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September 2021 Gentlemanly Restraint Until Month End (GRUME)

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
... The Duke 3 in best.... its a good all around but for some reason I don't reach for it often. Maybe thats just it, its just sorta.. ok at everything and I reach for other brushes with a distinctive something more often.
I know what you mean. I packed all of my Simpsons, Paladins, and Zenith badgers away in their presentation boxes way back in May/June when I started the Synthetic Summer thing as I awaited my Beagles. I've yet to take them out. For the past several months I've been using the 2 Beagles and a couple of synthetics, and that's it. I'm sure they'll all come back out eventually, but...
Still in

Let me recommend again that you gentlemen get a full treatment hot shave with a straight razor (or shavette) if the opportunity arises. I’ve decided I’m going to get one every three months. I haven’t gone to a barber regularly since 2005. I forgot how much I liked the vibe. Barbershops are a lot cleaner then I remember them.

Headshave and goatee trim. No clue what the hardware and software was. My face is bbs but my head wouldn’t pass the cotton ball test.
Still in.

As if to assuage me, after one truly awful eBay razor purchase, fate delivered two other foreign packages from last month's spree.
No disappointment here. That's a Filarmonica and a Le Grelot. Even better, I was tipped to the Le Grelot by a kind gentleman who is a member of this forum.

And if the proportions seem off, it's because they're both 3/8. I like 3/8 razors.

Which is, of course, why I am devoting the month of September to shaving with gigantic razors, including this one:
That my 17/16" CPM M4 tool steel razor. I have now had two mediocre shaves and one good shave from this razor this month. Today was one of the mediocre ones. As before, it was all my fault.

I had re-honed this razor before today's shave, but hubris struck. I've gotten better at honing lately, and had decided that I could judge how I was doing purely by the feel of the razor on the stone, plus thumb tests of the edge. If the razor is gliding over the stone with no resistance, like the stone is doing nothing, and the thumb test shows I have an apex, then all is well.

I still believe that -- for normal carbon-steel razors. But this CPM-M4 steel will glide over anything by preference, and it fooled me. I spent tons of time on the finisher, and it still seemed off. I have a perfectly good microscope, but for some reason I decided to just shave with the razor, rather than putting it to the microscope test. I am wearing the shame-stubble from that decision as I type this. After the shave, I put it under the microscope and saw that the fine scratches did not reach all the way to the edge. And then I remembered that the sequence of Shaptons and JNats that I use, which is generally awesome, didn't really do it for this razor. Hardness, carbides, something. Anyway, it's back on the honing bench, getting a good taste of diamonds, and it will have to look darned beautiful under the microscope before I let it near my face again.

I think tomorrow's shave will be with a nice kamisori. A big kamisori, yes, since it's Big Razor Month, but a kamisori nonetheless. The idea soothes me.
Still in - first go with the Bic Metal, DFS - 1 weeper
I made the lather a bit thinner and wetter to prevent clogging - this worked but slickness suffered. Therefore the Bic felt sharp but a bit rough. Obviously super light and nimble it really worked well with giving it direction and a tiny bit of pressure. WTG and ATG worked surprisingly well, XTG on my neck not so. Next time I will use it with a tallow soap that is slicker than Palmolive.
Still in
Today’s shave
Pre-Shave: Hot Shower
Razor :Rockwell 6C (4)
Blade: Astra SS 1st use
Brush: Simpson Trafalgar T3
Soap: D R Harris Windsor
Post-Shave: Alum Block
D R Harris Windsor AS Splash
Nivea Protect & Care ASB
Molton Brown Bushukan EDT

Second time trying the Astra SS blade. Still undecided as to whether it’s as good or better than the Astra SP. Still a good comfortable almost BBS shave. From memory the last time I used the SS second shave is a lot smoother but the blade is still sharp. Rockwell performed as expected. Now off down to fill my face at the family BBQ 👌👌👌
Still in
Lovely shave today, I used to use this soap every Sunday when it was my only offering from Shannon's soap. A lovely warm weather scent with quality performance at an affordable price, it's truly a good soap.

Their Chupacabra base is another level entirely, fantastic cushion and sickness. I believe it doesn't receive enough recognition here. I highly recommend it as a post grume pick up. 😉
Still in.

I've been exclusively using GFT Violets soap this month and getting consistently good results.

It baffles me as it is against my instincts to use a translucent lather that needs to be reloaded (lightly) after every pass but my skin is not suffering from the shaves.

I've used 4 DE razors of varying efficiency with this soap and Alum rub did not register any burns at all.

Maybe I've learned that cushion is an integral part of "Safe lather" along with slickness and glide, this GFT soap is at another corner with just Slickness, glide and almost no Cushion yet gives a nice background for shave.

I honestly cannot recommend it to anyone else and still think that I could have purchased two soaps instead of this soap but the challenge and new lessons were totally worth it.

It has worked satisfyingly with synthetic brush, now I'll use it with my Badgers and see how it works.

I'll happily use this refill and who knows maybe next time I'll purchase it with the wooden bowl as well.

I've been in talks with another wet shaver regarding my Zenith boar brush and it seems that by next month it'll find a new home.

That brush has too much backbone for my preference and I'm trying to reduce my rotation to two brushes of each type.

This way I've reduced my brush rotation by 4 brushes since participation in GRUME started.

I cannot say that I've found my ultimate favorite in any of the three types of brushes but I'll try to not let that excuse create a huge collection of brushes.

I'm leaning towards smaller knots in natural bristles brushes and bigger knots in synthetic bristles.

I have limited space and my weakness is SAD not BAD, so I can be tough on this aspect at least.
Still in.

Yesterday's shave was not good, the CPM-M4 razor turning in a bad performance, because I turned in a bad honing performance, assuming that all the little signals I had learned to rely on for carbon steel razors would work with a razor made from this steel. They do not. They don't even come close. Not only was the bevel not set right, but when I came to examining everything, not assuming anything, it turned out the razor had a frown! I have my work cut out for me. 700 strokes on an 800 grit vitrified diamond stone have made only the beginnings of an impression on the frown. Impressively tough steel. It might be a while before this razor returns to the rotation. I should have its number by then.

Today was a relief. I shaved with a large kamisori, very familiar territory, and it went just perfectly.
OK, I suck at photography, but at least you can see my inexpensive but awesome Omega boar brush, which I already like a lot even though it is not nearly broken in, and...Nauvia.

It's not common to find me without an opinion on something, but I can't seem to come up with one for Nauvia. It makes great slick SR lather, a bit more slowly than some. I got a great shave. But somehow I can hardly notice this shave soap, nor muster any opinion about it. Strange. I will use every bit of it, then probably never think of it again.

I realized that I have to go away for a few days soon, and here I am in Big Razor month. I have 4 eligible razors. One is on the honing bench, and will be there for a while. Two are kamisoris, and both are so irreplaceable and special that I cannot bear to check them in a bag. I guess that leaves the Butch Harner. It's probably irreplaceable too, what with its cocobolo scales and all, but it's the only one I can imagine traveling with. I would prefer not to wimp out on my Big Razor commitment, but I have to wonder if it will hold, once it comes time to put the Harner in a suitcase, with so many razors around that I would not grieve to lose.


Day 12, 40% complete.

Preshave: Hot washcloth
Soap: Palmolive
Brush: Men-U boar
Razor: Rockwell 6S R3, Astra SP #1
Post-shave: Nivea Balm.

Used the Rockwell with its mild R3 plate this time, and only did two passes (WTG, ATG). That gave an irritation-free shave, as hoped, with a better result than I expected.
I lied in an earlier post. I said no shave. I just changed my mind.

Leaf w/Astra SP (16) - head shaves only
Twig w/Astra SP (9) - beard and neck trims
PAA Awesome Sauce CK-6
PAA Atomic Rocket synthetic
Thayers Unscented Witch Hazel

This blade was truly at the end of life. Not really a great shave. With me I can usually get 20 quality headshaves out of a blade. I’m going to see if I have some Astra stainless steels for the next go around.
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