forgot to attach my pic
- Pre-shave: Hot Shower / PAA Tube 2.0
- Bowl/Scuttle: Quintero Lather Bowl (Medium Version - 3D Printed)
- Brush: PAA 'The Starcraft' (24mm Roswell Hybrid Synthetic)
- Alum: Gentleman Jon Alum Block
- Soap/Cream: Zingari Man Sego Shaving Soap 'Explorer'
- Razor/Blade: 'Super-Shimmed' Merkur 34c and Voskhod Blade (2nd use) w/ 1mm Nylon flat washer (Found here: Amazon Link)
- Post/After-shave: Zingari Man Sego Unscented After Shave Balm / PAA Unrefined Shea Butter
I mentioned the 'Super Shimmed' Merkur 34c in a separate thread but will post about it here in more detail:
In short, I am not a fan of the standard Merkur 34c. After using cartridges for years, I converted to DE shaving with the King C Gillette, but was looking for something more efficient, and slightly more aggressive. People kept referring to the 34c and 'right technique'. Unfortunately regardless of my technique, it was doing little more than irritating my skin, without the close shave I was used to with my KGC. I decided to shelve it for a while and after a few other purchases (restored '59 Red Tip, Razorock Mentor & MJ90-A, Maggard's V3A) I decided to give the Merkur 34c one more chance before it went back out for sale on the secondary market. I had read about 'shims' and while I had spare razors I could have used, I commonly place clear M5 Screw Bolt (1MM thickness) washers on my 3 piece razors to maintain the life of the threads as well as the material between the handle/bottom plate.
Before you begin to question my sanity in using a 1mm shim, just know that I don't know what the hell I was smoking, but it must have been some potent stuff. Fueled by the crazy idea that this would help the 34c a little bit, I loaded a second-use Voskhod blade and placed a washer underneath it, screwing the 34c back together. The result was a significant difference in blade gap, which, combined with the generous blade exposure of the 34c, promised a significant increase in aggression.
After 2 passes with the PAA Tube 2.0 preshave, I loaded the medium-sized Quintero lather bowl (excellent design if you can get it 3-d printed) with Zingari's 'Explorer' and whipped up a nice amount using my Starcraft brush from PAA, and went to town on my face.
After an extremely careful and light handed first pass WTG, I immediately could feel the difference in aggression, which was WAY more than the other razors I had. Extremely close shave, but my skin was doing well so far. XTG was the same result, with audible feedback of the 34c wiping away what hadn't been cut down with my initial pass. I rinsed with cold water and went in one last time ATG, after a liberal application of soap. The result was BY FAR the closest shave I've ever had, a true BBS with minor irritation in the neck area. Running the alum block across my face confirmed my suspicion that this was an extremely aggressive/close shave. After application of the Zingari After Shave Balm (one I firmly believe to be the best on the market, btw) and a small dab of PAA Unrefined Shea Butter, I went to sleep and awoke the next day with no irritation whatsoever. My suspicions of how close a shave I had were confirmed when my girlfriend rubbed her hand across my face and found no hair resistance whatsoever.
Would I do it again? Hell yes. Would I prefer to use a thinner stock than 1mm as a shim? Hell yes. However, I regret nothing.
Shave Score - 9/10. The upgrade kept me on high alert and the combination of items used resulted in my closest shave ever. Needless to say, the 34c is staying in my collection. I highly recommend a slightly smaller shim to make your Merkur go from Mild to Wild, just make sure to use quality soap/Aftershave that you can count on to not dry your skin. Definitely glad I tried this idea out, but found the shim technique does not work the same on other razors with plates that are not flat (i.e. Razorock Mission etc.)