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Minimalist approach after 55yrs SR shaving

I was taught to SR shave and hone by my Grandpa around 1965. He was about 75 at the time and a country gentleman from East Tn where I grew up. I had tried electrics and cartridges which were rough on my young teenage face. What he used, I went on to use for the next 45 yrs. He began by teaching me how to use 1 of his razors that he maintained himself. He used an extremely fine carborundum followed by a Pike Swaty barber hone. This was followed by stropping on a 1x2 painted with deep green paint used at the Mountain Home Veterans Hospital. Grandpa was a Navy Vet submariner {WW1 & WW 2) and told me the paint was a fine polisher. I also have and use the leather he gave me along with a Dubl Duck 4/8 that I still use.

Around 1970 my wife gave me a Dovo 5/8. These 2 razors are still in use today. I continued using the stones and razors in the same fashion until about 10yrs ago when I bought a couple of Case razors off the bay; I like old Case knives. I went to the net to see what info was available for straight users and began to open my eyes to what the rest of the world uses. Based on the web hype I bought a couple old coticules, a Swaty 3 line I already had a trans ark.

Without belaboring the post any further; what is my maintenance program? I strop on plain leather after every shave. I strop on chrome ox applied to a 3' wooden paint stirrer about once a week. About every 6 months I freshen up the edge on my Pike Swaty with 10 or so feather light passes, then chrome ox then plain leather. Sometimes I freshen up on a coti with a few strokes followed by chrome ox and then leather.

My shaves feel like I just wipe the whiskers off. 2 passes at most if I want BB smooth. Always after a hot shower and I still use Williams soap with and old boar bristle. I really cant remember a time that my face burned.

I enjoy reading several razor forums and this post isn't to poke at the hobby razor user; just to show that 60yrs of practice as taught by my Grandpa will give a remarkable shave. I do everything with a feather touch and I think that is the key for me.

Feather touch honing, stropping, and shaving. Thanks guys. Greg
 
I love to see these memories brought up and shared. It took me until I was about 30 before I realized how much I've learned from my great/ grandparents. I learned straight shaving from watching my great grandfather. He only ever used an old hard ark and a strop if I remember correctly. Probably what I've used most as well.
 
I was taught to SR shave and hone by my Grandpa around 1965. He was about 75 at the time and a country gentleman from East Tn where I grew up. I had tried electrics and cartridges which were rough on my young teenage face. What he used, I went on to use for the next 45 yrs. He began by teaching me how to use 1 of his razors that he maintained himself. He used an extremely fine carborundum followed by a Pike Swaty barber hone. This was followed by stropping on a 1x2 painted with deep green paint used at the Mountain Home Veterans Hospital. Grandpa was a Navy Vet submariner {WW1 & WW 2) and told me the paint was a fine polisher. I also have and use the leather he gave me along with a Dubl Duck 4/8 that I still use.

Around 1970 my wife gave me a Dovo 5/8. These 2 razors are still in use today. I continued using the stones and razors in the same fashion until about 10yrs ago when I bought a couple of Case razors off the bay; I like old Case knives. I went to the net to see what info was available for straight users and began to open my eyes to what the rest of the world uses. Based on the web hype I bought a couple old coticules, a Swaty 3 line I already had a trans ark.

Without belaboring the post any further; what is my maintenance program? I strop on plain leather after every shave. I strop on chrome ox applied to a 3' wooden paint stirrer about once a week. About every 6 months I freshen up the edge on my Pike Swaty with 10 or so feather light passes, then chrome ox then plain leather. Sometimes I freshen up on a coti with a few strokes followed by chrome ox and then leather.

My shaves feel like I just wipe the whiskers off. 2 passes at most if I want BB smooth. Always after a hot shower and I still use Williams soap with and old boar bristle. I really cant remember a time that my face burned.

I enjoy reading several razor forums and this post isn't to poke at the hobby razor user; just to show that 60yrs of practice as taught by my Grandpa will give a remarkable shave. I do everything with a feather touch and I think that is the key for me.

Feather touch honing, stropping, and shaving. Thanks guys. Greg
Great share. You can't be shaving well though because the only way to do it is if you spend big bucks in stones. Lol. It's a simple process and you've proved this as have many others. Happy new year!
 
I started with a couple of arks and I still use them for problem razors. With the surface refreshed on the Washita with water they are fast, then switch to oil for fineness until the hard ark.
 

mrlandpirate

Got lucky with dead badgers
whaat-huh.gif
I don't have too set cross legged under a full moon rubbing 2 Japanese rocks together to get my razor sharp !
Great post and thanks
 
So, not so unusual, before Al Gore invented the internet, folks honed razors with a course and fine stone, fine being about 6-8k and finished on paste or linen and leather.

I learned and maintained a single razor for 10 years, on a 6-inch translucent Ark. My edges then are not a whole lot different now than they were then, though a lot of stones have gone under the bridge.

I know guys that finish on Lead, the “Green Paint was probably lead based Chrome Oxide paint, also not so unusual. Chrome Oxide is equivalent to about 20-30K grit.

There are many roads to Rome and certainly the web has opened up a variety of stone and grit option, and there are all levels of shaving experience. A large part of my life I shave in a gym bathroom and saw guys shave with all sorts of rusty blades. I hone razors for guys that the edges look like hacksaws and they tell me they were shaving with them the morning they put them in the mail, “but it tugged, a little”.

The bottom line is whatever floats your boat. No one else’s “method” is better or worse, as long as it works for them. You can make honing as simple or complicated as you wish.

Enjoy.
 
I am still in a phase where I am learning a ton, especially about specific stones. But everything I actually get good at seems to end at that "feather touch" place.

Much of that learning is more physical than mental. I can tell myself to lighten up all I want, it still takes time for it to really happen.
 
So, not so unusual, before Al Gore invented the internet, folks honed razors with a course and fine stone, fine being about 6-8k and finished on paste or linen and leather.

I learned and maintained a single razor for 10 years, on a 6-inch translucent Ark. My edges then are not a whole lot different now than they were then, though a lot of stones have gone under the bridge.

I know guys that finish on Lead, the “Green Paint was probably lead based Chrome Oxide paint, also not so unusual. Chrome Oxide is equivalent to about 20-30K grit.

There are many roads to Rome and certainly the web has opened up a variety of stone and grit option, and there are all levels of shaving experience. A large part of my life I shave in a gym bathroom and saw guys shave with all sorts of rusty blades. I hone razors for guys that the edges look like hacksaws and they tell me they were shaving with them the morning they put them in the mail, “but it tugged, a little”.

The bottom line is whatever floats your boat. No one else’s “method” is better or worse, as long as it works for them. You can make honing as simple or complicated as you wish.

Enjoy.
I never though about old school CrOx being lead based. Makes sense why guys like to pre load with lead bettor they hit the leathers with CrOx. I might try to do some coloring with a .30-06 cartridge on my paddle at stone point. O could see lead doing a great job of laying out that curl on the apex. I avoid synthetics like the plague because I'm not a fan of how they feel but I don't know why avoid my pasted leathers. The edges are usually very smooth, I don't know why I avoid them.
 
I never though about old school CrOx being lead based. Makes sense why guys like to pre load with lead bettor they hit the leathers with CrOx.

CrOx itself is not lead based, It's the paint that it was in. The CrOx was probably used for a nice green color. I posted a query about the leaded strop thing in the stropping section and it lead (no pun) to some very disturbing information....I don't care what the old timers did, I'm not going to pee on my strop.

I'd hold off on the rifle cartridges for a while. It's easier to put on than to take off. I'm a dedicated Arkaholic. Stone and shell for me, I don't feel the need for anything else.
 
I was taught to SR shave and hone by my Grandpa around 1965. He was about 75 at the time and a country gentleman from East Tn where I grew up. I had tried electrics and cartridges which were rough on my young teenage face. What he used, I went on to use for the next 45 yrs. He began by teaching me how to use 1 of his razors that he maintained himself. He used an extremely fine carborundum followed by a Pike Swaty barber hone. This was followed by stropping on a 1x2 painted with deep green paint used at the Mountain Home Veterans Hospital. Grandpa was a Navy Vet submariner {WW1 & WW 2) and told me the paint was a fine polisher. I also have and use the leather he gave me along with a Dubl Duck 4/8 that I still use.

Around 1970 my wife gave me a Dovo 5/8. These 2 razors are still in use today. I continued using the stones and razors in the same fashion until about 10yrs ago when I bought a couple of Case razors off the bay; I like old Case knives. I went to the net to see what info was available for straight users and began to open my eyes to what the rest of the world uses. Based on the web hype I bought a couple old coticules, a Swaty 3 line I already had a trans ark.

Without belaboring the post any further; what is my maintenance program? I strop on plain leather after every shave. I strop on chrome ox applied to a 3' wooden paint stirrer about once a week. About every 6 months I freshen up the edge on my Pike Swaty with 10 or so feather light passes, then chrome ox then plain leather. Sometimes I freshen up on a coti with a few strokes followed by chrome ox and then leather.

My shaves feel like I just wipe the whiskers off. 2 passes at most if I want BB smooth. Always after a hot shower and I still use Williams soap with and old boar bristle. I really cant remember a time that my face burned.

I enjoy reading several razor forums and this post isn't to poke at the hobby razor user; just to show that 60yrs of practice as taught by my Grandpa will give a remarkable shave. I do everything with a feather touch and I think that is the key for me.

Feather touch honing, stropping, and shaving. Thanks guys. Greg
Man, your post is the real deal. Thank you very much.
Alx
 
Important thing to remember is that one person's edge might not necessarily work as well for one person as it does for another. Take for instance, chromox; personally - I dislike it as a finishing treatment. I do not prefer paste-maintained edges; they work, but I prefer edges off a natural stone. I think everyone should try chromox, and try other things too. It was experimentation with other approaches, compounds, etc showed me which way to go so my shaves meet my standards.

When I got here, the poobahs all said I only needed a Norton combo and crox... pfft... I'd rather shave with just about anything else, a Mach 3 gets me a better shave. Another example is Barber hones, lotsa fun but I'd pass on shaving off 99% of them 99% of the time. But some people like them, like crox, like diamond paste, etc - it's all good, just not for me.

As always though, I do love hearing when someone finds what works best for them. Balance is important, so it's good to keep the concept of individuality alive. What works for me might not work for someone else - and so on.
 
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