Damn Comfortable Shave

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by Chan Eil Whiskers, Sep 2, 2017.

    Do you get it on the synthetics? I can't follow it along the blade in the same way. I guess I need more practice.
  1. No, sir. I have only a yellow coticule and blue grey Thuringian. I suspect those are my terminal stones.
  2. Also the stickiness when you get to the water stage on the naturals.
  3. Yes, and thank you as I have had that experience.
  4. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    May I make a preliminary comment before rambling off into the wilderness?

    Surgeons oftentimes say something I find useful here.


    They say, "This operation in my hands is the way to go for this problem," or something to that effect. Key words are "in my hands." Sometimes they mean to say something along the lines of, "I am good at this but don't think that means you will be because I'm better at everything than you'll ever be at anything," because that's how some surgeons are.

    Sometimes they're acknowledging the obvious fact that we are of variable abilities and have varying skills and experience. As in this sort of position: Just because I can do something and make it look easy doesn't mean it's easy; you should know I've invested thousand of hours and infinite study; also you should know that it only looks easy because I'm a good actor; I've played the role thousands of times.

    Here I am...
    • Sometimes I feel like I'm fumbling in the dark with these stones.
    • I would have I think been better off buying the complete set of one brand of stones.
    • My set is a hodgepodge.
    • I don't know how one stone relates to another.
    • Maybe I'll figure it out, but, for me all that means is maybe my edges will become better and better, more and more consistent, and universally capable of shaving me like I want to be shaved.
    • I know nothing.
    • Still, this is just shaving. It's not surgery. Nobody's on the operating table.


    I see it much like you see it.

    But, for me, it may look considerably more foggy.

    Actually, that's okay. It probably should look foggy to me at this point. If I thought I understood it I'd be deluded. As it stands I'm making progress.

    One of the things I bought into early on (right or wrong) was the general information contained in this little write up the Classic Edge finishing stones sales page, linked, which talks some about grit size not being too very important.

    Is he right? I don't know that he is. I doubt he said that out of malice or to mislead me. After all, he sells stones at 12K, etc.

    I really like the Chosera 1K (not that I have anything to compare it to). For badly messed up edges (chips and such) I would like a much coarser stone but for everything else the Chosera seems grand.

    It is a soft feeling stone. It has a nice feel in use. It is not fast - I'm talking here from using it with the burr method to set a bevel - but is it slow? I don't entirely know what those terms mean.

    It certainly is a voyage of discovery. Honing. Stones. Grit. All this stuff.

    The complicating factors include technique, too, as you know.

    Sometimes I think probably the way to start is with The Method and lapping film. I may end up trying it or adding some lapping film to my progressions. Or, not.

    I find this material (below from the Classic Edge link above and its write up of the stone) interesting and confusing. It's also educational.


    In the material quoted above Phil is talking about a 10K stone being for him better than the same brand of stone at 12K. He sells both. Why would he say this it it weren't true in his experience?

    Concerning the Steelix 8K stone (the one in my progression) he says this.

    The stone I bought (the Japanese Ceramic Waterstone being discussed above is the Steelex 8K) did not come with a slurry stone. Even though Classic Edge sells stones they seem to be always out of stock on most of the stones including this on. I bought mine from an Amazon vendor; the vendor told me it is not sold with a slurry stone (I inquired). Not a problem as I have a slurry stone that works great for all my waterstones and is high enough grit that it doesn't mess any of them up (I think). I don't use a slurry stone all the time, but sometimes I do.

    Anyway, honing with the Steelex 8K as the finishing stone in my progressions I was unable to get the edge I wanted, which is why I bought the Shapton 12K and the Arkansas Hard Black.


    I tried water and then Williams shaving soap and water and got no joy with the 8K as a finisher, but, again, I'm a novice and have no real skills or understanding.

    That's how I see it, too. But, as you say, it's what I "think" it means.


    I don't know if the table is right, or properly done, or anything. I would assume it is, but that's not the same as knowing.

    I'm pretty sure I see people I think know a lot about stones referring to grit or micron values or comparisons in ways that seem to be telling me they're using that chart. Either that or there are other published sources of such information.


    Can I figure all this out? Probably not, but might as well try...


    I'm totally open to suggestions and both stupid enough and stubborn enough to ignore them.

    I'm less inclined to buy more stones having already spent a small fortune on the ones I have. Still, I will get more stones over time I suspect.

    Happy shaves, gentlemen,

  5. Okay, I finally saw what you were quoting. IMHO, films provide a close progression. It's not jumping from 1000 to 6000.
  6. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I jump from 1K to 3K to 5K to 8K to 12K. Those jumps seem reasonable (even given that they might not all be the grit or micron stated or implied) to me.


    Jumping from 1K to 6K sounds like a bad idea to me, but there are places (like the super duper electron microscope place, linked here) and people doing all sorts of things that sound strange to us, and achieving very good results. The linked material is worth studying I find. I find the entirety of the website tiresome and tedious; I know others will find it engaging and fascinating. This one page that I linked cuts to the chase and has some great information.

    The great information has some real clues for us I think and for me I'm sure. There are a good many common denominator type hints here I think. Still, he's willing to jump from 1K to 6K (but is his 6K really a 6K; I haven't looked to be sure). Anyway...

    Happy shaves,

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  7. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Sunday's shave? I'm not sure what to say.


    Yesterday's shave, linked, with this newly honed razor was disappointing. My wife commented this morning that I had several little cuts on my chin; I had not noticed these and did not see them even after she mentioned them. Also, I don't know that the cuts she sees arrived yesterday or on a previous day.

    I infrequently see any blood unless I nick myself with a stray movement and that's not frequent enough to worry about.

    Anyhow I went into my shave today thinking a couple of things.
    • This razor isn't as sharp as the other razors I've honed.
    • I should put it at the end of the rotation or return it to the stones today.
    • Maybe I'll try it again just once with a different soap before honing it again.
    • Gee, the whole thing kinda scares me particularly if I cut myself; yesterday's edge did seem a bit tuggy.
    You'll notice I can't count to two.

    Anyway, today's shave was much, much better than yesterday's!


    Having three dozen more learning shaves (that's a joke right, the whole it takes only a hundred shaves to learn the SR?) means I've got plenty of time to figure it out.

    It appears (being a good little scientist now) the soap used yesterday - because changing soaps was the only variable change - and the soap used today are not the same for my SR shaves. Wickham 1912 is way better!

    Of course, things are never quite so simple.
    • I have 1912 dialed in and not Lisa's.
    • I showered today before shaving and not yesterday.
    • I did wash my face at the sink with the same soap before shaving yesterday.
    • The shower vs sink face wash thing seems long settled in my mind and makes no difference in my experience, but I could be wrong there.
    • The razor's edge is another day older, more experienced, and was both used once and stropped more (maybe that matters?).
    Anyway, I think the difference was today's soap.

    Wickham the Bee's Knees.jpg

    This isn't news to me.

    Is it the very best? Well, maybe. There are a lot of really good soaps. Wickham 1912 sure establishes a standard. Its bar is high.


    Speaking of high bars, this Zenith Manchurian is a fabulous brush. I'm already wondering if it will displace its big brother, the copper handled Manchurian.

    Today my shave was basically a one pass shave with some touch ups (or about as close to that as I get). I don't work today and just felt like stopping so I did.

    Given that (or not even given that) this was a pretty good shave.


    Probably an elf came in the night to hone the razor again from scratch.

    I'm pretty amazed, yes I am.

    Happy shaves,

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  8. From the reading I did (in Its too big of a jump!), yes, he is willing to make the jump, but would also agree that going to 3k in between would be less work.
  9. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Yes, I agree.

    He also stops the progression with stones at 6K, and that's a Kink 6K. What's the JIS 1998 on the 6K King? Not 6K I'd bet. Wouldn't be surprised if it's 4K or 3K.

    After stones though he's still progressing. Very hodgepodge in a scientific way (that's sorta a joke). Apparently effective.

    He progresses with cloth and leather with polishing materials and sprays and such.

    I'm doing something similar after my rocks with CrOx and the red & black pastes.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  10. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Monday my shave was hurried.


    Same kit as yesterday. Similar but not quite as good acceptable shave.

    Cremo + Bay Rum (favorites). 480:Small..JPG

    Nice scent.

    Happy shaves,

  11. Congrats on the new brush. So 26mm or 28mm? Which one is working better for you so far?
  12. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Both are great. Way too early to compare them in a head to head way. The wooden handled Manchurian is a real winner; if I didn't already have the copper handled Manchurian I suspect the wooden handled Manchurian would already be contending for the top spot.


    These are both seriously great brushes by any standard within my experience. Plus, they are enough different so it doesn't seem like one is clone of the other.

    Happy shaves,

  13. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Tuesday's shave was nice.


    Boots LTD razor. Nice kit. Nice shave.

    Cremo + Bay Rum (favorites). 480:Small..JPG

    The soap is very good and its scent is very good, too, as expected.

    Happy shaves,

  14. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I've Got Mail.jpeg

    What could it be? I'm 100% sure I know just looking at the package.


    This is a plastic handled but ivory looking fairly inexpensive boar. Considering that I already know how great my other Mondial boar is I'm very excited to have this brush. I've wanted it for a long time, but it was out of stock forever.

    Two.Zenith.Manchurians.1-5-19.640 copy.jpg

    I've not decided how to put this brush into my rotation. I'm current more stuck in Badger Land than I've ever been. You might say I'm stuck on just Manchurians. Maybe I'm stuck on just one particular Manchurian, but I know I'll be back into my pigs soon enough.

    I may hold on to this brush, keeping it dry and new, until I get my Thater Premium Boar brush back. Assuming it has a new knot it might be fun to break the two in and compare using them side by side from "new."


    As well as I can from memory I'm comparing how this plastic Mondial's knot feels with how my aluminum handled Mondial's knot felt and seemed when it was new. I'd say they're the same. If so, that's saying something as the Mondial boar pictured above is a superior brush.

    This new brush's faux ivory handle is an excellent example of what can be done with plastic. It does not seem crummy or cheap in any respect. Bravo, Mondial!

    Happy shaves,

  15. Glad you got the Mondial in plastic handle. The aluminum version is a winner for me so far.
  16. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    Wednesday my shave was unhurried, enjoyable, and unusual.


    This soap is Grooming Department's Chypre Vert which is Lusso based soap (whatever that means; see next post).
    I was advised to use very, very little of it which is what I did. Extremely little, but probably not little enough.

    The soap is very soft, but I left it uncovered in the jar for a number of days to harden it (the vendor says that's okay and won't weaken the scent). I have only a sample which was given to me by a very generous member. I want to make it last and I prefer hard soaps to soft soaps. It hardened nicely.

    This soap really is quite amazing. I'm telling you I use a really, really, really, tiny, tiny, tiny amount. I had mountains of lather on the third and forth pass. That's face lathering of course. The soap performs very well indeed in all respect.

    Usually I wipe my skin of all remaining lather using a clean white towel. Then I rinse with cold water and dry. Then I apply witch hazel. When it dries I use a splash and a moisturizer.

    Today, I used a towel to wipe off the lather and that's it.

    I'm saying the post shave face feel is stellar and I'm saying I like the scent.


    Well, this soap is GD so it's...


    Happy shaves,

  17. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    From the GD website. On their formulas, link.

  18. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

  19. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    This is for John...

    Why use a straight razor?


    The question is easy to answer. The answer is very hard to understand until you have enough experience with a good sharp straight razor.

    Happy shaves,


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