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Thread: Been about a month now....

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Been about a month now....

    I feel like I've been getting better. Slowly but surely, every shave was getting better. It would still take a few passes to get close to BBS with my razor though. Then today, I used my freshly honed Dovo Special, worked over by Shooter. This was my first blade, and it was most definitely NOT shave ready when I got it. With shooter's help, that was fixed. And BOY what a difference! Now I'm thinking that my Ralf Aust that I got from SRD isn't up to par. Or they just aren't as good at holding an edge. One or the other. Either way, MUCH easier this time! The Dovo cut almost BBS on first pass WTG on a weeks worth of growth, and just needed one more pass ATG to get BBS. My neck still does not agree with multiple passes but at least I got it relatively smooth without too much razor burn. Even with a full week of growth, it pulled a little blood from my neck. I have always gotten that, which was one reason I switched to straights in the first place, but at least this is not nearly as bad as before. So that leaves me with a little improvement. Not complaining that much. Next step is figuring out how to cut down on that irritation and scraping off the skin. I've always had the problem, usually after one pass with a M3 or now two passes with a straight. I can handle a single pass with the straight, it doesn't leave that much to see. I would love to see what anyone else has to say about possibilities. cheeks, lip (upper and lower), jaw line... all BBS. neck? stubbly but any closer and i'll bleed out.

    Anyways. I guess the TL;DR is can Ralf Aust blades be honed as sharp as Dovo Special? and any tips on dealing with neck burn?

    Using AoS pre oil and balm. VDH soap. Dovo Special, fresh from hone, not stropped.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MajorEthanolic's Avatar
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    I'm almost to the point where I can get bbs on my neck, the bottom 2 inches or so is my only continuing issue. Two things that have really helped me - 1) even after getting a "shave ready razor" I did about 10 passes with CrOX. 2) this cream has helped me tremendously. Went from needed like 4-5 passes on my neck to just doing one with/one against and no irritation anymore.
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  3. #3
    MJC
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    Most - if not all of your issues will work out with some practice - it's a detailed fine motor skill and in the end ther is no substitute for 100+ shaves.

    With practice you will be shocked at how well you can maintain an edge with a high quality strop and consistent teqniuqe.

    The Ralph Aust razor is excellent (IMHO) and will hang with anything in my rotation.

    "A good craftsman never blames his tools" - when we all start out the learning curve is steep and rocky. Remind yourself that you are trying to learn a skillset that, unless you are a seasoned citizen, your Grandfather might not have practiced.
    But Master it you will...

    Smooth Shaving,
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    Senior Member JTmke's Avatar
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    Good slick lather and patience are key. All comes in time. When you start out you can dull an edge pretty quick learning how to strop and shave. Send your Aust in and use your better skills to keep the edge.

    The burn you are experiencing may be caused by too much pressure or too extreme an angle. I used an aftershave then shower then Aveeno aftershave lotion when I was starting out to minimize the burn.

    To steal from the great Obie, comfort over close. If you are getting a good comfortable shave there is little need to keep going. Closer shaves will come with experience and practice. Cut free comfortable shaves should be the first goal
    EdwinM likes this.
    "The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas." -Linus Pauling

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    Senior Member EdHutton's Avatar
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    Are you using any skin stretching or skin traction yet? With the hand not holding the razor, try pulling the skin in different directions to see if this helps. You are trying to stand the whiskers up more.

    I had the devil's own time with my neck until I figured out my different beard directions and how to hold traction on the skin to get the smoothest shave with the least strokes. The whiskers on my neck grow sideways. So stretching the skin up higher let me get the blade in for a sideways pass lower on my neck. A magnifying mirror helped me a bunch, I was figuring things out quicker.

    100 shaves is a good goal. I'm also an engineer. I kept a diary more like a lab notebook. Every time something worked I noted what I was doing, same with things that didn't work. Little by little I kept getting better. Sometime around 50 shaves it turned a corner. Blade sharpness really matters too. You will have to figure out how to maintain the edge.

    Beard prep, good lather, blade techniques and angle, plus good skin stretching; one day it just happened. I got a smooth irritation free shave on my neck.

    You will too. Keep at it... It just has a really steep learning curve.

    Best Regards,

    Ed

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    EngineerJim (08-05-2014)

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    I've gotten pretty good at stretching my cheeks and lip. It's the neck that's an issue! The hair grows straight down in a 1 inch wide strip in the middle then it takes a sharp turn on each side out towards my ear lobe. I can pull the skin tight but I'm not sure if I'm pulling the hairs up or flat. I guess I'm pulling them flat since I can't get even a 5 o'clock shadow close on my neck. I could try pulling on my goatee to change the direction but I don't know how effective that'll be. It also doesn't help that it's a big dip in my neck right there between trachea and SCM. I've heard crescent blades do good on these areas but I'm still learning so I have straights. Thankfully I know they're sharp. They certainly do good on my face. My neck is just a pain in the... well you understand.

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    Senior Member EdHutton's Avatar
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    We aren't so different. My beard grows about the same below my jaw line and in the middle of my neck. I have a strip at the bottom that goes up and down instead of sideways.

    I don't mind ratting myself out either. I tried everything to get my neck closer. Heck I even inadvertently ran the blade into the fingers on my other hand. Yes I nicked two fingers on my left hand. Since my neck is at least symmetrical I would try something different on the left and right side until I found something that worked. That gave me two experiments per shave.

    Fortunately I can stretch my skin up a good deal. I can almost get the bottom of my neck to the middle. If I stretch my cheeks up I can shave to about 1.5 inches below my jaw line.

    I also tried a bunch of different grips and strokes to find something that worked sideways WTG and sideways ATG. XTG is just up and down my neck. So basically I can easily get from my jaw line down about 3 or 4 inches. I point my chin straight up and look in the magnifying mirror out of the corner of my eye.

    For the strip at the bottom, I dry the top of my neck, and then pull the skin up over my jaw bone. Then I can go sideways lower down my neck. I need to use the blade in both hands to make this work.

    You might find a cheap razor and grind the edge off it. Then use it as a simulator until you are comfortable with the grips, motions, and stretches required.

    You will get this. It will just take some time.

    Best,

    Ed

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    EngineerJim (08-05-2014)

  10. #8
    FrankC
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    Jim keep trying different passes, I'm in at 60 shaves and my left neck is my nemesis to a BBS shave. My beard grows form center to earlobe on that side and I also have that hollow to deal with, an ATG pass from earlobe to center is the only way I have found to get it and to hold a razor with my right hand and stretch w/my left is a very tricky pass to complete while holding proper angle and supper light pressure. A smiling blade will help but it can be done w/a straight also. Go slow and remember small steps toward excellence.
    All the best FrankC

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    EngineerJim (08-05-2014)

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