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Shaving with the Old Type

Today, I shaved for the first time with my 1919 Single Ring. In researching tips on shaving with an Old Type last night, well, I didn't find much. A few things scattered around, but the Old Type threads I found are devoted to the razors themselves rather than getting a good shave with them. So, here we are. Let's discuss shaving with this ancient beast!

There are lots of comments on the Internet about this being a harsh, aggressive razor that will cut you easily. Let me just say right up front, based on my first day with the Single Ring, that this is nonsense. If this is happening and you are an experienced shaver, I'll bet that your Model 102 has a damaged cap or baseplate and isn't clamping down the blade tightly enough. Or your blade is misaligned.

I'm lucky not to have either of these issues with my Single Ring. My first shave was quite mild. I approached it with a shallow angle, little pressure, and short strokes. No cuts, no irritation, no tugging/digging, no problems whatsoever.

However, what surprised me was how inefficient my two-pass shave was. The day before, I shaved with a '65 Schick Krona (more efficient than the later Kronas), and was getting DFS on a two-pass (WTG/XTG) "maintenance" shave. Doing the same shave with the Single Ring only got me to CCS. I was not expecting that and had been more afraid of over-shaving. It honestly reminds me of my post-war Tech, both in smoothness and efficiency level.

On my next shave, I'm going to experiment with backing off the clamping by about 1/8 of a turn or less on the WTG pass to open it up a little--Gillette themselves called this an "adjustable" back in the day. Looks like I can also go ATG with this razor, so I may give that a try fully clamped. Today, I just needed a maintenance shave.

I might also try a shim down the road, but that's a last resort for me.

Any experienced Old Type users with some additional tips? Here's a pic:

2024-06-16 06.24.00-1.jpg
 
I don't have a single ring but my experience mostly matches yours. Smooth, not quite as efficient as I'd like, but a decent shave. I didn't find a shim to do much at all, but slightly loosening the handle will bump up the aggression. The challenge is getting it a little loose without getting too loose.
 
Will be following this thread with interest as one of my favorite razors is the RR Old Type clone.

If they are anything alike, perhaps try using a milder blade and plan on making three complete passes.
 
I don't have a single ring but my experience mostly matches yours. Smooth, not quite as efficient as I'd like, but a decent shave. I didn't find a shim to do much at all, but slightly loosening the handle will bump up the aggression. The challenge is getting it a little loose without getting too loose.

One interesting thing about this Single Ring is how "soft" the clamping is toward the end of its range. It's not a simple open/shut dichotomy. There should be plenty of room for adjustment at the end, even if it would have been more definitive with a firmer old-type blade.

Will be following this thread with interest as one of my favorite razors is the RR Old Type clone.

If they are anything alike, perhaps try using a milder blade and plan on making three complete passes.

Thanks. Everything I've read indicates that the RR clone is milder than the vintage Gillettes, but I'm not finding this Single Ring to be harsh at all. I was expecting something like an R41, but mine shaves like a slightly more aggressive Tech.

The Astra SP is already pretty mild, at least for me. This is definitely a three-pass razor, or at least one that needs an ATG finishing pass on a two-pass shave. I'll actually be curious to try it with a Nacet to see how well going the other direction in sharpness works.

It would be interesting to know what the average gentleman of 1910 actually thought of the shave quality, coming to it from the world of straight razors. I wonder if shave standards were even the same.
 
It certainly is a handsome old thing. Your description of your research and exploration is very good. And useful for me, having just got a Old Type myself. And I want to try mine.

But I've barely put down my first razor and I already have 8 razors and two extra heads. It may be bit before I get to try my Old Type.

And those are great questions of 1910. Thanks.
 
Thanks, @Cal! I tried your suggestion of shaving steeper with the Single Ring this morning, and it made a significant difference.

Two passes (WTG, ATG), and I got to DFS+. My neck didn't fare as well with the shave, and I still need to work on that. Perhaps tomorrow's three-pass shave will do the trick--that's the real test for me, anyway.

Definitely got more blade feel when shaving steeper, but I don't feel irritation (yet). We'll see how my face feels this afternoon.
 
Two passes (WTG, ATG), and I got to DFS+. My neck didn't fare as well with the shave, and I still need to work on that. Perhaps tomorrow's three-pass shave will do the trick--that's the real test for me, anyway.
Yes, successful ATG on the neck, for me, is also the test.

The first time I was able accomplish this was a couple weeks ago. It was my first (and only, so far) shave with my late 40s Tech. I've been told it's a similar shave to the Old Type. It was also my first time using a blade other than Derby. I was experimenting successfully with angle. 3rd pass ATG on neck totally comfortable and effective. I've since had similar ATG neck success on first shaves with my '51 Canadian Rocket (SS), my '56 Super Speed, and yesterday with my Rockwell 6C #3. It has entailed careful blade selection, and great care with angle and pressure.
 
Yes, successful ATG on the neck, for me, is also the test.

The first time I was able accomplish this was a couple weeks ago. It was my first (and only, so far) shave with my late 40s Tech. I've been told it's a similar shave to the Old Type. It was also my first time using a blade other than Derby. I was experimenting successfully with angle. 3rd pass ATG on neck totally comfortable and effective. I've since had similar ATG neck success on first shaves with my '51 Canadian Rocket (SS), my '56 Super Speed, and yesterday with my Rockwell 6C #3. It has entailed careful blade selection, and great care with angle and pressure.

I used to have no problems with neck shaves, but as I've gotten into my 50s the skin on my neck is simultaneously looser, rougher, and thinner. A much less ideal shaving surface. I get decent neck shaves with several of my razors, but not yet with the Single Rings. It's only two shaves in, though, so a lot of learning left to do.
 
Day 3 with the Single Ring.

It's an in-office day for me, so time for my full three-pass shave.

I went with my normal routine: WTG/XTG/ATG, starting mid-shallow on the first pass and then getting progressively shallower from there.

My prep is:
Shower
Cremo as pre-shave
Stirling Unscented with Beeswax soap
Cold water rinse
Stirling Unscented aftershave balm

This was an excellent shave, up there with the best I can do. I'm already quite take with this razor and its abilities.

The final evaluation for this shave will be how my face feels this afternoon, as I was definitely feeling the effects a little on that third pass.

Tomorrow is a day off work, so I'll probably go back to a two-pass steep shave tomorrow.
 
Day 3 with the Single Ring.

It's an in-office day for me, so time for my full three-pass shave.

I went with my normal routine: WTG/XTG/ATG, starting mid-shallow on the first pass and then getting progressively shallower from there.

My prep is:
Shower
Cremo as pre-shave
Stirling Unscented with Beeswax soap
Cold water rinse
Stirling Unscented aftershave balm

This was an excellent shave, up there with the best I can do. I'm already quite take with this razor and its abilities.

The final evaluation for this shave will be how my face feels this afternoon, as I was definitely feeling the effects a little on that third pass.

Tomorrow is a day off work, so I'll probably go back to a two-pass steep shave tomorrow.
Nice work. I almost shaved with 102a, I'm getting there. Thanks.
 
I shaved with a Tech this morning, just to compare the experience. I had compared them, for whatever reason, in a previous post. Same blade and same prep/technique as yesterday.

The Astra I was using probably should have been binned after yesterday, so it might not be a fair comparison.

The Tech is slightly smoother on WTG and XTG passes, but the Single Ring is simply the king for ATG passes. The Tech was way rougher and choppier on ATG despite producing a considerably less impressive shave overall.

The other impression I got is that the Single Ring is just way easier to use. More forgiving of angle and better balanced.
 
I don't have a single ring but my experience mostly matches yours. Smooth, not quite as efficient as I'd like, but a decent shave. I didn't find a shim to do much at all, but slightly loosening the handle will bump up the aggression. The challenge is getting it a little loose without getting too loose.
I'm not experienced enough to want to do this yet. I've started using nylon washers with some of my handles. Perhaps washers could help with this loosening technique.
 
I'm not experienced enough to want to do this yet. I've started using nylon washers with some of my handles. Perhaps washers could help with this loosening technique.

The Old Type head bends the blade enough while clamping it that there's a fair amount of "squish" at the end of the clamping process. You won't need a washer to try it--and anyway, I haven't found washers to have that effect. I use them with my modern stainless steel razors to prevent marking around the join area.
 
Today, I shaved for the first time with my 1919 Single Ring. In researching tips on shaving with an Old Type last night, well, I didn't find much. A few things scattered around, but the Old Type threads I found are devoted to the razors themselves rather than getting a good shave with them. So, here we are. Let's discuss shaving with this ancient beast!

There are lots of comments on the Internet about this being a harsh, aggressive razor that will cut you easily. Let me just say right up front, based on my first day with the Single Ring, that this is nonsense. If this is happening and you are an experienced shaver, I'll bet that your Model 102 has a damaged cap or baseplate and isn't clamping down the blade tightly enough. Or your blade is misaligned.

I'm lucky not to have either of these issues with my Single Ring. My first shave was quite mild. I approached it with a shallow angle, little pressure, and short strokes. No cuts, no irritation, no tugging/digging, no problems whatsoever.

However, what surprised me was how inefficient my two-pass shave was. The day before, I shaved with a '65 Schick Krona (more efficient than the later Kronas), and was getting DFS on a two-pass (WTG/XTG) "maintenance" shave. Doing the same shave with the Single Ring only got me to CCS. I was not expecting that and had been more afraid of over-shaving. It honestly reminds me of my post-war Tech, both in smoothness and efficiency level.

On my next shave, I'm going to experiment with backing off the clamping by about 1/8 of a turn or less on the WTG pass to open it up a little--Gillette themselves called this an "adjustable" back in the day. Looks like I can also go ATG with this razor, so I may give that a try fully clamped. Today, I just needed a maintenance shave.

I might also try a shim down the road, but that's a last resort for me.

Any experienced Old Type users with some additional tips? Here's a pic:

View attachment 1863461


Jurassic Razor. Razor was born before my Dad who would have been 104 this year, Cool.:straight:
 
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