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Thread: Beginner's Tips: August 2011

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Post Beginner's Tips: August 2011

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    Since I was in Colorado during the middle of the month I decided that it would be a good time to shift the time of month that I write these... Normally I target the 15th of the month but since we have re-vamped the front page look and features I am going to try now to have these written around the 1st of each month...
    For those of you that are very new to this Hobby of wet shaving and our clubhouse here on SRP, I read most every post that comes onto the forum... Part of that is from being a Mod and the other is having a job that doesn't require much of my time during a typical 8 hour shift
    I try and take what I read, and address some of the questions and concerns that I see multiple times each month...

    This month I want to take some time and talk about some things I learned at the Denver Meet up.

    We had quite a few new guys there which honestly if you are new to this and have a chance to meet with experienced guys, take the time... Nothing that we can write about on here can beat hands on experience..

    First thing that comes to mind that we addressed at the meet, was lapping a new stone/hone.
    We started on a Norton 4/8 and the 4k side was pretty typical and took about 15-20 minutes to get it ready for honing. But the 8k side was off, and after about 2 hours of solid lapping it finally evened up.. Several of the new guys mentioned that if they had not been there to see it, they would have just assumed that if it happened to them that they were doing something wrong...
    So I mention it here to let you know that each stone or hone can be very different, and you do need to take the time to make sure that during the initial lapping that you get it even then re-mark the grid and double check it...

    Now once we had level hones we started honing, the first thing they noticed was that I was using a bit of pressure when setting the bevel. They had all read that there is NO pressure when honing razors, which is true, after the bevel setting stage, but when you have old beat up e-bay razors it takes a little metal grinding to get that bevel in shape again... Then you actually start "Honing The Razor" and that is where the term "No pressure" comes into play...

    Another thing that was apparent was when stropping, the proper word is "taut" when holding a hanging strop..You don't have to be pulling the hook out of the wall, or trying to hold it so tight that your arm is shaking from the effort...Also SLOW DOWN, those of us that do these videos tend to show off a bit you do not need that kind of speed for stropping.. There was a thread where we asked people to time the speed at which they strop normally, and it comes up to less than one lap per second. That is a nice comfortable speed to strive for.

    Let's discuss just how sharp the edge really is when the bevel is truly set, many of the guys did not realize that the razor is fully capable of cutting hair at that point.. The edge will feel sharper then any knife you have touched, the Thumb Nail Test is very apparent, and shaving arm hair on most people is easy... If you cheat at this stage you are basically wasting time at the higher grit stones...

    One of the other things that seemed to surprise everyone was just how easy it was to take a razor that just needed "honing" and bring it to shave ready.. If there is no bevel setting to be done it really is fairly straight forward. I am not talking about a simple refresh here either but actually honing in a razor...

    I hope these observations helped some of you, and like all of these threads, I would love for the Senior members here to add any experiences they have had to, especially those of you that have been to a meet and can tell about it first hand ...
    DerekC, DLB, Pithor and 2 others like this.

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to gssixgun For This Useful Post:

    DerekC (08-01-2011), DLB (08-02-2011), easyace (08-08-2011), Havachat45 (08-09-2011), Terje K (08-08-2011), TroutWhisperer (08-03-2011), WillN (08-02-2011)

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    Mr. Baby Face DerekC's Avatar
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    I'll add that I learned quite alot at my recent meetup in Kenosha just from being able to see guys perform certain actions, such as honing. After 2 years of shaving and honing, I learned that I was pretty far off from where I needed to be on the hones. Since then, my honing time has drastically been reduced.

    +1 on meeting up with Senior members to get a walk-through with everything shaving related.

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    They call me Mr Bear. Stubear's Avatar
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    Completely agree about the bevel setting, if you can't shave arm hair off the 1k you'll end up with a shiny but dull edge. Once I got that figured out things fell into place much quicker..!

    Don't be afraid to give things a bit of welly on the 1k stone, the bevel set is the hardest and most important part IMO.

    I also think one of the best ways to learn is to go to a meet. From a selfish point of view I always learn loads and it's great to meet others but I also think it really helps the newer guys get up to speed quicker because you can actually sit with someone and see what they're doing.

    Great post Glen!

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    Norton convert Blix's Avatar
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    Interesting, I figured out the pressure doing bevels and the strop taunetess thing by watching your videos. You can literally hear how much pressure you use.
    Same thing about stropping, especially when you use the loud 827.
    And I find I spend more and more time at 1k to make things right.

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    DLB
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks once again for your informative post.

    Each time I read one of your Beginner's Hints, I feel like I am having an "aha" moment. "So, that's what their talking about."

    You should put all your hints together and label them "Staying Out of Trouble!"

    If one will only read and take advantage of all the information on SRP, one can certainly gain a great education!

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    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    I just recently started honing (hell, I even started straight shaving only about four months ago) and I have to say that no matter how valuable,interesting, and so on talking to experienced people is, I'm having a blast learning to hone all by myself, and on a coticule.

    I'm not saying "get a stone and scrape a blade over it until you get it right", not at all, but with some minor hints and tips, background reading and so on I got the first blade I ever honed to shave pretty damn well. I think it's also good to remind people:

    Shaving and honing is not rocket science.

    Nonetheless, I hope you guys had a blast at the meet-up and learned valuable things. Stubborn as I am, even I have to admit that some people are better at some things than me and might actually teach me some stuff I didn't know.

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