Monday, June 15, 2015

Doin' the Shimmy

On a recent article of mine, an occasional comment contributor, Jacquers, mentioned the practice of shimming a two- or three-piece razor to increase the aggressiveness of the blade orientation. Of course, shimming isn't a new concept to me, but I never had much interest until Jacquers' suggestion got me to thinking, as I sometimes do....

Of course, I prefer razors of rather mild shaving character, but I thought that maybe a single, thin shim might make my Merkur Classic (33C) just a touch less mild -- taking it from good to perfect, and I also wondered about the largely-plastic Wilkinson Sword Classic (WSC) razor, which I have always found to be too mild as well as having just a bit of waviness to the blade, which is, of course, less than ideal because it tends to contribute to an irritating shave.

Long story short: I trimmed the edges off of a few blades that I rescued from my blade-recycle bank, and put a single shim under the blade in both my Merkur Classic and the WSC. The shim made the blade exposure positive in the Merkur and caused a slight, previously unnoticeable difference in the blade-bar span to be more pronounced. Both effects are undesirable, and therefore, the shim isn't going to work for me in the Merkur, though others might like it.

In the WSC razor, the shim improved the blade orientation to have a more neutral (less negative) blade exposure, but the blade edge was still wavy -- probably due to manufacturing irregularities in the plastic top cap. Bottom line on this one is that the WSC just isn't precise enough to position the blade edge properly. It is unsuitable for use on any face in my opinion, and I probably will jettison it to the trash bin.

So it just turns out, the shimmy isn't the dance for me. Too bad the shims aren't ideal for TTO razors, because I have several that might benefit from just a touch more aggressiveness in their shave character. If I could find a way to do that without resorting to metal smithing, I just might be doing the twist....  ;-)

Happy shaving!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you tried it, even though it didn't work for you. So we learn :) I've seen pics of guys adding several shims to razors, but those are people who prefer aggressive razors. Like you I prefer a milder razor and the Tech is my preferred one, mild yet efficient.

    I should have mentioned it in my other comment, but the method I used to shim is 2 strips of electrical tape applied directly on the base plate. That way you don't have to cut a blade and possibly end up with a wavy edge.