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Friday, January 8, 2016

old school safety razor


OLD SCHOOL SAFETY RAZORS

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Note: minion dude who gave me this article idea, along with “biggest mistake in prepping” and “will the world go on sale”, do you have any more?  Obviously, our interests coincide.

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Wayyyy back in oldy times, when I was writing The Bison Newsletter ( my weekly e-mail newsletter in the early ‘00’s ), I ventured my opinion on straight razors.  I bought a butt load on sale of stainless steel units for barter and used one, being not at all too sharp, to teach myself how to use it.  I not only got an article out of it, and a cheap stockpile, but a loving minion sent me a real carbon steel straight razor.  Now I had a Forever Razor, a nice back up, but the things still scared the crap out of me and so I started stocking up on disposable razors.  Ten cents each every day and on sale at the dollar store, five cents ( this was ten years ago-don’t hurt yourself trying to find nickel razors now ) sometimes.  If I live to over eighty and never buy another disposable razor I’d still be able to shave ( right now I use them three times a week, the other three a travel electric that goes for a mere $12 and uses just two AA batteries which last over a month- minus the electric I’d return to just three shaves a week ) until I died.  The one tool I bought, besides a shaving brush, was a Shavr Razr from Lehmans.com ( they now go by the generic name “Sharpener For Disposable Razors” ). 

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As the name says, these sharpen up disposables and allow you to use them two or three dozen times if not longer.  I actually don‘t know as I throw the blade away when the lubricating strip is rubbed away, which is before the razor gets dull.  I can be this extravagant now, prior to the collapse, but rest assured when I have to they will go as long as possible.   I allow ten razors a year, but I use less than that even when I don’t use the sharpener.  If I did, a dollar pack of ten  might last me two years ( I allot ten a year for stockpiling planning purposes.  One pack a year, one buck a year, one stuffed plastic bag of bags of razors good for a lifetime [ I leave them in the regular package for extra moisture proofing as they are stored under my bathroom sink ] ).

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As great as this strategy is, it suffers from inflation ( and before you mention it, yes, I know some of you are studly with beards.  While I refuse to do away with my soup strainer, I can’t personally abide a beard.  On me, it looks stupid and itches.  When it takes a grand total of $60 to shave the rest of my life, I think shaving is an affordable luxury ).  It is nearly impossible to find disposables under twenty cents now.  You used to be able to buy double blades with lubricating strip for ten cents each.  Then, they offered double blades without the strip at a dime.  Then, it went to twenty cents.  Now, if you are lucky enough to find them, you must buy the single blades if you want them at a dime.  Well, one caveat,  I haven’t been to a Dollar Tree in a year and a half, so I might be wrong.  But no where else am I finding the old price.  Unless I drive two hundred miles, that price ain’t happening.

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New strategy, same as the old strategy, the old school safety razor ( unscrew the top, drop in blade ).  You can go to-wait for it!-Amazon, and buy the razor for $10 and a pack of a hundred blades for $9.  The old timers sharpened these blades ( the thin double sided blades ) by running them along the inside of a drinking glass ( one assumes you could use a mirror or a pane of glass ) when their supplies ran low.  Just search in Amazon under “single blade safety razor” and the razors and blades will show up.  Since the Lehman’s sharpener is nearly twenty bucks and the disposables are mostly twenty cents each, the safety razor way is half as expensive.  And takes up way less room.  And, allows you to buy under my top-o-da-blog ad for an Amazon commission.  Now, I’m not sure what precautions you must follow to keep these from rusting in storage, or if that is even an issue.  Also, you should have another razor as a back-up.  But other than that, and the issue of having a single blade to shave with rather than a double ( as with a disposable ), I can only see beautiful things frugality wise by going with the old school safety razor.

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21 comments:

  1. Yes the "Safety" razors will rust. I have shaved with these in the past and I cut myself more. My Grandfather used these as I was living with him as boy. I have his handle somewhere. In survival situation if you find a house that was built in the 60's or earlier, you may find the medicine cabinet recessed in the wall. If you open it, there should be a little slot in the back of it somewhere. This is where the dull blades would be dropped. If they stayed dry they may be salvageable. (They will be in the bottom of the wall.) To keep the safety razors dry, drop it in some rubbing alcohol after you have finished using and have rinsed it, or better yet Methanol based fuel line antifreeze. The alcohol will displace and bind with the water.

    If you go with a straight razor, you need to stick with carbon steel. Stainless doesn't get as sharp, no matter how you work at it. They are scary to use at first. Practice on an inflated balloon. I don't use one on a regular basis, but I have one. As for shaving soap. You can use the old fashioned kind or the newer gels or the cream in a can. I like the modern gels. I go a several days between shaves. I work in IT and we are supposed to be grungy :) I used to shave every day, old Army habit, but I got lazy and said heck with it. A good way to get a close shave is to wash your face with as warm a water as you can stand and bar soap. Soap clears the oils out of the hair and allows the water to absorb better. Of course rinse it thoroughly with same water. Keep whiskers wet and apply gel, cream whatever. Shave with the grain on first/second pass. Re-wet lightly and go against the grain. Some may get bumps on this last step, so experiment. A good gel will keep it lubricated enough to do this.
    Once again keep it dry after use. A little mineral oil (baby oil without the scent.) will keep it rust free.

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    1. I had never heard that about the slot in the medicine cabinet.

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  2. I think that the old school safety razor is a good compromise James. You could very easily sharpen and reuse those blades using a leather strop laid flat on a table. I did read that you still have to be careful with them, because they are not as forgiving as a modern disposable, and that you will likely cut yourself at first.

    I too have a carbon steel straight razor, and it's "scarily" (apparently it's a real word?) sharp. One gentle whack directed at any part of the anatomy would easily slice one to the bone :shock: A compromise to the old school straight razor, for those that wish to use a straight razor, but do not wish to have to deal with honing issues down the road, is the razor in the link below, which uses disposable blades. But again, real easy to sharpen and reuse.


    http://www.amazon.com/Parker-SR1-Stainless-Straight-Razor/dp/B002PQZEHQ

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    1. Hmmm, kind of sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

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  3. The last time I shaved my beard my kids were 3,3,8 and they all cried . My beard is kept short by a travel trimmer that uses 2 AA batteries for the last 8 years.

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    Replies
    1. So, not shaving. It's For The Children! :)

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  4. re: Syrian gang rape in germany
    The ingredients are in the fUSA now, restrained only by weekly payments and men with guns. Summarized by Big Frank below


    Big Frank on January 8, 2016 at 1:11 pm said:
    The political class, the government officials, the entire power structure Of the EU and most member nations have failed the citizenry. It will be up to the ‘man in the street’ to ‘take care of business’. My advise to the ‘man in the street’ be cautious in your actions , trust no one, and avoid the security cameras. IMHO it is getting down to survival.
    http://gatesofvienna.net/2016/01/new-years-gang-rape-in-weil-am-rhein/

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  5. since my parkinson's disease as gotten bad enough my hands shake like a dog shitting bones, I try and keep anything sharp away from my face. I grow my beard out 6 months at a time and then pay the barber to take it off. If and when the fall of civilization occurs I will just go for full on, ZZ Top.

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    1. Like a dog shitting ones. Love it, and my visuals are wonderful.

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  6. I haven't had a bare face since I got out of the army in 1978, but I do shave my neck every so often cause it starts to itch.

    Few years ago my son gave a $30+ dollar safety razor off amazon and I bought all the accompaniments, and that's what I use to shave my neck.

    The first time, and I was very careful, I cut myself pretty good. In time I got used to how it works and haven't cut myself in a long time now. It's like putting a V8 in a VW, lot's of power, and you have to learn to control it. Disposable razors seem like little gurlz toys after using the safety. Cans of Barbasol shaving cream are $1 at the dollar store and I have at least 10 years worth of everything.

    The problem I always had with the disposables is they clog up so quick. I can only go maybe 1 or 2 inches, and then I have to beat it half to death against the side of the sink. It's like they are too fine to deal with my foliage. LOL

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    1. Remember the first Darwin Award? The VW had a jet strapped to it.

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    2. “Remember the first Darwin Award? The VW had a jet strapped to it.”

      Not to be a buzz kill James, since for many years I believed this one as well. But my coworker at my previous job informed me that the Mythbusters, among others, challenged this story and determined that it was false. Apparently, it was also verified as false by the Arizona highway patrol. Too bad really, because out of all of the Darwin Awards, this one would have been one of the most spectacular examples of inferior gene pool elimination with an added “bang” ;)


      Keywords: Darwin awards jato snopes.

      http://www.snopes.com/autos/dream/jato.asp

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ORXv_1XlDY



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    3. Well, dammit, I wanted it to be true. If you all get to have the Thousand Year Fracking Reich, why can't I have the guy with the jet?

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  7. Take a look at this, it's a way to make a blade last for months, cost nothing and works well. I have been doing it for 4-months for the same disposable blade.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3Kxiom83Js

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    1. I think one of you'all pointed this out to me before. Thanks. Now I just wish I could remember it.

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    2. OK, what's the science behind that?
      I suspect it's not sharpening (removing a small amount of the hardened steel) but rather cleaning the microscopic funk off the edge. None the less, if it works, why not?

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    3. As per the other comment, beating the razor against the sink, that hadn't occurred to me as my hair isn't neanderthal thickness. So you might have a point.

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    4. The science behind the blue jeans is the same as it is with a straight razor when you strop it on a piece of leather. It's not so much a sharpening process as it is a smoothing out and polishing of the edge. Try it, it works well and is simple and quick to do.

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  8. James for info on safety Razor shaving....Check out the this link:

    http://www.artofmanliness.com/?s=safety+razor+shaving

    I'd stay away from the pressurized crap in the can and go with bonafide shaving soap...The stuff never goes bad and better for your royal skin. Ha.

    Take Care,
    Sir Lord Baltimore
    PS. This months newsletter was great. Well worth the paltry price of admission. Buy the frickin newsletter minions!!!!!

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  9. Just a little side note:
    Shaving is a hygienic matter PODA. bugs, bacteria, dirt, etc. can all be hidden in beards and other hair.
    Unbound Long hair was a sign of wealth for women for so long it has become a sexual signal for many. Why? because the time and effort required to keep that hair long and healthy when exposed to the environment was significant. Effort that could have been put into gathering harvesting and preparing food for the family, or constructing clothing, etc.
    Men grow beards out of laziness, but you'll notice moderate length trimmed beards are a sign of wealth where as long (unkempt) beards are not - because covering beards is harder than covering hair, and keeping a beard trimmed is nearly as hard as shaving it all off (shaving it all off could go either way as far as wealth and health are concerned...)
    In conclusion - Grooming equipment including razors, trimmers, combs, brushes, etc. is currently dirt cheap for the stuff that will be most worthwhile in PODA.

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    1. The Romans didn't like ANY body hair. That had to hurt getting rid of it. I guess that was the ultimate show of wealth.

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