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The Journal of a Backwards Professor

I started my wet shaving experience January 23rd this year with a Vikings Blade Chieftain and using the supplied "mild" blades that came with the razor.
Before that I had been using a Norelco or Braun electric razor for almost 40 years. Oh, my first shave as a teen in the 1970's was with one of my Dad's DE razors. I only remember it being a gold colored TTO style and shaving cream in a can. That and a styptic pencil. That didn't last very long before I learned how to get lousy shaves with a Gillette Trac II. I still needed the styptic pencil.
So I grew a beard, not a particularly good looking beard, actually downright scraggly. But I didn't need the styptic pencil anymore.

Well that lasted until I needed to shave on a semi-regular basis for work. My beard doesn't grow very fast, so I usually only shaved every 3-4 days.
So for 40+ years, shaving had been a chore I avoided most of the time. Mainly when the wife started complaining, as I had become a machinist, so daily shaving wasn't really necessary for work.

Of course, I had always used the excuse that shaving irritates my face to avoid shaving, when I came across my Grandpa's old straight razor and became intrigued by it. Oh, it was chipped, dull, and rusted from ages of neglect. I think my Grandma used it to open letters when my Grandpa started using a Tech. Lol

Intrigued, yes. Brave, not so much. So I started looking at DE razors. I seemed that wet shaving was making a small comeback due to being easier on the complexion than either a cartridge or electric razor. Or maybe it was the 007 movie........
Not that I have the face of a model, or even the Marlboro Man, but the hood was set.

Of course, being an Amazon Prime customer, I figured that the razor with the highest Amazon rating would be the place to start.
So off to the races I went with my Cheiftain and a can of Barbasol. And a styptic pencil.

Man oh man, back to square one, what was I thinking when I could have just bought a new electric razor for $75.......
I'm watching all the youtube videos, and they make it look so easy, and I can't build a decent lather to save my life, let alone shave with it........
But whenever I did an internet search, B&B kept showing up. So I lurked for a week or two, read tons of the beginner threads, parked my Chieftain and got a Feather Popular. That and I joined B&B.

I also started keeping notes, as I have never subscribed to the 4 weeks using the same razor, brush, blade, soap, etc......
My thinking on the 4 week thing is it makes it a chore, not a new experience every time you pick up a razor in the morning or evening.
Hey, when you get RAD and next thing you have 20 razors and a half dozen brushes, why on earth would you want to use the same razor every day?????
It is called a HOBBY for a reason!

But I digress. The main reason for this posting is when I go back and look at some of my notes, it does show a progression. I am getting the best shaves of my life, and actually look forward to shaving. And some of them are funny.
So I thought that I might share some of them here.


This is the first set of notes with a journal...Oh yeah, using a White Knight synthetic brush until noted...

53 Tech-GSB-1-TOBS, tugged at first, then got smooth.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

53 Tech-GSB-2
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
TOBS. Just ok, light tugging. Clean shave, getting better at jaw.

53 Tech-GSB-3
Thursday, March 21, 2019
TOBS. Tried out new SS 11mm x 81mm x 35.5 gram handle. Not bad.

53 Tech-Nacet-1
Friday, March 22, 2019
TOBS. SS 11mm x 89mm x 39gram handle. Nice balance. Blade ok.

53 Tech-Nacet-2-TOBS.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
SS 11mm x 95mm x 42gram handle. I likes the new handle :) Got a little careless and got a tiny nick on my neck. The Tech felt so nice with the heavier handle, much smoother.
As my RAD started to pick up steam, I had more razors to shave with.....

New Short Comb-Astra SP-3
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Description: Stainless Steel 95mm x 42gram handle.. I could feel the blade slicing through my hair, the handle does change the overall feel. Got a few weepers, but ALL the hair. Noticed irritation from a too close shave that got some skin.
54 Super Speed Z3-Feather-1-Tobs
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Description:WTG&XTG face. WTG 2 pass neck. Nice. OK, so I finally got me a Super Speed, a 54 First Year Flare Tip. It looks more aggressive than my 53 Tech, but has the same blade gap. Appears to have more blade exposure. I treated it gentile and it responded with a Damn Nice Shave, zero irritation. KEEPER!!!!
SchOne OC-Feather-1-Tobs
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Description:First impression, way too much play aligning the blade. I could immediately feel the blade, not in a bad way, but way more noticeable than the NSC. This razor really mows down the hair, 2 passes WTG and XTG my face like glass. I kept the angle neutral on my neck, 1 gentile pass like the SS cleaned up nice, I don't feel any irritation yet. I made bushings to make up for the play and forgot to take them out, so the head assembly weighed an extra gram and a half. Oops!
67 Tech M4-Feather-1
Friday, April 5, 2019

Description:Mike's Natural Lime. Omega s10005 brush. Nice brush. This is my first Tech, I have only shaved with it once so far, with a Feather. It was a nice mild shave again. It is so light I had to adjust to find the angle, at first it didn't cut at all. Once I got the angle right I could feel it cut, but barely felt the blade at all. Very comfortable shave, 2 passes face and neck. Most comfortable shave in a week.
67 Tech M4-Feather-2
Saturday, April 6, 2019

Description:Mike's Natural Lime. Omega S10005. OK, I think I am starting to get a routine down with shaving soap. Not as difficult as I thought. 1) Measure water on puck. 1 teaspoon 2) Pour water from puck in lather bowl 3) Load brush for a minute 4) Whip lather in bowl Nice smooth clean comfortable shave. 2 pass face and neck.
Fatip Piccolo Gentile-Feather-1
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Description:Mike's Natural Lime. S-Omega. Got the Fatip Special Edition Grande/Gentile on Monday. The tolerances were wide open like the SchOne, but aligned much easier. The bushings fit, but I made new ones anyway that are lighter. The finish on the razor is awesome, it just has the look. It took a while to find the right angle, it is a very narrow window, and when it cuts you can't feel the blade. I used almost no pressure at all. After the first WTG pass I rinsed and could really feel the stubble still on my face. Once I found the angle it was gone. I could not feel any tugging at all. 1 WTG and 1 XTG face and neck. Felt some irritation with the alum, but half hour later nice and smooth I call CCS
Fatip Piccolo OC-Feather-2
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Description:Mikes Natural Lime, Semogue 1800 brush. Against my better judgment, I put the Piccolo OC to the test. And it performed nicely. Mild, easy to find the angle. Flowed around my jawline. It was singing on the first pass! The usual 2 pass face, 1 pass neck. This razor is a pleasure. DFS
+Fatip Piccolo+Nacet-1+
Monday, April 15, 2019

Description:Mike's Lime. S-Omega. I had the GSB-4 loaded up and decided that since my face was a little red last night to toss it and loaded up a+++++Nacet.++++++ I'm glad I did, this was the absolute most comfortable shave to date. I made the usual 2 pass face, and only 1 pass N-S on my neck. No stretching at all, just light buffing with a dripping wet Piccolo and a smile on my face. 15 minutes total with clean-up. DFS
+Fatip Piccolo-Gentile+Nacet-1+
Sunday, April 21, 2019

Description:puck of Williams. Semogue 1800. Today was FUBAR. Got the Williams and lathered it earlier with the Omega-Marco Method. Showered, loaded the Gentile with a Nacet and tried to Lather the Williams with the 1800, real light almost useless lather. Rinsed and started over with Mike's Lime and the Omega, really only ok lather. Shave wasn't that good because the lathering sucked, but the Gentile did it's job anyway with little irritation, my face should have been on fire. Rinsing the brush lots of weird sticky stuff flaked out, everything was just kinda gooey and sticky. Even washed the face towel with Woolite after. Ended up with an OK shave anyway.
Fatip Piccolo Gentile+Nacet-2
Monday, April 22, 2019

Description:White Knight and Mike's Natural Lime. I could not feel the blade under my nose at all till I went ATG, same thing on my face, WTG cut nothing, had to go XTG to feel it cut at all, nice and smooth on my face. It just kept begging to go ATG on my neck, just chattered a little in the middle at first, then smoothed out after some buffing. Real easy to go ATG just under my chin and jaw. Got 2 unhappy follicles weeped was all. I can easily Skip tomorrow, extremely close shave today. Not really comfortable, not much irritation, just too much work. Too hard to keep on angle.........
Prewar Tech-Nacet-3-Mike's Lime
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Description:OK 2 days with the Gentile was enough, just too much work. Still not getting good results with the 1800 Semogue either. Gave the Omega a quick rinse under the sink 30 seconds on the puck and right to my face. I'll give the 1800 another try with What the Puck, if it still sucks i'll PIF it. Once I started shaving the Prewar went to work as a Tech should. Predictable nice feel all around and balance seems just about right. No tugging anywhere any direction, blade solid, never chattered or hinted of it. Just nice and mild, likes to buff. Not as comfortable as the Piccolo, nope......
Prewar Tech-Nacet-4-Williams-Omega
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Description:OK, $1.50 for the Williams, was worth a try. Just kept drying too fast. Still got a decent shave, well, half-way decent. Face is SAS, neck still has stubble, need to go ATG with the Prewar. It seems very mild, has no trouble ATG, no chatter. Just didn't feel the Williams was up to it. No irritation.
Fatip Piccolo-Nacet-9-Mike's Lime
Monday, April 29, 2019

Description:Used the 1800 Semogue, still not holding enough lather. Does OK face lathering, but nada in the bowl....... Maybe TOBS??? I'm gonna declare 9 shaves and the Nacet is done. It wasn't what I would call a bad shave, I could feel the blade dragging, had to go over and over to cut. Even went ATG on my neck, so I expected a little irritation, and that is about it. For as dull as the blade was, the Piccolo still felt smooth against my face, smoother than the NSC. But not by much, the NSC is more efficient in the trade-off. Even with a dull blade, I buffed and buffed till it was done. Took a little extra time. Anna says BBS..........
Slim #5 -Nacet-1-TOBS Lime
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Description:Used the 1800 Semogue with TOBS, still not holding enough lather. Time to put it back in it's case. OK, the first lather was good. The Slim on 5 is too mild, even ATG on my neck left lots of stubble for tomorrow. I want to give the Slim a chance this time, so I don't really want to change settings during a shave and get bit again. I will try 7 on my face and maybe dial it back to 6 for my neck. SAS
Slim #9-Nacet-2-Mike's Lime
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Description:put the 1800 Semogue in the tube. I used the Boss today and made a great lather. Started out on #7 for the 1st pass N-S, then flipped it to #9 for the rest of the shave. Nose to ear, and 1 more N-S neck. At #9 it sounded sweet even on my neck, but still left stubble in places on my neck. Just not as efficient as an OC. I was cautious, but the Slim never felt like it was gonna bite, most of the time I couldn't feel the blade. Fairly comfortable SAS.
Slim #9-Nacet-3-Mike's Lime
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Description:Used the Boss today and got a great lather, went a little overboard, but hey, better too much than not enough! Ok, shaved under my nose first then went to my face, then chin very carefully, then straight down. I could feel it all the way down and got a little weeper. Rinsed and re-lathered and XTG face fast and clean. Switched to #3 and finished ATG neck. Very little irritation. BBS face, DFS neck.
Slim #7-Nacet-4-Col Conk
Friday, May 3, 2019

Description:The Boss and Col Conk Bayrum, Not impressed with the Col, will try the Omega next. The Slim is not being kind to my face even on #7, gave me a surprise catch XTG on my face and a drop of blood. Used #4 ATG neck, felt OK, but still left lots of stubble. The angle makes the blade drag, will try a Feather next, as this Nacet is done. With shaves like this a PIF might be in store, not sure if I want AJ to suffer with this as I feel the Prewar is more effiecient.... SAS
1973 Travel Tech S1-Feather-1
Saturday, May 4, 2019

Description:Col Conks BayRum and Omega S brush. I think I have been using too much water too start the lather. Once again, not a good lather. I used the 25 gram Ti handle and the balance felt -good-. The grip is nice, no slipping at all, easy to hold ATG. I thought I got a weeper on my left lower face going WTG, but never saw a drop. This razor is mild with a nice feel, it doesn't drag the blade like the Slim. Even ATG on my neck it still left some stubble, though it felt like it was done cutting. I'll give the Feather a few more shaves, then try a Nacet. Comfortable shave. Minor irritation around jaw from ATG.
No Date Tech-Nacet-5
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Description:Omega S, Col Conk Amber. First and last time Col Conk Amber. Had a difficult time getting lather, and it kept evaporating, even going from the puck to my face. Gave up on the Omega and used the Boss, with not much better luck. First pass went OK, felt nice and comfortable. Rinsed and re-lathered and went downhill from there. All of a sudden the blade got rough on one side, then the other. I was using some pressure, but it was like I changed blades or razors it got so rough. Major irritation, Witch Hazel stung like a bee. Never happened before, I think it is the soap. Will toss the blade and use the 2 shave old GSB and Mike's Lime tomorrow. Still got an unbelievably close shave. But uncomfortable at the end. BBS face, Close Uncomfortable Shave neck
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