DFS 2018 LE Brush is now live. Read more here!!

DrMatt357 and how he suggests refreshing a straight razor.https://youtu.be/Ud486L38bDk highly recommend by myself.

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How to strop Ala Drmatt357.

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How Drmatt357. Recommends refreshing a razor etc.

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That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
There is nothing that I could even hope to add to this. caleb31 has just given ALL of us so much excellent information to try and digest.

caleb31 , than you so much for compiling all of this information and sharing it here for all of us. Excellent work!
-Chris~Head Shaver~
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(This post was last modified: 08-31-2016, 04:45 AM by Lloydw.)
(08-31-2016, 02:02 AM)nachum Wrote: i've been de shaving for several years now but have held off on trying straights.  but curiosity is getting the better of me and i think i'd like to try.  a big reason i haven't tried is that i'm confused by what needs to be done, primarily in terms of prep.  any help would be great...

do i need to know how to hone to use a straight?
do i need to buy stones, etc?
do i need to own several straights and rotate their use?  
what exactly is the prep involved each time?
what are good straights to buy?  
what do the sizes mean i.e. 5/8, 6/8?
do i need to anchor a strop to the wall?

is this really complicated or is it simpler than i think?

I think it is simpler than you think. There is lots of great advice in videos and threads from Caleb and also out there and I hope I can add something beneficial.

To answer your questions:
You don't need to know how to hone, there are ways around this. Often there are artisans or members nearby who will help for a modest fee. Honing is not something needed for every shave, far from it. See earlier comments about stropping and various abrasives as part of this process. People use newspaper, denim and linen too.
No stones needed at first. As with first question, until you have many razors in rotation (if ever), the cost in $ and learning can outweigh comparable effort in getting help. At that time of several razors, You would also only then need higher stones for touch ups. Lower grit stones for 'starting over' for items needing this overhaul or if you take up restoration as a hobby.
Definitely No need for several razors. Many have several and rotate, many may have just one razor. Learning the nuances of many different razors while starting out could cause some excessive bleeding! I have read previously of a rest day for a razor being beneficial to the edge but I have also read others say they use the same razor day after day. 2 is good in my opinion if you are happy to spend the money. See comments below
Each time prep, stropping the razor prior to shave and cleaning the razor post shave. Soap, oils and water used during the shave can degrade the razors metal. Application of a preserving oil may help with tarnishing and stains depending on your local climate and where your kit is stored.
Good straights range from vintage razors to customs with exotic timbers and steel. This is a very subjective topic to explore but for a beginner, look at what you're happy spending and you will have lots of options. I can only suggest to start with something simple such as a 5/8, round point (helps with nicks). As I am sure you know with your DE's, you will find a favorite after trying many different razors. Look for something that you know comes shave ready from a trusted source.
The sizes refer to the depth of the blade in inches. This affects weight and the 'feel' of getting access to the curves of your face or under your nose. The larger may be heavier and in my opinion requires a little more practice. Some prefer big chunky razors.
Strops don't need a wall anchor. They just need a firm, static fixing point. You wouldn't want the fixing to move only to destroy your strop or injure yourself. I myself often use a staircase balustrade, a doorknob in a hotel and even the wooden frame of an outdoor piece of furniture. As long as it's stable.

As another member suggested and I can only agree with, a second razor helps in that while your learn your stropping and technique, a second (shave ready) razor kept as a control lets you go back (even during shaves) to the feel of a shave ready razor that you have not messed with.

Good luck
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Holy moly! Is there some way to pin this incredibly informative post so that it permanently sits atop this section? This is an absolute must read post for anyone getting into straights and an invaluable refresher for those a little along in this journey.

Many thanks, Caleb31!
Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes...
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The only thing I can add to this is that at an earlier point, Caleb31 posted a website that I found valuable in not only de-mystifying a lot of the edge physics, but which also sets forth an incredibly cheap and effective method of setting and maintaining an edge that has worked great for me:

Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes...
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thank you everyone for your knowledge and suggestions! i've been watching the videos and trying to learn. 2 questions...

am i better served buying vintage/rehoned or new?
if i buy new, who hones better - maggards or srd? or someplace else?

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(08-31-2016, 05:23 PM)nachum Wrote: thank you everyone for your knowledge and suggestions!  i've been watching the videos and trying to learn.  2 questions...

am i better served buying vintage/rehoned or new?
if i buy new, who hones better - maggards or srd?  or someplace else?

I'm bitter, so take this with a grain of salt...

I would not give a dime of my money to SRD. The reason is that they, as a forum and as a vendor, are among the most arrogant, condescending, and insulting group of individuals I have ever had the displeasure to speak with.

They offer decent razors. Ralf Aust is a well-known and respected manufacturer, and I will not take away from the quality of work put out by that manufacturer. But I would go WAY out of my way to buy it from someone or somewhere else.

Honing...do your research and you will find people that hone as well or better than anyone on SRD. For my money, I would rather find someone with skill elsewhere than pay for the arrogance you get from SRD and their "honemeisters". Our own honers here are easily as good as any there(excluding myself as I am still learning).

You can get an excellently shave-ready Gold Dollar from Anthony Esposito for about $25. You can get a nice shave-ready ZY from Strike Gold Shave at etsy for less than $30. You can get reasonably restored vintage blades for a wide variety of prices from a wide variety of places. I have a couple ready that shave beautifully for reasonable prices if you are interested that way.

Brad at Maggard's seems to have a good reputation for honing. I have never used his services, but I watch his tutorials on YouTube, and he has a solid reputation.

Bear in mind that I KNOW I am bitter over SRD, so don;t take everything I say to heart. Do your own research. This is just my personal opinion...
-Chris~Head Shaver~
(This post was last modified: 08-31-2016, 06:31 PM by nachum.)
BadDad - you've got me in a quandary now. I just got off the phone with someone at SRD, and he was very helpful and patient!

What straights do you have that are shave ready that you might want to let go of?

Have you tried a Zy from SGS? What is a Zy razor?

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