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Thread: New to conventional razors, but not straight razor shaving

  1. #1
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    Default New to conventional razors, but not straight razor shaving

    Hello all,
    This is my first post, so allow me to introduce myself, my name is Nicholas, and although I have read many posts to obtain information from this site multiple times, I only recently (finally) signed up. I first just want to give a little history so y'all will know where I am coming from. I have been using a straight razor since 2006 when I started barber college, but in California, using a conventional blade on people is not legal. Lucky for me, I am back in my home state of Texas, where, according to the person I talked to from the board said it is perfectly fine here. I started off with the cheap little $20 red plastic handle changeable blade razor, actually more like 4 or 5 of them since they break so easily, which is why I bought a Feather Artist Club DX, because I read that it is the closest thing to using a fine conventional blade. I have been extremely happy with my feather, however, the other day my boss busted out his conventional blades to show me, he gave me a refresher on honing and stropping, and from there I started honing his 7 day set. Once I would hone a razor I would use it that day for all my post haircut neck shaves, and I fell in love. I also borrowed a friends high end Dovo, which took it to a whole new level, I wasn't 100% set to convert to conventional blades until using a real nice razor. There is something about honing and stropping that just makes the changeable blade seem so boring; I mean I am still very happy with what my feather will do with a fresh blade, it really does give a very nice, close shave, but the nostalgia that comes with a conventional blade is just too awesome to not enjoy. Although I had a ton of razors at my disposal, I still wanted my own, so I kept looking at ebay until I found a nice looking, clean, vintage razor (a Geneva Pyramid 7n in a 5/8) to start my collection. Although its a nice razor, i just ordered a TI Bijou de France, because I wanted something that felt as good or better than my friends Dovo I had borrowed. So, now that the brief history of my straight razor history has been told, onto my inquiries!

    1. Will my TI be shave ready? or will it need some stropping, or possibly honing?
    2. Being that I will be using my TI daily, how often would one suppose I'll need to hone?
    3. What hones do I need to maintain the cutting edge on my TI? also, to get a better cutting edge on my Geneva, it is not nearly as sharp as I would like, although it does cut; but I think that's because I have only used a barbers hone? My thoughts were to get a nice 1k, the norton 4k/8k combo, and a Naniwa 12k (because of the natural polishing effect)
    4. What would be the best hanging strop to use? right now, the one that is hanging off my barber's chair is leather on one side canvas on the other.

    Thanks for reading, and for any input you may have, I appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Member Trox's Avatar
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    1) Without knowing who you bought it from there is no telling if it would be shave ready; you could always strop it and do a test shave to see what you think. If it came from Ebay I would say probably needs to be honed just to be on the safe side.

    2) YMMV (Your Miles May Vary) - this one will vary wildly from person to person but I think the average is around 6months to a year a lot of it just depends on how tough your hair is and how well you maintain the blade.

    3) If you look in the library section there is some great articles on honing that will go over all the equipment you would need. I believe for a genreal honing you would just need the 4k/8k and 12k finishing, the 1k would probably be overkill for routine mainance of the blade (might be necessary if you ever ding the edge though).

    4) Again this one is all about personal preference; if you like the one on your barber chair then that might be the best for you; if you don't like that one then you'll need to shop around keeping in mind the things you don't like about your barber chair strop.

    I do want to point out that I am in know way shape or form an expert in SR shaving yet (only been doing it for 7 months now) so someone with more expertise might have better advise than what I just gave.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    I am kind of stumped here. You work with a barber that uses a straight and let you practice honing with his and he can't answer the other questions ?


    1. You will have to wait till you get it and see.
    2. Depends on your maintenance skills and how many shave you do in a day.
    3. A nice barbers hone will help maintain your edge.
    ....a. If you are taking a razor you buy from e-Bay and making it shave ready you may need to reset a bevel or remove chips 1k,
    ....b. hone a razor to shave condition 4/8k,
    ....c. refine the edge to your satisfaction 12k or a natural stone.
    ....d. all of the above and another learning curve/job.
    4. Do you like blondes or brunettes ? Same holds true for strops. I like them flat (strops I mean) and I use a paddle on them. (on the razor I mean.)
    Last edited by 10Pups; 05-20-2013 at 05:56 PM.
    pfries likes this.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.

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