Friday, 31 October 2014

Shave of the day 31st October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Delan d'Men Enegenic
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE mixed badger/boar
Razor: Cadet TP-01 Open Comb with a Astra Green Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Glass hone for razors


Spotted this online today - basically a pair of marbles in a holder to keep your razor honed. No idea if it works, but a neat idea.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Shave of the day 29th October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Nivea Mild Cream
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed horse/badger
Razor: Cadet TP-01 Open Comb with a Astra Green Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and BodyShop Maca Root Face Protector


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ouch!

When most men wants to remove unsightly hair, they reach for a razor and some foamy stuff... ...women on the other hand seem to do horrible things to themselves, such as:
  • Rubbing thioglycolic acid over their skin to dissolve the keratin in the hair...
  • Pouring hot wax or warmed sugar on their skin, letting it cool... before ripping the hairs (and skin) off...
  • Using what appers to be a torture device to rip hairs out...
Honestly, I rather suffer shave bumps and cuts from using a cartridge than doing any of those things...

Ladies? Keep your hairy legs if you like - or get your Significant Other to whip up some lather and shave them for you - because those things you do to keep them smooth sounds horrifying!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Shave of the day 27th October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure unbleached horse
Razor: Cadet TP-01 Open Comb with a fresh Astra Green Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 Below


Friday, 24 October 2014

Shave of the day 24th October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Arko Ice Mint Cream
Brush: Turkish No6 "horse"
Razor: Cadet TTO-11 Twist To Open / Open Comb with a Feather Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Another early safety razor

John Monk's "pig scraper" - ergonomics was apparently not invented in 1874...

I do like the simple design though - this razor can be made from a simple piece of bent sheet metal. For someone with access to a sheet metal hand brake, some stainless steel and time, it should be pretty straight forward to construct a modern, cheap, simple razor for a modern SE blade.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Shave of the day 22nd October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Proraso
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed horse/badger
Razor: Cadet TTO-11 Twist To Open / Open Comb with a Feather Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayer's Original Witch Hazel


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The first safety razor?

Pulling a dragnet across the web brings up some interesting tidbits now and then, and the 1762 Perrett's safety razor is one of them.

By placing a wooden guard around an ordinary straight razor, in such a manner that only a sliver of the edge protruded, you were at least sure not to slice your ear or nose off while shaving. Still a far cry from the more modern DE and SE razors, but from what I can tell it was the very first babystep towards the razors we know and love. The basic idea was copied and expanded upon for the next hundred or so years.


Monday, 20 October 2014

Shave of the day 20th October

Pre-shave: GzD shave stick (shave sticks works for pre-shave too)
Lather: GzD shave stick
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE mixed badger/boar
Razor: Cadet TTO-11 Twist To Open / Open Comb with a Feather Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and BodyShop Maca Root Face Protector

Friday, 17 October 2014

Shave of the day 17th October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Peppermint
Lather: Wet Shaving Products pre-production sample
Brush: Vie Long 13051M pure horse
Razor: Cadet TTO-11 Twist To Open / Open Comb with a fresh Feather Blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Old, interesting razor

I have stumbled over the existence of a razor manufacturer I didn't know about previously, along with a fairly unique razor. What caught my eye was the very interesting system for fitting the blade, which seems to be at least partly reliant on the springiness of the blade to ensure a solid lock. Markings shown in  the pictures I found online includes "DIXI" (probably the brand name) and "D.R.P.a" (a German abbreviation meaning "patent applied for").

Apparently the brand and style of razor was around from at least 1910 - I stumbled over a reference to the 1910 model being of brass at a site that sells antiques and hand-crafted items.



One I spotted over at an action site the seller claimed that that this was a:
...antique (WWII) Germany (signed D.R.P.) military field gear safety razor brand "DIXI".
Apparently, this later model was made between 1940 and 1944 if my google-fu isn't failing, and most likely from either white metal or zinc.






A very similar razor was sold in Italy under the trade name Folgore, but I've not been able to find much about when or from what material that was manufactured. I did score a few photos though, and it looks like brass:



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Non-shave of the day 15th October

No time to shave (or get much  sleep), but mountains with a rustning of snow on top are damn pretty and calls the mind in much the same way as a shave...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Imperial Japanese WW2 razors

Inspired by my recent acquisition of a WW1 Gillette Khaki, I have looked at what other military razors there are out there... these are supposedly Imperial Japanase razors from WW2, spotted on ebay.


This straight was described as "JAPANESE ARMY WW2  ISSUE STRAIGHT RAZOR". Length 13 cm, it looks almost like a number of modern shavettes - from the photos it looks like a folded over piece of sheet metal gripping a SE-blade.With a metal press and some other tools one can probably start manufacturing similar bi-metal straights today with relative ease - whether there is market or not is a different question.

This was described by the seller as an "Original  and very scarce JAPANESE ARMY WW2 ISSUE FOLDING ALL STEEL RAZOR". Length closed 8 cm  open 14 cm.  It was held in the open position by holding down the thumb catch . It did not lock nor have a spring.
Over on my favourite shave forum the points was raised that the grind would be wrong for a straight, and similar folding knifes are still popular in Japan as utility blades. Still, the seller listed this as a folding straight... caveat emptor I guess.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Shave of the day 13th October

Pre-shave: Arko shave stick (works well as a pre-shave soap too)
Lather: Arko shave stick
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE mixed badger/boar
Razor: Merkur 25C Open Comb with an Astra Green
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and Proraso Liquid Cream Aftershave


Friday, 10 October 2014

Shave of the day 10th October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Eucalyptus Soap
Lather: Mike's Natural Pine & Cedarwood soap
Brush: Vie Long 13051M unbleached horse
Razor: Merkur 25C Open Comb with an Astra Green
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and Krampert's Finest 80 Below


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Wehrmacht razor

Inspired by my recent acquisition of a WW1 Gillette Khaki, I have looked at what other military razors there are out there... this is the standard issue German razor from WW2, spotted on ebay in it's original packaging.




Overall, it looks rather similar to the Gillette Old and New... probably shaved much the same.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Shave of the day 8th October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Liquid Orange Soap
Lather: Orange EO shave croap
Brush: Semogue TSN 2012 LE
Razor: Merkur 25C Open Comb with a fresh Astra Green
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Razor blade sharperners

Halfway continuing from my musings on how old razor shaved when new - that is, with the original specification blade - I have spent a little time looking at how to keep a carbon blade sharp. It turns out that back in the day there was a LOT of ingenuity put into how to make your precious blades 'fresh', which is more critical with carbon steel blades due to the process of micro-pitting.

We may consider blades to be cheap today, but they cost comparatively more back in the old days

While I don't usually take claims made in advertisements at face value, two months is a lot longer than the one week I use a blade before throwing it out... but then, part of the reason I throw them out is that I like to change things up. If you're into traditional wetshaving to save money on the other hand, a blade sharpener makes a bit more sense - save money where you can.

There were quite a few different models too, working on several different principles:
Place blade on eccentric mount, close lid, pull string - the edges will move in a circular motion over the hones.

These two seems to work on the principle of placing the blade in the middle, and turning the handle will grind the hones across the edges. The top one  flips the blades over on the inside, the bottom one has four hones.

This moves a SE blade against a disc shaped grinding stone... which has a neat mechanism to flip the blade over.

I found a video of how to use the "thing on a string"... seems fairly simple, and if it works as advertised it should be very handy if the shavecopalypse ever comes around.

Also found a video demonstrating the "wind up" TwinPlex sharpener.

And last, a long video with the SE-blade sharpener.  I also found one of of a guy using it for a DE blade, but that one was in a language I don't understand...

While I'm not sure how useful - or even usable - these devices would be with a modern stainless blade, it is fun to see the ingenuity of yesteryears.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Shave of the day 6th October

Pre-shave: Hot water
Lather: Derby shave stick
Brush: BodyShop synthetic
Razor: Gillette "Khaki" with a fresh Permasharp
Post-shave: Cool water rinse and Krampert's Finest Prototype Menthol


Friday, 3 October 2014

Shave of the day 3rd October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Orange Soap
Lather: Orange EO shave croap
Brush: Vie Long 14033 mixed badger/horse
Razor: Gillette "Khaki" with a Voskhod Teflon Coated
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum

Thursday, 2 October 2014

How did the old razors shave back then?

I been thinking again, and sometimes when I do that my brain gets stuck on questions I cant answer...

Given that the original Gillette blade was - among other differences - noticeable thicker and therefore more rigid than today's blades, and that perceived blade aggressiveness is often linked to blade exposure and angle... would an old razor (like, say, a Gillette Old Type from 1918) shave and feel any different back then compared to these days?

King Gillette's original patent do state the following:
The blade of my razors made of' sheet steel having preferably a uniform thickness of about six one-thousandths of an inch.
Or in measures more easy to understand; 6/1000" = 0.1524 mm.

A fair bit of digging online seems to indicate that modern blades are about 0.10 mm thick, or about 2/3rds as thick as the old blade - assuming, off course, that the original blade was as thick as the patent calls for. It's hard to tell exactly when blades got thinner, but over on another forum I spotted one guy claiming that
[blades] became a lot thinner after that; I have seen blades from the 50's and 60's that went from 0.10 to 0.08 and even 0.06mm.
For all I know the increased thinness of the blades could have started sooner, the the modern shape and perforation of the DE blades seems to have appeared around 1930. Going by the patent numbers listed on a US Gillette Blue from 1935, it's hard to tell... several references to "thin, flexible blade", but nothing on just HOW thin it is.

When I raised this question on my favourite shave forum, the guy making my preferred aftershave pointed out that he likes SE razors due to their thicker, stiffer blades - which like DE blades used to be even thicker and therefore even stiffer - since they flexes less. I should probably get my callipers out to measure a new and old SE blade, just to see how pronounced the difference really is.

Stiffening of a blade can also be achieved by twisting it in a slant razor, and slants are often considered to be more "aggressive"... even if I personally don't think my slants are aggressive, just efficient - perhaps aggressive is the wrong term, even if it's commonly used to denote the opposite of a mild razor.

Making a number of wild assumptions, desperately pulling on what I learned in structural mechanics more than two decades ago, and hoping that this website have got their code right; the old blade ought to be twice as stiff as the current blades - with the biggest caveat being that the modulus of elasticity is the same for the steels used.

These guys offers three hole blades that are a dimensional match for the pre-1929 Gillette blade... and it seems that one of the thickness's they offer match the old blades. But the blades are made for cutting plastic film, so they will probably be rotten for shaving with.

After all that searching and math, I still have no real idea how a blade twice as stiff would affect the behaviour of an Old Style Gillette... Combining what what we know about SE razors and their stiffer blades with what we know about the torsionally stiffened blades in slants, I'm leaning towards the idea that the Old Type Gillettes using the pre-1929 blades may have been more aggressive than they are with the thinner blades of today.

I may be wrong though, with all the assumptions and guestimates underpinning that idea.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Shave of the day 1st October

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Liquid Orange Soap
Lather: Arko shave stick
Brush: BodyShop synthetic
Razor: Gillette "Khaki" with a Voskhod Teflon Coated
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayers Original Witch Hazel