Mountain Man & The 430:

Tonight's shave ended up being pretty good but it was not very comfortable at all. More on that in a little bit. Tonight I was craving a cologne scent so I went with Stirling Soaps and their "Mountain Man" scented soap which is their take on Creed's Silver Mountain Water Cologne. But unlike Creed, Stirling's won't break the bank and is much stronger. And to finish off tonight's shave, I went with Pinaud's Clubman aftershave:

Something is wrong with my 430. It's getting to where it won't hold an edge and I noticed a chip in the edge on the face of the blade. I believe I've got a lemon razor ladies and gentlemen. I've already honed the living crap out of it so I killed the edge. I will see what I can do in terms of resetting the bevel but I have a feeling that it would not be a good idea to do so. I took it to my ILR twice during tonight's shave and it still was rough.

And Our Remodel Begins:

Today our bathroom remodel begins and I'm talking a full blown ripping up floor kind of remodel. New plumbing fixtures and faucets are going in, the floor is being ripped up and repaired and we are having a brand new shower installed after the old tub and tile is torn out. The contractor is putting down some kind of fiber board to protect our carpet:

We have been wanting to do this for a really long time now and have not been able to for many reasons. And here recently, these guys are the only ones that would even come out to give us an estimate and explain the work. Some other contractors would not even return a phone call. So if you are wondering about "Honey Do Service" contractors, they are awesome.

Atmotic & The 207:

Happy Father's day my friends. Today's shave was great and way better than yesterday's shave which was not posted thank goodness. Today I went with Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements and one of their newest scents "Atmotic" which is awesome. The scent on this is Aged Oak wood, Dogwood and Patchouli with a hint of ginger. To my nose it kindly reminds me of Dragon's Blood with a hint of musk and it's bold and strong which is an extremely good thing. If you don't have the matching aftershave splash, it goes well with Aqua Velva Ice Blue which is what I finished off my shave with today, along with any Musk based aftershave and English Leather also pairs well with it:

The 207 was perfect yet again. You know you got a good shave when the last shave was less than 24 hours ago with a Gillette Fusion that resulted in extreme razor burn and you shave with a straight today and didn't get any sting from an alum block after doing 3 passes on irritated skin that has not had time to heal at all. Oh I do have a Belgium Coticule coming and as far as I know, It's scheduled to arrive this coming Friday. I'm now done with buying stones. Once I tried that Coticule edge, that was it. I don't want to shave with anything but a Coticule edge now. As I stated in another post, I have met my "go to" edge and stone.

Ike & the 207:

Today's shave was great and very refreshing. Today I went with Strike Gold Shave and their fabulous "Ike" scented soap which was made by Jennifer Mason Marting of Mason Boutique. She has since quit making shave soaps except for Strike Gold Shave and she changed the name of her company to Decadent Bubbles (bath products only). The scent on this specific soap is a dead ringer for the classic Skin Bracer aftershave which is what I finished today's shave off with:

The 207 was even better than it was yesterday. I have to get me a Belgium Coticule because the edges are exceptional. Not one weeper today or anything and extremely close and comfortable. That's the kind of straight razor shave you want. I did not get any burn from the aftershave at all and I normally do no matter what kind of aftershave I use with the exception to the balms that I have in my collection. So I am on the prowl if you will for this stone. Combined with Dr. Matt's under running water technique, good luck beat the speed and the quality of the edges. Another thing I noticed about the soap is that it doesn't take much to build a lather at all and this sample is still going. I've quit counting how many shaves I've gotten out of it:

So it will be a while before I finish this sample off and start a new one. Frank sent me a sample of his "Kennedy" scented soap and it also goes extremely well with Skin Bracer. I also think that Kennedy can go with Osage Rub, Barbasol Brisk and Aqua Velva Ice Blue aftershave as well.

Endurance & The 207:

I have met my "go to" edge today ladies & gentlemen. What an incredible if not phenomenal and blissful shave that I got today. Today I went with the very first artisan soap that I ever got which was Soap Commander and their fabulous "Endurance" scented soap. I have missed the scent on this one which is a "1938 Vintage Old Spice" scent. And to finish off today's shave, I went with a healthy dose of Old Spice aftershave splash followed by Soap Commander's Endurance aftershave balm which adds a touch of menthol to the post shave feel:

The Gold Dollar 207 was perfect for me and my skin type. Frank Misa of Strike Gold Shave put a Belgium Coticule edge on the 207 and I am glad that I requested this kind of edge. The edge was like shaving with a butter knife in terms of comfort which I love and yet my beard disappeared completely in just three passes and I was slick as black ice afterward. I will take this kind of edge over my other stones any day. In terms of sharpness, the ILR does out perform the Coticule however it is no where near close to the Belgium Coticule in terms of comfort. In fact I often get a couple of weepers with the ILR in certain areas while I did not get any at all today. Everyone often screams for a Japanese natural edge and how good of an edge that they are which is some what true depending on who honed the razor but they are often "over hyped". Once I get a Belgium Coticule, I will be done in terms of buying water stones apart from replacing what's left of my Norton 8K. It has seen its better days and is almost gone. The only question I have is should I go ahead and get the full size version of the Norton 8K instead of the combo stone or should I look at a Belgium Blue stone or go with another brand's 8K stone before finishing on a Coticule? Decisions decisions. But the Belgium Coticule wins hands down. You can't beat them in my opinion.

Optimism & The 430:

Tonight's shave felt great & was perfect. Tonight I went with Soap Commander & their fabulous "Optimism" scented soap. The scent is a semi sweet pear, plum & bergamot. And to finish off this shave, I went with the matching aftershave balm which adds a touch of menthol to the already incredible post shave feel:

The 430 was perfect. I was squeaky clean after just 2.5 passes and it was like a hot knife through butter. My beard disappeared really quickly & the edge was stupid comfortable. No issues at all with tonight's shave & that's a very good thing. All of my video gear has arrived so I should be able to keep making videos. It will be a little bit before I can do a shave video because my bathroom is about to be remodeled completely. I'm talking full blown floor coming up type of remodeling. A new shower is going in along with new flooring & PVC crown moulding which I will really like. Plus I will be painting the bathroom which will be done after the remodeling is completed. 

Ouch! Definitely Shave Ready:

Ouch! I just barely caught my left thumb with just the toe of the razor & this happened:

I ran it under some cold water for a few minutes, washed my hands with hot soapy water to keep it clean & from getting infected then I put a bandage on & wrapped it up with some electrical tape:

I didn't even feel it for the most part but it's more than shave ready for sure. So when you are dealing with straight razors, use extreme caution & pay attention or this will happen.

C.a.D. & The 430:

Today's shave was nothing short of phenomenal. I was craving another but unique barbershop scent so I grabbed Phoenix Artisan Accoutrement's C.a.D. scented soap which has a 1970's & 1980's Original Barbersol canned shave foam scent. And to finish off this shave, I went with the matching aftershave splash which lasts about 18 hours before fading:

I came extremely close to where I needed to be on the stones with the 430 straight razor. So I stopped & took it to my fire hose strop for 10 round trips & that was exactly what the razor needed. From there it was like climbing out of a mack truck & into a brand new Cadillac Seville Sedan. I will be doing a Japanese Natural water stone video here in a little while. There should be no problems this time around considering that I'm  not going to be doing a lot of work. Once I get finished on the Japanese natural stone, it should be like climbing into a new Rolls Royce.

Honing Time!

After today's shave, I decided to go back & perform everything you see in this specific YouTube video by Dr. Matt Robins only I did 3 different types of slurry on the Norton 8K before finishing on the ILR. I was extremely close to where I wanted to be before I started so I did not kill the edge. This video is exactly what I do to maintain my razors & it's extremely fast too:

I spent a little more time on the Norton 8K than Dr. Matt did but I felt that the razor needed it. This technique also works with other natural stones such as the Belgium Coticule:

Next I used a 600 grit diamond plate to clean the stone then to build a slurry:

After that I did a slurry with both sides of my Suehiro slurry stone:

After I got done with the Norton 8K, I went straight to my vintage fire hose strop & did 10 round trips on it before going to Dr. Matt's under running water technique:

After that I went to my brand new horsehide strop from TomoNagura & let me tell you, it's a dream to strop on it. The draw/glide is stupid smooth & fast:

I'm more than confident that this razor is shave ready. I was extremely close to where I wanted to be when I shave earlier today & just needed that extra little bit. This should more than do it. My next shave will be very interesting. I have a new razor coming in from Strike Gold Shave & I've never shaved off of a Coticule before. I've been told that I would love it. We will soon see.

Grape Soda & The 430:

Today's shave was really good. I got to craving something unique so I went with KShave Worx & their delicious smelling "Grapelicious" scented soap which is a very strong grape soda scent. And to finish off this shave, I went with their matching aftershave splash which is witch hazel based:

The 430 was good but not quite great. One more honing session using Dr. Matt's under running water technique using my Norton 8K & my ILR and I should be exactly where I want to be. I've got some goodies coming in that will allow me to make videos including some over head shots, another soap from Soap Commander that I've already got the matching aftershave balm for & I also have Carrie's book coming in. I also went ahead & ordered a new Gold Dollar 207 from Strike Gold Shave with a Coticule edge on it because I never shaved off of a Coticule before. My honing video didn't quite work out because it was simply too long & wouldn't allow me to optimize it or upload it. And when I tried to do it in 2 different videos, the file became corrupted & I had to delete it. So it will be a little while before I do a honing video and/or shave video. They're suppose to start remodeling our bathroom this coming Monday & there's no telling how long that's going to take.

Mountain Man & The 430:

Tonight's shave ended up being pretty good but it was not very comfortable at all. More on that in a little bit. Tonight I was craving ...