Shower thoughts

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by PLANofMAN, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Read something the other day that stuck with me, and I just realized it applied to our hobby as well, so here it is, with my substitutions (I'll also post the original text).

    "I made my choice. I settled on [insert random razor brand here].

    What a piece of crap. I regret that decision to this day.

    The razor is still in my basement, and it is still a shining symbol of garbage. It won't shave anything except my nerves. The blade aligns sickeningly like a dislocated shoulder. But it does have a nicely finished hardwood handle and a chromed head.

    This was my first experience with what I like to call " razor-shaped objects" -- things that look for all the world like razors but don't really do the job required of them. At the time I should have tried to fix the razor with lock washers, a welder or chewing gum. But instead I did something far more modern and stupid: I bought another razor.

    It was the beginning of a pattern. I bought razors believing the claims on their packages. And when they didn't work I'd look for a different razor that would promise more. In other words: I tried to spend my way into good wetshaving skills..."

    The original text is from a book called The 'Anarchist's Tool Chest,' and it, along with 'The Anarchist's Design Book" and 'The Anarchist's Workbench" form a primer of sorts for the home woodworker (of any level of skill, including a real "what's a wood plane?" cherry woodworking virgin) who wants the ability to craft durable and well
    made furniture for the home and shop using a limited selection of woodworkers hand tools.

    "I made my choice. I settled on a Craftsman coping saw.

    What a piece of crap. I regret that decision to this day.

    The saw is still in my basement, and it is still a shining symbol of garbage. It won't tension anything except my nerves. The blade rotates sickeningly like a dislocated shoulder. But it does have a nicely finished hardwood handle and a chromed frame.

    This was my first experience with what I like to call " tool-shaped objects" -- things that look for all the world like tools but don't really do the job required of them. At the time I should have tried to fix the saw with lock washers, a welder or chewing gum. But instead I did something far more modern and stupid: I bought another coping saw.

    It was the beginning of a pattern. I bought tools believing the claims on their packages. And when they didn't work I'd look for a different tool that would promise more. In other words: I tried to spend my way into good craftsmanship."

    - Christopher Schwarz "The Anarchist's Tool Chest"

    I've found that many of the ideas in his books resonate with views that are widely held by wetshavers. Self-reliance, appreciation for quality, and the belief that practice and attention to detail lead to better and better results and skill.

    His furniture has a stark beauty to it. His designs remove anything that isn't necessary. A chair is just that, a chair. Stripped to the bone, with anything that isn't a chair removed from the design. This is in stark contrast to they way he views the wood which the chair is made from, which he treats like a living breathing object with it's own unique character.

    In this same book he writes an interesting monolog on vintage vs. modern tools that also translates well to razors. Perhaps that will be tomorrow's shower thought.

    Edit: I ought to mention that "The Anarchist's Workbench" is available in print and as a free PDF download. The PDF can be downloaded here if you want to explore his ideas:
    https://blog.lostartpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/AWB_Consumer_June-2020_v5.1-1.pdf
     
  2. brit

    brit in a box

    awesome article Ryan..:cool:..speaks volumes..:)
     
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  3. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    Ok, somebody got something that turned out to be a disappointment. Hey, we all make mistakes. Chalk that one up to experience. The part I don't get is:

    So if the razor / woodworking equipment / whatever is a piece of caca, why is it being kept around wasting space? That is totally illogical. It would make much more sense to sell it or give it away.

    By the way, mucho thanks for the link. I was half expecting the woodworking version of the Anarchist's Cookbook.
     
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