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Notes From The Edge

Seveneighth

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Random thoughts and notes on shaving and honing. You will find no systematic shaving journey here. I tend to shave as the mood takes me with DE, SE, shavette or cutthroat - which might mean topics are all over the place. Have shaved with DEs and Straights all my adult life, but not necessarily wilh any expertise. Tough beard and highly sensitive skin - I hope something I write will be helpful to others with similar.

Feel free to highjack this thread at any time. It's more interesting that way.
 

Seveneighth

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First Shave of the Year

December was D.E.-cember for me. Just a whim at first but once I got into it I ran with it for the whole month. It was nice because I got to spend more time with a couple of safety razors I had neglected.

For the beginning of the year I was desperate to get back to cutthroats though. Last night I broke out my favourite stainless. I really feel the difference in stubble grow-back. My face has stayed smoother up to lunchtime than with a safety, and this afternoon the growth is more even all over.

Two pass BBS (mostly) shave with a Böker stainless, honed on Naniwa progression + CrOx /FerOx (a while ago). Brush = Omega '98.

The Böker was as smooth and effective as ever except for the heal which was dragging slightly. I worked round that shaving but it meant I didn't get as close as I would like with the two tough spots at the corners of my mouth.

After the shave I refreshed the razor on a Charnley Forest with Bisley Gun oil. There was noticeable scritchiness at the heal that smoothed out as I worked on it, although I suspect it will need more work to be perfect.
 
Glad to see you've started a journal :001_smile
Something else to keep an eye on and maybe hijack once in a while :001_tt2:

Actually your making me think I should start one of my own.
Sometimes I feel like a cuckoo - stealing other people threads.

Good luck with this. :clap:
 

Seveneighth

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Ambassador
Glad to see you've started a journal :001_smile
Something else to keep an eye on and maybe hijack once in a while :001_tt2:

Actually your making me think I should start one of my own.
Sometimes I feel like a cuckoo - stealing other people threads.

Good luck with this. :clap:
I am hoping you and others do hijack this... That way I feel exonerated if I hijack everyone else's journals.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
Tonight's shave: great shave, terrible photo.


To make up for the missed moustache bristles from yesterday I switched to a smiling blade today. (Art razor, Small boar brush, Floris Elite)

I love this razor. When I bought it I couldn't shave with it. Extreme irritation. I bought it from a highly respected source so didn't doubt the edge. I had the second problem with three other razors. The common factor? Swedish steel. I thought I would have to sell them until I tried one of them on a Charnley Forest. Then it shaved OK - not great but no irritation .

It wasn't until I discovered coticules that I got a really good edge

At the moment I am getting the nicest results with the following combinations:

Swedish Steel --> coticule
Vintage Sheffield --> Scottish stones or Welsh
Solingen --> Welsh + CF
Stainless --> Synthetic, finished on balsa

Still experimenting ...
 
I don't have any stainless razors, not sure why.

But I can add to the confusion about edges and stones.

This is my simple list, so far.

Near wedges or 1/4 hollow - synthetics.
Hollow or extra hollow - CF, Ark, or Thuri.

Discovered early in my straight journey that hollow grinds didn't really work for me.
Near wedges and 1/4 hollow's I had no trouble with.
Then I bought an Ark and tried it on my vintage Bismarck (hollow grind). Totally transformed the razor.
My new Filarmonica is a 15/16 full hollow. Finished on a CF and totally blew me away how smooth this razor is.
I can hear it, feel the blade against my face, but can't feel the edge.
If I strum my fingers very lightly on the edge (very, very lightly) it grabs my skin like its coated with super glue.

Now I've tried these same finishers on near wedge types and they just don't work for me as well as synthetics do.

All this tells me I need more experience and YMMV is a big player in all this.
It's up to us, as individuals, to find what works best for us.
 

Seveneighth

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Ambassador
I don't have any stainless razors, not sure why.

But I can add to the confusion about edges and stones.

This is my simple list, so far.

Near wedges or 1/4 hollow - synthetics.
Hollow or extra hollow - CF, Ark, or Thuri.

Discovered early in my straight journey that hollow grinds didn't really work for me.
Near wedges and 1/4 hollow's I had no trouble with.
Then I bought an Ark and tried it on my vintage Bismarck (hollow grind). Totally transformed the razor.
My new Filarmonica is a 15/16 full hollow. Finished on a CF and totally blew me away how smooth this razor is.
I can hear it, feel the blade against my face, but can't feel the edge.
If I strum my fingers very lightly on the edge (very, very lightly) it grabs my skin like its coated with super glue.

Now I've tried these same finishers on near wedge types and they just don't work for me as well as synthetics do.

All this tells me I need more experience and YMMV is a big player in all this.
It's up to us, as individuals, to find what works best for us.
That's really interesting. I never thought about varying finish stone by grind... Need to investigate that.

I have a soft Ark which is a nice bevel setter, but no experience with finishing and I have purposefully avoided Thuris because there are only so many rabbit holes my wallet and time can take.

Rabbit holes I am avoiding at present:

1. Jnats
2. Hard Arks
3. Jnats
4. Thuris
5. Jnats
6. Stop looking at the Jnats... Come away from the Jnats.

I need to spend more time with my Welsh stones and coticules. Both have been successful so far. I have some project razors to take from clunker to shave ready. I have been experimenting with just one coticule for travelling. More on that another time...

So I will be following your journey with Thuris and Arks with great interest.
 
I can see a big hole appearing in my simple list, something I forgot about.

There is a black sheep in my collection that doesn't conform to the rules.
That's my new Dovo Bismarck - what a surprise!
It does not like my thuri or ark edge (it is a full hollow).
Only way I can shave with it is when finished on synthetics.

My thinking is maybe the type of steel has something to do with it as well as the type of grind.

With all my edges I always use pasted balsa. My synthetics will get finished on balsa and naturals after balsa.
I've got it into my head that the edge will benefit from being as sharp as possible before going to a natural finishing stone.

Oh, yes. Stay away from Jnats.
Sometimes I get bored and look them up on Ebay. No way am I going to pay that for a rock :001_rolle
Seriously though, it makes sense to get them from a reputable source. But I'm not going to get any at all.

I got my Thuri for just over £30, got lucky one day.
And it's the real deal, label, box and all.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
I can see a big hole appearing in my simple list, something I forgot about.

There is a black sheep in my collection that doesn't conform to the rules.
That's my new Dovo Bismarck - what a surprise!
It does not like my thuri or ark edge (it is a full hollow).
Only way I can shave with it is when finished on synthetics.

My thinking is maybe the type of steel has something to do with it as well as the type of grind.

With all my edges I always use pasted balsa. My synthetics will get finished on balsa and naturals after balsa.
I've got it into my head that the edge will benefit from being as sharp as possible before going to a natural finishing stone.

Oh, yes. Stay away from Jnats.
Sometimes I get bored and look them up on Ebay. No way am I going to pay that for a rock :001_rolle
Seriously though, it makes sense to get them from a reputable source. But I'm not going to get any at all.

I got my Thuri for just over £30, got lucky one day.
And it's the real deal, label, box and all.
Try the Dovo on the Charnley Forest... It can't hurt and you might like it ... I don't have a Bismarck but my carbon Dovos were good on the CF.

That's an amazing deal for the Thuri.
 
It was the first razor I tried with the CF.
It's now back to 12k nani and finished on balsa.

Maybe its just an oddity.
It's been a really nice shaver for me despite its idiosyncratic ways.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
It was the first razor I tried with the CF.
It's now back to 12k nani and finished on balsa.

Maybe its just an oddity.
It's been a really nice shaver for me despite its idiosyncratic ways.
Well you can't beat balsa... I just like those hard steels with a soft edge. If it is working then don't mess with it I guess.

I'll bear your method in mind though if I ever get my hands on a Busmark
 
That's really interesting. I never thought about varying finish stone by grind... Need to investigate that.

I have a soft Ark which is a nice bevel setter, but no experience with finishing and I have purposefully avoided Thuris because there are only so many rabbit holes my wallet and time can take.

Rabbit holes I am avoiding at present:

1. Jnats
2. Hard Arks
3. Jnats
4. Thuris
5. Jnats
6. Stop looking at the Jnats... Come away from the Jnats.

I need to spend more time with my Welsh stones and coticules. Both have been successful so far. I have some project razors to take from clunker to shave ready. I have been experimenting with just one coticule for travelling. More on that another time...

So I will be following your journey with Thuris and Arks with great interest.
Buying a Jnat will take 3 things off your list. Its a great buy because of that alone!
 

Seveneighth

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Ambassador
Buying a Jnat will take 3 things off your list. Its a great buy because of that alone!
Enablement at ninja level! Your logic is irrefutable.

I want to master my British and Belgian stones first so Jnats will have to wait... For a little while.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
I bought a batch of old clunkers without scales last year, out of which only two look like they have enough metal left on them to sharpen into something useable.




I've never scaled a razor before. I found a great video by @Mr Bedlington :


which is the method I will follow.

Christmas presents supplied the tools I didn't have:

1) Japanese side cutters
2) 2 x scale kits
3) Peening hammer
4) Jeweller's anvil

I am wimping out from making the scales and even drilling them this time. I have 2 ready to go kits from Dovo that look like they are a good size.

From reading different threads, the approach should be:

Polish the razor (using high grit wet n dry followed by renaissance wax)
Pin the new scales
Hone the razor

Appreciate any advice from anyone that stumbles across this. I'll probably cross post into the restoration section before I get started.
 
I have scaled 3 razors so far, making them by scratch using Kirinite.
My last razor was by far the best.

alexico7.JPG alexico5.JPG

Kirinite is tough to cut.
My Christmas present from SWMBO was a dremel moto saw.
Perfect for doing this.

I've bought some more Kirinite for future projects.
Next one I aim to be more adventurous with the design, or shape.

What are you going to do with the broken blade?
Make a shorty?

I bought a job lot of 7 rusty razors and one of them had been made into a very crude shorty.
Not really sure what to do with it. Maybe tart it up and make a new set of scales for it.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
I have scaled 3 razors so far, making them by scratch using Kirinite.
My last razor was by far the best.

View attachment 940437 View attachment 940438

Kirinite is tough to cut.
My Christmas present from SWMBO was a dremel moto saw.
Perfect for doing this.

I've bought some more Kirinite for future projects.
Next one I aim to be more adventurous with the design, or shape.

What are you going to do with the broken blade?
Make a shorty?

I bought a job lot of 7 rusty razors and one of them had been made into a very crude shorty.
Not really sure what to do with it. Maybe tart it up and make a new set of scales for it.
Those two blades are ok - that's a notch on the toe believe or not.

The rest of the blades have been "restored" and have been sanded down so much to remove rust that there is no grind left in the faces. They are pretty much wedges all of them. I am tempted to keep them and one day attempt to regrind them into hollows!!

I love your Krinite scales. I have a razor for which I would like to do the same. Just dipping my toe in tentatively here.

I was wondering about casting a couple of scales in artists resin... Sometime in the future.
 
I bought a batch of old clunkers without scales last year, out of which only two look like they have enough metal left on them to sharpen into something useable.




I've never scaled a razor before. I found a great video by @Mr Bedlington :


which is the method I will follow.

Christmas presents supplied the tools I didn't have:

1) Japanese side cutters
2) 2 x scale kits
3) Peening hammer
4) Jeweller's anvil

I am wimping out from making the scales and even drilling them this time. I have 2 ready to go kits from Dovo that look like they are a good size.

From reading different threads, the approach should be:

Polish the razor (using high grit wet n dry followed by renaissance wax)
Pin the new scales
Hone the razor

Appreciate any advice from anyone that stumbles across this. I'll probably cross post into the restoration section before I get started.
Very pleased to hear you found the video helpful.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
DE Shave / Taming the Razorock Mamba

Yesterday was a DE day. I used my Razorock Mamba, which is my go to mild razor at the moment.

When I first got the razor I was blown away by its lines and manufacture and thought to myself, "I hope this shaves half as well as it looks". I think I must have jinxed it because, the first shave was one of the worst of my life. So was the second. And the third. I gave up on the razor after the fourth or fifth shave and the razor burn was so bad at that point I had to take a few days off from shaving.

In those first shaves I tried every trick I knew - riding the cap, varying the angle, riding the bar, more pressure, less pressure. Nothing worked for me.

I tried shimming the razor. That worked - it shaved a bit like a EJDE90 but I didn't really want to use a razor I had to shim.

About a month later I came across a post saying that if you loosened the head a quarter of a turn, that it sorted the problems out. That also worked but the shave was less than stellar and I did not feel this was the right approach. It was still a modification of sorts.

I put the razor away and stopped using it. Then in the autumn I started thinking about it again. Annoyed that it was the only razor that had beaten me. I came across this on the Italian Barber website:

Blade Exposure: ~0 to -0.01mm (I say roughly because of blade width variances)

Now when you think about it what does that mean? Which blades are they talking about? My blades vary from a Treet carbon blade which I measure somewhere between 21.55 - 21.64 and a Kai which is almost a full mm wider. If the tolerance is as little 0.01 mm then the shaving experience is going to be a lot more varied between blades than other razors. Most blades fall within the 21.85 to 22.0 range. That's a full 15 x 0.01mm between them. I decided to experiment with slightly wider blades.

Reading @AimlessWanderer 's journal got me thinking. When Al was trying out the Fatip he was insistent on keeping a good angle and maintaining his floating technique. He was determined to maintain his good technique and not modify.

Channelling @AimlessWanderer and with a Nacet loaded I began a three pass shave. I didn't try to panda to the razor, I kept best technique a la the Wanderer's Guide. I hovered with the razor. No feedback sound. No cap riding. No pressure. I wasn't even sure the razor was cutting. I was sure it would miss the problem beard growth around my mouth and jaw line and that I would end up with an average to patchy shave, but I wanted to see whether I could achieve and irritation-free shave.

When I finished up - ZERO IRRITATION - and ... one of the best DE shaves of my life. EVERY stray trouble-spot hair smooth. Perfect BBS. I repeated the experience over the next few days. My face was enjoying it - and nice slow grow back.

I had mixed feelings at first. Pleased that I had finally cracked it, and that this razor was performing so well, but disappointed by the implication that it might only shave comfortably or effectively with certain blades. Now that I have been using the razor more I am starting to change my mind. Razorock set out to make a high precision razor with very fine tolerances. I am beginning to accept that this means that to get it to work you need to apply even more precision in terms of blade use and technique. I think I'm happy with that situation.
 
DE Shave / Taming the Razorock Mamba

Yesterday was a DE day. I used my Razorock Mamba, which is my go to mild razor at the moment.

When I first got the razor I was blown away by its lines and manufacture and thought to myself, "I hope this shaves half as well as it looks". I think I must have jinxed it because, the first shave was one of the worst of my life. So was the second. And the third. I gave up on the razor after the fourth or fifth shave and the razor burn was so bad at that point I had to take a few days off from shaving.

In those first shaves I tried every trick I knew - riding the cap, varying the angle, riding the bar, more pressure, less pressure. Nothing worked for me.

I tried shimming the razor. That worked - it shaved a bit like a EJDE90 but I didn't really want to use a razor I had to shim.

About a month later I came across a post saying that if you loosened the head a quarter of a turn, that it sorted the problems out. That also worked but the shave was less than stellar and I did not feel this was the right approach. It was still a modification of sorts.

I put the razor away and stopped using it. Then in the autumn I started thinking about it again. Annoyed that it was the only razor that had beaten me. I came across this on the Italian Barber website:

Blade Exposure: ~0 to -0.01mm (I say roughly because of blade width variances)

Now when you think about it what does that mean? Which blades are they talking about? My blades vary from a Treet carbon blade which I measure somewhere between 21.55 - 21.64 and a Kai which is almost a full mm wider. If the tolerance is as little 0.01 mm then the shaving experience is going to be a lot more varied between blades than other razors. Most blades fall within the 21.85 to 22.0 range. That's a full 15 x 0.01mm between them. I decided to experiment with slightly wider blades.

Reading @AimlessWanderer 's journal got me thinking. When Al was trying out the Fatip he was insistent on keeping a good angle and maintaining his floating technique. He was determined to maintain his good technique and not modify.

Channelling @AimlessWanderer and with a Nacet loaded I began a three pass shave. I didn't try to panda to the razor, I kept best technique a la the Wanderer's Guide. I hovered with the razor. No feedback sound. No cap riding. No pressure. I wasn't even sure the razor was cutting. I was sure it would miss the problem beard growth around my mouth and jaw line and that I would end up with an average to patchy shave, but I wanted to see whether I could achieve and irritation-free shave.

When I finished up - ZERO IRRITATION - and ... one of the best DE shaves of my life. EVERY stray trouble-spot hair smooth. Perfect BBS. I repeated the experience over the next few days. My face was enjoying it - and nice slow grow back.

I had mixed feelings at first. Pleased that I had finally cracked it, and that this razor was performing so well, but disappointed by the implication that it might only shave comfortably or effectively with certain blades. Now that I have been using the razor more I am starting to change my mind. Razorock set out to make a high precision razor with very fine tolerances. I am beginning to accept that this means that to get it to work you need to apply even more precision in terms of blade use and technique. I think I'm happy with that situation.
Wow. I'm impressed the guide made a difference for such an experienced shave. I'm really glad to hear it worked for you.

Yes, it might be a little more choosy on blade. Whatever you do, don't try a Polsilver in that razor! It will feel like you're shaving with pliers. Or a very slowly used waxing strip. The Fatip is the only razor I've used that those blades didn't tug profusely in.

I think the Wilkinson Sword Classic is very similar in terms of giving you nothing, to less than nothing, with relation to blade exposure, and that's the razor I learned with. It took me a long time to learn to stop forcing it to work, and just let it work. Back then I didn't know of any other razor options, or where to get them either, so it was that razor or back to the cartridges which treated my face even worse. Many times I was tempted to attack it with some wet and dry, and give it a little tune up to let some more blade out. I have resisted so far though.

If the Mamba proves too particular, would that be an option? Is it stainless like the gamechanger, or plated? If stainless, you might be able to tweak it up a notch if you find it too restrictive on blade types, or the level of precision needed becomes too tedious.
 
Just for the record.
And its a YMMV thing.
It's really only my humble opinion......

Polsilvers are the best DE blades ever made, bar none.

There, I said it. :a30:

Sorry Al :001_tt2:
 
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