Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A shaving tale of redemption

with 5 comments

On Friday I sold my pen collection to a local dealer, who came with her pen technician to inspect the collection. I noticed that he shaved and, naturally enough, in the course of conversation I asked him whether he enjoyed shaving. I received the response I have come to expect: “I hate it!” He said that shaving was physically painful and he dreaded shaving. He uses a Gillette Mach 3 and changes the cartridge every 2-3 days. (A Mach 3 cartridge runs $2. Assuming a change every 2.5 days on average, that’s 146 cartridges a year, or $292 per year. Compare that to the $5 per year I spend: he’s spending about 60 times as much (6000%) for a shave that’s painful.)

I had to act. I have taken an oath to fight painful shaving everywhere, and so I gave him my Omega S10005 brush, a tub of Tim’s Soaps Wood and Roses shaving soap, a new Dorco PL602 from the stash I keep on hand for situations exactly like this, and five packs of different brands of blades.

A brief tutorial followed. I made some lather, showing him how to load the brush and warning about how synthetic brushes tend to hoard water, so it’s necessary to give the brush a good shake or two. I explained about pressure (very light) and the angle (handle away from the face). The dealer pointed out that this is exactly like fountain pens: use very light pressure and experiment with angle to find the sweet spot.

This morning I got an email from the dealer:

He is really raving about the awesome shaving experience this morning. I thought he’d be bloody and covered with bits of toilet paper, but he’s saying it is the best shave he’s ever had. No nicks at all. He tells me for the first time in his life he’s looking forward to shaving.  I think you have made a convert. 🙂

And she said she’s ordered a copy of the Guide for him.

That has already made this a very nice week (probably for him as well as for me). I pointed out some musings on shaving that I made in this article from a little over five years ago.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 July 2017 at 9:38 am

Posted in Shaving

5 Responses

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  1. Good job!


    10 July 2017 at 1:53 pm

  2. Good job on the new recruit.

    So why did you sell your pen collection? I (and a lot of other people I know) enjoy both traditional wet shaving and fountain pens. There seems to be a common interest in using traditional tools for everyday tasks. Plus vintage razors and vintage fountain pens both look amazing!

    Snargle (@Elgrans)

    13 July 2017 at 1:34 pm

  3. And they both require light pressure and some experimenting to find the optimal angle (as the pen dealer noted). I have a family tremor which has somewhat undermined my writing, and I simply no longer do much handwriting, now that letters have gone out of fashion. I also got rid of my collection of handmade stationery.

    I just didn’t want the pens sitting in the cabinet until I died, and then my widow having to take on the task of disposing of them. But I did make sure that family members who wanted a pen got one. One daughter (who is a writer and teacher) got the Montblanc Agatha Christie, for example. And my musician one-time stepdaughter got three pens with music nibs (Platinum makes those).

    Still, it was with a bit of a pang, and I did keep photos.

    Pens without boxes:
    Pens with boxes:
    Pen cabinet (sold separately):

    Naturally, the pens I gave to family are not shown, so you don’t see the Agatha Christie. I sort of wish I had kept the Proust, though…


    13 July 2017 at 2:32 pm

  4. Wow, not an insignificant collection. My humble accumulation pales in comparison.

    That cabinet is drop-dead gorgeous. I love beautiful wood and fine craftsmanship. That has both.

    I can understand your need/desire to get rid of the pen collection. I have an unrelated collection that has been dormant for years that really needs to be cleared out. I’m procrastinating because of the time and effort needed to get it ready for sale, but it’s not going to get easier. If I leave it until after I’m gone, it’ll probably just get dumped or sold off for a fraction of its value. After the years of time and money invested in it, I don’t want that to happen.

    Snargle (@Elgrans)

    14 July 2017 at 7:12 am

  5. It took me three or four days, once I actually decided it was time to move on it, to figure out the approach. I kept shuffling pens around, and boxes, and didn’t know how to start. Finally I put into boxes most of the pens for which I had boxes, then arranged the pens together (more or less) by make, removing pens not worth selling, and photographed, tray by tray, the pens without boxes for one album, then the pens with boxes for another, and then the cabinet itself. Imgur allows you to arrange the sequence of photos in an album, so I did that until I had the sequence I wanted.

    Once I had the albums, it was pretty easy to go through the photos and add the comments and descriptions. And once I had that, it was easy to make a spreadsheet, switching between spreadsheet window and the photograph window. I estimated what I thought the pen could sell for and asked for a percentage of that.

    Then I sent links to the three albums to five dealers, and the one who responded most positively got the spreadsheet.

    Once I figured out the approach and got going, it was fairly easy. The procrastination and initial difficulties were because I didn’t know how to approach it.


    14 July 2017 at 8:34 am

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