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

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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

Back to the Slant

Welcome back,

This is a retro theme tonight.  If you remember, a while back I was trying out a razor known as a Slant.  It has a special shaped head that tapers from a small gap to a larger gap to expose more blade as you shave.  To see an example do a search for Slant and a few pics should show up in prior posts.  The reason for a repost on this razor is I got a great shave from it tonight.  Previously I had lost faith in it as my face was a war zone every time I used it.

So now with a few months of experience under my belt I set off with middling hopes for tonight’s shave.  I choose to shave at night tonight so my face could have some recovery time before work in the morning just in case.  Case not needed though.  I slapped a feather blade in the slant and headed of with cautious ambitions.  I used what I have been preaching and hearing over and over again, let the weight of the razor do the work.  This being a hefty razor, it had a lot of weight to throw around.  I must say that the first swipe was a shaving epiphany.  Its like the past eight or nine months of shaving wet style culminated into tonight’s shave.  It being the day after the 4th, fireworks were still going off.  This time in the bathroom between the razor and my face.  It was a glorious celebration with man and razor.  I loved it so much, I continued with the rest of my face.  Would have been weird just leaving a patch out and then going to bed anyway.

After I did the initial wtg I dared to venture farther and do atg.  I skipped xtg just because I forgot, but no worry I didnt need it.  Agt was no blood bath either.  I mean I had a minor bleed in a couple of spots, but the styptic pencil took care of that.  I have no irritation and no gaping wounds.  My have the tides turned on my not so beloved slant.  I think it is now a keeper and it is coming off the market from hence forth.  I was trying to sell it just because I didnt like it.  I am glad I didn’t yet, this is defiantly a keeper now.  It just took a few months of bulking up on my shaving muscles and skills.  I must say this razor now has a special place in my shaving heart.

I think I am going to take another piece of advice that guys over on the forum having been telling me, “Keep it as a sunday shaver.”  This being that I should only shave with it once a week or for special occasions.  This baby soft face just cant take the ever changing blade gaps every day of the week.  I will reserve the rest of the shaves for my Super Slim, but Sundays are now a holy Slant shave.  Take my and the forum guys advice; first dont get one of these till you got a little time under your belt, second save this for a once a week or special occasion shaver.

Till next time, Cant wait till the next Slant DE shave,

BG

Em’s Place Shaving Site

I don’t normal do this,

I havent ever featured a shaving site before exclusively on this blog.  I will say that this is by no means an advertisement aside from me writing about them.  I was not asked to do this by this site either, just have had a couple great experiences with this particular shaving shop.  So here goes it.

This is not about any particular product, rather the seller of some great shaving products.  I have my favorite sites that I buy from regularly that you will notice on the side bar to the right.  They are all great and offer good prices and products.  But I have come to really enjoy and slightly love this one in particular shave site.  It represents and encompass the shaving aura.  It has an old world feel in the internet age.  Kind of like walking into an upbeat antique shop in down town Seattle.  It is Shaving Chic, it is a great experience not just a shopping trip.

I know it is just a site that sells shaving gear, but even just navigating the site can be fun.  It is not the fancy modern type layout that you would find on any of your artofshaving.com style sites.  It has a very hand-made feel to it, and not in a bad way. It looks like some one took the time upon themselves to create their store front, instead of just paying some one to do it for them.  Makes you appreciate the work that they have put into it.  Just like a good shave that you put in each day.

This is by no means a negative review.  When I first visited this site I quickly dismissed it as just a small shop that didn’t offer much, I was wrong.  This site has continually offered more good deals and quality product than I have found anywhere else.  I love the way you have to look around to find what you are wanting, I love the simplistic yet rewarding feeling of finding something that I can’t find on my other sites I visit.  Not to mention their clearance rack.

On other sites the prices are mainly all the same, not hear.  Yes they price their normal items along the same lines as the others, but they also have some good deals hidden away.  There soaps arent priced sky-high, and are of good quality.  They have good prices on brushes, razors are decent as well.  The thing that really keeps me coming back though, is the clearance section.  I recently picked up a gift for a friend of mine, and for under 60 bucks I had him all set to go with a shaving kit minus the razor, I had an old one I was giving him.  That is great, soap, travel canister, badger brush and blades all for under what I have gotten anywhere else.  Cant beat that, and that is why this site has gotten the Shavers seal of approval for shavetasticness.  Probably doesn’t amount to anything, but they got it any way.

Way to go Em’s Place, you got my business that is for sure.  To have a look around you can find them here, http://www.emsplace.com/

Have fun,

The Shaver

BG