Back to the basics

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:58 pm

Well, the TI is still going, though I think I gave it a touch up a few days after my last post but can't remember for sure. Otherwise it's just flawless.

Also, I came down with the dreaded stomach bug that's going through everyone around here and haven't shaved since Saturday afternoon so I'll be interested to see how the shave goes tomorrow. It should really help reveal the state of the edge with all that stubble going on.

That d@mned bug totally incapacitates you. No desire to do anything but lay about and recuperate by the fire so you know it's bad. Shrank the he!! out of my stomach and can't eat a full meal yet which is annoying. I can't remember having anything this bad since being 18 years old. I got it twice back then - back to back - and it just leaned me out incredibly.

I'm on the mend now so I"m happy and will be getting back to my regular shaving habits. I'm grateful for that as the face is getting quite itchy and I look like a bum. My daughters even remarked about how they don't like the way I look and want Daddy to go back to shaving. They're young and thus aren't corrupted so much by modern trends. They just like what they like (the familiar, I'm guessing).

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:29 pm

Well, today's shave was wonderful. It was like wiping the whiskers off with no feeling. So, I'm guessing that the TI edge is still quite sound - I just love these Eagles.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:43 pm

My last shave was yesterday and man was it close. The TI is still hair-splittingly sharp. I could barely feel any stubble 24 hours later.

A bit of an issue though: I got a lot of irritation from this BUT let me speculate. The lather was not thick and protective as I'm used to but very slick. I was fooled.

I've been experimenting with baking soda to soften the water around here because water hardness has just gotten too variable. Anyway, using the Taylor's English Lavender hard soap (old formula) it seems that with softer water this stuff will foam up quite quickly and look really great but not be as protective. In short, I just have to get used to soft water with this - the inevitable learning curve when a variable is changed. As an aside though this really wilts even the most recalcitrant of beards. I barely felt anything wiping the whiskers away.

Before starting with the baking soda though I was experimenting with a hard water lathering technique that worked excellently for my needs. I would just run the brush under the hottest water my spigot would produce (hot water heater cranked fully) and then take the water logged bristles to the soap, turned on it's side to allow runoff, over a large coffee mug (Moss scuttle in the nuclear bunker at the moment). I'd swirl the brush until lather formed at the tips then press the bristles of the brush against the soap to squeeze out all the water in the knot into the mug. I'd then dip the tips of the bristles in the water and continue swirling and pressing until the water in the mug supported bubbles. Then I'd start the lathering. Worked a treat and provided excellent slick, rich, and protective lather. I may go back to just this method but in the mean time, while on Christmas Holiday, I'd like to try and perfect the technique with a pinch of baking soda added (I combine the two techniques).

As another side note, with softer triple milled shaving soaps (modern Floris 89 among them) the baking soda really seems to work a treat and even seems to mitigate any irritation I may get from the scenting ingredients too. So with that in mind I may just need a tad more soap with the Taylor's to form that protective lather.

I tested the TI Eagle after yesterday's shave with the HHT. Hairs dropping at touch of it. Has it degraded microscopically to harsh? I can't see any imperfections under the scope. We'll find out. But still, amazing how long these vintage TI's hold an edge. They are worth their weight in gold.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:34 pm

Today I shaved with the TI and used the hard water lathering technique sans baking soda. Very good shave and much improved cushion from the lather. The blade did seem to be a little bitey here and there but not harsh. It may be on it's way to harsh though so I tried something a little different tonight and will report back after the next shave.

I thumbnailed the edge twice on my wet thumbnail. Blade seemed to almost imperceptably dig in. I then just stropped on linen and leather then HHT'd it. The result was superb - hairs falling silently at the slightest touch. Did this help to mild the edge any? We'll find out next shave.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Today's shave was OK. The thumbnailing didn't do much, I perceive, to mild the edge but it did do a little.

After the shave I thumnailed the edge twice again and stropped on the crox strop. Tomorrow's shave should reveal if this was folly.

I used the baking soda technique again today with the Taylor's English Lavender hard soap (old formula). I made sure to load more soap and use less water this time and there was a marked improvement in cushion. Yet the lather seemed to not be as mild. Whatever baking soap does to mild some soaps it seems to do the opposite with the old formula Taylor's. I felt slight burning from the lather today. Perhaps I"m adding too much baking soda? Who knows but I'm close to either mastering and adopting this technique or abandoning it. Right now I feel like I'll abandon it but perhaps use it for the odd hard soap that I'm in the mood for.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:56 pm

Today's shave was very good. The blade definitely needed that touch up. For lather I also used the baking soda technique again but added less baking soda. Worked well to create a nice lather but I still perceive I get a better lather sans baking soda. The lather seems more mild without baking soda as well, at least with the Taylor's.

For aftershave I used Atkinson's English Lavender Water. Seemed a treat and matched well with the Taylor's English Lavender shaving soap.

I took the opportunity to hone the TI today and started on the slipstone. When done there I moved to the Belgian with oil as a finishing polish. It did improve the edge but also left a tiny divot in the edge. I decided to just crox strop the blade instead of rehoning on the slipstone after breadknifing. It worked quite well to remove that tiny aberration of a divot. We'll see how tomorrow's shave goes.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:21 pm

Today's shave was wonderful! Nothing like a freshly honed blade and thick protective lather.

I abandoned the baking soda and lathered with my hard water technique. Stunningly thick, slick, and protective lather. The blade slid through my whiskers as if they were softened butter. Nary a feeling of feedback.

Used the Atkinson's English Lavender water again today and it was a wonderful olfactory experience. I'm aiming for tomorrow to be a repeat of today.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:04 pm

Today, was a wonderful repeat of yesterday's shave. Very smooth and comfortable. English Lavender filling the New Year's air around me after the shave made for a nice beginning to a hopefully better year.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:51 pm

Another smooth, wonderful shave today with the same blade and techniques as yesterday. I abandoned the English Lavender aftershave for my mainstay bay rum and it was very satisfying.

It's nice to experiment but when you come back to your tool of choice, picked over so many others sampled oh so many years ago, it reminds you why you really like it.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:13 pm

Had a good shave Saturday but the blade seemed like it was loosing some keeness. Stropped it on the crox strop for a touch up and had a nice shave today. Very sharp but not as smooth as I'd like it. I think this edge is heading for the grave. The shave result were good though lasting just as long as a newly honed edge.

I'll give it another chance tomorrow and if it's not where I want it to be it's back to the slip stone for a quick touch-up.

One of the nice things about honing on the slip stone is that it removes seemingly so little steel yet still produces an excellent edge. It's like you could hone all day long and never see any recession of the edge.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:23 pm

Well, the shave today was wonderful - smooth and very close. Couldn't have asked for anything more. I'll keep going to see how long it lasts.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:47 pm

The Eagle is still going. Though I've taken a day off at least twice since my last post due to current circumstances (working from home due to no car). It's still shaving flawlessly.

More to come.

Chris

brothers
Posts: 18519
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Back to the basics

Post by brothers » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:15 pm

This talk of enjoying the straight razors is a constant reminder that I've got to perform the necessary maintenance that I've been postponing, so I can reactivate my trusty razors. I have been getting really good shaves every day from my DE razors, and it's making me lazy.
Gary

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:42 pm

Gary, Understood. There are many roads to Rome just enjoy the one your on as you'll soon enough find yourself on another byway.

Another great shave today from the Eagle. Let's see how long it lasts.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:47 pm

The Eagle is still going. Another great shave today.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:01 pm

Another great shave from the Eagle today.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Well, today the Eagle seemed to start pulling. The shave started off ok and by the second pass I knew it was headed for the slipstone hone.

Honed it this afternoon on the slipstone and it's up on deck for tomorrow's shave. Edge looked great under the scope and was felling hairs quite well with the HHT.

One side note though: it took some extra work to get that bevel flat again. I wonder if the touch-up with the crox strop was the culprit or is the slipstone becoming finer with each honing. Time will tell.

One thing I have to do is start a personal black book honing journal because sometimes the long periods between honing with a new stone can cloud one's memory. To wit while I was testing the Eagle today I forgot to strop on clean linen and leather and may have gotten false feedback. On the last test I remembered after testing and then went and stropped it and tested again. Much better and passed quite well. It was off the crox strop at that point and final testing.

A journal would help when learning a new stone.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:05 pm

Ah, nothing like the feel of a freshly keened edge. Great smooth shave today from the Eagle. Looking forward to tomorrow and the weekend.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:21 pm

The Eagle is still going. Another fantastic shave today.

More to come.

Chris

EL Alamein
Posts: 2683
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Back to the basics

Post by EL Alamein » Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:57 pm

No shave today. Too busy.

More to come.

Chris

Post Reply