- Barden straight razor (honed by ShavedZombie)
- Penworks pine wood handle badger brush
- Mama Bear's Northwoods shaving soap
- Vintage paddle strop restored by ShavedZombie on B&B
So, I was so awed by the SE razor last week that I though I'd need to whip out another one of my straights just to remind me that each style of razor has it's merits and not to go running off hand in hand with my GEM into a shave happy future.
My Barden was one of the straights I sent off to ShavedZombie (a member on Badger and Blade) for honing and this was it's first run since getting it back. Unlike my Red Imp I actually remembered to strop it before use too!
The strop is a vintage paddle strop which SZ gave me as a gift so I'd have something to keep my beauties sharp on. He restored the leather on both sides, numbering each so I'd know which one to start with. Though I have to say the difference in draw between the two sides is very apparent and you can really feel the smoothness of the second side finishing off the blade's edge nicely. It also gives that lovely "shhhing!" noise at the end of the stroke. Because the leather is mounted onto the paddle I don't have to worry about the tension being wrong or curving the leather around the blade and thus blunting the razor more than sharpening it. For those of you interested in learning to strop I recommend checking out this video. It's quite long but very good and informative about all of the basics:
I gave my razor about 15 laps on each side before each shave this week (I could have done more but was eager to shave!). The razor shaved wonderfully smoothly. No nicks or cuts and as easy to manoeuvre around tricky spots like the ankle and back of knee. As always when shaving I had to use both hands which can get a bit tricky, but I avoided amputation!
The lather from the Mama Bears was great. Not as "heavy" as tallow based soaps and a little less moisturising but a nice lather none the less and I love this scent. It's like going for a walk in a pine forest after rainfall. I hate pine car air-fresheners so trust me when I say this is nothing at all like that. It's nicely unisex too which is good as I don't really do for "girly"scents. Also as there is no tallow it doesn't leave the residue that tallow soaps do. Just washed off nice and clean.
As for the brush... well this is my baby. I hadn't used her for a few weeks to give her a rest as she had developed a crack in her handle. Tony in Penworks kindly took her back and restored her and she's now almost as good as new but I still like to give her a break. I love the handle of this brush. If I had my way all my brush handles would be like this. Big enough and heavy too and fits perfectly in the palm in my hand. No sharp corners or bumps or anything. Just smooooooth curves. The knot is soft and large and holds water brilliantly. I had forgotten how soft it was having used the other one for a while and got a bit surprised to see the bristles bend on my leg.
So all in all a lovely shave this week. I seem to always get the closest shaves with my straights. My Barden needs to have the pins tightened as they are a bit loose which I don't like, but until I can figure out how to do that I'll make do. Time to oil him up and put him back into storage though as tomorrow's another week!