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Damn Comfortable Shave

It could just be honing, but you also might want to check the bevel angle if you have anything accurate enough to measure the distances with. You measure front of edge to back of the honed flat on the spine, then take spine width divided by 2 and you can use some trig to figure out what 1/2 of the total included bevel angle is.

I only mention it because the tang shape says “big heavy chopper”, but the blade width looks awfully narrow compared to the spine wear from the Sheffield razors I’ve handled. I’m definitely not a Sheffield expert, but my first razor is a Thomas Turner & sons that needed a heavy restoration. Bob Keyes ground about 3/32” right off the edge side without narrowing the spine at all. He wasn’t sure if it would still shave until he rehoned and tested it. It shaves fine, but the wider bevel angle has the effect of making every dangerously sharp edge shave more like a Coticule edge, and the edge holds up for a ridiculously long time with just stropping. Here’s the blade, you can see the tang is comically wide and the edge just seems to cut off the arc of the toe and is already honing into the stabilizer even though there’s not enough spine wear to explain it.
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I use mine as a reference edge sometimes, and it was what demonstrated to me that gold dollars were crap steel. If this has a slightly wider included bevel angle, then there’s really no excuse other than crap metallurgy for a gold dollar at ~19* to not take as keen an edge and only hold it literally 1/10th as long. Now I just chuckle everytime someone on here posts about “good steel”... it’s about as meaningful as when a loose acquaintance introduces you to a stranger and says “he’s a good guy”. It really just says “I don’t personally observe a reason to dislike this, but have nothing genuinely positive to say”.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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It could just be honing, but you also might want to check the bevel angle if you have anything accurate enough to measure the distances with. You measure front of edge to back of the honed flat on the spine, then take spine width divided by 2 and you can use some trig to figure out what 1/2 of the total included bevel angle is.

I only mention it because the tang shape says “big heavy chopper”, but the blade width looks awfully narrow compared to the spine wear from the Sheffield razors I’ve handled. I’m definitely not a Sheffield expert, but my first razor is a Thomas Turner & sons that needed a heavy restoration. Bob Keyes ground about 3/32” right off the edge side without narrowing the spine at all. He wasn’t sure if it would still shave until he rehoned and tested it. It shaves fine, but the wider bevel angle has the effect of making every dangerously sharp edge shave more like a Coticule edge, and the edge holds up for a ridiculously long time with just stropping. Here’s the blade, you can see the tang is comically wide and the edge just seems to cut off the arc of the toe and is already honing into the stabilizer even though there’s not enough spine wear to explain it.
View attachment 1008243
View attachment 1008244

I use mine as a reference edge sometimes, and it was what demonstrated to me that gold dollars were crap steel. If this has a slightly wider included bevel angle, then there’s really no excuse other than crap metallurgy for a gold dollar at ~19* to not take as keen an edge and only hold it literally 1/10th as long. Now I just chuckle everytime someone on here posts about “good steel”... it’s about as meaningful as when a loose acquaintance introduces you to a stranger and says “he’s a good guy”. It really just says “I don’t personally observe a reason to dislike this, but have nothing genuinely positive to say”.
Much appreciated.

I think my razor is probably basically okay because I used to enjoy shaving with it a good bit, but I'll look at it through the lens you've given me. First though I'm going to work on the edge.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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It could just be honing, but you also might want to check the bevel angle if you have anything accurate enough to measure the distances with. You measure front of edge to back of the honed flat on the spine, then take spine width divided by 2 and you can use some trig to figure out what 1/2 of the total included bevel angle is.

I only mention it because the tang shape says “big heavy chopper”, but the blade width looks awfully narrow compared to the spine wear from the Sheffield razors I’ve handled. I’m definitely not a Sheffield expert, but my first razor is a Thomas Turner & sons that needed a heavy restoration. Bob Keyes ground about 3/32” right off the edge side without narrowing the spine at all. He wasn’t sure if it would still shave until he rehoned and tested it. It shaves fine, but the wider bevel angle has the effect of making every dangerously sharp edge shave more like a Coticule edge, and the edge holds up for a ridiculously long time with just stropping. Here’s the blade, you can see the tang is comically wide and the edge just seems to cut off the arc of the toe and is already honing into the stabilizer even though there’s not enough spine wear to explain it.
View attachment 1008243
View attachment 1008244

I use mine as a reference edge sometimes, and it was what demonstrated to me that gold dollars were crap steel. If this has a slightly wider included bevel angle, then there’s really no excuse other than crap metallurgy for a gold dollar at ~19* to not take as keen an edge and only hold it literally 1/10th as long. Now I just chuckle every time someone here posts about “good steel”... it’s about as meaningful as when a loose acquaintance introduces you to a stranger and says “he’s a good guy”. It really just says “I don’t personally observe a reason to dislike this, but have nothing genuinely positive to say”.
I'm trying to make sure I understand this completely.

Let me know if these are wrong (and I only care about the numbers relative to one another)?
  1. Let's say the "ideal" edge is 16*
  2. If the spine is too thick the edge might be 19*
  3. If the spine is too thin the edge might be 12*
I'm not saying 12* won't shave or won't hold an edge nor am I saying 19* won't shave. I don't really care what the ideal edge is as I'm not measuring mine. I only care about the relativity of these numbers because I want to understand what you're saying and be sure I'm on the right page with you.

You think my spine might be too thick? (For the blade's width of course as it's all relative)

You think your razor might be too thick also? (because the blade was narrowed)

I'm just trying to make sure I actually understand what you're saying here.

I've noticed that some of my favorite razors are what seems to me to be rather thin. Not that I've measured them. However, on a broader level, the razors in my collection which are the sharpest range across several sizes and don't actually seem to have much in common.

The Japanese razors as a group are clearly the best.

Yet, my ATOR|ERN and my wide Torrey (but not my other Torrey razors so far) have edges as good as the Japanese razors.

I don't yet have a Swedish razor.

I think the main things here are these.
  • My honing is still improving.
  • Some of my razors need examination under the most powerful magnification to show if the edge has little chips or something.
  • Some steel and some manufacturing methods are superior.
In a way, all three of these are much interrelated. All razors have to be treated (honed) as individuals.

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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My Friday shave was a big improvement over yesterday's.

8-16-19.Robeson.Kit.640.JPG

I think the edge improved during the shave. I'd rank this as a marginally top tier edge, but it's an edge which I believe I can improve with a bit more honing.

Cremo.SR.SpecialReserve.Pinaud.3-8-19.480.JPG

Also GD Preshave and Serum.

Nice.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I'm trying to make sure I understand this completely.

Let me know if these are wrong (and I only care about the numbers relative to one another)?
  1. Let's say the "ideal" edge is 16*
  2. If the spine is too thick the edge might be 19*
  3. If the spine is too thin the edge might be 12*
I'm not saying 12* won't shave or won't hold an edge nor am I saying 19* won't shave. I don't really care what the ideal edge is as I'm not measuring mine. I only care about the relativity of these numbers because I want to understand what you're saying and be sure I'm on the right page with you.

You think my spine might be too thick? (For the blade's width of course as it's all relative)

You think your razor might be too thick also? (because the blade was narrowed)

I'm just trying to make sure I actually understand what you're saying here.

I've noticed that some of my favorite razors are what seems to me to be rather thin. Not that I've measured them. However, on a broader level, the razors in my collection which are the sharpest range across several sizes and don't actually seem to have much in common.

The Japanese razors as a group are clearly the best.

Yet, my ATOR|ERN and my wide Torrey (but not my other Torrey razors so far) have edges as good as the Japanese razors.

I don't yet have a Swedish razor.

I think the main things here are these.
  • My honing is still improving.
  • Some of my razors need examination under the most powerful magnification to show if the edge has little chips or something.
  • Some steel and some manufacturing methods are superior.
In a way, all three of these are much interrelated. All razors have to be treated (honed) as individuals.

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim

That is all exactly what I’m saying. The Thomas Turner I posted ended up around 19+* after restoration, and something like a 3/4 hollow grind. By contrast one of my favorite daily drivers is this Kinfolks 13/16 at ~13.7* included angle and exceedingly hollow ground. The difference in performance between the two after some honing routines is minimal, but after other honing routines it becomes night&day with the Kinfolks absolutely leaving the Turner in the dust. The difference is most pronounced with “forgiving” edges like a Coticule, the Turner barely shaves ATG whole the Kinfolks sails right through and will actually still take a chunk out of your chin if you get careless. As a norm I prefer a JNAT edge on the Turner and a Les Lat hybrid edge on the Kinfolks. My Ark edges are the best middle of the road/all around edges, so don’t read my post and get HAD I’m just showing these are two extremes in my razor collection. By and large I’m running American vintage hollows 6/8, 14.5-16*, black or translucent ark edge.
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These days since I’m reasonably well versed in edge qualities from different stones, I’ll try to guess what range the included angle falls in and pick a starting hone based on that. Sometimes I’m perfectly happy and settle on that edge, sometimes I feel the urge to keep testing. Overall though after enough razors and stones you can sort of give a rough guess how a razor and stone might get along based on razor geometry, and then the rest of the behavior and honing interaction is filled in by metallurgy. Here’s my most recent acquisition, haven’t shaved yet but I saw 15/16 toe, heavy grind with abnormally narrow included angle, and made in Switzerland... I’m starting with a Coticule. I should’ve recorded honing the 15/16 blade on a 2x2 Coti, it was pretty comical.
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Chan Eil Whiskers

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Really useful photo. Nobody shows this relationship between the blade and scales as well as this photo does. This should be the way all eBay vendors show it! The light makes all the difference.

I think you probably meant it to mostly show the grind which it also does a great job of.
 
Haha they both have slightly wonky inward bowed scales, but I’ve never been a big scales man. I think sellers should post this shot because it shows the scales and the grind profile. I think only april7th1989 posts this shot zoomed in on the blade toe.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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I like scales to look good, but good covers a wide range. Sometimes it includes worn but serviceable and undamaged or even insignificantly damaged. More so recently I want the blade centered well enough so it never hits the interior surface of the scales.



Finally (this is a minor celebration) I seem able to reliably and consistently both tighten loose scales and center blades.

I'm much more interested in the blade than the scales, but I also don't particularly want to have to replace scales.

WideTorrey.Off-DCA.7-24-19.JPG

All colors are okay, but yellow in particular and colors other than black receive bonus points. Well, unless the razor should be black.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
You’re right centered is key! I just sent off a blade I’d freshly honed so a friend could test and ark edge and I forgot to mention that it’s possible for the blade to catch on one scale. Of course it got caught even before the first use, but he says the edge seems to have survived just fine which is lucky because he’s international.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Saturday's shave was marvelous.

Wade&Butcher.640.Kit.8-17-19.JPG

This is a suburb edge.

After the first pass I could have quit and been happy. Not saying the second and third pass added nothing, but most of what needed doing was done early. To me, aside from comfort, that's the sine qua non of blade evaluation.

Comfortable. Fast. Light feeling on the skin. No tugging at all. Nicely noisy. Precise. Complete.

The Wade & Butcher is definitely Top Drawer!

How many straight razor shaves so far?

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Not counting barber razor (Feather SS) shaves. Only proper straight razor shaves.

Really nice shave.

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This is certainly not a long lasting scent, but it's a very pleasant scent. The big draw though is the immediate face feel and degree to which it impresses me as being refreshing. Refreshing in its scent certainly but that's just the tip of iceberg.

Icebergs being attractive in an Augusta August.

I should have quit after the first pass.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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I'm making a little list of my - comfortable & capable - top tier razors.
  • ATOR | ERN
  • Wide Torrey
  • Wade & Butcher
Others are just as great but not on the list because I think of them as more than an everyday tool. Too fancy or something.

Others are a bit below - let's say marginally top tier - as I work on improving edge sharpness.

Of the group above and largely based on today's shave, the Wade is my favorite.

Stay tuned for another favorite tomorrow?

I've been unable to hone for a couple of days because of a project we're doing (hopefully finished tomorrow).

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Monday's shave was really nice.

9-19-19.Dorko.Kit.640..JPG

This factory honed NOS Dorko has a great edge. Somebody knew their job.

Yesterday (Sunday) I did not shave. Various things messed with my schedule so skipping wasn't entirely intended, but I'd had such a good shave on Saturday it didn't matter much that I missed shaving yesterday. By this morning I was looking pretty rough.

I think maybe I like this Mondial even more than my aluminum handled Mondial, and that's saying something. The slightly lighter handle appeals to me. Barbershop continues to grow on me. It's performance is stellar. It's scent is interesting and certainly has become more to my liking over time not that I disliked it early on.

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Still counting my SR shaves.

Beach.Cremo.Serum.PreShave.480.8-6-19.JPG

Good kit and good shave.

Happy shaves to you,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Tuesday's shave was very good.

WideTorrey.640.Kit.8-20-19.JPG

Really nice edge.

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If I could shave East-West & West-East on my neck with straight razors my shaves would be better.

Beach.Cremo.Serum.PreShave.480.8-6-19.JPG

Not that I'm complaining. My shaves are improving. I'm only a beginner at this.

Shaving White Belt.jpg

At least I don't usually nick or cut myself with the SR (less with the straight than with any "safety" razor).

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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I seem to remember you having a shorty blade Jim. Have you tried that using it?
I have, Mike.

I get why it might be better (in theory) for E-W shaving, but in my reality it isn't. Perhaps if I used it a lot it would be (I'd learn to use it better).

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I think my neck shaving will gradually improve with a few small quantum leaps thrown in.

Holding the razor in certain positions sounds easy to me. I can visualize both how to do it and how it would help me up until I actually try to do it by putting the razor to my skin. Then it all falls apart.

Of course, in the SR world I'm a mere beginner. I expect to get better. Amazing how much I've improved in the last couple of months (experiments with not sharp edges don't count).

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

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Wednesday's shave was good.

Spalding.640.Kit.8-21-19.JPG

This Spalding is a good Japanese razor. The edge I put on it is very near my best top tier edges. It's almost tempting to say it actually is in that group. True, it's delivering the goods. There's just about no doubt in my mind the edge can be sharper and that I can get it there simply by more laps on a Convex Arkansas Stone (CAS)™.

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My brush today is one of the less expensive Zeniths, the B17. It's a smallish brush, but has great ergonomics. It feels to me like I'm holding a knob rather than a handle, but the knob is the exactly right size and shape for my face lathering. The brush lathers nicely, feels good on my skin, and rinses fast. I generally grab a much larger brush or at least a significantly larger brush, but this one could easily be a daily brush. I may have overlooked how much I like it.

GD.Serum.PreShave.480.8-6-19.JPG

No splash yet. I'm enjoying the scent of the soap.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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Chan Eil Whiskers

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Thursday my shave was good.

Spalding.Kit.640.8-22-19.JPG

The blade - honed yesterday on the finish side of my DCA - was improved. I think it can improve even more and will attend to that little project. The question is which lubricant to use to best get it to top tier status; it's already very sharp, etc.

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I'm counting shaves - partly because Cal @Cal, who hasn't been around this place since 8/8, asked me to - and also considering what improvements I need to make in the management of my straight razors and in my SR shaving technique.

My kit included Grooming Dept Preshave and Serum + Cremo Moisturizer. Great stuff.

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This nice stuff was my splash. The bottle is close to empty. I'll order more. I hate paying the shipping though.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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