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Experienced Wet Shaver first Straight Razor Shave

So I have been wet shaving for about 3 years now. First with a DE Merkur 34C and recently with a Feather DX. Love how great my shaves are in general but the DX has been really harsh so I decided to try straights. I just received a full hollow 5/8 straight from WCS that they say has been honed. However my first shave today while not uncomfortable removed very little hair even with 2 passes. I tested the edge on my arm hair and it cut very few of them and I DID NOT strop before the first shave. If not for working with the Feather DX for the last year I would blame my angle more but seems like it might be the blade needs more honing :( Is it more likely my technique needs more adjustment or that the blade isn't really shave ready? I also ordered a Dovo half hollow that I sent on to a professional honer and hope to get back next week so I will have something to compare it to.

Thanks all!
 
I think it is both your WCS SR needs proper finishing and your technique needs work.

Probably best to wait until you receive your honed Dovo. Then, if properly honed, you will start to understand traditional SR shaving.

BTW, welcome to the gentlemanly art of traditional SR shaving.
 
While you have time on your hands, I suggest that you put together three balsa strops and read how to use a pasted balsa strop. It's cheap, quick and very effective.



The pasted balsa strop thread is a longish read but well worth it. Take notes as you go as it develops along the way.

With a properly developed edge and maintaining it with a 0.1um diamond pasted balsa strop, you will never need to hone that edge again.
 
Thanks. I will check it out. I have a bunch of lapping film, down to .3 micron, and was going to work on using those. Any benefit of the balsa strop over the lapping film?
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
The film should end at 1um ) 14k. The balsa goes 50k, 100k and 200k. Wait until you can get a good 14k edge before you bother with balsa. 14k is an excellent shaving edge. If you want your razor finished, just let me know and I’ll do it for you. Once properly honed, you can do touch ups on 14k film and leather forever.
 
The lapping film is a good cheap(er) substitute for whetstones and is used for honing. Forget the 0.3um film, not needed.

The 1.0um film is a good finishing "whetsone", about the equivalent of a 14k stone, and will give a decent shaveable edge. Diamond pasted balsa strops are used to further the edge of a blade to a higher level, that has been finished on 1.0um film or about 14k whetsone.

Once you have worked the edge up on diamond pasted balsa strops through 0.5um, 0.25um and finally 0.1um (about 200k), your edge should be "there".

From then on, baring physical damage, you should only ever need the 0.1um diamond pasted hanging balsa strop to keep that edge at perfection FOREVER.

Those who don't use diamond pasted balsa strops, generally use a pasted cloth strop and have to hone on film/whetstone every so often to refresh their edge.

I have tried both methods and prefer to use the diamond pasted balsa strop method as, in my opinion, it gives me a noticably better shaving edge.
 
The lapping film is a good cheap(er) substitute for whetstones and is used for honing. Forget the 0.3um film, not needed.

The 1.0um film is a good finishing "whetsone", about the equivalent of a 14k stone, and will give a decent shaveable edge. Diamond pasted balsa strops are used to further the edge of a blade to a higher level, that has been finished on 1.0um film or about 14k whetsone.

Once you have worked the edge up on diamond pasted balsa strops through 0.5um, 0.25um and finally 0.1um (about 200k), your edge should be "there".

From then on, baring physical damage, you should only ever need the 0.1um diamond pasted hanging balsa strop to keep that edge at perfection FOREVER.

Those who don't use diamond pasted balsa strops, generally use a pasted cloth strop and have to hone on film/whetstone every so often to refresh their edge.

I have tried both methods and prefer to use the diamond pasted balsa strop method as, in my opinion, it gives me a noticably better shaving edge.
Will definitely give that a try!
 
Steveclarkus (Goose to his mates) and I are pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to developing and maintaining our SR edges. He however, is well ahead of me in experience.

Probably give his advice a bit more weight than mine.
 
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steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Steveclarkus (Goose to his mates) and I are pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to developing and maintaining our SR edges. He however, is well ahead of me in experience.

Probably give his advice a bit more weight than mine.
Your advice is spot on. I’m going to hone his razor and work with him a bit to get him off on the right foot. Getting started can be a frustrating time as we well know. @slashmccoy write ups saved me a lot of headache and money so I guess this is a bit of payback. I hope things are improving in the Philippines
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Yes, improving slowly. Most businesses are now starting to open up but still no barbers or beer sales 😠.
No San Miguel. OMG! My dad was stationed in Manila during the war and did R & R in Baggio (not sure about spelling) and loved it. I suppose Manila was a bit of a mess at the time. I’ve often wondered if I have any siblings there. 😂
 
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