Few things are manlier than shaving with a straight razor, except maybe shaving with an axe.
Having never shaved with a straight razor before I decided if I was going to learn to shave with a single blade I was going to start in the deep end and learn with an axe. Go big, or go home. So, I sharpened a small felling axe to a razor's edge and then used to shave my face.
Tapping into my Canadian roots, I donned my toque and headed out to the woods to start shaving. Follow along and I'll show you how I perfected the axe blade, and the techniques I used to achieve a perfect shave in the manliest way possible.
Face razors need to be incredibly sharp in order to cut hair, but also to make a smooth glide over your sensitive skin. Axe blades, though sharp, have a much shallower angle as they are designed to split then wedge apart wood. Because of this you'll need to grind the axe blade from a shallow edge to a sharp edge, this translates to grinding a blade angle from 30-40 degrees to a razor sharp one of 10-15 degrees.
You can buy blade angles for kitchen knives that attach to the spline of the blade, but they don't make them for axes. Luckily we have a large sharpening stone at work with an axe jig and a blade angle.
After setting the desired angle and dialing in the sharpening stone diameter the axe is fitted into the sharpening jig and the jig is moved up or down to meet the desired angle.