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Back to the basics

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.

Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:46 pm

RIght on queue after I posted that the Eagle was still going it seemed to get a little rakey. So I used obscure French blade for most of the week. Yesterday and today I used replica blade.

Today was a little different as I did a nostalgia shave. I shaved as I did as a teen - I stropped my blade, I washed my face with soap and water, slathered on some Noxzema and went to town. Great shave! I did two passes as opposed to my one pass shave in those days. The shave was almost as close as soap but not quite.

Having been out of touch for the last two decades there was some very minor irritation post shave. I attribute this to the numbing effect of Noxzema - it can make one a little too overconfident.

Anyway it was a wonderful nostalgic experience today. I'll have to cherish it though because word on the street is that Noxzema has been reformulated! Can you believe it???

More to come.

Chris
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Interesting Observation

Postby EL Alamein » Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:00 pm

So on Wdenesday of this week I felt a little bit of harshness in the Eagle. I thought to myself that it shouldn't be this way so soon after a honing given my recent months long use of a blade before honings. So I decided to try something that was entirely against all received wisdom and thumbnail the blade - without honing it - then strop it according to my daily routine and see what it produced.

Today I shaved with the Eagle and lo and behold the shave was excellent. No harshness whatsoever and it delivered a close, smooth, clean shave. I wonder what the mechanism is? Let's see how long it lasts.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:16 pm

So far another smooth shave from the Eagle. Seems even keener than yesterday - defies all I've been taught or read up until now.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:28 pm

The Eagle seemed to do well until yesterday when it was a tad harsh. It was still very keen though. So, I thought, what the h&ll, I'll thumbnail it again to see what happens. I proceeded to thumbnail it but I did it twice in both directions as in sawing the blade.

I then stropped it and proceeded to test it with my hanging hair test and it still passed with flying colors. I stropped it again this morning, doing a long strop of 40 on linen and 60 on leather, and the shave was fantastic. It was smooth with no irritation, easily slicing though whiskers.

I've been thinking about this lately and a long ago memory popped into my brain: I recall an old story on the old Yahoo Straightrazorplace forum about someone going to a shop with their razor so that it could be honed. I *think* the shop was in the Netherlands. The proprietor wasn't there to do it but the wife was and she honed the blade on a Belgian hone then passed the blade, thumbnail style, over a rams horn several times. The storyteller was quite pleased with the results.

I think at the time I chalked it up to being the equivalent of the thumbnail TEST after honing - as instructed by the old Barber's Manual. There may be more to it though as my current observations seem to suggest.

Let's see how long I can get away with this sort of thing.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby Squire » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:07 am

That is interesting, never heard that before.
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:32 pm

Ah, it was not that long that I could get away with it. Today the Eagle started out smooth but got a tad harsh by the end of the first pass (I do two passes). I finished the second pass with replica blade which was freshly honed in the same way but also seemed to be missing some smoothness.

So both got honed today with the Arkansas hone only (no coticule for finishing).

I'll post how it goes.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:18 pm

So far two smooth shaves with the Eagle. Much smoother than the end of the last shave with it.

More to come.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Still going! And superb.

More to come.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:17 pm

The Eagle is still going strong!

However, I have gleaned the possibility of a few things. About two weeks in it seemed the Eagle was getting a bit harsh though it was still slicing hairs at the slightest touch. I decided to switch strops to Magic Strop. This seemed to mitigate the harshness and continue the closeness of shave.

It got to the point that Magic Strop didn't quite provide the smoothness I sought but still provided the keeness of blade slicing hairs at the slightest of touch. So I decided to use the linen of Magic Strop only followed by the Dovo wide leather strop (instead of Magic Strop's decades old leather). The switch was excellent! It has kept up the keeness of blade and provided the comfort of shave I have been seeking.

So far I *think* this may be due to the increased draw of the Dovo wide and varying how I strop on it (straight up and down vs. X stroke). PLUS the fact that Magic Strop's linen isn't quite as impregnated with a variation of the vintage Dovo white paste as my normal strop due to decades of use. I should mention here that Magic Strop's linen *seems* to be old firehose linen - though I m not sure since I am not familiar with vintage firehose linen (but it seems so because it's a tube - but so is my regular Dovo white impregnated vintage linen. These linens are different in their thickness and texture and that may also be a factor.

So my preliminary thoughts are that the modern Dovo white paste may be a tad too abrasive for edge maintenance and that Magic Strop's leather may also be tainted with something that is slightly abrasive which, in combination, may also reduce edge life (though, for an ancient barber may have extended the edge's life for his customers).

I'll see how long I can keep this up and report back.

More to come.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:30 pm

Eagle still going strong.

Switched to the Jemico Red Russian leather strop (the thin one) about a week back. Just wanted to see what, if anything, it did for the blade's edge. The results were very pleasing. It seemed smoother yet just as keen.

I'm curious to see how long I can use the Jemico strop. I know Tony Miller has said that they contain slight abrasives in the leather (save nothing of the linen which is impregnated with a variation of the Dovo white paste). Whatever the case, it's doing a superb job of maintaining the blade. It's like the forgotten strop relegated to travel duty that really should be for everyday.

Let's see.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:11 pm

Still going . . .
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:56 pm

Still going . . .
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby drmoss_ca » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Don't forget I have a seven day set of 6/8 Eagles, and a couple of 7/8 Eagles (all vintage TI steel), just waiting for someone who wants them....

C. :wink:
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:10 pm

drmoss_ca wrote:Don't forget I have a seven day set of 6/8 Eagles, and a couple of 7/8 Eagles (all vintage TI steel), just waiting for someone who wants them....

C. :wink:


This is temptation defined. The wife will poison me in my sleep I am sure.

At least I'll finally get some rest.

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby drmoss_ca » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:06 pm

EL Alamein wrote:The Eagle seemed to do well until yesterday when it was a tad harsh. It was still very keen though. So, I thought, what the h&ll, I'll thumbnail it again to see what happens. I proceeded to thumbnail it but I did it twice in both directions as in sawing the blade.

I then stropped it and proceeded to test it with my hanging hair test and it still passed with flying colors. I stropped it again this morning, doing a long strop of 40 on linen and 60 on leather, and the shave was fantastic. It was smooth with no irritation, easily slicing though whiskers.

I've been thinking about this lately and a long ago memory popped into my brain: I recall an old story on the old Yahoo Straightrazorplace forum about someone going to a shop with their razor so that it could be honed. I *think* the shop was in the Netherlands. The proprietor wasn't there to do it but the wife was and she honed the blade on a Belgian hone then passed the blade, thumbnail style, over a rams horn several times. The storyteller was quite pleased with the results.

I think at the time I chalked it up to being the equivalent of the thumbnail TEST after honing - as instructed by the old Barber's Manual. There may be more to it though as my current observations seem to suggest.

Let's see how long I can get away with this sort of thing.

Chris


This is an old story. I have heard several versions - drag the honed blade across a glass bottle, or across a hone, or cut a matchstick with it. It can only make sense if the blade has been over-honed and you are removing a wire edge, no? Otherwise you simply dull your perfect edge. My take is that if you find it an improvement, you ought to reconsider how you hone, or buy a microscope! No disrespect, Chris, but do you think this might be the case? (I have to stay on the right side of you as I am determined to sell you a vast number of TI Eagles!)

There was a DVD, which is languishing somewhere in my basement, in which Harrelson Stanley - a woodworker who knows more about chisels than I do about suturing chainsaw cuts - decides that his knowledge is transferrable, and hones a straight razor based on chisel principles, then drags it across something (can't recall if bottle or hone), and is then shaved by it. The shave is both hilarious and horrifying. Much tugging and grimacing. One feels terribly sorry for the guy, yet at the same time, one knows that there was some chisel-hubris involved in assuming that skill at one thing implies skill at another. Here is the relevant portion for the shave (I didn't copy the honing part, and this is presented for purposes of criticism and is thus allowable under US copyright law):



Should you want it, and I can find it, I can send you the DVD, but I promise it won't help your shaves!

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:35 pm

DR. Moss,

I am humble enough to concede that I may overhone a blade at times. I know I've done it in the past so your observation may be true - and at that - most likely true.

There were other possibilities I considered for a degraded edge: rinsing with scalding hot water while shaving, not stropping enough or the strop wasn't up to snuff, pressing too hard while shaving, end of life of the edge because it was too thin from the start - yet not quite overhoned.

In short, I don't know. I found the technique I used to be valuable to get a shave or two out of the edge before it needed a refreshing. Depression mentality for sure.

I've got to nail down my honing technique on the Ark more to get more consistent results. Traditional tests I've relied on to test the edge after honing seem inadequate because the feedback can be so different (read: thumbnail test).

Chris
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby drmoss_ca » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:26 am

The only test worthwhile is to shave with it!

C.
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby Antique Hoosier » Thu May 05, 2016 3:12 pm

I now own two of the main characters in this thread, the Klein and the Thiers Issard. The TI is superb and the Klein is workmanlike. The old Thiers Issards are perhaps underrated? I have only owned 2 others in the past, one being a Super Gnome that I should have never sold! I believe I will certainly keep this current TI "extra wide" 6/8 Eagle in my den.
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Re: Back to the basics

Postby EL Alamein » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:15 pm

Mike, I'm happy for you and that the TI razor will see use. It's been in a vault for years unused and it's a fantastic razor that should get used. I came to the reality that, at the rate I'm using up blades, I'll never touch these again as back-ups.

I'm also happy that you like the Klein. What's interesting about that Klein blade is that the spine is thicker than the Chronik we tested so many years ago though it's essentially the same model. I too found it to be workmanlike. I was surprised at how good it was. I would have it and all my other razors more if I hadn't fallen in love with my mainstay TI's. I still have two of the model you have and I'll keep them for the rest of my life because they are the first two I ever bought and consistently give superior shaves longer than other blades I've tried. That and their rustic good looks.

Enjoy!

Chris
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