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Thread: Beginners Tips: April 2011

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Cool Beginners Tips: April 2011

    So this month I decided on these tips, I was dealing with one of these personally so I figured I would share...

    Let's Talk about pressure this month

    Shaving pressure:

    Seems I have been honing a few more Kamisori recently, and one thing these razors teach you, is that without that super light gliding stroke, with pressure as light as an angel's kiss they will bite you...
    Now practicing that lately, it has transfered back to my western razors also..
    It is very easy to say this "Use very little to no pressure" but much harder to achieve in practice, as it feels counter intuitive...
    We have some inherent thing going on in our brain I think that tells us, that to get a closer shave one must press harder...Nothing could be farther from the truth, if you really want to get the BBS feeling, and no irritation then "Back off Bub" and get that stroke as light as you can...
    It takes a bit of practice to get that really smooth glide and it is best to practice it on your last shaving pass.

    Now on to the next pressure

    Stropping Pressure:

    This has been coming up this past month on the forum, and the standard answer is "NONE"
    well for a beginner that is near impossible to understand. The real answer is as much pressure as it takes to keep the spine (and therefore the edge) moving evenly across the strop...
    There should be a bit of deflection in the hanging strop as you move the razor, when you start you want to reduce variables so keep the strop tight...
    If all else fails place your hanging strop along the edge of a table or counter until you get the hang of the motion and the flip...
    As you get better and better at stropping, you will find that by using different pressures at different times while stropping, combined with adjusting the tension of the strop, is what will bring the edge to it's absolute finest ... But that takes practice, for now concentrate on keeping the spine on the strop. don't lift it because that will leave the edge hanging there and that my friends is when bad stuff happens

    As always I ask for the senior members to add their thoughts here also as many times we see things from a slightly different perspective, and the more views that beginners get, the better off they are....
    Last edited by gssixgun; 04-14-2011 at 11:09 PM.

  2. The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to gssixgun For This Useful Post:

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    Senior Member ats200's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great tips again this month! I'm not a honer myself but out of curiosity... do you also use as little pressure as possible when setting a bevel or is this a completely different aspect of honing?

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Yes the pressure can vary on honing too, in fact I had written that section here, and then decided that I would wait for another month to really try and put it together correctly...
    Somebody asked just the other day if maybe one of us could use a small postal scale when honing to give realistic pressure readings, which has been done before, but people have a tendency to shall we say "Fudge their reading to look good" finishing stokes are one thing but bevel setting a wedge is a whole other animal...

    If I do one of those, I will try and do it right...

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    Senior Member ats200's Avatar
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    Thanks, it would be an interesting read for sure. I'll keep an eye out for that post in the future!

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    Senior Member deighaingeal's Avatar
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    I tried honing on a digital balance in my lab the other day and found it to be so wildly variant that I couldn't get a reading. I will eventually hook a pressure pad to my lab hardware, but...time...excuses...blah, blah, blah.

    As for stropping pressure I find that one of the best things a newb can do is find a mentor, post your location. I feel that via forum it would take much longer to grasp a concept versus one on one learning, of course practice is what brings about muscle memory.
    I also suggest to every person that asks about shaving pressure what I told "double N" at my house, "you know when you are using too light a pressure when the razor isn't touching your face."
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    This is not my actual head. HNSB's Avatar
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    What is the pressure difference between angel kisses and butterfly kisses???
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    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

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    I am not volunteering to show you Eric

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    Some kind of Zombie BigJim's Avatar
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    Heheh...butterfly kisses leave the hair there.

    Thanks for the great post Glen!

    It is counterintuitive to not press into the skin when trying to get a close shave. But pressing only results in razor burn. You want the razor to just touch the skin, nothing more; but sometimes your mind takes over and says "get that hair; press in there and get that hair" and you do it without thinking about it. And you get razor burn, or worse for it.

    On the stropping pressure issue, I was so afraid of screwing up my edge that I stropped with too light of pressure. How much to use, we're hashing that out in another thread. But the tips here are solid.

    Peace,

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    Silky Smooth
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    Thanks for the great tip! Please correct me if this sounds wrong, but what works for me is to think of the razor's edge just gliding over the surface of the skin, using small angle changes to adjust how much the blade "catches" and cuts the whiskers.
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    I think for new straight razor shavers, the correct pressure is where the true AhhhHAAAA moment hits. I think they tend to get the angles right sooner, as there is a visual reference by looking in the mirror, but when a newcomer suddenly hits that WOW I just had a GREAT shave.... That's when the get the pressure right!

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