Upcoming 17-4 razor from BullGoose

SAE Type 630 stainless steel, commonly known as 17-4 PH, or simply 17-4. For the technically inclined, it’s a martensitic precipitation hardened stainless steel containing about 15–17.5% chromium and 3–5% nickel, as well as 3–5% copper. Machinability is comparable to 304 steel, but 17-4 is magnetic and combines high levels of strength, hardness and corrosion resistance. For the less technically inclined, all one really need to know is that it’s a good material for making stainless steel razors.

Which is probably a small part of the reason why Phil of BullGoose has picked it as the material for the new stainless steel razor he hopes to have out in time for the holidays. More on the backstory and the other reasons for picking 17-4 in this thread1 over on my favourite2 shaving forum, which is also where Phil shared a photo of the plastic prototype. I rather like the clean, classic lines of this upcoming razor.

Photo by Phil

1) Phil also posted about it on BullGoose, if you prefer reading it there.
2) Disclosure; I’m on the moderator team, so off course it’s my favorite.

ShaveFan.com

ShaveFan is a a shaving-focused link aggregation and discussion web site. In other words a place where interesting links from all over the shaving world ends up, so you don’t have to visit several blogs, forums and sosial media daily. In a way it’s like fark.com,1 but with more focus and less snark. ShaveFan uses tags to allow for easy filtering and searching.

It’s possible to use it just as a visitor, but to gain the full benefit you ought to sign up. As a full member you can submit and vote on links. You also need to be a member if you want to comment on any links listed. For the time being at least you have to have an invite, more on that later.

I’ve been a member on ShaveFan for a while now, and I find it useful both for finding out what is going on in the world of shavers, as well as – being honest here – promoting some of the more interesting things I write about on my blog. With more members I can see ShaveFan becoming an even more useful addition to the shave world.

Interested in joining ShaveFan? Ask either ShaveFan himself (he’s also active on Twitter) or me about an invite. Reach me through my contact form, on twitter, or via PM on my favourite shave forum.

  1. Fark.com is a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site – a decent place if you want to know what is going on without having to visit several dozen news sites.

New arrival – The Lavish Gentleman Charcoal Mask

So I ordered some more of the facial cleanings oil from The Lavish Gentleman I reviewed in the end of January.

Graciously they not only gave me free shipping to Norway, on top of the 15% off, but they also put in a free gift; a jar of their Detoxifying Charcoal Mask. My beloved wife have been at me from time to time about using masks to clear up my skin (working in a dusty environment can cause a lot of clogged pores), so she’s having a chuckle over me actually trying this.

Packaging was top notch, survived the trip over here in good condition. I’ll let y’all know how the mask works out for me in a couple of weeks.

“Bessegg blade” – a piece of Norwegian history

If you’re Norwegian you know what Besseggen is; a mountain ridge in Vågå kommune in Oppland county that stands between the lakes of Gjende and Bessvatnet. Often described as “sharp as a scythe”, it’s very narrow – so narow two people can’t walk side by side along the edge in places – with long and steep drops on both sides. Made famous from a passage in Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt, it’s a Norwegian national icon.

Nigh on four miles long it stretches
sharp before you like a scythe.
Down o’er glaciers, landslips, scaurs,
down the toppling grey moraines,
you can see, both right and left,
straight into the tarns that slumber,
black and sluggish, more than seven
hundred fathoms deep below you.
So it was perhaps not surprising that when a factory in Sarpsborg (which isn’t even close to Vågå, but is close to where I live) was started up in 1927 with the intention of making razor blades, they took on the name Bessegg. From the start until the factory closed in 1961, the Bessegg Blade was the most used razor blade in Norway.
As an aside, I do like the design of the packaging; it’s simple, clean and recognisable. And made in several colours too, apparently… which, as we’ll see later, was also printed on the blade.
This packaging on the other hand states that the blade is stainless – or rust free, as the literal translation would be.
The back of the sleeve have the factory name, and a banner across saying “The new quality” – to me it looks like they modified an existing design to add that banner, rather than designing a new sleeve.
On this one the banner states: “Thin blade with slit” – I’m assuming that would indicate that other blades was made with the three holes of the original Gillette blades.
The blades were, as mentioned above, also stamped / printed with the colour of the packaging. This one is “RØD” (red), and according to the websites I’ve been trawling to compile this information “BLAA” (blue) was also printed on some.. unsure if the yellow were marked too, but one must assume they were.
I’ve not seen any of these first hand myself, all of what I know – including the photos – I have found scattered around on several Norwegian websites.

How hordes grown – or how I learned to love Acquision Disorder

A repost from 5 years, 1 month, and 26 days ago

When our grandfathers shaved, they used the razor, blades, soap, and brush they could get in their local area. Perhaps they had a choice, perhaps there was just one to pick from. They would use it until they ran out of blades or scraped the last of the soap out of the bowl, and then go back to the same store and buy the same thing again. Efficient, but hardly exciting – even if the products probably were undeniable better than the canned foam and multi blade cartridge razors most stores stock today.

These days many of us live in a place where traditional shaving supplies are near impossible to get in local stores – the products have been squeezed out by the Big Name Multinationals multi blade cartridge system and pressurised dry foam in cans. The downside of that is not only that many of our friends and fellow men don’t know the joy of a good shave, but also that we must turn to the Internet to buy what we need for our daily ritual. And the upside of that is that we’re no longer restricted to the brands – or even brand, singular – that our local stores carry… the shaving products of the whole wide world is now ours to buy. The selection is staggering, and finding the right one is a daunting task for a newly converted wetshaver – from what I have seen in online discussion forums, it can be a daunting task even for those old hands who never succumbed to the lure of the multi-blade razors in the first place.

We’re lucky enough to live in a time when the whole world is easily – almost too easily – accessible from the comfort of our homes: anyone with an internet connection can within minutes find other people across the world who are passionate about the same things – in our case that thing is traditional wetshaving. We can to our hearts content discuss the finer points of making lather, or nitty-gritty details on how one brush compares to another. And – and this is where the danger of hoarding starts raising it’s head – you can easily be moved by glowing reviews of shaving products you never heard of before… be it brands from a different continent or something someone has lovingly crafted by hand on their kitchen counter.

Something else happened at (very) roughly the same time as the multi blade razors were pushed onto the marked: there was the growing realization (or perhaps the re-realization) that men – us big, burly, manly men – should be allowed, or even encouraged to be a little vain. Care about our looks a little further than checking for holes in our pants and scraping the stubble off with a bayonet… it is not without reason that the ads for the early multi blade razors emphasised the smoothness of the shave and how much the girls would like it. Suddenly boys growing into men were told that it was okay to use that nice smelling soap, rub some lotion into the cheeks and, y’know – smarten up a bit. Gets you a bit more positive attention from the girls too – or the boys, if you’re tastes run that way. Your Mileage May vary, as it does with so many things in shaving and life.

As mentioned, we live in an age of global commerce. Checking out that barbershop in Turkey is just as easy as checking that one in downtown Houston – even if you happen to live in Norway. And the almost scary part is that it’s all easy to place and order and have it shipped straight to your door. No more slugging barefoot through snowdrifts higher than your own head to buy a sorry piece of soap at the drugstore (uphill both ways off course, not that the youth of today would believe it), no more having to make do with the same old blade. Instead we can order new soap and new blades from anywhere we like, and while we’re at it we might well put that cream the guys at the forum were raving about in the basket… oh, and lets pick up a yet another sampler pack of blades as well…and that brush that I didn’t pick up last time…

The result? The box the poor postman has to drag through the snowdrifts (barefoot, uphill, etc) seems pretty huge when you finally receives it, and the contents can barely be fitted into your shave nook. And where did that new razor come from? The mysteries of online shopping is never more impenetrable than when you’re unpacking.

Exposed to fellow shavers and tempting shops online, it’s easy for a hoard to grow out of all reasonable proportions. Our forefathers are a testament to the fact that we don’t really need four razors, five brushes and seven different soaps and creams in order to shave – but it is nice to to be able to mix and match, try something new, select just the right fragrance before we go out and face the world. We can embrace our manliness by picking something that smells of the great outdoors, or get ready to woo the girl (or boy) in our life with a light rose scent… the only limits is the sky and the size of your cupboard. And that is why I have gotten to rather enjoy my Acquision Disorders; while it does cost me a bit of money (but not much more than buying into the latest fad from the Big Name Multinationals would cost) it gives me much pleasure – not just in the morning spa-experience that a good shave is, but also throughout the day – every day.

Embrace your hoard. Reconquer the bathroom and fill it with products that both you and your partner in life will enjoy. Celebrate your ability to be a manly man with clear skin and a pleasant fragrance. Revel in your Acquision Disorders – but don’t spend more than you can afford. And Pay It Forward or sell to a fellow wetshaver when you happens to find something in your stash that you can’t understand why you got in the first place – after all, that makes room for more new supplies!