Back to Thiers Issard

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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EL Alamein
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Back to Thiers Issard

Post by EL Alamein » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:26 pm

For the past few months I've been having a dalliance with my German lady from Boker. She is truly great and gives a superb comfortable shave.

Last weekend though I came home to the Lady of the House, my Thiers Issard razor of many years. I've remained with her since.

I don't know what it is but the old TI's have some magic in them. They are full-hollowed but shave like wedges. They are just a level above their German competition.

Many roads to Rome, enjoy the one you're on.

Chris

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Back to Thiers Issard

Post by drmoss_ca » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:10 am

Good hard steel can make a hollow ground razor feel much stiffer, and TI Eagles with the old Sheffield 'silver' steel are good that way. As are the Eskilstuna steel Bergischer Lowe and Damasteel razors.

I've become one of those embarrassing bigoted old folk: I despise blades that "twang". Bows should twang, razors should shut up and shave. Twanging and singing are signs that the edge deforms easily. That means more effort in the shave (metal doesn't bend for free), the potential of fatigue at the edge, and worst of all, maximum deformity occurs as a section of edge passes through a hair, and the deformed blade jumps forward like a tiny gouge, leading to irritation after shaving. Hundreds of microscopic versions of these charging all over your face ain't fun:
Gouge.jpg
Gouge.jpg (24.23 KiB) Viewed 562 times
So why did the full hollow predominate once grinding skills could make them? I'm guessing it was market competition that drove it, as they were more difficult and more expensive to make, but claiming your razor is sharper than the rest in an age when everyone had a straight and couldn't hone it decently if his life depended on it, can win you the market. That's the twang's job: to sound sharp. And once one maker does it, the rest must follow in the pogonotomic arms race. But the twang is an empty promise, as while the razor might be easier to hone in terms of less metal removal, it is far more sensitive to honing pressure, and the buyer's rubbish honing skills haven't improved. It's also more fragile and breaks easily. So you buy another, and in front of you lies the sad path to 1904.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

brothers
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Re: Back to Thiers Issard

Post by brothers » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:17 am

". . . shut up and shave!" :P
Gary

EL Alamein
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Re: Back to Thiers Issard

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:54 pm

Dr. Moss, great response.

IMHO singing has nothing to do with performance. I get what you're saying though with regards to twanging and singing razors.

Remember though that TI advertised these razors as "full singing hollows". And they do sing but I believe for a different reason.

When I run my palm across the tang of these TI's they sing in a way. I think it has more to do with the metal but I don't know. Other razors I've encountered don't to the same. I don't think it's the grind as they shave like wedges. Maybe they were just taking advantage of the marketing hype of the day? Performance is the only thing that counts.

In the end there is no substitute for good honing skills.

Chris

Oscar11
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Re: Back to Thiers Issard

Post by Oscar11 » Thu May 09, 2019 7:01 am

I always thought the main advantage of a hollow ground blade was ease of sharpening, less metal to remove than a wedge. I like "stiff" hollow ground blades.

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drmoss_ca
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Re: Back to Thiers Issard

Post by drmoss_ca » Fri May 10, 2019 4:51 am

Agreed, and as I said above, there may be less metal to remove, but it's easier to deform a flexible edge when honing and you end up removing metal from the top of the bevel instead of from the edge. Harder steels can be hollow ground without this problem, and silent-shaving hollow blades can be found. The first ones I came across were the Swedish steel used in Bergischer Lowe razors, but I've found others since. My old production 'silver steel' TI's are like this (maybe modern ones too, but I don't have any <10 years old), as are quarter hollow TZ damascus razors. This was the thinking behind my special order of a large heavy quarter hollow razor in what was to be relatively soft O1 tool steel. (In the event it ended up at HRC64.5, so the easy honing part is moot.) Chacun à son gout, but for me there is no better compromise between shaving and honing qualities than an old Sheffield chopper with a heavy stiff blade and relatively soft and easy to hone steel. You have to hone it more often than one made from Dragonglass, but honing's fun, right?
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

Oscar11
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Re: Back to Thiers Issard

Post by Oscar11 » Sat May 18, 2019 8:21 am

My T.I.'s are made with the "carbon song" steel with the exception of one which is vintage. The vintage sings, the carbon song blades while some are advertised as singing blades don't but are quite thin and stiff.

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