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Kokak's Straight Razor journey...

20170723 [email protected]

note*

Since I am going between Safety Razors and Straights, I decided to start a separate journal for my Straight Razor shaves. So here we are...
 
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20170723 [email protected]
Straight Razor shave: 11

Prep: Stirling Bergamot Lavender Pre-Shave Oil
Shaving Soap: Razorock One X
Shaving Bowl: Fine Lather Bowl
Brush: RazorRock Monster Plissoft (26 mm x 63 mm)
Razor: Tanifuji 'FAVORIT' 750 6/8"
Cleanup: Rockwell 6S (#4)
Direction: WTG -WTG
Splash: Stirling Orange Chill, Bergamot Lavender (+Menthol) and Sandalwood (+Menthol)
Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Strop: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 25x Leather)

Decided to have another simple practice session tonight. Cheeks and neck only tonight. Working on using my left hand for the entire left side of my face. No nicks, cuts, irritation or weepers. The 2 passes are becoming easier. I think I will start to work on navigating my upper lip in the coming weeks. But for now, I am satisfied with my cheeks and neck.
Cleanup with the Rockwell (plate #4 with Feather blade) went without issue. I need to take it slow and allow for my technique to develop.
 
20170724 [email protected]
Straight Razor shave: 12

Prep: Stirling Bergamot Lavender Pre-Shave Oil
Shaving Soap: Captain's Choice Lime (Cream)
Shaving Bowl: Fine Lather Bowl
Brush: RazorRock Monster Plissoft (26 mm x 63 mm)
Razor: Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett Co. 'RATTLER' 9/16"
Cleanup: Rockwell 6S (#4)
Direction: WTG -WTG
Splash: Stirling Orange Chill, Bergamot Lavender (+Menthol) and Sandalwood (+Menthol)
Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Strop: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 25x Leather)

Decided to try a new sample I have, Captain's Choice Lime and also work on using my left. I had been watching and reading a couple of posts about how to tackle shaving the upper lip/under the nose. So armed with this knowledge... I experimented.
Funny how when you're holding a piece of razor sharp steel under your nose, thinking kind of goes out the window and fight or flight kicks in. This time I really concentrated and took my sweet time. I attacked the right side of my upper lip holding the razor in my left hand, reaching across my face, working only the upper inch of the blade (near the toe) and coming in horizontally across the lip. It worked! No irritation and no nicks. I then switched hands and did the same for the other side (right hand was much easier). My upper lip has never been this smooth. After this I then managed a "swooping" motion, with my right hand, under my nose to clear out the middle of my upper lip. I might just be getting the hang of this.
BTW... Captain's Choice Lime worked out really nice. While I was not in love with the scent, its performance was not disappointing.
 
20170724 [email protected]
Straight Razor shave: 13

Prep: Stirling Unscented Pre-Shave Oil
Shaving Soap: Captain's 45th Parallel
Shaving Bowl: Fine Lather Bowl
Brush: RazorRock Monster Plissoft (26 mm x 63 mm)
Razor: Tanifuji 'FAVORIT' 750 6/8"
Cleanup: none
Direction: WTG
Splash: Fine Italian Citrus
Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Strop: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 25x Leather)

No major growth, just wanted to practice and the house was quiet, so I took advantage of the time and worked on shaving with my left hand for a full, single pass shave.
I am definitely getting better at maneuvering the blade around my face using my left hand. Upper lip went well. The only issue I had was when I initially touched the blade to my right chick (holding it in my left hand) to begin the ATG attack on my upper lip and ouch. Nothing deep, I don't even think it broke the skin but I did see a light red line appear near the corner of my mouth. I think I came in at to great an angle and rested the edge on my face.
Otherwise; I was irritation free.
Funny, every time I have a small irritation during my straight razor shave, I tell myself I will give straight razor shaving a break for a few days. But then, when I am standing next to my washbasin, I reach for my straight, without thinking about it.
 
Good stuff!

One thing I would recommend is practice stretching out the skin all over the face, neck, jaw line. It definitely helps and makes you get a closer shave. Also, it helps prevent any bloodshed since the skin is tighter.
 
Good stuff!

One thing I would recommend is practice stretching out the skin all over the face, neck, jaw line. It definitely helps and makes you get a closer shave. Also, it helps prevent any bloodshed since the skin is tighter.
Thanks!
 
20170725 [email protected]
Straight Razor shave: 14
Rockwell shave: 41

Prep: Chiseled Face Natural Pre-Shave Gel
Shaving Soap: Pre de Provence No. 63
Shaving Bowl: Fine Lather Bowl
Brush: RazorRock Monster Plissoft (26 mm x 63 mm)
Razor: Hayashi Diamond #77 13/16" (2)
Cleanup: Rockwell #4 WTG - XTG - WTG
Direction: WTG -WTG (cheeks)
Splash: Fine Italian Citrus
Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Strop: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 25x Leather)

I wanted to have a relaxing BBS shave tonight, so I dialed it back just a bit. My intention was to only use the DE (Rockwell) tonight, when I reach for my DE razor, I found one of my straights in my hand. I still dialed it back and only did a double pass on my cheeks with the straight. Followed by my typical 3 pass shave with my DE (loaded with a Feather blade).
I worked on using my left hand. It is getting easier and I had to make a mental note to stop at just my cheeks.
I have to say... my face is smooth.
PdP No. 63 review below.

PdP No. 63
Ease to Lather: 8
Lather: 9
Slickness: 9
Scent: 9
Scent Strength: 8
Post Shave Feel: 9

This soap is just awesome. Ease to lather was awesome. Lather was thick and protective. Slickness was perfect. Scent was something I really enjoyed as well as its scent strength. Post shave feel was outstanding. This is definitely one of my favorite soaps, right up there with Tabac.
 
Sorry about the touchdown error yesterday evening. This things happen early on, and often our lessons have crimson explanation points after them. You are doing great, especially with your left hand. When I first started out, I fully intended to perform the entire shave ambidextrously. And I did so and continue to do so with the WTG passes. Then later when I began adding different directional passes (XTG/ATG), I just did not have the confidence in my dexterity, so I ended up doing it all right handed. I have become so accustomed to this mixed shaving system that I continue to shave like this going on three years later. I guess it will give me something to learn if I get bored with shaving with a straight razor, learn to go ATG on my right side using my left hand.:lol: Honestly, there is no right or wrong here, do what works and is the most comfortable for you.
 
Sorry about the touchdown error yesterday evening. This things happen early on, and often our lessons have crimson explanation points after them. You are doing great, especially with your left hand. When I first started out, I fully intended to perform the entire shave ambidextrously. And I did so and continue to do so with the WTG passes. Then later when I began adding different directional passes (XTG/ATG), I just did not have the confidence in my dexterity, so I ended up doing it all right handed. I have become so accustomed to this mixed shaving system that I continue to shave like this going on three years later. I guess it will give me something to learn if I get bored with shaving with a straight razor, learn to go ATG on my right side using my left hand.:lol: Honestly, there is no right or wrong here, do what works and is the most comfortable for you.
I know it will take time and sometimes I can be impatient.
Thanks
 
20170726 [email protected]
note*

I have decided that starting today (Wed 7/26) through the end of August (Thu 7/31), I will use the same Shave Soap (PdP No. 63) and Pre-Shave Gel (Chiseled Face Natural). I will also use a Straight Razor (Tanifuji 'FAVORIT' 750 6/8") for my Cheeks and Neck and my Rockwell DE for my Upper Lip and Chin (Goatee) area. I will only use my right hand for the right side of my face (both Straight and DE razors) and my left hand for the left side.
This should be an interesting little exercise. Especially since I will be receiving some new soaps tomorrow (Soap Commander) and have 2 new Straights arriving sometime in the next couple of weeks.
 
LOL, you are on track to be right next to the rest of us, with a vanity full of soaps, frags and razors. Good luck with your experiment. Keeping variables to a minimum while learning helps, IMHO.
 
20170726 [email protected]
Straight Razor shave: 15
Rockwell shave: 42

Prep: Chiseled Face Natural Pre-Shave Gel
Shaving Soap: Pre de Provence No. 63
Shaving Bowl: Fine Lather Bowl
Brush: RazorRock Monster Plissoft (26 mm x 63 mm)
Straight Razor: Tanifuji 'FAVORIT' 750 6/8" (9) (cheeks)
DE Razor: Rockwell #4 WTG - XTG - WTG (goatee)
Direction: WTG -WTG (cheeks)
Splash: Fine Italian Citrus
Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Strop: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 25x Leather)

Another great shave on the books. Stropping as part of my setup routine is working out just fine. I was having issues when stropping right after applying my Pre-Shave. Hands were a little slippery and the blade would move around a little in my hand while traveling down the strop. But now I am stropping before I ever touching any water or Pre-Shave and my results are good. So far no nicks on my strop as well.
My straight razor shave of my cheeks and neck went perfect. I switched between hands while working on either side of my face. No irritation, nicks or cuts. The Rockwell shave left my whole face felling BBS.
This is my 9th shave with the Tanifuji and the blade is feeling great. This will also be a test to see how long I can keep the edge with just stropping.
 
Tony Miller makes one heck of a strop, and I am glad that you are able to keep it nick free. I started on a 3" strop that was not that expensive, and I did manage to put a few small nicks in it. Later I got a Tony Miller Heirloom. Wouldn't you know it that after a year of shaving with a straight razor almost daily, I managed to put some nicks in my Tony Miller. I have sanded them out, and all is well from a strop performance standpoint, but I can see the sanding spots each and every day I use it as a reminder.
 
Tony Miller makes one heck of a strop, and I am glad that you are able to keep it nick free. I started on a 3" strop that was not that expensive, and I did manage to put a few small nicks in it. Later I got a Tony Miller Heirloom. Wouldn't you know it that after a year of shaving with a straight razor almost daily, I managed to put some nicks in my Tony Miller. I have sanded them out, and all is well from a strop performance standpoint, but I can see the sanding spots each and every day I use it as a reminder.
I have no doubt that I will eventually have a few nicks in my strop. But I plan on keeping it in working order for many years.
I also happened to trip over an ebay listing for what looks to be some Swedish steel that is in okay condition. So as my 1st restore project, I got it. I plan on learning how to refurbish a razor completely with this one...


I plan on taking it apart and then either replacing the scales or just sanding them down and refinishing them. Then polishing the blade. Putting it all back together and then learn to hone.
 
LOL, hook, line and sinker. I wanted to do the same thing regarding restoring razors, but I learned that with my other interests surrounding this hobby, my family responsibilities and of course the job thing, there just were not enough hours. But I fell down the honing rabbit hole head first.
 
20170727 [email protected]
Straight Razor shave: 16
Rockwell shave: 43

Prep: Chiseled Face Natural Pre-Shave Gel
Shaving Soap: Soap Commander Commitment (Sandalwood)
Shaving Bowl: Fine Lather Bowl
Brush: RazorRock Monster Plissoft (26 mm x 63 mm)
Straight Razor: Tanifuji 'FAVORIT' 750 6/8" (10) (cheeks & neck)
DE Razor: Rockwell #4 WTG - XTG - WTG (goatee)
Direction: WTG -XTG - WTG (cheeks), WTG - ATG - WTG (neck)
Splash: Fine Italian Citrus
Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Strop: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 25x Leather)

First, let me rate the soap.

Soap Commander Commitment (Sandalwood)
Price Point: 9
Ease to Lather: 7
Lather: 9
Slickness: 7
Scent:7
Scent Strength: 6
Post Shave Feel: 8

Since I have read a lot of great reviews about Soap Commander I had to order a couple of tubs (along with a sampler pack of 9). When I opened the tub I was expecting a woody sandalwood scent. While there was definitely a slight wood scent, it wasn't the 'top note'. Now I am not saying it wasn't a pleasant scent. It's kind of like; walking into the kitchen late at night, reaching into the fridge for the milk but taking a swig of the orange juice instead. Not bad, just not what you were expecting. The one thing I liked was that the scent was there, but not in your face, over powering. This soap did take a bit of water to get it going and was harder than some of the other 'soft soaps' I have used. Still it was not too difficult to get it to lather and the lather was thick and provided good cushion. Using a straight razor, I want my soap to be as slick as possible. This soap was the perfect slickness for a DE razor (I cleaned up my goatee area with a DE) but a little less so for a straight. Being this was my 1st time using the soap, I will definitely be using it again for my next shave and rate it once more. All in all; it was a very good soap and well worth the money. I am looking forward to trying all the other samples, in the coming week.

The shave. So I was watching a few YouTube videos the night before and armed with this false sens of confidence, decided to try a few of the techniques I saw. 1st was an XTG (across the grain) second pass on my cheeks. This actually went very well, even when using my left hand and had great DFS results (on both cheeks). Then I also did a ATG (against the grain) second pass on my neck (I wimped out at trying a XTG on my neck) with really good results. I usually do not do an ATG pass because it has never been comfortable for me. While not comfortable, it was a little better than when using a DE. All in all my shave was great. No nicks, cuts or irritation. My face was near BBS.
 
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