Sunday, 8 July 2012

Green Razors

From BIC a major producer of cheap disposable razor blades I learn that recycling is not an option. This means that 10,000,000 of them are going into landfill every week. Considering the high energy aspect of steel production that is serious waste. I myself have been using straight razors/cut throats for the last 12 years not initially for any greenery but I find that they give an excellent shave and will easily outlast the shaver. Forget about running out and using something which resembles a hacksaw blade. I have a couple of new ones, a basic Dovo from Solingen, a Wapienica from Poland, a Sheffield Rodgers wedge with cutlers to their majesties on it and a Poyet Freres from Thiers. The last two are second hand for 10€ each and the others were 30€ each.

What about the fussing with stones and strops? The stone I have I found in the back of a stair spandrel cupboard in a house that I was renting, probably forgotten about in the 40's. It appears to be a natural lump of fine grained sandstone that was smoothed on two sides to give a honing surface. It is somewhere between 6 and 8000 grit which gives a fast edge. The last few passes on the stone should be very light. I see experts on you tube going up to 10,000 grit and more but from my set up I get a shave that is equivalent to a new double edged blade. Actually a with the grain shave is fine if you are going to shave every day and want to avoid going too close. After about 6 shaves with each razor I give them a few licks of the stone using a half and half mixture of white spirit and engine oil as lubricant. A curious feature of the crystalline structure of the very thin edge is that it reconstitutes itself after a few days.

Time: about 5mins. one way, 10 mins. both.

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