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Straight Razors

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,913 ✭✭✭hitemfrank


    I would highly doubt that there would be a straight razor sharpening class in Ireland. I just don't see there being enough demand for one to justify it being run, but I could be wrong.

    Just teach yourself really. There are plenty of sources online for information on how to do it. It's really not that difficult.

    Here is a link thread that has links to 9 videos (think they are 10 minutes long each). It's a pretty good series of videos if you have the time to watch them..


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ladhrann


    Hi Hitemfrank,

    Thanks for the reply. I was curious as I know in other major cities where you have a lot of pro chefs that there are specialist knife shops, and sharpening classes using water stones etc. so I wondered if their might be one in Dublin for instance.

    I do sharpen my own (carbon steel) kitchen knives but even though an autodidact in this I would always appreciate having someone watch my technique or help me improve. Being isolated as I am i.e. not knowing anyone else selling or maintaining these knives and razors I have nothing to compare my own sharpening skills against. So I do wonder, how much sharper can I get the edge of whatever tool is at hand?

    Its quite possible that the extent of own my skill is only any good precisely because of how awful the other items are out there i.e. cartridge razors, mild steel tools, cheap kitchen knives...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,913 ✭✭✭hitemfrank


    How many straight razors do you have?

    I'm only wondering because if you have a few you could hone one and send it to someone to try out. Or they could hone a razor and send it to you to try out for you to compare.

    What is the highest grit of stone you have for sharpening?

    Just to point out just because the edge is sharper doesn't mean it will perform any better (shaving wise that is). The edge may feel cut the hairs slightly easier but the edge could feel more uncomfortable on your face. The edge can become brittle and microchip making the edge feel harsh.

    I think Liam in the Waldorf barber shop in Dublin sharpens razors so maybe if you get a chance you could pitch the idea to him and see what he says.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,026 ✭✭✭Amalgam


    The BBC, reporting on the death of Eric Sykes, have pulled up a bit of (straight) shaving madness lost to the airwaves and the passing of decades.. it looks frightening.

    Eric Sykes, one of Britain's best-loved comedy actors and writers, has died at the age of 89, his manager has said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18704263

    ---

    ericsykesmassshavingmac.jpg
    Sykes (left) demonstrated a mass shaving machine in the 1960 TV show Brainwaves

    ---


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,026 ✭✭✭Amalgam


    Sean Bonner @ boingboing.net has posted up a very nice and open article on making the modern leap to an old method of shaving..

    http://boingboing.net/2012/08/25/switching-to-a-straight-razor.html

    60054685157.jpg
    Would I recommend it? Hell yes. I feel like I’ve accomplished something by just mastering how to hold the damn thing, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it gave me a weird confidence boost.

    Every other challenge you face in the day gets some perspective when you’ve already had a razor against your throat.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Feckless Rogue


    ^ came here to post this - great article and it's making me reconsider the possibility of jumping to a straight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    ^ came here to post this - great article and it's making me reconsider the possibility of jumping to a straight.

    Go for it, set a goal of sticking with it for 100 shaves.

    Can't remember the last time I nicked myself or got an ingrown hair.


  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Feckless Rogue


    I think I will do just that! I like the idea of mastering a single instrument and learning how to do it all properly.

    Currently doing the homework and I think I'll go for the Whipped Dog deal, then save up for a nice Hart blade - I've agonized over Dovo's entire range and there are some gorgeous blades but after seeing this gallery I think Hart put out the kind of timeless style I'm after.

    Of course then there's the Zowadas which are just :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    I think I will do just that! I like the idea of mastering a single instrument and learning how to do it all properly.

    Currently doing the homework and I think I'll go for the Whipped Dog deal, then save up for a nice Hart blade - I've agonized over Dovo's entire range and there are some gorgeous blades but after seeing this gallery I think Hart put out the kind of timeless style I'm after.

    Of course then there's the Zowadas which are just :eek:

    I own far too many blades, but I don't have a Thiers-Issard. Money no object, this...

    http://www.thiers-issard.co.uk/7-daysetcommissions.html#7dayset

    Good thread on choosing a razor here

    http://straightrazorplace.com/content/beginners-tips-august-2012-645/


  • Registered Users Posts: 39 Galwayguy20


    After seeing a how it's made on straight razors my interest has been reignited! However I have a few moles on my face that make me a little bit nervous about actually trying it out. Does anybody else have experience with this, and is it possible to shave using a straight razor without slicing off a piece of my face?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,913 ✭✭✭hitemfrank


    Do they interfere when you shave with whatever you shave with now? If they don't cause any issue now, they shouldn't be an issue with a straight razor.

    I have two slight moles on either side of my face and they've never been an issue when I've shaved.


  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Feckless Rogue


    After seeing a how it's made on straight razors my interest has been reignited! However I have a few moles on my face that make me a little bit nervous about actually trying it out. Does anybody else have experience with this, and is it possible to shave using a straight razor without slicing off a piece of my face?

    I'm the same - I have one in particular just underneath my Adam's apple which is a cause for concern even with a regular blade. I imagine it's all down to technique.

    I've finally ordered a straight from Whipped Dog so I can't wait to try it. I got a bunch of Proraso stuff from shaving.ie yesterday and it made a massive difference to the DE shave so that's given me a bit of confidence...


  • Registered Users Posts: 39 Galwayguy20


    hitemfrank wrote: »
    Do they interfere when you shave with whatever you shave with now? If they don't cause any issue now, they shouldn't be an issue with a straight razor.

    I have two slight moles on either side of my face and they've never been an issue when I've shaved.

    I use plastic disposables at the moment :eek:, and i have nicked it in the past with them. I was probably just applying too much pressure at the time as it doesn't happen to me very often. I think I'm just nervous at the thought of using something so sharp/ unguarded near them!


  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Feckless Rogue


    Well I had my first solo shave with a straight on Saturday. I will say I was terrified although I did start to hit something of a stride about an hour into it :p

    Actually managed not to get any major cuts, with the exception of slicing my index finger after shifting it to the wrong place for a better grip :eek:

    But I'm starting to realise just how many new things have to be learned; using a brush, using the blade, using the strop (nicked it 3x times in a single session :( ), taking care of all of the above etc. It's a lot to take in!

    Also I must say the closeness shave itself was a letdown although I know this is down to being a complete newb. I did way to many passes too - ended up doing two WTG, one XTG and two "localised" passes where I was trying to figure out what the hell to do with my neck pattern. By the end I had a roaring neckburn in one of the most awkward parts of my neck but was pleased to have started off at least.

    What's the story with nicks on the strop? Will they render it useless?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,913 ✭✭✭hitemfrank


    Get yourself some highish grit sand paper - I use 600 or so when I nick my strop and just sand it out. Strop works just fine then.

    If it's a whipped dog strop you may want to use an even higher grit. Your strop will look a bit knackered but it will be fine.


    Or depending on how large the nick is, you may need to get some superglue and glue it. Then sand it flat if necessary.


  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭Drakus


    I use emery boards (for filing nails) to smooth out small flatish nicks on my strop, works well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 914 ✭✭✭Dramatik


    What's the story with nicks on the strop? Will they render it useless?

    If you make a deep nick in your strop that won't sand out you can always get a stanley blade and a metal ruler and just cut a strip off the length of the strop. Obviously it won't be as wide but as a last resort it will work fine. You can also sand along the edge of the strop after if your cut isn't that clean.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    Well I had my first solo shave with a straight on Saturday. I will say I was terrified although I did start to hit something of a stride about an hour into it :p

    Actually managed not to get any major cuts, with the exception of slicing my index finger after shifting it to the wrong place for a better grip :eek:

    But I'm starting to realise just how many new things have to be learned; using a brush, using the blade, using the strop (nicked it 3x times in a single session :( ), taking care of all of the above etc. It's a lot to take in!

    Also I must say the closeness shave itself was a letdown although I know this is down to being a complete newb. I did way to many passes too - ended up doing two WTG, one XTG and two "localised" passes where I was trying to figure out what the hell to do with my neck pattern. By the end I had a roaring neckburn in one of the most awkward parts of my neck but was pleased to have started off at least.

    What's the story with nicks on the strop? Will they render it useless?

    Try laying the strop on a flat surface when you first start stropping. And don't get too hung up on stropping at first if you know your razor is sharp (I assume you have had it properly honed, it is not sharp from the factory) ease your way into stropping...


  • Registered Users Posts: 236 ✭✭Wiggles88


    Hey not sure if this is the right thread to ask in but here goes.

    Anyone know where I can buy a straight razor in Cork?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,330 ✭✭✭Gran Hermano




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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    Wiggles88 wrote: »
    Hey not sure if this is the right thread to ask in but here goes.

    Anyone know where I can buy a straight razor in Cork?

    Hi Wiggles,

    Congratulations on taking the plunge - could you let us know what kind of budget you are working with, whilst it is unlikely you will find a razor in Cork, we can point you in the right direction online.

    In the meantime this wiki has a whole lot of useful information for starting out.

    http://straightrazorplace.com/srpwiki/index.php/Beginner's_guide_to_straight_razor_shaving


  • Registered Users Posts: 236 ✭✭Wiggles88


    Hey thanks for the reply.

    I did some searching and was thinking about getting a Dovo Straight Razor on shaving.ie. Not sure what the difference is between that and the more expensive ones?

    As for the strop I see shaving.ie have ones ranging from 25 up to 120 euro. Is there much difference between strops other than size?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,913 ✭✭✭hitemfrank


    Just something to note Wiggles, the straight razors from Shaving.ie will not be shave ready. By that I mean they will need to be properly sharpened before you go using them.

    The edge the factory puts on then just won't cut it....... I'm here all week, try the veal!


  • Registered Users Posts: 236 ✭✭Wiggles88


    Hmmm I was afraid of that. I was also looking at the starter kit from theinvisibleedge.co.uk (or maybe mix and matching my own kit). They advertise as shave ready so probably a better bet in that regard. Anyone have any experience with their razors?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    88 euros delivered will get you probably the best honed edge in the world, Lynn Abrahms from Straight Razor Designs has honed ten of thousands of razors. Plus you get your next honing free.

    Here's some options at price points:

    Dovo Best Quality
    88 EUR delivered
    http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/dovo-straight-razors/professionally-sharpened-dovo-best-quality-black-5-8

    Deal of the month -
    116.2253 euros
    Stainless razor - http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/boker-straight-razors/professionally-sharpened-boker-stainless-steel-5-8

    That nice Dovo Bismark - about €130
    http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/dovo-straight-razors/professionally-sharpened-dovo-bismarck-pearl-6-8

    Strop sets (razor and strop) start at €120
    http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/straight-razor-strop-sets/dovo-best-quality-black-5-8-straight-razor-strop-set

    No affliation, but the guy is without equal when it comes to honing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 236 ✭✭Wiggles88


    Ooh those look great. Think I'll go with one of his, had a few searches and everyone has nothing but good things to say about the guy.

    Can't wait to try it out :P
    Thanks for the help!


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    Just be patient when it arrives, it takes at least 100 shave to know what you are doing with it, take it slow.

    Buy the cheapest (but still decent) strop you can find as you will cut it when starting out, everyone does.

    Good luck, and plenty of support and advice here and at sites like straight razor place. http://straightrazorplace.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,742 ✭✭✭Raoul


    MadsL wrote: »
    88 euros delivered will get you probably the best honed edge in the world, Lynn Abrahms from Straight Razor Designs has honed ten of thousands of razors. Plus you get your next honing free.

    Here's some options at price points:

    Dovo Best Quality
    88 EUR delivered
    http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/dovo-straight-razors/professionally-sharpened-dovo-best-quality-black-5-8

    Deal of the month -
    116.2253 euros
    Stainless razor - http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/boker-straight-razors/professionally-sharpened-boker-stainless-steel-5-8

    That nice Dovo Bismark - about €130
    http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/dovo-straight-razors/professionally-sharpened-dovo-bismarck-pearl-6-8

    Strop sets (razor and strop) start at €120
    http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/straight-razor-strop-sets/dovo-best-quality-black-5-8-straight-razor-strop-set

    No affliation, but the guy is without equal when it comes to honing.
    Wish I had seen this before ordering my whipped dog, still waiting on it but not looking forward to it after seeing what some other guys have gotten.:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,742 ✭✭✭Raoul




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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭MadsL


    Raoul wrote: »
    Wish I had seen this before ordering my whipped dog, still waiting on it but not looking forward to it after seeing what some other guys have gotten.:(

    Who says you have to have only one razor? I would recommend at least two anyway, if you are sending your razor off for honing then what do you shave with.


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