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  1. #1
    Junior Member RasoirDroit's Avatar
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    Default Belated Greetings

    Howdy gents,

    I'm Thomas and I joined SRP back in September, but only now have I gotten around to introducing myself. I switched from a Gillette Mach III toy razor to a straight razor early last August (six months already?!). I think I made the complete transition sometime last October. Without any regrets, I have not taken the toy Mach III out of the back of the dresser drawer since the day I successfully shaved my whole face exclusively with the straight razor. My facial acne has entirely cleared up since the switch; even the scars from the acne feel smoother after a good shave. Thank you all for providing the informational resources that have allowed me to make the transition!

    Here is my kit so far:

    • 6/8 Dovo "Best Quality" razor
    • 5/8 Dovo "Ebenholz" Silver Steel razor
    • Illinois No. 206 strop
    • Vulfix 374 super badger brush


    I have a few questions that I would like to pose to anyone willing to reply:

    1. How can I begin to speed up my shaving technique safely? It takes me on average about an hour to shave, which I would like to be able to change when time is short. Is safe speed something that just comes with a lot of practice, or are there specific measures I can take to decrease the time duration?
    2. I'm starting to consider acquiring the tools to learn how to touch up, hone, and restore a bevel on my razors. From the wiki and suggestions I've seen in posts in the Honing Forum, it seems like a polishing/finish stone is a good first step to learning the technique. What are my options in terms of such a stone or other beginning steps to learn how to hone?
    3. After my last shave with the Ebenholz, these stains that look almost like tarnish on silver appeared in places on the blade where I couldn't wash off the cream entirely during the shave. Are these stains simply cosmetic, or should I try to get them removed as soon as possible?
    4. Does anyone know of any comparative record of Gillette's shaving market share over the past century? It would be interesting to see how their position has changed over that time. It seems to me that, if a company so successfully secured as dominant a position as Gillette's in a market that is less mundane to the average consumer, people would be rather worried…or maybe that's just me. Your thoughts? Sorry if this is an inappropriate question to ask here on SRP.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions and thoughts! Also, my apologies for my unoriginality to anyone else out there who uses a username with some permutation of the term rasoir droit .

    -Thomas

  2. #2
    Senior Member TrilliumLT's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP. I'm just wondering why it's taking you a hour. Is the razor cutting the hair in one pass or are you having to go over that spot a few times to get it all? If that's the case your razor needs to be touched up on the hones.
    When I'm in a hurry I don't bother with a ATG pass that will speed things up. So times I even skip the hot shower.

  3. #3
    This is not my actual head. HNSB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RasoirDroit View Post
    Does anyone know of any comparative record of Gillette's shaving market share over the past century? It would be interesting to see how their position has changed over that time. It seems to me that, if a company so successfully secured as dominant a position as Gillette's in a market that is less mundane to the average consumer, people would be rather worried…
    If by "worried" you mean there should be some type of an anti-trust suit: I found a recent article that says they control about 70-75% of the dollar share of the cartridge razor market. Their dollar share of the general razor market is probably closer to 60%. (I found numbers to support 60%, but they were pretty outdated... I would guess things haven't changed a lot though).
    They do have a large share of the market, but they are far from being a monopoly.
    Who knows... Maybe one day Dovo dominate the market.

    Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

  4. #4
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    Welcome from St. Paul, MN!

    Any time your in town feel free to come to my home. I give honing lessons for free and try to help the new guys get started. I will put you on the Minnesota list for future Razor meets.
    I will send you a PM with my contact info.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to randydance062449 For This Useful Post:

    RasoirDroit (03-07-2011)

  6. #5
    Junior Member RasoirDroit's Avatar
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    Oh yes, I should have mentioned my procedure. I do two reduction passes, WTG and XTG, and then clean up where I don't have the smoothness I want. The usual rough spots after the two passes are on both sides of my chin along the jawline and, of course, under my chin.

    I've been trying to figure out why it takes so long to shave. I think part of it is just that for a lot of the area on my face and especially on my neck, it is difficult to use the entire blade at once, whereas in Lynn and Jockeys' videos, they seem to be able to use the entire length of the edge over a larger proportion of the shaving area. Using more of the edge means each stroke covers a larger proportion of the shaving area, which should translate to fewer strokes and therefore less time. That said, I'm not sure how I can use more of the edge of the blade per stroke without increasing pressure.

    Also, it seems to me that I have to spend a lot of time maintaining the lather throughout the course of the shave. The air is rather dry here in Minnesota, and I suspect that draws a lot of moisture out of the lather. I've also noticed that some creams are fussier about hydration than others. I've been using TOBS Lavender lately, which seems to dry more quickly than other creams under similar condition. It tends to produce little lavender-scented snow flakes if I don't reapply my lather a couple times per pass, particularly during the XTG pass, which comes later in the shave.

    My Ebenholz will probably need a little touch-up soon, but I should get my newly re-honed Best Quality back soon so I can compare the sharpness.

    Do properly lathered soaps dry out as quickly as creams? Where else might I save on time?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrilliumLT View Post
    Welcome to SRP. I'm just wondering why it's taking you a hour. Is the razor cutting the hair in one pass or are you having to go over that spot a few times to get it all? If that's the case your razor needs to be touched up on the hones.
    When I'm in a hurry I don't bother with a ATG pass that will speed things up. So times I even skip the hot shower.

  7. #6
    Junior Member RasoirDroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNSB View Post
    If by "worried" you mean there should be some type of an anti-trust suit: I found a recent article that says they control about 70-75% of the dollar share of the cartridge razor market. Their dollar share of the general razor market is probably closer to 60%. (I found numbers to support 60%, but they were pretty outdated... I would guess things haven't changed a lot though).
    They do have a large share of the market, but they are far from being a monopoly.
    Who knows... Maybe one day Dovo dominate the market.
    I should have figured. Gillette/Procter & Gamble is probably crafty enough to avoid anti-trust litigation by preventing themselves from gaining too much of a monopoly in any single consumer goods market.

    I guess I'm forgetting Gillette's competitors, both contemporary and historical. I suppose there was also Ever-Ready and Gem back in the day, just as there is Schick now.

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