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#31

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(This post was last modified: 08-31-2016, 06:44 PM by BadDad.)
(08-31-2016, 06:24 PM)nachum Wrote: 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?

I am bitter over SRD, so if you have a good feeling and a good experience, please do not let my bad attitude interfere with your business transactions...we all have to make those choices for ourselves...

As regards what I currently have available, I have a posting listed in the BST forum currently for 2 VERY nice razors, that were honed by someone else. I also have a third that has not been listed yet that would be much cheaper than the 2 I currently have listed. The third is also honed by someone else, with an edge that is much better than what I am currently getting on my own.

I don't have access to pictures right now, nor do I remember the name of the 3rd ready-to-go razor, but it would be $40, shipped. Half of the other current listing's prices. I can get more specifics after work this evening if you are interested...

I've never used a ZY razor, but I have heard good things about SGS and ZY...
-Chris~Head Shaver~
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#32
do i need to know how to hone to use a straight?

No, but if you like SR shaving, you probably will end up learning anyway. Different folks hone different ways. I like my way, and haven't found another person's edges that work the way I want.

do i need to buy stones, etc?

No, stones are for honing specifically. You only need a strop for daily prep and some edge re-alignment.

what exactly is the prep involved each time?

Get your razor warm either in your hand or by friction with some extra stropping. Use your strop, about 50-60 laps on leather is sufficient. Some people like the linen or cotton component beforehand, but I don't find a significant difference as long as the razor is cleaned and dried well after use.

what are good straights to buy?

Loaded question, because there are so many elements to a SR.

-If you like "aggressive" shaves, look for full or extra hollow ground razors. If you like more mild razors, look at wedge, quarter or half hollow razors.
-If you like a heavy razor in your hand, go for a larger blade like 6/8, 7/8 or even 8/8 if you're feeling gutsy (but be mindful of the distance from your nostril to lip, too big and you can't shave your moustache well...)
-If you have a lot of contour on your face (cheeks, jawline, etc) get a "smiling" blade which curves a bit
-For a beginner, don't get a spike or square point razor, look for something that looks very rounded or muted at the tip. This is what causes most cuts during your first few shaves.

Bottom line is that your best value will be in vintage purchases, but the best ones I've found are modern steels from one of a very few razor makers. Unfortunately they cost rather significantly more.

For a vintage razor, brand matters a bit less than for modern since the skill levels, steel treatment techniques and such were a lot more even across different makers. Today there are a lot of enthusiasts who make razors, and not many really do it super well.

My advice is to find a collector, and pick up something that meets your criteria from above.

what do the sizes mean i.e. 5/8, 6/8?

It's the measurement in inches of the distance between the spine of the razor to the edge. Some markets use millimeters, some will use "sizes" of 12 (5/8ish), 13 (13/16ish), 14 (8/8ish.)

do i need to anchor a strop to the wall?

I have mine on a bannister. It just needs to be anchored, somewhere around belly height or so.

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

As a user, it's simpler than you think. If you hone, restore or collect, it gets really complicated with steel types, sizings, hone wear, etc.
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#33
(08-31-2016, 06:43 PM)BadDad Wrote: I am bitter over SRD, so if you have a good feeling and a good experience, please do not let my bad attitude interfere with your business transactions...we all have to make those choices for ourselves...

Going to add two cents and say that I have had a severely awful experience with SRD in terms of straight razors and don't recommend them for anything in the realm of straight razors at all as a result. Their quality control and customer service were extremely poor in my dealings with them.

Additionally, don't get Zy, Gold Dollar or SGS razor. Do the math. A razor takes many, many hours to bring through rough grinding, heat treatment, fine grinding, polishing, scale work and honing. If you're spending $40 for 8 hours of somebody's time, there are going to be problems. Not on every razor, but on a lot of them.
#34
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2016, 07:22 PM by nachum.)
again, thank you every one for your wisdom!  a few more questions...
i've noticed in videos that people switch hands depending on which side of the face they're shaving.  is this necessary?  i'm right handed and can't imagine shaving with my left.
it's also been suggested to put oil on the blade after each use.  is this recommended/necessary?
2" or 3" strop?
paddle strop or strap?
#35

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2016, 07:59 PM by BadDad.)
(09-01-2016, 07:19 PM)nachum Wrote: again, thank you every one for your wisdom!  a few more questions...
i've noticed in videos that people switch hands depending on which side of the face they're shaving.  is this necessary?  i'm right handed and can't imagine shaving with my left.
it's also been suggested to put oil on the blade after each use.  is this recommended/necessary?
2" or 3" strop?
paddle strop or strap?

I can't shave with my left. It means I have to contort my hand and arm at sometimes awkward angles, but I've grown used to it. Also, I shave my head, which may make a difference...

I don't oil after every use, but I oil about weekly. This is mainly because I have an average relative humidity of about 3% where I live. Moisture isn't a huge concern for me. I do dry my razors off, including between the scales, and strop about 25-30 laps after my shave, to ensure that the edge is bone dry. If it is humid or moist where you live, it's a good idea. It prevents moisture buildup which will deteriorate your edge quickly, and soon enough can cause rusting and pitting of the blade.

3" strop will allow you make your strokes without having to do X-strokes, which can be easier. 2" strop is almost always narrow enough to avoid any curving or folding of the leather over time. Even the best 3" strop can curve, making it more difficult to get an even stroke, and requiring you to use X-strokes anyhow. If you go 3", make sure you get a high-quality one.

Paddles strops can be easier for beginners. It eliminates a lot of the guesswork as far as tension goes. You can focus on just proper strokes, and not worry about sag. I have, and use, both. I use my paddle strop during honing sessions, and the hanging strop in preparation for the shave...
-Chris~Head Shaver~
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#36
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2016, 08:19 PM by explodyii.)
again, thank you every one for your wisdom!  a few more questions...
i've noticed in videos that people switch hands depending on which side of the face they're shaving.  is this necessary?  i'm right handed and can't imagine shaving with my left.


Necessary? No, and Japanese kamisori are designed for this style of shaving. Is it better? Pretty much every single straight razor user I've talked with eventually uses both hands. I can only speculate why that is, but for me it is significantly easier to use my left than try and shave the left side of my face with my right hand.

it's also been suggested to put oil on the blade after each use.  is this recommended/necessary?

No, it is not necessary if you use your blade daily, so long as you are not in a humid climate. I recommend people dry their blade with a fresh tissue or TP thoroughly, and then strop about 10 times to clear moisture from the blade's edge to avoid trying to do that with your fingers.

2" or 3" strop?

Most prefer 3" since it doesn't require as much finesse to get the full blade's edge touched up. My personal preference is the 2"-2.5" since I use smiling blades, which need some X-strokes (scything, spine first) in order to actually get full contact on the edge. Smaller strops are easier to do that with.

paddle strop or strap?

For beginners, a paddle strop (the SRD one is actually very good.) Fewer variables is better when starting out, and adding pressure to the equation might not be helpful.
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#37
Regarding hand switching, as stated above, it is not necessary.

However, it is my experience that problematic areas (like neck and chin, for example) can benefit greatly from a number of different, indeed creative, blade approaches that are maximized if you are able to shave using both hands. Your non-dominant hand absolutely can be trained, believe me. I know from guitar playing that it is a matter of repetition in order to activate dormant nerve pathways from your non-dominant hand to your brain. As I understand it, this occurs mostly while you sleep after repetitive attempts to use the non-dominant hand/fingers in a way not previously demanded of it--this is an example of your body adapting to its environment. When I started wth DEs, I made it a point to use my non-dominant hand from the get-go as I knew I could train it based on my experience with guitars. So, when it came to for me to transition to straights, it was a non-issue. This in turn has allowed me to attack my chin and neck areas in quite a variety of ways to get consistently smooth shaves day in and day out.

This is something that you are going to have to decide, ultimately.
Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes...
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#38
Funny, I've never been able to use my left (non-dominant) hand with a safety razor, but I can with a straight. I don't often feel the need to, but it does come in handy (so to speak).
--
Viseguy
[+] 3 users like this post
#39
(This post was last modified: 09-30-2016, 02:28 AM by caleb31.)
mastro livi school.part 11.pre shave and post shave care of the face.mounting a lather .

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#40

Member
Southern Ohio
Here are a couple of my thoughts - I have only been using a straight razor for a couple of months so take it with a grain of salt.

I bought a Gold dollar and a cheap strop (around $10) to learn techniques for stropping - glad I did because I ended up slicing the strop. My intention was to use the Gold Dollar to also practice honing when I start that but I have never shaved with this razor yet. I ended up getting a Tony Miller Strop but there several others that are cheaper if you want to start out.

I have only bought one modern straight so far - a Dovo from SRD and really like the razor - I have personally had nothing but a great experience with SRD.

I also have bought a number of vintage razors from members here and on another site. I tend to like the 6/8 razors because as a few mentioned here - it is hard to shave under your nose with the huge razors - again this is my personal experience - others may find those work for them. One of my favorites right now is a vintage Marshall-Wells Hardware Co. straight razor that I got restored and honed for $37 so you don't need to drop a bundle for a great shave. There are a LOT of great vintage razors out there that you can buy shave ready - just look out for them and be patient and you can pick up something reasonably priced.

You don't need to learn to hone right off the bat. The others talked about the strop and chromium oxide or diamond spray on a cloth strop - great advice and this will get you moving in the right direction. In fact if you don't want to hone for awhile - just find someone that can do it and it will cost very little.

Shaving with non-dominate hand - I didn't think I could however I am now shaving the left side of my face with my left hand - it seems to be working for me. Try it - you may be surprised.

Just my thoughts....


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