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  1. #1
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    Default Newbie/hone question

    Last night marked 1 week of straight razor for me (though the weekend I used a cartridge since I flew to my parents house, and a straight would probably cause problems in carry-on baggage.. note to self, buy spare straight to leave at parents house!)

    I have a Wostenholm from Topher as part of a newbie kit and a Case of BST. Both will give a decent shave, the Wostenholm probably a bit sharper.
    However, with either I have to use more pressure than I think should be neccessary based on what people here have said. I don't get massive irritation, but it just doesn't feel as good as it seems like it could be.
    I'm considering sending the Case out to Lynn so I have a benchmark, but since it already seems close (shaveable) I'm also thinking maybe it would be a decent time to pick up a hone to just do a very light touchup. I've tried the newspaper method, but maybe just a bit more than that. What hone/paste/strop would be good for a very very light touch up?

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    Natty Boh dave5225's Avatar
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    I would guess that any hone 8k or finer , would do the job . My finish hone is a Shapton 15k , but before I bought the Shapton , my finish hone was my Norton 8k followed by 10 laps on a paddle strop , pasted with TI paste . For my first 2 months of shaving with a straight , I did not even have the paddle strop , and was using the 8k edge (stropped , of course) and it worked well , but I wanted better . Now that I have the Shapton 15k , I no longer need the paddle strop .
    Greetings , from Dundalk , Maryland . The place where normal people , fear to go .

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    probably if you looking for a really light touch up on a paddle Cr0 would be the way to go. You could go .25 diamond but it can leave a harsh edge. As far as hones go a coticule would be nice or even most barbers hones as long as it's not one of the coarser ones.
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    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    I'd say pasted leather would be the easiest to go with.

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    Senior Member Kenrup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildtim View Post
    I'd say pasted leather would be the easiest to go with.
    +1 A pasted strop with .5 chromium oxide will do the trick.

    BTW, using pressure on a straight is when cuts happen. Using pressure is a throw back to the cartridge razor. If the razor doesn't cut right, it needs to be touched up or honed. If you feel yourself applying pressure, try stropping again. Think, "pressure is EVIL".

  6. #6
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    That's what I was thinking on "pressure". Both will pass HHT after stropping, but I still have to "push through" hair. I've tried the "weight of blade" method and it just sits there, or sorta hop-skips around. However, I am using pressure "through" the hair.. in a direction paralell to the skin, not pressing down into skin. But like I said from what I'm reading here the weight of blade should be more or less enough.

    for a "pasted" strop, do I just want to get a normal strop and put paste on it, or is there a special strop for pasting? I also do not have a canvas strop.. just the basic leather from Heirloom Latigo. I keep trying the newspaper and it's getting a little better maybe, but seems there should be a more efficient way.

  7. #7
    Cheapskate Honer Wildtim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbshriver View Post
    That's what I was thinking on "pressure". Both will pass HHT after stropping, but I still have to "push through" hair. I've tried the "weight of blade" method and it just sits there, or sorta hop-skips around. However, I am using pressure "through" the hair.. in a direction paralell to the skin, not pressing down into skin. But like I said from what I'm reading here the weight of blade should be more or less enough.
    Actually I think you are doping it more or less right. It does take a firm grip to hold the blade steady as it mows through the hair, I haven't called it "pressure", but a firm grip on the razor to prevent it skipping. Since this skipping phenomena is heightened by using a thinner lighter razor and lessened by using a heavier razor i see nothing wrong with keeping a firm hold and mowing the hair down. This is part of why my lightest 4/8 gives as good or better a shave than my heaviest meat chopper.

    Pressure against the face is the killer, even if you don't cut yourself you will be able to tell if you are doing this by the amount of razor burn you have. A dull razor pulls on the hair painfully as it cuts and give razor burn. To steep or to shallow an angle, pressure, and inadequate stretching all lead to razor burn even with the sharpest of blades.



    Quote Originally Posted by bbshriver View Post
    for a "pasted" strop, do I just want to get a normal strop and put paste on it, or is there a special strop for pasting? I also do not have a canvas strop.. just the basic leather from Heirloom Latigo. I keep trying the newspaper and it's getting a little better maybe, but seems there should be a more efficient way.
    Usually a strop for pasting is a paddle strop or a bench strop not the hanging type. It is a lot easier to keep the strop taught when it is glued to a board and you have a flat surface to hone on. Tony makes some two and four sided paddles that can be had pre-pasted with the desired medium. I'm in the process of setting up for producing bench strops right now and there are other sources out there where you can get a nice paddle for pasting.

  8. #8
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    I will look into a paddle strop... seems to be the way to go.

    As far as shaving method it sound like i'm at least on the right track, but I know I still have work to do. Figuring out how to "stretch" skin has probably been my biggest problem here as there never seems to be a handy area. Doing my sideburn area I can use the temple to pull up, and on neck I can pull down some... but cheeks I'm still having issues with finding a place to "pull from".. Tried using both hands, etc to get a good view and all. I'll get it eventually.

    I *think* I've more or less figured out the angle.. If I go too shallow my razors sorta "suck" into the skin and don't shave... just glide over.. too steep and it's painful.. somewhere in between I get a decent shave.. Just trying to figure out how to keep that angle in every position since I don't always see it "dead on".

    Oddly... last night I got a pretty good razor burn BUT was able to use aftershave with no problem... I tried aftershave after my first shave, and had to wash it back off immediately it was terrible. That was a week ago, so I guess I'm getting a little better? Also started using an alum block (which DOES sting, but seems to be working).

  9. #9
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    Well glad that it is getting better. Who honed the case? If you were able to get a decent shave with little razor burn and it is your first week I would guess that they were at least close. Usually it seems that people need to learn to strop well to get things going or else I am rehoning the razor. If you want to know how the blade is though, send me the wostenholm and I will shave with it and tell you then freshen the edge no charge.

    Also your face will take some time to get used the straight cause you are removing skin as well every time you shave. A dull blade will remove too much resulting in razor burn but when your face is new, razor burn is natural. After a week or two your face should be adapting which would be why the after shave doesn't burn any more. Believe me though, If a blade is dull it will hurt to shave with... period. So send it back and I will fix it and get it right back out. That is part of how I guarantee my blades.

  10. #10
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    I bought the Case from "OldBlades" on here... Wasn't even advertised as "shave ready" I just figured I'd give it a try, and it worked.. mostly. I was planning to send it to Lynn for a honemeister job but since I can shave with it I'm thinking I'd rather try to start the learning process with just a light touch up. Going to try the pasted strop method and see if that gets it perfect.

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