This morning I used to my Ford & Medley straight razor. I am still trying to get used to it though. I have discovered that my skills at shaving with a DE razor, gained over many years, do not seem at all transferable. It still takes me too long.
It turns out my razor is rather old, now that I have found out some more details about it on the website of theinvisibleedge.co.uk who sell reconditioned Ford & Medleys and have lots of info on them. My razor features in a catalogue dated 1902 so it could be a little older or a little later. Mine is the ‘Select’. Not a full hollow ground but good quality. I toy with the idea of changing the scales but I also like the idea that it is in original condition. It must have been in a drawer almost from the moment it was first bought.
I managed to hone it okay to ‘shave ready’ as having been a chef years ago I had sharpened many knives. In fact I was good enough at honing knives that I was often asked to sharpen the knives of colleagues. We knew when they were ready as I used to test them by shaving my arm.
Having discovered the paraphernalia that some straight razor shavers buy such as honing stones, strops and strop pastes I have concluded there are far cheaper ways to do it using modern sharpening options. Though I suppose some of the straight razor crowd are deliberately wanting to turn the clock back. I may like gadgets, but they have to serve me not me serve them.
“What would Jesus do” is familiar question and that did occur to me. Though many traditions insist Jesus had a beard there are also reasons to believe he had adopted the current Greek practice of face shaving. We can not know either way. But if he did shave I wonder what he would have used.
Will I switch from my DE razor and move to a straight? I find it hard to believe that even a straight razor would shave closer or smoother than my Merkur Futur with my favourite blade, the Russian Gillette Seven O’ Clock SharpEdge. Shaving with my Futur is quick even when I include the various passes WTG, XTG, ATG. Straight razor shaving would have to be for when I can spare the extra time, perhaps on a day off.
I have also obtained online a vintage Wa-Kamisori from Australia. It arrived today. Trying that will be fun once I have it honed up. I will report the results.