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Pretty Much What You'd Expect if Dovo1695 had a Shave Journal

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
How do you get them? A pad of Post-It notes and a utility knife. I started by practicing cutting just the top Post-It without cutting the 2nd sheet. Then cutting two sheets without nicking the 3rd. Then 4 sheets without nicking the 5th. I got all the way up to 9. That's acuity to pressure. Give it a try with a utility knife, a fresh blade, and a pad of paper and you'll see exactly what I mean. I'm 100% serious; try it before your next shave. It'll only take 5 minutes, and by the time you get to 3 sheets your acuity to pressure/sensation while shaving will have at least doubled.

This reminds me of shaving with my glow-in-the-dark slant. Twisted blade with low rigidity that shaves the bees’ knees at a shallow enough angle and snaps back from every hair into the skin when used steeply.
 
Pre-shave: Coffee
Razor: Fatip Piccolo
Blade: Kai (3)
Brush: Left hand (brushless)
Soap: Mogno?

I have this theory that 0.00mm is far and away the most important number when it comes to blade exposure. Either the blade is on your skin or it's not. At an exposure of -.05mm its not. At an exposure of 0.00mm it's not. At +.01mm however, the blade is touching your skin and that's a massive change in blade feel and efficiency.

My hypothesis is that the width of the blade is nowhere near as important if it changes exposure from +0.1 to +.06, than it is if it changes the exposure from -0.025 to +0.025mm. The former just increases the extent to which blade exposure is positive, in the later case it's literally the difference between the blade directly touching your skin or not.

This simple model obviously doesn't take pressure and gap into account but I think the principle itself is sound.

To test this hypothesis, I decided to stick a KAI into my Fatip Piccolo for this morning's shave. The Fatip Piccolo is a razor with a definitively positive blade exposure even with a 22mm blade. Most blades are around 21.95mm wide, and the KAI is the widest at 22.18mm. This increased width translates into increased blade exposure. Adding a KAI increases this exposure by around +0.10mm vs a normal blade. I'm guessing this at least doubled the blade exposure of the Fatip. I was prepared for a scary aggressive shave, but that's not what happened at all. Even with an increased blade exposure of 0.10mm, the Fatip felt pretty much the same to me.

When I put a KAI razor blade in my GC .68 however, it was a Jekyll and Hyde change. It makes my sleepy tech clone .68 Game Changer indistinguishable from my Lupo .72. I've done several side by side shaves with them and they may as well be the same razor. Looking at the Italian Barber "aggressiveness chart", that small change in exposure moved the same razor from 6th place on the list to 21st. It's not subtle. This is consistent with the hypothesis, because the GC .68 ordinarily has a slightly negative exposure, and the KAI flips it to having significant Positive exposure.

I think the hypothesis that "If all else remains constant, the biggest marginal increases in efficiency come from changes in blade exposure at or around 0.00mm" might be on the right track.

Photo of GameChanger .68 negative exposure with a normal blade taken by @Rosseforp

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There are probably hundreds of DE razor heads out there, but blade exposure is only known for about a dozen of them. This is exasperating, because blade exposure is the single most important factor in razor efficiency/aggressiveness. People have a tendency to focus on blade gap, but blade gap plays a much less important role. For that matter, it's not even necessary to have blade gap in a razor than it is to have one on a squeegee. Don't believe me? Take a look at this beauty that all the cool kids are raving about these days. It's a Henson razor.

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Notice that the blade gap difference between their mild and medium is about .03mm. Read the text their too. The primary determinant of the efficiency of the razor and blade exposure therefore is the brand of razor you choose. Look at this chart and you'll see what I mean. The difference in exposure between a mild and medium Henson razor is .03mm. The difference between the narrowest and widest blades available is 0.30mm. Thats 10x bigger! Blade choice matters.

Why does blade gap exist at all? I have a theory about that, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow. Off to play catch with my 8 year old son. :)

Table compiled by Giovanni Arbate.

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@Rosseforp, the pictures of blade exposure that you took of the GC .68 vs the GC .84 were awesome. What do you use for a camera & camera holder? If you were going to buy a camera explicitly for the purpose of photographing and measuring blade exposure, what would you want to get?

I'm thinking about reinvesting my "tonsorial dividend" into compiling a table of blade exposure. This is what I was thinking of getting, but I know nothing about cameras or microscopes. It seemed like something with manual focus meant for photographing small things from a short distance away. There's probably more to it than that though.

Yn8jxK1[t]w[r]google.com[d]D[z]m&tag=thestrategistsite-20
 
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@Rosseforp, the pictures of blade exposure that you took of the GC .68 vs the GC .84 were awesome. What do you use for a camera & camera holder? If you were going to buy a camera explicitly for the purpose of photographing and measuring blade exposure, what would you want to get?

I'm thinking about reinvesting my "tonsorial dividend" into compiling a table of blade exposure. This is what I was thinking of getting, but I know nothing about cameras or microscopes. It seemed like something with manual focus meant for photographing small things from a short distance away. There's probably more to it than that though.

Yn8jxK1[t]w[r]google.com[d]D[z]m&tag=thestrategistsite-20
Thanks for the compliments, that is the camera I use, Nick. The Plugable USB Camera is easy to setup and use, but there is quite a bit of aberration when off center, and I use a small flashlight to get the lighting better. I make sure to center the tip of the blade with the cross-hairs in all of my pictures so that they are consistent.

The stand that comes with the camera is OK, I use it to hold the flashlight, but I had this indicator stand in my toolbox that I paid about $40 for sometime around 1976, the clamp is from a burette holder I got for one of my son's science projects. The vice might sound a bit overkill at $75, but that is the machinist in me. It gets plenty of use.
20210604_153309[1].jpg
The clock is in a connecting rod from a 11,000 horsepower nitro burning, 500 cubic inch engine, from a Top Fuel Dragster. 0-100 mph in .87 seconds.
 
Thanks for the compliments, that is the camera I use, Nick. The Plugable USB Camera is easy to setup and use, but there is quite a bit of aberration when off center, and I use a small flashlight to get the lighting better. I make sure to center the tip of the blade with the cross-hairs in all of my pictures so that they are consistent.

The stand that comes with the camera is OK, I use it to hold the flashlight, but I had this indicator stand in my toolbox that I paid about $40 for sometime around 1976, the clamp is from a burette holder I got for one of my son's science projects. The vice might sound a bit overkill at $75, but that is the machinist in me. It gets plenty of use.
View attachment 1276883
The clock is in a connecting rod from a 11,000 horsepower nitro burning, 500 cubic inch engine, from a Top Fuel Dragster. 0-100 mph in .87 seconds.

That's a nice setup. It's also looks to be the exact same USB microscope I was thinking of buying. Would you buy the same one again if you had to do it all over again?
 
Oh yeah. The Plugable has its limitations, but I think it is worth the price. You can easily get away with the stand it comes with, I already had a better stand laying around not being used for anything.
 
A digital SLR that offers 'focus stacking' and/or 'focus bracketing'. Focus stacking is the better option.

View attachment 1277181

I'm also interested in trying to do measurements based on the photos. I'm looking at a software package called ImageJ developed and supported by the US National Institute of Health that's widely used in the academic world for taking measurements of microscope photos. It also supports image stacking, but I have no idea how good of a job it does.

ImageJ Demo: You'll want to turn your sound off for this, but it's a quick overview by a random college student of configuring ImageJ it to make measurements of very small things.


There are also some open source options for image stacking, and 2 stand-alone paid options but I don't know anything about them. What software have you done it with?

 

Esox

I didnt know
That looks promising. How much would it cost for a basic setup to do super close up shots of blade exposure with focus stacking?

I'm not sure which cameras have a focus stacking feature now. There was a compact, all weather Pentax, I think, that offered stacking. Some Canons did and quite a lot of Olympus cameras did. When I was looking at them a few years ago the better SLR's had software in them and you could stack, view and save the finished image with the push of a button. @sarimento1 might have some input as he focus stacks all of his pictures, I believe.

I used a friends Canon S5IS for the picture below of a broken bolt handle on a rifle, in natural light, macro auto mode, without a tripod.

IMG_0917.JPG

If I had used a tripod it would have been a bit clearer and if it was focus stacked, or even bracketed it would have been sharper but the depth of focus is pretty good as it was for what I needed to show.

While not focus stacked, it is a very good performing macro camera that can be bought used for a decent price. I didnt know it at the time but that camera does offer focus bracketing, which is, essentially, a longer road to the same destination.

Canon Knowledge Base - Setting Focus Bracketing PowerShot S5 IS. - https://support.usa.canon.com/kb/index?page=content&id=ART121975

That rifle was fixed and puts a massive amount of energy into little tiny groups at 100m again.

2011-07-09 14.03.57.jpg
 
This one looks interesting---------->Mustool digital comparator

That does look interesting. I'll have to take a look and see if I can find any reviews. So far, the reviews I've been reading on hobbyist websites have been giving that Pluggable USB 2.0 you have top marks for "band for the buck".

 
I realized I had an 2 megapixel HD webcam kicking about, and that's basically what the USB microscopes are in the $50 price range. I got a tripod for it, connected it via USB, went into the stock Windows 10 camera app, and used the "advanced settings" to manually focus it. This is best I could do. Maybe some better lighting would help at little bit. 😏

Here are 2 shots of the Lupo .72 that show why the angle is important. The photo of the left side and the photo of the right side are from the same picture. It looks like way more exposure in the first pic than the second. It's really got to be centered in the photo and directly under the lens. Tricky business!

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Preshave: Shower
Razor: Fatip Piccovette
Soap: Mogno
Brush: Left hand (brushless)

Technically, this is yesterday's shave report, so I'm a little behind.

Coach Picco is a funny little animal. It's great for practicing zero pressure, but it will never be a daily driver for me. (Coach says that's just because my technique is lousy). It's got heaps of blade exposure and yields a straight razor level of closeness, but it's not very efficient (strokes to BBS). It just isn't rigid enough to take strokes longer than 2cm. If I try to, it starts to skip and chatter and tug, especially around the chin area where my whisker density is the highest. It's not a razor you want bouncing around. At all.

The most efficient razor that I've used to date is the Lupo .72. With that razor, it's possible to take full length strokes from the line where the sideburns begin all the way down to base of the neck on the WTG/Down pass. That's about 16cm per stroke. For a three pass shave it's 15 strokes "Down", 24 "Up", 12 "Left" for a total of 51 strokes. All three passes take about ~60 seconds in total. I'm going to have to do a side/side shave to be sure, but I think it shaves as close as the Fatip devette.

With Coach Picco, I've got to take slow & short 2cm strokes, so there is a ton of overlapping/redundancy, which gives me irritation. Here is what I think is also happening to cause irritation. Every time you lift the razor off the skin and bring it back down for another stroke, it means you need to adjust your angle, which introduces the potential for error. Worse, since you need to accelerate at the beginning of the stroke, and decelerate at the end of the stroke, the average head speed is very low. Slow moving edges cut much less efficiently than fast moving edges (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Fast moving things cut more efficiently than slow moving things.

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I'm guessing the shave is about 400 strokes and each of the 3 passes takes nearly 2 minutes, for a total of about six minutes. On the bright side, it doesn't sneak up on me and bite or cause weepers like a high gap razor, but it certainly wants to. Not very efficient, but it is a damn close shave.
 
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Preshave: Shower
Razor: Fatip Piccovette w/ KAI (right side of face)
Razor 2: Lupo .72 w/ Israeli Personna (left side of face)
Soap: Mogno
Brush: Left hand (brushless)

Much better results with the Picovette today. I was able to get it moving a bit quicker and that made a big difference in how smooth it felt. I was able to move at about 50% of my normal pace on my cheeks and below the neck, with full length strokes. I still struggled around the chin area where whiskers were denser, because it kept getting hung up in my copper wire whiskers and I had not intention of try to use force to get it through. Lots of tugging, but I managed to get the job done with short strokes and patience. A couple weepers around the jawline which was annoying, but nothing a stypic pencil couldn't sort out. I think it's the first time I've ever shaved with the Picovette 2 days in a row. I have some semblance of hope that this beast can be tamed. I've read enough Steven King novels to know I probably shouldn't have written that, but I also know there's no point in deleting it. 😳

On the left side, the Lupo .72 felt like smoothness itself which was nice. Compared to the Picovette, it felt like my Game Changer .68. I think I like this razor. I've never tried a Israeli Personna before, maybe that's the right blade for this razor.

I shaved about 10 hrs ago, and neither side is BBS anymore. The Picovette side is slightly smoother than the Lupo side, but both sides are still impressively smooth given how long it's been. That said, there is more lingering irritation on the Picovette side, so the hat tip goes to the Lupo .72. I think I'll try the same combo tomorrow.
 
As it turns out, having good light is helpful for photography. I'm learning. 🧐

This image is a bit sharper. Certainly the ruler is. It's the same manual focus settings, so the early morning lighting must have helped. The window I photographed it in front of is East facing so that makes sense.

Still though, it's nowhere near as good as Dougs, and I don't think my 2 megapixel camera is going to get a heck of a lot better. It was designed with a wide angle lens and to take images from 2 feet away. A purpose built USB microscope is probably better suited for the task. A decent one like the Pluggable USB 2.0 is only $40. That's only two haircuts away, but I'm not a patient man. Maybe I'll sell a razor and buy one.

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