Joseph Elliott: life-changer

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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Joseph Elliott: life-changer

Post by TRBeck » Fri May 29, 2009 8:31 am

I've been enjoying straight shaves since late November of last year, first on a weekend-only basis, and later as a daily shaving tool (with occasional dalliances with a DE or SE safety razor). I've acquired a small collection, very small by the board's standards, mostly because, though I like the look of a great many straight razors, I couldn't see the point of having a bunch of them around just to look at and worry over (humid Texas summer = rust?).
My first straight that saw regular use was a Conqueror 5/8, very plain, round point, good shaver, and a blade that could be my only one. Next was a Wapi in steel scales, which I preferred for its stiffness and its French point, but which has a slight frown to its edge and which I know will be a bear to hone. I then bought a new Dovo Best, just to see what a brand new straight was like. Well, I let it get some water spots and a touch of rust right away, and I'm not sure how, as I am fastidious about rinsing with very hot water, drying with a paper towel, stropping on linen, and then leaving the razor in an area with good air circulation (not the bathroom)...but I digress. This is a fine blade, shaves me well, but my, I mean, someone, dropped it and it got a couple of nicks in the edge. I will hone it back to usefulness, but in the meantime, I've picked up this Sheffield razor with horn scales, a Joseph Elliott, 6/8 I believe, with a barber's notch. Just damned beautiful (and I won't lie: I love the fact that it gives off a bad-ass vibe, too).
The first time I used it, I didn't strop it very well, and the shave was so-so. But over the weekend, I pulled it out again, stropped it, and was rewarded with one of the best shaves I've ever had. The blade was clearly very well-honed (I got it from Jim - Kyle76 - and the man knows how to put an edge on a blade), and it just wipes whiskers away. Coupled with the stiffness of the blade, which I understand is a characteristic of Sheffield (and all English?) razors, it makes for a very close, very comfortable shave. A bit like the Wapi, but better, and with an added cool factor. I'm now scouring the classifieds at SRP, searching eBay, and mapping out weekend antique trips, having finally understood what guys are after when they buy so many straights. This is the first really significant difference in "feel" I've had switching from one straight to another, which may be related to my improved skill, but which I think is more likely due to the happy meeting of improved functionality, aesthetic appeal, and historical connection.
In short, I'm in love with this razor. I simply must try some other Sheffields, a couple of wedges, and a few more blades with barber's notches, just for the look.

Many thanks to Jim for a helluva blade, and many curses, too, as my bank account springs another leak.


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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Post by brothers » Fri May 29, 2009 8:40 am

As my dad used to say: "Ain't that the truth!"

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic/boar/badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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Post by Sam » Fri May 29, 2009 8:54 am

I was reading the title and the first thought that came to my mind? Def Leppard!

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Post by ichabod » Fri May 29, 2009 11:27 am

Sam wrote:I was reading the title and the first thought that came to my mind? Def Leppard!
Well, they're from Sheffield, so there's quite the connection.

I fell for the wedge/barber's notch look English razors as soon as I started looking at straights, and now have a nice 8/8 Barber's use that glides across my face each morning and leaves it smooth as smooth can be, along with a 7/8 wedge/notch that I'm cack handedly trying to hone myself.
Afer that I think I'll move to mini wedges, and then...
Give us the luxuries, and we will forgo the necessities.
Give a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire, he'll be toasty for the rest of his life.

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Post by wayne06 » Fri May 29, 2009 2:34 pm

Fun ain't it? :lol: Know the feeling. I have a nice rotation consisting of about ten that I try to use as much as possible. It's hard sometimes beacuse I love my Craftsmans and W&B's. I have about twenty that needs to be restored, but someday. :roll: Now i'm getting into Frame Backs. It never ends. :oops:


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Post by xChris » Fri May 29, 2009 3:58 pm

Sheffield consumes another victim! Enjoy the shaves. :D

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