Later On

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

J.M. Fraser and the Rockwell Model T

with 8 comments

My Omega 10048 is well broken in now — soft and resilient without being scrubby. It’s a wonderful brush, and the cost is low. Worth trying. If you get one, I suggest that for a week you just load it with shaving soap and build a lather in your cupped palm, then rinse the brush well (hot water until water runs clear, then cold water), give it a good shake, and let it dry. Boar bristles when new will kill the lather so that when you go to the brush for the second pass, no lather remains. Once broken in, this brush is wonderful.

Like all boar (and horsehair) brushes, it should be soaked before each use: wet the knot well, stand the brush on its base, and take your shower. The brush will be ready when your shower’s done.

Because the level of shaving cream in my tub of J.M. Fraser is lower now after a few years of use, the long knot of the Omega Pro 48 is ideal for an easy load. And, as always, J.M. Fraser’s lather was excellent.

Rockwell’s Model T looks to my eye somewhat clunky, but in fact I like it more and more each time I use it. It did a very fine job this morning, comfortable and efficient and good to hold — the handle is quite comfortable. I have underestimated this razor. As you see, I use a setting of 3.

Three passes left my face totally smooth, and a good splash of Vitos Tobacco finished the job. A good start for a sunny morning.

Written by Leisureguy

28 July 2020 at 7:54 am

Posted in Shaving

8 Responses

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  1. Hello, Michael,

    Your mention of the setting of 3 on the Rockwell reminded me of a couple of posts a perhaps 2 years back, where you had mentioned in one that you had used an adjustable razor–perhaps a Progress or the Rockwell earlier model with the plates–and used a more aggressive setting than I use, but another post of yours had you using a razor which was too mild for me. This I took as an example of a favored saying among wet shavers: “YMMV.” Of course, we may have been using different blades in each case, which would have illustrated the purely empirical nature of wet shaving! Which reminds me of the Scientific American article on Rubik’s Cube years ago–that it (Rubik’s Cube) could be made into a small science. We can all be “scientists’ in wet shaving.

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    Peter Strand

    28 July 2020 at 10:38 pm

  2. I agree: getting the best shave requires an objective mind that observes closely what is done and what results, adjusting variables (prep, tools, method) to get the best result. With the Rockwell 6S, I found that I could get a comfortable and efficient shave with any of the plates and with a range of blades, including (to my surprise) a Feather blade with plates R5 and R6. I settled on R3 because it worked quite well and I was disinclined to be changing plates — much as with my adjustable razors, where I find a setting that works well for me and then stick with that setting.

    But back to your point: yes, you must go with your own direct experience. I will say if your experience is sharply at variance with many others, more investigation may be warranted. That difference in experience is what led me to realize that one unnoticed variable that accounted for strong differences in outcomes using the same soap and razors was the water: those who used very hard water could experience a very different shave from those using the same soap and brush and razor with very soft water. Water had been taken for granted (beneath observation) with the result that myths about “shaving cream brushes” and “shaving soap brushes” had arisen: in trying to account for differences in lather, men had focused on the brush and not the water. It’s a little like when scientists realized that air is not just something neutral that can be ignored but rather air exerts a pressure that should be accounted for (and can be used, as in steam engines and barometers).

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    LeisureGuy

    29 July 2020 at 6:05 am

  3. I love the Omega 10048, it jumps the queue in my rotation more often than anything else.

    The model T did not work for me: the blade seemed higher on one side than the other. Rockwell had me take apart and reassemble to no avail as it is the guard that is wrong and it is fixed (minutely lower or higher on one side). They sent another, but it was the same. So gave up.

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    Mark Mitchell

    29 July 2020 at 6:24 am

  4. TTO adjustable razors seem to me intrinsically difficult: too many moving parts. The three-piece design for razors is (IMO) the best and most reliable (and also least costly to manufacture): easy to clean, rock-solid when assembled, and offers the option of switching handles (longer, shorter, thicker, thinner, etc.). Thus Rockwell’s 6S is (it seems to me) the best approach to an adjustable razor: staying with the 3-piece idea but offering a range of baseplates (and the baseplates designed for easy switching). Above the Tie used the same idea and in fact came out before the Rockwell 6S, though the ATT baseplates are not so well designed to facilitate swapping.

    My own Model T seems okay, but I’ll take note when I use it again. I did directly encounter how much the same model of razor can vary with the Feather AS-D1. I found my AS-D1 perfectly comfortable and efficient, but quite a few said that it was inefficient, and one reader sent me his AD-D1 to try. It was totally inefficient: worse than the Weishi. It practically would not cut at all. (It was very comfortable, though. 🙂 ) I suggested he return the razor to Feather, since by then the variation in cutting performance was a recognized problem. He did, and they sent him a free AS-D2, the model that replaced the D1. And — oddly — this is with a three-piece razor. I assume there must have been some problem with the molds wearing or some such.

    When the Parker Variant (a workalike to the Merkur Progress) came out, I bought one immediately, in case production quality declined. Mine was quite good. I have no experience with (or knowledge of) the current production of the Variant, but that Feather experience showed clearly that even with simple razors there can be variation in production quality.

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    LeisureGuy

    29 July 2020 at 6:40 am

  5. Thanks for the long reply.

    I only noticed the model-T issue as it felt like one side was on higher setting than other and it was only then I noticed the slight difference on each side.

    I like the 6S, no problem with that one. I have an AS-D1 and it is fine: seems to tame any blade I try.

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    Mark Mitchell

    29 July 2020 at 7:51 am

  6. In my post on today’s shave, I comment a bit more on the three-piece design, with examples.

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    LeisureGuy

    29 July 2020 at 8:29 am

  7. Love me some Fraser’s. Surprised you didn’t use it on your Canada day shave.

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    Larry

    2 August 2020 at 8:28 am

  8. Forgot. Made a note for next year.

    Like

    LeisureGuy

    2 August 2020 at 8:29 am


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