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DE razor handed down to me

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DE razor handed down to me

Postby eeffoc » Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:57 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm new to wet shaving with a DE razor (I've been using cartridge blades) My dad just sent me his old DE razor and blades, I remember watching him shave with it as a kid.
my_gillett.png
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The razor is adjustable and was wondering what is the difference between shaving on setting 1 and shaving on setting 9?

I don't have a brush yet and have just been trying to lather my shaving cream in my hands. I'm starting to get used to holding the razor but I'm finding I am having trouble with my neck and chin area. Will using a brush to apply the lather help with reducing sensitivity?

Thanks
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby brothers » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:53 pm

Welcome to SMF! First post is a winner, even has a photo. I'm impressed. That Gillette is a very good model. You'll want to loosen the butterfly mechanism a little when you want to adjust the settings. It takes the stress off. Then when you have the setting, you put the blade in and tighten it up. The numbers indicate mildness to aggressiveness, 1 being mild and 9 the most aggressive. I'd recommend you start at the low end and work your way up, until you find the setting that seems most comfortable. Using your razor repeatedly will be the way you learn to hold your razor comfortably. It comes naturally. You didn't say what brand of shaving cream you are using. Whether you're using a brush or your hands to apply the lather really shouldn't have any bearing on the sensitivity of your skin. I do have one other tip regarding your wonderful old Gillette razor. You'll also want to get an old toothbrush and give it a good thorough detergent scrubbing every so often with the butterflies open to keep it as clean as possible. I personally think it adds to the quality of the shave, and it just looks better. After 40 years, it'll look almost like new after it's cleaned up. I hope some of this helps. I'm sure there will be many others who can add their own suggestions. As you already know, there are a lot of guys here who have a ton of valuable experience and advice to share with you. Best regards,
Gary
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby ShadowsDad » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:32 pm

Welcome to the forum!

What a fantastic hand me down! Yes, clean it up by gentle means and make that razor sparkle!

We really need to know what lather product you're using to tell you if a brush would help, some products really are brushless. If it wants to lather though, a brush will help you to get a more "protective" (of the skin) shave. All sorts of ways to go there, horse, boar, synthetic, badger; none are "right" they're just options with all sorts of price tags from $8 to hundreds. They all produce the same result- lather; and all have a skin feel.

Look at the thread archives. You'll be able to glean a great deal by reading what folks have posted and replied with in the past, but we're still here to help.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby Craig_From_Cincy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:55 am

Welcome to SMF eeffoc! Nice razor, and it has heritage to boot.
Cheers,

Craig
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby Squire » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:15 am

Yes, nice razor and welcome aboard. I use the Gillette adjustables set no higher than three and if you are experiencing post shave sensitivity try gripping the razor less hard.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby drmoss_ca » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:26 am

I posted about this in 2006, which seems like a long time ago, so I will refresh some memories or start some new ones. My father died in 1999, and I made sure I stopped his razor from being thrown out. He was issued this razor when he volunteered for the Royal Engineers in 1939 and used it faithfully up to the time of his death. The curious thing about it is that it is a bastard - to be technical. The handle is a Wardonia (who were the main supplier of razor blades to the British army at the outbreak of that war) but the head says Myatt on the underside. This probably explains why the handle and head don't have a good match between their threads, although they do hold tight enough to use it. The Myatt head with a modern DE blade is a fearsome thing - almost none of the teeth of the open comb project beyond the edge of the blade. I know my father never commented on this mismatch, and I suspect he was unaware of it. Whether he was given a mismatched razor when issued his kit or whether he accidentally swapped the head or the handle at some stage with a fellow soldier I can't say. He refused to use any other razor, and ignored various other razors both wet and electric that he was given over the years. The thing was probably plated, but daily use for sixty years has removed that and the brass has a nice tinge of green verdigris that I shall not remove. He always did a single with the grain pass and used an erasmic soap stick wrapped in gold foil when I was little, giving in to canned foam later when he could no longer buy the sticks. I never saw him use a brush.

Don't forget to click on the photos to see them entire!

It says "Wardonia" at the base of the handle
Wardonia_Service_Razor-2.jpg
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Here you can see "Myatt"
Wardonia_underside-2.jpg
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See what I mean about the blade exposure?
Wardonia_blade_exposure-2.jpg
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It stuns me to think he used this razor every day through bomb disposal in London in the Blitz with 719 Bomb Disposal Company with Mad Jack Howard (the Earl of Suffolk who inspired the Danger UXB series), then 233 Field Company of the RE attached to 50th Div in north Africa, then Sicily, then Gold Beach in the first wave and all the way to Nijmegen in 'Market Garden' when a butterfly bomb caught him in September '44. The razor followed him through the next couple of years in hospitals and I guess it became some kind of a lucky charm for him that he would always use it.

Scan053.jpg
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Chris
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby Squire » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:04 pm

Good story, our fathers were of the same generation and my Dad wasn't one to give up on a tool just because it had a little age on it.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby razorhead63 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:48 pm

Hello, great to have you here at SMF!! That is a very nice razor, those black handled adjustables are some of the best razors Gillette ever made. I own one myself....You have a winner there. They are good shavers properly handled, just use a low setting on your neck area until you get used to it. Then experiment with it at different settings. Once you find your favorite setting, with practice the shaves will be much more comfortable..... have patience, take your time. That's all I have to say. Welcome!!!!

John H.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby eeffoc » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Thanks for all the greetings, welcomes and advice. So far I've actually been looking forward to shaving after receiving this, it's starting to be my new bedtime routine, shower, shave then bed.

The shave cream that I am currently using is The Body Shop Maca Root Shaving Cream. When I get a brush I was also looking at getting Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream Bowl, Grapefruit. I really like citrus smells.

Thanks again for the tips and suggestions. Is there anything I should use to clean my razor with, besides a brush, any polish or dish soap?
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby brothers » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:58 pm

I use the dish detergent in the kitchen, then just rinse and it's good. Polish isn't necessary.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby ShadowsDad » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:22 pm

Toothpaste and an old toothbrush are mild and work fine. If it was from the wild I'd suggest a slightly harsher routine.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby Squire » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:25 am

I suggest one of the soft, small toothbrushes designed for young children. Mild hand soap should work or toothpaste if you need something a bit abrasive.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby brothers » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:40 am

Well, eeffoc, see what you've discovered already. This stuff isn't rocket science, and everybody's got their own favorite way of doing things. We all figure stuff out on our own using whatever we've got on hand, and it all ends up at the same general ball park. You get the idea! Enjoy the experiences, and please stop back by and post what has worked best for you. We're just glad you're here and engaging with us. :D
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby eeffoc » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:11 am

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions :D

I just received my brush and shaving cream in the mail yesterday and couldn't wait to try them out.

All I can say is WOW :shock:

I don't know if it is because of the brush or the new shaving cream but so far this was my best shave ever, the lather was far better than what I was getting with just my hands, I loved it.

Just one question though, I've read conflicting techniques for applying the lather to your face, some say to use circular motions with the brush and others say not to do that but to use a paint brush action. Does it really matter :?:

Thanks again to everyone for the support and information
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby Squire » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:31 am

No it doesn't matter but it does make for lively conversation which is mostly what we're about here.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby ShadowsDad » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:05 pm

Then there's the face lather or bowl lather debate, and after the brush is rinsed, dry it bristles up or bristles down!?

As far as using the brush on your face, or bowl for that matter, use only the last 1/3 of the bristle. Mashing the brush closer to the handle than that has negative effects on it.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby Squire » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:25 am

And if you hang your brushes bristle down be sure to rotate them 180 degrees every full moon.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby John Rose » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:10 pm

Hi, eeffoc.

Ooh . . . Lucky guy! (on getting that model, I mean).

I have a Gillette just like it, but for the life of me I cannot find it in the house. I think I last used it in the '80s. in order to get back int DE razor shaving (instead of using disposables), I had to buy one on eBay. My must-have feature list was "Gillette brand, adjustable, and twist-to-open", like my old one. I ended up getting a 1966 Gillette Slim Adjustable (a version just previous to yours), which has those features.

I sorta' recalled that I like setting #5, so when I first got it I tried that with a new blade. It turned out kinda' gory. Thank you, Mr Styptic Pencil, for stopping the haemorrhaging (get one, they're cheap and last for years).
Only then did I recall that I always had set it to #1 for brand new blades, and then bumped it up by 1 for each subsequent shave, until I got to #5. Then I just cruised on #5 until I decided that the blade was ready to be retired. New blade, go back to #1, repeat.
That's why I had to have an adjustable, and the TTO was just convenient for rinsing and blade swaps.

When you turn the TTO knob clockwise to close it, it starts off easy to turn, then requires somewhat more torque to get the last 1/4 turn that locks it down.
Enjoy.
Coming back to DE razor sanity after 30 years of disposable razor insanity.
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby ShadowsDad » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:14 pm

Wow! There's some dust on this thread!
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: DE razor handed down to me

Postby slackskin » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:23 pm

In my opinion, the thing about cleaning twist-to-open razors is the built up gunk in the mechanism that opens and closes the doors, and also the hinges. I've never been successful about getting that portion of gunk off with a toothbrush. So I soak in a diluted solution of Simple Green (some guys use Scrubbing Bubbles) for a few minutes. That seems to do a good job getting rid of the hidden gunk and the gunk you can see but not reach.
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