Cal's "I don't do journals" Journal

Discussion in 'Journals and Diaries' started by Cal, Apr 19, 2018.

    I am a strong believer in the correct use of grammar. It is hard to write a forum post and maintain decent English, especially when cursed with a mobile phone keyboard and autocorrect. I find myself checking my posts four or five times and still missing mistakes.
  1. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    It annoys me to make mistakes but I'm incapable of catching all of mine all the time. Autocorrect drives us all nuts; it helps sometimes, but hurts more I think, and is great at making us look like idiots.

    I have read the Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout. He typed his books. One draft. Then they were published. There are almost no mistakes in the series. According to what I've read there was no editing or proofreading. That fairly blows my mind.

    I can screw up a shot sentence.
  2. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    :laugh: (You should be short!)
  3. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Clever, Cal.

  4. Nothing like shooting yourself in the fort.
  5. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    I've been wanting to start SR shaving proper for a while. By that I mean using ONLY (well, mainly only) SRs. I'm highly impressed by @Chan Eil Whiskers Jim's MO in this area (possibly even a little bit jealous, truth be told).

    I guess I need to be able to get a respectable shave in a not-too-huge amount of time, and that's what's holding me back.

    Reading about the great range of blade angles available to SR users (for some reason) made me think of @AimlessWanderer Al's DE shaving method, i.e. using the blade only (no guard or cap riding). I thought if I could manage that method maybe it would be easier to transition to SRs.

    So I made a start with my Mk2 Fatip OC. After several (very nice) shaves I realised that a bit more blade exposure would be a good thing, so I changed over to my Mk1 Fatip OC.
    upload_2019-5-9_19-15-1.png upload_2019-5-9_19-15-30.png
    Having an extra 8° to play with has made a great difference. And the vaunted 30° SR shaving angle is just about right in the middle of the range. So my intention* is to get more practice with Al's method on my Mk1 Fatip OC and then see how that affects my rookie SR shaves. I'm hoping it will be positive, and if so I'll follow Jim's lead.

    * I know. You've heard about them before. :001_rolle


    Tiny Shavemac Silvertip D01 2-Band
    Soap: Proraso Red tub
    Razor: Fatip Mk1 Butterscotch
    Blade: Personna Red (7)
    ASL: Proraso Red
    upload_2019-5-9_19-30-29.png :001_wub:

    A very nice BBS shave using Al's unusual (to me) DE method. :001_smile
  6. Cal, have you been using a shavette at all?

    If you have concerns about jumping into cutthroats with more commitment, here are some possible options:

    1) get a feather SS or clone. This needs be one with a lip. Someone posted a cheap clone recently - probably on the SABRE thread. Shave with a shallow angle keeping the lip on the skin. This is halfway between a straight and a DE. The lip acts like the sb on the safety razor. You can control the amount of blade exposure.
    2) Get a Feather DX, Kai Captain or CJB and load with a guarded blade like the Feather Pro guard. To me these blades behave more like a straight razor - they are a bit more muted and you can take more chances with your angles without slicing yourself open.
    3) Try a straight with a coticule edge. You can take a few more liberties because the edge is more muted. You might need shorter strokes at first but it should shave well.

    Those three options give you the safest shave if that is a concern.

    If you are struggling to get a clean shave then it might be that you need to ratchet your edge sharpness up. I would recommend paste under these circumstances.

    Options here are:

    1) Your local glaziers : buy a couple of thick glass strips cut to size 8"x3". You can get them toughened, but that gets expensive. Buy some balsa from Hobbycraft. Lap it. Apply diamond paste.
    2) Buy a cheap leather paddle strop - plain leather is best. Get the Solingen crayons in the little red box from Amazon or CrOx and FerOx from Shavers Delight on Ebay.

    Maybe I'm missing the mark. Let us know if there is anything we can help with.

    If there is any kit you would like to borrow, DM me.
  7. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    Hi Kit, I started off with a Feather SS which I didn't like because of the "lip," it made me think of "cap riding" which is against my "guard riding" religion. I then moved on to the DX which I do like and can get a DFS from... but it takes me "forever."

    My latest acquisition (from the BST) is this very nice Otto Deutsch's HANS:

    It is really sharp and shaves like a dream (on my right cheek and jawline trial).

    What's holding me back is that I want to move over to the dark side (more or less) completely, rather than dabbling at weekends etc.
    I know I'm an awkward cuss, but I can't help it. :letterk1: :laugh:
  8. :a30: Could you only be getting a DFS because your beard is growing. :a19:
  9. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    :lol: Nice one Clay!
  10. Personally I don't hold with 3 pass shaves with an SR. It goes against how I was taught. Because of the skin stretching, you should be able to get a BBS with two passes : if the razor is sharp enough WTG /XTG. If it is a coticule edge, perhaps some diagonal XTG /ATG on the second pass.

    There, I've just saved you 33% of your learning curve.

    First pass is all about beard reduction and hitting the tight spots. Don't expect great results unless you have the blade ultra sharp. Your first pass can leave a lot more than you would expect with a DE. If you practise your first pass with an SR whilst finishing your shave with the DE for the first 10 days you will have mastered 50%.

    The secret to pass two is skin stretching. Lots of alum on the non shaving hand and hoick that skin really tight, right up over the jaw line when you are shaving the upper neck.

    Get the second pass down in 10 days maybe and you will be shaving more expertly than most guys do at 30 days after a couple of weeks.

    Swapping hands does make the shave easier. For years I shaved one handed but then when I was younger my beard wasn't so tough. Nor did I have much appreciation of or desire for a nice close BBS. You can get really far shaving one handed, good skin stretching, and not worrying about changing direction. If you switch forehand / backhand you can hit all the angles but it's tricky. I realise now that ambidextrous is much easier.

    Maybe you didn't need to know any of this. Just trying to say that a man of your shaving experience can probably get this down pretty easily, that's all.
  11. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    All advice well accepted Kit, thank you. :001_cool:
  12. I'm trying to think what I did when this all started for me that would help you Cal.
    I started with a Feather SS, some proguard blades and took to it like a duck out of water. In two weeks, or so, I was getting consistent DFS shaves. I don't have any inhibitions like you do towards shallow shaving though. The angle is whatever comes naturally for you and how you want to shave. Too steep and your scraping the whiskers off rather than cutting them. Which becomes very obvious when you go ATG.

    After shaving with the SS for two months, getting better all the time, I then moved onto proper straights.
    Had similar issues that Jim had with less than sharp edges and poor technique. Slowly over time, my edges and technique got better. With the reference from my SS I kept plugging away at getting my edges better on straights.

    It does take time and commitment. For me, I refused to give up, or go back to what I was really comfortable with - Injectors. Once I started there was no going back.

    Watched a lot of shaving videos.
    This one being my favourite.

    Not that I copied him directly, but watch his technique closely and modify to suit yourself. Skip to around 2.40 for the shave.

    It's been 12 months since I first picked up the SS and around 10 months with straights.
    It's been worth it, most definitely.
    Last nights shave was up there with the best I've had to date. Almost BBS all over, including my neck.

    Dive in, the water is fine. :001_smile

    You've got a few of us here to help you out on your journey. Ask all the questions you want - I'm sure Jim will be happy to reply to them :001_tt2:
  13. Kit makes a lot of good points there.
    Although, I do a 3 pass shave normally.

    Just do whatever is most comfortable for you.
  14. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    Thank you for the encouragement Doug. :thumbup1:
  15. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

    If the razor is sharp enough, why not start directly ATG?

    If I remember right, the guy in this video, thats no longer available due to Internet Nazi's lol, did just that.

    Ha! Made you click it! :tongue_sm
  16. As regards my shaving style, I will say that it didn't take me long to feel comfortable shaving with an open razor. It felt quite intuitive, other than the fact that the damn handle is in the wrong place :D

    I did think about getting a Razorine as an intermediate step, so even on bad health days, I can have an inline DE shave. Nothing has happened with that yet though.

    If I was going to give any advice whatsoever, it would be to not have any "intentions" at all. Just do it, and with as little planning as necessary. The true obstacles will make themselves known soon enough, without wasting time and money on perceived and anticipated obstacles, that derive purely from overthinking, and make no significant difference.
  17. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Not that you're wrong, Al, but I was terrified of the razor going into the straight.

    Mostly that stems from SR scars left over from my college days effort to learn. I sliced myself quite badly, should have gone to a plastic surgeon, and have a significant scar still (fortunately it is under my chin and nobody sees it unless I point it out).

    I needed to watch the videos. I also found it extremely helpful to explore the hand position and grip possibilities. I'm about 200 shaves into the SR and not sure I wouldn't benefit from more study of what others do and more thoughtful analysis of technique possibilities.

    Not saying you're wrong of course just different course different horse.

    Happy shaves,

  18. Oh, I had twitchy sphincter syndrome for the first couple of shaves too, but I was surprised to find it was very similar to what I was already doing, just without the aid of a safety net, or comfort coatings. So long as I stick to good health days, so I'm not compounding the issue with double/triple vision, struggling to stay upright, or having cognitive issues, it's really just the awkward handling that's the challenge. In fact, the only cut I've had was a fairly minor one, and that was total idiocy on my part. I'd decided to use different razors on a schedule instead of on a whim, and used the straight on a day when I should have picked up a DE. The schedule idea went straight out of the window after that.

    To clarify, I don’t find straight shaving easy, and in fact the personal challenge is the only reason I do it at all. However, I do get a "good enough" shave without blood letting. It does take a lot more focus and concentration, and is a significantly slower process, but for occasional use, that's very enjoyable indeed. Daily straight shaving, and all the peripheral maintenance, would certainly make shaving a chore again for me.
  19. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    If I didn't have make the time for it the SR world would be impossible. As it is, my reason for using the SR is comfort!

    Happy shaves,


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