Monday, 31 August 2015

Shave of the day 31st August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Vie-Long #13051M
Razor: Merkur 25C long handled open comb with a Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's 80 below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 28 August 2015

Shave of the day 28th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Nivea Shave Cream
Brush: Wilkinson Sword Badger
Razor: Merkur 39C slant with a Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Barber paradox

The barber paradox is a bit of mental gymnastic derived from Russel's paradox, that shows that an apparently plausible scenario is allegedly logically impossible:
Suppose there is a town with just one barber, who is male. In this town, every man keeps himself clean-shaven, and he does so by doing exactly one of two things:
  1. shaving himself; or
  1. being shaved by the barber.
Also, "The barber is a man in town who shaves all those, and only those, men in town who do not shave themselves."
Starting from this, one is supposed to ask the question "Who shaves the barber?", which allegedly leads to the paradox...

In this day and age the solution ought to be simple though; the barber is logically a woman*. Simple as that!

*) At least in Norwegian that is - the term "a man" is often used (correctly or incorrectly) as a somewhat genter neutral way of saying "a person".

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Shave of the day 26th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: BEA shave stick
Brush: Turkish No7 'horse hair'
Razor: Merkur 39C slant with a fresh Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave
Beard care: Wet Shaving Products Matterhorn Beard Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Turning, turning, turning...

I've long had a fascination with lathes, and wood lathes in particular. It's amazing how a lump of wood can turn into a bowl, a candlestick, a shaving brush handle...

Buying a lathe is not cheap, so instead of spending a small pile on cash on a hobby I've never really tried before I mocked up a prototype lathe with an old drill and some other odds and ends. Rasps works well when working with soft wood like pine, and after a bit of hit and miss I did manage to turn out a couple of test pieces.




Yes, the two top ones are approximations of shaving brush handles. Obviously they are a long way away from anything usable - but I had fun making them and I can see myself taking up wood turning as a more permanent hobby.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Shave of the day 22nd August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: LEA shave stick
Brush: Omega #50014 Boar Bristle Travel Brush
Razor: Merkur 985CL open comb travel razor with a fresh Lord blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, miniature alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: N/A


Friday, 21 August 2015

Shave of the day 21st August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Rise Shave Gel
Brush: N/A
Razor: German Bakelite Slant with a Lord Cool blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Inside the weird world of disposable cartridge razors

I found an interesting piece of journalism from last year while bouncing around the internet a little while ago, and wanted to share it. It is about the 34 billion(!) world of disposable razors, and the shenanigans the large and small players gets up to in order to get a larger piece of the cake.

Some interesting nibbles:

  • Gillette's Fusion ProGlide Power Razor consists of more than 60 parts, while several of my razors consists of just three parts.
  • The journalist point out there is an increasing market for traditional safety razors and straights, and this leaves the big players in a conundrum; "They can’t say, ‘Actually, you don’t need five blades, you just need one really sharp one.’.".
  • The M3 Power was "proven" in court to shave closer than "any other blade on the market" (implied to be carts) - by a whooping 0.0143mm (a little over 5/10000")...
  • Simple lack of space means seven and eight blade carts are unlikely to happen. But the manufacturers have off course tried for six and seven blades...
  • There are 20,000 patents active in the razor market, and who knows how many that has expired.
  • Shaving your body is - apparently - the latest fad and the height of fashion for guys. Who knew?


A minor niggle: The journalist claims that the safety razor is "a prosaic piece of plastic designed to be thrown in the bin as soon as its short life is over.". My selection of metal DE's and SE's beg to differ - a couple of them are centenarians by now.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Shave of the day 19th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Arko shaving stick
Brush: Omega #10048 Boar Bristle
Razor: German Bakelite Slant with a Lord Cool blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Monday, 17 August 2015

Shave of the day 17th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Mama Bear's Awakening
Brush: Turkish No6 'horse hair'
Razor: German Bakelite Slant with a fresh Lord Cool blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 14 August 2015

Shave of the day 14th August

Pre-shave: N/A
Lather: N/A
Brush: N/A
Razor: Phillips AT890 wet and dry (electric)
Post-shave: Krampert's Finest 80 below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb
Note: Bad allergies made me less inclined to shave, so I figured I could revisit the world of electrics for one day.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Traditional wetshaving is a gentleman's hobby...

... so I've given a bit of though as to what makes a man into a gentleman. There is many rules, guidelines and opinions to this, as well as at least one tumblr-blog devoted to the subject.

I really liked these though:

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Shave of the day 12th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Lather: Proraso Eucalyptus & Menthol Cream
Brush: Vie-Long #12705B natural white pure horse
Razor: Merkur 45C Bakelite with a Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest 80 below
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Home Made Shea Body Butter

Grooming and skin care isn't a thing that only us guys do - in fact, I suspect some of the ladies spends at least as much time and care on their skin as we do on our beard and faces... maybe even more!

Joking aside, my Better Half found a recipe for home made body butter online a while back, and wanted to give it a go. The original recipe called for a half cup each of shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and a light oil like olive or jojoba - essential oils are optional. Now, neither of us are any good at following recipes... we like to tweak them to suit us. So the recipe we ended making was closer to this:
  • 1/2 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet almond butter
  • 6 1/2 tbsp jojoba oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp African red palm oil
  • 50 drops mixed essential oils
A bit more complicated than the original... but the end result was worth it.

We measured out the solids and oils in a glass bowl and put the bowl in a pot of water on the stove to melt it while stirring. Once melted, we took it of the heat and let it cool a bit before we added the essential oils and put it in the fridge to cool for an hour. Taking it out of the fridge, we whipped the half solid goo with an electric hand mixer for about ten minutes, before putting it back in the fridge for another hour or so. Then it was just a matter of scooping it into a suitable jar, and apply to dry skin.
The verdict? So far, much better than the stuff you can buy in the stores or online. A bit on the goopey side, but soaks into the skin in five minutes or so.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Shave of the day 10th August

Pre-shave: BEA shaving stick
Lather: BEA shaving stick
Brush: Semogue "The Shave Nook 2012 Limited Edition" mixed boar-badger
Razor: Merkur 45C Bakelite with a fresh Green Astra blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Thayers Original Witch Hazel
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Friday, 7 August 2015

Shave of the day 7th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Citrus
Lather: Prairie Creations Walter shave soap
Brush: Vie-Long #14033 mixed horse-badger
Razor: Phillips Philite with a Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Proraso Liquid Cream After Shave
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Balm and Big Red No7 Beard Comb

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Gillette Old Type cracked handle closeup

From what I can tell, it's hard to find a Gillette Old Type without a cracked handle these days. Drawing on my education and experience, it is in part due to the way they are made - two end pieces press fitted into a hollow tube. As anyone who have worked with machinery can attest to, this kind of construction gives raise to lots of stress on the hollow piece (hoop stresses - not by itself a bad thing). Stress will, over time, give raise to cracking unless the surface is near perfect.

The Old Type handles were probably anything but perfect when they were made - there would be no point in broaching and polishing the barrels, since razors was and are considered semi-disposable items. At the time the Old Type was manufactured machining the barrel the needed close tolerances would also been much more costly than the equivalent operation would be today, both in money and time.

Click to make bigger

The end result is - with more than a hundred years of hindsight - obvious; the handle cracks. My Old Type (part of my Khaki Kit) isn't bad, just a short crack on either end, but some handles have cracks going straight from one end to the other.

The cracking is repairable, either by filling it with epoxy or - for the adventurous shaver - by silver soldering or welding. In my opinion it's not needful to repair it unless the crack hampers the enjoyment of the razor. An easier option may be to replace either just the tube or the whole handle - which has the added benefit of being easily reversible later.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Shave of the day 5th August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Peppermint
Lather: Wet Shaving Products pre-production soap
Brush: Vie-Long #13051M unbleached pure horse
Razor: Phillips Philite with a Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

How (not) to use a straight razor


Prepwork looks okay and the razor is plenty sharp, but he really needs to work on the angle...

Terry Gilliam's animations are priceless...

Monday, 3 August 2015

Shave of the day 3rd August

Pre-shave: Dr Bronner's Citrus
Lather: Mike's Natural Lemongrass & Eucalyptus Soap
Brush: Wilkinson Sword Badger
Razor: Phillips Philite with a fresh Feather blade
Post-shave: Cool water rinse, alum, and Krampert's Finest Bay Rum
Beard care: Big Red Beard Factory Oil and Big Red No7 Beard Comb