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?

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.

Brush, Experimental, version Alpha

Allow me to present the “Brush, Experimental, version Alpha” – or “X-A” for short.

The knot is inexpensive Chinese badger from source who seems to mostly sell budget make up brushes and wigs. The handle is a piece of two-by-two construction lumber, good Norwegian spruce most likely, that have been ageing in my shed for a few years now. The finish is a mineral oil and CA glue finish, which – if my sources online can be trusted – should be at least somewhat water resistant.

It’s a 19mm knot with a “free loft” (above the handle) of approximately 55mm. The handle itself is about 45mm tall and 40mm in diameter… perhaps a little chubby, but the main objective with “Brush, Experimental, version Alpha” is to see how the knot works. Since I fully expect and even plans to de-knot it at some point and transfer the knot to a future “X-B”, the knot is set in place with bathroom caulk as suggested in a thread on the Shave Nook.

Finishing the handle took quite some time – not because it was particularly hard to turn, but I had to procure some Forstner Bits, thin CA glue, and not at least find the time in between everything else that have been going on.

Used my punch set to stamp an A on the bottom. What I’ll do when I have not just made versions Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and so on, but also versions Ærlig, Østen og Åse… well.. I guess I have to get some punches with numbers on. Or a laser engraver… either way it’ll be a long time before that point is reached.

The actual knot itself is fairly soft, with a bit of backbone and a pretty decent face feel for not having been broken in. It honestly feels better than my Wilkinson Sword Badger did before I broke it in… but miles away from the lovely Artisania Romera Manchurian Badger that I got from Phil at BullGoose Shaving. To me it’s a pretty decent little lathererer, good for an inexpensive brush or for a beginner wetshaver who don’t want to sink too much money into a new hobby. It’ll be fun to see how the knot develops, in this handle and the ones that are sure to follow.

Gents… I’ve taken the first step on a new shaving related journey… I have NO idea where I will end up 😀