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  1. #1
    Junior Member Greginator's Avatar
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    Smile Greetings, from The Land Of The Rising Sun

    Howdy,
    My name is Greg, I'm in the US Air Force, currently stationed in Japan. I've been vaguely interested in open razor shaving for a while, but never took the leap and got one. Last year I even did my homework to find out how it's done and what gear is worth having, but just never got around to ordering. Then a few weeks ago, one of the doctors I work with mentioned he was getting a straight razor, and we chatted for a few minutes on the subject. The next day, I ordered a Dovo 5/8" half hollow-ground cut-throat razor. About a week and a half ago it arrived with a hanging strop. My badger brush hadn't showed yet, so the first two shaves were with the canned Gillette stuff; they went okay, but when I got my brush and picked up a shave soap, the difference was night and day, so much better. Today was my fourth time shaving (I only shave about ever other day) and my first shave without cutting myself!!! So far I'm loving the "new" way of shaving, I actually look forward to it, weird.

    Here's the gear I'm currently rocking:
    Dovo Carbon Steel Half Hollow Best Quality Razor, 5/8" Black Handle
    Dovo 185-35001 Linen/Cowhide Strop
    Omega Pure Badger Shaving Brush
    The soap I've been using b/c it was handy
    Soap I have but haven't used yet

    So, nothing fancy or extravagant, but it seems to be doing the job so far. Any thoughts, comments or suggestions are welcome (btw, any thoughts on which soap is better?).

    Considering getting one of these at some point

    I'm way excited to improve my skill in this, the art of straight cut shaving!

  2. #2
    Well Shaved Gentleman... jhenry's Avatar
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    Greg,

    Congrats--and welcome to SRP...It looks like you are well on your way to discovering the pleasures of str8 razor shaving. You have all of the equipment to make str8 razor shaving enjoyable.

    Either soap you mention is ok, although I would probably opt for the Proraso. Personally, its one of my favorites.

    You probably won't need that Norton combo stone for awhile--if your razor was honed prior to your purchasing it. If not, you may want to locate another SRP member in Japan who could help you in honing it. I know its hard to imagine, but doing so may actually make your shaving experience even more enjoyable.

    Again, welcome to SRP. Take care--and smooth shaving.
    "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain

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    Greginator (04-23-2010)

  4. #3
    Junior Member Greginator's Avatar
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    Thanks. The razor came pre-honed, so stropping is enough for the time being. I don't expect to need a hone for at least 6 months to a year, but I figure it's never to early to start looking at what I might want to get. Is the Norton combo a good choice for a first razor hone? I have quite a lot of experience sharpening knives, but none with str8s.

  5. #4
    Well Shaved Gentleman... jhenry's Avatar
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    Greg,

    There are SRP members with a lot more experience at honing str8 razors than I. Wait for their input for a good answer to your question.

    That having been said, I think that your decision to wait 6 months to a year before honing your razor, since it was already honed when you bought it, is a wise one.

    I've heard good things here at SRP about the Norton combo as a good starter set for those new to honing str8 razors. My only suggestions would be for you to purchase a lapping plate/stone along with the Norton combo (To make sure that it is perfectly flat before honing a razor.) and to find a cheap razor in the SRP "Classifieds" or on Ebay to develop and practice your honing skills on before honing your Dovo. Doing so may save you some grief.

    Take care--and smooth shaving.
    Last edited by jhenry; 04-23-2010 at 02:34 PM.
    "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain

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    Greginator (04-23-2010)

  7. #5
    They call me Mr Bear. Stubear's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    The Norton combo stone is one way to go, but there are also some other great quality stones out there. Naniwa do a 3/8k combo stone, which has the additional advantage of not needing to be soaked before use. Just spritz it with water and its good to go.

    There are also the Shapton on Glass stones, which are very good. I have both Shaptons and Naniwas and I like them both. The Naniwas seem to impart a slightly "softer" feeling edge, but both sets of stones are great!

    Sharpening razors is very different to sharpening knives, so have a look around the honing forum, the videos section and the honing sections of the Wiki for advice.

    Get a second razor to practice honing on, and keep your DOVO as a reference point to compare your honing efforts.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

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    Greginator (04-23-2010)

  9. #6
    Junior Member Greginator's Avatar
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    Great call on the 2nd, cheap razor to learn razor honing. I hadn't thought of that, but it sounds like the "duh" answer now that I'm aware of the idea. Thanks, guys.

  10. #7
    Senior Member Alembic's Avatar
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    Hi Greginator,

    First off, I wanted to take a moment and express the gratitude my family and I have for our country's service men. I can't tell you how much we appreciate the sacrifices you make for our freedom and safety.

    Ok now, down to business. You are going to love it at SRP and love str8 shaving. This has been one of the most personally frustrating and rewarding things I have learned and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    People are exceptionally generous with information here, so post a lot and enjoy yourself.

    Stay safe,
    David

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