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Thread: First Straight Razor Delivered!

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    Cool First Straight Razor Delivered!

    So, I happily received a box from SRD yesterday afternoon. Pulled it out and sorted out my SRD 3" Latigo black strop, some assorted goodies (Musgo cream) and the Black Ralf Aust 5/8" Straight Razor. It also included Lynn's World of Straight Razor DVD which I popped in and watched this morning.

    Now, fortunately I had some time and decided to go ahead and work on my first SR shave this morning. I've been doing DE for about a month, and still learning a few tricks on that but have been getting reliably close shaves. I've had enough fun on the DE, that I've actually been shaving more often . . . So, time for the SR.

    I have some AoS pre-oil which the jury is still out on . . . so I decided to skip that after my shower and go right to the Col. Conk Bay Rum Soap. I had expressed some problems before on getting enough lather for a few passes(found out I was adding too much water to the brush and just watered down the load), but that worked itself out pretty well in the last week. So, I lathered up and carefully tried my first pass with the right hand, just down the right sideburn. (WTG)

    Angle felt pretty good, and the razor glided down with no pull. In fact, I had to stop myself as I quickly realized I was half-way down the sideburn and was still making a single stroke. Of course, my angle suffered a bit with the longer stroke, but I reset and made shorter, 1/2 inch to inch strokes which allowed me to hold the angle much better.

    From there, I stopped, realized I felt pretty good and decided to move on to the side of the face/cheek area just to take another pass. Again, short, careful strokes and it seemed to go pretty well. So, with that, I stopped and assessed my comfort. I actually felt really comfortable with the razor and decided, more out of curiosity, to see how I could manage with my left hand.

    Now, fair warning, I am right handed, but with nearly 30 years in martial arts, I am pretty decent at doing some things left handed, and I have had a myriad of weapons I've used ambidextrously in the past. I feel pretty comfortable with a blade, and felt like I was using really light pressure. So, I made a sideburn and cheek pass WTG on the left. Surprisingly, it wasn't as smooth as the right, but I felt fine with it.

    From there, I was curious as to how I would guide the blade across different parts of my face, and with the comfort I had in right and left sides, I decided to just play and see how I could align the blade to go WTG across my face. I used a light touch, and if I wasn't certain, I pulled the blade back and either skipped that part or reset my approach. Overall, I actually did a whole WTG first pass with the straight. Only parts I skipped were the cup of the chin, and a few paths on my neck. I have a pretty thin neck and pronounced Adam's apple and wind pipe, so the angles were a bit interesting. With a DE, I've gotten used to which path is about the width of the DE, with the straight, it's width made it a little more difficult, so there were a few spots I didn't quite cover.

    Now, how close was the shave? It wasn't, I was much more about running the razor lightly over my face just to get the feel for it. I didn't care about how close the shave was, as long as I was shaving some whiskers, not going Sweeney Todd on my face, and getting a feel for the blade. The super light touch, I had no irritation, and while it jumped on my face some, it was a reminder to realign the angle.

    First face wash - no irritation, no nicks, perfect success for a first SR shave. My original intent was just the right side, but after going all over, it was fun and pleasant, so I decided, roll the dice and go again. I didn't quite feel like one pass with a straight allowed me enough to do a XTG or ATG pass, but why not do another WTG? This time, I just did the parts I felt good with, sides, and straight parts of the neck. Ignored the roll of the chin, mustache area, jawline and Adam's Apple. Added a bit more pressure (more, I kept the razor weight off me and made it really light at first; this time, I let the razor weight fall on my face) and went around. Now the razor was doing it's work, and honestly, closest shave I've ever had in a single pass. Granted . . . I did technically two passes now, but still I was on a WTG pass.

    Again, no issues and so lathered up and switched to my DE to finish the job with a X and ATG pass. Afterwards, cold water, wash, used some Aveda After-Shave and cleaned up. Dried off the straight and put it in my Sack-Up Protective Sleeve and moved it onto my dresser for storage.

    Overall review. The Ralf Aust was awesome. Good feel, easy shave. I'm not an expert, but I couldn't have expected more from a first shave. Period. Only thing I have to say bad is that the black plastic scale was a bit more flimsy than I expected, but that's me TRYING to find an issue! And for a razor at that price, I'm not complaining AT ALL!

    I also have to say, the 3" SRD Strop I have yet to use (that's tomorrow - didn't want to mess up the perfect hone on day 1), but that strop is awesome. I was expecting it to be a bit flimsier, lighter, cheaper made, etc., because of the price, but while I could see a more expensive strop having thicker leather . . . the hardware and everything else about the strop seems top notch. Granted, I'm not an expert, but I feel like I got a steal from SRD and am very happy with what I've got.

    I definitely thank this site and some people having posted things on YouTube for some great direction to get started, and careful warnings. I figured it would be harder, but I'd rather start slow and timid, and realize I can go a bit further, than try to go to far too soon, and get frustrated or hurt. Thanks everyone!
    Hirlau, eddy79, Raol and 1 others like this.

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    Senior Member tintin's Avatar
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    sounds like your of to a great start. I'm sure you'll keep getting better at it but don't be surprised if you get a few nicks now and then. i've been at it for about 8 months and still nick myself and some days the shaves are better than others. it's all part of the fun/challenge.
    Shaotzu likes this.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Haroldg48's Avatar
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    Congratulations! That sounds pretty much like my first modern era R. Aust SR shave (my first try was 35 years ago). Keep at it and keep following your instinct on when to pause, stop and revisit angle, etc. You'll do well as long as you don't get too rushed or overconfident too soon. (By the way, we all do!)
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    Just call me Harold
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    Quote Originally Posted by tintin View Post
    ....don't be surprised if you get a few nicks now and then...
    Quote Originally Posted by Haroldg48 View Post
    .... as long as you don't get too rushed or overconfident too soon. (By the way, we all do!)
    I fully expect a few marks along the way, but really happy with day 1 and looking forward to day 2. Now, to figure out this stroping thing.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Haroldg48's Avatar
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    Each step is an adventure. Watch the stopping part of Lynn's DVD since you have it. He's a great coach!
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    Just call me Harold
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    A bad day at the beach is better than a good day at work!

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    Great for your first time. Pretty you'll be wondering what was the big deal was all about. Difficult.......pshaw!


    Mike
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    Moderator Razorfeld's Avatar
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    Good for you! I applaud your careful approach. Many new shavers want to jump in the deep end and do everything at once and need strong bailing out. You were right to not try the strop on day one since you bought from SRD, and that meant your razor was Lynn shave ready. Regardless of who honed a razor the first shave of a freshly honed razor should never be stropped for the first shave off of it. What I tell people about stropping, other than read about it in the SRD Library or FAQ and watch good vids on stropping, is to use as light a pressure a possible. I describe it as a 'feather light' touch. It will help you from rolling the edge and dulling it.

    One other thing. On shave prep let me suggest for a pre-shave a small dollop of Cremo or Kiss My Face rubbed into your beard on a wet face and then lather up.

    Good luck and ask questions.
    Shaotzu likes this.
    "The sharpening stones from time to time provide officers with gasoline."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haroldg48 View Post
    Each step is an adventure. Watch the stopping part of Lynn's DVD since you have it. He's a great coach!
    Yeah . . . looks pretty easy Actually, I think the biggest thing I've learned so far in this process is to take your time. Yes, this is a much slower process than grabbing a cartridge and slashing through your beard (both in learning curved and actual performance), but part of the fun in life is enjoying each moment anyway, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razorfeld View Post
    Good for you! I applaud your careful approach. Many new shavers want to jump in the deep end and do everything at once and need strong bailing out. You were right to not try the strop on day one since you bought from SRD, and that meant your razor was Lynn shave ready. Regardless of who honed a razor the first shave of a freshly honed razor should never be stropped for the first shave off of it. What I tell people about stropping, other than read about it in the SRD Library or FAQ and watch good vids on stropping, is to use as light a pressure a possible. I describe it as a 'feather light' touch. It will help you from rolling the edge and dulling it.

    One other thing. On shave prep let me suggest for a pre-shave a small dollop of Cremo or Kiss My Face rubbed into your beard on a wet face and then lather up.

    Good luck and ask questions.
    I think I picked up the feather light touch on the first pass with the SR. So I'm hoping I can carry that over to the stropping without too much trouble. And thanks for the advice on the pre-shave. I haven't really decided if I think the AoS oil is worth it, but I have it so I'm playing with integrating it into the shave or not. I might try some Cremo since I can pick it up locally.

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    Senior Member Txshooter38's Avatar
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    Great to hear from another soon to be addict. You will love that Ralf Aust!!
    Shaotzu likes this.

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