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New groupie intro=:-)

My name is Jake (shakin_jake=:), I became a coticule.be member over the August holiday...thought I'd say hello and introduce myself. I've been following this board off and on since last spring but never joined until several weeks ago. Anywho...I picked up my first straight razor in March of this year...I'm 54 so I've been shaving for a while now, to the best of my abilities with carts for most of those years and an odd electric shaver here and there. As for cotis, my first was (I still have and use it) an LPB bout, here-
5511733170_9510f92ee9_b.jpg
A while back I became intrigued with trying my hand at using a BBW in progression so I acquired this stone
6048814244_73ae6a3508_z.jpg
From Jarrod (superiorshave) (the LPB bout came from Jarrod as well)
then I picked up this coti (Les Lat) from Steffen (Belgishcer-Brocken)
5965817235_0b594d28af_o.png
to be used on the tail end of the progression on straight water
I've gone through buying spells picking up the odd vintage straight razor sourced mostly from the wilds (ebay)...and I've had a lot of fun acquiring STR8 razors from the bay. I'd have to say just about all of the buying experiences gaining STR8's from ebay have been pleasant

I was perusing posts here yesterday and came across someone mentioning (maybe this was advice to somebody else?) it was a good idea to hone a straight razor, one where the bevels are already corrected..hone it 300 laps (presumably X-Strokes) everyday for 7 days straight...using the same razor each day, in order to get to know your stone, or some such. Anyways, I thought about that and yeah, I'm in!=:) here's my seven day razor for this trial-
6111118090_05d8d1d3ce_z.jpg
I just finished giving it 300 laps on straight water on the Les Lat you see next to the razor, with the coti un-cleaned from the honing...and you can see a little chip in the right hand corner of this stone with metal shavings that collected in the chip. I basicially sat on the couch with the coti/razor and a bowl of water and would sprinkle some water every 10 laps on the stone w/o cleaning the stone at all during this 300 lap exercise. I shaved with this straight on Saturday, honed it and today (Sunday) will be day 2 and I'll hone it again 300 laps Sunday (tonight) night, and every day after for a total of 7 days. Again, I thoght this sounded like a fun idea and a very good way to get to know this stone better. Here's a nicer pic of that razor by itself, after I cleaned it up some
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On the tang it says Chas A Smith Phila, I'm guessing Phila is short for Philadelphia, as in philidelphia Pensylvania (city of brotherly love?=:) It's a nice shaving razor...11/16", square point, must be full hollow (thin grind)

Okay, thatis about it...I'm just an amatuer doing a pro's job with the hones yet it is quite a bit of fun taking care of my own razors


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Welcome from me too, I happy that you are enjoying your Coticule :thumbup:

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Welcome Jake,

I love the backgrounds of your pictures.:thumbup: .
Please keep us posted on your experiences with the 300 laps journey. I'm looking forward to read about it.

Best regards,
Bart.
 

Rhys

Active Member
Looking forward to reading about it also, how long does it take to do 300 strokes?
Might have to give it a go as well though will have to choose a razor that's easy to twiddle (if doing x strokes) or can you do it with sets of half strokes?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
I did the exercise with x-strokes. 300 laps back and forth takes take in between 3 and 20 minutes, depending on how fast you can go. Precision is more important than speed.

Kind regards.
Bart.
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
Welcome, Nice photos, hones and a very nice introduction! From another coffee roaster! :thumbup:
Respectfully
~Richard / espressme
 
@SlowRain- Yes, I am a homeroaster, roasting green coffee beans...FWIW, I've been roasting everyting I drink (coffee) at home since July 08', but I got started in that hobby/past time because I wanted to learn how to make espresso at home, and the research I did about that said, I needed to use only fresh roasted beans and there are no regional roasteers to buy from where I live so home roasting was the only logical thing to do. 3 years later I still enjoy roasting every time I do it which is about once every 5 days on average as my roaster puts out about a 1/2 lb. I'm the only coffee drinker in the house. Not that you asked but my fascination with espresso started during the 12 years my wife and I lived in the lower Fla. Keys. down there are many Cuban coffee shops and the drink most everyone buys (at least back when we lived there 85'-98') is cafe con leche which is one part espresso to 8 ounces steamed milk. Anyways, we lived in north central Fla. for 10 years and I hadn't had an espresso drink since leaving the keys, then met up with someone at a Starbucks and ordered a cafe con leche (1st time ever in a *$'s) and as luck would have it, the barista was a Cuban from south Fla.=:) so he knew what I wanted. Plesase pardon me for going on about coffee here in this honing forum. I can't help myself when someone asks me about home roasting=:)

@ Dr. Ralfson- thanks for the welcome Dr. Ralfson...I've enjoyed reading your posts

@ Bart- I'm happy to hear you like my pic backgrounds...two of them, (maybe 3?) I shot in the kitchen (donuts and coffee=:) I shoot a lot of my pics in the kitchen on top of the stove or on the counter near the stove if I take pics at night indoors. Now about the 300 laps journey...the plan is to post about this each night and discuss what I've noticed and hopefully I'll get some feedback from the members. I have an idea I will learn from this experience, the least of which will be what the hone tells me and the razor as well, like the feedback from the shave and the edges I get

@Rhys- I timed my honing session Sunday night so I could report back to you. Looking at the clock on the stove (I honed this last time in the kitchen standing up at the sink), it took me approx. 9 minutes with no distractions, and that was with me taking my time and not trying to hurry through it. Now in regards to doing this exercise using 1/2 strokes...nothing is black and white yet I corelate doing 1/2 strokes while attempting to correct the bevels, so I'm purposely not utilizing 1/2 strokes with this razor as the bevels have been previously corrected. Also, while doing my X-Strokes, I'm attempting to do them as light (pressure wise) as possible...making a conscious effort to remember going lightly as possible, mainly because, lighter pressure will mean less metal removal, me thinks, and since I'll do approx. 2100 X strokes in the course of a week, i want to keep metal removal at a minimum. Also too, I'm led to believe from reading here and emailing off list with others that using light pressure on straight water to finish for touching up, the edge should get to a finer degree of finish. From what I've gathered doing research on this site, once a blade is considered shave worthy, only touching up is required to keep it in tip top shape, and touching up using X-strokes from a number of strokes POV, most of what I've read here has been suggested to start out with at least 30 X strokes but you may need to go up to 100 X strokes (and possibly beyond) to keep the edge shave ready (every 5-7 sahves?)...so with me doing 300 X Stroke nightly for a week on the same blade, well, this shoulod be an interesting exercise and I'm looking forward to doing it, with no preconcieved notions of what I will learn

@ Toff- Thanks for the welcome and compliments Richard. I thought I have seen your handle (espressme) on some of the coffee forums in the past, or at least the espressme name sounds familiar to me. Judging from your handle you must be an espresso aficionado=:) I'm stuck in a rut when it comes to espresso, preferring to drink a cap/latte hybrid. I'm using an HX machine pulling doubles into two cappucchino cups so one shot in each cup with the rest of the fill with steamed/frothed milk. I've never been a big fan of drinking straight shots but I do on occasion if for no other reason to see how a new bean/roast tastes sans milk and sugar. Now, some months back I started to experiment with espresso con panna (espresso with whipped cream). I love it but I have always been a huge fan of coffee and milk, which disqualifies me from being a coffee snob=:)...my predilection for taking cream with my cofee=:)

Getting back to my 300 X-Stroke journey, I'll report the good and the bad to keep this experiment objective as I can. As to the bad...when I shaved Sunday afternoon, I had a slight case of razor burn after my shave (I honed 300 x Strokes Sat. night). For the life of me, I can't pin point what caused the razor burn. It could have been from doing too many passes as I did 4 but I'm used to doing 3 passes each time I shave with almost always a touch up of sorts. the worst of the burn is on my chin closer to my lower lip and I don't really recall over doing it in that area. I do recall hurrying this shave. We had to make a run to the airport and wifey wanted to leave by 4:30 PM...and I remember pressing myslef to finish

Pre shave prep was changed however. My normal pre shave prep consists of doing the barber towel technique, always, and I always use Proraso pre/post shave cream first after wetting my face then after applying the pre/post cream I apply my lather which has been face lathering for quite some time now using soap...and I'm pretty religious about using the brush for 2 minutes (to exfoiate) before putting the hot wet towel on my face and leaving the towel on for 2 minutes minimum but this time I applied the Proraso pre/post cream by itself *then* applying the hot towel for 2 minutes, then I face lathered with soap (I used Proraso) and used the hot towel again, so I don't know if this new manuver contributed at all to my razor burn. FWIW, I think I read where the Groom Room in Scottland does this type of prep for one of their signnature straight shaves

I don't mean to make a big deal or issue out of my slight razor burn episode yet it is out of the ordinary for me to experience this, it did happen so I am going to report it. And there is also the possibility of the razor burn being the result of edge harshness, but I doubt that yet I can't exclude that possibility. I felt that I built a good lather and I have what I would call good experience with this particular shave soap. it's my first tub of proraso and I'm halfway through it and it's always given me good results...good meaning cushy, slick lather, and most of all, I never experienced razor burn when using this soap

In regards to how well I removed beard. I ended up with my typical results which is, BBS on the cheeks, DFS on most of my throat, and a combination of DFS and a little better than SAS on my jowels (jaw area). Shaving the jowels for me is the most difficult area because my beard growth is ATG when moving from the ears to the chin on both sides of my face and it's difficult for me to use my hand on either side of my face shaving ATG there for several reasons. One, it's just to awkward for me to move the razor well from the ear to the chin, on both sides of my face. Secondly, when I shave this area, I can't see what I'm doing as my hand blocks my view. That said, I can and I have gotten BBS on my jowels, but I have to spend what I would call an inordinate amount of time to get this result....so more often than not I shoot for what I normally get and that's somewhere between DFS and SAS on the jowels. Also, thypical for me when shaving is to make the first and second pas using downward strokes everywhere, except the chin and I go across to shave the chin, left to right for the entire chin as trying to go right to left...I'd have to use my left hand and I'm right handed. I can and do shave with my left hand but some passes like XTG isn't easy for me and especially ATG on the jowels with either hand (as previosuly mentioned)

I'm getting long winded here and my brain is starting to resemble smoked meat, or at least that is what it feels like. it's somewhat late for me, nearing 5 AM EST. I run on a nocturnal clock but it's time for me to hit the sheets. if I've left something glaring out, please ask and I'll try to fill it in

Okay, wait...worthy of mention...I think part of which contributed to the razor burn, besides shaving too close...i patted on a generous amount of cheap A/S w/loads of alcohol afterwards which stung like the devil. FWIW, I used Pinaud Lilac Vegetal...considered by many to be awful stuff=:) Admittedly, I like this scent, on occasion


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Hi Jake.I was born in 1957 ,so i consider we are in the same age stadium.I would like to wish welcome here.My advise is to keep the lowest shaving angle which is possible,especially against the stubble even the shave isn't the nearest.With regard the honing i am sure that you will find your best way to perform it, having the coticule be crew support.
Best regards from Athens
Emmanuel
 
Hello Emmanuel! Thanks for the welcome!!! We are nearly identical ages, my birthdate is the last quarter of 1956, so I'm pushing 55=:) I have to concur with your assessment, how I got my razor burn yesterday. Again, you're right, too much blade angle, no doubt. I say this as I'm looking at yesterday's events through fresher eyes. And!, tonight when I shaved (11:30 PM EST) I kept the blade angle low, consciously, around 20 degrees angle and no razor burn at all <YAY!> so I'm convinced that was what it was...improper blade angle

tonight's shave was very comfortable, and I used Senstive Proraso shave soap, w/the barber towel prep...all went well. Before shaving I stropped 100 laps linen, 100 laps leather (cowhide)...this was on the edge I honed last night. After the shave tonight I got out my Les Lat coti and with fleetness in mind, I lapped this razor 300 times, all on straight water, sprinkling water on the coti after every 10 laps...and I could sense or feel the razor sucking up to the stone tonight while honing so it's evident the razor is really taking an edge now

last but not least, for you coffee freaks, I leave you with a pic of a shot I pulled in Jan 2010
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this is an HX machine (my 2nd, 1st working) I used to own and use, a hand made machine by Salvatore in Solvang CA (his One Black)...hard financial times forced me to sell this machine in the fall of 2010 yet several months later I became flush and bought a different HX machine I'm now using...this pic epitimizes to me the makings of a (or two=:) cappucchino


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Hi Jake. Thanks for the pic. For my coffe i use a La Cimbali. I grind but i never roast because in Greece i easily find fresh roasted Robusta and Arabica that i prefer.
Glad you found low angle usefull.
Follow your heart doing things with previous fixed values.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the updates Jake. They read like a novel. (at least, to me they do.:) )

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
Since we have no coffee forum I shall post my delight: She heats while I shower and shave. The steam wand sure cleans old razors too! This was shot in 2007. Much better now! She now also has a new O.E. bottomless PF and custom Cocobolo handles and knobs.
Papua1.jpg
Many Happy Pulls to you!
~Richard
 
@ Emmanuel-I have a friend that uses La Cimbali for espresso...he likes his very much, and I noticed you prefer Arabica and Robusta...I'm guessing you prefer southern Italian espresso (recipes) I too like a hint of robusta in my espresso when I blend yet I am a lazy roaster, preferring to roast SO's (single origins). And yet again when I shaved Tuesday, I kept the blade angle low so no irritation whatsoever. thanks again for pointing that out to me. Using the correct blade angle makes all the difference in the world, for getting a good irritation free shave

@ Toff- i see you are using a lever espresso machine...I've always wanted to try one out. Hopefully someone brings one over some day for me to play with. I've heard very good things aobut them

@ Bart- I'll keep updating this thread for the whole duration of 7 days using this same razor, and putting it to my Les Lat for 300 laps each night when I'm finished shaving...and I'm glad you're enjoying what I write. Sometimes it gets lengthy as you pointed out=:) (novelesque=:)

My shave on Tuesday was done earlier than Monday. FWIW I shaved about5 PM EST? And as Emmanuel suggested, I kept the blade angle low and the resluting shave was quite comfortable, and beard reduction in 4 passes was productive, meaning I got a good result...DFS for the most part. Now what I found significant while honing afterwards...I didn't get quite 20 laps in when I could actaully feel the blade lose dullness from the past shave. Specifically, when i started honing I could feel the roughness of the edge while I honed, mostly on the upstoke as I pushed the razor away from me and the roughness was felt nearly all of the stroke but mostly towards the toe. In other words, i started on the bottom of the hone closest to me with the heel right on the ridght edge of the hone, so when I moved the blade forward, and to do the X stroke, the toe started out off the hone but as I moved forward the toe became engaged and I felt the roughness of the edge hitting the hone. After 20 strokes most of the roughness was gone. By 30 strokes completed, all of the percieved roughness was gone. I know that I am getting somewhere doing this exercise. the other 270 X strokes were uneventful but I paid close attention to what I was dong the whole time none the less. I look forward to Wednesday's shave and hone session!

I thought I would post a few pics of an espresso machine I'm restoring for your viewing pleasure. this machine is not very old, in fact, it was built in Y2K by the Gaggia factory in Barcelona Spain. It's a Futurmat Rimini, a single group HX (heat exchanger). the controls are fully automatic meaning you can program it to pull shots for various lengths of time rather than a simple on or off button to control the flow of water to the group...but you can use it that way as well, starting the shot then pressing a button to stop the shot when you want

here it is when I got it several years ago
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here's another pic of it showing some damage sustained during shipping
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FWIW, this is a rather industrial looking espresso machine as it was built to be used in the back of a kitchen and not a fronmt door machine, but I have (had) plans to improve the looks=:)
The shipping company reimbursed me for the damages during their mishandling. Both side panels were dented so I had them bumped and sprayed by a local auto body shop
3334973916_f6bb2e9fb5_z.jpg
I stripped every sub component off the frame then used a paint stripper as I was going to paint the frame
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but I got lazy and took the frame to a metal shop so they could bead blast it and them powder coat it as you see here
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the shop that bead blasted and did the powdercoating did both for under $40 including tax
I sent the trim panels out of state to a hydro coater for them to apply a carbon fibre scheme. This isn't the best of pics as it is over exposed
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here's a better shot
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I took the steam abnd hot water valves apart to install new rubber bits
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here they are finished
3836241716_0e5e9787b7_z.jpg
I annealed the the copper washers in the valves before putting back together
3836198138_8020192703_z.jpg
on the counter with some trim in place along with the group which is obscured in this photo
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I sent the pump out to be rebuilt while it was apart
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and here's a pic of the pump before it was rebuilt
3335010604_2f489606fa_z.jpg

Okay, I'm calling it quits with the photos tonight...my wireless connection is getting snitty


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Thanks Richard and Jake for the Pictures.
Jake if you refresh your razors on water only occasionally don't forget to refresh your coticules too before honing.For me the best way is to perform a light lapping using two coticules with equal surface (approximately). No matter if they originate from different layer.Do it below the running water tap.Do not use a diamond plate ,don't needed. Rinse them starting your honing on clear water by x strokes. If observe slurry traces ,no problem, dip your blade in a pot with fresh water every ten strokes.You ll see that you don't need more than 60 strokes to refresh a razor (depends the coticule).
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
Thanks Emmanuel,
A different, and simple way to hone and dilute. I shall try it with Coticules and Thuringians, each type separately.
Respectfully
~Richard
 
Hello Emmanuel! Interesting test for me you proposed. i will give it a try (lapping coticule w/another coticule). Admittedly, I've been using a 600 grit DMT (Duo Sharp) to lap my cotis and BBW hones yet your way sounds interesting. I will most certainly try it out. And I'm sure you're right about only needing to go 60 laps on a coti with a razor that is kept in tip top condition. I see that wisdom doing 300 X Strokes nightly on the razor I have been using for this 7 day 300 X Stroke challenge yet I am reminded also that you can't over hone a razor using a coti. I believe my 300 laps per night with this current razor proves that out. That said, doing more laps than necessary will remove metal, perhaps unnecessarily yet I am going with very light pressure on my razor each night doing 300 strokes, and I think I am gaining quite a bit from this exercise. So far in this trial, I would whole heartily recommend to other n00b honers (like myself) to use one razor for 7 days and lap it on one stone for 300 laps each night. Again, I'm really building up coti confidence doing this ritual


FWIW< i got a little bored last night so I went through my ebay razor stock, the ones I haven't touched, and pulled out this vintage Genco
6125972665_3fcbe14fb5_b.jpg

sorry, no before pic. the blade had some tarnish, nothing major though. I buffed on an 8" wheel using black buffing compound, then went over to the other wheel with green buffing compound. The edge had micro chips so I figured it best to use my Norton 1 K stone to correct the bevels quickly. I could have used slurried coti but I wanted to make fast work of the micro chips so I went with the 1 K Norton, then on to my LPB bout w slurry, doing half strokes...I might ahve done close to 100 1/2 strokes then tested shave worthiness, by shaving leg hair. both sides of the blade cut hair from the heel to the toe so I stopped w/the LPB bout and went to my BBW (150X40mm) with slurry doing X -Strokes. It stayed on the slurried BBW for 300 X -Strokes. Why?, it just felt right...the blade had a bit of a frown to it initially and when I decided to stop with the BBW, it went to the Les Latnueses coti for 500 X strokes. Again, it just felt right to do that many, then I finished it on linen for 100 laps and 100 laps on leather, out in the garage...on the Chicago strop I have. At first, I didn't like this strop
5732558345_4ae5f6c10e_z.jpg
it's the one on the right. I bought it from Amazon and it felt too fast for my likes, so I tried to slow it up, and it did slow up, eventually. What really got it to draw was pouring neatsfoot oil on the surface, then I took a coffee mug and pressed the oil into the leather by using all I could pressing the mug holding onto the handle and using the side of the mug as a press. This procedure was passed on to from another straight razor user. I think doing something like this is a bit radical but the strop was so fast, something radical had to be done=:)


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
While antiquing,I found an older, used, Illinois #127 like your that only needed a bit of cleaning at a good price..Bye the way someone recently outbid me on one!!! :thumbup: Congratulations!!:thumbup:
They just get better with use. The horse side is exquisite! Mine was requiring only a quick damp wipe and has become my go to strop for daily use. The pigskin (sharpen)side is a good drying off side and I do not overuse it. Some of them were/may have been, dressed at the factory with a compound on that side. Sure does a nice polish with mine.
Enjoy it forever!!!
~Richard
 
Hey Richard!...my #127 Chicago strop is a newrer style and only has one leather component and one linen component, and that said, I'm not sure (can't tell as I don't know how) which type of animal the leather is tanned from. All I know is that it was faster than all get out new out of the box and I had to slow it up some to get some draw out of it

@ Emmanuel- I lapped my Les Lat coti a few hours ago like you advised, using another coti rubbed together under running water, but first I had the mind to pencil grid both cotis (the other was my LPB bout)...well, it worked a charm. it took several minutes of constant lapping to remove all traces of pencil marks but IMO, this is agood idea for maint. lapping vs. using a DMT. For one thing, by lapping two cotis together, you are getting the job done with two stones instaed of one at a time...doing double duty. Win-Win!...I even pencil gridded my BBW and took it for a ride against my Les Lat. Beautiful job!

Okay, switching gears...Thursday's shave I cheated...I used the Genco instead of the Chas Smith razor I've been using for my 7 day challenge. Why? Well, I got my beard prepped and the Genco was already stropped and I thought, what the heck?...the blade on the Genco is only 9/16", and I'm guessing worn down from 5/8"...it does look to be a very old razor and has been used... yet it delivered a nice shave. I liked the stiffness I felt from this narrow blade and I got a good shave to boot

I think I shaved about 8 PM and I honed it after midnight, and I didn't stop at 300 laps. For wahtever reason, it just felt right to keep going with it until I felt it was ready. It may very well have been done in under 300 laps but I kept going. Friday will be a new shave...must resist using the Genco again, so as to complete using the other razor for 7 days/300 laps=:)


Best,


Jake
Reddick Fla.
 
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