Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Making Lather

One of the key things to my enjoyment of wet-shaving and improving the quality of my shaving has been learning to make lather.  It has been a steep learning curve.  I have struggled with making lather with soap in a bowl or in a scuttle, but I am learning to add plenty of soap to my brush and slowly add a bit of water until I get a creamy lather.

I am mainly a face latherer.  This is where you actually build all of the lather directly on your face.  This really does a nice job of prepping the whiskers and it feels really good.  One of the keys is to make sure I have plenty of product on my brush.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Stainless Steel and Made In The USA

My latest and perhaps last razor is a Weber Polished Head DE.  I purchased it in late April from Weber Razor and I could not be more pleased after using it every day since I received it.  Weber Razor is a family owned and run business in Missouri and I think they do a fantastic job.  The razor did set me back $70, but I'm not sure if I need or even want to ever buy another razor again.

This razor has a nice weight and balance to it.  The blade guard is smooth and it seems to do well with about any blade I put in it.  I am getting consistently good shaves using it and I have not cut my face yet.  I did use it for shaving my head once, but it is a little heavy for my tastes for that.

The stainless steel seems to be flawless to my aging eyes.  The blade seems well centered and straight.  It is a 3 piece razor, so it is not complicated.

I like using an American made razor.  Weber continues the tradition of the old Gillette razors from back in the day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Next up Soap - Tiki Set Sail Vegan soap

I have settled on my soap and brush for the next round of using up soap.  I received this Tiki Set Sail vegan soap (no tallow) from a new friend over on Badger and Blade and want to give it a full test.  Look for a review post in the near future.

I have an inexpensive boar bristle brush I purchased from Stirling Soap last month and have enjoyed breaking it in.  The interesting thing about boar bristle is that the tips will start to split and the brush will get softer with use.  This brush is almost there and I expect that a month of daily use will get it right where I want it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Using Up Soaps

Amazingly, in the past 6 months, I've been able to accumulate more soaps and creams than is reasonable.  I would talk about razors and brushes, but I've bought too many and sold most of them.  I have 4 razors at the moment with plans to reduce that number to 3 in the near future.  And blades, well, I ought be good for a couple of years and regularly engage in trades and PIFs to reduce the load on the wall cabinet. But soaps, now that is another story.

I've been fortunate enough to receive at least 3 batches of soaps as the recipient of PIF's from other enthusiasts in the wet shaving community.  I have gifted some away and started playing around with the lathering arts.  However, I realized that I would not truly find out how a soap could do unless I actually used it for more than a day at a time.  You can see what I am up against here.

So, in mid-March, I joined in a group over at Badger and Blade that is committed to only using 1 soap at a time during any given month, unless you can completely use up the soap then you would start on a new one.

My first choice was a puck of Stirling Barbershop.

I forced the puck down into my Old Spice mug and started shaving with it every day.  It lasted 28 days of daily face shaving and every other day head shaving. 
Next up was a tube of Godrej Cool Menthol direct from a new friend in India.  This cream was fun to use and it made it for 3 weeks.

I worked in a sample of puck of Stirling Glacial Wintergreen for 3 days.  Then I added in a homemade sample from a member of The Shave Den.
This little guy actually made it for 3 days and did a nice job. 

Now I am into my last sample of a soap from The Shave Den store.  I expect it to make it to mid week and then I have to make a decision - go for soap or get after using up creams.  

I'll let you know what I am doing when I do it.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Update - Still Shaving and Still Enjoying it!

Yep, I'm still alive and still enjoying shaving in a more traditional way.  Pictured above is a set up I used exclusively for several weeks.  The Weber Polished Head stainless steel razor was purchased in April and has been a very nice addition to my assault on whiskers.  The Godrej shaving cream came from a Pay It Forward I received all the way from India.  The Vie-Long horsehair shaving brush is the main brush I used most days.  And Old Spice, well, I've been using it for a long time and I am comfortable with it.
I also use this Gillette Tech razor to shave my head.  I just figured out that it is a 1954 model!  That, unbelievably, is older than me.  I've started using Feather Hi Stainless blades in this razor and this makes for a great combo and always results in cue ball smooth head shaves with nary a nick to be found.
The other item I have added to my arsenal of shaving weaponry is a scuttle from Georgetown Pottery.  The idea around a shaving scuttle is to make warm lather by filling the outer chamber with hot water and making the lather in the bowl.  It seems to work quite well.  I had no idea I would enjoy warm lather, but I certainly do.

I'll try to update more often.