Monday, January 10, 2011

Old-Time NOS Blades

I went to an antique show yesterday. Came home with about 200 NOS DE blades, a Gillette Old Style, and a Stahly Live Blade.

Here's the blade tally:

(7) Gillette Thin Blades, in 10-blade box

(65) indiv. wrapped Berkeley blades

(22) 4-blade packs of Sheer Hair Spring Steel blades

(1) multi-pack of Ranger double edge Blades - cellophane-wrapped

(1) Gillette Blue Blade 5-blade pack box w/ (1) blade

(2) 5-packs of Star Double Edge Blades

(3) 5-packs of SOS Double Edged BLADES (one has five blades, one has four, and one contains six or eight discards - standard DE's, an injector or two, and one old, old three-hole blade)

(2) indiv. wrapped blades marked SOS Double Edged BLADE

(2) indiv. wrapped PAL HOLLOW GROUND blades

(4) indiv. wrapped non-branded blades labeled "FINEST QUALITY, DOUBLE EDGE, SURGICAL STEEL, KEENEST EDGES"

Now to figure out whether any of these are worth anything. If not, they'll still look cool sitting in my display case.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Generosity Revisited

I've been posting on the SMF forum lately about just how rough my initial experience with the Feather blades was. This was picked by a most generous member who offered to send me a Gillette Super Speed Blue Tip, free and clear!

I didn't understand the free and clear at first, but he assured me he's a flea market hound like I am. He picks up razors all the time, cleans them, and forwards them on to other DE shavers like myself.

Well, the Blue Tip arrived the other day and what to my wondering eyes should appear? Nothing but a date code of A-3! That's 1955, third quarter (July-August-September). My birthday is September 1, 1955.

This gentleman had sent me the gift of a Birthday Razor!

Well, I loaded it up with a Feather and had my first Blue Tip shave yesterday. Indeed, very mild. And I came away thinking that the Feather-Blue Tip combination is a worthy one.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Old Stuff

Found these in a local antique store yesterday. First up, a bakelite handled Gillette Tech. It's in fairly nice condition, except for one chip in the base of the handle. It would make a pretty good daily shaver.

The same trip also yielded this nice old shaving mug. Nothing fancy, just a good solid mug about 100 years old, give or take.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Old Style Safety Razor

Had a close brush with a relapse of Acquisition Disorder yesterday. Lisa and I decided to run into the antiquing district of the suburb where she grew up. We just wanted to do a little quick shopping - to see what was fresh in the shops there.

We stumbled on one shop just off the main street that's been there for about six years. We'd never seen it before! At least we had never recognized it for what it was. I asked the guy if he had any shaving gear and he was able to dig up an old Gillette Old Style Safety Razor.

In an act that was generosity itself, he GAVE it to me!

Unfortunately, the handle is pretty badly split, as you can see in the photo above. The handle is so loose it falls off from its own weight. And there's a smaller split on the other side, coming up from the base end of the handle tube.

Not very usable in this condition.

I'll clean it up anyway, and test shave with it, using a handle from a spare Tech that I have. If it shaves well, I'll see about fixing it. I'll either glue the handle or check with my machinist buddy Nick about machining a new handle.

If it ends up being a good shaver, it'd be fun to have a nice fat handle that's easy to grip. I have visions of beautiful, high profile barber pole knurling.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Shave of the Day - Late December

I've been slowly working my way thru a bundle of blades a friend sent me about a year ago.

Slowly because I only shave once or twice a week (blasphemous of course, but SWMBO likes the stubble), and I alternate between my 1961 Super Speed and a 1940's Tech.

Well, I've gone thru Wilkinsons, Derbys, 7 O'clocks, and... well... I was feeling a little like I had a two digit IQ or something. I could never really tell the difference between blade brands - although thankfully I could distiguish between the two razors loaded with the same brand of blade.

Finishing up a brace of 7 O'Clocks, I reached into backstock for the next candidate.

"What came to the top of the pile?" you ask?

Ya, yoo-betcha... the Feathers.

Loaded one in each razor and had at it with the SS.

"Holy SHIT, Batman!!!"

I had weepers galore, even though I'd been careful to use zero pressure. Overall, the shave was terrifically irregular - caused mostly by the shock of the operator, I'm sure.

Most of all, I felt a strong regret that I hadn't chosen the milder Tech for the first test drive.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Travel Razor

Just picked up a nice, apparently unused travel razor on eBay. If you include shipping charges, I paid more than I typically care to - about $11, but it's a nice example of a genre that I did not previously own.

Pix to follow!

(and yes, I know I still owe you better picutres of most of the summer's acqusitions)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Shave of the Day - Art of Shaving

Lisa was out at the Mall of America the other day and stumbled upon the new Art of Shaving store there. She took a quick peek inside, just to have a look around, and was rewarded with a sample package containing pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and after-shave.

Well, I tried the pre-shave and shaving cream yesterday.

I found the overall results quite satisfying - I especially liked the cream. The pre-shave oil however, was pretty odd to me. It was very heavy and sticky, which made it surprisingly hard to apply to my face.

These days I shave post-shower and the oil instructions did not say whether to apply to wet or dry skin. I made no special effort to keep my face wet, but portions were still damp from my shower. These areas seemed to be the hardest places to apply the oil.

I then rubbed the shaving cream in a thin layer over my entire beard. I followed that with the brush, face-lathering to a very nice rich creamy lather which built very quickly.

Following the lathering, I did a quick with-the-grain pass with my early '60s Super Speed.

I then rinsed and relathered, using only the lather remaining in the brush. Again, I was able to build a nice creamy lather, although it was not quite as rich as the initial application.

Following that, I did my usual second pass against-the-grain, and only needed minimal touch-ups. All in all, a very nice satisfying near-BBS shave.

My initial reaction to the Art of Shaving products is that they are quite effective, though I can't say I care unduly for the fragrance. In fairness, I did not try the after-shave, so cannot comment on that.