Cut-throat shaving

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FJJ
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby FJJ » Tue Oct 23, 2012 09:47 am

The secret is exerting no pressure (just the weight of the razor) and stretching the skin slightly helps avoid nicks too (stops the razor 'skipping' up and down and also gives a closer shave).

(Straight Razor and DE shaver)

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Fireblade96
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby Fireblade96 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:11 am

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Fireblade96 wrote:OK, I've joined the club with an Edwin Jagger DE89L.
So for so good, only a couple of nicks out of my neck...!


A very fine choice, Sir. You'll find that the nicks on your neck will stop when you get a little more skilled.


Why thank you :-)
My skills are clearly improving already, I look much less like a vampire victim thankfully - it's been many years since I had to repair shaving cuts !

What were those little sticks of stuff people used to use for that ? I remember my Dad having one - looked like lipsalve.
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UndercoverElephant
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby UndercoverElephant » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:26 am

That would be alum. Stings like hell when you put it on, but works well.

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EKE_38BPM
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby EKE_38BPM » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:48 am

I gave my cut throat razor an outing the other day and it just wasn't sharp enough, despite my best efforts to sharpen it beforehand.

Any advice to get a good edge on it?
FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

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alfablue
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby alfablue » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:34 pm

Fireblade96 wrote:What were those little sticks of stuff people used to use for that ? I remember my Dad having one - looked like lipsalve.
Yes, alum. I got this block
Image
very good, and / or you can get styptic pencils
Image

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Fireblade96
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby Fireblade96 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:38 pm

Styptic pencils ! That's what I was thinking of... thanks !

Gotta be better than having bits of toilet roll stuck to my chin.
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alfablue
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby alfablue » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:56 pm

I use both, a quick rub over (!) with the alum block after the shave, and the styptic for if any leaking persists (useful if it recurs when I get to work! That said, since switching to DE shaving, nicks are fewer).

mostly harmless
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby mostly harmless » Tue Oct 23, 2012 19:55 pm

Just a quick question, what do people do with their used double edge blades?

Sharps bin? Recycling? General rubbish? The internet has many ideas but no consensus.

Cheers

Dave

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walkingbootweather
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby walkingbootweather » Tue Oct 23, 2012 20:11 pm

Take a look at the box the new blades came in. You should find a slot that takes the old blades. Once you have used the new blades and filled with the old simply dispose off with regular waste.
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FJJ
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby FJJ » Tue Oct 23, 2012 22:35 pm

EKE_38BPM wrote:I gave my cut throat razor an outing the other day and it just wasn't sharp enough, despite my best efforts to sharpen it beforehand.

Any advice to get a good edge on it?


How did you try to sharpen it? For general 'touch ups' a strop with a diamond paste (you need a spare strop for it!!) or fine abrasives such as CrOx or FeOx will do the trick - I use a balsa strop with CrOx one side and FeOx the other.

For when the pasted strop won't bring it back it needs honed - that needs a bit of skill... I use a Belgian Coticule hone and often use 0.3 micron fibre optic 'lapping film' to finish if I'm looking for a very sharp edge.

It doesn't take too long to touch up a dull edge, but if the bevel is damaged due to dinging on the sink or bad stropping etc. it can take a while to reset the bevel and bring it back to shave ready keenness.

Underscore
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby Underscore » Wed Oct 24, 2012 07:31 am

walkingbootweather wrote:Take a look at the box the new blades came in. You should find a slot that takes the old blades. Once you have used the new blades and filled with the old simply dispose off with regular waste.


I would love to recycle but, being unsure of how to do so, this is what I do currently. Unfortunately, the blades that I'm using at the moment come in cardboard boxes but I've got a couple of the plastic dispensers and I'm only just approaching the point where I've filled one after nearly 12 months of DE shaving and a new blade every week...

_

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EKE_38BPM
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby EKE_38BPM » Wed Oct 24, 2012 07:53 am

FJJ wrote:
EKE_38BPM wrote:I gave my cut throat razor an outing the other day and it just wasn't sharp enough, despite my best efforts to sharpen it beforehand.

Any advice to get a good edge on it?


How did you try to sharpen it? For general 'touch ups' a strop with a diamond paste (you need a spare strop for it!!) or fine abrasives such as CrOx or FeOx will do the trick - I use a balsa strop with CrOx one side and FeOx the other.

For when the pasted strop won't bring it back it needs honed - that needs a bit of skill... I use a Belgian Coticule hone and often use 0.3 micron fibre optic 'lapping film' to finish if I'm looking for a very sharp edge.

It doesn't take too long to touch up a dull edge, but if the bevel is damaged due to dinging on the sink or bad stropping etc. it can take a while to reset the bevel and bring it back to shave ready keenness.


Thanks for that.
The edge was knackered from my previous inept attempts at sharpening, so I had to hone it rather than just stropping it.
I have been using a whetstone that was previously used to sharpen chisels and planes. I'm not sure what grit it is, but one side is much coarser than the other and I've been using the finer side with some oil for lubrication.
After watching some videos on Youtube, I gave the whetstone a good clean to remove any invisible swarf and then changed from oil to water for lubrication. Using improved techniques learnt from the video, I honed it to a much better edge, used newspaper to remove the very fine visible swarf and then stropped it using a leather belt (this really is ghetto sharpening).

I then went into the bathroom to give it a go and the edge was better. I could now shave whereas before it wasn't, but just as I was thinking "Better, but not quite there", I took a slice out of my face. That was the cue for me to try again with the whetstone. I spent about 20 minutes carefully honing, then another 10 with the newspaper and finally another 5 with the strop and tried again.

Much better. Some tiny nicks from poor shaving technique, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel. As I get more into it I'll buy better equipment, but for now I'm satisfied with these early results.
FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!

FJJ
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby FJJ » Wed Oct 24, 2012 13:07 pm

Whetstones can be a bit of an unknown quantity if you don't know the grit... Generally you are looking at around 1K for bevel setting then 4Kish to smooth it off then finishing on around 8K as a minimum. The cheapest way to do it well is lapping films (couple of quid a sheet) on a piece of glass or marble to ensure perfect flatness - it's called 'scary sharpening'!

flimflam_machine
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby flimflam_machine » Thu Oct 25, 2012 09:18 am

FJJ wrote:Whetstones can be a bit of an unknown quantity if you don't know the grit... Generally you are looking at around 1K for bevel setting then 4Kish to smooth it off then finishing on around 8K as a minimum. The cheapest way to do it well is lapping films (couple of quid a sheet) on a piece of glass or marble to ensure perfect flatness - it's called 'scary sharpening'!


I use wet and dry paper on a piece of scrap, toughened glass to put an edge on chisels and plane irons. It works brilliantly, and I only go down to about 2000 grit. It's a bit trickier on knives, and I've not tried it on a razor, but as a sharpening technique it's very good.I'd highly recommend it

I tried shaving with a double-edged razor last night (admittedly a cheap one). I have to say that my first impression is that, for me at least, it's a pointless bit of regression. It felt horribly aggressive and extremely difficult to work round my jawline and chin. My wife commented that it didn't seem very smooth either.

I like the idea and the potential savings and I think DE razors can be lovely things, but the pivot-head, cartridge blade does seem like a genuinely useful bit of innovation. Articles like this strike me as needlessly sensationalising a barely-existant problem. I was pretty happy with my shave before so this really was just for curiosity, but I can't see myself investing in a Merkur or Edwin Jagger any time soon.

alfablue
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby alfablue » Thu Oct 25, 2012 09:53 am

Flim Flam, I would say each to their own, but there are a few points I would make.

That article uses the word "curse" which I think is a bit strong, but they are making a fair point that the swivel head has meant we have lost (or never gained) the skill to handle a DE rasor. For me the real curse is that an 8 Pack of Gillette Fusion Blades can cost something between £14 and £20 - up to £2.50 per shave on the blades alone!

I tried DE shaving just a month ago, and from the outset it was better than the swivel rasor, and one month on, I now have a far superior result, better than I have ever had in my whole (now quite long!) life. I now think that the multiblade swivel rasor "race" is an unnecessary marketing ploy (from the consumer's point of view, anyway) and is in itself, an unnecessary progression. Why do we need multiple blades? Perhaps because the whole design of these rasors is inadequate.

I didn't start with a very cheap rasor (that may have contributed to your experience), I bought a still fairly modestly priced Parker 99R for £21 (cheap when compared to the fusion blades). I got 10 Wilkinson blades for £2, a Wilkinson synthetic brush for £4, and Palmolive soap for 49p. So all in all it was an experiment costing less than 1 month supply of fusion blades. I chose the 99R because it is a "butterfly" rasor, so blades are easier to insert safely, and it was fairly long (the short handled ones looked fiddley, but I am prepared to experiment now).

I did read that article first and it taught me to be prepared to move my wrist to the right angles, and I was also aware that I should let the weight of the rasor do the work - very different from the light weight heads of the Fusion.

It went so well that I invested in a Muhle synthetic brush (£22), and bought some (excellent) handmade soap from here for £3.

I am trying out different blades and I will probably be buying 100 Astra Superior blades for £9.90 - that will be in excess of a year's supply.

The savings are great, but the experience is even better, the shave is no longer something I resent. I would suggest you try again with maybe a slightly better rasor (I am assuming it was a very cheap one you used). It could be that the cheap rasor didn't have an ideal blade presentation, and maybe it was lightweight which would make it trickier.

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UndercoverElephant
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby UndercoverElephant » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:50 am

flimflam_machine wrote:I tried shaving with a double-edged razor last night (admittedly a cheap one).


More info required here, what razor? Please tell me it wasn't made out of plastic.

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walkingbootweather
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby walkingbootweather » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:58 am

Razors aren't quite like bikes. It isn't necessarily a great thing to have a lightweight razor so a heavish metal might be preferable to carbon, titanium or (god-forbid) plastic.

I've only been using a safety razor myself for a couple of weeks, prompted by this thread. It does take a little while to develop a good technique and I'm still 'learning my face', but I wished I'd switched sooner.
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CiB
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby CiB » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:22 pm

R4 just carried a report on You & Yours (from about 45 minutes in) with an MP who's tabled an EDM criticising the ludicrous price of razor blades these days and mentioning in that EDM the same factor that had me starting this thread - namely £22 for 8 blades. Not much new was in it (that's Y&Y for you) but good to see men's problems getting an airing. :)

Gillette refused to appear but sent a wordy statement; a spokesman from a shaving association that pushes for the sort of shaves that's being discussed on here was good. He uses some Norwegian razor apparently. It'll be on the iPlayer, soon, if you're keen enough.

After a few weeks of shaving with an open blade I can report that cuts & nicks are markedly down but when they do occur they tend to be quite nasty - concentration is all. And chucking away the soap that that I started with and using a Palmolive stick instead (all of 50p) has made enough difference to be worth doing. 50 pence upgrades eh? Whou'da thunk it? So far so good though, and the end result is way better than the multi-blade scrape.

flimflam_machine
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby flimflam_machine » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:24 pm

alfablue wrote:Flim Flam, I would say each to their own..


Agreed (I hope that was implied by my post). As I said I didn't have a problem with shaving before (after settling on some decent cream and deciding that brush was probably unecessary) so any gains would probably be marginal. Others may benefit more, YMMV and all that...

That article uses the word "curse" which I think is a bit strong, but they are making a fair point that the swivel head has meant we have lost (or never gained) the skill to handle a DE rasor.


No doubt, I just can't help thinking that part of the pleasure of using a DE razor is the knowledge that you've mastered a tricky skill that has been rendered justifiably obsolete by genuine technical innovations. A bit like learning wo write with a quill pen. I shave fairly infrequently so cost isn't a great problem for me. If it was more of an issue the balance of my opinion would probably change.

I now think that the multiblade swivel rasor "race" is an unnecessary marketing ploy (from the consumer's point of view, anyway) and is in itself, an unnecessary progression. Why do we need multiple blades? Perhaps because the whole design of these rasors is inadequate.


I totally agree that the development of ever more bladed razors is marketing twaddle. I think the really worthwhile change is the pivoting head. The multi-bladed thing is presumably to get several passes in a single stroke, rather than having to relather and do it all again.

I would suggest you try again with maybe a slightly better rasor (I am assuming it was a very cheap one you used). It could be that the cheap rasor didn't have an ideal blade presentation, and maybe it was lightweight which would make it trickier.


It was just a Boots one, which has a plastic handle but a surprisingly heavy chromed (or possibly stainless) head. I suspect the blades that came with it weren't much cop which could greatly diminish the experience. I will give it another try, possibly with a different blade. However, I can't see how a different razor would reduce the need to maintain the blade angle when shaving nor the tricky job of manipulating a DE razor around my jawline and chin, which is my main objection.

P.S., My one shaving tip is to try massage base oil (sweet almond oil) on your face before lathering up. It makes things very smooth!

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EKE_38BPM
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Re: Cut-throat shaving

Postby EKE_38BPM » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:57 pm

EKE_38BPM wrote:...stropped it using a leather belt...

One tiny slip and now I need a new belt.

On the plus side, getting much sharper. Sharp enough to slice through two millimetres of leather in a single, light stroke. Oops.
FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!


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