Kokak's Straight Razor journey...

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Kokak, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171111 Sat@2000

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "Bonnie & Clyde"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Omega 81052 Boar Brush (23 mm x 54 mm)
    Straight Razor: ZY 430 "White" 6/8" (1) WTG - XTG (face) WTG - XTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 50x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Citrus & Sandalwood "Personal Blend"
    Balm: none

    This was another of the razors who's bevel I was not completely happy with. It was a little thin on one side towards the toe of the blade. It seems that pushing the blade away from me, helps me keep the pressure more even on the blade. So instead of pulling and pushing the blade on the stone. I am pushing the blade away from me, then flipping the blade over and push it away from me an equal number of times. The most important thing is, it works (for me)! I managed to create an even bevel from heel to toe on both sides of the blade, without having to over think it. It is definitely much slower, but I am okay with that. After the bevel was don, I went to the Translucent Ark. I am waiting on my Hard Ark to arrive; as I plan for it to be t next stone after my Soft Ark. So I am spending some extra time on the Translucent Ark.
    My resulting shave was AWESOME. 2 passes with BBS results. My last few shaves have been with a couple of different soaps and I can say; I was very happy to use a WWSC soap tonight. The post shave feel of WWSC has me spoiled.
    Have a great night all.
     
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  2. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171112 Sun@2130

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "Sundance Kid"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Stirling Boar Brush (24 mm x 57 mm)
    Straight Razor: Gold Dollar "Ebony" 6/8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - XTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 50x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: none
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    So this was another blade I fixed the bevel on. What a difference! Between resetting the bevel and going to the Trans and Black Ark's... this was the sharpest edge I have made yet. The resulting shave was great. The blade glided through the stubble, effortlessly. My "Hard" Ark is due in tomorrow and will join my Ark progression. I am already planning which blades I will re-hone this week to test the entire set and compare it to the edge I was getting with just the "Soft", "Hard", "Trans" and "Black".
    Great end to a good weekend. Have a great week.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171113 Mon@2100

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Long Rifle "Bay Rhum"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight Razor: ZY 430 "Black" 6/8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - XTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 50x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: none
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    So on a few boards I frequent, there has been a lot of talk about the new GD razors that are coming onto the market. While I am still very new to Traditional Shaving and even newer to shaving with a Straight Razor I am really liking the edge I am able to get onto a $10 ZY razor and a $15 to $30 GD razor. They seem to hone easily and they are a size and weight I am really enjoying. In the short time I have been straight razor shaving I have amassed a collection of 44 razors. The majority of which are older to vintage razors in need of some level of restoration. If I had it all to do over again... I would have every Gold Dollar/ZY razor variation available and worked on my honing and shaving technique with these new raozrs. I would have even spent a little money and picked up some new Acrylic or Horn scales for the better ones and practiced recalling them. I would have spent less money and ended up with a collection of razors that look good and shave really nice. I go through phases with every new hobby. Right now, I am at the thinning out phase. It is where I have accumulated too many items and I start narrowing down to the items I use all the time and really like and sell off the rest.
    I am thinking about reducing my collection to:
    4 Gold Dollar's
    2 ZY's
    2 Dovo's
    1 Hart Steel
    2 No name
    All new. Everything else... will get sold off. Anyway...
    This evenings shave was great. 3 passes of smooth, comfortable shaving. I really enjoy the scent of Long Rifle's "Bay Rhum". Just wished the wife liked it more.
    Have a great day everyone!

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171114 Tue@2115

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "James & Artemus"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Omega 81052 Boar Brush (23 mm x 54 mm)
    Straight Razor: Gold Dollar "RED" 6/8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - XTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 60x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Citrus & Sandalwood "Personal Blend"
    Balm: none

    Just another Gold Dollar sort of evening. This was another one of the GD/ZY razors I reset the bevel on. The great news is that my "Hard" Ark came in today. So... I will take a razor through a complete Arkansas progression this weekend and report on what I think about it. If it is as good as I think it will be I will have another group of things to put up for sale. We will see.
    The shave was great, very close and Dolphin smooth. WWSC "James & Artemus" is a really neat scent. The post shave feel... as usual is awesome!
    Nite all.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171118 Sat@1000

    Prep: Stirling "Bergamot Lavender" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "Remnants"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight Razor: Gold Dollar W60 "French Point" 6/8" (1) WTG (face) WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 60x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Citrus & Sandalwood "Personal Blend"
    Balm: none

    So I received the Gold Dollar W60 "French Point" razor I ordered. The bevel seemed good, so I tried my Ark progression from the Hard-Trans-Black. The resulting edge was able to shave arm hair (which I am finding I have less and less of now) well. So I lathered up and gave it a test drive. The cheeks went okay. The neck was a little rough and the upper lip is where I abandoned trying to shave anymore with this razor. It seems the edge was not finished and I jumped the gun on declaring it ready.I broke out my ZY "White" and finished up with an additional pass. DFS results and a little irritation but I managed to salvage the shave. I am getting a little too cocky and need to step it down a notch. I will try resting the bevel this holiday week before I try shaving with this razor again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  6. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171119 Sun@2100

    Prep: Stirling "Bergamot Lavender" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "Remnants"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight Razor: Genco "Master Barber" 5/8" (1) WTG (face) WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 60x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: none
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    This was a recent eBay rescue and I decided to clean it up, hone it and give it a quick test shave. Examined the edge, I did not see any chips and or nicks in the edge. In fact, there was no bevel. So this was going to be interesting. I started on the soft Ark and worked on it for about 20 minutes. I started to see a bevel, but it was very thin. I worked on it for another 10 minutes and with not much progress. So I decided to do something a little different. I knew eventually I would run into a blade I would have trouble with. So I picked up a 12K DMT a while ago and had it sitting in a box. Well, after about 60 laps on it, I finally got a decent bevel. I then went through my Ark Progression (Soft-Hard-Trans-Black) and the resulting edge was very smooth and sharp. The single pass test shave was both comfortable and smooth. I did not mute the point and felt it during my shave. If I plan on keeping this razor, the toe is going to get muted.
    All in all, it was a great end to a very nice weekend.
     
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  7. Drygulch

    Drygulch Snowballs

    Supporting Vendor
    For each of your Arks, how much time do you find yourself spending before moving on? (I know this will vary a bunch depending on steel.)
     
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  8. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    Once, or if, the bevel is already set:
    Soft = ~40 laps
    Hard = ~30 laps
    Trans = ~30 laps
    Black = ~70 laps

    I find the Soft Ark smooths out any issues that the original bevel may have had (ie. DMT striations).
     
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  9. Drygulch

    Drygulch Snowballs

    Supporting Vendor
    I need to play with mine some more. I have a six stone ark progression- Washita, Soft, Hard, Black, New Trans, Vintage Trans. My results are still spotty.
     
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  10. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    Going forward... if I have a razor, like the Genco, that seems to be giving me any trouble with setting the bevel... I am just going to use the DMT 12k to set the bevel and then back to the Arks to get it sharp.
     
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  11. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171122 Wed@2100

    Prep: none
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "Kokak"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight Razor Dovo "Bismark 2" 6/8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG(face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 30x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: none
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    Being this week was a short week for me, things were a little rushed. So I used my DE OC Mon and Tues. But Wed night I had the time I needed for a much deserved Straight Razor shave. There is absolutely a different feel to my face when use a DE instead of a straight razor. While when rushed a DE serves its purpose, it is no longer something I look forward to using (like when I 1st started with a DE razor).
    The Bismarck shaved flawlessly. Nice, smooth and comfortable. I really want to thank Russ at Wild West Shaving Co for naming a soup after my nickname. I am humbled to have a reference to me on something, I find so good.
     
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  12. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171123 Thu@1600

    Prep: none
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co. "Outlaw"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight Razor: Hart Steel 7/8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 60x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: none
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    Decided for a quick cleanup before Thanksgiving dinner. I also took some of the downtime I had today, to work on refining the edge on the Hart Steel razor I got last month. So I taped the spine and took the razor through my Ark (Soft>Hard>Trans>Black) progression and the resulting edge, while still not perfect, was much better than before. I will keep working on this razor until I get it to where I want it to be.
    While not the most perfectly comfortable shave I have come to know, it was good. I will just keep working on it, until I get it where I want.
    Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
     
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  13. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171124 Fri@1200

    Prep: Stirling "Barbershop" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Sapone Di Paolo "Cremoso"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight Dovo "Best Quality Black" 6 /8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 60x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Local Gents "Lied Rhino Hula"
    Balm: none

    Another blade whose edge I wanted to make better. So it was the same Ark progression (Soft>Hard>Trans>Black) and the results, while still not perfect, were much better than before. I also tried using a little less of the mineral oil with what I feel were good results. I taped the spine. I don't think the spine should have to pay for the extra time I am spending on the stones, trying to perfect my technique. The edge was good enough to leave me with a "near" BBS shave. But it was not as comfortable as some of my other edges (a little bit of tugging).
    I can't believe it is Friday and I have 2 more days off. This is shaping up to be a great weekend.
     
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  14. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171125 Sat@0845

    note***
    I think I maybe over doing it on the hones and producing a "wire edge". I am going to kill the edge on the Dovo "Best Quality Black" and go through my Ark progression of; Hard>Trans>Black, with fewer strokes.
    Live and learn.
     
  15. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171125 Sat@1100

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: "Remnants"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Stirling Boar Brush (24 mm x 57 mm)
    Straight Dovo "Best Quality Black" 6 /8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (30x Linen and 60x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Stirling "Citrus & Sandalwood Blend"
    Balm: none

    So I worked on the edge of this razor again. I killed the edge then went though my Ark progression but changed up my technique. Progression was:
    Soft>Hard>Trans>Black
    Soft = 30 laps
    Hard = 20 laps
    Trans = 20 laps
    Black = 40 laps
    I changed my pressure. I use 2 hands (Toe and Tang) when I hone. This time I paid close attention and only applied pressure on the toe end of the razor. Allowing the weight of the blade to provide the pressure across the blade. The shave was better. Still needs more work, but it was better.
     
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  16. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171126 Sun@0845

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Catie's Bubbles "Sunrise"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight: ZY 430 "White" 6 /8" (1) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 30x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Stirling "Citrus & Sandalwood Blend"
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    So I touched the ZY up on the Trans and then the Black. This resulted in the smoothest shave from the ZY yet. It was one of the best shaves I have had (at least in the top 5). It just amazes me that a $10 ZY shaves as good as a $100+ Dovo. This is completely subjective, but amazing to me just the same.
    Hope everyone had a great Holiday weekend.
     
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  17. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171127 Mon@0630

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co "Private Reserve No. 1"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight: ZY 430 "Black" 6 /8" (2) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 30x Leather)
    Splash: none
    Splash: Long Rifle "Bay Rhum"
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    Quick cleanup before work this morning. Decided to use another ZY 430 this morning. I don't have any experience with any of the other ZY razors, but the +430 razor is perfect for someone who is getting into honing and wants a good performing, cheap razor to practice on. Between this "Black" scaled ZY and my "White" scaled ZY; they both are 2 of the best razors I have in my rotation.
    Welcome back from the Holiday and have a great week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  18. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    As long as the steel is good and the geometry is correct it’s all about the honning.
     
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  19. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171127 Mon@2130

    Prep: Stirling "Lime" Pre-Shave Oil
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co "Private Reserve No. 2"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Stirling Boar Brush (24 mm x 57 mm)
    Straight: GD "Red" 6 /8" (2) WTG - XTG (face) WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 30x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: none
    Balm: Nivea Sensitive Post Shave Balm

    Since I have an early morning meeting I decided to have an evening cleanup tonight. I also received a few new soaps from WWSC and wanted to try the new Private Reserve No.2. The scent, predominantly rose, was very nice. It sort of reminded me of when I lived with my great grandmother and a scent that was present in her home. Not overly feminine, but really pleasant. The soaps performance was as great as all of his other soaps. I now have over 26+ of Russ's soaps and really enjoy everyone. It is really hard to use anything else.
    The shave was a comfortable and smooth Gold Dollar shave. No issues or irritation.
     
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  20. Kokak

    Kokak Well-Known Member

    20171128 Tue@2130

    Prep: Proraso "Red" Pre-Shave Cream
    Shaving Soap: Wild West Shaving Co "Medicine Man"
    Shaving Bowl: Captain's Choice Lather Bowl
    Brush: Semogue 1305 Boar Brush (22 mm x 55 mm)
    Straight: Dovo "Bismarck 2" 6 /8" (7) WTG - XTG - WTG (face) WTG - WTG - WTG (neck)
    Stropping: Tony Miller 3" Fast Bridle Leather "Plain Chocolate" (15x Linen and 30x Leather)
    Splash: Humphrey's Witch Hazel
    Splash: Proraso "Red"
    Balm: none

    Got a couple of products in and wanted to try them out. 1st up was a new Pre-Shave (for me); Proraso "Red". While I am not a huge fan of the shave soap (dries my skin out), I do really like the scent of the "Red" line of products Proraso puts out. So I decided to try their Pre-Shave Cream. The texture of the Pre-Shave is sort of like a Noxzema cleanser. Very slick and that great Proraso Sandalwood scent. I applied it to my face (very small dab) and it went on nicely (not greasy at all). When I rinsed my hands, I was very surprised at the fact that the stuff washed off without any residue. Because of the slickness I was thinking there would be an oily residue after rinsing but I was pleasantly surprised. The shave went perfect and the residual slickness, after a rinse, was awesome! I will continue using the Pre-Shave for the rest of the week and see if I feel the same. But for now; this may replace my Stirling Pre-Shave Oils.
    The second product was the Proraso "Red" aftershave. I have always been a huge fan of Sandalwood scents. This scent is really nice. I could use this as my daily aftershave. My wife on the other hand was not too thrilled. For her, the scent was too strong. I am going to try and dilute it with some Humphrey's Witch Hazel (unscented) and see if that bring the intensity down a little. I really like the scent and am happy with how my skin feels afterwards.
    Another great shave on the books.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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