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Thread: Lurking for years, finally registered

  1. #1
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    Default Lurking for years, finally registered

    Hello everyone,

    I've been following this forum since -if memory serves- 2004 or so and learned a great deal. As for my adventures in shaving with a straight: I started out with a Dovo back in 2003, still recall the mixture of anticipation and white fear the first time I put that sharp edge to my skin. The shave was what any first time shave with a straight probably is .

    Anyway, I've been shaving with straights or -due to time constraints- a DE ever since. The DE is quicker/easier and my weapon of choice whenever I have to get up at 5, shower, shave, have a couple of espressos and head to the airport or a breakfast meeting. But if I have the time I do enjoy shaving with one of my straights.

    Present collection:
    - DOVO 5/8" carbon steel with ebony wood scales (yes, the first one)
    - Thiers-Issard 'Eagle' with snakewood scales in 6/8", low carbon steel, fully hollow ground, mirror polish
    - Filarmonica doble in about 7/8", stainless
    - Iwasaki kamisori 50 mm, swedish steel
    - Iwasaki kamisori 58 mm, tamahagane steel

    In DE I own a Feather D1, Mühle R41, Tradere OC, iKon OC. All with Feather blades.

    I use a plain boar bristle brush and proraso green soap or valobra, nothing fancy. Most of the renowned english creams/soaps simply don't work for me and -imho- are more hype than quality.

    As for the straights: I still own the Thiers-Issard but rarely shave with it, if there's one overrated brand I guess this would be it: sloppy finish and subpar quality for the price paid. With the Filarmonica I have a ove/hate relationship. Since a couple of years I tend to prefer my Iwasaki razors for the excellent results and their very clean, minimalist design.

    I hope to learn the noble art of honing those razors to perfection but haven't started so far out of fear of ruining them, I currently prefer shipping them off to an expert whenever necessary.

    A very nice day to everyone!
    earcutter and DDTech like this.
    It is preferable to have a criminal as a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are at least predictable.

  2. #2
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    Welcome!! Glad after all this time you decided to introduce yourself As you know this place is a wealth of knowledge, enjoy and contribute as you wish.

  3. #3
    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    Hey xenophon,

    Welcome, glad you joined in. You've got some good experience and lots of time on the forum, so I won't bother with reading, etc.

    We have some similar experience with razors. I like the TI's and have 5 or 6 of the, so called, limited runs. TI does have some quality issues, but I find most of all it's with the scales and blade alignment. Still, they do shave great.

    My Filarmonicas are the #13 EPBD, and the #14 Novodur, Para Profesinals (sic).

    I also have the same Iwasaki's that you have, well, I almost have. I bought the Iwasaki Tamahagane Friday evening, the last one in stock, and am waiting on delivery.

    Honing can be another of the dreaded "acquisition disorders" so try to keep it simple, synthetics, in the beginning or you can drop a fist full of dollars very quickly on stones that, in hind sight, you wished you had passed on.

    Anyway, Welcome, and

    Best Regards,

    Howard
    Last edited by SirStropalot; 05-28-2013 at 05:41 AM.
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  4. #4
    lobeless earcutter's Avatar
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    Well it seems that you have an eye for quality... :-) . It's about time you joined and contributed lol.

    Welcome!
    David

  5. #5
    Huh... Oh here pfries's Avatar
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    Glad to have you out of the shadows and I look forward to seeing you around the boards.
    It is just Whisker Whacking
    Relax and Enjoy!
     



  6. #6
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    My Filarmonicas are the #13 EPBD, and the #14 Novodur, Para Profesinals (sic).

    I also have the same Iwasaki's that you have, well, I almost have. I bought the Iwasaki Tamahagane Friday evening, the last one in stock, and am waiting on delivery.
    Congratulations, where did you purchase the tamagahane one? Aframestokyo from Tadeshi? He has a nice shop and reasonable prices. Especially for the tamagahane Iwasaki's as they're not so easy to find and fetch sometimes absurd amounts -a European shop I know has one but it's priced at +1200 USD. They can sometimes be found at Rakuten but unless you read Japanese that's a tough place to negotiate around. Or occasionally on the 'bay but caveat emptor, I've seen some advertised as 'tamagahane' but without the kanji indicating such (玉鋼 ) on the ura side.

    Funny also to see how some people ascribe almost mythical properties to that steel while afaik from a strictly technical point of view it's inferior to modern steels. But one pays the premium for the aesthetic aspect, knowing the production method and the labor/care associated with transforming the raw material into a flawless instrument.

    They still have a good supply of tamagahane (dating from the 1970's) in the Iwasaki forge but only produce them in limited quantities once a year and -at the time, don't know about now- don't really make a big profit out of them due to high production losses. Anyway, congratulations, it's a really nice shaver too, you'll see. But that goes for most kamisori, especially if like me you have an angular face, their smaller sized blades are easier to handle than a classic straight once one has the knack of it.
    SirStropalot likes this.
    It is preferable to have a criminal as a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are at least predictable.

  7. #7
    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    Yep, got it at Aframestokyo. Apparently he's only been able to acquire 17 of them in the last 4 years. They just don't like to take the time and effort required to process the Tamahagane. Very labor intensive and around a 50% success rate with tempering and quenching. I was just lucky to look on Friday and it showed in stock.....ordered and then out of stock.

    And, yeah, it may be obsolete steel by today's standards, but it was the benchmark at one time and I like the old successful things. Love a piece of history!!!

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    Regards,

    Howard
    Last edited by SirStropalot; 05-29-2013 at 03:49 AM.
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  8. #8
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Welcome to the 'Place'.... Nice razors.

    While tamahagane may be obsolete technically the smith more than makes up for it. In fact I bet there are few modern razors in the mid 60's HRC range that would hone up like an Iwasaki without microchipping.
    In fact I would bet there are few razors in the mid 60's HRC at all.
    Last edited by onimaru55; 05-31-2013 at 02:14 AM.
    “The white gleam of swords, not the black ink of books, clears doubts and uncertainties and bleak outlooks.”

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  10. #9
    Member dougr's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP

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