Playing catch up with a Great Soap

Well hello all you in shaving land,

I wanted to post that I am still here and still shaving via old school style.  The past couple years have been a crazy ride, but my razors are still with me.  I will try to give a brief over view and some encounters I have had in shaving land.  So hear we go.

In the past two years since my last post my family has grown exponentially.  When starting this blog it was a quiet house of three plus the dog.  Now it is a much busier house of six plus the pooch.  As you can see now why the posts have trickled to a halt, my hands have been busy else were with more little ones.  We are very blessed by the arrival of a baby girl back in late 2011 and twins this past January.

All the while I have made the leap from a military life to a civilian one.  This past July I officially hung up the uniform and put on jeans and a button up shirt from hear on out.  It has been exciting and challenging at the same time.  With support from friends, family and God we have been making it through like this is what we were supposed to be doing all along.

I want to give a shout out to one of my shaving buddies and his wife who I had the pleasure of getting to know via this and another site then finally meeting in Texas this past summer.  You guys are great and am privileged to have you in my and my families lives.  Thank you for your friendship.

So it has been a wild ride, on to the shaving stuff.  First off I have all but stopped using a straight razor.  As much as I love the idea, life got busy and it takes time to which I don’t have right now.  But I did not give up all together.  I am know using regularly a double edge razor.  I have quite a few know and rotate through them.  What changes with this routine is the soap I use for the most part.

I have really gotten into local and natural with my soaps.  I like to sample and have yet to find the one I will stay with forever because there are so many soap options that I find I love so many of them that I want to keep trying other new ones.  Currently I am using one that I think by far is the best soap I have used to date.  It is called, oddly enough, For The Best Shave of Your Life.  It is made by Absolutely Fabulous Soap Company, out of Cottage Grove Oregon.  I found this at my local grocery store, with a name like that I had to give it a try.

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The link to this product in found here, http://www.etsy.com/listing/87721665/absolutely-fabulous-shaving-soap-for-the?ref=shop_home_active .  They sell many more soaps that could be used for shaving and body use.  This however is the only one you can find online, but in my humble opinion is the one that really ROCKS as a shaving soap.  It lathers super easy, doesn’t take a whole bunch of water to get going and has sudsy staying power like the big dogs.  Plus it is a natural and local small business made soap.  I do believe this will always have a spot reserved at my bathroom counter.

So there is a brief of what has happened and a small review on a great product.

Till next time, keep on shaving on.

Looking Back at a Year of Shaving

Hello all,

Its your favorite shaving pal, The Shaver.  Yes, yes I know, its been to long since ive last posted.  Lets just say, I didn’t lose interest, I lost spare time.  Well I’m back, and have lots to say.  I will keep it all shaving related, very proper you know.  Cant just go all willy nilly, posting what have you, whenever.  Ya know?

So let’s get with it.  First up, this is a glance over the past year of a very successful venture into classic shaving.  I started this venture with nothing but high hopes, and lots of slices on my frail skin.  Well now my face is like leather, and is mighty fine-looking if I do say so myself.  I have thus far never looked back to those modern style botch jobs they call razors.  If you have had any reservations, let go and give into the classic side of life.  You wont regret it.

Starting way back when, I was a young pup of a shaver.  I had ordered my first Straight razor and was high in anticipation to get started.  Well lets just say that anticipation can be a killer.  What I didn’t realize, like all good things, this shaving stuff to time to learn.  Learn I did, first the hard way, then the right way.  Take it from me, find a buddy, a forum, and gramps to show you how this is done.  I was fortunate enough to find some great resources, to which you will find to the right of this page.  Had a couple of call ins to some guys on the forums, and after a while started to feel my oats a bit.  After a couple months, I could get in a good straight shave, but there was one big problem I found with straight razor shaving.  Time, lots of time is needed.

The solution came quite naturally, especially for those who have been around classic shaving for any amount of time.  I ventured over to Double Edged razors.  Albeit they are not as classic as a straight edge, they are a good sharp second.  They give the same shave in my opinion, for a beginner any way, as a straight.  The big this is that while they have a learing curve as well, it is much less.  Plus you can knock of a few extra minuets that you would need in prep and shaving with a straight.  I am not saying go throw out your straight razors, but for an everyday shaver as myself, the Double Edge has been a lifesaver.

So I got down straits, then I kind of lost it a bit since finding Double Edges.  I havent used my straight in a few months.  Once in a while I will give it a try again, but there is just that darn time thing.  It is something that has to be savored, and you can’t have any distractions.  Well with a 3-year-old and a 2 month old, its hard to find the time any more it seems.  I havent given up on straits, and still sing there praises.  They are just on the back burner for now.  The straits are still proudly displayed in the bathroom in there rightful place, just not as used as before.

My gear has grown too since my last posting.  This year has brought me a Single Edge razor as well.  I have used it a few times and love is just as much as the doubles.  I will do a write-up in the future on this particular find.  If you come across one, grab it.  There great.

So kids, look forward to some more postings.  Hopefully a couple a month.  I will keep you abreast of my progress, but also would like to hear about yours.  I need material, as you can tell.  I would love to get some of your guys experiences, reviews and what not added to this site.  It is a great resource to be shared and built by all.

So on the last day of 2011,

Happy New Year from the Shaver.

BG

Progressive Shaving

Time to review my newest razor,

A couple post’s back I revealed my latest new razor perches.  It is the Merkur Progress, long handle.  This was due to my curiosity on how new adjustables stacked up against the classic Gilettes.  I have now been using it for a couple of weeks and I am back to report on said razor.

This razor for starters is much much heavier than others I have used.  By far heavier than any older Gillette adjustable I have used.  I am not saying this as a negative, rather as an improvement over the Gillettes.  Having shaved with the Fatboy, Slim and Super Slim I have always missed a solid feel to them.  You have to use slight pressure with the Gillettes, not so with the Merkur.  The weight takes all the work out of shaving, just let it sit against your face and glide away.

Another difference is that it seems to be smoother in the adjustment range.  It is labeled 1 to 5, but does not click at each number.  This I can see might bug some, but for me I like having a razor that can has a very fine adjustment range.  I do not however like the plasit knob on the bottom of the razor that you use to adjust the gap.  The Gillettes use a metal handle all the way down to the bottom, I wish Merkur had done the same.  I will say though, the Merkur is a more handsome razor.

As for the shave, it is really good.  I have it set on 1 and with the weight I just move it along my face.  I do three passes WTG, XTG and ATG.  Gets my face baby smooth each shave.  The head is shaped a bit larger and more rounded than the Gillettes so it is harder is some of those close quarters areas, such as under the nose.  Over all this is a very good razor.

For the money I would recommend this razor.  Seeing that most good Gillette adjustables go for about the same price on the auction sites.  Give it some time and this razor could become my favorite thus far.

Till then, I’m keeping things progressive.

The Shaver

BG

Puff Puff, Shave Shave

Isnt that an odd title opener,

Well to explain, I have been dabbling in yet another possible hobby.  As of late I have been taking to Cigars.  Not on a daily basis, just a once in a while smoke.  It is something that I have always seen as a gentleman’s habit, so to say.  While I do not endorse smoking as a habit, I will say that cigars are something to be enjoyed.

What does this all have to do with shaving, well from the outside not much.  But in looking deeper the more they seem interconnected.  They both take you back to a time when life was slower, more appreciated.  In a time where email and instant messaging didn’t even exist, cigars and wet shaving were life’s little luxuries.  I dare say they are forgotten luxuries of the current day.

I have had a few cigars in the past, but lately I have been trying out a few to find ones I like the most.  I wouldn’t mind having a few on had for when the guys come over.  We can all sit back and relax on the porch swaping fish stories and discussing pertinent issues of the day.  Just like with shaving, cigars in a way help me to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.

As with a fine cigar, shaving takes both time and appreciation to master.  You dont just jump in expecting to know it all, I certainly dont.  You grow into it, learn something new, and then build on it.  All of this and you are enjoying yourself in the process.

So take some time, enjoy yourself.  Grab that favorite shave in the morning, and relax at night with a cool glass of tea and a fine cigar.  Here’s to life, enjoy.

The Shaver

BG

P.S.  I found an article that talks about another mans experience with shaving and cigars.  It’s a good read, try it out.  Have a look, The Joy of Smoking and Shaving.

Gifts from a Shaver Friend

I had a box show up in the mail the other day,

It was from a shaving friend no less.  A little back story is in order.  I have a friend, lets just call him DLB, that I have met in my shaving adventures in a forum.  Since our first meeting we have stayed in touch and kept tabs on each others shaving adventures.  One day he emailed me saying he had a couple spare razors, aftershave and shave oil.  He wanted to know if I would like to have them, I think I nearly broke my fingers trying to type so fast, YES!  I was so excited, my first person, a friend thru shaving no less, to send me some gear to try out.  With much gratitude I emailed back saying I would love to try out what every he had to send my way.

A couple of days ago the packaged had arrived.  He had told me before what he was sending me, I was still surprised to what was in the box.  He shoved a lot in there for being so small a parcel.  It was like the never-ending trick you see on tv, it just kept coming out of the box.  After unpacking it all I was even more grateful.  So much to try out, and smelled good as well.  The bottles leaked out a tiny bit.

With out further delay, this is what was included.  Two bakelite Gillette razors, some Preferred Stock Cologne and after shave, and two bottles of King of Shaves Shaving oil.  I havent used any of it yet, but am excited to do so.  The razors look awesome in particular.  DLB told me that they were from 1951 and 1938-1945.  One of the two was a military issue razor no less.  So cool to take part not only in a great shave, but history as well.  Thanks again DLB, it is much appreciated.

Here is the pictures of what he sent me:

First the razors the copper one is the one from 1951, the silver one is the one from 1938-1945 and is a military issue one.

Here is the oil and cologne.

I cant wait to put it all to good use.  Cheers!

The Shaver,

BG

A New New Adjustable

I took the plunge,

I bought something I thought I would not do for a long time.  I got a new adjustable DE.  I have been so happy with the old Gillette’s that I figured, who in the world would ever pay for a new one with old ones so cheap.  Well I think I know why.  While the Gillette’s  are great shavers, they just dont have the weight behind them that I like.  Not to mention there looks arent the best, more utilitarian looking than something you would display.

What to do what to do, buy a new razor of course.  I went on Em’s place, my favorite shave joint at the moment, and picked up a Merkur Progressive Long Handle.  I just couldnt wait to give it a try.  Gillette got the adjustable design down pretty good, lets see how the Germans improved upon it.  I must say they did a good job.  Not only is it an excellent shaver, but looks and feels good in the hand.  I would also have no problem displaying this as it is very nice to look at.

For the shave, it is smooth and glides like a dream.  The added benefit of this razor is its weight.  With the Gillette’s you have to apply some minor pressure because they are just so light.  With the Merkur no pressure is needed, especially since you can dial in the exact blade gap you want.  I think the merker is probably more adjustable as well, seems to be able to select more in between the numbers.

I will give it one down fall compared to Gillette’s.  It is not as easy to replace the blade.  With the Gillette’s the head swings open like part doors, with the Merkur you have to remove the head to insert the blade. This just makes it slightly more cumbersome to change the blade, with the possibility of cutting you self.  Really, it’s not big deal though.

For a visual description, here she it;

I look forward to many more mornings shaving with this razor.  The Gillette’s will just have to take a back seat in my over night bag for now.

The Shaver,

BG