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Thread: Considering Ralf Aust and buying razors w/ wood scales etiquette

  1. #11
    sda is offline
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    Feb 2017
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Thanks for all the good info. It seems that Ponypox and I have similar taste. I just received the Ralf Aust Snakewood French Point razor and I have the African Blackwood Spanish Point on order. I'll be getting a round point Brian Brown --also with wood scales--as well just to round out (no pun intended) the collection. I'll be stropping and shaving with them soon.
    rolodave, aalbina and Mrchick like this.

  2. #12
    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
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    Good luck on keeping the RAD in check!
    Geezer likes this.
    Keep it safe and Cheers,

  3. #13
    Senior Member DoughBoy68's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Crossville, TN
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    RAD has already bitten them, they just don't know it yet...........but they will soon!
    Geezer likes this.
    "If You Knew Half of What I Forgot You Would Be An Idiot" - by DoughBoy68

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2016
    Chicago Suburbs
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    I purchased the Ralf Aust 6/8 Spanish point African Blackwood while visiting Don Alderman at Imperial Shaving in Medina, OH. It is a wonderful razor in both appearance and shave quality.

    For anyone within a day trip of Medina (south of Cleveland), I recommend you stop by to see Don and have him fix you up with a new razor, strop, soap, aftershave, etc. He offers a wide selection. If you cannot get there, then the SRD web site will do.

    BTW, African Blackwood is sometimes called Grenadilla or Grenadille. It is the wood from which clarinets are produced. You will find scales listed under any of those names.

    The primary difference between the two razors you are considering is the worked spine. If you love the appearance of the worked spine and can afford the price, go for it. However, if you want to save some money to spend on your next razor acquisition, then buy the less expensive one. Your shaving experience will be similar with either razor.

    I have a Dovo Bismark that was not quite shave ready when I purchased it. I got it from SRD and Lynn offered to rehone it, but I was able to get it shave ready with a few x-strokes on my finishing hone. Although Dovo claims their razors are shave ready from the factory, many folks do not agree. Get it properly honed.

    As you get deeper into the hobby, you might want to develop some honing skills of your own. That is not necessary at this point in your journey.

    Your Dovo is 5/8" and the RA razors you are looking at are 6/8". That is a matter of preference. I have a couple of 5/8" vintage razors, but they are too light for my liking. I much prefer 6/8" and 7/8" razors. My latest acquisition is 15/16", just shy of 1". I love the bigger, heavier blades. Many of the experienced members here tend to prefer the larger blades. Thus, adding a 6/8" to your budding collection will help define your preferences.

    Toe styles are also a matter of preference. I have every style other than a true spike point. My spike is just slightly past square. Personally, I love Spanish points, Barber notches, and Irish points, in that order, but your preferences my differ. Some people routinely perform surgery on their ear lobes when they shave. If you have that issue, you might want to stay with a round point until your shaving technique improves. However, it is possible to round off (ease) the very tip of any point shape if you like the appearance, but not the nicks.

    Stropping on leather does tend to round off the very edge of the razor, making for a smoother shave. But it will only dull the edge if you apply too much pressure to the edge and round over the fins. Make sure you flip the blade over the spine and keep the spine in contact with the strop at all times. Watch several YouTube videos on stropping. Use only enough pressure to keep both the spine and the edge in contact with the strop. Do not try to apply extra pressure by pushing down on the razor.

    When I first started, I found the stropping/flipping movement to be awkward. I wanted to hold the razor, lift the blade off the strop and flip over the edge. Howard Schlecter of The Perfect Edge has a video in which he uses that type of stropping motion. That may work with knives but it is not good for razors. Do not do what he does; learn to do it properly. Once you do, the motions will become embedded in muscle memory and you won't even have to think about it.
    Mrchick likes this.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to RayClem For This Useful Post:

    Mrchick (02-28-2017)

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