With trembling hand I pressed the cut-throat razor to my skin.

Well, perhaps not quite like that.

My latest Ebay buy is a straight razor made by Ford & Medley of Sheffield long ago. It caught my eye because the price was very low despite the description that it was unused and in ‘as new’ condition. This seemed almost unbelievable for a razor about 100 years old. The poor quality photo did not help me believe it could be true, perhaps that is why others did not bid. Amazingly I was not outbid. It arrived and it was as described.

I honed it on my Japanese water stone which I still have from my days as a chef a long time ago. Then a few strokes on a bit of £1.99 balsa wood, with a bit of strop paste on it, and away I went.

I could polish it and replace the old scales (handle) with new ones but it would no longer be authentic.

They say that if a blade is dull it will pull and tug at the bristles. This would be dangerous as it is liable to slip that way. I have discovered that it is not always so. At first the blade was not sharp enough yet it glided smoothly. The reason for that was that it did little more than scrape the soap off, so very dull it was.

A bit more work on it and I have started the adventure of mastering this thing. I have not yet however got beyond shaving each side, not yet tacked around the mouth and nose. I have gone close to each ear and still have both of them intact.

One of my daughters has begged me not to continue with this madness. My wife has asked if I need to go out more!

I have already seen what I would really like a go at next, a Japanese Iwasaki razor. they are the traditional Japanese razor and are made by bonding two different metals together, the thin hard layer is supported by a thicker softer layer, made the same way as the old Samurai swords. But the price of them!

Got the picture from theinvisibleedge.co.uk. I don’t suppose they will mind the free advertising.

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