blade that only cost pennies anyway.

    I will admit that the eighth shave from the first edge of this S Ir blade was below my usual standards. For one brief, 12 minutes to be exact, period, I flurted with hyper-shaving and allowed myself to accept a less-than-acceptable shave... though I gave no resemblance to Sonny Crockett even given my distain for unconstructed jackets.

    So, why only four shaves on the second edge? Because that was clearly all it had to give. And that shows inconsistency.

    I've been reading a lot of great reports about S Ir blades with may users reporting impressive SPB. As the Prius is the hyper-milers, the S Ir is rapidly becoming to hyper-shavers. Eventually, they'll figure out how to jack their laptops into their blades to maximize their SPB. I have been getting six and eight great shaves from S Ir blades so far. This last one was amazing... but inconsistent.

    Tomorrow, I have a Feather waiting on deck just for A/B comparison purposes.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


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