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Are you old enouph....

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Are you old enouph, or just strange like me, to remember useing a straight razor for shaveing? Yes (LOL) I used to be clean shaved at one time and in the summer still usualy shave the neck and some patches of the face and I generaly use a straight razor when I do.

    I was just wondering if anyone remembered what folks generaly used to use on their strops to treat them and make them do a good job or if most of them just used straight leather? Also since most straight razors have always been carbon steel and do get exposed to water, how did most folks treat or oil the blades to avoid rust or was it justkept clean from daily use? I was also wondering if anyone knew where you could still get a decent straight razor and or strop? I still have one of my razors (used to have 3 but a room mate destroyed one useing it to cut something or other and broke out a chunk of the blade and lost another) but the strop was lost several years ago and a leather belt or boot just dont do as well.

    I also was wonderinghow many if any of the folks here still shave or ever have shaved with a straight razor? I prefer them since for me they are easier on my face (IF sharp like it should be) and gives a better shave than anything elseon ME. I also like not haveing to replace it every time it gets a little dull, you just take a few passes on the strop and its good as new, same one lasts a few decades at least. I figure they would also be great in a post SHTF situation not only for the longevity but also for the fact it can be used for so much more than a safety razor, like FINE cutting, a scalpel when needed, skinning a criter as a last resort, etc.

    So dose anyone else use one, ever used one much, or remember much about dad or grandpa useing one?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    G-pa (both of them) used straight razors, my father didn't. Pop gave me his, which I used for years until I could afford an electric. Never used one of those where I had to buy blades, but used disposables in the Navy. No idea what happened to the straight razor and strop, Pop probably disposed of it when he downsized after Mom died, dunno. It has been years since I got rid of the mug and brush.
  3. RaymondPeter

    RaymondPeter Simple Man

    I'm not sure where to get them, and I'm not old enough to have used one, but I know the barber in my home town has a couple straight razors and at least one strop; so you can still get them. The next time I see him I will ask where he got his. My guess is that you can get it from a salon/barber suply shop.
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I used to have my granddads mug but it was lost years ago. I always just use conditioner for the hair or else a bar of soap and lather it up on the face good.

    Thats something I may have to try my hand at makeing at some point is some straight razors. Seems to me once the disposables ran out and electric/batteries was down that they might get REAL valuable especialy for a lot of the ladies one their legsget as furry as mine as well as the men who dont like beards and would just feel more 'human' being able to shave.
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Interesting tidbit for the ladies: A few years back (maybe still) there was a product out that "buffed" the hair off of your legs just by wiping the "cloth" on them.

    The cloth was nothing more than an extra-fine grit sandpaper (in pink, of course). Couple of rubs and Voila! No more-furry legs. :)
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Sounds kind of like the Epilady, one of thoe things all the women ran out and bought up ONCE, tried it ONCE, then it either went in the trash or under the sink never to be used again. Titmouse also mentioned it to me and remembers both not so foundly.
  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have a couple of straight razors but I do not use them. When I lived in Arkansas and Louisiana, my barbers used a straight razor on the back of my neck. When I moved back home to Texas I asked my barber if he used one, and he said that he didn't for a very good reason. Carbon steel is very porous, and it is against the barber's regs (I assume state) to use them due to the potential for AIDS infected blood to get in the porous steel and not be cleaned well enough to get it out. That was good enough for me. That being said, I do like a straight razor, but I do not use them as I do not have a strop, and usually when I am shaving my face at 0430 it is pre-caffeine and I am not fully awake.
  8. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

  9. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Monkey+++

    I use a mug and brush. I was shocked at the price of the brushes when I got it. But I've always been afraid to try a straight razor. Like E.L. I shave real early and I don't want my drive to work to include a stop by the ER
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The main thing to shaveing with one is just to keep it moveing forward and NEVER go side to side. Doing that its not to hard to keep from cutting yourself. I generaly nick myself less with my straight razor than with the safety razors.

    As farr as the strops, while they are not ideal, I have used my leather belt a LOT of the time in place of a strop, other than that I cut a strip of plain leather after I posted this thread and used the rouph side (flesh side) if it like a short strop (just laid on my thigh) and it did a good job. If you want it real niceand fancy you can glue it to a board then get some aluminum oxide ruge to rub into it and use that to strop the razor. The big thing on stroping them is to remember to roll the razor over across the spine and not try to turn it over so the blade goes toward the strop at the end of a stroke or you dont get the edge as fine.

    I dont think any of the barbors I have been to ued the traditional straight razors but several of them used ane that was set up LIKE a straight razor and had the exposed blade but it was a disposable long single edged razor blade in the handle.
  11. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Been seriously thinking of this myself. My whiskers tend to be pretty tough - and I often don't shave during the weekend. I've always favored the yellow single-blade BIC disposables - I can get a couple weeks use from one by cleaning it well. Unfortunately, they seem to unavailable now - the blue single-blades are useless - don't cut cleanly and tend to pull.
    Multi-blades load up too quick and are impossible to clean without dulling the blades!

    So, I may take a step back in time. My favorite barber is an old man who is a "Master barber" - does a fantastic job! He touches me up with a straight razor. Best job I've ever had.
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, just make sure (especialy untill you get used to it or if you have a tough beard) that you shave WITH the grain of the beard with a straight razor. You can go back after and go against the grain to get it TOTALY smooth if wanted/needed but starting off against the grain tends to draw the blade into the skin more (especialy if it the least bit dull) and make it more likely to cut you. Had meant to mention that with the thoughts on useing one so no one tried it on my advise and cut themselves up. lol
  13. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I warn that I know nothing of what I say...

    Okay, never used a straight razor though have had one used on me. Barber did a nice clean job.

    Seems to me that if the razor is made from carbon steel and it is porous, that is why they use the sterilizer fluid. So the possible skin and blood cells would be killed and can't just gunk up in the pores of the metal, if that is possible. Though the question is, what about making straight razors out of the same metal as surgical items? Would it keep them sharper longer? I wonder if that would be a better advantage than normal ones. Anyone know?
  14. RevBushmaster

    RevBushmaster When in doubt use more C4

    I have not used one because after I got out of the army in 74' I haven't shaved to the bare skin! I butcher myself with those 'safety razors' so badly when I shave around my lips and such that a straight razor would be suicidal! Some mornings more than others...

    ; }>
  15. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    As porous as the metal is, I wouldn't bank on my life that whatever they are using as a sterilizer killed the virus, disease, etc.
  16. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    I've heard that they use iron oxide, (rust) or "rotten stone" as it's sometimes called to impregnate the strop for sharpening purposes.

  17. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    this is just a suggestion it your looking for straight blade items you might want to try the various suttleries (sp?) that cater to civilwar reenactors many of the older veterens in my outfit use straight blade razors and i'd bet that you could find some good stuff for sale... i like fall creek sutlery out of IN they have a nice web page and are friendly enough. you can also try regimental quartermaster they are a big out fit that i have seen on the reenactments on the eastern sea board... i have seen straigt blade for sale in there tents so they might be able to help...

    i have only had 3 shaves with a straight blade myself never done by myself... yikes!
    but once at a reenactment were the beneifits went to wounded OIF VETs and then twice in the middle east just for sh!t$ and Giggles... i really only have to shave every other day ya i look like a sea cadet but i nomally use disposable BICs when i do...

    just my $.02
  18. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Never shaved with one but have received a few arse whippings with a Straight Razor Strop as a youngster.
    I wouldn't shave with one in a EOTWAWKI situation not without antibiotics for an infection, onc cut could kill, I will look like a Mennonite for the rest of my days...[boozingbuddies]
  19. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Yes I have three. One thats just a plain ole black handled one, One thats a fancy handle and the last takes the blades. Been awhile since I've used them but I still do on occasion esp if I have very special event. Last time was a day before I was in my best friends wedding. The razors I think have a better edge on them and do give a closer shave.
    You can still get razors at a barber supply house which also is where I get my razor soap and brush. The soap for a straight razor is a tad bit different from a can of foam. The soap is thicker and won't dry out on your face as fast as the can stuff. The brush well for a good one you better get ready. The camel hair or nicer ones are around 40 and up here. They do make one out of badger hair which is the premium. Last I knew it was around 65.00. They also sell strops, from just leather to leather and silk

    According to my barber the AMA or similar did make a mandate against giving shaves due to the fact of blood borne pathogens and that happened many moons ago. Anyway hope this helps a little.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
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