Starting over with an open blade

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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TRBeck
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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Wed May 22, 2019 2:00 pm

Gary, I do know "shave ready" is in the eye of the beholder, but the edge here sort of trails off and isn't finished at the heel on one side nor the toe on the other. It seems like maybe an X stroke that trailed off for 100 laps or so. Anyway, no big deal. The blades are in great shape, as are the scales, and as I said, the edge on the Genco shaved beautifully today. Just as good a straight shave as I can recall.

Anyway, honing is a large part of why I'm so looking forward to straight shaving. I've decided lately that I need to have a better handle on my tools in general, which includes kitchen knives, pocket knives, chisels, and a few other items I can stand to learn how to care for, keep sharp, etc. I will be buying some stones soon. Need to clear cash, and this collection of badgers seems as good a way as any to do that.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Thu May 23, 2019 8:18 am

Shave #2 in the books. 25 rounds on linen, 50 on leather before the shave today.

Two weepers, both in the first WTG pass, which I think was because I got a little cocky and took some longer strokes. I settled down and wound up with a closer shave than yesterday. My toughest neck patch is actually much better with a straight than with a DE, and only a couple of spots on the chin and jawline are anything other than very smooth. I think confidence is one reason the shaves seem to be coming easier for me this time around. I have done it before, plus I have put in time looking at videos and reading about technique. Spine flat on skin or nearly so, coup de maître between the nose and top lip, and careful, short strokes. I could be happy with shaves like today's in perpetuity, although of course I'd prefer no weepers and no irritation on the jawline. That said, my skin already feels "normal," like after a DE shave, less than 2 hours after I set down the blade.

Good stuff, and I'm very pleased with the edge that pegasusimp put on this Genco.

25 rounds on linen post-shave.

Tomorrow will be a DE shave because I have a job interview, but thereafter the plan for straight shaves daily commences. 6 days of May, 30 days of June, 31 days of July before I have to report for work. That should be 67 days with an open blade, plus the two I've already done. If all goes according to plan, August 1 when I head back to work for the school year will be straight shave 70 and no problem.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by EL Alamein » Fri May 24, 2019 6:01 pm

Progress made! Excellent and keep going.

Hope the job interview went well.

Chris

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Fri May 24, 2019 8:33 pm

Thanks, Chris. I'm happy with the progress so far.

Regarding the job interview, I was offered the position this afternoon and accepted it. I will be teaching at a different school next year, one that is better in every way for me.

A great day, and I will be back to the straight tomorrow.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by drmoss_ca » Sat May 25, 2019 4:29 am

Congratulations on the job and the shaves!
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by EL Alamein » Sat May 25, 2019 6:31 pm

Congratulations on the job!

I share your joy as I just landed a new assignment myself on Thursday. I start Tuesday next week.

I am very interested to hear of your progress with the straight. It seems you have it mapped out before you begin the new role. It seems like you have a "no alternative" plan and that can help one focus. Keep going.

Chris

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Sat May 25, 2019 7:46 pm

Chris, congrats to you on the new assignment, too!

I am leaving a school with a difficult clientele and an administration that is unwilling or unable to support its teachers. Either one is manageable although not ideal; together they are an impossible combination. On top of that, it's been a long commute and a different district than my own kids, meaning different calendars. I'm moving to the high school my kids will ultimately attend, a campus less than two miles from my house with a stellar reputation and a phenomenal principal.

About the shave: bloodless today. This may be a first, although I don't have notes that are that specific. Not a weeper nor a nick. It was also, I'm sure not coincidentally, closer than even the previous two straight shaves. I am getting blade angle figured out, and muscle memory will kick in after a couple of weeks to help. I'm also able to play with grips and try different techniques I've seen. The chin had a few stragglers, but the top lip was much better and the cheeks were almost as glassy as with a DE. The neck is coming along, but it will take time.

I will continue 25 rounds on linen and 50 on leather pre-shave and 25 on linen post-shave until the blade seems to not be doing its magic as well. Then pastes, I suppose.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Sun May 26, 2019 1:00 pm

Another shave without weepers or nicks today. Much better on the chin - I was really intentional on blade angle here, but I was pressed for time on the neck and didn't get as close as I'd like. Still plenty fine for work or any other purpose, and more comfortable in terms of irritation on the top lip and cheeks.

I want to go without an exit strategy for straights, because I remember well putting in focused effort on "fidelity" when learning a DE. No changing up of hardware or prep at all, and the focus on technique made me into a proficient DE shaver in relatively short order. I'm hopeful the same will happen sticking to the straight all summer.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by EL Alamein » Sun May 26, 2019 6:35 pm

Tim, thank you, and keep going. It seems you're on the path.

Chris

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by smoothshaver » Sun May 26, 2019 6:44 pm

Congratulations on the new job, Tim. =D>
I'm not qualified to give advice on using a straight razor.
-Ed

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by brothers » Sun May 26, 2019 6:55 pm

Tim and Chris, congratulations!

Sometimes guys that begin daily SR shaving will experience a thinning of the skin that causes pain and redness. It happens to me every time I come back to the straight razor.
Gary

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Mon May 27, 2019 10:41 am

Another day with no burn, no nicks, no weepers. Wish I could say no whiskers left on face, but that will come. Plenty close. My quietest shave yet, which I think is a good thing: no scraping. 23 minutes from startng to strop through putting everything away. I like taking my time but would love to be more like 12-15 minutes by August 1.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by drmoss_ca » Tue May 28, 2019 2:45 am

You can certainly do it that fast, but that decreases the time for which you can indulge in this pleasure! My advice: get up 10 minutes earlier and have a 20 minute shave.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by fallingwickets » Tue May 28, 2019 3:56 am

get up 10 minutes earlier and have a 20 minute shave.
gets my vote for smf mantra! :D

clive
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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Tue May 28, 2019 11:47 am

Chris, I have been thinking about your comment this morning. Indeed, a rushed shave, even with good kit, isn't enjoyable. I suppose if I'm going to take time honing and stropping, I ought to take my time shaving. Perhaps 20 minutes is an appropriate amount of time. I have been trying to excise efficiency optimization in favor of optimizing enjoyment and things that matter. To that end, I'll do my damnedest not to worry about how long a shave takes for at least 60 days.

Today was a step backward in that I drew blood, but it was a simple error: I was doing an XTG stroke below my nose and didn't make sure the angle was right. A nice, clean cut that bled a bit. No irritation whatsoever today, though, and the shaves are still close enough for work, albeit not as glassy smooth as with a good DE.

By the way, stropping is wonderful. Such an enjoyable and therapeutic process.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by brothers » Tue May 28, 2019 4:41 pm

The straight razor shave, in my case, is well worth the time it takes to slow down and watch closely as the blade moves about on the face. Also requires at least two lather passes and a water-only third pass to work on notorious problem areas. I might use an ATG pass in certain areas, but not necessarily. I like to start with WTG passes, mixed a bit with some cross grain strokes. Very enjoyable activity. This morning I was surprised to observe that I had automatically and unconsciously switched to my left hand as I was paying full attention to the edge's movement. I like your statement about stropping.
Gary

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by drmoss_ca » Wed May 29, 2019 4:36 am

TRBeck wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 11:47 am
Today was a step backward in that I drew blood, but it was a simple error: I was doing an XTG stroke below my nose and didn't make sure the angle was right. A nice, clean cut that bled a bit. No irritation whatsoever today, though, and the shaves are still close enough for work, albeit not as glassy smooth as with a good DE.
My upper lip is the only place on my face where there is never any need for anything other than a downward pass. Probably because the hair there is a little thicker and stands up to the razor unlike the weedy blonde (well, grey now) stuff on the rest of my visage. It's heresy to some, but these days I'm perfectly happy with a single pass all over.
fallingwickets wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:56 am
get up 10 minutes earlier and have a 20 minute shave.
gets my vote for smf mantra! :D

clive
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"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Wed May 29, 2019 8:59 am

Chris, love that mantra. :lol:

I may evolve toward a one pass shave, but I enjoy lathering on my face, so I'd have to at least lather a second time for touchups.

Today was two passes and light touch up on the chin. No bloodletting or irritation. Also the closest straight shave yet. Indistinguishable from a DE shave except the jawline on the right side - long my nemesis. Now that I've figured out to keep the spine closer to my face, the shaves are very comfortable, perhaps more so than with most safety razors.

Outstanding. I'm pleased as punch.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by drmoss_ca » Wed May 29, 2019 3:55 pm

Shhhh! Don't tell everyone how easy it is!
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Re: Starting over with an open blade

Post by TRBeck » Thu May 30, 2019 10:11 am

Well, it does seem relatively easy this time around. I wonder if it's the 2000 shaves I've had since I tried a straight last that have given me close familiarity with the peculiarities of my facial angles and beard growth, or if it's as simple as being confident and adjusting the angle. I think previously I had the 30 degree number in my head, overshot, and did a ton of scraping. I probably wind up at 30 degrees sometimes now, but my focus is keeping the spine close to the skin. On the cheeks, the blade just wipes away whiskers. Really nice.

I did give myself a nick today again, going XTG below the nose (opposite side of the top lip from my previous nick). Perhaps I need to take a cue from Chris here and just go WTG once or twice on the upper lip. Everything else was wonderful.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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