Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Gillette New

We are in Hendersonville, NC, today, and I found this Gillette New (model 134), first sold in 1930.  As a bonus, it also had its razor safe. This razor preceded the tech razor. Anyhow, I got it back to the motel and cleaned it up, put a Derby Extra in it, and tried it out. This is the only open comb Gillette I have, so I was a little cautious. That was unnecessary, though. What a good shave! I just find it amazing that these old razors do so well. 

Of course, modern blades are part of that equation. I have read reviews of the Gillette Blue Blades which were from this era. They get one or two shaves and that is it. They are about as good as the worst available blades today. The one shown below is a P3 which means it was manufactured in 1945, third quarter. Blade technology has come a long way since then. However, the razors were built to last. I have about nine vintage razors in my collection now, and each one has its own character and is fun to shave with.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Van Der Hagen Luxury

I ordered this set with Tim's birthday gift card from Amazon. It arrived a day early, and I have used it twice. The soap is mild and lathers well with this brush. The bowl is a good size and the soap just fits in the bottom. I don't lather in the bowl. I just use it to load the brush. Then, I either lather in my palm or I use my stainless steel bowl. The stand if very nice. It is made of a thick plastic and has a place to hold a razor as well.

This is a good starter set, and I look forward to using it for a long long time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chrome Shaving Brush

Today, I received my new pure badger chrome shaving brush from GBS, sold by Gents, Inc. on Amazon. It goes well with my chrome Edwin Jagger DE razor and stainless steel shaving bowl, and it hangs nicely in my home-made brush holder.

My first shave was a good one. The brush has some heft to it because the handle is really metal with chrome plating. So, making lather can be part of your daily workout. It lathers really well though. For my first shave, I did a hand lathering with Col. Conk lime glycerine soap. It was my first time with this soap as well. It has a pleasant lime smell and of course, it lathers easily.

I am looking forward to bowl lathering next with this brush.

See how my new blue Parker black badger hair brush has blossomed. It is a beauty. Thanks again, Dave.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Birthday Brush

Today, I received my birthday gift from David's family. It is a Parker black badger shaving brush and stand. Thanks, Dave, Becca, Sarah, and Emily.

The picture above is to compare it to my Tweezerman.  They are comparable in weight and knot size, but the Parker has a higher loft by about 11-12 mm. My Tweezerman has served me well for 16 months now. I am looking forward to breaking in this new Parker brush, so the Tweezerman will get some rest. It will still be my travelling brush though.

This is the first lather with Van Der Hagen soap. Wow!
I did my first lather using Van Der Hagen soap. It did very well in my bowl. I lost 8-10 hairs. That is normal for the first lathering. I expect that will drop off dramatically on the next lathering. I am looking forward to using this brush. Thanks again, Kids, this was a thoughtful gift.

Look at that bloom.

December 10: update
This has been a good brush. I am using it every third shave and it is holding up well. However, the painted logo is disappearing slowly. Other than that, it has been a good brush. Thanks again, Dave.

January 17: update
I am using this Parker brush every other day now, alternating between it and my chrome handle brush. It is a very good brush. The printed Parker logo has completely disappeared, but other than that it is holding up very well.

Birthday Shaving

On October 15, I turned 65. Really, at this age gifts are a problem. I don't expect anything, and I don't have any real wants or desires. I am pretty content. However, my lovely wife, Marcia, suggested that I get some shaving supplies. So, at the present, I am waiting for an order from Amazon.

Here is what I ordered. I got a new brush, a puck of Col. Conk, and a wooden shaving bowl with lid. I told you I didn't have any great wants.

Pure Badger Chrome
Lime Col. Conk Shave Soap
Wooden Shave Bowl with Lid

I am eagerly awaiting my free shipping order. The brush and soap are expected Saturday, and the bowl on the following Wednesday.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Shaving Rotation

I have five razors in my rotation at this time. Today, I used my Gem Junior 1912; tomorrow, I will be using my Parker 60R DE; next, I will use my Schick model E; then is my Gillette Aristocrat DE; and last in my rotation is my Edwin Jagger DE89BL.  So, for now I have two single edge razors and three double edge razors.
Gem Junior
Schick Model E
Gillette Aristocrat DE
Parker 60R
Edwin Jagger DE89BL

When I travel, I take along my mini Gillette Tech.

I have four soaps that I use in random order. They are: Col Ichabod Conk's Shaving Soap, Van Der Hagen Soap, Proraso, and Musco Real Shave Cream. I make my shave cream with a Tweezerman badger brush. Sometimes, I lather in a bowl. Sometimes, I lather in my hand. And, sometimes I face lather. Mostly I hand and face lather.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gem Junior Revisited

I was a little disappointed in my initial shave with the Gem Junior, especially after reading so many rave reviews about it. I figured something must be amiss. So, I got it out and gave it the once over. Everything seemed fine, OK, and where it was supposed to be. My bad encounter may have been blade oriented. I believe the person I acquired the razor from sent me "box cutter" blades.

For this shave, I lathered with Proraso. It has a fresh scent and rinses off quite well. It has a nice menthol smell that is not over-whelming. So, I made sure I had a genuine Gem blade in the razor for this go-around. What an amazing difference! This was a totally different experience. Also, I had found out that these razors aren't the head-flat-on-the-face razors. So, I experimented with angle. I got a wonderful shave. I am getting faster with  the SE razor, too. Still, no cuts, nicks, or abrasions. I may find a place in my rotation for this razor.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gem Push Button

Today's shave was with the Gem Push Button razor. It was a very nice shave. I used Van Der Hagen shaving soap and did two passes. No nicks, scrapes, or cuts.  Loading the blade is pretty easy. Push the button to open and then push the button to close. The Push Button model was introduced in 1958. Don't know how old this one is though.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SOTD (Shave Of The Day)

Today, I am back to trying out my SE razors. Today's shave was with my new vintage Gem Micromatic TTO razor.  The Micromatic dates from 1928.

It has an open comb. I used a new Gem blade, my Tweezerman brush, and lathered with Van Der Hagen soap. It was an excellent shave. It was more aggressive than my Gillettes, but not as aggressive as the Gem Junior I shaved with Sunday. Still, no cuts or scrapes have resulted with my Gem SEs. I go a little slower with them because they are a new way of shaving, but the shaves have been satisfying.  Tomorrow, I will finish my tour of SEs with my Gem Push Button razor. 

Gillette Tech Travel Razor

We just got back from three days and two nights on the road. I took along my little Gillette Tech Travel razor with my Tweezerman brush and  my Colonel Conk watertight travel container with soap. I used a Derby blade in the razor, and shaving on the road couldn't be better.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gem Junior

This is my Gem Junior. Although the head looks very much like the Gem 1912 that I shaved with last night, this one is a bit aggressive. It is also a loud shaver. I've never shaved with a straight razor, but it sounded like I imagine a straight razor would sound. I did not draw blood or get razor burn because I went very slowly. This razor will probably end up on the display shelf.

The next SE I will try out will be my Gem Micromatic. Right now, I am going to give the SEs a little rest and go back to my Edwin Jagger. Check back for more.

A Gem for Jim

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I got this Gem, a Gem Junior, and a Marvy shaving brush on eBay. Today, I shaved with the Gem. It was a really good shave. This is my second shave with the 1912 SE. I now own this Gem, a Gem Junior, and an Ever-Ready:  all three are patent 1912, basically the same head design. Next, I am going to try out the Junior.

I also have a Gem Pushbutton and a Gem Micromatic. I will try those out after the Junior.

Ever-Ready Razor

Original post, Friday, September 28, 2012

 I received my vintage Ever-Ready safety razor today. The box is pretty worn and the razor shows that it has been used. However, the razor looks like it is in pretty good shape for its age. I plan to give it a spin today. This will be my first experience with this type of razor. I have read that the technique for this razor is different from others.  For one, the head is placed almost flat on the face. Some suggest about a 10 degree angle for the best shave. BOTOCs (Brotherhood Of The Open Comb) and LOSERs (Lover Of Single Edge Razors) swear by these razors. I am excited to try it. I am a loser already because of my Schick injector razor. That is one great razor.

OK, the verdict is in. This is one terrific little razor. I was cautious because I had read of shavers who ended up letting blood, but I kept the head down, around 10 degrees, and had no blood loss. I got a great shave and put this little guy in my rotation. I am looking forward to more shaves with my new SE Ever-Ready. I guess I am now a LOSER and BOTOC.

1962 Gillette Mini Tech

Original Post, Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today, I tried out my new Gillette tech razor. I loaded it with a Shark blade and had my first shave with it. What a nice razor! Aside from the short handle, this is an excellent little shaver. I intend to use this as my travel razor in the future.  This particular razor was manufactured in 1962. The Gillette logo on the face has the diamond with the name Gillette with the arrow through it. It was first registered in 1908.

eBay Shaving Treasures

Original Post, Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Below are two Gem single edge razors. The black handled razor is a Gem Pushbutton (PTO) and the silver one is a Gem Micromatic open comb (MMOC) twist to open (TTO).

Below is a travel Gillette razor in genuine leather. I had a similar razor when I first entered the Army in 1967. Its case was plastic and snapped shut. I wish that I still had it, so when I saw this, I jumped on it. The whole case is rather small and made in Austria. I like it.
Travel razor
The razor is a three piece Gillette with a short handle. The case has places for the head, the handle, and blades. The razor has a manufacturing date code of H2 which means it was manufactured in the second quarter of 1962.
Genuine leather, zipper closure.

Gems for Jim

Original Post, Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I just won an auction on E-Bay of two vintage Gem razors. Can hardly wait to take delivery.