What Did You Hone Today?

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
Gene
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

Post by Gene »

drmoss_ca wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:53 pm Have you ever shaved yourself with a straight razor? I don't want you to cut yourself, but if you ever want to learn, I can likely help with a properly sharp blade.
Several years ago an SMF member, Jack (another lost contributor) started a thread about using a hair cutter, in the shape of a straight, and slotted with a blade, that he had purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply. It was an active thread, with several participants in it, and interesting. I remember I was on the road in Memphis at the time and there was a Sally's really close to the hotel I was staying at - so I went out and got a setup.

Hated it. No or cuts anything - just super rough and lots of drag. I think he was spoofing us and I hope he had a good laugh (certainly at my expense, maybe others) about it.

Anyway - beyond that no, I have never used an actual straight on myself. My wife is very concerned at the thought of me attempting to learn, and I have promised not to acquire one.

I wasn't fishing for anything - and apologize if there was even the hint that I wanted an advantage of any kind. It's just that your descriptions make it sound like the equivalent of running my fingers lovingly down my face and getting a super clean shave - something I can't do with any razor/blade combo in my arsenal ... even my General.
Gene

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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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When you think about it, the blades you put in the General are hair shaper blades! And they do work in the Feather AC too, but they are a bit too sharp for comfortable open blade use. Not every straight gives the perfect shave; just a few take the kind of edge that glides through the stubble so you don't even know you are being shaved. And even after two or three passes, I don't think you'd be any closer than with your General. But the stubble that grows back will be less prickly and thus less noticeable, and the satisfaction that comes from honing, stropping and using a straight is hard to beat. You should work on your wife - it's easier to do than you might think, and you'd have to try very hard to cut yourself in any significant way.
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

Post by drmoss_ca »

I have Wapi's #2 and 3 for today and tomorrow, so I'll get ready for Friday with the first from a seven day set:


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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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Keeping a day or so ahead, I did the Saturday razor from the Dovo set today:

Dovo_Saturday.jpg
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Gene
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

Post by Gene »

There seem to be lots of different blade shapes - I couldn't begin to understand all the nomenclature.

But that Dovo is very pretty to me. My eye seems drawn to a slimmer shape, and rounded corners.
Gene

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress."
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"People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people."
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

Post by drmoss_ca »

It's not very complicated, in fact there may be a PDF somewhere here that describes the shapes etc. These blades are 5/8" wide, which was the commonest size during the heyday of straight razors. There are 4/8 blades but they are less common, and these days wider blades are more popular - 6/8 or 7/8. These particular razors are what I'd call 'pretty' - dressed up with etching, gold wash and engraving to allow them to sell for more, even though the underlying blade and scales are ordinary and cheap routine production. But at least they are made in Germany. Dovo's entry razors are made in China these days (and they wonder how they ended up in the German equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during a great renaissance of straight razor sales? Greed will do that.)

If I were wanting to start out these days, and willing to listen to experience, I'd buy a polished and honed vintage blade from a guy at straightrazorplace.com who does decent work for very cheap prices. And if I then decided I'd like to stick with shaving that way, I'd buy one very good custom razor and stick with it. What you pick there depends on budget. Lou Mowan of Snake River Razors, or Robert Williams of Custom Straight Razors, or Tim Zowada of Zowada Knives. No doubt there are others, but those are good guys. The problem is just the opposite of Highlander - here, it's more like there must be more than one! But maybe you might prove to be a man of great strength, resolution and self-denial. Yeah, good luck with that.

As for maintenance, you need a strop for daily use, and maybe a second for use with green chrome paste now and then. If you just want to maintain a razor that came to you well-honed and needs only touch ups, I'd buy a good coticule and a finishing stone as you won't need to make new bevels. The finisher could be a Naniwa 12k, a Spyderco UF or many more expensive options (Shapton 30k, Suehiro Gokumyo 20k). I've got them all, and now I would pick a black Arkansas from Dan's as my desert island finishing stone.

Finally, if at all possible, a honing lesson in person will save you time - time as in years of error and mistakes. I'm not doing anything now I could not have done twenty years ago. But it took me that long and much expense of hones, pastes, strops and razors before I figured out what should be available to every beginner. Just use the right tools in the right way and it will be simple.
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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Oh, and being an addict, I did the Sunday razor too!
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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Oops! Monday, as well. Endorphin levels are stellar now.
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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And being stupid as well as addicted, I forgot I had done 'Monday' and did it again today. Should be good and sharp by now!
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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Unable to help myself, I went on to do Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

But now I'm dredging up the dregs from the basement and came across a razor I'm ashamed to say I don't recall. Horn scales with no bullseye washers, square point, full hollow, concave spine, constant width blade, rather short tang, with a cut-out on the shank, which has a double stabiliser:

Image

and the shank itself is where it gets interesting:

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"B.J.EYRE & CO
AT E W.GREAVES & SONS
SHEFFIELD"

First thing is the extraneous 'E' - maybe William Greaves had an unused first name? Or is the "ATE" preceded by another letter that has worn off? We know Benjamin James Eyre was a partner at Greaves' Sheaf Works until it's dissolution in 1850, and then traded as Eyre, Ward & Co. using the Sheaf Works, and after 1857, Eyre traded alone as B.J.Eyre & Co. I had guessed from the anatomy of this razor it was 1840 - 1850, so I think it comes from Eyre's original participation at Sheaf Works somewhere before 1850. It has honed up very nicely and will be tried when I have worked through all seven Dovo razors from the set.
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

Post by brothers »

Another forgotten treasure!
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic & badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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First two of the herd of Friodurs have been done:

Friodurs.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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And for light relief, I came across this Rodgers extra hollow that when last seen had no rust. Sadly, it has some pitting now around the pivot point and where the point touches the scales. A quick sniff tells us what's going on - acrid chemical odour - celluloid rot. I scraped off the worst of the accumulated rust and polished it lightly with green chrome paste (I have embarrassingly large amounts of home made stuff). The blade has honed up really nice, and I'll give it a test shave. If the shave is good enough, I'll tear off the scales and go at it a bit more aggressively and then find some other scales for it.

IMG_0630.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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While I will use The Rodgers tomorrow, for the day after I'll need something else, so Friodur #3 has been honed:
Friodur.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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I can't help myself, I did Friodur #4 as well.

Friodur#4.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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I am ashamed; I did #5 as well, this one is lacewood:

Friodur#5.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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I did Friodur #6 today, with red narra scales. They have faded over the last ten years and are now an orange like canned tomato soup, but the malachite wedge is still a very pretty green!

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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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Getting ready for tomorrow, Friodur #7 with purpleheart scales has been honed:

Friodur #7.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

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And today I honed Friodur #8, with ebony scales:
Friodur #8.jpg
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Re: What Did You Hone Today?

Post by drmoss_ca »

Also did Friodur #9:
Friodur #9.jpg
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