Thinking of jumping into the straight razor game.....

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
Short Round
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Post by Short Round » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:23 pm

Thanks Squire.

I still have a lot of practice and fine tuning to do. Definitely feels a bit awkward yet. Kind of like that first week with the DE after leaving the cartridge razor behind.

I was thinking perhaps I need one of those butterknife sharp straights like they use in the movies to practice my manipulations.
Tom

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Post by brothers » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:36 pm

I know you're kidding, but I'd vote against shaving with a pretend razor. It seems to me shaving with a real sharp razor is the best practice. The brain, eye, and hand are fully engaged and learning every moment.
Gary

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Post by Short Round » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:41 pm

and the worst part is the blade wouldn't sing.

yes I am kidding about the butterknife blade. I did press a couple red lines into my chin this am. Just a minor issue with depth perception.
Tom

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Post by Silb3r » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:25 pm

Short Round wrote:Thinks I learned; don't go so slow that your lather begins drying and secondly, I need to run a smoother stroke...
Tom,

My own recent experience has been similar. However, racing the lather is probably not a sound strategy. For starters, you might try just lathering the half of your face you intend to shave, then move on to the other half.

I found lathering for DE is different from lathering for a straight razor shave. The "whipped cream" consistency and cushioning favored by DE shavers is the critical element; for a straight razor shave the slickness of the lather is the key. The slickness may be a function of the particular soap/cream you're using, but I surmise that we former-DE shavers tend to skimp on the water when we lather.

I used to get nasty weepers around my chin until I got my lather right. I never even considered that there were any issues with my lathering. I mean, my DE shaves were super smooth so why change anything? I looked around the forums and some Youtube vids and, almost overnight, my shaves got better once I took a serious look at my lathering technique and made some adjustments.

Stick with it and don't get discouraged!

-Michael

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Post by Short Round » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:09 pm

You know Mike, that's such an utterly simple idea and I think that will help. Tomorrow, I'll try lathering one side of my face at a time. Good idea.

I hadn't thought of changing the lather any either. Another good point.
Tom

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Post by Silb3r » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:23 pm

Glad you found my comments useful, Tom! Let us know how it works out.

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Post by EL Alamein » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:45 am

Silb3r wrote:
Short Round wrote:Thinks I learned; don't go so slow that your lather begins drying and secondly, I need to run a smoother stroke...
Tom,

My own recent experience has been similar. However, racing the lather is probably not a sound strategy. For starters, you might try just lathering the half of your face you intend to shave, then move on to the other half.

I found lathering for DE is different from lathering for a straight razor shave. The "whipped cream" consistency and cushioning favored by DE shavers is the critical element; for a straight razor shave the slickness of the lather is the key. The slickness may be a function of the particular soap/cream you're using, but I surmise that we former-DE shavers tend to skimp on the water when we lather.

I used to get nasty weepers around my chin until I got my lather right. I never even considered that there were any issues with my lathering. I mean, my DE shaves were super smooth so why change anything? I looked around the forums and some Youtube vids and, almost overnight, my shaves got better once I took a serious look at my lathering technique and made some adjustments.

Stick with it and don't get discouraged!

-Michael
Michael,

You’ve hit on a really good point here about lather. It really does need to be slicker for a straight razor shave. Why? Because DE’s and modern blades have Teflon or friction-reducing coatings that will glide easier over the skin and be more forgiving when lather is less than optimal. For a straight razor that is naked and without any coatings optimally slick lather is what allows it to glide. I think this is why Thiers Issard sells a glycerin based shaving soap – not that it’s the best for that purpose but because it will provide a lot of slickness. Better can be had though.

In my own personal experience I’ve come to believe that a stiff lather produced from soap rather than cream, when properly made with enough water, produces a slick as well as cushioning lather. Creams are great and provide a LOT of slickness and some guys prefer them but I like the lather from soap, specifically a hard shaving soap as I think they produce the best lather of all.

The whole concept dovetails nicely with a saying that was once found etched on the tang of an old straight razor – “You lather well, I’ll shave well”.

Chris

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Post by Silb3r » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:32 am

Chris,

Your technical analysis is spot on! The blade coating absolutely acts like the lubricating strip on cartridge razors. When you think about it, it's pretty ingenious.

I also prefer soaps when using a straight. I think it enables greater control over the moisture content of the lather because, unlike creams, it's not already partially loaded with water.

My exception is Castle Forbes lavender: It's so thick and dry that I use it like a soap (primarily because I haven't found a soap with a comparable nose!).

Shave on!

-Michael

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Post by Short Round » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:14 pm

Good tips, I've started mixing the woolfat a little wetter. Seems to prevent some irritation when all is said and done.

Today I tried shaving with some Cella I just got from Shoebox, I think I went overboard on wet with it. Not bad but I felt like I needed to excercise more care.
Tom

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Post by Silb3r » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:42 pm

Good to hear. I'm still tinkering myself; I've been meaning to try Cella. Maybe I'll put up an ad on the BST!

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