Oh boy, here we go, we are being colonized by the Brits again, but this time they are using Chinese steel!
JJ Shaves is a small company from the UK that does something very cool that we have considered doing ourselves at one stage but simply never got time for, and looking at his offerings we won't need to! John June shortens Gold Dollar razors by chopping off the end, he also grinds the heel to have a more comfortable fit for your thumb and then he fits some cool scales replacing the tacky plastics the GD's are born with. This razor has handmade scales from a hardwood named Wenge, probably harvested in the Congo, off to the UK and back to SA, what a looker!
These razors are nimble and quick, they are all in the 45 to 55 gram range, with a length of just over 150 mm in the closed position. Cutting edges are in the 45 mm range. We have some clients who love the Dovo Barbarosa, so this this basically the economy version of that. As with most things, your choice of razor is a very personal one, and you'd never know if the JJS is for you unless you have tried it, they look great, feels great in hand, shave lekka and is one of the cheapest custom razors out there, certainly worth a go for every person who digs the coolness of cutthroats!
The sharpening progression is on Shapton synthetic stones with JNAT finishing.
Naniwa 400, 400 diamond plate slurry
Shapton 1500, 400 diamond plate slurry
Shapton 5000, 1000 diamond plate slurry
Shapton 8000, 1000 diamond plate slurry
Nakayama Mizu Asagi Maruichi Lv 5 1000 diamond plate slurry
Nakayama Mizu Asagi Maruichi Lv 5 Mejiro nagura slurry
Nakayama Mizu Asagi Maruichi Lv 5 Koma nagura slurry
25 laps Denim
25 laps Hemp
100 laps cow hide
100 laps horse hide (kangaroo hide for smiling)
As we are well aware our customers love to know who they are supporting, we asked John to share a bit about himself and his Shortys;
Following a traumatic childhood I decided to join the army for some stability and to meet “friends for life”. Unfortunately the trauma followed me like an obsessive ex and although aspects of the army life were great, many were not. In 2014 I was medically discharged from the army with a huge list of injuries and conditions, I moved to a tiny island called Jersey and thought this would allow me time to recover. While in Jersey I did a lot of competitive shooting and was even on the commonwealth games team until my son was born, at that point my life changed significantly, I had to remain at home and be a full time father. Leading up to my son’s birth I was training to be a pilot and doing volunteer work in Jersey Zoo, helping with enclosure maintenance for the Aye-Ayes. With family commitments this all stopped; with my wife’s career and university studies I had to sacrifice everything to support my family by being at home. In 2018 I had become competent with honing, restored razors as a hobby and used this as my time to relax. For a month I used a razor, killed the edge and honed it again every day and this really helped improve what I was doing. I was selling the odd razor to buy more and this was the birth of JJ Shaves. In 2019 I moved to the south east of England as my wife’s career was reaching its limit in Jersey and being ninety minutes on a train from London means we can easily get anywhere in the world, whereas life in Jersey was very limited by being trapped on a tiny island. With 2019 came COVID and lockdowns around the world, this meant my wife was working from home and I had more time to focus on my business and build a niche with the “JJ Shorty razor”. With the lockdown people wanted to try new things, straight (cut throat) shaving was something wet shavers wanted to try. So if did a series of videos on YouTube to help coach people. I learned to shave with a shavette at fifteen years old and used them exclusively for fifteen years before moving to straights; that was the point where I accidentally broke a straight and reshaped it to a “Shorty” after advise from a local guy. That razor was so easy to use, it was great!!! I loved it! I saw a niche that hadn’t been filled, a learner razor, a straight that’s easy to use, less intimidating and allows to user to focus on the edge easily and not have to worry about how they held the razor or be panicked by the size. I was also helping a local barber learn how to use a straight, which he much preferred to a shavette and we worked together to develop the “JJ Shorty” as an affordable and easy way into straight shaving. For the barber he had the opportunity to sell them to regular customers and they could have their own straight razor for when he shaved them. For me I had endless testing and feedback with maintenance in exchange for my own haircuts and shaves. Since then the JJ Shorty has been very popular and has evolved significantly since those early days, I have improved my skills and equipment to now offer a very easy to use, maintain and attractive razor that is aimed at new to straight shavers. I currently offer two main shapes with a barbers notch or round toe. The round is easier to use, more forgiving and great for full face shaving. The barbers notch allows a cut out for a window through the blade which allows for better lining up of beards, stubble and other facial hair. The barbers notch also allows a point at the top of the toe for a barber to rest a finger while shaving a customer.