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I'm embarking on my SR shaving journey

Thanks for the tips. I am still tinkering around. I did 25 laps on 0.1 after the shave.
Try 50, as light as you can go, held in hand, vertically, and add some pull strokes and some short x strokes. You can literally achieve sharpness levels above that of most DE blades and can sometimes match the sharpness of the mighty Feather DE blade. It's crazy, how good it can get when you really nail it.

While you are still running the progression, try about 100 laps each grit. There is very little reliable feedback, or at least I haven't learned how to read it, so this is a rare situation where counting laps has some relevance. The only feedback I get, that can be trusted to mean anything. is the finished results.
 
Regarding feedback, sometimes I can hear a difference, really only on the .5 and .25. It's subtle but after 30 laps or so it gets quieter and smoother sounding. And I've found this corresponds with an improvement in HHT results from wherever the razor was at when I started on that strop.

I haven't been able to notice it on every razor but when I do, it's quite sudden. Like within two or three laps.
 
Today was Shave 15 or 16 with my Bismarck. This is the first nick and cut-free shave I think I've had in a loooong time. And it was almost completely irritation free - and that too with a 3-pass shave! We are making real progress here folks :D

One technique I've started implementing is after the first WTG pass, I only paint a section of my face at a time with cream. That keeps the area moist, and give me lots of places to do skin stretching. I really believe that not just stretching tight, but stretching the skin into flat surfaces really made a huge difference. That and using VERY little pressure, so I never felt any scraping.

This is such a fun journey. Can't wait to see where I'm at when I hit 50 shaves.
 
After about 30 SR shaves, things will start to settle down for you. You will still learn new things with every SR shave but they just won't be as dramatic.

I'll give you a hint about re-lathering. This works well for keeping everything moist.

I tend to shave about one side of my face at a time. I shave one half and then re-lather that side before starting on the other side. Once I have finished that second side, I re-lather my whole face again before the next pass. I then repeat that process for each additional pass except for the final pass.

Works well for me. Give it a try.
 
I decided to try something crazy today. I went back to using my Feather Shavette. The first few times I tried it, I cut my face to shreds, and I haven't gone back since. As an insurance policy, I used a Feather ProGuard blade.

WOW! This was pretty much the easiest SR shave I've ever had. After two passes I was already DFS, nearly BBS. The 3rd pass was like polishing my face clean :D And thanks to the guarded blade, I almost felt like I could get careless and still be safe (I know I know - BAAAD idea). End result is a damn near BBS, with the least irritation I've ever had.

I've learned a few things:
1) My SR technique has actually gotten much better.
2) My Dovo Bismarck is not sharp enough. I posted another thread about how my blade would catch if I "overstretched" the skin. Not with the Shavette - it just sliced right through the hairs.

Anyway, thought I'd share with all my teachers out there. Student is learning quickly!
 
@rbscebu Sadly, I'm still somewhat stymied by the the SR shaving. I'm comfortable holding the razor now have complete confidence that I won't cut/slice myself, etc. But I'm finding I can't get BBS, and that when I shave against the grain, I get lots of irritation. My only guess is that the razor just isn't sharp enough. I've experimented with blade angle all over the map, and it hasn't made a difference (obviously more aggressive angles are more painful).

Thinking I should send my Bismarck out to Doc for sharpening?
 
But I'm finding I can't get BBS, and that when I shave against the grain, I get lots of irritation. My only guess is that the razor just isn't sharp enough. I've experimented with blade angle all over the map, and it hasn't made a difference (obviously more aggressive angles are more painful).

Forget BBS for now.

Discomfort when shaving against the grain is either a not-good-enough edge, or too much pressure, or both. Lots of people, including me, have found that it takes a long time to get it through your head, and to your hands, just how light the correct pressure really is.

Temptation to use higher angles is pretty much always a not-good-enough edge.

Thinking I should send my Bismarck out to Doc for sharpening?
Yes. But when you get it back, keep the angles really low. Shaving at a high angle kills edges. It was one of the first things that having a microscope taught me.
 
@rbscebu Sadly, I'm still somewhat stymied by the the SR shaving. I'm comfortable holding the razor now have complete confidence that I won't cut/slice myself, etc. But I'm finding I can't get BBS, and that when I shave against the grain, I get lots of irritation. My only guess is that the razor just isn't sharp enough. I've experimented with blade angle all over the map, and it hasn't made a difference (obviously more aggressive angles are more painful).

Thinking I should send my Bismarck out to Doc for sharpening?
To answer your question first, yes.

You should not try for BBS results. Just be satisfied with a DFS result. BBS (if that's what you want) will come with time. Once I started getting BBS with a SR and three passes (WTG, XTG & ATG), I found that I had basically nothing to shave 24 hours later, went to WTG + 2 x XTG.

As for irritation with a SR, that comes from shave with too great an angle and/or too much pressure. Both of those often develop due to an edge that is not shave-ready enough.

While waiting for Doc to do his magic and if you haven't done so already, put together a set of diamond pasted balsa strops (0.5μm, 0.25μm & 0.1μm). When you get your SR back from Doc, shave with it first before putting it through its diamond pasted balsa strop progression.

Remember, just enough pressure to remove the lather. Don't worry about the whiskers, they will come off with the lather. With a Doc edge, keep your angle down to about a spine thickness. With a diamond pasted balsa strop edge, you will get to find that about ½ a spine thickness works better. The sharper the edge, the owner the shave angle.
 
To repeat what others have said:
  1. Send the razor to @Doc226 so you have an edge from which to compare/judge others
  2. Go light on the pressure. You will be amazed at how little pressure is needed to remove hair.
  3. Don't chase the BBS. It will just come with time.
This whole SR thing takes time and is a collection of many small problems. If and when you question your decision to do it, just take a break, lick your wounds, and come back back strong!
 
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