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Thread: Newbie introduction

  1. #1
    hebintn
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    Default Newbie introduction

    Hello,

    I'm totally new to SRP. Most of my life I have shaved with electric. In the old days, before retiring, this was quick and functional. Recently, I came across an old straight razor in my Dad's things. It was his or maybe his fathers, I don't know. It is a Wade & Butcher, Sheffield, England, Manganese Steel with "Ivory" and silver handle. It appears to be in good shape. I tried to shave with it, and found that I was trying to shave with a butter knife. It removed the lather and not much else. I examined the cutting edge with a 30x lens and it appears to be in good shape to my untrained eye... no nicks or rust. I stropped and stropped... no help. I've come to the conclusion it needs honing. At this point I tried shaving with one of my wifes BIC throw aways. I found I really liked the experience and the result, and so did she.

    I would like to get back to shaving basics with the family straight razor, but I'm reluctant to put the $100+ or so into the hones that I probably need. The point of all this is that I'm looking for a hone... cheap. I know the purists are going to say, "You get what you pay for." Right, I know that. I guess I'm looking to find someone who has a hone laying around that isn't being used that they'd be willing to sell... cheap. Or, I'm looking for constructive advice on how to accomplish my goal without wrecking the retirement budget.

    I'm not a barber or a professional user in any way so I don't see that I need equipment that pros use to restore and maintain my razor. Any help would be appreciated.
    Moosiker likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DoughBoy68's Avatar
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    Hey neighbor! Welcome to SRP. Where in TN are you located?

    The only reason you would need several hones would be if you wanted to restore razors. If you are only going to shave with one all you should need is the basics, paddle strop and barber hone, I assume you already have a regular strop.

    Once you have someone hone your razor ($15-$20) to get it in shave ready condition all you will need is a pasted paddle strop ($10-$20) for when the blade starts to pull. When that happens give her a few laps (10-20) followed by a good stropping and you are good to go. Later on you may want to invest in a barber hone for when the paddle strop no longer helps. You can pick those up for $20-$35 on eBay.

    I sure would like to have a str8 from my father or grandfather to shave with. It seems theirs have come up missing over the years or no one remembers what happened to them.

    BTW, Wade & Butcher is a very good razor brand. I have a couple and both give very nice shaves.
    "If You Knew Half of What I Forgot You Would Be An Idiot" - by DoughBoy68

  3. #3
    hebintn
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    Thanks for the info cuz. I'm in Dandridge, just west of Newport on I-40. I have a strop... leather and cloth. I have no idea if it is good or bad or how to tell. Do I need a paddle strop as well? What is needed as far as "stuff" to put on the strop? What is the purpose of the paddle. I looked on Ebay and saw a barber hone but it's coarse grit... like 120/300. I was under the impression I needed grits in the thousands, 4000/8000. Can you recommend some place to send the razor for honing? This is all rather confusing. Is there a condensed book on shaving with a SR? Now I see why so many people had beards in the old days. Cowboys couldn't carry all this stuff with them on the trail. I guess they could use the saddle as a strop?
    Last edited by hebintn; 01-16-2012 at 04:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Start reading the Wiki on this site. All your questions will be answered (sometimes, several times in different ways).

    I started honing with wet-or-dry sandpaper and micro-abrasive film -- there's a Wiki on that topic. It's a cheap way to get started, but two warnings:

    . . . it's _at least_ as hard to hone with sandpaper as it is with stones, and

    . . . honing a razor from "dull" to "sharp" requires a fair bit of skill in the best case, and a whole lot of skill in the worst case.

    So I agree with the previous post -- send the razor out to someone for honing, and learn to shave with it. Use a leather strop and pasted strop (e.g. in the "Poor Man's Strop Kit" from Whipped Dog ( Categories ) -- that should keep it shaving for many months.

    _Then_ think about honing it yourself.

    Charles

    PS -- there's a "Classified" section on this site, and many people advertising honing services.

    PPS -- Cowboys got shaved by the barber when they went into town, I bet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DoughBoy68's Avatar
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    I too would recommend LarryAndros (whipped dog) Poor Mans Strop Kit. The leather in his kit is some good stropping leather. I bought a peice of it to make a strop out of and have no complaints, works just fine. Larry is also a real god guy to deal with.

    As far as honing as stated above any of the members listed in the SRP classifieds. Would you have some pics of your dad's razor? Folks here at SRP really like pics of razors, it's a sharing thing......

    You will find some of the most helpful and trustworthy folks here at SRP. When I was learning and had questions all I had to do was ask, someone was always there to help. best of luck in your SR journey................
    Last edited by DoughBoy68; 01-16-2012 at 06:59 PM.
    "If You Knew Half of What I Forgot You Would Be An Idiot" - by DoughBoy68

  6. #6
    The Knight who says NI! mcgyver74's Avatar
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    As was stated, there is no need to buy all the hones unless you want to learn to hone. Just send it to one of the honemeisters listed in the classifieds section and pay the 15 - 20 bucks to get it shave ready.

    After that, just strop well, touch up with pasted balsa once in a while when it starts to tug and you are good to go...

  7. #7
    hebintn
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    Thanks all. I know it must be a nuisance dealing with us idiot newbies. I'll do some reading in the archives. And I'll try and post some pictures. It turns out after closer inspection that the box the razor is in is Wade & Butcher... the razor says Webster Bros. Manganese Steel/Anchor Brand made in Germany. There is another razor that was in my Dad's things that my son now has. I'm trying to get that one back from him since he is bearded Name:  IMG_1686.jpg
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