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Gus's Shave diary

Here are some pictures: the bottom razor is the Eickelnberg & Mack/solingen 6/8 with wooden scales that I have been using up until now. Over it is the swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg 5/8 with horn scales which I have planned to use for this evenings shave. I cannot wait:thumbup:
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Nice straights!

Shame that Eickelnberg was dropped and the tip was rounded!
 
Shave #11 sunday 04.07.2010

Setup:
Swedish vintage Erik Anton Berg 5/8
Plisson silvertip
Fitjar Telemark SS
Hega ASB

I had a very nice shave last night. I did the usual WTG on the face and then I went XTG on the neck. After relathering I did the usual XTG on face and neck and noticed how effective it is to pull the ears backward when starting a XTG stroke from ear to mouth. When you have taken some stubble and lather off you can then advance your grip onto the cheek and it helps if you pull back and up.

The overall result was a tad worse than shave no 10 because I was being a bit more careful with this razor and as Luc has already pointed out it would seem that the broader blades seem to be a bit more effective at hair removal. I would say the face was DFS and the neck a solid SAS with which I felt no shame going to work.

It is going to take more shaves with this razor to find out what I think about it but the first impression was quite nice. It is a bit lighter than the E&M and thus easier to maneuver. On the other hand it feels as though it is not staying put on the skin as much as the E&M.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Don't worry too much about the size of the blade. With experience, you might get better results with it. I have a 4/8 and I won't sell it. I get excellent shaves out of it but the feeling is very different!
 
Shave #12 Tuesday 06.07.2010

Setup:
Erik Anton Berg 5/8
Fitjar Wild thing shaving soap with tallow
Speick ASB

Quite possibly the best shave up until now, a no-nonsense DFS. Even now 10 hours post-shave, my face feels well shaven in a "homogenous" sort of way meaning that there does not seem to be any distinct rough spots anywhere.

I shaved in much the same way as the previous shave but the thing that did the trick was something I remembered from a video I had seen wherein the razor is placed slightly askew in relation to the direction of movement. So if you are going WTG on your cheeks, the razor is not placed parallel to the floor but rather a touch tilted. I do not know if this is the definition of the Sheffield slide but it makes for most effective shaving.

I keep spending time on my trouble spot on the neck, trying different contortions and stroke directions. Mostly I keep generating the most impressive razor burn. At least I found out that ATG is pretty much useless on this area.

With another shave down with this razor, I have an increasing feeling that I actually do prefer the E&M I started shaving with, it just feels more sturdy and effective compared to this one. I will give the EAB another few shaves and then I think I will switch back to the E&M.

On a separate note, I tried a sample of the fitjar soap with tallow during yesterday's shave. Being a swede, I am a sucker for scandinavian goods so I may be biased but I must say that it is a mighty fine soap which generates a thick cushy and slick lather which provides shaving on par with the european palmolive stick.
 
Shave #13 Thursday 08.07.2010

Same setup as for shave #12 except for Hega ASB

The blade felt slightly dull and as a result, whilst the quality of the result was still ok it was not as good as shave #12. Perhaps it had something to do with stropping and on that note I have a question: Is it important that you strop your razor just before you shave? I have been stropping the razor in the morning or during the day when I had time to spare. Can the edge-quality really deteriorate within a few hours?

Apart from that I did the usual set of passes paying attention to holding the razor slightly askew and stretching the skin. On the neck area I think I might be on to something regarding flattening the area which seems to give me the most trouble. I bent my upper body forward, pushing my backside backwards and the neck backwards as far as it will go. This posture, which will make a man look like a chump and a sexy woman look very kinky indeed, allows you to stretch the neck skin taught whilst still being able to see what you are doing in the mirror. This seemed to allow me to snag some of those pesky hairs but I will need to try it out a few more times before I dare bring it to the attention of the general public.

I think I am currently at a point where it is not useful to continue posting after every shave. Instead I will do so when I have questions or have accumulated some major progress.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
I always strop between shaves when I can, not before the shave. Apparently, it's better to give ~10 laps after the shave to dry the edge and strop a tiny bit just before.

I always strop my razor before the next shave and store them. At the moment, I get back to the same razor in ~10 days.
 
At the moment, I get back to the same razor in ~10 days.
I can easily see that happen myself. I spend a lot of time on various sites looking at razors but I am going to back off until I have mastered the skill and found out what kind of razors I like. In the mean time I will stick with stuff I can get hold of on jumble sales and relatives.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
I can easily see that happen myself. I spend a lot of time on various sites looking at razors but I am going to back off until I have mastered the skill and found out what kind of razors I like. In the mean time I will stick with stuff I can get hold of on jumble sales and relatives.
I always end up buying one last straight. I'm fixing some myself, others I send them out. They need to go out anyways to get honed but when I'll get my next batch back from the honemeister, it should take ~20 days before I get back to the same straight...
 
Shaves #14(EAB 5/8), 15(EAB 5/8) and 16(EM 6/8), Plisson brush and tallow added soap: Fitjar wild thing or tallow soaps: Palmolive and SIM.

I am at a most wonderful point in this endeavour when I think it is safe to say that I am consistently getting DFS shaves. I feel confident using my razors, I have a routine which I go through and at the end of it all, I always have a result with which I am very happy. I can then spent the next half day faceturbating with satisfaction.

I think I may have found a solution for the neck area and I hope others can benefit from it: when you are standing in front of the mirror with both feet roughly next to each other, take a step back with one leg and bend your upper body slightly forward. Then bend your head backwards as far as it will go. The beauty of this posture is that you can still see what you are doing, the skin on your lower neck should be stretched nice and taught and your "razor-hand" can work freely without being hindered by your upper body. On the lower part of the neck and around the adam's apple, this allows you to position your razor flat on the skin with the blade in the N-S direction (or perpendicular to the floor if you prefer) and shave XTG from outside to center just as you would easily do with the shorter DE blade. If my right leg is back, I shave the left side of my neck using my right hand going from outside to center, XTG. I also find this posture helpful when shaving XTG the usual way.

I still have a lot to learn, for example I am still being very aggressive to my skin but that is also getting better with the nicks growing at least smaller. The DFS related confidence I have gained has also made me relax. Before I was chasing BBS, now I am taking it easy because BBS is only going to the logical consequence of my constant progress. I expect that one day on shave 30, 40, 50 or 60, it will just be there.

Thanks for all the newbie-threads which I have read intently and the helpful comments from the experienced shavers, it makes all the difference.:thumbup:
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
I was starting to wonder if you stopped!!

Take it a bit slower if you can, it should help prevent the nicks!
 
No, no, no, no, no! If anything I am more hooked than ever. One part of me is seriously contemplating getting some other razors whilst the other is trying to fend it off until I have more experience. What is the use: SRAD is hauling in another victim, I'm afraid.

First stop is going to be to see if anything can be done about a half dozen rather rotten looking Swedish framebacks that SWMBO's granny gave to me. Does anyone know if these can be restored? Will post pictures once I have fetched them but last time I looked they looked pretty much past it.

If that does not help I will just have to do something more than just :drool: over the razors at rasurpur.de
 
I was starting to wonder if you stopped!!

Take it a bit slower if you can, it should help prevent the nicks!
Shave #17(EAB, Speick shave stick) and 18 (EM, Fitjar tallow added sandalrose sample)

Shave no 17 was a bit sloppy, I did a crap job on my strop trying to go fast. I did not cut it but the result was sub-par. I would say the shave itself was of lower quality than my usual standard barely qualifying as a DFS, probably more like a good SAS. So I learnt a lesson: skimp on stropping and you will be punished with a crap shave, it is as simple as that.

Shave no 18 was a good shave, I took my time doing a proper job on the strop concentrating on X-pattern and applying light pressure. For the first time I could actually feel when the edge was ready in that the drag seems to diminish gradually until it hits a constant. Is this just an illusion or does that happen to you also?

The shave was a classic DFS. Since I have now found a way of shaving my neck with better efficiency, I went back to shaving all my face WTG on the first pass instead of going WTG on the face and XTG on the neck. I also went slower on the subsequent passes as suggested by Luc. The result was less razor burn. The WTG on the neck is still not effective but the stubble reduction is sufficient to make it significantly easier to go XTG.
 

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Pictures are a must to know if the razors can be saved! If you don't have rust on the edge, there shouldn't be much of a problem, however, please post some pictures so you don't send them for nothing...
 
Shave #19(EM, L'occitane SS) and 20 (EM, Golddachs SS)

My wife I away so I have been dancing in the shave supply shops and I purchased the two soaps that I thought were lacking in my collection. Also I have been shaving everyday instead of every other or every 36 hours.

The shaves themselves went well, especially 19 where I went ATG on my face as a last 4th pass to see if it would make a difference and it did. I am too much of a chicken to do this all over my face as yet but at least I now know what level of closeness can be achieved.

The L'occitane shave soap was a real eye opener for me. I have been relying a lot on tallow soaps since I started straight shaving just because of the richness of the lather but I must admit that l'occitane comes pretty damn close to the lather of SIM or even Valobra and might be better than my reformulated Floris no89. The Golddachs was also very nice but the lather was not quite as creamy and it does seem pretty aggressive on my face. I will have to do some more testing to be conclusive. Last but not least, I could not resist picking up some Proraso which I shall try tomorrow, If the fame of this cream is anything to go by, I am in for a nice shave.

Shave 20 was enlightening in that I took the alum block in the palm of my moist hand then put that hand on my neck and squeezed my hand applying pressure on the back of my neck with my fingers and pulling the neck skin drastically sideways. This way I can flatten the Adam's Apple area and it seems easier to do than some of the other stuff I have tried earlier.

Finally I have two questions:

The hinge pin on my EAB seems to be coming out, what would you use to tap it back in order not to damage pin or scales?

When stropping can you actually feel when the blade is sharp enough? To me it seems as the resistance on the strop becomes constant at some point. Is this when the blade is aligned?

Thank you for your comments.
 
Last edited:

Luc

Moderator Emeritus
Shave #19(EM, L'occitane SS) and 20 (EM, Golddachs SS)

My wife I away so I have been dancing in the shave supply shops and I purchased the two soaps that I thought were lacking in my collection. Also I have been shaving everyday instead of every other or every 36 hours.

The shaves themselves went well, especially 19 where I went ATG on my face as a last 4th pass to see if it would make a difference and it did. I am too much of a chicken to do this all over my face as yet but at least I now know what level of closeness can be achieved.

The L'occitane shave soap was a real eye opener for me. I have been relying a lot on tallow soaps since I started straight shaving just because of the richness of the lather but I must admit that l'occitane comes pretty damn close to the lather of SIM or even Valobra and might be better than my reformulated Floris no89. The Golddachs was also very nice but the lather was not quite as creamy and it does seem pretty aggressive on my face. I will have to do some more testing to be conclusive. Last but not least, I could not resist picking up some Proraso which I shall try tomorrow, If the fame of this cream is anything to go by, I am in for a nice shave.

Shave 20 was enlightening in that I took the alum block in the palm of my moist hand then put that hand on my neck and squeezed my hand applying pressure on the back of my neck with my fingers and pulling the neck skin drastically sideways. This way I can flatten the Adam's Apple area and it seems easier to do than some of the other stuff I have tried earlier.

Finally I have two questions:

The hinge pin on my EAB seems to be coming out, what would you use to tap it back in order not to damage pin or scales?

When stropping can you actually feel when the blade is sharp enough? To me it seems as the resistance on the strop becomes constant at some point. Is this when the blade is aligned?

Thank you for your comments.
Sounds good! :thumbup1:

For the Golddachs, you might need to charge your brush a bit more. I get good lather out of it but I need to overcharge compared to other soaps.

Is the pin coming out or the blade is just loose and can fall in the scales (doesn't hold by itself)? If it's the second, I would recommend a small hammer, put the other side of the pin against something that's really hard and proceed with gentle taps.

Second question, it might be but I do my laps anyways. I don't think I feel the resistance going up or down when I strop.
 
Shave #21 EAB, Proraso SC

I have to apologise for any and all mistakes in this post since writing partly with one hand is noot eesy, the other is too busy faceturabatin :lol:.

Anyway, I had an errand to run in the city and on the way back I passed a shopping mall in which I had never been. In an electronics store I thought I would check and see if I could find a mug warmer device of some sort. Unfortunately there were none but I did buy a small electric kettle which will also come in handy for boiling up water for our daughter's nightly milk bottles.

I boiled some water and poured it into a bowl to soak my brush and then made a makeshift scuttle by placing the bowl on a latte-cup which I also filled with warm water, I prepped using a towel so warm that I could barely hold it on my face, then I took out the brush, ditched the water in the small bowl, shook the brush, parted the bristles, squirted in some proraso and started face lathering. I understand now why everyone is making such a fuss about this stuff, it is surprisingly effective. The prep and the hot lather also did its job beautifully, I could feel a huge difference when shaving, there was a lot less getting caught in the stubble and tugging.

The end result was breathtaking, this shave could certainly compete with my previous DE shaves. In fact I have half a mind to DE-shave next time to feel the difference. It is not BBS but it is, what I would like to call, a DF-DFS.

Conclusion, really hot towel and scuttle does make a huge difference.

P.S. to Luc: samples southbound!
 
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