Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Trigger, Dec 31, 2021.
SOTD FRIDAY MORNING, JANUARY 14, 2022
My son has been pushing me to shave with a Japanese Kamisori from his collection. Ben collects primarily Japanese western style straights, but also has close to 60 vintage Kamisori. He claims that this particular Kamisori is 250 years old. I would dispute that. It was, according to Ben, found in a Japanese warehouse where it had apparently been stored for 80 years or so. It bears the four stamps identifying it as tamahagane or Japanese gem steel.
This vintage Japanese kamisori one piece straight razor blade rather appears to be the type used for shaving over 100 years ago in Japan. The makers of samurai swords turned to the making of these blades during the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912) when sword making became illegal. So that would make it about 190 years old at the oldest to a little over 100 years at the youngest.
If it was made by a master Japanese blademaker, as Ben related, in the tradition of the samurai sword with laminated forged high carbon steel that is reputed to hold an edge like no other in the world, then I needed more verification. So I called my old friend, Toshio Tatara who reviewed the Kanji. Written on the blade are the words, "Betsu uchi" (specially made) that might tend to indicate such blade construction. This was, of course, mostly supposition on my part
There’s clearly no doubt that this little shaving knife is certainly melting hair, scary sharp. I considered redoing the bevel, but after a HHT and a styrofoam peanut test that awed me. It didn’t just pop through the surface. But rather guillotined it right through to the towel below with just the weight of the blade. I decided to shave as is. Was I nervous? You betcha! Given the level of sharpness demonstrated, I ran it through the constroption and then did 80 strokes on my roo-skin bench strop.
I will say that the shave was amazing, albeit much, much slower than usual, as I worked slowly and one-handed to keep the stamped side out. I really took my time using the short strokes my son recommended, as opposed to my normal long strokes with my western straights. After the first pass there were only a few scattered patches requiring cleanup, and those were the usual whisker swirls on either side of the Adam’s Apple.
Following that first WTG pass, my face above the jawline was as smooth as it normally would be after my two longer stroke passes with one of my western straights. I chose to do flatblading on the neck areas - as scything strokes seemed too risky - to finish up, and that finish left me as smooth as glass. Great respect developed for this little Japanese shaving knife this morning.
If I ever have to effortlessly remove more than 24 hrs of growth, this is the little tool for the job. Ben has ordered a similar vintage tamahagane Kamisori from a vendor he knows in Japan for my upcoming birthday. The noggin shave with the wonderful Rex Ambassador that followed, cleaned up my dome in the usual two ATG passes. What does one say, however, after such an amazing dome shave? Well one thing’s for sure! I could definitely grow to like these little asymmetrically ground Japanese shaving knives!
RAZOR: Vintage Tamahagane Kamisori (Mug), Rex Ambassador (Dome)
BLADE: Feather DE (Dome)
PREP: Cold water rinse followed by a heavy scrub with Argan Oil
BRUSH: Viking Silvertip Badger
SOAP: Mitchell’s Wool Fat
POSTSHAVE: Cold water rinse with brush squeezings followed by a rinse with Humphreys Lilac WH. Finished with RR Blue Floid AS Dupe Splash.
You had great shaves this morning Jeff. That traditional kamisori is a fine specimen. What setting did you use on the Rex? Take care.
Thanks, Joe. Adjustables are pretty much wasted on me! I shave them all wide open! The RA has been set on 6 pretty much since it was repaired for me.
My Preshave focus is on whisker softening! I get my skin benefits from MWF.
It’s a traditional asymmetric grind. That’s why I shaved one handed. Kept the stamped side facing out.
Great shave kit, Gary, as usual! Enjoy your day!
Well, bam, just like that, as I was headed for a super-duper shave, I get 2 cuts, one almost right after the other. One on N. Porcupine Alley, the other way down at S. Cactus Nation. Otherwise, a fine shave Again I didn't count the loading time, just waited til the Stoylin brush LOOKED ready to go. Great coverage prior to the shave. The aforementioned cuts got SOME help with the cold-water rinse and ensuing aftershave. I looked at the amount of Sandpiper A.S. and felt I'd better let it go until next time around. The A.S. will go long before the soap. Pretty Excellent.
Thank you Gary.
Well done Gary.
SRS # 626
Rating: 5 / 5
Razor: Thiers-Issard Super Gnome Extra
Brush: Sawdust Creation Studio “Inferno” Silver Fox Synthetic
Lather: Lakewood Soap Company Prairie Song
Aftershave: Lakewood Soap Company Prairie Song Balm
Stirling Alum Block
Thayer’s Witch Hazel - Original
Fabulous Friday morning shave with the Lakewood Soap, the TI and the Sawdust Creation Studio brush. The scent profile of the LWS Prarie Sonfg is as follows: “Fresh, warm notes of tobacco and old leather, herbaceous sage, crisp lemongrass, and darker undertones of patchouli, vetiver and whiskey make this scent unique.”
I did my usual three pass shave. The brush easily whipped up a slick lather that offer a wonderful glissade for the razor to do it’s job. Post shave alum report was basically non existent. The balm and the Osage Rub have left my face feeling divine.
Joe, @Trigger, are you ready for a roller coaster ride of a weekend with this crazy weather. Well at least there will be some great shaves to look forward to.
I hope you all have a great day gentlemen.
thank you Joe.
very cool Jeff.enjoy your day also..
OK shave Paul.
Nice shave and setup Joe. I went shopping yesterday. I also went to the gym 6 days this week so I will take off this weekend. So, I am prepared for this weekend's weather.
Stahly/Kai (3). Worthy. Narrow sweet spot but patience and care rewards.
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Schick Type G
New to me brush, gifted to me by a friend in another forum, an Every Ready vintage handle with a new Maggard boar knot.
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