January 30, 2007

This Just In - Dad's Old Time Razor Set

Our newest friends over at the Nashville Knife Shop just sent over Dad's Old Time Razor Set. That's "dad's" as in "old-school" shaving. The set comes with everything you see here -
pure badger shaving brush along with a cake of Muehle-Pinsel Shaving Soap with Aloe (in it's own convenient plastic storage case). Includes metal stand, sample razor blade.

Not too shabby, dad. I've already broken into the shaving brush, and I can tell you - badger makes a difference. Much better than the synthetic I'd been using before.

We'll be trying this set out over the next couple weeks. Expect a full report soon. In the meantime, click over to the Nashville Knife Shop and see what other shaving products (and knives!) they've got. The Dad's Old Time Razor Set is $79.99.

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October 4, 2006

Hand-Crafted Straight Razors from Knife Maker Frank Warner

Knife Maker Frank Warner recently started making straight razors, and they are a thing of beauty. "... spring steel, anodized titanium and presentation grade gold lip mother of pearl handles." Check out this page of straight razors to see what I'm talking about. They aren't cheap. The Gold Lip Straight Razor, which is the only one currently available, is $400. But here's why:
Frank performs nearly all production phases of his knives himself, from design to profiling, drilling, shaping, heat-treating, polishing and final sharpening. Occasionally he will engage the services of a jeweler or another knifemaker for assistance with tasks for which he lacks the proper tools or confident expertise. All of his knives come with a certificate of authenticity guaranteeing that they are one-of-a-kind custom handcrafted knives and a full 90-day warrantee against defects in materials and workmanship.

(Read more about Frank Warner here.)

The other razors will be available soon and will be in the same price range. Email Frank if you are interested. His contact info is here.

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September 28, 2006

A Guide to the Gourmet Shaving Experience

LeisureGuy-60x60.jpgEvery so often it's good to get put in your place. And today that's happening to me. I recently was emailed by the author of LeisureGuy's blog about a specific post he had written entitled A guide to the gourmet shaving experience. As I clicked over and watched my browser's scroll-bar start to shrivel, I felt that twinge of embarrassment set in. Here was a true shaving master.

LeisureGuy's post a guide to the gourmet shaving experience is easily the most broad and informative piece I've ever read on shaving with safety razors. He gently guides you through shaving creams, soaps, razor types, lather bowls, shaving brushes, how to hold a razor, how to clean a razor... - the list goes on. There's also personal experience, reader comments, PDFs, video, links, and more. "How's his punctuation," you ask? "Exemplary."

Here's an example of this style:

Using a safety razor puts you in charge, and going from a multi-blade cartridge to a safety razor is akin to going from an automatic transmission to a manual: you can get better performance by being more in control, but you must learn how to use it and practice your technique and pay attention to what’s going on.

LeisureGuy keeps this post up to date with the latest news, anecdotes, and advice. It's a living document. He's also recently published a list of recommended products for safety razor beginners. I have no doubt that page will grow to rival the other. Check back every so often and find out what's new.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 13, 2006

Mantic Shaving on YouTube

Shaving. It's everywhere now. Even on YouTube. Mantic59 has started regular broadcasts on old-school shaving. So far he's got three videos on traditional wet-shaving, a quickie on Internet resources, and part one of an introduction to single-blade shaving (which is the one above).

This stuff isn't Mentos in Diet Coke, or high-school cheerleaders imitating OK Go, but it's not the driest stuff I've seen either. Plenty of 50s cartoons and black and white home-ec films interspliced with razors, blades, and demonstrations. View Mantic59's entire playlist here.

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August 28, 2006

Reminder: The 3rd International Shaving Collectibles Meeting

shaveworld.gifAs we mentioned back in July, the third annual International Shaving Collectibles Meeting is coming up - October 21-22 - in West Chester, Ohio. Whether you're a collector, vendor, or just a casual shaving enthusiast, there's something for everyone.

From the recent ShaveWorld.org email:

A few of the highlights of this year’s meeting on October 21-22 are presentations on Straight Razors, the Resurgence of the Vintage Schick Safety Razors, and a new Patent-Finding Feature on the International Organization for Shaving Memorabilia’s Web site. And, of course, there will be beautiful displays, buying and selling, a great deal of “Shaving Collectibles” talk, and more.

All the information you need, including links to the 2004 and 2005 meetings, is at this page. Registration is $75. Bring your wife for an additional $20. "Coffee and sweet rolls will be available in the morning." Mmm... sweet rolls. That's reason enough to go.

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August 16, 2006

How To Get That Perfect Shave

msnbc.gifI'll admit it - I wouldn't have thought MSNBC would be the place to find an excellent article on shaving, but here it is. Written by tech editor Corey Greenberg, this long and informative article is a step-by-step tutorial on old-school double-edge razor shaving. That's double-edge, or "DE". Not straight razor, not cartridge razor, not disposable razor. We're talking about those little flat rectangles of metal your parents thought might be in the apple you got trick-or-treating.

... it’s the same type of razor that your father, your grandfather, Cary Grant, Lee Marvin, JFK, and John Wayne used, and in the opinion of many shave-o-philes, the classic DE wipes the floor with any modern razor.

Greenberg then walks you through what type of shaving brush you'll need (and how not to spend $500 on it), what type of razor you'll need (Merkur’s HD “Hefty Classic” at $27 available at ClassicShaving.com), and most importantly, how to shave with them.

There's more info on shaving creams, barbershop shaves, and online shaving communities. Read the whole article at MSNBC.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

July 24, 2006

SafetyRazors.net For Old-School Shaving

It's Monday morning and you've just finished going through your email. Not quite ready for work yet? Here's another shaving site to check out if you're in a surfing mood - SafetyRazors.net, again sent in by ShavingStuff reader Robert. Don't be swayed by its pre-dot-com design; the site actually contains a wealth of shaving information. Lots of pictures of old razors. Lots of links to shaving resources. Lots of broken links and spelling mistakes too, but don't get too discouraged if a click gets you to a dead end.

My favorite page was the one devoted to Gillette's Centennial, celebrated in 2001. Great info on their first products, including a picture of their first razor and a diagram from the original patent. How cool is that? And if you can get by the annoying pop-ups, the message boards are pretty good. Not much traffic but just about all posting have quality answers.

SafetyRazors.net. Enjoy. And happy Monday.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 26, 2006

ShavingStuff Goes to State Street Barbers

So as I mentioned last week, I was in Chicago recently and went to the State Street Barbers in Lincoln Park for a traditional hot-towel straight-razor shave. The experience was great. First, let me say how friendly everyone there is. I hate to say it but us Boston folks could learn a thing or two from midwesterners on how to be nice to people. Second, I had a great shave. Let me tell you about it.

While State Street Barbers is a relatively new place, their decor and ambiance is definitely old-school. Black and white photos hang from the wall. Cast iron signs advertise "Shave and a Haircut" for 10 cents. (Damn you inflation!) Dark wood frames the cabinets and lines the floors. This is a friendly local barbershop, complete with twirling red, white, and blue spiral outside. Plenty of fathers and sons come in and out for a haircut, and occasionally someone brings in their dog, though not for a trim.

I was in the strong, competent hands of Rich, whose grandfather was a barber and learned how to shave with a straight-razor while in barber school. Turns out they really do practice on balloons covered with shaving cream. I spent the entire time horizontal while Rich worked his magic. Apparently some people even fall asleep. You can thank ShavingStuff wife for the photo essay to the right. This was one shaving experience in which I did absolutely nothing.

The shave started out with a steaming hot towel to open up my pores, followed by three applications of pre-shave herbal oils and shaving cream. Three!!! After each layer Rich would wrap a fresh hot towel over my face, letting the goodness of the cream and oils seep into my skin and soften up my beard. Then, he whipped out his steel and with a surgeon's precision, carefully shaved with the grain. As you'll hopefully see in the pictures, the man spent some major time on my face, holding skin taut, pulling back my nose, finding the best angle. It takes me no more than 10 minutes to shave in the morning. Rich's shave took an hour. And it was great.

When he was finally finished with my entire face, he told me that what he had just done was comparable to a Mach 3 shave. Now we were going to do it all over again and get even closer. Imagine being at the dentist's office and after they finally finish scraping the plaque off of each individual tooth, being told they're going to do it again. And now imagine liking it.

Round two was the up-shave, although only above the jaw line as Rich's experience was that shaving so close around the neck can lead to ingrown hairs and irritation. Again, we went through the herbal pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and hot towel application. And again I was wrapped up like a mummy. Getting a hot-towel straight-razor shave is a guilty pleasure, and as I lay there, face completely covered in a hot towel, the sweet sounds of Hanson's MMMBop poured out from the radio. I knew this guilty pleasure could get no better. Rich finished up with a brush full of talcum powder, and my face hadn't been smoother in 20 years.

The State Street Barber shop on North Webster uses American Crew shaving products, while the other two shops use The Art of Shaving. The Art of Shaving products will be available at the North Webster location soon. $30 will get you the smoothest skin since pre-pubescence and an hour's worth of bliss. $50 will get you a shave and a haircut. Gift certificates are available too.

ShavingStuff Goes to State Street Barbers ShavingStuff.com's ShavingStuff Goes to State Street Barbers photoset
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June 19, 2006

State Street Barbers in Chicago and Boston

Quick post for today. Just flew back from Chicago where we were visiting ShavingStuff dad, who moved to the windy city a couple months ago. While we were only there for a long weekend, I did get to sample the local shaving scene at State Street Barbers, with two locations in Chicago and one in Boston.

Featuring superb quality haircuts and hot lather shaves, State Street Barbers offers men the grooming experience they deserve without the fuss or frills of a salon.

$30 will get you a one hour hot-towel straight-razor shave, leaving your face a smooth as a baby's bottom. And we've got the pictures to prove it. Expect those and a full recount of the experience sometime next week. In the meantime, if you're heading to their location on West Webster Ave., ask for Rich.

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March 16, 2006

The Wet Shavers Group

msn.gifAttention old-school shaving fans! There's an MSN group out there that's perfect for you. It's called the Wet Shavers Group, and it's a happenin' place. Tons of discussion, advice, and all-around bonding over shaving. They've got four main posting areas:

General: for wet shaving techniques, equipment, supplies, and suppliers. This is our largest, most active forum.
Grooming: soaps, cleansers, lotion, toothpaste, hair products, and related topics.
Sale and Trade: wet shaving related items for sale, trade, or want-to-buys.
Off-topic: clothing, dining, relationships, and other "good life" matters.

If you're anti Microsoft you can still browse all the forums without signing in. To post you'll probably have to sell your soul to the evil empire, or at least an email address. The group is current, active, and full of quality information. All but the "off topic" forums have recent posts, and there's very little spam. Have fun over there, but please come back.

Russell Neufeld at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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