Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32
Like Tree88Likes

Thread: Beginners Tips: March 2015

  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth edhewitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Perth Australia
    Posts
    7,741
    Thanked: 712
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Beginners Tips: March 2015

    Name:  shaving stuff.jpg
Views: 342
Size:  15.4 KB


    Over Capitalisation

    A lot of new members seem to dive in to this hobby head first, buying everything they can get their hands on, then try to learn everything at once, shaving, stropping, restoration (I question the use of this word in some circumstances), honing, building lather and then wonder why it isn't going too well.
    I would recommend starting by getting a nice soap, not necessarily expensive just a good product that performs well, made by a reputable company not an obscure “artisan” soap maker. That way you will be able to get solid advice from others who have used the product (a theme through lots of areas of wet shaving). At the same time, sort out a brush. Again it doesn't need to be an expensive badger, a decent boar will serve you well enough. Semogue and Omega are two well-regarded, inexpensive makers who both have quite a wide product range.


    Now that you have these you can start learning to make a lather whilst you choose a razor and strop. It’s up to you whether you bowl or face lather, both have pros and cons. I would recommend starting out bowl lathering as it is easier to see what is going on.
    Which brings me quite nicely to bowls. Yes you can buy an expensive scuttle. Yes they do look pretty, but 2 bowls work just as well. If you look around your kitchen you may well find a deep bowl and a shallow bowl. The shallow bowl needs to have a rim the same circumference or larger than that of the deep bowl. Half fill the deep bowl with hot water (experiment here, I can’t tell you what hot is, it is a personal call but hot tap water should suffice) and sit the shallow one on top, voilą a scuttle. I prefer cold water shaving but I did used to do this when I hot water shaved.
    Which in turn brings me to cold-water shaving. Cold is as cold as you like, just not hot. I have refrigerated water in the past for shaving but now I use whatever comes out of the tap, some of us like it and some don’t.


    For starting out pick one or the other and do it for a while, or you are just introducing another variable. I won’t go too far with this as there are a heap of threads on the relative merits of both.

    Name:  shaving stuff2.jpg
Views: 327
Size:  17.0 KB

    Next you will need to choose a strop. There are heaps out there, just choose something by a reputable vendor in a mid-price range. You should be practising your stropping too whilst choosing your gear. A strip of fabric/ belt/ strip of newspaper and a razor analogue (the oft mentioned butter knife, though anything razor shaped object with a flat edge will do) in my view should be used to get a feel for the flip, pressure and types of stroke – even with a 3” strop you should not just be going up and down, either an X stroke or wiper stroke should be used.


    Lastly a professionally honed, shave ready razor – it doesn't need to be new or expensive or fancy just something that will work. Commonly 5/8 or 6/8 hollow ground are recommended which is exactly what my first razor was. You don’t need several at first. However, you will probably want either a second razor or an alternative method of shaving for when your first razor needs maintenance (keep your old cartridge razor if you have a few cartridges left) but you certainly don’t need loads, and most certainly not when you are just starting out. Every razor is different to use and will introduce variables which will make knowing what the issues are much harder. I used the same razor for 3 or 4 months, then I used a different razor for about 8 months with the odd loaner thrown in to let me try new things.


    Finally, there are all of the pre and post shaves, hot towels and other fluff. As a pre-shave a basic vitamin E cream worked for me and it also doubles as a post shave healing balm. I use basic aftershaves (brut, old spice etc.) and don’t subscribe to hot towels and such like. I believe that a good shave should be achievable without all the side orders.

    Name:  download.jpg
Views: 357
Size:  14.0 KB

    After almost 2 years I now own 3 straight razors, have sold, given or traded 3 razors and have 2 gold dollars floating around somewhere to practice stuff on, though they are in the hands of others now. I have 2 strops, 4 brushes (2 that actually get used, 1 that I made and 1 badger that I really don’t like), a fair amount of soap and cream (a lot of which were gifts), 2 D/E’s and a small selection of hones – a topic for later in your shaving journey. With what I have I am more than set up for life (except for consumables).
    Last edited by onimaru55; 03-26-2015 at 02:01 AM. Reason: paragraphs etc
    Jimbo, sharptonn, 32t and 22 others like this.
    Bread and water can so easily become tea and toast

  2. The Following 18 Users Say Thank You to edhewitt For This Useful Post:

    BobH (03-25-2015), bongo (03-25-2015), Bpnzk74 (03-26-2015), CaliforniaCajun (03-26-2015), ChopperDave (03-26-2015), Hirlau (03-25-2015), Jimbo (03-26-2015), Leatherstockiings (03-25-2015), MattCB (03-26-2015), MikeB52 (03-29-2015), Phrank (03-26-2015), QXDPC (03-25-2015), Razorfeld (03-26-2015), Redcane (03-26-2015), rolodave (03-25-2015), sharptonn (03-26-2015), SirStropalot (03-26-2015), Substance (03-25-2015)

  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth Substance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Gladstone QLD AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    3,234
    Thanked: 801

    Default

    Nice write up mate
    Great starter tips
    Saved,
    to shave another day.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Substance For This Useful Post:

    edhewitt (03-25-2015)

  5. #3
    Senior Member bongo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Posts
    1,431
    Thanked: 497

    Default

    Good article ED, I like the "minimalist" approach you espouse.
    However, I enjoy the "collecting and tinkering", like an Aussie Bower bird:
    Name:  Bower-s50vfd.jpg
Views: 273
Size:  170.2 KB

    You're certainly right about prioritising the basics when starting out rather than getting sidetracked
    and becoming "capitalistic".

    One thing you mentioned (amongst many) that struck a chord was looking in the kitchen and making up a scuttle.
    Here's mine :
    Name:  111.jpg
Views: 274
Size:  21.8 KB
    http://straightrazorplace.com/workshop/18504-welcome-workshop-how-do-i-where-do-i-what-do-i-answers-here.html

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to bongo For This Useful Post:

    edhewitt (03-25-2015)

  7. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15,406
    Thanked: 2904

    Default

    Thank you Ed. Your post is right on the mark for beginners. Keep it simple and learn the basics first can't be over stressed. As a beginner if you are having trouble it is not likely the good basic equipment but your lack of skill in lathering or shaving that is the root cause. That is entirely normal and throwing money at the problem in the form of "better" more expensive equipment won't solve it either.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to BobH For This Useful Post:

    edhewitt (03-25-2015)

  9. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth rolodave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Racine, WI USA
    Posts
    6,171
    Thanked: 1722

    Default

    Ed and Bongo

    Well done. Ed stays at a minimum while others go batcrap crazy. To each his own.
    If you don't care where you are, you are not lost.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to rolodave For This Useful Post:

    edhewitt (03-25-2015)

  11. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth eddy79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gosnells Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    5,880
    Thanked: 644

    Default

    Well said Ed. If only I had stuck with advice like this I'm sure my learning curve would have been much easier. I do love my collection though
    rolodave, BobH and edhewitt like this.
    My wife calls me......... Can you just use Ed

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to eddy79 For This Useful Post:

    edhewitt (03-25-2015)

  13. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15,406
    Thanked: 2904

    Default

    Not a thing wrong with growing a collection once you have the basics down pat. If anything having the basics down pat will allow you to better appreciate the sometimes small difference between items. It is not really necessary to getting a good shave but it is a fun and interesting aspect to the "hobby" of shaving and adds pleasure and enjoyment too.

    Bob
    edhewitt likes this.
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  14. #8
    Senior Member Scareface's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    The GREAT Republic of Texas(DFW)
    Posts
    894
    Thanked: 138

    Default

    Some of this sounds like me.
    Jumped in without knowing about SRP. Bought a small batch of stuff, but then found this site and started to really learn the art. Once I realized I was completely ill prepared, the buying stopped. The learning increased. Then the smart acquiring began.

    Luckily the pre-SRP stuff I purchased was decent razors and soaps.
    Last edited by Scareface; 03-25-2015 at 02:24 PM.
    edhewitt likes this.
    It's a dog eat dog world and I have on milk bone underwear.

  15. #9
    LIGHTS ~ CAMERA ~ SOTD petercp4e's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Oakham, Ma.
    Posts
    2,832
    Thanked: 1037

    Default

    Man....that top right picture has really got me scratching my head. Is that a straight razor museum???
    Who in the world has that many straight razors???
    I'd like to have a chat with him!!!

    Pete <:-}
    "Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss Slowly,
    Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret ANYTHING
    That makes you smile." - Mark Twain

  16. #10
    Senior Member Razorfaust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Bergen County, N.J.
    Posts
    1,261
    Thanked: 225

    Default

    Good post. I think there is much to be said for just getting one or two razors a decent strop and brush and exploring their potential. I think many people myself included get caught up chasing the perfect shave and kid themselves into thinking that a new razor or strop or hone will be the magic bullet. Sometimes yes but most often its more of the same because the operator has not grown the wiser in using the equipment already owned. Often new acquisitions give more of the same results and sets up a cycle of purchasing more gear to fill the void. Most often the void is you and the only thing that will fill it is developing expertise. This just takes time and a bit of focus. Moving targets are much harder to hit.
    rolodave likes this.
    Don't drink and shave!

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •