Honing Time!

After this morning's tug and pull fest with the Jr. Torrey, I decided to go back to my old routine and progression. So first I started with my Suehiro 1/3K combo stone and I performed the usual routine of 40/40, 20/20, 10/10, 5/5 and 10 round trips to clean up the edges a bit. On the 3K side, I only did 20/20, 10/10, 5/5, and 10 round trips to clean them up. I also poured the slurry onto my Norton 8K and did 40/40, 20/20, 10/10, 5/5 and 10 round trips with the first session. After that I did 2 more sessions of 20/20, 10/10, 5/5, and 10 round trips to clean up both of my razors:

Next I did 10 round trips on the .5 pasted strop:

And then I just did 5 round trips on the smooth leather:

Now that I'm more than certain that these are shave ready, I will be looking at other stones specifically the Norton and the Naniwa Professional stones. This will be for my mid range honing and I will be finishing on a Japanese natural water stone when it gets here. A friend of mine sent me a Shoubandini which I intend to use as a full blown finisher.

Walloon lake & The Jr. Torrey:

Today's shave was pretty good. Through The Fire Fine Craft by Maria Arman performed extremely well. And their Walloon Lake scented soap which has a clean aquatic cologne type of scent. And to finish it off, I paired it with my usual aftershave splash:

The Jr. Torrey was horrible. I ended up finishing with a disposable razor after the 1st pass. If anyone recommends the Shapton M5 12K stone, tell them they're full of crap because the edges it produces are horrible. I've tried every honing technique I know and it's no good and it's the ONLY stone that has caused me problems in terms of getting a good edge. More details coming in another blog post. I'm going old school with my next honing session.

Feather Proguards = No Go:

This was truly the last chance for Feather Artist Club blades in the Hawk and it didn't go well at all either. My friend Trent Stewart has a Mongoose razor which has less blade exposure and more weight to it and these Feather Proguard blades were too mild in the Mongoose for him and he got better results with the Professionals in that razor. However I got different results in the hawk which is not surprising because the hawk has more blade exposure and is much lighter in weight. These were no different from the Feather Professionals in the Hawk:

These blades are advertised as the same blade as the Professional only with a guard to help "reduce" the chances of nicks and cuts. In my opinion and experience, it's a waste :

These reminded me of shaving with a Gillette Mach 3 when it first came out which caused me a lot of weepers and skin irritation back in the day. It wasn't like my Gillette Mach 3 Turbo which left me with a squeaky clean post shave along with very little irritation and zero weepers. These Feather Artist Club blades, want to grab and dig in and have no glide to them even with some of the slickest shave soaps on the market which basically have been saving my shaves:

So it looks like the Kai Captain Blades will be a much better choice than the Feather Artist Club blades will be as far as the Hawk goes. There's only 1 more blade I can try out of the Feather Artist Club brand and they gave me a scar in my Kamasori shavette that I had, 2 years ago which was the Feather Super Professionals. There's no way I will try those in the hawk. If the regular professionals which are below the supers tore me a new one, you can imagine what they would do to me in the hawk. A cheese grater on steroids comes to mind. The Feather Light Professionals will not work in ANY single edge style safety razor that I know of. Mainly because there's not enough blade exposure on those specific blades. So we will see what happens.

Fougere' Santal & The Hawk:

Today's shave was okay. After a nice hot shower, I went with good old Reef Point Soaps and their Fougere' Santal which pairs extremely well with Brut aftershave splash. The scent is a nice clean Fougere' scent with a little hint of sandalwood undertones:

The hawk had no problems at all removing 4 day's worth of beard growth. Unfortunately, these Feather Proguard blades were basically the same as the Feather Professional to me and my skin type. More details following in another blog post. Other than some weepers, this was a very nice 2.5 pass shave that was close but not quite a squeaky clean post shave.

Mail Call:

Today's mail call is from my friend, Trent Stewart. He and I did a blade exchange, and he got my Feather Professionals and he sent me his Feather Proguards:

I like to have never got that envelope open where the post office resealed it:

Unfortunately I got the same results as I did with the Professionals. More on that in another blog post. It's really cool to do blade exchanges and it's also cool to pif some things out.

I Deleted My FB Group:

Today I decided to delete my Face Book group. Between having to deal with a couple of trolls earlier today along with the circumstances as to why I decided to create this group, I felt it was best to delete it. Plus another reason is that come first of the year, I would be a one man gang and I'm in a lot of groups. So this will also be easier on me as well. I'm NOT leaving the hobby or other groups. I just won't be managing anything in that regard:

Before I deleted this one and cut back some, I was in a lot of groups. I forget how many I was in at one point. But I can tell you that is was north of 20 face book groups. Now I am down to just 7 and that does include the 2 Google+ communities. To delete a face book group, you must be an admin and remove everyone first and then leave your own group which will delete it and all of the content contained in the group gets deleted as well. It was fun, but it was time for me to relax a bit and get away from spending too much time in front of my laptop. So I will continue to do blog post and share them in the other groups I'm a member of.

Honing Session Completed:

That was fast. Today I decided to do a quick honing session on my straight razors with the Shapton 12K. It went pretty fast and smooth. So lets get started:

Using my Suehiro 1/3K combo stone, I worked up a slurry and did 40 X strokes. That's how many it took before the resistance broke and it became effortless. Not to worry though because I will definitely be putting a wicked sharp edge on them when my gift arrives this week. Right now it's sitting in New York, and I really can't wait to use it either:

After that I hit the .5 pasted side of my strop for just 5 round trips :

And to make things more interesting, I only did 10 round trips on the smooth leather side of my strop. I seem to get even better results when I strop less:

All in all I am cool with the edges on these razors, but I am itching to use my new toy that hasn't arrived yet. I need that "ninja suit" type of edge on my straight razor now.

Grape Soda & The DE 89:

Today's shave was great. Earlier today, I went with Catie's Bubbles their "Knee High to a Grape" which has an incredible grape soda scent. And to finish off this shave, I paired it with my usual go to aftershave splash which can be seen below. I would also like to go on record stating that I hate black Friday. That's the reason why I'm late posting today. My mom turned 66 today and I had to go out and pick her up a birthday present and it's a cluster freak out there:

The DE 89 was exceptional today and I will be sticking with it for a while until a certain gift arrives and I can re hone my straight razors. The Shapton 12K wasn't enough and my beard will destroy an edge in no time. I've been straight razor shaving too long for it to be my technique and I go through DE blades more quickly today than I did about a year ago. It's pretty bad when all you have to do is shave a couple of times with a mild razor such as my doc and Feather blade and already have to switch the blade out isn't it? And I can forget about a Gillette Fusion, Trac 2, or Sensor or a Schick Hydro. I would burn through those in no time. There's no doubt anymore. My beard is past being tough and traditional wet shaving is the ONLY way I can shave now.

Fried Turkey Results:

Well it's finished. I didn't have a boil over or anything and it's delicious. 41 minutes and 20 seconds, and we're having a delicious turkey along with some fresh baked butter yeast rolls, green beans, and stuffing. I'm so stuffed now that it's pathetic:

The turkey was crispy on the outside and it sprayed some juice when I cut into it. Once it was cut, I almost didn't need a knife and since I cooked some onion rings and a sweet onion before the turkey, a little hint of onion flavor was present when you bit into it:

You also needed a napkin when you took a bite because the meat was really juicy. Wow what a meal. I always eat too much at Thanksgiving dinner. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

Kilted Tiki & The Jr. Torrey:

Happy Thanksgiving ladies and gentlemen. Today I went with good old Tiki Bar and their Scotch whiskey based soap, Kilted Tiki which has a smoked peat moss scent. They use actual Scotch whiskey to make this soap and it's incredible. And to add a refreshing and cooling touch to this shave, I went with Aqua Velva classic ice blue aftershave splash:

The Jr. Torrey done good until I got to the neck touch up pass which I ended up hitting the .5 pasted strop for 10 round trips and that helped immensely. But my tough beard has already dulled the razor significantly after only a handful of shaves. So I will probably be hitting the stones here before long. Right now I'm waiting on a surprise.

Turkey Frying Set Up:

Well I'm ready to deep fry a turkey tomorrow. Everything has been cleaned up and is ready to go and the turkey is still thawing out as we speak. So now that I'm set up, I thought I would do a blog post with some details. Here's the 30 quart pot, 14 inch burner which I got from a home brew supply store and my 40 pound propane cylinder which I got at Tractor Supply:

Your turkey goes on this hook and you can see my turkey in the background thawing out in the sink with some warm water. I went with an 11.77 pound Butterball turkey and it's going to take 41 minutes and 20 seconds to be fully cooked:

Here's the thermometer that came in my kit which is inserted in the lid. I've got the red marker set to between 325 and 350 degrees F. That way I can just glance at it to see if I need to turn my propane on or off to maintain that temperature. Oh before I forget remove the plastic pop up timer and all other items such as the ring around the neck before cooking :

This specific item is what you use to raise and lower the turkey into the oil. The smaller hook goes into the top of the turkey holder I posted earlier:

I hope that this helps someone out who wishes to deep fry a turkey which is extremely delicious, moist and juicy and only takes a short time versus spending all day oven roasting a turkey and the bird being dry and a little rough. I've NOT went back to oven roasted turkey since I've had deep fried turkey nor do I plan on it anytime soon.

Bluegrass & The 70's Superspeed:

Today's shave was great. It's also Tuesday which means that Through The Fire Fine Craft was up next in the rotation and I went with their bluegrass scent. The scent of this soap is sweet grass and vetiver. And to me it goes extremely well with Clubman original aftershave splash:

The 1970's Gillette superspeed done extremely good with the Perma-Sharp blades. I got an ultra fine shave in just 2 passes. I could have went back and got my neck area again but I decided not to. This was a really good shave and I'm thinking about getting some other blades to try in the superspeed. Specifically the Gillette Silver Blues.

Deep Frying A Turkey 101:

It's kindly rare when I do a blog post that's not shave related but I figured why not since we are close to Thanksgiving day which is this coming Thursday. So lets get started. I first went with the kit that you see in Walmart here's the link to it: https://www.walmart.com/ip/30-qt-Turkey-Fryer-with-Spout/45413507 . I still have everything in this specific kit except for the burner which was junk. It lasted just long enough to cook 1 turkey and that was it. So I went looking on the Internet and got this specific burner which has lasted for several years now. Here's the link: http://www.homebrewing.org/14-Propane-Burner--220000-BTU_p_1190.html . The 20 pound Propane tanks will work until you start getting close to the maximum weight. So I went to a local Tractor Supply store and bought a 40 pound propane cylinder. It hasn't ran out in 2 years while my small 20 pound tank that's now on my gas grill has while cooking a turkey. So it's best to go with a 30 or 40 pound propane tank instead of the 20 pound gas grill models you see:

You will need 3 gallons of oil max. Even though this specific kit has a maximum fill line, DO NOT fill to that line and I will tell you why. Last year I had a really nasty and scary boil over and if I had not kept an eye on my oil temperature, I would have been one of the many statistics that occur every year on Thanksgiving. So for safety purposes, all you need is 3 gallons of oil maximum. Plus retailers make it really easy. That's why you see these 3 gallon oil containers at Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and many different super markets across the U.S. They have basically done the measuring for you. This year for us it's vegetable oil:

The instructions are stupid easy and engraved on the lid of the pot that comes in the kit. You have to keep an eye on it because the oil has to be kept between 325 and 350 degrees F. There are some oils you can get that have a high smoke temperature with Peanut Oil being the highest at 425 degrees F., but that's too high and would burn the turkey. So please follow the instructions exactly and you will be fine. To calulate how long you need to fry the turkey until it's fully cooked, you simply multiply the turkey weight by 3.5 minutes per pound. For example: if your turkey weighs 12 pounds that will be 12 X 3.5 = 42. That means it will take 42 minutes to fully cook the turkey:

As I mentioned earlier, my kit has a maximum fill line, and you NEVER fill it to this line either. Also my specific kit will only cook up to an 18 pound turkey. But since it's just myself and my mom here, we don't need a turkey that big. The 12 pound size would be all that we would need:

I also must mention that you can NOT stuff the turkey before frying. We've tried it and it didn't stay in place. It floated to the top and made a huge mess. I also tend to cook a sweet onion to flavor the oil before I cook the turkey. This year I will making some home made onion rings that we will tear into while we're cooking the turkey as an appetizer if you will. The end result is definitely worth it. You won't go back to an oven baked turkey once you've had deep fried turkey.

Fortitude & The Jr. Torrey:

This morning's shave was awesome. After a nice and relaxing hot shower, I went with Soap Commander and their fabulous Fortitude scented soap. The scent is aged tobacco, aged hay, and dark rum. To finish off this shave, I paired it with their bay rum scented aftershave balm which is called "purpose" which seems to go perfectly well with this soap:

The Jr. Torrey was really good this morning and had no trouble mowing through 2 days worth of growth. I did do 5 round trips on the pasted side of my strop and 10 round trips on the smooth leather before shaving. I ended up getting a very nice shave in 3 passes. Not quite a squeaky clean shave, but it's pretty close and comfortable.

Pipe Smoke & The DE 89:

Today's shave was phenomenal. I was craving a tobacco scented soap so I went with Uncle Jon's Pipe Smoke. It has a cherry pipe tobacco, vanilla and spices scent to it. And to finish off this shave, I went with my usual go to aftershave splash which can be seen below:

The DE 89 did great and I've got one more shave left on this specific blade before having to switch it out for a fresh blade. I threw out the other blades that I had laying around mainly because I had already tried them in 2 different razors and have pretty much met my go to blades which are the Perma-Sharps. Those seem to work best for me and my skin.

Kilted Tiki & The JR Torrey:

Today's shave was great. After a nice relaxing hot shower, I went with Tiki Bar and their Kilted Tiki scented soap. The scent is Peat Moss and they use scotch whiskey to make the soap. And to finish off this refreshing shave, I paired it with Aqua Velva ice blue:

The JR Torrey was sweet. I got a squeaky clean post shave in just 2.5 passes. And that barber's notch really helps with the areas just below my ears. The Arkansas surgical black oil stone produces a very fine edge and my friend Craig has it down pat.

Mail Call:

Today's mail call is from my friend Craig Minor and it's amazing. But say hello to my Vintage JR. Torrey 5/8's near wedge. My friend Craig also put an Arkansas surgical black oil stone edge on it and finished it on the Translucent to polish it up which I know is an awesome edge:

It came sealed for nuclear war so it arrived safely:

The box the razor was in, didn't quite make it and fell apart on me once I got the envelope open:

I am tickled pink with this razor and really can't wait to use it for tomorrow's shave. Thanks a bushel Craig, this was greatly appreciated.

Le Petit Chypre & 1970's Superspeed:

Today I decided to bust out one of my Vintage DE razors. I also needed a Barrister & Mann fix and went with their Le Petit Chypre scented soap which a phenomenal Oakmoss & Cypress wood scent. I also paired it with the matching aftershave which is witch hazel based:

The 1970's Super Speed was amazing, but the blade wasn't. It was horrible so I will be switching it out here in a few minutes. But other than that, it was a very nice shave.

Razor Clean Up Continued:

After looking at my Steampunk wedge, I decided to sneak down to Walmart and get some sandpaper to continue cleaning up the razor and it came out great. My sanding discs in my Dremel kit is 60 grit and tends to leave some gouges. So I grabbed some 100 grit and went to work:

It was almost effortless to remove the scratches of the 60 grit. This took me about 5 to 10 minutes to complete probably not even that:

After I got done I wiped it down and polished it a few times:

Next I wiped it down again with a clean microfiber cloth:

I looked in the automotive department at Walmart specifically the auto body section where they keep the bondo and found a very nice dry sandpaper kit that could take a razor all the way up to mirror if I wanted to but to me, that would ruin the charm of this specific razor. So I will save that for the next Vintage razor I get off EBay. All that I would need to do at this point would be buffing compound and white jeweler's rouge to get it to mirror.

Feather Pros Are Out:

After yesterday's shave, I have decided to say Adios to these Feather Artist Club Professional blades. The last 5 shaves have been evil and a couple of them were very bloody too. So until I get paid again, the Hawk is going on the shelf until then when I can get some other blades along with another handle to add some more weight:

This specific pack of blades has also acted like the Schick Injector blades that I tried a while back when I got a dud for a blade which turned out to be the only reason I didn't get cut that day. And that is weird because unlike the Schick Injector blades, these have been consistant. So for you Hawk users, go with the Kai Captain Titan Mild Protouch MG blades or the Feather Proguard blades which is the same as these blades here only they're wrapped in a wire guard to reduce nicks and cuts which is what I need to keep using my Hawk singe edge razor.

Armada & The DE 89:

Today is Tuesday which means that Through The Fire Fine Craft by Maria Arman gets used. And for today I went with her Armada scented soap which is a Vintage Old Spice scent. I also paired it with my 2002 edition of my Old Spice aftershave splash and I finished it off with Soap Commander's "Endurance" which is also a Vintage Old Spice scent:

The DE 89 was perfect today especially after a hot shower. I got a squeaky clean post shave in just 3 passes and I got almost no burn from the aftershave splash which is a good thing. I'm still considering getting a slant but next pay day I will be looking at some new blades for the hawk and a new and much heavier handle for the hawk. More on that in another blog post.

Reflection & The Hawk:

Today's shave wasn't too good more on that in a moment. I went with Soap Commander and their Reflection scented soap. It kept me from getting cut worse than I did today thank goodness. The scent on this soap is Oakmoss & Amber and it pairs extremely nice with Barbasol Brisk & Skin Bracer. I decided to go with Barbasol brisk today:

Before I applied the aftershave, I ended up adding witch hazel to the equation:

The hawk isn't going to be used again until I get some other blades because these Feather Professionals tend to be harsh and they want to grab the hair instead of cutting through it. They also tend to want to grab my skin in some spots as well. So I went ahead and done some research and found that either the Kai Captain Mild Pink Protouch MG or the Feather Proguard would be a better choice for me in this razor. Even my straight razors won't do this kind of damage. My neck area is fine now but it was raw after just 2 passes and I didn't get the shave that I wanted either.

Vision & The DE 89:

Today's shave was blissful. After a nice and relaxing hot shower, I went with my top shave which is Soap Commander and their Vision scented soap. It has an aqua, amber and mint scent to it. There's no menthol in the soap but there is in the matching aftershave balm which is what I finished the shave off with after applying my usual aftershave splash:

The DE 89 was excellent. The 2nd and 3rd shaves on these Perma-Sharp DE blades are a sweet spot and usually I get away with just 2 passes. Not quite an ice rink, but a nice, close, and comfortable shave which is more than socially acceptable.

Perma-Sharps Revisited:

Earlier today, I used these Perma-Sharp DE blades and I thought I would revisit them again now that I'm a more experienced wet shaver. I first tried these over 2 years ago and was really blown away by their comfort level. So I bought a 100 pack of them. Little did I know that 2 years later, they would end up becoming my "go to" blade yet again. These are perfect for sensitive skin and tough beards. Think of a Feather blade that has been stropped in terms of beard removal:

And think of a smoother and more comfortable version of a Personna lab blue blade. These are made in St. Petersburg, Russia and are excellent blades. I've not seen hardly anyone that doesn't like these blades. A 100 pack will cost you about $23 dollars shipped from Amazon. Other places have them for roughly about the same give or take a little. These blades are epic in a slant. 2 pass squeaky clean post shave feel that resembles an ice rink. Shame on you if you haven't tried these blades. Polsilvers were great as well but they have been discontinued yet again and they've already stopped production of them back in August of 2016. The Astra greens were great but not quite as comfortable as these were even though I plan on keeping them in the equation for my doc.

Slight Buyer's Remorse:

As most of you know, I bought this Shapton M5 12,000 grit water stone a little over 2 months ago off Amazon. I have a slight amount of buyer's remorse but not a lot because it's still a great finishing stone especially for those whom are just getting started honing their own straights. But in my humble opinion, the grit rating is wrong. This stone feels more like it should be rated between 8 and 10K. It's a bit more keen than a Norton 8K is, but not quite close enough to be a 10K:

Other than that, it's rock hard and stupid easy to clean:

It's also an extremely fast cutter and it also acts like a Japanese natural stone does. When you've gotten all you are going to get from this stone, the razor acts like glue and sticks to the stone. I've never ever seen a synthetic stone do that before, quite the opposite in fact. Another thing I've noticed is that the feedback is not quite as smooth as I would like. In fact it feels a bit rough while you are using it. So if I can get it, I'm going with a Shoubandini Japanese natural stone for a finisher. I've already got a full progression which is a Naniwa Professional 600 grit, A Suehrio 1/3K combo stone, a Norton 8K and then the Jnat. That will be my full progression. I can swing $90 dollars shipped for a Shoubandini type 100, it's just a matter of it being in stock. The other razors I want to get can wait until next year. I'm in no real rush.

Grape Soda & The DE 89:

Man oh man what a great shave. Catie's Bubbles is an amazing soap and their "Knee High To a Grape" scent is phenomenal and it's one of their seasonal soaps which is a grape soda scent. They usually have it around summer time. And to finish off the shave, I paired it with my usual go to splash which is Aqua Velva ice blue:

The DE 89 did extremely well. I had forgotten how well these Perma-Sharps are. They're sharp as a Feather blade is but smoother than a Personna lab blue blade. I ended up getting a squeaky clean post shave that resembles an ice rink in just 3 passes. For my next pay day, I'm looking at getting a slant from Maggards as well as a couple of other goodies if I can swing it.

Jack Frost & The Steampunk Wedge:

Today's shave was great. I couldn't think of a better soap to use with my vintage razor than Steambath Factory with a Steampunk inspired logo and their Jack Frost scent is outstanding. The scent is warm sugar and vanilla with a little hint of peppermint which has a very nice chilling effect to it and it's great for a cold to. And I went with Aqua Velva classic ice blue aftershave to give it an extra chill and freshness to this shave:

I would love to officially go on record stating that I love wedges. The glide is so much better and the silence is amazing. The only drawback to this specific razor is its weight. This one here is a little too light so the 5/8's size is out. Even though I enjoy the maneuverability, my beard is too tough and needs that extra weight to be removed efficiently.

Wedge Has Been Rehoned:

After repairing the edge, I went ahead and started re honing the wedge. I did have photos of some slurry for you guys but I forgot to take the memory card out of the laptop again so I ended up taking them again with no slurry. So lets get started. First up was the 1K side of my Suehiro 1/3K combo stone. There was no need to go back to the 600 grit I used earlier tonight to repair the edge and truth be told, I probably could have started with the 3K side first, but I decided to start at the 1K level and progress up from there. I did my old routine only I did 20/20, 10/10, 5/5 seconds on each side followed by 10 round trips to clean up the edge a bit:

Next up was the 3K side of my Suehiro 1/3K combo stone and I repeated the same process that I did with the 1K side:

Next up was the 1st session on the Norton 8K stone. I repeated the process that I used earlier with my combo stone only I did 10 "X" strokes after the standard round trips that I normally do:

Next up was the 2nd session and I repeated what I did during the 1st session using the weight of the blade only and I also followed that up with 40 seconds worth of circles on both sides, followed by 10 "X" strokes to give the edge a little something extra:

Up next was my Shapton 12K which I did 3 sessions of what I did on my combo stone earlier and I diluted the slurry between each session:

Up next was 5 round trips on the .5 pasted strop:

After that I hit the clean fabric side and did 10 round trips and just before going to the rough leather side I rubbed it down until it got warm to the touch and performed 20 round trips. Once I got done doing that, I rubbed the smooth leather side until it got warm and did 40 round trips :

The edge looked great and if I did everything correctly, I should have a really nice Genco wedge for almost nothing. If the edge isn't where I want it to be, I can always send it out to be re honed or go back and re hone it myself which is awesome.

The Comfort Knot Brush:

This brush has just became my all time favorite shave brush  in my entire collection. The lather this beast builds is unreal and since it&#...