Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


widget @ surfing-waves.com




Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




    • CommentAuthorJT101
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011
     
    An old artform forgotten by most. It takes some time to get setup, but once you've got all the equipment and know what you're doing, you're set for life. The first thing people worry about is safety, mainly because of media hype. Well, what can I say. If you're not concentrating or use a poor quality unsharpened razor, you're going to cut yourself (but not die, unless you're a complete muppet). Please note, this is perfectly suited to women also.

    Why bother?

    Save yourself hundreds of pounds, learn a new self sufficiency skill and keep a heck of a lot of plastic out of landfill!

    -Straight ("Cut throat") Razor: Because it's a skill, an artform you can be proud of. It costs virtually nothing once setup, it provides the closest shave of all, takes no more time than any other type of shaving (if you factor in the cost & time factors of shopping and earning the money to buy the stuff)

    -Disposable razors: Obviously are terrible. All that plastic going to landfill and slowly leaching pollutants into our water supply.

    -Replaceable head multiblade razors: The common ones most people have with replaceable heads are becoming ever more specialised to increase company profit. Whilst this may be good for choice, it invariably means razor heads are no longer interchangeable, leading to more waste and more cost!
    "Recycline" do recycled razors with replaceable heads but it still ends up in landfill

    -Electric shavers: Not a very close shave, always need electricity, expensive blade head replacement & cleaning equipment

    -Safety razor: Remember those ones that used the very thin double sided wilkinsons sword blades. However, you're still dependent on buying stuff



    Waste:
    It might not seem like much to throw away one blade a week, but that's 52 blades a year, and that's just one person. Multiply that by say 30million, and you're talking 1.5 billion blades discarded each year. Could be more than that if you now include women

    Things you'll need:
    Straight ("Cut Throat") Razor
    Leather or Man made Strop ("Sharpening belt")
    Hone ("Sharpening stone") - Not the same one used for knives which is coarser
    Paste & oil for leather strop

    Cost
    To save money buy it all secondhand on Ebay. However, you'll see loads of cheap ones on there to be avoided. They're made of inferior quality steel and are notoriously difficult to sharpen. You should look for certain brands made in places such as Sheffield, UK; USA; and Solingen, Germany e.g.: http://straightrazorplace.com/razors/28869-top-10-straight-brands-look.html
    Most of the secondhand ones floating around are 50-120 years old. A real piece of history and often as good as the day they were made.
    A leather strop needs to be worn in like a good pair of shoes, so a secondhand one saves you all the hard work. It shouldn't be too worn in though! Alternative is something like a Tony Miller Vegan strop which are reportedly pretty good.
    The sharpening stone could be bought new, but second hand ones are generally much cheaper. Ones made from Welsh slate are a good find.
    The paste, and oils etc can be bought new.

    Expect to pay second hand: Razor £10 - £100, Strop £10, Hone £10. Compared with £1-2 per cartridge for a standard replaceable head razor which is £50-£100 per year, year on year, that's quite a saving for an initial investment.

    If you want everything new, but "Shave Ready" i.e. sharpened, etc: http://www.theinvisibleedge.co.uk has good quality kits for around £100 upwards. Still a worthwhile investment in my opinion


    Maintenance and Shaving
    -Occasionally you need to hone (sharpen) the blade on a good quality sharpening stone of 4000 - 12000 grit which is finer than that for a knife.
    -Before each use a razor needs to be stropped on a flexible strip of leather backed with canvas or a man made equivalent. Unlike honing a blade, in which a whetstone removes metal bent out of alignment from the blade's edge, stropping the blade re-aligns the indentations without removing any material. The strop may be a hanging strip or a hand-held paddle.
    -Preparation as above is as important as the shave itself, but the art of shaving is a skill to be mastered

    http://straightrazorplace.com is a great forum on the subject
    www.youtube.com is great for videos

    It can all get a bit in depth, so try to keep it simple and don't get too bogged down with the technicalities discussed in the forums. Just follow the advice and practise

    WELL DONE! You're just saved yourself hundreds of pounds, learned a new self sufficiency skill and kept a heck of a lot of plastic out of landfill.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011
     
    Or just grow a frigging beard!
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011 edited
     
    [removed now the links have been checked out]
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2011
     
    Welcome jt101. Take no notice of the self-appointed forum police:I found your post in the right category, thoughtful and entertaining. When oil goes belly-up, we'll all be looking to replace more than just our plastic razors. Meantime I suppose that those living on subsidised energy will be able to afford the laser equivalent of a "Brazilian".


    :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorseascape
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2011
     
    Not sure about cut throat razor although it could become a style thing for the semi retired/retired/home office brigade - bit like rolling your own. A safety razor would still save some plastic from landfill.

    Found my mum's old thermos flask (very retro chic), experimenting with boiling full kettle (old, wide based russell hobbs) and making first pot of tea and putting rest of water into thermos for subsequent perfect cafetieres of coffee
    which, as any barrista will tell you, is better with water off the boil.
    • CommentAuthorneelpeel
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2011 edited
     
    Posted By: marktimeWelcome jt101. Take no notice of the self-appointed forum police:I found your post in the right category, thoughtful and entertaining. When oil goes belly-up, we'll all be looking to replace more than just our plastic razors. Meantime I suppose that those living on subsidised energy will be able to afford the laser equivalent of a "Brazilian".


    I tend to disagree. Forum rules state: "Forum members that post adverts disguised as a discussion will be banned from the forum. So save us all some time and don't do it."

    Because of the inclusion of the links, I'd say this applies to the OP and I for one have a dislike for this sly kind of advertising. Touting this as a 'new self-sufficiency skill' is quite funny though.
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2011
     
    Fair do's, if he's a genuine poster. But if he's a spammer then I can think of a perfect use for a cut-throat razor! :devil:
  1.  
    In this case the OP has started some discussions about genuine building issues that are directly relevant to the forum, so he's probably not a spammer. Let's "cut" him some slack and see if there is any further dubious posting before getting the lynch mob out.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2011
     
    Posted By: seascapeFound my mum's old thermos flask (very retro chic)

    I use my old 'wide neck' thermos to cook pasta and rice in. Pop in the food, almost fill with boiling water, good shake and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Saves having a steaming pan on the ring, stove, range, camp fire,in microwave.
    'Rolling your own' is a popular past time down here, hardly see anyone smoking 'normal' fags. Makes me stand out from the crowd.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeJul 25th 2011
     
    I have been looking to buy an electric shaver after many years of using a wilkinsons with the disposable blades but now perhaps I'll investigate cutthroats. I hate beards.
  2.  
    I thought this was the green building forum, aren't we all supposed to have beards and sandals (including the women)...?

    J
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeJul 25th 2011
     
    Had a beard for close on 40 years but shaved it off to see what I looked like underneath! Not a lot different, still an ugly bugger. Tempted to let it grow back, but not sure about the first two week's discomfort, although that can be relieved by shaving up to the chin/neckline to stop the two surfaces rubbing together.

    Incidentally, nobody GROWS a beard, it just appears when you stop shaving.

    And Keith, at least you and Clarkson have something in common. :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorted
    • CommentTimeJul 25th 2011
     
    Is it just coincidence that www.theinvisibleedge.co.uk has 'bleed' embedded in it?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2011
     
    Half my life ago I stopped shaving for several weeks, no beard appeared, never tried since (birthday today so remember it well).
    For those that know about shaving with 'safety', 'disposable' and 'cut throat' razors, is there a difference in water usage.
    Half a gallon of water heated by 40C will take 0.1 kWh, what does an electric shaver use?
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2011
     
    What do you do then, ST? Drive with the windows down? :rolling:
    • CommentAuthorJT101
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2011
     
    Wow, what a bunch of negative sceptics. I'm shocked

    Not one person made any comment on the information provided, nor commented on the quality of it. Aside from Joiner who posted the best and most obvious comment about growing a beard. I did my research and found new products for people who can't be bothered with second hand stuff. I'd rather everyone did that, but most people seem to want to always be able to buy new stuff. The buildoing industry in particular

    I really wasn't expecting this, especially from what I'd hoped were more open minded logical and positive people.

    I shan't bother in future
    • CommentAuthorJT101
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2011
     
    Oh, and Marktime. Thanks
    • CommentAuthorJoiner
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2011
     
    James, brickbats are for ducking; keeps you mentally fit. Please don't take it all so seriously - or personally. Look at what Brian (brianwilson) has had to contend with over the months, yet he keeps plugging away.

    You will eventually come to see that there is an essential dichotomy on this forum, all to do with how any individual contributor defines "sustainable", or even "green". Tony started a thread which prompted an interesting discussion on that very subject. My own view is very different from those who advocate a more technologically-based approach, those who see sustainability as a long-term thing involving the balancing-out of carbon used by the carbon saved over the lifetime of the product, chosen to save energy NOW, whereas my view is more along the lines of Ben Law's "The Woodland House" - if you can't source it locally and build with it then it isn't green and it certainly isn't sustainable, IF you accept that the passing of peak oil means a (at most) two-century journey back to a more basic lifestyle, one that needs to be prepared for very soon, starting with today's young who will pass on their knowledge and skills so that their grandchildren are prepared for a very altered world.

    But that's just my view. :wink:
    • CommentAuthorneelpeel
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2011
     
    Posted By: JT101Wow, what a bunch of negative sceptics. I'm shocked

    Not one person made any comment on the information provided, nor commented on the quality of it. Aside from Joiner who posted the best and most obvious comment about growing a beard. I did my research and found new products for people who can't be bothered with second hand stuff. I'd rather everyone did that, but most people seem to want to always be able to buy new stuff. The buildoing industry in particular

    I really wasn't expecting this, especially from what I'd hoped were more open minded logical and positive people.

    I shan't bother in future


    Ok ok, maybe a couple of us jumped to conclusions and thought we sniffed an advert. If you have no affiliation to the links you posted then I apologise. :shamed:

    Oh and welcome to the forum!
    •  
      CommentAuthorMichael1
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
     
    I bought my first Straight razor 15 years ago, I had always wanted to try it, well I tried it Xmas morning and ended up with a face worst looking than the Turkeys rear end and there was no end to the remarks about it all day. The thing was I didn't know how to sharpen it or hone it and even tried shaving with it a couple more time until I was banned from using it. 12 years later I thought about it once more and looked into it in detail and by this time I had learned how to sharpen most tools ( being a furniture maker ). Up to now I haven't bought a throw away razor or bought any shaving aerosols and I get the best shave ever and the occasional nik but it's worth it, so my suggestion is have a go, learn a new skill and see how your skin feels after a couple of shaves.
    You may be pleasantly surprised.
    Regards
    Michael
    • CommentAuthorJT101
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2011
     
    Actually, I think Joiners original comment was the most intelligent. We're so often trying to overcomplicate things. I think infact, it is an underutilised skill in sustainability, simplifying.

    Something I recently discovered is combination of hygiene products. Does anyone know why we ended up with Shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, shaving cream, shower gel, bath soap, washing up liquid and washing machine detergent? When all you really need is lye soap, which is what every housewife used to use for all of the above. I swear I'll never understand why my mother insists on having handsoap and washing up liquid in the kitchen.

    Before anyone kicks off a stink, this isn't an ad. How can I advertise a recipe for something you can make in your back garden out of wood ash and animal fat? Well, I suppose you can sell ice to eskimos so anything's possilbe. But I'll have a go, and perhaps start another post. Anyway, food for thought if anyone else wants to give it a try.

    Incidently, I'm pretty sure the reason we moved away from lye is because of it's alkalinity which can dry the skin somewhat, but then again it was used for decades if not hundreds of years so it can't be all bad. If you don't fancy going that far, I'd seriously like to know the difference between using showergel and shampoo on your body. I haven't used showergel for several years now and I still end up smelling like roses (so I keep telling myself)

    Anyway, I'll give it a go
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeSep 21st 2011 edited
     
    JT101 - don't blame us for itchy trigger-finger - blame the spammers who made us that way.

    The sort of really good signal to noise ratio you get here happens because people work to keep it that way. New joiners that start by writing anything which could be viewed as pushing a product will get the same treatment you did. I hope the new-joiner info makes clear that you need to become known before such a posting will not set off spam-sensors. Yes, it's annoying when you are cruelly maligned, but honestly it's good social policy for everyone's benefit. Don't take it personally.
    • CommentAuthorseascape
    • CommentTimeSep 22nd 2011
     
    I always wondered how people realised that wood ash and animal fat could make you cleaner, not just black and greasy. How do you make lye soap?
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: seascape</cite>I always wondered how people realised that wood ash and animal fat could make you cleaner, not just black and greasy. How do you make lye soap?</blockquote>

    It's easy enough, but having made some once as an experiment I wouldn't recommend it.

    The ingredients are easy enough to get hold of, just sodium hydroxide (often sold as drain cleaner - you want it in dry granular form, not a solution) and lard (or pretty much any other fat will work).

    You simply heat a strong solution of sodium hydroxide with the lard, stirring continuously, for a few hours until it thickens. You then have to test the pH, using litmus paper, to be sure that the sodium hydroxide has reacted and left the product neutral. If its still alkali, then add more lard and heat and stir for a while longer.

    Once it has a neutral pH and is pretty thick (about like thick cream) you can pour it into containers or moulds and leave it to harden.

    The biggest risk is having too much sodium hydroxide in the mix, as it is corrosive and will cause nasty skin burns.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011 edited
     
    Posted By: seascapeI always wondered how people realised that wood ash and animal fat could make you cleaner
    Same applies to every form of cooking process, and to which things are edible/useless/poisonous.

    It's been a long time, esp when we're realising that 'civilisation' didn't begin 8k BC in Mespotamia, but maybe 100k or more before that (Sphinx) and that early humans may have actually had use of their unique human forebrain, to move mountains amongst other things (Machu Picchu), a capacity that millenia of accumulating trauma has extinguished in 'modern' (i.e. last 10k yrs) man.
    See http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biology-Transcendence-Blueprint-Human-Spirit/dp/1594770166/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316786259&sr=8-1
    • CommentAuthorseascape
    • CommentTimeSep 23rd 2011
     
    Great forum - can clean my body and expand my mind :)
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
 
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press