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  1. #1
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    Default Yet one more new guy... my bread is made of tree trunks and grows in spirals.

    First of all, thanks for all the great info I have read so far. My beard grows thick and fast. For the past 5 or 6 years I have been using Mach 3 and Mach 3 Turbos with various readily available shave creams, after shaves, and pre shave treatments. I usually get three to four shaves before i replace the cartridge due to dullness. My face is also quite sensitive. If i attempt to shave daily, my face gets very irritated. For best results, I usually go two to three days between shaves.

    I have been hearing of the benefits of straigh shaving for a while now (due to the wonderful internet) and finally made the commitment to try it. I bought a kit form Vintage Blades with a 6/8 DOVO, strop, glycerin soap, and brush. The razor came "shave ready from Lynn Abrams no stropping necessary". I have no doubt as to the razors sharpness. It clearly passed the HHT and popped hairs effortlessly on my forearm. The first shave was about what i expected having read a good bit on this forum. It was not terribly uncomfortable and I did not cut myself. I was careful not to apply too much attention and keep a proper (20-30 degrees) angle. While no irritation occurred, it was a terrible shave, not close at all. The next few shaves got better, but still did not come close to comparing to the shave of a Mach 3.

    Obviously I need to work on stropping technique. Also, I need to have my razor rehoned. First, my stropping is less than perfect and second, my clumsy self hit the faucet with my razor resulting in two nice dents in the edge of the razor.

    Also, my beard does not consistently grow along on grain. There are spots on my neck where it grows in a spiral. This makes it difficult to get full WTG passes.

    Due to the fact that i have not cut myself or irritated myself, I think i have acceptable technique, at least for a beginner. I am confident that at least for my first few shave I had a properly sharpened razor.
    My questions are these:
    Should i look for a larger or possibly wedge razor? The 6/8 hollow ground razor feels light and fragile.

    How important is soap and lather? I have managed to work up what seems to be a nice thick lather. However it does not seem to have great lubricating properties. What is the actual function of the lather? Lubrication or softening of the beard? The blade does not effortlessly slide across my face. It grabs hold of the beard, and even with a relaxed angle and little pressure perpendicular to the plane of my face, it takes significant effort to cut through my beard.


    Thanks everyone for the great forum!

  2. #2
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    Yeah, a rehone is in order.

    Lather is pretty important, but experimenting is the best way to get it right.

    The best advice I can give is just dont give up, for a few months at least, let any cuts heal before trying again and stay calm. There can be a pretty drawn out learning curve, but in the end it'll work out.
    Last edited by Russel Baldridge; 05-03-2008 at 06:09 AM.

  3. #3
    still learning kbs_74's Avatar
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    Definitely don't give up, I would send the razor in to be rehoned and be very careful when stropping. Also rather than rinsing the razor in the sink either wipe the razor with a towel or as one member who i can't remember said take a beer can cooler and use that to wipe off the razor. This allows for an clutzy moves and if the cooler gets a little cut up it's ok it only cost your a buck or so. Also it catches those pesky wiskers at the same time without soiling your shaving towels. The other thing I would say is get some good soap, which you may have but personally I have found Mama bears really really good. The lather not only softens the beard, but it also lubricates the skin. I personally prefer the awakenings it is peppermint and teatree oil and makes the face feel awesome. The last thing I could reccomend is get some baby oil and use that as a pre shave, this tends to reall allow the blade to glide. Just make sure you wash the oil off your hands so you can grip the razor. Lastly because of the sensitive skin issue I would reccomend while picking up some of mam bears soap to also pick up an alum block from her as well.
    Happy shaving and don't give up.
    KBS_74

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    I noticed how everyone has been kind and helpful,
    just like a bunch of real pals would be. However,
    every bunch of pals is required by the laws of
    nature to have (at least) one smartass. I'll play
    that role here.

    All I've got to say is that if my bread were made of
    tree trunks and grew in spirals, I'd cut back on the acid.

    Yer pal,
    Dale

  5. #5
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    At first I thought this was Spam, then I thought, what the heck I'll just edit the title.

    Now I see, thanx to having a full compliment of friends, I can't . . .

  6. #6
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard the straight train may yer ride be smooth and long !!!

    Tons of great advice already on here, I would only add that I have found plain old Noxema to be a great, and cost effective pre-shave as any other I have tried..
    Yes the shave begins with the lather, and the tuffer the beard, the more important that lather becomes.....

    Great to have ya here....

  7. #7
    Senior Member wescap34's Avatar
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    Don't give up! Your first shaves won't be great and you will be wondering why anyone would want to shave with one of these antique tools. Keep at it--read
    the forums here for great advice and get Lynn's DVD. One morning soon you will
    notice that the blade seems to be gliding across your face without effort and when
    you feel with your hand there will be NO STUBBLE--at that moment you will know
    that you will never shave any other way.

  8. #8
    I've got it RAD and that ain't good
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    I too have a beard made of spirals and I laugh at the concept of a WTG or ATG shave because every shave I have is a combination of W, A, & XTG.

    If you're jumping from cartridge to straight, don't give up. It's adjusting. Trust me, you'll get a shave from the straight that, in the end, will make you wonder why you ever had the M3. Cartridges didn't shave me at all, but left me with more manageable stubble. If this is you as well, stay with it and you'll know what clean shaven looks like (maybe not feels like).

    Lather makes a difference. Using a brush and bowl is a leap up from aerosols, but better soap can make a difference. I started with Burma Shave and eventually shifted to Col. Conk, thinking that this would be my go-to soap forever. Then I tried Colleen's Soap and, whoa, better still at a still worthwhile price. Like learning to use a straight, you'll have to learn to use the brush. Trial and error reign, but you'll get it right.

    The lather is supposed to lubricate and soften. If you're not doing so, you may want to lather first, then shave, to allow the lather time to work. You'll want almost no pressure at all when you shave. Are you stretching your skin with your free hand when you shave? That helps smoothen the process (and the face).


    Also, while I love my heftier 7/8 razors, my best shavers are both 5/8.
    Last edited by They Call Me Blockhead; 05-04-2008 at 02:00 PM.

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