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Intro - The World of Wet Straight Shaving

Dear Gentlement,

What follows will be my progess into the world of straight shaving updated at an interval of two days to which I will expect to actually us a straight razor and its components in at least 20 days. To my fellow members it will be quite a benefit for yourselves as it would be for me. Any advices/suggestions/recommendations that you share will be passed onto other members of the forum who will require it, also this information will be useful to me in obtaining feedback from the elites.

Very well, today is the 14th of January 2007 the day being Sunday. The initiation was taken yesterday on Saturday which for this purpose will be considered Day 1. This scheme of updating every two days will be done consistently.

Cheerio
 
I live in Canada, I do find at times that most of you gentlemen having your say revolving around the States to be quite fortunate as this is where the good grooming barbershops are located in the contenent of North America. I did find a particular its called Mann around my area. Its full service grooming for men, yet I haven't attended it but it seems classy with a little bit of modernity and simplicity to appeal for the new age.

I do prefer to learn the tricks of the trade of wet shaving instead of having it done by a professional, but I am puzzled as to where to start and yes I am a beginner - as you may very well tell - migrating from the disposable razor concept to the straight-razor one.

However, its in my interest to learn everything I can from this tradition before applying it. I had read a lengthy 40 page e-article in which describes the fundementals of wet shaving more specifically wet straight-razor shaving.

It suggests for one to have on hold a straight razor that has been honed so as to benchmark with others that are to be honed. The others may be purchased cheaply from bidding on ebay or purchasing from other locations. The shaving brush was said to come in three different materials. Sythetic, Badger and Boar to which the middle is the most used and has a better lathering capacity.

The two question that I now have is whether to start with a badger brush and progress slowly up till straight razoring or to have the whole set at my pre-disposal and familiarize myself with the tools by experimenting. Although it might not seem like an overwhelming question to you gentlemen it is however an overwhelming question to me as there is so many things to catchup on in this straight razor shaving concept, like where to look for the tools, what to start with, how would I get re-motivated if I lacked it at some point, where to by the products. I am thinking of doing then questioning later but as they say straight razoring is more of an art requiring patience and precision that doing without considering will put me in a loop hole.

Cheerio,
 
Howdy, OmniShave (real name?)

looking forward to your experiences! I'm a bit further down the road than you but there's always something new to learn :thumbup1:

tadah
Klaus
 
The two question that I now have is whether to start with a badger brush and progress slowly up till straight razoring or to have the whole set at my pre-disposal and familiarize myself with the tools by experimenting.
Well, a badger brush and some decent shaving cream/soap is the fundamental part of a great shave, regardless if you use a straight/a DE or a system-shaver like the Mach3. So I suggest you to get these tools first.

I'd also suggest you to start with a DE - use it at least for 2-3 weeks to accomodate your skin to the more open blade. A DE is also great as a backup-razor, for the last pass in the first weeks of shaving with a straight and as a razor for travelling.
In the meantime you can read the resources here in the forums, and place an offer to buy a good, refurbished straight razor for beginners here in the shopping section. I am sure many members here will gladly help you out. You also need a good strop for your razor and that's about it for the beginning - honing comes later - in about 1/2 year to a year from now, depending on the quality and handling of the razor.

tadah
Klaus
 

Limey

Moderator Emeritus
Omnishave it sounds like you read Dr. Moss' guide to straight razor shaving. That is an excellent white paper on the subject. I would suggest you follow it and then post questions here as you run into things you don't know or understand. If I were you, I would jump right in if the straight razor is what you ultimately want to shave with everyday.
 
Hello OmniShave,

Welcome! Have you had an opportunity to read the B&B straight razor forum? You'll find it here: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=32

As Klaus has suggested, it may be best to start with a DE razor, for the reasons which he mentioned.

Also, it has been mentioned that the DE Slant razor has a similar shave angle to the straight razor. So, depending upon what you've decided for your learning curve, it's always good to have a Plan B. :wink:

Cheers!

chop-chop
 
I was comparing the price and the quality of the shaving tools. I am eager to jump right in but with which tools should I use first and from which sites or locations should I buy them from at a regular schedule, that is the primary questions I have. My budget would be 200$ for the whole set, or should I be that concerned about the price? Should I buy new as I don't have experience at all or should I look around for vintage and unofficial sellers?

Being in Canada I am limited heavily on the supply stores that I choose - equating to 1 or 2 - that would give me greater bang for the buck. For instance ClassicShaving.com a US based company offering a great assortment of shaving tools and soaps requires
(1) the items price
(2) the international shipment.
When the items do arrive I will be puzzled by this other charge '(3) the customs' which will significantly increase the final price of the shaving items if I were to go over $xx.xx number of united states dollars. I may just be ripped off by a clever man selling new tools higher then their market value than having payed a great sum of money for the tools to be shipping from the US to Canada as the price would be comparable.

Regardless, I have posted a message in three particular forums saying that I need shaving tools. The forums to be badger and blade, straight razor place and straight edge razor.
 
A chap had offered me a SR of unknown company I am hesitant to use as I am inclined to buy a brand of a reliable company. I am thinking of taking a look first at brushes and a mug and stock up on high quality soaps before taking the plunge into SR.

I am doing a great job at shaving this time with care and precision from my disposable cartridge after reading Mosses and several othe online articles. Infact I have recieved glances and smiles from women who are otherwise strangers to me and of coarse there are men who look at me perhaps being puzzled by how I had managed to shave so closely and I am not even using those high quality tools. I am feeling great, confident and surprised at how shaving closely feels but eventually I would go for wet shaving with SR's.

The brush: what I do know is that it should be badger, silver to super and having a great handle is secondary as I have discussed this with other members from forums. I am told to use a standard size, high quality, priced in the mid range which is quite ambiguous I believe, as there are many brushes of various types already priced variably. There are even brushes included in a set like the Merkur Vision set, I have found this brush to be a silver badger which is good quality arriving from a brand that is well known.

There were two brushes I saw at the a local drug store. One was of brand Wilkinson and the other Omega. Wilkinson was German but it did not mention what type of bristles it had. Omega was Italian and it uses boar's bristles the ones I should avoid.

Does anybody know what these wilkinsons are made out of so that I could maybe buy them if I see they are of qood quality or does anyone have a brush that they can recommend me or offer me?
 
Vintage Blades has an offer of free shipping on any orders that include either a Shavemac or Rooney brush. They also have the best prices I've found for Taylor's of Old Bond Street($12.99). You could get a 23mm finest(middle grade...not to be confused with the B&B finest) Shavemac, a few Conk soaps, and a few ToOBS tubs shipped to anywhere in Canada for around $120. Plenty left over to get some JM Fraser(Canadian product) and a couple other things. Knock the brush down to the pure and you could probably squeeze a nice straight in as well. I know nothing about straight razors so can't comment on that.

EDIT: Those are US dollars obviously. And Customs or any other charges aren't included in my guesstimate. Sorry for any confusion.
 
I wasn't that consistent as I had hoped to be in writting my journal. What provokes me to continue yielding out some more thoughts about this subject is that I have accumulated several information and I recieved some wet shaving items.

I had ordered the Faux Silvertip finest Badger 2006 B&B brush from england. Meanwhile I had ordered three Mama Bears shaving soups and a winter aftershave and I had just won an auction of a razor.

The brush is pending arrival, the soap and after shaves arrived and they are smelling wonderful. Although I did not use the soaps as I hadn't any brush, I had to indulge in using the after shave that came in the same shipment box as it smelt refreshing, cold and sweet. The razor will arrive soon, its a handmade forged carbon steel used/vintage razor. Perhaps with a black celluloid scale. It is a bengall Cadman made in England. Assuming that I will need to proper the blade what tools should I use for this specific task, in otherwords which strop, which hone and which paste is the best at makeing the edge proper to shave?

I have came across the ebook titled Wet Shaving Systematics: A Primer on the RMWS. The ebook was indeed lengthy but worth a read, it talks about - to briefly say it - the history some hypothesis and his realisation and theories for obtaining the closest shave possible with hydrolast to create a hydroplastic buffer between the blade and your skin.
 
FYI-- the Wilkinson Sword brushes are pure badger grade. You can buy one out of curiosity (same goes for the Omega Boar -- lots of people really like them), but it won't be anything like the B&B brush that you're getting.
 
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