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Thread: 4th shave! Things are looking up.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    Post 4th shave! Things are looking up.

    Whelp. It seems my stropping seems to be getting better/and/or shave prep/technique.

    Also, I shaved with 2 days growth instead of my last shave with 3 days growth(this always seems to go better for me anyhow).

    So, I showered,

    -Massaged shave oil into my beard.
    -Started to make my lather(I'm getting much better at this, but just when you think enough is enough. It's not)
    -Applied lather.
    -Began WTG stopping every few strokes to alternate between wetting the blade and wiping the the blade on a wet sponge in a strop direction so as not to dull...
    -Reapplied lather when necessary.
    -Wet whole face, apply lather and begin the XTG pass(I found myself with the razor in my left hand without even thinking about it this time. Previously, I hadn't been able to use my left at all. It just happened without even thinking about it)
    -re-apply lather, taking turns wetting and wiping blade.
    -Wet face, applied shave oil again, then applied lather and begun the precarious ATG pass. It went remarkably well for the most part. A couple minor weepers due to incorrect pressure on my part. Styptic pencil to the rescue.
    -went round with the cartridge looking for missed to touch up...found little.
    -Touched up the lowest part of the neck line with a dry pass with the straight.
    -washed face and applied Thayer's supermedicated witch hazel with aloe and let dry.

    All in all, a pleasant shave. I know I'm pushing it with the ATG, as I get a little skin irritation at this point, but its getting there. At least this shave(2 day growth) the razor wasn't pulling and stopping at places. I don't know whether it was the addition of the shave oil, strop technique improving(which it is), general shaving technique getting better or what, but I'm pleased.

    I wish I had a brand new RTS razor at the ready to compare sharpness.

    A side note- I find myself holding the razor like one of those Japanese-style feather razors in many areas. Poor form, maybe, but works for me.

    2nd note- Wetting the blade helps a bit, in my mind at least, but the problem there is if you are holding the blade at a certain angle the water will drip down(with slippy lather) onto you fingers where you are holding the blade(and also into pin area where the scales and blade are ajoined.

    3rd note- Adding a few drops of glycerin to the soap puck before working the brush seemed to make a difference to my lather making endeavor. I stopped using a separate cup for lather and just used my cup with the soap puck at the bottow for my lather bowl. Does that really matter? I'm going with no.

    4th note- Underneath the nose is a nerve racking experience. So far though, I'm managed to do a better job than with my cartridge. I keep telling myself, I'll just leave that bit for my cartridge razor, but never do. I always end up fighting through the apprehension with concentration, will-power, a slightly firmer grip and accute awareness of my angle and pressure.

    I don't know if I'll ever be shaving like on some of the video's(geofatboy comes to mind), but this was a reasonably comfortable pleasant shave for a 4th shave.

    I hope this post here and resulting comments provide some help, inspiration, and challenges to any beginner like myself that reads them. As always, tips, comments and feedback are welcome and may your lather remain white!
    Last edited by Siguy; 09-11-2013 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Ignorantly using the term "safety razor" instead of cartridge razor

  2. #2
    Senior Member Headcrowny's Avatar
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    We're at the same stage, experience wise. I'm going to be trying the cold water approach that some here advocate. Nothing ventured ...
    I agree, geofatboy makes it look like falling off a log. That's very not me at this stage. I'm lucky with the under-nose since at the moment I'm sporting a full goatee. But that'll eventually come off and then we'll see.
    I like to visualize the shaver as a very wide chisel. That way I keep my mind in "move it orthogonal to the blade edge" groove and hopefully quell any slicing motions before they occur.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Razorthin's Avatar
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    You are doing well considering this is only your forth shave. A couple of suggestions: Leave ATG for later, much later. I know it took me about 3 months of SR shaving on a daily basis to venture into ATG territory. It all has to do with developing muscle memory and that only comes with time. Regarding shaving under the nose, my second suggestion is to do a search for "coup de maitre". You will find a video or two explaining the technique. It may look frightening but is surprisingly easy to learn. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    Default coup de maitre

    Quote Originally Posted by Razorthin View Post
    "coup de maitre"!
    Is this the technique? Rasiermesser Rasur - YouTube


    If so, this is what I'm doing under the nose. Albeit, not so torturously slow as in the vid

    Amazing vid. I think his razor must be waaay sharper than mine. Look at the way he wipes out that goatee!

  • #5
    Senior Member Razorthin's Avatar
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    Yes. That is the idea. I usually do a XTG (lateral) pass under the nose as well. I am reluctant to try the XTG under nose (aka "The Fools Pass") as I feel it is unnecessary.

    BTW, I am not exactly sure why was the dude on this video in such a rush. I hope he got some transfusions after that shave.

  • #6
    Senior Member Siguy's Avatar
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    I've been doing the fools pass as well. The stubble is pretty thick and persistent there.

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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siguy View Post
    Is this the technique? Rasiermesser Rasur - YouTube


    If so, this is what I'm doing under the nose. Albeit, not so torturously slow as in the vid

    Amazing vid. I think his razor must be waaay sharper than mine. Look at the way he wipes out that goatee!
    That's a great vid!

    His name is Willi and he is / used to be a member here.

    I saw the video under the title, "The Manliest Shave Ever", and I thought he was going to shave with that big knife hanging on the wall!

  • #8
    (John Ayers in SRP Facebook Group) CaliforniaCajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siguy View Post
    Whelp. It seems my stropping seems to be getting better/and/or shave prep/technique.

    Also, I shaved with 2 days growth instead of my last shave with 3 days growth(this always seems to go better for me anyhow).

    So, I showered,

    -Massaged shave oil into my beard.
    -Started to make my lather(I'm getting much better at this, but just when you think enough is enough. It's not)
    -Applied lather.
    -Began WTG stopping every few strokes to alternate between wetting the blade and wiping the the blade on a wet sponge in a strop direction so as not to dull...
    -Reapplied lather when necessary.
    -Wet whole face, apply lather and begin the XTG pass(I found myself with the razor in my left hand without even thinking about it this time. Previously, I hadn't been able to use my left at all. It just happened without even thinking about it)
    -re-apply lather, taking turns wetting and wiping blade.
    -Wet face, applied shave oil again, then applied lather and begun the precarious ATG pass. It went remarkably well for the most part. A couple minor weepers due to incorrect pressure on my part. Styptic pencil to the rescue.
    -went round with the cartridge looking for missed to touch up...found little.
    -Touched up the lowest part of the neck line with a dry pass with the straight.
    -washed face and applied Thayer's supermedicated witch hazel with aloe and let dry.

    All in all, a pleasant shave. I know I'm pushing it with the ATG, as I get a little skin irritation at this point, but its getting there. At least this shave(2 day growth) the razor wasn't pulling and stopping at places. I don't know whether it was the addition of the shave oil, strop technique improving(which it is), general shaving technique getting better or what, but I'm pleased.

    I wish I had a brand new RTS razor at the ready to compare sharpness.

    A side note- I find myself holding the razor like one of those Japanese-style feather razors in many areas. Poor form, maybe, but works for me.

    2nd note- Wetting the blade helps a bit, in my mind at least, but the problem there is if you are holding the blade at a certain angle the water will drip down(with slippy lather) onto you fingers where you are holding the blade(and also into pin area where the scales and blade are ajoined.

    3rd note- Adding a few drops of glycerin to the soap puck before working the brush seemed to make a difference to my lather making endeavor. I stopped using a separate cup for lather and just used my cup with the soap puck at the bottow for my lather bowl. Does that really matter? I'm going with no.

    4th note- Underneath the nose is a nerve racking experience. So far though, I'm managed to do a better job than with my cartridge. I keep telling myself, I'll just leave that bit for my cartridge razor, but never do. I always end up fighting through the apprehension with concentration, will-power, a slightly firmer grip and accute awareness of my angle and pressure.

    I don't know if I'll ever be shaving like on some of the video's(geofatboy comes to mind), but this was a reasonably comfortable pleasant shave for a 4th shave.

    I hope this post here and resulting comments provide some help, inspiration, and challenges to any beginner like myself that reads them. As always, tips, comments and feedback are welcome and may your lather remain white!
    It sounds to me like you're doing very well. You are going to develop a touch with your razor with regards to the amount of pressure against your face, and your face will feel great. Some of the other awkwardness while doing stropping, lathering, and other things will go away and shaving will become a pleasure for you.

    The cartridges and canned shaving cream/gel made for a miserable shaving experience, so I was more than ready to find a better way to shave, and I found it with first DE razors, then straights.

    Straight razor shaver and loving it!
    40-year survivor of electric and multiblade razors

  • #9
    (John Ayers in SRP Facebook Group) CaliforniaCajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siguy View Post
    Is this the technique? Rasiermesser Rasur - YouTube


    If so, this is what I'm doing under the nose. Albeit, not so torturously slow as in the vid

    Amazing vid. I think his razor must be waaay sharper than mine. Look at the way he wipes out that goatee!
    I think that guy shaves with ants in his pants. I'm never going to try and show off like he does. But it is entertaining.

    BTW, if you are having trouble lathering with the soaps you have, PM me and I'll send you some stuff that don't require your adding glycerin.

    Straight razor shaver and loving it!
    40-year survivor of electric and multiblade razors

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