Five Thousand Formulas for Druggists

Before I start, and I shouldn’t even have to say this, a druggist isn’t a fellow (ab)using drugs. A druggists a US term for what the rest of the world would commonly call a pharmacists. So the title of this book – and this post – really ought to have been Five Thousand Formulas for Pharmacists. Except that the Era Formulary was indeed printed in the US back in 1893, so druggists it is.

And the reason I bring it up – in addition to, y’know, cool old book – is that among the five thousand formulas are some shave related ones.

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Shave of the day 21st June 2023

Razor: Gillette Slim

Blade: Shark Super Chrome

Brush: Brush Experimental Alpha

Pre-Shave: O Way Softening Shaving Cream

Lather: Arko Shavestick

Aftershave: Barber No3 Marmara

Additional Care: Alum Block

SOTD 2023 06 21

A quick midweek shave, with a shavestick moshed into a tub and a brush I made myself. I should get the lathe out again and make some more.

An experiment, take three

There is an idiom in Norwegian, stating that “alle gode ting er tre”. The closest I know of in English is the phrase “third time is the charm”, which has a similar enough meaning.

So keep that in mind. This is, at this stage, a step by step process.

This follows up from an experiment I did earlier, and the second experiment too. I have tried to take into account the feedback y’all have been kind enough to give. And it is because I wanted to try something several of you mentioned, that this is coming a couple of weeks after the last try.

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Shave Library – a straight razor wiki

Shave Library is a new wiki dedicated to shaving with a straight, tied to the Sharp Razor Palace forum. There is a lot of good information available on the wiki already, but like all good wikis it has room to grow.

A wiki is – as I’m sure most people know – a hypertext publication collaboratively edited and managed by its users. In other words, it’s a fountain of shave gear knowledge everyone can add to.

The site focuses almost exclusively the classic straight, and while shavettes are mentioned there is little to nothing on Gillette style razors to be found. For those of us who prefers shaving with a safety razor, there is still good reads on the site. In particular I’ve enjoyed the DIY-section, since I like to tinker.

I learned about the Shave Library through ShaveFan, who I’ve written a post about before. And now that you learned about it through me, perhaps you should go have a look at Shave Library?

Home made roller sharpener for safety razor blades

The internet archive has a lot of odd stuff. One of the things I’ve found is a copy of Hobbies Weekly from 20th March 1934. And as I was idly flipping through, I spotted this:

The design is simple, as benefits a tool made from odds and ends. Some pieces of wood, some spare leather – as we all have laying around – and a fe hours of tinkering. No gears, the two rollers were close enough to drive eachother by friction.

I’m half tempted to make this at some point.. not for using, but for the tinkering.

Another use for a razor blade

Glancing into my sharps container, I was pondering what I could reuse the blades for. After all the mantra reduce-reuse-recycle makes a lot of sense. I have already reduced the amount of waste from my shaving by shifting to traditional wetshaving. I will recycle a lot of steel when my sharps container is full and I dump the metal. And while I could – in theory – reuse the blades by sharpening them, that is not terrible tempting.

But there is one other use for razor blades, common among soldiers in the past. I am, of course, talking about the so called fox-hole radio.

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Small homemade spruce shaving bowl

An hour on the lathe to get out of the way yielded a small spruce shaving bowl. Started with some leftover 2×4, finished with mineral oil and two coats of superglue finish.

It’s tested and working well for lathering. It’s admittedly a bit on the tiny side, but when you start with a 2×4 it’s a limit to how wide it can be without spending the time to glue up a blank.

Experimenting with handle shapes part III – knotted

As discussed in part I and part II, I’ve been playing on the lathe and experimenting with shapes for shaving brush handles. This morning I testfitted a knot in them – the same knot as I use in my “Brush, Experimental, version Alpha” – and they do look quite different with a head of hair on top.
These are presented in the order I turned them. I find it hard to pick favourites – they all sit quite nice in my hand – so I’m unsure which one will be officially dubbed the “Bravo”, if any of these.

Any thoughts, Ladies and Gents?

Experimenting with handle shapes – part II

Two weeks ago I posted about me experimenting with handle shapes… and despite the last few weeks being busy, I’ve now used up the rest of my prepared blanks. It helps that turning a handle, sanding and finishing it with mineral oil and CA-glue only takes half an hour or so when working from a prepared blank.. and that includes time to sip coffee, thinking about the shapes, touching up the edge of my cutters and petting the friendly neighbourhood cat.

 The previously shown handles in the back, new one in front. 
 A bit of a closeup – click to make ’em bigger, as usual.
 Even something as pedestrian as Norwegian spruce construction lumber can give rise to some pretty interesting patterns around knots in the wood.
I also think the symmetry on this one turned out pretty good.

I still need to finish of the bases of these – I need to change the face plates of the chuck so I can mount the handles the other way – as well as a few bits and bobs… but what are your thoughts ladies and gents?