• Beginners' Tips: December 2013

    Good day ladies and gentlemen. I've been given the privilege of providing the last beginner's tip of 2013 and thought that razor care would be a good topic to end the year. Anyone who has ever had an old time barber shop shave will have experienced the barber having a towel over his forearm, of his stretching hand, to wipe the razor as the lather builds up on the blade. I've also seen one right handed barber use a shaving towel draped over his left shoulder to wipe the lather off of the blade. I am one of those who rinse under the tap as needed during, and after, the shave. I've read of more than a few members who've dinged their blade on the spigot. This has never happened to me. I assume it is a matter of 'keeping my eye on the ball' so to speak. Say that to say, if you're going to rinse under the tap pay attention to where the blade is relative to the faucet.

    Whether wiping or rinsing under the tap, the blade should be throughly dried following the shave. I personally set the blade aside, rinse and dry my face, wash out my brush and bowl, and apply A/S, before tending to the blade. Depending on the mineral content of your water this minute or two may leave a water spot or two, especially if it is a mirror finish. Satin finished blades can also be effected but not as much as the mirror finish IME. So if that is going to be a concern tend to the blade before you tend to your face, brush and bowl.

    I wipe the blade with a Kleenex type tissue when I am done. I look at the scales, inside and out, wipe them with a dry tissue if there are any droplets inside or out. I then strop it 20 to 30 round trips, depending on the phase of the moon, and if I am going to apply any rust preventative I use a product available from Birchwood Casey called R.I.G. (rust inhibiting grease). I use this stuff initially with a Q-tip applying it to the blade, wipe it off with a silicone gun cloth, and put the razor in a dry place where no moisture is present. There are many lubricants/rust preventatives that can be used alternatively.

    Plain old mineral oil, Ballistol, Tsubaki oil, Tuf-Glide among many others, can also be effective in protecting our blades from corrosion. A product called Renaissance Wax is also great for protecting both blades and wooden scales. This stuff was recommended to me by Robert Williams the custom razor maker. An application of Ren-Wax followed by the gun cloth impregnated with R.I.G. and I sleep soundly knowing my blades are protected. Having said all of that I, being basically lazy, stopped religiously applying the aforementioned rust preventives to my blades. I live in a tropical climate, have air conditioning on most of the year, and therefore the humidity is largely removed from my environment.

    I've read threads on the topic of where to store our straight razors and some members leave them in the medicine cabinet, or elsewhere in the bathroom, and suffer no negative consequences due to corrosion. I'm from the ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure school, so I store my blades a drawers outside of the bathroom in a dry environment. All of the above is based on 7 years of experience with straight razor shaving on pretty much a daily basis. As in everything connected with this hobby YMMV so whatever works for each individual is sorted out by trial and, unfortunately, error. I hope this months tip is useful to someone out there in Cyberspace ....... Smooth shaving .......
    JBHoren, Adam G., AxelH and 36 others like this.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Beginner's Tip For December 2013 started by JimmyHAD View original post