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Thread: Shave #10 with straight

  1. #11
    Senior Member HungeJ0e's Avatar
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    I agree... I don't think there is anything peculiar about a Bismarck style that I wouldn't recommend that for a new straight user... If it has a shaped spine may be rougher on a very soft strop, but it's not a deal breaker by any means.

    Go slow my brother! Congratulations. Yes, you'll look like you got in a fight with a cat for the first several weeks.

    Careful with that barber hone. You'll likely do more damage to the edge than good. In my experience, they leave a very aggressive, toothy edge. I think you'll likely find few people who commonly use them... the advent of the modern synthetic hone (1970s) made them obsolete as far as synthetics go, and there are many superior natural stones. Regardless, you should not need an edge touch-up for quite some time, and I would caution you from attempting anything other than stropping for your first several months. After that, there are inexpensive (less than $100) means of keeping a well honed edge in top condition. Looks like the ILR hone may serve you well... I have no personal experience with it but a quick forum search will give you some info.

    The hobby can be expensive or cheap as you like. I went almost ten years with a $40 German-made vintage blade, a set of Norton waterstones ($120), a 12K synthetic ($80), a Tony Miller strop ($60), and an Omega boar brush ($12). Add up the cost of Gillette Mach 3 blades for a decade, I'm sure I came out on top.
    Last edited by HungeJ0e; 05-02-2020 at 07:51 AM.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member FWiedner's Avatar
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    Your experiences are pretty much what every new SR shaver goes through. Stick with it, the destination is well worth the journey.

    With regard to your newly acquired hone... Please don't throw away one of your new Dovos trying to learn to hone. Buy your self a less expensive razor and practice honing on something that won't cost you hundreds of dollars if you goof it up. Honing, like shaving, requires some muscle memory and a small amount of technique. It can be done, but it requires practice.

    Well done to this point, Sir.

    Don't turn back now.

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  3. #13
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    I'm not trying to steal the thread, but how does one know if they have a vintage or a newer Dovo.

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  4. #14
    Senior Member HungeJ0e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGKC9AYC View Post
    I'm not trying to steal the thread, but how does one know if they have a vintage or a newer Dovo.
    That's vintage.

    If the tang is stamped, vice laser engraved, I would call that vintage. Someone will chime in, but the changeover happened sometime in the 2000s.
    Last edited by HungeJ0e; 05-04-2020 at 09:00 AM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGKC9AYC View Post
    I'm not trying to steal the thread, but how does one know if they have a vintage or a newer Dovo
    Here is some info on Dovo's company history STRAZORS.com - all about classic razors - DOVO, Fritz Bracht, Solingen, Germany. . The changes in the company's trade mark would help tell it's age. Also the newer ones have nail head pins instead of the traditional pinning with both sides being peened.

    Bob
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  6. #16
    Senior Member HungeJ0e's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGKC9AYC View Post
    I'm not trying to steal the thread, but how does one know if they have a vintage or a newer Dovo.
    To further beat the horse... that's not the modern Bismarck blank we're discussing... the modern Bismark is a round point shoulderless grind... makes up a large number of Dovo (and smaller Solingen) models. It's a good blank... I think the objection raised is that some of them have a worked spine which adds friction when stropping...
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  7. #17
    Member Dobel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beluga View Post
    Allow me to be frank, as I want you to avoid a few traps and misconceptions that a novice easily can stumble into.
    Luckily, you have come to a website, supported by many knowledgeable members, that may be better suited to provide assistance than any other website that I know of.


    Like many of us, I came to straight shaving via DE shaving. It teaches you a few things here and there, but it is by no means an entry course into straight shaving, as there are just too many aspects that have to be newly learned.

    While you can reasonably master a shave with a safety razor after a month of daily shaving, with a straight razor that will take much longer. Not only will you have to become proficient with shaving with a straight razor, you will need to become proficient in stropping and most likely, unless you plan on having someone hone the razors for you, honing.
    That is a tall order, as a small mistake in any of the above processes can ruin an otherwise perfect shave.

    That you bought a Dovo Bismarck and Dovo Bergischer Löwe did not make things easier. As attractive these blades are, their rhombus-shaped profile has a fairly sharp edge on each side of the blade that makes stropping and honing more difficult.
    On one extreme you risk scratching the strop or abrading the blade on the hone, on the other extreme you train yourself to use an unnecessarily steep, possibly inconsistent, angle to avoid damaging the strop or blade.
    In a nutshell, Bismarck style blades need more experience to strop and hone.

    Dovo has a bit of a mixed reputation among straight shavers. The company, which has recently filed for bankruptcy protection, has a long history, but has also seen some slide in quality and their products are not shave-ready and need honing according to some members. This is an ongoing debate as, like many aspects of straight shaving, this is ultimately a subjective assessment. One shaver’s hellish sharp razor is another shaver’s butterknife.

    Regarding the second razor you bought, “Bergischer Löwe” means nothing like “mountain lion” (that would be “Berglöwe” in German).
    Solingen lies in a region of Germany that is called “Bergisches Land” (hilly land) and as this razor was meant to be one of Dovo’s premium razors, they gave it the royal “Löwe” (lion) attribute.

    To perfect my technique, I would consider a fairly inexpensive quality razor, either a new, round point 5/8 or (if you must) 6/8 like a Ralf Aust, or a reconditioned round point razor of the same size. They are fairly inexpensive, easy to strop, hone, and shave with and if you should make the same mistakes that most of us made, quite forgiving and it won’t break the bank if you make a mistake that requires a setting a new edge.
    My venerable Aust 5/8 is still around, survived all my shaving, stropping and honing mistakes quite well and still shaves as well as my other razors.

    The concept of WTG, XTG, and ATG is just that, a concept.
    One’s particular (direction of) growth of facial hair dictates which way the blade should glide across the face.
    In my case, I have several corners where the theoretical concept will not work and most of my strokes have some XTG element in them. Do not become a slave to the academic purity of the WTG, XTG and ATG concept, use it as guidance and adapt it as your beard growth dictates.


    If you find it hard to believe that after 15 years of (dry, wet, cartridge??) shaving and 3 years shaving with a safety razor you did not get a BBS shave on straight shave number 10 you have to become more patient.
    First of all, BBS is just another concept that is open to interpretation. After many years of almost daily straight shaving my idea of a BBS has evolved and if my definition of what is achievable in a shave has moved, so will it for other shavers. Again, like many aspects of traditional wet shaving it’s all rather subjective and eludes a clear, verifiable definition.
    You will sometimes hear 100 shaves to become proficient straight razor, but that is only to become as proficient with a straight razor as with a DE razor.

    Having to wear glasses or contact lenses is a bit of a disadvantage that will, however, become easier to deal with when you develop the feel for you face. I can still shave without glasses, but even for us who do there may be a few moments during a shave where you have to guide the blade by memory without a clear view of the area that you are shaving.

    And yes, you may end up a few times looking like you have been trying to strangle a cat, but trust me we all did at one stage.

    It’s all a journey and once you have reached a stage of proficiency the journey does not end there. Noticeable progress in shaving, stropping and honing techniques will slow down, but if you persevere you may eventually reach a level where your straight shave will surpass what you can achieve with a safety razor.
    On the way, be prepared for a few moments where you ask yourself whether it’s all worth it, or whether you should go back.

    I believe it is, but what matters is patience and perseverance.

    Good luck on you journey.


    And one last thing: don’t believe everything that people will tell you (including me ).
    Like many things on the Internet, some opinions and suggestions are just blatant nonsense, some may work for a few but will not work for all, and some is universally proven, generally accepted.
    Visit several sites, get a feel which sites are able to provide better guidance and have a more open-minded community, and develop a feel for what straight shavers have reached a broad consensus on.
    These may be the snippets of information that may be worth trying.


    B.
    As a beginner myself I think I will print your words and hang them near the mirror I use to shave. Thanks a lot, I greatly appreciate.
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