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  1. #1
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    Default First shave + honing advise

    Hello all,

    I have been snooping these forums for a little while now and finally need some advise. I tried to keep the length down, it didn't work. We have probably read this type of “my first shave, help me!” post before so click the back button if you have had enough.

    Bits and pieces:
    Learned my technique using a dovo shavette razor. Then purchased a Filarmonica 13 NOS, Norton 4000/8000, leather strop and some polishing paste for the linen. The paste had no specific grade but was "Traditional white barber paste, polishing".

    Sharpening:
    The blade was pretty sharp but not ready when I received it. I did my best doing the pyramids starting from about 15 over the 4K & 8K, took a while to keep the blade flat on the hone, i tried my best to do very light passes but keeping the edge down. Passes the HHT easily along the whole blade after some slow progress.

    Strop:
    I dotted some of the paste along the linen side of the strop then rubbed in thoroughly, then about 25 passes on the linen side. Then about 45 passes on the leather. Tested one last time and it seemed fine, the blade was singing as the hairs poped off my arm, *ting*, it looks a bit weird and hairless now.

    Soap and prep:
    Had a long warm shower, washed thoroughly, I believe I was well prepared.
    The soap I have is questionable, its liquid and the brand is Men-u, I also have a poor brush that looks like a wet noodle. I have some better stuff coming. I try to improve this fast drying crap by adding glycerine and it does ok. Mixed up a half decent lather but i have to be quick or it spoils.

    Shave:
    SO then came my first shave with a real blade, id describe it as a close but a bit sore. There were moments where the blade was gliding over my face nicely, other times I wasn't getting much feedback and wasn't confident with it, would slide, almost get stuck and hop a little, not the best sight, probably bad technique. I made it through two complete passes WTG & XTG with no nicks but a bit raw. I used the top third of the blade mostly and on the second pass i used the bottom half and could notice it was a bit sharper.

    Afterwards:
    I forgot to mention that I have a cheap mini microscope, when I inspected the blade before and after the save there wasn't too much difference, perhaps the contrast of the edge was a little dull but I could see no little chips at 160x and still passes HHT along the whole blade.

    It seems to be sharp but still too rough for me. Any ideas? My first thoughts were finishing stone, id like to see if i can do without. Maybe something to do with the strop phase. I had a feeling there may have been too much paste, its all very confusing at this point as im close to a good shave but not sure where to look.

  2. #2
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    I would try better soap/cream , you said you have this one coming.
    I would say that going only 4/8k might be not good enough in terms of edge quality. It is possible that your edge while sharp is not polished well enough.
    The cheapest thing to try is CrO loaded paddle strop, but in my opinion the way to go is to get a 10k polishing stone and may be even a 12k (the Chinese natural is cheap). After you are done with those stones then you pass the razor on a CrO strop, then leather strop.
    Last edited by mainaman; 09-24-2009 at 12:35 PM.
    Stefan

  3. #3
    I shave with a spoon on a stick. Slartibartfast's Avatar
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    do you get comfortable shaves with your shavette?

  4. #4
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    I have spent about 3 weeks with the dovo + safety combo, then 4 months with a shavette exclusivly and I get comfortable shaves most of the time, i have a few trouble areas around my neck. I don't like how light the shavette is and already much prefer the heavy feel of a blade, more guiding then pushing, but as i said its rough. I think ill look for a 12k

  5. #5
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    One other thing about the shavette, my hairs seem to quickly get caught in the red plastic and I need to clean it regularly or else it performs poorly I've experienced. Thats when i get lazy and it can pull and hurt.

  6. #6
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    I use shavette on my clients as i am a barber i always use a traditinal straight for my personal shaves as they are alot more forgiving and leave no iritation at all and your skin will feel better. If you can shave with a shavette you will be able to easily shave with straight with shavette you need to be ultra light Pressure that is . Shavette are extremly sharp with modern blades ie derby and i use perma sharp they are no1 blade for shavette all turkish barbers use them. A 12k stone won't solve your problem i have a tough beard and trust me you can get a exallant shave of 8k norton if i was you i would go back and do 3/3 1/5 1/5 strop don't use paste shave and see if theres any differeance if not keep repeating untill your happy with shave. Then add paste and see how that improves your edge .I used 4k/8k norton for 3 years make sure you give both sides a dam good lapping especialy the 4k side and keep at 10 to 20 degree angle i find it better angle when shaving there will be lack of practice so you need to practice. I now have coticules bbw ch12k and there all nice hones but my favourite is the coticule and cro.5 ox on linen plus issards paste on linen i use this set up just to keep razors shaving you can just use 8k plus paste for same reason .

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to gary haywood For This Useful Post:

    wiskersoup (09-24-2009)

  8. #7
    I shave with a spoon on a stick. Slartibartfast's Avatar
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    I would send the blade out to be honed by a pro so you have a good idea what it should be like.

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    wiskersoup (09-24-2009)

  10. #8
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    I agree with Slartibartfast on this one. Find a hone master in the classifieds. Send the blade to him.
    When you get the razor back you'll know what it is supposed to feel like and can concentrate on up-keep of the blade.

    Good luck.


    "Cheap Tools Is Misplaced Economy. Always buy the best and highest grade of razors, hones and strops. Then you are prepared to do the best work."
    - Napoleon LeBlanc, 1895

  11. #9
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    I agree with you all. Mr Haywood was very quick in offering his skills and advise free of charge. Thank you again, very generous!

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