Lessons from an L-Plater

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by ChrisB, Dec 11, 2022.

  1. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Brilliant! that's my excuse: spares!

    In the 70s and 80s my first hand-me-down car was a VW Beetle with aluminium indicator stalks and window winders, they did need replacing from the local wrecking yards fairly often. There's my excuse, redundancy at the rescue.
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  2. brit

    brit in a box

    load a nacet /gsb/platunum in the tech and learn it.the rest will come to you.:)
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  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    Re: Question #10.

    I like old carbon blades. Particularly in a Shake Sharp razor. If they are a full pack, cellophane wrapped, they might still be usable. They will need to be stropped before first use, and you should inspect the edges under at least 10x magnification for rust. They didn't have the wonder coatings used in modern blades, which makes for a very different shave feel.

    I would recommend that you save them, and perhaps re-visit the idea of using them in a year or two. If you use them right now, I doubt you would enjoy the shave.

    While we're at it, unwrap the blue blade and see if the date codes on the blade match the date codes on the razor. If they match, or if the date codes on the blade pre-dates the razor by a year or less, that would be a really good indicator that you are in fact, the first person to use it.
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  4. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Thanks, the Gillette Blue looks like it has been out of the wrapper a few times, and likely put back a few times for a reason! No date code just a patent number. 401366 Made in England. Unlikely to want to use this. Happy to stick with the new stuff.
    blue gillette.jpg
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  5. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Been practicing this under the angle of the jaw under the ears, for the last week or two, where the grain swirls, bit hesitant at first, but works real good... thank you!

    Worked a treat this morning on 3rd/touch up pass, left hand finding the left over rough spots through the (now ever-thinning lather), Gillette follow through with buffing. Added this to my routine to my armamentarium.
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  6. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    11 Jan 2023

    Just some feedback:

    For the last 3 consecutive days I have been using the Merkur Progress to start with and then the Tech to finish off with, adding some new techniques picked up here. Same software and prep each time.

    Today was day 4 with Astra SP in each razor. The blade feels smoother each day.

    Interesting, the initial lather that I applied dried quicker than normal: it sort of started to crust over and look dry, so I removed it and re-applied a fresh coat. Better.

    First pass: I hesitantly dialled in the Progress up to 3 but it worked fine. No, better than fine actually. It sort of felt a bit like the Muhle Rocca that I abandoned earlier on in the month, giving me some confidence I can come back to that later on.

    Second pass: Progress back to 2, cheeks were pretty much cleaned up. Chin was easier to do than usual, skin getting used to this, or maybe the blade on day 4 is just more forgiving.

    Third / touch up pass: I used the Gillette Tech. Not much left for this baby to work on except in the tricky areas. Using the left hand in the lather to find the left-over stuff. After that it was pretty much BBS for the most part, more important, no damage control needed. Round the mouth/lips was clean as a whistle, chin and scar were as good as I can expect.

    First time I tackled the right of lower neck ATG, coped fine, smoothest that has ever been. Progress...

    First time I got rid of the stubble just below the nostrils, it sort of needed frequent small strokes XTG coming down and out and then down and in at differing angles.

    It felt a bit tricky swapping from the Progress to the Tech, I do prefer the weight of the progress, but like the less thick head of the Tech.

    Lessons of the day:
    Different parts of the face need to be treated differently.

    Plan going ahead: I guess I should just stick with the Progress till the end of January and take it from there.
    New blade tomorrow: two decisions to make: which one? which setting on the Progress, think I might stick with the 3 at the moment, haven't tried that with a new blade yet, at some stage I expect this to bite me in the proverbial.

    Appreciate all the mentoring guys!

    This could get addictive (grins).
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  7. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member

    Astra SP.
    The highest you're comfortable with, on WTG.
    Lower (medium), on ATG.
    Lowest (mild), on XTG.
    The downward progression technique is the natural way in which adjustable are designed to work.
  8. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
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  9. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

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  10. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    @ischiapp Grazie...

    I took your advice, (well partly anyway (shrug)) new Astra SP, I am feeling comfortable with this blade down to day 4, day 5 max.

    This arrived yesterday morning just after my shave and brekkies, so today I added some Tabac cream with my TOBS Mr Taylor's shaving cream for the scent. Didn't think the lather was any better, but the Tabac sure smells good!

    First Pass, set on 3, Second Pass set on 3, third pass not needed, but did some touch ups, still on 3, but only on certain areas. Hmm. Getting real close...

    Got an almost slice on the right side of cheek when for some reason I moved head and hand at the same time. Thought I felt some slicing and dicing but no bleeding.
    Alum was fine though , just starting to tingle a bit.

    Will take your advice tomorrow morning about dialling down the adjustable, 3 - 2 - 1.

    Question (11)
    Would there be any sense in opening up an adjustable after a few days when the blade starts to lose some of its edge? From what I understand this will just mean more strokes per pass, and more skin irritation.

    I don't understand how some shavers say they get 10 or 20 or more shaves with the same blade.
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  11. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Thanks Gary, yep looks I can get the nacet and the gsb from some online stores here. But...in the meantime I have a bunch of Feathers waiting in the wings.

    Where would you say they rank wrt to my favourite Astra SP, or maybe the Feathers? Are you saying these are suitable for the less aggressive Tech?

    I know the answers will come when I get there, but am interested in the reasons for your suggestions.

    Most of our local brick and mortar stores don't stock much in the way of blades, but easy enough to source online in Oz.
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  12. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    No sense in opening up an adjustable, if, by that, you mean open the doors slightly. That is done on non-adjustable / fixed head razors to increase the blade gap, giving a more aggressive shave, thus resulting (for many) in the razor burn and irritation. The adjustable keeps the blade secure as you dial up the blade gap, making the razor more aggressive. Loosening the doors on a fixed head reduces tension on the blade, ie. a loose blade. Me, I don't like the idea of a loose blade.
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  13. brit

    brit in a box

    feather blades are excellent in a tech,astra sp also.i just don't buy feathers much due to the price of them.nacet/gsb are readily available online here.i bought a few hundred astra sp and ss a few years ago,but use them less these days.i just got hooked on the gillette wagon.:):eatdrink047:
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  14. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member

    Focus on the cutting angle. Progress is always smooth, if under user's control.
    My progression was:
    WTG @ 5
    ATG @ 3
    XTG @ 0
    As in the factory sheet.

    If the edge in not sharp, just change the blade.
    The milder the razor, the sharper the edge.

    Because of the angle control.
    The best one, let the primary bevel of the blade sitting flat on the skin. So the edge lasts way longer.
    And the blade glides with no irritation, if the skin is properly stretched.
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  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I don't think he meant that at all. I think he meant 'open' as in "open up the throttle and let 'er rip," dialing up the aggressiveness of the razor through it's normal adjustment settings.

    And yes, as the blade dulls, you can transfer it to progressively more aggressive/efficient razors, or change the settings on an adjustable to make it more aggressive.

    It's not something you see most wet shavers do, as it's considered a bit of a niche technique. Most of the people I've seen that do that are members of the Excalibur club over on Badger & Blade, who push their blades to the maximum possible number of shaves, with the goal being 100+ shaves on a single blade.

    The other 99% of people bin the five cent blade and pop in a new one as soon as their shaves start going sideways, rather than change up their technique.

    Edit: regarding Gillette Silver Blues and Nacet, I find them both to be very comparable to Astra SP's, and not as sharp as Feathers, but perhaps slightly sharper than Astra blades. Blade feel is subject to change, and how a blade feels in one razor might change in another razor.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
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  16. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Yeah, I figured that was more of what he was intending, that's why I said "if", hoping for a little clarification.
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  17. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    @swarden43 Thanks Steve. My choice if words for the adjustable is remiss, apologise for not being more clear. I did mean go up from 2 to 3 to 4 and so on.

    But you do raise another point I hadn't thought of, especially if you are referring to TTO type razors, as I suspect you are. I may stumble across/look for one of those in the months ahead. Better to look for reputable online sources, even better to be able to examine them in person, I guess, make sure close properly. Good take home point to keep in mind.
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  18. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Picked some up y'day, affordable enough, from the local Woolworths, slapped some on this morning after a fantastic shave.
    #1 Tabac still my favourite
    #2 Old Spice, a classic, 2nd favourite
    #3 Imperial leather. Sort of a watered down limoncello, good for summer's day at the beach.
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  19. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    That's great. Never got the factory sheet with mine, no matter.

    Went WTG @3, then XTG @2, then ATG @1 with light buffing ATG this morning.
    48 hr growth. Astra SP day 3.
    Best results so far :kar::happy036:
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  20. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Still going great with the Progress.

    Day 4 with a "Wilkinson" blade. The one on the right I bought from a local Shaver shop, it came in a cardboard box of 10. I like this blade.

    The first pass was OK but on day 4 I felt like I needed a new blade.

    Replaced it with a new Wilkinson Sword blade, the one on the left.... ordered this from an Oz online supplier, black plastic tuck... not so nice. Felt less smooth. Possibly just new vs old? Will try it again over the weekend.

    Different wrappers, different packaging, different printing on the blade. Hmmmmm?

    Here they are side by side
    Question (12)
    Which is the real deal? I was planning on starting to stock up with a few hundred blades, Wilkinson is on the short list, but...Caveat emptor as always.

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