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Posted using TxtLJ - Lograh

Sunday, 24.Aug.2008

19:21 - Posted using TxtLJ

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One pass on my head officially takes four honings.

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From:raybrandle
Date:21:05 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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Honings or stroppings? Ideally, I guess you're only supposed to hone the blade every 6 months or so.

Stropping is an "each time you shave" kinda thing though.
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From:lograh
Date:21:29 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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well, perhaps I'm being too picky with when my blade starts to get dull. I'm guessing if the blade starts having trouble cutting the hairs (to the point where it's simply not cutting them or is cutting me instead), it counts as dull enough to merit a stropping. If stropping doesn't get it back in shape, then it's to the stone with it.

Perhaps I'm not being tolerant enough and am too quick to strop? Maybe I'd be more lenient with the edge if I was using some shaving cream instead of just sticking with water?

Last night, I would generally hone for about 3 or 4 passes (stopping when I could feel the slight suction of the edge on the stone, which I've read is a good indicator that the edge is back), strop with linen for about 15 passes, and leather for about 7 (though the leather doesn't feel like it does much), and then shave. After a bit of work, it'd be having trouble cutting and I'd strop (roughly) 15 linen and 7 leather again and continue. It'd start to tug the hair, nick the skin and I'd strop yet again. Generally at this point I wouldn't be able to get much done and I'd start over with a fresh hone.

Perhaps I'm not honing right and there's a problem with my edge? I lay it on the stone spine-first, handle-side of the blade (where there's a noticeable wall where the edge stops) flush with the edge of the stone, rolling down the blade till the edge is flat against the stone (which is wet with a thin film of water). I then bring it across the stone, careful not to press down on the blade and avoiding allowing the handle to dip or raise (that is, keeping the blade flat on the stone instead of inclining), edge-leading while I pull the blade sideways so the stone moves from the base of the edge to the tip. I then roll the blade over on the spine so the edge rests on the stone (now pointing towards me), while pushing the blade back up so the base of the blade is once again aligned with the edge of the stone, and pull the blade towards me (again at a diagonal so the stone moves from the base of the blade to the tip). This would be one "pass" in my counting.

Stropping would be similar, but the blade travels spine-first instead of edge first.

Am I doing something wrong that perhaps you could help with? I'd certainly love to know if there's anything I can do that would make this quicker or easier (or less painful -- took a sizable chunk out of my scalp last night).
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From:raybrandle
Date:21:39 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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As I'm pretty sure I mentioned, using just water is the harshest way to go, both for your skin and for the blade itself. A good lather functions as a lubricant, allowing the blade to glide over the skin, taking off only the hairs of your face (or scalp, in your case).

Your technique sounds fine, from everything I've read... and we strop the same. I don't have a honing stone, but I've watched it done, and read about it, and watched video; You are dead on in that regard.

The only advice I would posit for you is that you're not giving enough runs on the leather of your strop.

My routine is to lather up, let that lather sit and hit my strop for 20-30 strokes. About every 3rd or 4th shave, I use my "linen equivalent", since my strop doesn't have linen on it. I run that about 15 to 20 strokes, then finish with my normal leather stropping. I get a BBS shave just about every time, save 2 small spots on my jawline I'm having trouble with.

The other question is what kind of blade did you get? Is it a reputable brand? Apparently a lot of the cheap blades that are out there on Ebay or Amazon are really really bad steel, and don't hold an edge to save one's life.

Quicker I don't know about. Lather might help, but you would have to rinse your head afterwards.

If you'd like, I've got extra soap samples... hit me with your mailing address, and I can hook you up with some soap. Brushes can be had at most drug stores fairly cheaply (no need for a $75 badger brush.... kinda goes against the precepts anyways, if I understand correctly. A $8 bristle brush works fine) and you can just use a bowl or coffee cup to work the lather.
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From:lograh
Date:21:56 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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Yeah, I know just using water is harsher, but I was really trying to avoid the added expense and complexity of shaving soap (and a brush, as I understand they wear down). I have a cup already. I'll swing by the store and grab a brush in the next few days -- I have a soap sample still from when I purchased the blade.

I'll also try using the leather more. Perhaps it's doing more than I can feel.

I thought the blade was a reputable brand; it's from Dovo. It was purchased new.
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From:raybrandle
Date:22:22 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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Dovo is a good brand, usually quite well spoken of on the online forums I read.

Maybe you have hair of steel? Hehehe

Advice on shaving soap:
I no longer rinse out the cup. I let the suds dry on the cake and on the inside of the cup. It seems to whip into a lather quicker that way.

Place your brush in hot water, and let it soak up water while you're showering (or whatever), When you're ready to go, lift up the brush, and let the excess drain. No shaking!

Then start whisking the brush in your mug of soap. Consistency should be on the order of whipped cream, ideally, but that's not easy to get without some practice.

I place my mug in the sink with hot water surrounding it, to keep the later war. I lather up, as noted above, while stropping. Then I relather one side, shave it. Lather the other side and shave same.

Relather and do my against the grain pass, and I'm good to go.

Some guys go nuts, buying various soaps, multiple mugs and brushes, and a whole HOST of aftershaves and skin conditioners.

I bought some Witch Hazel. And a styptic pencil. HEhehe
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From:lograh
Date:22:28 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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Thanks for the tips. I'll give the lather a few tries (can't judge off the first time when I'll likely do it wrong) and see if it helps.
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From:raybrandle
Date:22:33 25.Aug.2008 (UTC)
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Anytime. Keep me posted!
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