My Shave Den Reduction

Over the last few weeks I have been taking a long hard look at my shaving gear.  With that look came the revelation that I did not need, and in fact did not really use, a good portion of the stuff that I had acquired.  This process of evaluation was initially prompted by The Nationwide Box Tour, hosted by The Shave Den shaving forum.  The Nationwide Box Tour is an event in which a box of shaving gear is passed around to participants; each person takes some gear out, puts some gear in, and then sends it along to the next recipient.  It’s a fun way to get rid of some stuff that you no longer use and to try out some stuff that you might not have otherwise come into contact with.  It is also a good way to help evaluate what gear you really actually want.  For me the tour triggered an avalanche of reorganization and reduction.  I realized that my shave den was out of control, and it needed to be reigned in.

From that revelation came the PIFing away of an entire set up (a razor, a few creams, a soap, several packs of blades, a ceramic bowl, and a brush).  Following my PIF I also sold off ten, count ’em TEN of my least used products.  I currently have some razors up for sale and I am even considering selling off my traditional straight razors and strops.  Basically, anything that I haven’t used in a month or more found its self being asked the question, “Soooo, what is it that you would say you DO around here?”  I’ve come to the settling in stage of my traditional wet shaving life.  I’ve found the products that work really well for me and I have very little interest in anything else.  That’s not to say that I have tried everything that I want to, but the urgency of my desires has cooled significantly.  I still want to try out Cyril Salter shave creams, the entire Dreadnought line up, and a really nice Horse/Badger mixed loft brush, but that stuff can wait.  I’m happy with what I have…and what I am not happy with does not have long before it meets up with the chopping block.

When a new hobby or idea presents its self it is not unusual for folks to want to learn every aspect of that new thing.  Sometimes it becomes an addiction, something that you have to do more and more frequently in order to feel satisfied.  Sometimes it becomes a passing fad, something that interested you at first, but quickly lost its appeal over time.  Sometimes it becomes a quirky part of your life, something that you enjoy without allowing it to take up a huge chunk of your time.  I like traditional wet shaving and I enjoy what I get from it, but I have finally come to the point where it’s time to scale down my hobby from a slight addiction to a healthy interest.

It’s fun to emerse yourself in something new and exciting, but it’s important to take a breath every now and then.

A Pictorial Tour Of My Shave Den

These are pictures of the various pieces of gear that I currently own.  A few things have been left out, either because they have been leant out or because I forgot about them until after I took the pictures and did not feel like taking more.  There are many things that I have owned in the past, but no longer have and a few things which either broke or were lost, but this is a pretty accurate representation of what I think of as my good gear.  Enjoy the show.

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Den overview shot 1 (This is how my shelf looks from day to day, this is the stuff that I or my wife use most often.)

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Den overview shot 2 (My Box-O-GoodStuff, the majority of my creams and soaps.)

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Den overview shot 3 (The stands are from Cutting Edge Razors, they do excellent custom work.)

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Razors shot 1 (Parker SRW, Parker SR1, Sik Bay, Edwin Jagger DE86, Gillette Flare Tip, Gillette Black Handle Super Speed.)

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Razor shot 2 (Robeson ShurEdge, Union Cutlery, Joseph Allen & Sons – Without Scales, James Rodgers & Co., P.H. Hahn, Sterling Mfg.)

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Razor shot 3 (Fromm hair shaper, Sanguine X-D20, Hawk Blue)

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Rolls Razor (I picked this up at a flea market, two razor heads, a usable strop and hone, and a handle.)

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Brushes shot 1 (Van Der Hagen basic boar, Muhle HJM, Muhle HJM Tortoise, Omega 11137.)

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Brushes shot 2 (Turkish Horsehair #6, Comoy/Vulfix 376S Super Badger, Turkish Horsehair #6, The Art of Shaving Fine Badger.)

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Blades shot 1 (I have many more packs in a box, but these are representatives of the non pictured packs. (Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge, Croma Diamant, Derby Extra (new style), Derby Extra (old style), Max Herder Elite Swedish Steel, Treet Platinum, Jewel Super Stainless, Bolzano Superinox Inossidabile, Dorco ST-301, Dorco ST-300, 7A.M. Platinum, the Altoids tin is filled with random blades of various types, Wilkinson Sword Stainless, SuperMax Stainless, Asta Superior Stainless, Voskhod Teflon, Vasco red/blue, Rapira Stainless.)

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Blades shot 2 (My 100 packs of blades, these are my favorite blades. Shark Super Stainless, Lord Platinum, SuperMax Titanium, Personna Labs, Personna Labs.)

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Soaps shot 1 (L’Occitane Cade, RazoRock Napoleon’s Violet, Vitos Extra Super, eShave Linden, Ogallala Bay Rum, Limes, and Peppercorns, Ogallala Bay Rum, Sage, and Cedar. I created the eShave label, the Ogallala labels are scans of the labels that come on the boxes.)

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Soaps shot 2 (Mama Bear Toasted Coconut, Pre De Provence, Proraso White, De Vergulde Hand Extra Fris, RazoRock Cumba Cheech, RazoRock Nonno Michelino, Godrej Shaving Round, Pyrate Cove Rose, Pyrate Cove Cucumber Mellon.)

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Soaps shot 3 (Van Der Hagen Glycerin in a shave stick, Provence Sante Green Tea, VDH Glycerin, VDH Deluxe.)

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Soaps shot 4 (Kell’s Original Ultra Aloe Energy, Kell’s Original UA Vanilla Bean, Kell’s Original UA Juniper Sage, Pyrate Cove Coconut)

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Creams shot 1 (Real Shave Co. Sensitive, Karo Classic, Every Man Jack Sensitive, Ikar Tornado, Derby Normal, C.O. Bigelow, Kiss My Face, Green Tea & Bamboo, KMF Key Lime, KMF Pomegranate Grapefruit, RazoRock S. Maria, Local Pig Cream, The Body Shop Maca Root.)

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Creams shot 2 (Kiss My Face Green Tea & Bamboo, KMF Cool Mint, eShave White Tea, Taylor of Old Bond Street Rose, The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp, KMF Cool Mint, KMF Key Lime.)

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Pre/Post shave stuff shot (The Art of Shaving Ocean Kelp After Shave Balm, AoS Ocean Kelp Preshave Gel, SAL Alum, SAL, Alum, Clubman Styptic Pencil, T.N. Dickinson’s Witch Hazel, eShave Cucumber After Shave Balm.)

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Strops & Hones (Whipped Dog Poor Man’s Strop, Dovo/Col. Conk Leather & Linen Hanging Strop, Whipped Dog Dual Sided Pasted Strop, Barber’s Hone, Dual Sided 1000/4000 Hone.)