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A keener edge?

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Hi all!

So i've been playing around with my BBW for a while now, and i can consistently get a decent edge. The problem is, while i'm getting good HHT- better than i've ever gotten before, i dont think my HHT assessments are completely accurate. Either that, or my neck is tougher than the average to shave.
I'm 17, so i probably don't have the densest beard, however mine's definitely a heckova lot more than the average teen (here), and it's almost bristly. This causes a lot of tug on my neck, because i can only shave up and down, both ways ATG from different angles. The shave is still better than when i started, less blood. I'm just aiming for no blood :rolleyes:
I figure i need a keener edge, and i've been trying to coax one off the BBW, but to no avail. Are there any tricks i might have missed?

Otherwise i'm thinking of buying a coticule, since i've saved up some money. However i don't know what sort would be best suited for me.

Anyway, Thanks for reading. I appreciate all the help and advice i've received so far!
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
How's your technique and beard prep? And how long have you been shaving with a straight razor? I can get my razors pretty darn sharp, but I think I have the same issues as Matt and Chris (wdwrx): Wiry beard, sensitive skin. For me, it's additionally challenging that I live in a desert. Even with a lather with runny consistency, it dries out and flakes in a matter of 5-10 minutes. (Liquids generally evaporate pretty quickly here.) My neck is pretty challenging since the hair on it runs almost sideways. I don't think a coticule will help you given that you already have a BBW.
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Hi,

I might suggest taking a look at that Willi video again, that was posted last week. Watch for two things: his rather high angle and his firm, secure strokes.

I have a patch on my neck that has given me only grief. No way to approach it, grows flat, etc. The only way for me to get a good shave there is to stretch well, take a rather high angle and do it it one secure pass ATG (experiment with angles, but keep in mind that a high angle can also give you a hospital worthy cut...). Done, almost BBS, and just about as good as I believe it will ever get just there. Don't go over it again, and don't mosey about.

I use a BBW edge almost exclusively right now.

regards,
Torolf
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I sugest getting your razor honed by the free honing service. Then you can see if you get a better shave. Then you no what to aim for.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
dnullify said:
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garyhaywood said:
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That's a sound advice. It will definitely rule out one important variable.

Torolf, that's interesting, I recall usually reading just the opposite view. I think it was Gary even who said he goes completely flat ATG. Might be worth a try, though. But there's one trick (?) about Willi's video, which has been pointed out, that he shaves many days' growth. If I was always giving my skin that many days to rest, you wouldn't see half of my usual whining. :) But hey, you've been there, done that, so I will experiment with your high angle approach, too.

[r][small]Now, where do I have a needle, just in case I needed some stitches... hahahaha[/small][/r]regards,
Matt
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Well, one thing is true, if you are unsure of how little pressure is light enough, raising your angle will tell you in a hurry.

I started out trying a higher angle with a nice, smiling Swede. Fantastic razor, excellent edge, and a high angle drove the low sector of the smile right into my cheeks. Repeatedly...:(

I have been getting markedly better shaves ever since...

I agree with what you say about Willi's hair length, Matt. I forget about that since I usually shave only twice or three times a week myself. To clarify, I don't use a high angle ATG everywhere. Usually it is almost flat with light buffing strokes. But this part of my neck doesn't take that at all, just the one chop... Maybe I should try it more often on other parts of my beard.

regards,
Torolf
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Well, I've been at it for 4 months now, and I have been working on my technique.
Shave prep is after shower, and a warm fluffy but moist lather. I let it sit, but not long enough to dry out. I've been managing my angles keeping them relatively low, and I've experimented and I think I've got angles down. I also never go over a spot without lather, and take light passes, stretching skin. All that and I still face quite some tug.

That is why I thought it might be the edge, and why ive spent so long experimenting with the BBW before posting. I'm just outa ideas on how to make it keener. I also take some time in between shaves. Generally 2-4 days.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Those who've been around at forums that deal about shaving, must have witnessed this situation a couple of times.

There is always a margin for improvement in the art of traditional shaving, and that margin can be disturbingly big at times, certainly during the first year. The typical question is: how much improvement can be found in better shaving technique and how much can be found in a better edge?

The answer to the first question is easy, in my opinion. Your shaving technique will improve with 100%, or thereabouts.
But that doesn't mean the edge of the razor can't be improved as well. But how much, no one here knows. We can only speculate.

Jared is correct. A perfect Coticule edge will not cut with any less effort than a perfect BBW edge. It won't make it easier to find that perfection either. If you were to say, you wanted a faster solution for the bevel stage of sharpening, or if it bothers you that you can't see much color shift in the deep purple BBw slurry, then I would say to try a Coticule. But to solve a certain problem with edge keenness, well, if you can't solve it on the BBW, there is no reason why changing to a Coticule would make a sudden difference.

Gary's advice is equally sound. I suggest you get 2 razors sharpened, one on a Coticule and one on a BBW. If only to reassure you how close both edges resemble each other.

I would also get a CrO pasted strop. It's the easiest and cheapest way to solve a keenness problem with your edges. If the edge improves, then you have things to learn on your BBW. But in the mean time, that improved CrO edge will serve you well.
If you need advice how to build your own "couple of bucks" CrO strop, let us know.

An alternative that functions just as well, but needs more frequent strop redressing, is the use of BBW-paste. Put some oil on your BBW, and rub with the slurry stone till you have plenty of paste on top with a buttery substance. Use that to paste a fabric strop. If you have no spare fabric strop, make one out of an old jeans. Put on enough paste to see some color, but not so much that it becomes a fuzzy coat. Keep this strop very taut. Start with 40 laps, and don't worry about the HHT too much afterwards. The shave will be great. As said, if the edge was perfect off the hone, you won't notice any real difference.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Yes, i'm sure that my technique can improve, after all four months is nothing in a life-long skill.

I have plenty of CrOx and other stuff, but i've been reluctant to try it in case i lose the benefit of the smooth edge. I'll give it a shot today and see if that helps. I've got some spare balsa as well, i might try some BBW slurry past on that as well.

Again, i guess this isn't that much of an issue, as i'm sure my technique can only go up.

It does sound like a good idea to send one of my razors out for honing, that way i can see how accurate my assessments of my own edges are too.


I figure on getting a coticule anyway, mainly because i'd like something faster and smaller (lighter). Although i've gotten used to using other non-visual ways of assessing an edge, i don't think being able to judge by slurry-darkening could hurt, it might help. Not to mention, DMT still has all my plates for replacement, and it's pushing on 2 months with only a BBW.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I was honing a henkells up on my lpb blue side. I have tryed my bbw on la vainette. i have to say i'm realy surprised how well the edge became. I used dilublue the hht was anice 3 of the hone with a real bite . I also did did dilucot on yellow . i went back to bbw with slight slurry and then back to coticule yellow side. i never lost keeness at all infact the hht was a little more responsive. i think a nice bbw/coti combo stone is ideal stone.I never realy used the blue that much . I'm going to start seriously using it and comparing the differance. the shaves of both yellow V blue are both very good .

Gary
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Nothing to add from me, very sound advice IMHO. I must say that one should never underestimate the humble BBW, my recent thing is to set the bevel on the blue side, then go Coticule with milky slurry and dilute through to normal Dilucot finish, man the BBW set bevel is one solid and very sharp foundation. Just beware that the Coticule slurry has got to be pretty spot on, as always ;)

And dnullify, if you have a razor that you would like me to BBW hone, just drop me a line
Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 
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