Archive for December, 2010

Straight Razor Honing Review Part 2

December 22, 2010

This just came in from a gentleman in Sweden, whose razors I recently honed. I finished one of them on the Shapton 30K, and the one reviewed here was finished on Ken’s 0.125 (eighth) micron CBN by request. Enjoy! The full thread can be found on the B&B site, here.

Did I just shave with the world’s sharpest straight? (0.125 Cubic Boron Nitride)

I promise, I’ll try to take it easy with the superlatives.
But I just shaved with a Joseph Elliot “Best Silver Steel” 6/8 wedge that Tom at Jendeindustries honed for me.

It was finished on Ken’s Cubic Boron Nitride spray on balsa @ 0.125 microns.
And it is the sharpest razor I have ever shaved with

It’s noticeably sharper then razors I’ve tried coming of .25 diamond & the Shapton 30K Pro.

Tom told me that from the test shaves he did that it was I “can expect a new level of BBS” And that sure is true!

And maybe this razor can stand up to the title?
I really think it’s hard to get a blade any sharper then this & still be able to shave with it.

When I first unpacked it, I was like a kid at Christmas, I just had to play with it before shaving.
HHT with my wife’s (I’m bald myself ) “normal” brunette hair was a good first measure. It fell silent from touching the edge, holding the hair well over 2 inches from the blade.
I upped the ante & went for my 2-year old’s flimsy blond hair.
Same results…
I even came up with a new test.
“The falling flimsy blond hair test”
It consists of dropping 1 flimsy blond hair from 2 inches above the edge.
2 out of 3 times the razor severed the hair cleanly..
Now I was getting a little tense.

Standing in the shower I could actually feel my pulse slightly rise.
“Could an edge this sharp really be comfortable?”
“Would I come to work looking like Jason Voorhees?”

Well you know, no guts no glory & all that & I threw myself in the deep end…
Lathered up some Palmolive & gave the blade some laps on the Buffalo leather.

OK…here we go..

After a few strokes on the right side of my face I had a silly grin on.
“This is ridiculously sharp!” 2 days worth of stubble just disappeared.
And the cheek was left smooth, same thing with the neck.
I didn’t even have to go over the same spot more then once.
But it sure needed a new level of concentration.
I’m always focused when I shave with a straight, but still I have enough experience that I can somewhat relax & just let the hands do what feels best & sort of go with it. Sort of autopilot/zen if you like.
Not possible with this edge. As soon as I got in that state it dug into my skin. Nothing serious, some Proraso cut gel stopped the little bleeding immediately. With any other edge this had just been a feeling of “Oops, a little to steep, better start over”

After a full pass I was really smooth, I could easily have gone to work, wearing a suit & a tie & thought nothing of it.

But why stop here?!

Lathered up again for a XTG.
No worries at all. Except that I could feel the edge several times trying to dig in. Around the jawline I actually had to go with less then no pressure.
I sort of supported the weight of the razor just to keep it from biting.
But once I figured that out, it went without any problems.

Time for ATG.
I wasn’t really needed actually. A little clean-up around the muzzle would have been sufficient. But I went at it & the 150 year old Mr Elliot just didn’t care.
He cut the remaining traces of whiskers with the same ease his old makers had after-noon tea on the front porch..

I was really surprised how good my face felt after wards, absolutely smooth but also quite comfortable. No rawness or irritation.
Slapped on some Spanish Floïd & it did sting a little more then usual, but nothing severe at all.
Jason’s balm atop & now, an hour & a half or so later, I feel great!
Very, very smooth & not irritated or red at all.

For some comparison the other two edges I’ve tried that comes somewhat close to sharpness is .25 diamond that leaves me with a harsh feeling & irritation & the Shapton 30K pro edge that is the closest in sharpness & also shaves very, very close. But it has a different feel, a slightly “gripping” feel to the edge. On the other hand, the 30K edge is somewhat more forgiving. Maybe simply because it isn’t as sharp as this one.

The .125 edge was much more smooth then I anticipated.
It somehow reminded me of a well honed Escher/Thuri edge, but so much sharper!

Like I wrote earlier I don’t think I could shave with anything sharper then this. Maybe someone with tougher skin can handle sharper (if you can get it!)
And I don’t think this edge is for everyday use, not for me.
But man this sure was a great ride!
And it is a great razor to have in the rotation!
I’ll definitely use it some more. Edge longevity will be interesting after a few shaves.

And now I just can let go of the thought what 0.125 CBN would do to a full hollow MK series Heljestrand

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Where to find Jende Industries…

December 8, 2010

Jende Industries serves a few different specialty markets, and I like to hang out in a few different places.

First, Jende Industries is a proud advertiser at the knife forums, where there is a Jende Industries sub-forum. I also spend most of my time in the keeping sharp area, where the discussions are obviously centered around sharpening. There are some seriously talented and knowledgeable people in there, and if you do nothing else, I highly recommend lurking there.

We have just become advertisers on Badger and Blade, too. Product announcements will be made in the Vendor Corner, but (to no big surprise) I usually hang out in the Hones/Honing sub-forum. There’s a solid group of people there, mostly people who like to hone straight razors. Honing skill levels vary from newbie to honemiester. I can honestly say  that knife sharpening and razor honing are two entirely different skills, and there is usually some very good advice offered up by the more experienced honers as well as some great pictures of hones/stones.  Be careful, though – getting into straights can be addictive on several fronts – including hones, razors, brushes, creams, aftershaves, and strops…..

I also love spending time on Shave Ready. It’s a vendor-friendly straight razor related forum started by Olivia’s soaps that has super friendly members who, as of now, are mostly experienced straight razor shavers. It’s more honing-heavy, which is why I love it so much. However, there are the usual forums to be found. Even though I am a vendor, I can hang out on Shave Ready and just be myself – an avid honer/sharpener.

I also check in on a regular basis on a few other forums, although mostly as a lurker.

Jende Industries got its start as the maker of the Jende Reed Knife, which has become a quality name in the Oboe and Bassoon world, known as the International Double Reed Society, or more commonly, as the IDRS. We advertise in their publications and we’ve been the annual conferences since 2004. They have a Forum, which is filled with information about everything Oboe and Bassoon related. I basically lurk there answering only when specific reed knife related question arise.

I also like to check in to two other shaving sites. Coticule.be is probably the finest forum to do with Belgian Coticules. Bart is probably the world’s foremost expert on coticules, and is lightning fast at honing and stropping. He also knows a ton about honing razors. Again, they have other forums, not just coticule related, and the members are generally more experienced straight razor shavers.

Lastly, I check into The Shaving Room. It’s a British based forum with a lot of DE users. If you start lurking on any of the shaving forums, you’ll quickly see a lot of the same names – that’s how addicting it is – not to mention most of the people are just great company.

 

I hope to see you there!