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GIVEAWAY! PIF No.2 for Those Who Are Serious About Getting Into Straight Razor Shaving - Not CONUS or Canada


Girls call me Makaluod
PIF No.2

If you are serious about getting in to traditional straight razor shaving, this could be the PIF for you. To show that you are really serious, you will need to first put together at least a 0.1µm diamond pasted balsa strop before entering. The PIF is a new shave-ready (to my standard) Titan ACRM-2 T.H.60 with African Blackwood scales.

The particulars of this SR will be posted at a later date. This PIF is being published now to allow those who are interested sufficient time to meet the entry requirements.

Rules to be awarded this PIF:
  1. PIF closes 2359hrs UTC 30 June 2022.​
  2. PIF includes international shipping via standard postal parcel service (2 to 4 weeks delivery time) with tracking.​
  3. Not open to residents of the continental USA or Canada.​
  4. You must have been a member of B&B on 06 May 2022.​
  5. You must not previously have owned a traditional straight razor. If you get your own traditional straight razor before this PIF closes, you are asked to withdraw from this PIF to allow another to win. I'll take your word on this.​
  6. You must post in this thread "I'm in" together with a photo (including your screen name and date in your own handwriting) of your 300mm x 75mm (12" x 3") balsa strop on proper substrate and tube of 0.1µm diamond or CBN paste.​
  7. It is your responsibility to meet all your country's customs duties, taxes and charges and to ensure that your country's customs service allow a straight razor into your country via post. Some countries do not allow.​
  8. Winner will be decided by random number generator on 01 July 2022 and notified via PM on B&B.​
Instruction on how to make your balsa strop can be found here in Annex II of the latest revision:

Even if you don't win this PIF, you will have a good start in getting your own SR setup together. Best of luck to those who participate.
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If you've ever thought about shaving with a straight, get going on making that pasted balsa strop! It's easy to do and there's lots of time to source the materials. You're not going to find a better PIF anywhere, so what are you waiting for???


Girls call me Makaluod
This is a new SR being offered. I expect it to arrive to me within a couple of weeks. The SR's technical details will then be posted here and I will hone it to shave-ready.
Great PIF! lt is very generous of you to open PIF for non US residents! I should've jumped into SR 2years later. :)
@rbscebu Your enthusiasm for straight razors is growing on me.

When I started DE shaving, I'd see your posts and think "now THAT'S something I'll never get into!"

But two awesome PIF's and all these positive posts about the wonders of SR shaving have my curiosity piqued.

I'm not sure when I'll take that plunge, if ever, but it has gone from a solid "NO" to a "Hmmm... Maybe."

I'm not in, not eligible, and currently not interested, but I respect your generosity and your SR missionary works.


Girls call me Makaluod
I can’t get the materials for the second time :(
It may be called by another name in your country. Go to a hobby or craft shop. Ask them if they have any timber to make flying model airplanes. If they do not have any, ask them if they know where you can get some.

If they do, take a photo of both the surface and end grain. PM the photos to me and tell me what name the store call the timber. I might then be able to tell you if it is suitable.
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Girls call me Makaluod
The SR for this PIF has arrived into my hot sweaty hands. It has the following particulars:

Blade material = high carbon steel
Blade hardness = approximately 60 RHC
Edge length = 69mm
Edge condition = shave-ready (to my standard finishing on 0.1µm, approx. 200k grit, diamond pasted balsa)
Blade width = 21mm (13/16)
Blade thickness = 0.17mm at top of bevel
Grind = half hollow
Point = Dutch (round)
Stabiliser = single
Mass = 66g
Smile = 1.5mm
Jimps = underside of shank only
Tail length = 21mm when opened 270°
Balance (opened 180°) = 9mm from pivot towards blade
Spine thickness = 5.96mm
Spine decoration = none
Bevel angle = 18.1°
Scales material = African Ebony timber Lazer etched both sides
Scales width at pivot = 14.5mm
Spacer = parallel - timber
Pins = brass (2)
Scales thickness (max.) = 14.6mm at about mid-length
Length overall (closed) = 157mm
Length overall (open 180°) =243mm
Height overall (closed) = 23.8mm
Packaging = none
Face markings = TITAN ACRM-2 STEEL
Back markings = none
Shank stamping = none

Now all I need do is hone it up to shave-ready.
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Girls call me Makaluod
I just noticed that this Titan ACRM-2 T.H.60 is not the same as all the others that I have previously received. They are now ground without a stabiliser.

The previous ones had a definite stabiliser as shown below.

Titan must have ground up a new batch of ACRM-2 T.H.60 SRs.
"Balsaträ" in Sweden. Is it cheating just buying a ready made one? ;)


Girls call me Makaluod
"Balsaträ" in Sweden. Is it cheating just buying a ready made one? ;)
Not at all cheating. The one shown is for knives. Just remove the balsa from the timber base and mount it on a substrate that doesn't warp with time and changes in humidity/temperature. Of course, being shorter in length, you will need to do more laps.


Girls call me Makaluod
Now honing up this SR for the PIF. First a Sharpie pen test with a couple of very light laps in a 1k synthetic.

The Sharpie test showed that the blade is not warped. It also showed that on the rear side the bevel and spine were on the same plane.

The bevel on the face side was another matter. The Sharpie test showed that only the top part of its bevel was in the same plane with the spine. This was probably caused by the spine being lifted off the honing medium while honing the face side.

This doesn't present a problem. The main thing is to be aware of it when setting the bevel.

I took the blade to my 1k synthetic and started to properly set the bevel. About 50 fairly heavy laps (equal both sides) had the face side bevel and spine on the same plane and the bevel approaching set.

IMG_20220524_135742.jpg IMG_20220524_135713.jpg
From here, I moved on to a 3k synthetic to set the bevel. It wasn't long before the bevel was set along almost all of the edge. There was a bit more work to be done at the heel but soon the bevel was set along the full edge. By now the edge was tree-topping (just) my chest hairs and there was no light reflection off the edge.

With the bevel set, I now moved on to an 8k synthetic to start the refining process. After the 8k, it was then on to the lapping films; 5μm, 3μm and 1μm. The final finishing was on diamond pasted balsa; 0.5μm, 0.25μm, 0.1μm and 0.1μm hanging.

Here is the finished shave-ready edge.

IMG_20220524_151057.jpg IMG_20220524_151035.jpg
The complete process of honing this SR took 1hr 50min. This included about 45 min lapping the three whetstones flat which I do with each SR that I hone.

Tomorrow morning I will give this edge the ultimate test, the shave test.


Girls call me Makaluod
The shave test was performed this morning and results published here.

I'm tempted to swap this SR out for another of my Titan ACRM-2 T.H.60 SRs, but I won't. A keen eyed recipient would see the difference.


Girls call me Makaluod
This SR has now been disinfected and maintained on 0.1μm hanging balsa after this morning's shave. The inside surfaces of the timber scales have been given two coats of bees wax to help with moisture protection and the outside surfaces two coats of Renaissance wax.

The blade has been given two coats of Renaissance wax and put away, all ready for shipping.

To sweeten this deal, I will throw in a 60mm wide x 300 long (stropping length) denim strop to clean the bevel on after each shave before maintaining on the 0.1μm hanging balsa.



Girls call me Makaluod

Only one month to go. If no one enters by the end of June, I will award the PIF to the first person to meet the conditions after the 30th June.
It’s always difficult to do manual tasks in a apartment but I believe it’s done. I sand the substrate and the balsa individually, glued the two together and sand the balsa one more time. Seems pretty flat :). That’s is my “ugly” balsa strop.

I’ll do a better strop later when my brother finished his kitchen. I probably can get some ceramic to do a better substrate.

I order some diamond compound from Amazon US, but will takes ages to arrives in my country.
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