Cartridge to R41 to Cut-Throat

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by Jakebullet, Dec 10, 2018.

    Shave 158 and 3 on the Friodur.
    Lathered with Proraso Green soap but I could tell immediately that the edge wasn’t the sharpest or the smoothest. I completed pass one then gave it 10 quick strops on leather which helped a little. I finished the shave but it was definitely a little dulled. The only thing I can think of is that I must’ve forgotten to strop it after the last shave.
    This got me thinking that the edge must be pretty rough by the time I get to pass three so I wonder if stropping a little before pass three might be useful?
    I’ve given it 70 laps on leather so will have to see what tomorrow brings.
  1. Shave 159 and 4
    Tabac soap, the new badger brush is still breaking in. The smell is still there and it absorbs a lot of lather but getting better with every use.
    The shave was definitely much better today which pretty much confirms my suspicions that I’d forgotten to strop it yesterday.
    3 nice passes and a touch up gave a real smooth shave.
  2. Shave 160 and 5 on the Friodur since honing.
    I used a Palmolive shave stick lathered up with the Simpson’s short, stiff badger which is improving daily and got to work.
    Each day I use the brush it handles the lather better and the smell fades, and it has such a great blend of stiffness and softness I really like it.
    I think the blade is really at its best today, it’s settled down perfectly. My downward pass was easy and smooth, xtg pass two it really sang along the cheeks and jaw pinging everything in its path and atg it was just super smooth even on the coarse stuff on my neck chin and upper lip. I took a long cold rinse then a great splash of the bright orange Floid Vigoroso. With my face chilled and rapidly cooling I left the bathroom with a smile.
  3. Shave 161 and 5
    I lathered the badger brush with Menrock Sicilian Lime which was a cream when I bought it about a year ago but what’s left of it is now a hard soap. The stuff smells great, clean and fresh and subtle I really like it and today it made a great full lather.
    The blade is in its prime, performing beautifully. It’s sharp and smooth and now (I hope) I’ve learned how to hone it, it seems to really like my face.
    Its Saturday and I had time on my hands so I used a huge blob of Proraso Green Preshave and it really chilled my face. I did my three passes which were all nice and smooth, but there are certain areas of my neck which are just so tricky to get to bbs with the straight so today, as it was already loaded with a blade, I briefly touched up my neck with the Muhle R41.
    Icy cold rinse and a big stinging splash of Speick and I’m out into the world. There’s a sale on in Penhaligon’s today so I’m taking the family shopping, might even treat myself.
  4. 7FFF8A8C-65FB-480B-AFCD-5A5FA7852040.jpeg Took a trip to Penhaligons shop today as there was a sale on. I
    tried a great aftershave called ‘The Tragedy of Lord George’ which has a brilliant, unusual, long lasting scent which I really liked, but at £188 per 100ml bottle it was outside what I really wanted to pay.
    They had ‘English Fern’ reduced from £100 for 100ml down to £69.99 so I thought I’d give this a try and my girl kindly bought it for me as an early Father’s Day gift. The stuff smells green and extremely fresh and puts me in mind of a wet forest walk early in the morning as well as a 18th century vintage but classy bathroom scent. It seems very strong so I’ll have to be careful with it but I’m looking forward to trying it after tomorrow’s shave.
  5. Man today after a solid 3 weeks on Coti and Arkansas edges I pulled out a sweet vintage American singing hollow with a JNAT edge... and I think I surgically removed 3 or 4 hair follicles!

    There’s always a trade off between keen edge and forgiving edge, but the wild thing with JNATs is the edge is SMOOTH. Smooth definitely doesn’t mean forgiving though, it just means it can take a nice chunk out of your face without you even feeling a bite. What’s it like when you accidentally slice in with a .3 film edge?
  6. Ha, usually I hear myself swearing before I’ve felt anything, it’s like my face knows it’s been cut before the pain receptors get the message out.
    Now and then I feel the cut as I’m doing it and sometimes I don’t feel anything. Often I finish what I think was a perfect shave only to see 4 or 5 crisscross red lines on my chin and cheeks with no idea how they got there. Most are healed the next morning but sometimes with the deeper ones they last a few days to a week and I have to edge my way around them every morning. Considering what we’re doing which is waving decades old pieces of absolutely crazy sharp home honed steel around our faces left handed and groggy first thing in the morning, I’m surprised we haven’t done a great deal more damage.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  7. Shave 165 and 9
    The day before yesterday (shave 7) I felt an ever so slight dulling of the blade so the next morning I gave it 100 laps on the leather to see if this helped. I think it did to a degree, but this morning again after 40 on the strop I again noticed the edge being ever so slightly less sharp. It’s in certain areas that I notice it first. Like going atg on my neck for example. Unless the thing is scary sharp it doesn’t seem to quite cut there. The blade is still plenty sharp it’s just that I feel I have to work a little harder to get the shave. It shaves fine but I have a tough beard and I know now how I like the razor to cut so I think it’s back to the hone for a touch up.
    It’s only dulled a little so do I go back to a full 40 laps on the 1u film then the same on the 0.3u or try less? I think at this early stage while I’m learning what’s what, it’s important to find out if my results are repeatable so probably best to go the full 40’s I can always take it down on future honings if I feel the need.
  8. This evening I set up my honing stuff, flat block, lapping films, notepaper backing, eye glass, water spray and the Henckels Friodur. I put my glasses on, poured myself a whisky and got started. Each time I try this I get a little more comfortable with it. For the first few laps on the 1u film I had the block flat on the table but then remembering a forum suggestion that better contact might be made by holding the block in hand I picked it up and gave it a go. I remembered to slightly torque the razor into the film and did 40 passes, the last 10 of which were extremely light. This felt very comfortable. Next I replaced the 1u film with the 0.3u film and did 40 hand held passes on that too. I took my time and concentrated on the undercut of the water, the flatness of the razor on the block and most of all on not slicing off the tips of my fingers. I looked through the eye glass and felt sure I could see a very slight foil edge on parts of the blade, but otherwise the edge looked mirror polished. So I gave it 50 laps on my linen strop and 50 slow ones on my long leather strop. I paid attention while stropping trying to feel for any scraping. After stropping I looked through the glass. Now the whole edge looked mirrored and I couldn’t see any foil edge whatsoever. I found one of my girlfriends hairs from her hairbrush. Wow. I’m not sure how indicative of a good shave the HHT is but I’ve never had an edge just slice silently through hanging hair like that.
    Really looking forward to trying this edge in the morning.
  9. It’s indicative enough or people wouldn’t use it!

    The big thing is not getting caught up trying to compare your HHT to someone else’s, and trying to make sure you keep your HHT as consistent as possible so it’s a good predictor for you. I do the same thing you did, wife’s hair from brush, wet it for a few seconds in the sink, hold about 3/8-1/2” away and slice upwards with the blade and see what happens.

    The other big thing is checking results down the whole length of the blade. A blade that’s HHT 3+ all over for me the way I HHT works great. If it’s HHT 3 some spots and playing violin in others it’s marginal or sub par. The big chase for you now is finding the balancing point of how keen you want and how keen can you get without accidentally removing follicles mid shave or leaving your entire face tomato red post shave. I love an HHT 4+ JNAT edge but there’s really a different shaving technique to it vs an HHT 3+ Coti, and sometimes I have to tone it down to give my poor face a break.

    I goofed up and honed my whole razor drawer on JNATs without thinking about it a few months ago and was basically just overshaved if that’s a thing. That’s what sent me on my whole recent American blades and Ark finisher kick lately. It’ll be good to have options if you get a nice smooth natural finisher to match your extreme synth edge.
  10. Shave 166 and 1 on the Friodur since honing.
    Lathered with a badger brush and Tabac soap. I had high hopes for this shave following last nights honing which I felt in my boots had gone really well.
    As soon I started cutting I began to smile, this thing felt sharp! But it also felt very smooth and it whispered down my cheeks and chin like a hovercraft on the thin film of soap. As I was shaving I thought the edge felt very much like a feather blade in my R41 but so much gentler. Pass one rinsed and wow, a great start.
    Pass two xtg was the same, gentle and smooth and the razor cut effortlessly upward on my throat.
    Pass three atg was lovely, and effortless everywhere. I did a touch up then a cold rinse and what a brilliant shave!
    As I splashed the cold water on my face I could tell it was a good one, my face felt next level smooth. Every morning a splash of aftershave feels like firewater but today even the aftershave sting was hardly noticeable.
    Not a bit of redness or rashing anywhere. One of the closest most comfortable shaves I’ve ever done.
    I was pleased as this is the best result I’ve ever gotten and each time I’ve honed I’ve tried to learn a little more about the hone’s effect on the different steels etc. I’ve varied the films and the pressure and the number of laps and the laps on the strops, both linen and leather. Ive made my mistakes and I’ve butchered my face up on many occasions, but at last I’m seeing a consistent improvement. This was my best result by far and is the best edge I’ve ever shaved with and I’m glad to know that I can get it like this again when it eventually dulls.
  11. Nice!

    If that edge is forgiving enough for you then maybe you don’t actually need a natural finishing stone.

    Just kidding, EVERYONE needs a natural finishing stone. Even if just for variety. The nice thing about getting to where you are on films instead of with a pasted strop or something is that now you have all the feeling and experience that should translate straight over to honing on a stone. If you do get an Arkansas finisher it’s basically the same as film and the feedback might not be too far off either.
  12. Thanks for all the encouragement and help I’m going to take your advice and give the Arkansas a try, I’m going to try to source one this weekend hopefully from somewhere in the uk. I was late yesterday so I used the Muhle r41 and wow is it effective. Everything gone no messing around and very quick and ruthless to use but still.
    The post shave feel is very different from the straight. My face just seems to love the straight and when I get the edge and the shave right it’s just perfect. As you’re talking about the qualities of different edges this really brought it home to me. Once a blade is shaving sharp it’ll shave fine, then it’s all about how to tune that particular piece of steel to get the closest smoothest most comfortable shave possible and it’s a lot of fun getting there. I used to used the R41 exclusively so could only compare it with a cartdrige which it completely blew out of the water. And these first 6 months with the straight have been me learning how to shave with it and learning how to get it sharp again and then how to improve my technique to fine tune it to just how I like it to feel. But now my shaving technique is quite good and I’m getting the edge how I like it I’m now in a better position to compare the factory edge of a DE blade in an R41 and the mellower but still crazy sharp edge of a straight razor. I hadn’t expected encountering any of this when I started it’s been an eye opener. The best way to explain the difference to me is like the ruthless speed and power of an f1 car vs a vintage Jaguar. They’ll both get you there, they both reach the speed limit and beyond but one will get you there in style, and comfort, brings an elegance.
    The DE is sharper, cuts quicker, easier, it feels great but machine like and cold and uniform. The straight is warmer, more organic feel at least to me.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  13. I think that’s a pretty perfect explanation, I’m just surprised you’re getting that gentle of an edge off of films! Making a truly sharp edge is sort of the first sweet taste of freedom, and eventually everything past shaving sharp becomes a matter of preference. I’d guess in raw slicing ability an Ark edge will slot between the very best you can do on 1mu film and the .3mu film, but I’m not totally sure. What I’m really excited to hear back from you on is your impressions of the shaving feel between the different edges.
  14. I think what might be helping me get a smooth edge on the films is using your suggestion of progressively lightening the pressure especially over the last 10 laps. Plus I also use a piece of damp notepaper under the film and I think this might be helping. Even with all that it’s definitely rough straight from the films but 50 laps on the linen then leather smooths it right up.
  15. Yeah the pressure you apply is the single biggest factor in results on most natural stones by far. With synthetics pressure makes a difference but not quite to the same degree you’ll see a difference on most naturals, so it’s probably the best habit to get into.
  16. Shave 170 and 5 on the Friodur
    Used a Palmolive shave stick today with a badger brush. Made a great fresh smelling lather and got to work.
    The razor is still feeling sharp and smooth and gave me three great passes. I’ve been at this for 6 months and have a few shaves under my belt yet sitting here a few hours later running my fingers over the finished shave I can tell that I still haven’t got my face mapping absolutely perfect. There are still one or two little areas here and there which would benefit from an angle change to go atg. Why can’t it all just grow in the same direction? Great post shave feel from the Palmolive.
  17. Shave 171 and 7
    It’s usually about shave 7 where I feel the edge starting to dwindle so I was interested to feel how it would go today.
    It looks like I’m nearing the final quarter or so of my Proraso Green soap which I bought around a year ago.
    I haven’t used it for a bit and so I broke it out today. Wow and what brilliant stuff it is. So easy to get the lather just how you want it. It will swallow water and makes such a nice creamy lather on the face. It was the weekend so I treated myself to the cold Proraso Green preshave too.
    Pass 1 downward wtg. Lovely and smooth as always, as was my pass 2 xtg. I was stretching well and shaving well and the soap was giving me all the cusion and slickness I needed. Then after pass two I had a thought. If I shave without stropping I find it very rough even on a newly honed blade. So that tells me that near the end of each shave the edge must be pretty busted up and my final pass or two is probably being done every day with a very sub par edge. With these thoughts running through my mind I decided to stop for a second and strop the razor mid shave, so after my 2nd pass I gave it another 20 laps on the strop then got back to the shave. The third pass atg felt lovely and smooth as did the touch up pass. After a nice cold rinse and a splash of my rapidly diminishing bottle of Speick aftershave my face felt great and next level smooth. It’s hard to judge what improvements the mid shave strop brought (if any), all I can say is today’s was a great shave. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. As my bottle of Speick and my tub of Proraso Green are nearly done I’ve ordered some Fine Snakebite aftershave and some Sterling Margaritas in the Artic as replacements. A menthol soap to replace a menthol soap and a hopefully pretty scentless aftershave to replace a pretty scentless aftershave.
  18. You know what blew my mind and I still can’t decide for myself if it’s a real difference or placebo...

    Warm the blade in your hottest water prior to stropping, then let it cool or cool it in cold water prior to shaving. I swear there’s a subtle but real difference in the edge. I might only do it on the first stropping right off the hone, but seriously I need other people to test it out and tell me if I’m losing my mind because I feel a difference.
  19. I’ll give that a go!
    Shave 172 and 8
    Sunday shave, Proraso Green preshave and soap, face lathered with the stiff yet soft badger brush. I was expecting to feel the edge sharpness drop off today but the thing is still cutting really smoothly. Great easy pass one and two, then a 20 lap strop, then a lovely smooth pass 3 and touch up and what another brilliant shave. Super close, super smooth, there’s nothing like a straight razor shave. I’ve never nicked my strop since I started this but yesterday as I stropped with a slightly wet razor between passes I seem to have nicked it very slightly about 3 times, so something to be careful of in the future.

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