The Science of Sharp Blog

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:59 pm

It's been a month already since I sharpened 3 straight razors and shaved with each of them over a period of 3 days. This morning I picked three more favorites for sharpening to shave ready condition. I chose the Hart Steel 6/8; the Boker King Cutter 7/8; and the Filarmonica 14 8/8. Used the same stones and strops as before with only one exception this time. Instead of finishing with the Escher I used the Thuringian. They're ready to cut down a few whiskers.
3 straight razors 22April2019.jpg
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Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:21 am

It's been 10 years I'm using straight razors. Bought and sold more than a few razors, hones, strops and other related substances and devices. Sharpened and shaved with dozens of razors, many of them untold scores of times.

Bottom line: keep it simple. Fact: different types of razors do not - and never will - yield identical shave results. In the beginning there was a time in the learning curve that I naively did not realize it and stupidly blamed myself for the differences. Foolish! [-X :lol:

Another fact: my straight razor edge maintenance tools are all good. My skills are all good. I know what I'm doing and I know how to keep these razors shaving sharp. I also know how much or how little time I am willing to engage in this mandatory activity.

My hand/eye ambidextrous and focused shaving skills are surprisingly good. I do not cut myself.

Everybody has his or her own preferences, expectations, and perceptions for the razors and sharpening tools they use. This is where the money flows.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:09 pm

Third day with a straight razor - Boker King Cutter full hollow. It'll be fun to pick out 3 more for next month.
Boker King Cutter.jpg
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Gary

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brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:55 am

On reflection, I'm thinking my next group of 3 should probably be some of the old heavy English blades. I have two or three that are going to require a new edge before they'll be usable. That'll be fun. Probably sometime around Memorial Day.
Gary

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Mon May 27, 2019 3:19 pm

On schedule, here we are, May 27, 2019. Today I chose 3 old Sheffield English razors and sharpened them. I've used one today and the others will be used the next 2 days.

They all have a barber's notch. The first of the razors shown below is a John Rogers & Sons, looks like a half hollow, 13/16. This is one of my first flea market finds. I used it several times 10 years ago.

The second razor is Wade & Butcher (the words India Steel can be seen in very faint and elaborate engravings on the blade), 7/8 heavy quarter hollow in the original clear blonde scales. A couple of years ago this razor was cleaned and tightened by Glen (gssixgun) in Idaho. Today I set the bevel and created the first and only edge it's had since I got it several years ago.

The third is the 7/8 half hollow The Celebrated by Wade & Butcher. When I found it there were no scales and there was some rust on and near the spine that Glen was able to polish out. It's pitted, but it's lovely and it's mine. :D

All three of these heavy old razors are marked Sheffield and it was a pleasure to sharpen them all. Silent and efficient. It's my pleasure to be able to rescue and use these classic straight razors from a different generation.
Sheffield razors 27May2019.jpg
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Gary

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by drmoss_ca » Tue May 28, 2019 2:49 am

Those are real razors. The most under-appreciated type of straight in my opinion, being easy to hone, easy to shave with and capable of shaves with far less irritation than a full-hollow.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:52 am

This coming weekend I've laid a plan to perfect the edges on a few special old razors so I can use them next week. I find myself looking forward to the periodic straight razor program while the General enjoys a well-deserved but brief vacation.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:47 pm

Today was the day I prepared the edges of 4 "stubtails". They're the very oldest straight razors I have. All of them are heavy quarter hollow. One is the R.Wade from 1812-1816, before Wade partnered up with Butcher. Another is a (Thiers) marked Medaille-Argt Dumas-Aine 32. Dumas received his 32 (French) patent in 1809. He then obtained the Aine 32 patent In 1834. The scales and pins appear to be original in excellent condition. The blade is close to full wedge, but not quite. The other two are an 11/16 H.& J.W. King 80 Chambers Street New York, with the etched blade marked "King's Hollow Ground". It's from around 1830 or so. Probably no more than a quarter hollow, and hefty. The fourth razor is a 11/16 quarter hollow heavy Sheffield Wade & Butcher with a beautifully and elaborately etched blade in immaculate condition. When I found it, the old scales were literally falling off, and I had them replaced by Glen (gssixgun) in Idaho, with a new pair of faux turtle scales. I haven't had a chance to research to find out how old It might be, but I consider it very old.

I had to take the Dumas-Aine 32 to the Norton 1K. What was left of the ancient edge was chip free, but probably not sharp enough to cut butter. The sequence following the 1K was Naniwa 2K, Norton 4K/8K, Naniwa 12K, Thuringian, and finished on the Escher (and a couple of laps for good luck) on an old Swaty before the linen and leather Jemico. My next 4 shaves will be a lot of fun. We'll see if there are any super-stars in the group. I have previously shaved with all except the Dumas-Aine 32.

I didn't take photos. I'll save that for later.

Unfortunately I accidentally broke one of the faux tortoise scales on the W&B this evening. Regardless of that dumb mistake on my part I think I'll try to use it tomorrow to start off with, anyway.

I just discovered I have almost no more hair on my left forearm and the back of my left hand. I don't use the hanging hair test because I can't get it to work for me. I am in the habit of testing my straight razor edges by shaving in those two areas. Let's hope the next four shaves on my face will bear out the test results I see on my arm and hand. :D Ultimately, it really doesn't matter does it? Even if I succeed in shaving off some whiskers It'll all grow back in spite of my best efforts.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:02 am

Here are the 4 old razors to which I refer above.
4 ancient razors 062419.jpg
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Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:13 pm

It's that time of the month when I choose a few razors for touching up the edges and using them over 3 or 4 consecutive days while I give the General a short rest. This month's project features stainless blades. Hess Forty-Four; Puma INOX #63; C.V. Heljestrand Viking (quarter hollow); Friodur INOX
4 stainless razors 072719.jpg
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Gary

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:35 pm

First up today was the Friodur. This edge is excellent. One of the best straight razor shaves I've had in a very long time. I made two lather passes followed by the third pass with a splash of water for touchup and polishing. What a pleasure!
Henkels Friodur razor 28July2019 .jpg
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Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:37 am

Yesterday's razor was a full hollow, loudly announcing every whisker as they were being cut. In contrast, today's Viking is a silent but effective quarter hollow.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:33 am

I love the way this razor looks, but am puzzled by the wrapping of the shank. It was originally a foam sleeve, but it deteriorated and fell off. I tried to replicate it with a wrapping of leather but that's also falling off. As of this morning, following the shave, I had to take it of and now the shank's bare, and doesn't look very pretty. Any suggestions will be welcome.
Puma INOX razor 28July2019.jpg
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Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

EL Alamein
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by EL Alamein » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:04 pm

Gary, that is a beautiful razor but I just don't know about the wrapping. I never was a fan of wrapping even on modern razors like the Bergisher Lowe. To me they felt non-functional and only impeded my ability to hone and strop them.

If it were mine I'd just remove it and deal with the blade as it is.

Chris

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:21 am

EL Alamein wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:04 pm
Gary, that is a beautiful razor but I just don't know about the wrapping. I never was a fan of wrapping even on modern razors like the Bergisher Lowe. To me they felt non-functional and only impeded my ability to hone and strop them.

If it were mine I'd just remove it and deal with the blade as it is.

Chris
I agree. Keeping it simple is usually the best approach. It was a gimmick.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

brothers
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:12 am

There are a few - not many - more old razors stashed away that I want to sharpen and use in the next couple of months' straight razor project.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General V2 by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

EL Alamein
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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:02 pm

Keep going, Gary, I love the posts.

Chris

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by EL Alamein » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:21 pm

Anyone catch Todd's old post about barber hones? It seems he analyzed a Swaty and concluded it was 600 grit at most.

In the comments he remarked that most barber hone users were not going to like that conclusion.

But, hey, some guys like them so I say use what you like.

Chris

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by brothers » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:11 pm

It's been about a month since I last posted about my razors. This batch of 4 completes my project. These 4 razors were hiding in boxes in a drawer. I probably got these at flea markets and estate sales over the past 10 years or so. As you will see below, two of them are very nice looking Torrey razors. The final two old razors are a Frederick Reynolds Sheffield wedge or at best a quarter hollow and a Rugby Best Silver Steel #172 at least about 150 years old or so.

I have no excuse for ignoring these 4 razors. I'll be shaving with each one over the next few days. Now that I've finished giving each one an edge to the best of my ability, I am proud to present these for viewing. They are all at least 6/8 except the black handled Torrey which is 11/16. As far as I can tell, all of them are quarter hollow or more. It seems none are full hollow, but I may be mistaken. The Torreys are all in very good condition. It seems they took great edges, but I'm not making any promises. The proof will be in the shaves.

The Frederick Reynolds is close to being almost a full wedge. The old Sheffield blade probably hasn't been used for many decades. It didn't have any rust on the blade, but it had a lot of black tarnish and marking from being stored somewhere dark and forgotten many years. I used some fine sandpaper and Brasso to get rid of a lot of the discoloration, and it's a lot prettier than it was. I was amazed at how keen the edge was after all the lost years of being hidden away and unappreciated. I have high hopes for this old soldier.

The Rugby is what I call run-of-the-mill, and it took a lot of work on the hones - 1000 and up - to get an edge that should be pretty effective, but time will tell. The Torreys are very presentable examples of Worchester, Massachusetts, USA. No rust or discoloration whatsoever. It'll be fun using all four of these razors this week. Now you've seen all of my straight razors unless I've neglected to include some from the project.

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Last edited by brothers on Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gary

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Re: The Science of Sharp Blog

Post by drmoss_ca » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:16 am

I can't believe the effective grit of a Swaty is 600! They feel as smooth as glass and you get an edge far better than from a 600 grit stone. Perhaps it's not the size of the abrasive that matters here, but the microscopic scratch pattern on the surface (just like a 2k-polished Arkansas or Spyderco UF is completely changed in character by such polishing).
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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