straight razor help

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by emmijack, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    I have finally decided to take the plunge and get myself a straight razor, however, unlike a shavette where you simply change the blade I have very little knowledge about how to hone, strop, or look after one, but nevertheless I have bought THIS...
    I don't know whether this is any good, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money straight away, and would prefer to hone my skills and technique first ( sorry no pun intended).
    Any advice you can give to start me off would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks guys....
     
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  2. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    Well, the first thing once that razor arrives, would be to send it off to a professional to hone, either of these two are the best in the business:
    http://www.gemstarcustoms.com
    http://www.straightrazordesign.com

    SRD also has excellent strops, or you could hunt around your favourite vendor for an Illinois Co #127 or #827, both of which are inexpensive and high quality performers. Ideally you'll want something inexpensive because people tend to nick the snot out of their first strops. 3" wide makes it a little easier to learn the proper motions as you don't need to do x-strokes while stropping such as the smaller width ones. There's also the option of paddle strops that some think are easier to learn on, I personally don't believe that anymore.

    Now all that being said, for the sake of your razor don't start honing it until you've had at least 6 months experience with a professionally done edge, and have a solid grasp on stropping a razor. It's tempting, but you can royally bugger up an edge, not beyond repair but enough you'd have to send it out again to a honemeister just to get it to shave comfortably.

    There isn't too much to caring for a razor really. Keep it dry, if you plan on shelving it for a while, or live in a humid climate, give it a light coat of oil to prevent the blade from rusting. Remove the oil with hot water before shaving of course, because 99% of them will irritate the heck out of even the most leathery skin.
     
    jbund likes this.
  3. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    Many Thanks for your advice, Bullgoose shaving has the Illinois Co #827 for $40, Don't know what the shipping would be to the uk, but that doesn't seem too expensive, how much roughly does it cost to get a razor honed????
     
  4. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    It's usually anywhere between $20-$30 + shipping there and back. Assuming one has good stropping skills, a razor won't need to be honed more than every 1-2 years on average. Some people who are just learning need to send them off every 3-6 months, but it's all depending on how the person treats the razor, that decides on the frequency of honing.
     
  5. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    Go to Straight Razor Place and have a good read on their beginners wiki. There's loads of information all in one nice package.
     
    jbund likes this.
  6. alpla444

    alpla444 That's sweet!

    Gemstar gets a nod from me, Glen has honed a couple of straights for me top draw.
    So when you get a shave ready from him it's good to go.
     
  7. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    some great advice guys, thankyou
     
  8. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    Always happy to help :)
     
  9. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Just a little background on the razor for you, as best I can recall. "The Hamburg Ring" is believed to be a now lost, style of grinding wheel that used two stones. Razors marked "Hamburg Ring" or "Hamburg Ground" tend to share some characteristics. They are almost always a full hollow razor, but with a stiffer, almost flat section along the edge. This gives these razors wonderful longevity and a tendency to be both flexible, and yet still hold an edge better than most razors. Some of these razors could be considered to be the first "singing" razors. A razor marked so, is almost always a great razor to use and easy to sharpen and maintain.
     
  10. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    From the research that you have done it seems that this razor would be great to learn my skills on, many thanks Ryan!!!
     
  11. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    just ordered myself a Illinios 827 strop from west coast shaving, $50 with shipping to the uk, do I need to put any dressing or paste on the strop before use, or is there a video that shows how to prepare the strop for use????
     
  12. swarden43

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

    No need for dressing or past. At least I've never used any on mine since getting it almost three years ago.
     
  13. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I use Dr. Marten's Wonder Balsam on my strop about once a year. I have also heard of people using shaving lather on the leather every couple of months. If you get one with a linen or cotton strop you can prep the linen or cotton strop by rubbing bar soap, soap puck, or shave stick on it. This smooths out some of the nubbyness (?) and helps to maintain your blade's edge.
     
    jbund likes this.
  14. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    I use a dab of Fromm's Strop Dressing once a year. Don't use paste, it's an abrasive for tweaking edges on a razor and you don't want that on a daily use strop - if you ultimately decide to get something like CrOx, then you're better off getting an inexpensive paddle strop as you only would need to use paste every few months, too often or too much paste and you'll dull the edge.
     
    jbund likes this.
  15. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    Thankyou gentlemen, I am sending the razor to be honed in the new year, and looking forward to having my first straight razor shave with it
     
  16. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    Good luck to you and remember the most important things are patience, patience, patience and to have fun with it.
     
    otherstar likes this.
  17. emmijack

    emmijack Well-Known Member

    Thankyou, I most certainly will!!!
     

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