Newbie with a Straight Edge

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by havensole, Jul 10, 2018.

    Hi all. Newbie here. Just bought a Gold Dollar 1996 two weeks ago. I've done 4 shaves with it so far and am generally happy with it. I wish I would have done some better research before buying as I would have spent a little more to get something shave ready. I switched to a DE razor a few years ago and loved it much more than the electric or multi-blade ones I tried in the past. On a whim I decided to pick up the SE and give it a shot.

    The first shave wasn't great. It felt rough, but the results were pretty good. Nicked myself pretty good on my upper lip, and I continue to struggle with getting that area "good." The second and third shaves were better as I think I got better with my lather and stropping. The fourth felt very similar to my first one. I've nicked myself at least once with each shave, which I attribute to bad technique more than anything. The really surprising thing is that I haven't had any razor burn yet, which is something I have always dealt with.

    I am getting ready now to buy some lapping film to give that a shot at getting a better edge on the blade. The bevel tapers down toward the toe, so I know I'll need to reset it. I also need to sharpen my kitchen knives, so I don't mind learning a new skill. I am going to shave again in the morning with a different cream to see if that helps things, but also give me a better reference for when the blade is sharpened this weekend.
  1. Welcome to B&B. Getting the edge up to a good stadard will make a big difference to your shaves. Keep at it.
  2. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    Welcome to the forum. If you check out the straight forum you might get some really good advice from there. Good on you for trying the straights, I have not ventured there yet.
  3. Welcome! Check out all the various forms.
  4. Welcome to the forum !!
  5. If you got a decent shave with a GD right out of the box you are one of the lucky ones unless it came from someone that honed it before selling to you, they normally require a little work to get them up to par to give a smooth comfortable shave, at least that’s been my experience honing them.
  6. Welcome aboard! Congratulations on your progress!
  7. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

  8. After reading a lot of people's experiences with the GD's I too am surprised with how well it has done thus far. Granted, this isn't one of the $5 ones. It cost me all of...... $18. I think the most expensive one I've seen was a 59 for $25-ish.

    I tried using some shave butter today and the result were interesting. The best shave I've had with this razor yet was with some lather, but I mixed it thicker than I usually do. Using the butter today, the shave was very smooth (as long as it was wet enough), but the result wasn't the greatest. Think I finally got the upper lip area done well though.

    Really looking forward to seeing how this does after a proper honing.
  9. BTW, here is the razor I am using. I haven't seen to many things about this model anywhere, so not sure if it is a newer GD model or what.

    Attached Files:

  10. Welcome on! Glad you’re find success with SR shaving!
  11. Welcome to B & B, enjoy!
  12. Well I honed the razor this afternoon and then shaved with it this evening. Since it was my first time honing a razor I didn't get it the best it could be, but it was still way better than stock. I didn't feel it catch on any hairs. I was a bit aggressive on my throat area, so I am thinking that I will get my first touch of razor burn from this razor, and got my customary nick for this shave. The overall results are one of the better shaves that I've had. I'll have to try the lather again to see if the shave butter really is just that much better. Going to look at some of the flea market places tomorrow to see if I can find any cheapo straights that I can practice my honing/restoration work on.
  13. That is the 1996 model. I have the same razor but with the red acrylic scales. It is a good razor and is easier to hone because it doesn’t have the stabilizers to deal with. A couple of reviews on Amazon saint theirs was somewhat shave ready. Mine wasn’t. Anyway, with the film (The Method) you can be up and honing good edges in a couple of weeks. Inexpensive too. Go to the straight shaving forum, then the “hones and honing” subforum and find @Slash McCoy thread “Newbies Honing Compendium”. Read that and follow the instructions precisely and you will find all you will need. Congratulations on finding the best shaving experience possible!
  14. Thanks steve. I've been reading those posts for awhile; before I bought my 1996 even. They were part of the reason I took the plunge in getting the razor as well as the lapping film.

    Went to a couple of the flea markets around town this morning to see if I could find some cheap vintage straights to play with. The first one only had a mustache trimmer/thinner. The second market was much bigger with multiple sellers, and had a few. One case had a bunch of empty old razor boxes for $5 ea. It also had what was labeled as a straight razor handle. I looks like an old shavette that is designed to hold a DE razor blade. Looks dangerous as hell since it only mounts via 2 clips, and didn't look like it was missing anything. May pick it back up and use it as a lame for my bread making. In the next case they had 7 razors, all priced well above $50. All but one of them had badly chips blades. Its a shave as more than a few had excellent scales. The one that was tagged at $100 was probably the saddest as it looked like a shark took a bite out of it. The last one was in another case. It was really weathered, but didn't look like anything that some good polish couldn't fix. Had some flimsy feeling scales though. All it all it felt really cheap all around and not worth the $35 they were asking.

    Aside from those there were 2 or 3 old safety razors. Looked interesting, but not really my thing. The woman that was helping me told me that their SR stock usually goes pretty quickly as a collector comes every Sunday to buy most of what they get, and a few barbers come in regularly as well. Looks like I may need to find other markets.
  15. Well, my GD 66 showed up today. The jimps are better ground than my 1996 which I was surprised by. Couldn't see any twist to the spine/edge from eye balling it, but I'll check before I try honing it. Stabilizers have a bit of grind wear on them, which I am guessing was done to get a better hone on it at the factory. Not a fan of the plastic scales, so that will probably be one of the first things I do with it.

    All in all I am pretty surprised with what $9 can get. Looks like it should be a good base for practice and modification.
  16. The stabilizers on the 66 aren't ground down nearly enough. Time to take the dremel to it.
  17. Had to go back to the dremel a couple of times. Also ground out a couple of high spots on my 1996 while I was at it. Tried setting the bevel using the burr method. Discovered after about an hour of working on the hone that the blade has a twist to it. Bevel tapers from heel to tow on one side, and then the reverse on the other. Went ahead and finished sharpening it since the lapping film just seemed to be taking forever to even things out.

    Went all the way down to 0.3u film. Tried shaving with it and I will have to say that it ended up being one of the best shaves I've had. Blade still needs a lot of work to be where I'd like it, but this is a good start.
  18. Excellent! As to your flea market experience, the bay is a pretty good place to pick up a decent blade for a good price. Lurk in the vintage straight razors and watch how the bidding goes. Just don't let yourself get sucked in over your budget. I try to stay away from things that may cause that "I've gotta have that" feeling. Be sure to start posting and asking questions in the Straight Razor forums. Sounds like you're off to a really good start.
  19. Thanks Steve. Deathknell was kind enough to send me a couple of pieces to start working on. I'll hold off on jumping around more flea markets or fleabay until I work through those. Had a few in my watch list that I was really tempted to pick up, but decided I should work with what I have before filling up my already cramped workshop. Luckily I don't know enough yet to be too consumed by the "I've gotta have that" bug.

    Shaved twice with my 1996 since I honed it and I think the 66 has a better edge on it even with it's uneven bevel. Maybe its the bevel angle since I took some more off the spine trying to fix the twist in it. Still needs more work.

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