Monday, 31 December 2012

Shave of the day 31st December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's liquid Eucalyptus
Lather: Mike's Pine & Cedarwood
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 badger-boar brush
Razors: Cadet TP-01 and Cadet TTO-13, both with a fresh Green Astra
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

Last shave of this year, and a very, very nice one too.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Shave of the day 28th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Turkish No6
Razors: '58 TV Special with Gillette 7 O'Clock
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Kramperts Finest 80 Below

A shave to make me wake up - and a nice one too.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Wishlist for 2013

We're getting up on a new year, and it's time to take stock of the gear in my den to see what 'holes' that 'needs' filling.

I didn't find a lot of gaps, really.

I got my eye on one or two new brushes; a Omega 343167 synthetic and a Vie-Long 14033M unbleached horse.I would love to get my hands on an affordable and agreeable open comb twist to open razor - not to mention an affordable and agreeable open comb slant. Apart from that... nothing, with the exception of soaps and creams.

At least until my ADs starts playing up again...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Shave of the day 26th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's liquid Orange
Lather: Mike's Orange, Cedarwood and Black Pepper
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed badger-horse brush
Razors: Bakelite slant and '58 TV Special, both with Gillette 7 O'Clock
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

A decent shave, although the yellow 7O'Clock don't quite agree with my Bakelite slant. Works wonderfully in my TV Special though.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Flashback time!

I was gong through the blog I wrote while I was deployed to southern Sudan / South Sudan, and found the first public thing I wrote about the joys of traditional shaving:

I wrote:
It is something very satisfying to whip up your own lather before shaving... to see a tiny bit of shaving cream and a few drops of water turn into a nice, thick, rich and nice smelling lather. The slightly cool feel as the eucalyptus and menthol lather first touches, and then covers, most of the face - and then taking it off with long, controlled strokes with my old fashioned safety razor. A quick splash of water, and then the sting of the alum as it finds the small nicks and scratches that I couldn't see in the mirror.

It don't matter if the lather cup I use is a bright pink snack bow from Ikea. It don't matter if my brush is a reasonably cheap one from Body Shop. It don't even matter that my bathroom is a 'three toilets, three showers' shared ablution container that - frankly - is a bit run down. What matters is that it's five minutes of ManTime, and a link to my more or less daily routine at home. Try that with a spray can full of foam and plastic razors with five blades...
I might be a couple of years older by now, my skills honed somewhat, and my 'nook might be at home with a significantly larger stash of gear... but I still like my ManTime.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Shave of the day 24th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's liquid Lavender
Lather: Mike's Lavender & Eucalyptus soap
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE mixed badger-boar brush
Razors: Bakelite slant and '58 TV Special, both with fresh Gillette 7 O'Clock (yellow)
Post-shave: Warm water rinse, Witch Hazel, and Kramperts Finest 80° Below

A lovely Christmas shave with a frozen finish - wonderful.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Shave of the day 21st December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's liquid Lavender
Lather: Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood soap
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed horse-badger
Razors: Cadet TTO-13 and Parker 22R, both with Astra Green blades
Post-shave: Warm water rinse, alum, and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

It might be the last shave ever, but it was a damn nice one...

Thursday, 20 December 2012

My axes - one line on each razor I got so far

Just for fun, I summarised all my razors:
  • Ever-Ready 1914 vintage SE; Used to belong to an old friend of the family. Lovely razor, but don't work all that well on my neck. Not given up on it yet..
  • Cadet TP-01; Three piece open comb. More aggressive and less mild than my Merkur OCs - efficient, comfortable, inexpensive and well made razor.
  • Cadet TTO-13; Twist To Open safety bar. Reasonable flat blade angle and medium blade gap makes for an efficient and aggressive razor. Fairly heavy.
  • Feather Popular; Mild Twist To Open of mixed construction. A good razors for beginners and shavers wanting a mild razor - PIFed mine away and misses it.
  • Gillette 1958 TV Special; Vintage Twist To Open short handled razor. Shaves great, fairly mild. Worth it if you can find one in good condition.
  • Merkur 25C; Long handled three piece Open Comb. Mild yet efficient, one of my favourite razors.
  • Merkur 39C: The AXE of my collection. Heavy, slanted and somewhat aggressive, this three piece razor will take a weeks growth off in one pass. Highly recommended.
  • Merkur 985CL; Short handled open comb travel razor. As mild and efficient as the 25C, but half the weight and a shorter handle.
  • Parker 22R; My very first DE, and you'll have to take it from my cold, dead hands. reasonable mild, somewhat unforgiving to user errors. I would recommend it, but be aware that Parker has somewhat of a reputation of poor quality control.
  • Racer razor; Cheap and cheerful mixed construction two piece. Flat blade and largish blade gap makes for an aggressive but not very harsh shave. Cap covers ends of blades, good for travelling and people wanting a cheap razor.
  • Wilkinson Classic; Solid two piece razor of mixed construction. Middle of the road razor as far as aggressiveness goes, good razor for beginners in my opinion.
  • Unknown German Bakelite Slant; Possible made by Merkur, short handled three piece slant. Very light weight and surprisingly mild, it comes highly recommended.
  • Yuma safety razor; Three piece pot metal razor. Feels harsh but gives a smooth shave, very loud due to hollow handle. Not for beginners, but recommended if you want a fun and slightly scary razor.
Links to reviews on this page of my blog.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Shave of the day 19th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's liquid Peppermint
Lather: Proraso Eucalyptus & Peppermint croap
Brush: Turkish No6
Razors: Cadet TTO-13 and Parker 22R, both with Astra Green blades
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Kramperts Finest Prototype Menthol

A very refreshing shave.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Pleased and a little horrified

I was out shopping the other day, when I stumbled over something in the non-food section of my local grocery store:
Pleased because even if all they have is canned goo and multi blade horrors, they do now have shaving brushes. A little horrified because frankly... how good can a no-brand brush that cost 49.90 (approx 8.50USD) be, considering that that's ever so slightly more than you'll pay for a Big Mac?
Still, they offer a "quality guarantee" for it, so it can't be half bad... no listing on the back as to the materials used in it, so it's anyone's guess as to what the hairs are - cheap boar, nylon, leftover paintbrushes... Still, it's on the shelf now - so that's an improvement. All they need to do now is to start stocking proper shaving soap or cream, as well as some proper safety razors and blades.

Suggestions from my favourite shaving forum  points towards this being a re-badged Marvy brush - or both Pfeilring and Marvy get it from the same third-party supplier - if so it might be a pretty scratchy boar brush. I might just have to give it a try... or maybe not.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Shave of the day 17th December

Pre-shave: Pure glycerine soap
Lather: Col Conks Bay Rum Soap
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE badger-boar
Razors: Cadet TTO-13 and Parker 22R, both with fresh Astra Green blades
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, Thayers Witch Hazel and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

A very nice, very relaxing shave - a great start on my Yuletide vacation

Friday, 14 December 2012

Shave of the day 14th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners liquid euclayptus soap
Lather: Mike's Lavindel & Eucalyptus soap
Brush: Vie Long 14033 horse
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Parker 22R, both with a Rapira Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, Alum and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

A nice shave on a late morning.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Got ye flask

Brian - the guy behind the wonderfulness that is Krampert's Finest Bay Rum (and Prototype Menthol, as well as 80 Below) - has found a more stylish way to present his aftershave; an engraved hip flask.

As much as I love Krampert's Bay Rum, I've always felt that the plastic bottle - while serviceable - sold the after shave short... so when the new flasks came up I just had to get ye flask.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Shave of the day 12th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners liquid orange soap
Lather: GzD shaving stick
Brush: Turkish No6
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Parker 22R, both with a Rapira Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, Witch Hazel and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

 Trying out the newly acquired witch hazel - not sure what to think about it yet. DFS otherwise.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Pictures of my travel kit


Not pictured - since I forgot it at work - is the little travel sized alum stick.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Shave of the day 10th December

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners liquid Peppermint soap
Lather: Mike's Peppermint & Rosemary shaving soap
Brush: Semogue TSN LE badger-boar brush
Razors: Merkur 39C Slant and Parker 22R, both with a fresh Rapira Super Stainless
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, Alum and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

A nice shave with a blade I havn't tried before - not the smoothest blade, but a zen-like DFS regardless.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Shave of the day 7th December

Pre-shave: Warm water rinse
Lather: RazoRock XXX
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed horse/badger brush
Razors: Merkur 25C Open Comb and Gillette '58 TV Special TTO, both with a Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, Alum and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

A good shave on a cold morning.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A suggested 20$ starter kit for new wetshavers

A while ago - well, several months ago - I came up with a suggested 10$ starter kit. Now it's time again, and I'm doubling the ante. As the last time, postage is NOT included; mostly because postage varies wildly depending on where you are in the world.

Total cost as listed is either 20.07$ or 19.52$, depending on your choice of blades. The first option will give a new wetshaver more blades to experiment with, and I have good experiences with all of them. The second option will give a new wetshaver fewer blades, and of only one brand, but it's a very good blade - my current fall back blade in fact.

Like in the 10$ kit I have opted for the Turkish No6 - I honestly feel that you cannot beat it in the low cost end of the brush market. The quality can be a bit spotty, that is true, but the rewamped model seems to be more solidly constructed than the old one and it is a solid performer.

I have not added any pre or post shave treatments to the suggested kit - I wanted to put in a bottle of Krampert's Finest but that would have added another 50% to the cost... but then again changing the pre and post shave isn't critical if you're changing from cartridges to DE. What you done so far will still work - perhaps a bit more care taken to wash and rinse before shaving.

In addition I would suggest borrowing a small bowl from the kitchen to make lather in, as well as setting aside a few hours to go online and read up on how to get a Damn Fine Shave.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Shave of the day 5th December


Pre-shave: Goat Milk bath soap from Prairie Creations
Lather: Col Conks Bay Rum shave soap
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed horse/badger brush
Razors: Merkur 25C Open Comb and Gillette '58 TV Special TTO, both with a Feather blade
Post-shave: Warm water rinse, Alum and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

A very relaxing and zenlike shave - there is something therapeutic about the sound of stubble being cut.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Are you content?

Krampers - all around swell guy and the brain behind what might be best Bay Rum aftershave money can buy - asked the question on my favorite shave forum yesterday; "Is anyone else content?"

At first I didn't quite get what he was asking, but his well written little piece slowly bumped my gray matter into motion... Gut reaction was "off course I am".. but as I was reading I started to wonder... Given that I still keep an eye out for more razors, more brushes, more soaps and more blades.. am I content? Could I stop acquiring more gear for my den RIGHT NOW and be happy with my shave?

I wont stop keeping an eye out for treasures, but with the question is rephrased like that I realised that I am truly content with my shaves these days. More than content, in fact I am looking forward to my morning ritual; in sharp contrast to the situation back before I took up traditional wetshaving with brush, soap and a DE razor. What used to be a chore has become a peaceful breathing space in my life. What was best avoided or at best rushed trough has become something to look forward to and to enjoy.

New razors will most likely be procured - not because I believe it'll will give me a better shave, but because it'll add a bit of variation to my shaves. New soaps will be tried - not because I'm unhappy with the two dozen or so soaps and creams I have, but because trying soaps is fun. A new brush or two will find their way to my den at some point - not because the brushes I have now don't make good lather, but because I think I might enjoy trying a mid-range horse or a pure badger. New after shaves... actually, no - Kramperts Finest is too good to change.

So yes, I AM content. New gear will arrive in due time, but that has more to do with the fact that I am a tinkerer at heart. I am content with my shaves, secure in the knowledge that I enjoy shaving a lot more than most people ever will.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Shave of the day 3rd December


Pre-shave: Warm water rinse
Lather: Lea shave stick
Brush: Body Shop synthetic
Razors: Merkur 985CL travel razor with Wilkins Sword blade
Post-shave: Cold water rinse, travel sized Alum stick and Kramperts Finest Bay Rum

Sort of on the Go, so shaving from the GoBag. Got a nice, smooth shave too - last shave out of that blade though.