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Thread: A few first-time questions...

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    Default A few first-time questions...

    Hello gentlemen!
    I'm aware of the introduction thread, but nonetheless, this is my first post and it's only polite to introduce myself :]
    My name is Haim. I've been reading the articles and forum threads in this site for about 2 months now, and I finally decided to join this fine community (after cracking the "no-spam" question…). I'm as new as one can get with SR shaving. Yesterday was my first shave, and it was everything I imagined it to be and more… I'll try not to over-share my experience because I'm sure everyone here is experienced with this form of art, but let me tell you – it was amazing! Beyond the fear of holding this extremely sharp blade to my own face, it was somehow both exciting and soothing at the same time… I usually hate shaving – mainly because I get apparent whiskers 9 hours after shaving, but somehow – even though my shave was far from perfect and I can still feel these micro-whiskers on my face, and even though I shaved 13 hours ago, it looks like I just shaved… I'm definitely looking forward to my next shave…

    And as expected - I have a few questions from my last-night session:
    1. Stropping: I do it very slowly now to keep the edge from curving, but I wonder – while keeping the main pressure on the spine, I sometimes stop hearing the edge running on the strop (the high-pitched "whoosh"). Is that good? Bad? Should there be a sweat-spot for pressure on the edge?
    2. Storing the razor: Assuming that the longest time the razor sits without use is 2 days – should I start troubling myself with oils? (Needless to say that I dry it well before putting it away).
    3. Honing: I know I shouldn't worry about that for quite a while, but with my starter-technique of stropping and shaving, I believe that I'll need honing sooner than usual. Now, my current razor is a Gold Dollar. Yes, I know it's not perfect. I wish I knew it when I looked for a razor. But now I figure it's not necessarily bad: This razor will be my practice razor and when I'll feel ready enough, I'll get a proper razor without fear of destroying it. So I figure my first honing need will only be with my next razor. But still, mainly out of curiosity, I wonder if any of you know of a hone-meister in Israel…? Alternatively, of a hone-meister anywhere else around the world (preferably in Europe or USA – Faster shipping) who is recommended and willing to receive (and send) razors from (and to) abroad?

    That's it for now :]. I'll probably have many more questions as I go forward.
    And sorry for the long post….

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    Sum Dum Gai ShavingSnob's Avatar
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    Hello Haim and welcome to SRP!

    Like you, I lurked around for a (long) while before joining. However, once I joined, I quickly began making some solid connections with some of the longtime members. I think you'll find your membership here a rewarding one.

    On to your questions.
    1) Be careful of using any pressure while stropping. Simply use the weight of the blade itself. Don't worry about speed as it will come on its own in due time. Instead, focus on maintaining contact with the stropp. More than likely you are losing contact by what you are describing. Remember, when stropping, you are "polishing" the edge of the blade.

    2) It depends on the razor and your environment. I'm not familiar with the typical steel composition of a Gold Dollar, however razors are most normally produced from knife making steels. If the steel is alloyed with Cr, Mo, Ni, or V it will be less likely to corrode. I have a hand full of razors from reputable manufactures, some show a higher propensity to corrode than others in the same environment. If your environment is a region of high humidity with large temperature swings over a 24 hour period, I would advise lightly oiling the blade between shaves. Otherwise, you could simply take a responsive approach and oil only if you detect corrosion beginning to occur. After all, you started this endeavor well by selecting an inexpensive razor that you might accidentally mistreat a bit as you travel along your learning curve.

    3) Sorry, I can't be of any help here. However, I do know of a wonderfully talented razor restoration craftsman located in Israel. Check out his website: strazors.com.

    Best of luck! And, continue to ask questions, as someone will certainly come along who can answer them.

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    Senior Member Walterbowens's Avatar
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    Hi Haim, and welcome to the SRP forum. +1 on the above post on stropping, as for oiling you could use one of the treated gun cleaning cloths since it would protect your razor and you would not have to clean it before every use.
    We have no control of what other people do or say to us, but we have control to how we REACT !! GOD BLESS

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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Welcome, Haim! You seem to be on a proper track. Take your time and read here. In Israel, we have Manah. Give him a PM and he might be able to give you some hands-on and introduce you to some better razors!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Welcome. I find that the tension I hold the strop taught with has a direct effect on the pressure I use while stropping. I try to keep the strop just tight enough that is doesn't sag but not so tight that I put pressure on the blade. Slow and steady is good. The shaves get even better. I think it is probably better to have someone else sharpen your razors in the beginning. Razor storage is kind of a variable. It depends on humidity amongst other factors. I use oil or wax on my blades f they are not being used this week. I also wrap them in anti corrosion paper. I also live in a marine environment. Silica gel packs are in all my storage boxes.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Senior Member Java's Avatar
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    Welcome, Haim! I still consider myself to be a beginner, but I can comment on your second question. For several months, I only had 2 straight razors, so each got used every 2 or 3 days. They are kept in my bedroom, where the air is drier. I dried them with very absorbent tissue after each use, so I saw no need to do anything more. Thanks to one of the gentlemen on the forum here, I got to see one of my razors under a microscope recently. The razor hadn't been used for 2 days, and there were round markings on the bevel of the razor under the microscope. I asked what they were, and Utopian told me "Those are tiny little drops of water" After 2 days! There was also some bright orange rust on the bevel that couldn't be seen with the naked eye. I'm still not perfect about oiling a blade if it is to be used again in 2 or 3 days, but I now always strop it for 50 strokes to remove all the water before I put it away. If you have patience, you will enjoy the learning process. Have fun.

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    Thank you all for a very worm welcome!!

    About oiling - i read in a few places about using gun oil. And while i'm not a very sterile person, i have a sensitive face skin, and am not exited about getting it on my face when there's a high probability of freshly open cuts. That aside - i'm not sure this kind of oil will be good for the strop..
    I was thinking about vaseline as an alternative, but i figure it wont be a picnic getting it off..

    Thank you for introducing me to manah! I visited his site, and he looks like a fine craftsman!
    I will defenitly contact him
    Last edited by Haim; 05-19-2014 at 06:35 PM.
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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Haim, I can always recommend Tuf-Glide. As I clean a blade up and before honing, I apply a drop on the tang and 3 on the blade.
    Smear it down the blade and off the edge with my thumb and all over the tang and tail. Flip over and smear the other side same. Wipe it all off with clean towel. It stays in there, micro-bonding. Then, I hone the razor, so it is not on the bevel. I have had some for 10 years with no rust kept in a dry place. I don't get water in the pivot and dry the blade, strop on a dry towel after the shave.
    Never any issues. Have not needed to reapply! Many other uses for it as well!

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    Sum Dum Gai ShavingSnob's Avatar
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    Haim - Great advice from Sharptonn on using Tuff-Glide. However, if you do choose to oil the blade, you should wipe it off before shaving or before stropping. A simple tissue and some standard rubbing alcohol will work fine to remove the oil. Be careful not to dull the blade, and be very careful so as not to cut yourself. Simply use the same technique you would use to wipe off a knife.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth ace's Avatar
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    I never use oil. I dry my blades carefully, never getting water near the pivot. I also make sure there is no water on the insides of the scales. After the shave, I have gotten in the habit of "stropping" the razor on a rolled-up towel with windex on it to make sure it is clean, then wipe it dry the same way after turning the towel over. For storage, I just keep them in a drawer of my dresser which is NOT in the bathroom. I have stored blades that way for months, sometimes a year, and when I brought them out again for shaving they were fine.

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