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Thread: Troubeardshooting

  1. #1
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    Default Troubeardshooting

    Hey all! Been quite a while since I have browsed the forums, it's great to see there's still a lot of great content around. I hope everyone and their families are safe and keeping sane.

    I stopped shaving somewhat shortly after starting with Straight Razors for quite a bit and just recently felt the urge to pick it up again. I have two razors, one of them being a Solingen Classic Black 5/8 and another one a Filarmonica (a very old Spanish brand with a Solingen blade). The Solingen black was purchased locally but never honed by an expert, and the Filarmonica is very old and a gift from my father. I had a great honing session a few years ago with one of our fellow members, but due to COVID it wasn't possible to repeat right now. I ended up trying to order some sandpaper as getting stones is a bit out of budget at the moment (and we live in Australia, which makes buying second hand things difficult) I checked https://sharprazorpalace.com/honing/...ing-how-2.html and ended up getting a decent spread of sandpaper, gave both blades a shot and the Filarmonica seems to have come through quite OK, splitting hairs and overall feeling sharp / providing a comfy shave.

    However... My shaves are not yielding a great result. Without a doubt my technique is a factor and I'd like to ask for some guidance. I prep the beard with a hot shower and some pre shaving balm, then I strop the blade and lather up. I am currently doing a WTG first pass, across as a second one and lastly against (to the best of my abilities). However even though the beard feels smooth to the touch, i have visible stubble leading me to believe I must not be doing things right. Over the past few weeks I'm definitely getting closer and am happy to continue practicing. My only reservation is: At which point (if any) should I think the blades are just not sharp enough?

    Thanks everyone for your input!!
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    Last edited by seb962; 04-27-2020 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Well, if your skin feels smooth to the touch, it leads me to wonder if dark whiskers and pale skin is not a big part of what you are up against.
    Prep sounds solid, and you have not complained of comfort issues.
    For my skin and whiskers, my technique for a very close and comfortable shave follows along with good prep, good skin holding and stretching techniques, with a wet lather about soft peak, a very low blade angle. With a hollow blade my angle is about one blade width off my face. I start with against the grain first, mostly because my whiskers, particularly on my neck, grow very flat against my skin. My next pass is multi directional. My moustache will not bear am against the grain pass. Mapping out your whisker growth direction can help a lot.
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    Senior Member jfk742's Avatar
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    Try using the same stroke paths but angle the blade some so it is cutting a little more against the grain. If that doesn’t work I’d look at touching up the edge. Both those issues have led me to less than close shaves. Since you can’t feel stubble but can see it, I would tend to agree with rezdogs thoughts on pale skin with dark hair. It may be just the way it is for you. Has it been a problem in the past with different types of razors?
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    Thanks for your answers! I'll definitely keep adjusting my technique and those pointers are great! I think its worth noting that I do get (for now!) a closer shave with a Gilette which completely eradicates the stubble.
    Good thing is Isolation doesn't require me to go out that much so I can afford stubble and not using darned Gilettes I am going to give the razors a few more passes at the sandpaper for sure.


    Thanks once again!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    What grit sandpaper? Are you using a pasted strop?
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    I got a set ranging from 1k to 10k grit. - I am using a leather strop with just a regular non abrasive paste.
    Cheers!

  7. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Well it does sound like more of a honing issue at this point. Here is a thread with great pictures.
    https://sharprazorpalace.com/honing/...ggestions.html
    Most hone on synthetics, except for the finish. You can use sand paper and lapping film. Personally I hate it, but if that is where you are at, go for it until you can love it or get something better. Most set the bevel at 1000 grit and then go up from there, finishing at 8000 or above.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member jfk742's Avatar
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    You have a ways to go if the cartridge razor is closer than your straight shaves. It takes a while though. The muscle memory required takes around 100 shaves, which sounds daunting but it goes by quick and usually the first dozen shaves are fairly terrible but if you just work on the easy parts like the cheeks and jaw line and slowly incorporate the rest of the face you’ll get it pretty quick without doing your skin too much damage. Don’t be afraid to use your old shaving kit to finish a shave.

    Stropping, edge angle, and pressure are way more important than honing. For honing you can always send it out, the other 3 you have to learn for yourself.
    rolodave, BobH, RezDog and 1 others like this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Looking at your face pics, I think you are lacking keenness.

    From 10k you can easily take it to 30,000 grit mirror finish, with Chromium Oxide that will give you a keen and smooth shave. Chrome Oxide is inexpensive.


    You can shave off a 10k edge stropped on leather, but you have to have mastered stropping

    .Post some pics of your razors. What magnification are you using?

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