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Tribute gear

jasp

Member
Hi,

I for some odd reason felt the urge to tell about my straight razor gear.
If you want to read, bear with me, if not don't.

About a year ago I discovered a cigar box from my great grandfather.
In it there were two razors and one hone. The two razors are stamped with a town nearby called Louvain in Belgium.
Both razors are from the same 'brand', and are just plain black scales, plain blades, nothing fancy, and superb shavers, just the way I like it. One of those razors actually belonged to my ggf his father, simply put imo: awesome.
The hone was a natural combo coticule / blue belgian whetstone.

For me I do not believe in special, holy grail overhyped razors at all, I don't like fancy blades, fancy etching either, I like it plain and effective, good quality.

So I went on my quest to put together my own 'cigar box' with two razors which reminded me of his and a hone like his.
I also got my hands his strop, it's a thick horsehide leather strop with a canvas side, not sure if it's linen or wool, but I do know I like it; unlike the strops on the market right now, for my taste I haven't really found anything that comes close to that vintage canvas. Only downside is that the leather sat there unused for maybe 50 years and has surface cracks, was very stiff and dried out, tried treating it with neatsfoot oil, got more supple, but it's not what it was once. So I also went on a quest to look for a new strop.
I started out with a TI Le Grelot, which was superb razor.
But I wanted something else, something German to be more specific, something with history and similar to my ggf's. Long story short, thanks to Thomas at Revisor I was able to purchase two NOS J.A. Henckels, my first Henckels has one stabilizer, the second Henckels, I recently ordered, has two stabilizers. This is exactly what my ggf had. Plain black scales, plain blade, superb shavers.
I purchased a coticule for a very fair price and once I got it in my hands to my shock and surprise it was a natural combo coticule.
So I was pretty much set and found what to me is the 'holy grail' although I don't like to use that wording, but to me it comes close and reminds me of my ggf gear. My ggf gear is simply put my holy grail.
Next up, I was looking at buying a new strop, I have a dovo strop, it's ok but it's not exactly what I want.
I started looking at around and reading and found out about The Different Scent. The Old Traditional strop has the exact same model/shape like my great grandfather's strop, so I was immediately drawn to it. I just ordered this strop and am actually looking forward to putting it to use. It doesn't come with a canvas, but that's exactly what I already had on my vintage strop, so just needed a leather component and the Old Traditional seemed perfect.

To me this is where it ends, I'm going to stop visiting forums, visiting sites that sell gear. It'll only make me spend more money and get pulled back in. I've got what I've been looking for for quite a while now.
I finally ended my search and am happy now with what I have and have coming my way.
To me it's all about meaning and history. I've got a Grelot, an Original Bartmann, and some other razors from Solingen, all quality for sure, but nothing of these razors have a 'meaning' to me personally. I do respect all the old razor makers and their work, that's for sure; the Grelot, the Bartmann, etc. are excellent shavers, I wont get rid of them, but they won't be in my rotation either. I respect them. But for me shaving with my ggf gear and my 'tribute gear' similar to his is special and has meaning. Of course this is all in the head.
I don't need those razors people are all hyped up on, I want razors that make me 'feel' something, same with a hone tbh. I care more for a coticule/bbw, a natural stones rather than synthetic hones, they don't have that 'feel'.

This my some personal opinions and story,
not useful to any of you but I for some reason wanted to share,
let's face it, since most of you guys have a serious obsession and are partially cuckoo, you might like it a little.
haha, whatev. Nice site tbh.

Quick sum up:
Fruity name, my "tribute gear":

2 NOS J.A. Henckels
A natural combo/coticule
Old Traditional strop

Regards,
Jasper
 
G

Guest

And that's exactly the type of post that keeps me from abandoning shaving forums altogether. Spot on, my feelings exactly, many thanks for sharing.

Best,
Robin
 

jfdupuis

Well-Known Member
Cool story. I hear really good thing about that strop. If it was easier to order I might have given it a shot. What kind of soap/cream/AS do you use?

Cheers,

JF
 

jasp

Member
BeBerlin said:
And that's exactly the type of post that keeps me from abandoning shaving forums altogether. Spot on, my feelings exactly, many thanks for sharing.

Best,
Robin

Thank you

jfdupuis said:
Cool story. I hear really good thing about that strop. If it was easier to order I might have given it a shot. What kind of soap/cream/AS do you use?

Cheers,

JF

For creams it's slightly different about the history and meaning, my skin hasn't always been good.
My dermatologist hooked me up on Avene eau thermale. I use their "Dermo K", "After-shave Fluid", and "Shaving Cream".
Maybe not the best out there, but my skin can bare it and it works for - me -.
I tried other soaps and creams I read reviews about, but you can't know before you try it yourself, your skin is your skin and not theirs, so it's often a hit or a miss. For me Avene does the job.
 

jfdupuis

Well-Known Member
I can get the Avene stuff at my local pharmacy. I've never tried their cream, but their aftershave balm is quite nice. It's a good option in the winter.

JF
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Wonderful thread with a wonderful ethic and a very good outcome

thank you for sharing that

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 
G

Guest

Avène's products are absolutely top notch. But modern. Thankfully, my skin does not usually act up when I use regular creams and soaps, but I use various other Avène products on a regular basis. Their aftershave balm and lotion are excellent, too.

And yes, that Old Traditional strop is as good as they say, I think. I like mine a lot in any event.

Regards,
Robin
 

RicTic

Well-Known Member
What a refreshing read that was. Like a breath of fresh air!
I wonder how many forum members from around the various sites have lost sight of what you have achieved.
I guess some journey's are longer than others.
It's obvious you stuck to the road along the way and reached your destination without taking the "scenic route".
Hats off to you for that, sir. And congratulations. :thumbup:

Respectfully,

David.

Edit: Although I have no tribute to attain, I'm sure I'd have been happy just shaving with the few razors I own and wouldn't frequent forums at all...if it wasn't for these bloody stones! :blush:
 

jfdupuis

Well-Known Member
Now I remember using the Avene Shaving cream back in the day when I used a cartridge razor. Very decent cream. I can find the entire line men and women locally. I might have to grab some of that Avene balm in the coming weeks. Canadian winters are brutal! -30 degrees!!
 

deighaingeal

Well-Known Member
I can only strive to be in half as great a situation as you have found. As the child of hoarders (and dutch to boot) we didn't throw anything away. I am slowly, but surely, attempting what you have found.
Just as a suggestion I would look into having that strop professionally refurbished. Possibly post some pictures here and Torolf might suggest an idea or two.
Thank you for sharing your success.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Jasper,

Your story makes perfect sense to me.

It's only shaving. It's great to pursue the tools for it that fit your hand and mindset and learn the artisan skills that come with them. That in itself is a finite endeavor.

Enjoy your shaves,

Bart.
 

altshaver

Well-Known Member
Wonderful post! I, too, am starting to share your sentiments on shaving. I started out with a practical mindset towards wet-shaving; however, I slightly gave in to my curiosity with things like brushes and strops. All I want, really, is to find a nice set of equipment that gives me enjoyment and makes me somewhat unique. One of the nicest things about wet-shaving is that it can be very personalized and suited towards each individual. Ironically, by having so much shaving gear, it is impossible to be unique with regards to this hobby.

So, this is where I would like to be someday:

My "Tribute Gear" (mostly to be determined)
*One or two straight razors - probably Dovo, TI, or Revisor make in order to support the current industry.
*A strop - leaning towards a Kanayama 50K, but that Old Traditional Strop gets some great reviews.
*A badger brush or two - probably a Vulfix made Simpson and maybe a H.L. Thater.
*A boar brush - probably my Semogue Owners' Club boar brush.
*A high end shaving cream for the weekends and special occasions - definitely to be determined.
*A nice soap for day-to-day shaving - also definitely to be determined.
*An aftershave - leaning towards a Nivea aftershave that is easily obtainable at a department store.
*A cologne - strictly for special occasions.
*A shaving bowl - not sure if I am going to opt for an artisan one or just a plain, old bowl.
*A Coticule for razor sharpening - my Les Latneuses of course.
*A single double-edge razor - I don't know why people have so many of these.
*A single brand of double-edged razor blades - Again, I don't understand why people have so many of these.

Suggestions are very welcome!

I plan on using a boar brush with a shaving soap for day-to-day shaving, while using a nice badger brush and nice shaving cream during the weekends and special occasions. Badger brushes are a big weakness for me, but I will find one or two that I will settle with. I hope to avoid needing more hones than my coticule. I have never understood SRAD. Straight razors are prone to rusting, potentially dangerous, and fragile. I would fret over them if I had so many. I only need and, more importantly, want a single DE razor. Strops are another weakness for me. I like the Kanayama's a lot, but the Old Traditional looks really nice. I may budge and allow myself two strops.

I have often wondered at times at what point do you own the stuff and at what point does the stuff own you. That said, I don't have a problem with people owning a lot of things. If that makes them happy, then they have, but don't need, my blessing.

jasp, could you post a picture of your great grandfather's strop? I think it would be neat to compare a picture of that with the Old Traditional strop. Also, though you are free to do what you like, of course, I would say stay with the forums you like. With all the talk of gear, it is easy to forget the most important part of forums - the people. I think you could probably help others out here and there.
 

decraew

Well-Known Member
Jasper, I love your no-nonsense approach to Our Little Hobby :thumbup:

I'm too much of a collector to follow your aproach though. :(
 

cyclelu

Well-Known Member
Jasper,

Wonderful post and story. Thank you for sharing. For me though spending time on the bench getting an old razor cleaned up and ready for use is very relaxing so I have been growing my collection.

Hope to read more of your post.

Regards,
Lu
 

Toff

Well-Known Member
I liked the idea and intent! It is nice to meet someone who has a great inheritance and is setting up another for posterity.
Respectfully
~Richard
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
I have a cigar box. Let me see, yes, here it is right here under the five sets of golf clubs. Oops, nope. That's a box of cap screws I saved from a junked out Mitsubishi Starion. Oh, yeah, now I remember. Just let me move the (grunt) Rune, the one I don't ride too much because it is a collector bike; not like the Harley. Shit--that one is full of Shimanos. WTF! I know I have one someplace. Maybe in the milling machine drawer, or is that just a bunch of old taps and bits I need to sharpen. (I know it is a Manila Blunts box, that's all the old man would smoke. (Wouldn't know an Upman if it bit him.)) If I can just step over all the mahogany--ow, dammit!:scared: I'm ok, I'm ok. Fook, if I was a cigar box..... AHA!! I've got it now. In the trunk of the '73 450SL--Manila Blunts, just as I thought, full of----RELOADING DIES!! I give. I never liked fucking razors anyhow. Piss off, Ralfy. Therapy, my ass.

YRebelP, Denny
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
DJKELLY said:
I have a cigar box. Let me see, yes, here it is right here under the five sets of golf clubs. Oops, nope. That's a box of cap screws I saved from a junked out Mitsubishi Starion. Oh, yeah, now I remember. Just let me move the (grunt) Rune, the one I don't ride too much because it is a collector bike; not like the Harley. Shit--that one is full of Shimanos. WTF! I know I have one someplace. Maybe in the milling machine drawer, or is that just a bunch of old taps and bits I need to sharpen. (I know it is a Manila Blunts box, that's all the old man would smoke. (Wouldn't know an Upman if it bit him.)) If I can just step over all the mahogany--ow, dammit!:scared: I'm ok, I'm ok. Fook, if I was a cigar box..... AHA!! I've got it now. In the trunk of the '73 450SL--Manila Blunts, just as I thought, full of----RELOADING DIES!! I give. I never liked fucking razors anyhow. Piss off, Ralfy. Therapy, my ass.

YRebelP, Denny

Hahahahaha

YTattooedF
Ralfy
 

RicTic

Well-Known Member
Well, this thread has had me thinking recently about what kind of tribute shaving gear would best represent my heritage.
The appeal of owning something that I can pass down to my son and hopefully one day to my future grandson that is a reminder of my family's roots has become irresistible.
So much so, I'm seriously considering purchasing a bespoke 7 day set in the future, that will eventually replace the 7 various razors I currently own and call time on the probability of otherwise collecting more.

My perfect tribute gear would consist of one quality strop, one coticule and that custom made historical TI 7 day set with the days of the week in Anglo-Romani and blade decoration (laser etched or gold washed *unsure yet) featuring the spoked wheel (chakra) displayed in the flag of the Romany people (see avatar).

A future family heirloom. :thumbup:

@Ralfy...a "pikey" is a Romani word for a non Romany traveller.
No offense taken. ;)
 

jasp

Member
Just wanted to shoot a quick thank you to everyone for replying.
Also the Avene products are indeed top notch.
And after using the Old Traditional strop for a couple of weeks now, I must say it is indeed a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and quality; a beautiful example of deutsche Gründlichkeit.
 
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