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Freshening the edge on a wedge grind

Elliot

New Member
At quite an advanced age I have decided to try to acquire a new skill: Learning to use a straight razor. Thus, I am quite new to the straight razor world. I have just purchased a razor with a wedge grind so as to compare the shave I obtained with a wedge vs. a half hollow vs. a full hollow grind. The razor will come honed and shave ready from a very reliable source. I already have a coticule, but I need some advice on the steps and techniques necessary in order to keep the wedge grind "fresh" using the coticule-as outlined by Bart. Specifically, are any special taping or other steps needed when freshening a wedge grind, or does one simply make the requisite number of passes on the coticule followed by the strop on linen and leather as Bart suggests? I have read here and elsewhere that a wedge grind might be a bit easier to use when learning the "angles" and straight razor shaving techniques; I hope such proves to be the case. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!:confused:

Any advice is sincerely appreciated.

Elliot
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Hi Elliot,

Welcome to Coticule.be and straight razor shaving. Many so seem to prefer wedges at the beginning of their learning curve for the reason you said. Here's a good article on
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. However, you seem most likely to be interested in general
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.

You need to know how much, if any, tape was used by the "reliable source" you referenced for honing so that you can duplicate that for your maintenance needs.

Good luck and enjoy

Paul
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Welcome from me too, just to echo Pauls reply, if you find out if any and how many layers of tape were used to hone the razor, maintenance should be quite simple, provided that you like how it shaves in the first place of course :thumbup:

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Snuff

Well-Known Member
Welcome, hope you like the journey, it's not that difficult (as some people on certain forums would like you to believe). Just started myself this year and what helped me most was beeing able to use a really shave ready razor (thanks to Bart). Learning to use the Coticule now, not much luck with the Dilucot methode so far but it's coming. Greets Ron
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Welcome Eliot!
Someone who considers himself never too old to pick up a new skill has my respect.:thumbup:

Paul has given you good advice: the touch-up procedure is the same, but you absolutely need to match the bevel angle that was used by the person who honed the razor for you. This means that you must put on exactly the same amount of tape as he used, with the same tape thickness he used.

Should that for some reason not be possible, you can also touch-up on a pasted strop. By its pliable nature, a pasted strop will touch the very edge no matter what. That's at the same time a bit of a disadvantage, but only after several touch-ups.


Kind regards,
Bart
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
Hi Elliot,
Welcome to the forum!
Congratulations for re-inventing shaving for yourself! Good advice above!
I started wet shaving with a Straight at 70, If I can learn to hone, strop and shave anyone can.
Respectfully
~Richard
 

Elliot

New Member
Thanks to Bart and everyone else who has chimed in.

The honemeister and well known restorer of hundreds of straight razors just noted that he did NOT use any tape when honing the wedge. Thus, I assume that I should touch up without using any tape:) I believe that if the razor shaves well, and if I decide to keep it, that it might make more sense to send the razor back to the source to be rehoned. Of course, I hope that Bart's touch up technique(s) will obviate the need to rehone for a long time!

It is apparent to me that one needs to actually try various grinds and even various razors to see if one can appreciate any differences. The "unfortunate" implication is that one might well end up with a few razors that one does not really like, and that one might not use. However, I see no alternative to actually SHAVING with a razor rather than reading about how a given blade is supposed to feel!

I know that what I now write will appear quixotic and even silly. However, much of the learning curve in straight razor shaving is actually spent in developing a sense of touch around the curves and angles of one's face. Moreover, the sense of touch is affected by how one learns to hold the razor and if one tries to use both hands when shaving. I wonder why it isn't possible to create an inexpensive "model" of a straight razor made exactly like a functioning implement, but with a smooth endge on the end of the "blade". One might then be able to actually "practice shaving" without the risk of cuts and irritation. After some "dull runs" with the practice razor, it might be much easier using the real thing. Just wondering....

Elliot
 

Snuff

Well-Known Member
If there are others in the surroundings that shave with SR you could ask to try out some of there razors so you know what kind of razors you like most. About the razor with a smooth edge, I don't think that would help much, you wouldn't use the correct pressure with that, if you use a good honed razor you'll do fine, try the easy parts first and go from there. Worked for me. Greets Ron
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Dull runs without the risk of nicks and cuts, would, I'm afraid, not have any meaningful advantage. The mere challenge of learning to shave with a straight razor is that you need to learn how to cut your beard without cutting your skin.
"safe" shaving with a dulled blade is easy. Just run the razor with its edge over a beer bottle and it won't shave a thing. You would be able to scoop lather off your face, without any significant risk of cutting yourself. But you would not learn a thing, and possiblly even develop some bad habits, because that razor wouldn't punish you when you apply the wrong shaving angle or too much shaving pressure.
Bottom line, there are no shortcuts to shorten your learning curve.

For the same reasons, I don't recommend you'd try to "solve" certain aspects of your learning curve, by trying different razors. It definitely is fun to discover the differences between various razor grinds, but it will not shorten the learning curve. The best approach is to stick with one, well honed razor (no matter the grind) till it works for you.

Kind regards,
Bart
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I agree with Bart with one caveat. When learning to use two hands to shave, I practiced with a dull razor because my left hand was not used to moving in the direction that it needed to when looking at the mirror. So, I heartily recommend that to people who find translating the motions needed to match what they see in the mirror :)
 

pinklather

Well-Known Member
Congrats, Elliot for taking a walk on the wild side & choosing quality in the process. I don't know what your location is, but if anywhere near Portland, OR. You're welcome to come try my gear. light, heavy grinds, tall, short blades. I didn't start until late also, and I'm loving it. In short order, you'll be getting the best shaves of your life.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Elliot said:
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I mostly shave with razors that I need to sharpen for other people (I insist of a real live test shave, before I send it back to the owner). Obviously, the grinds and blade widths cover the full spectrum. They're all fun to shave with.:)

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
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I'm an older guy also, and while still new at this, the biggest single step I made was shaking off the Mythology of Difficulty that I acquired from other web sites. Don't be afraid to try it and just have fun. I rubbed quite a bit of razor on rock before they started getting sharp. It's wonderful fun, it's not rocket surgery and the sooner you start rock rubbing the sooner you'll be shaving with your own edges! My sharpness is nowhere near some of the fellows here, but I know it will be someday, because I love doing it and trying different things.
 
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