My "Gold Slash" 7 day set

Discussion in 'Restoration & Razor Making How-To's.....' started by Slash McCoy, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. I like the Gold Dollar #66 not as a razor, but as a half-finished blank that can be made into a pretty good razor. The steel is pretty good, but the grinding is awful. The shoulders and spine in particular have issues that interfere with honing. The scales are crap, as you would expect for a razor that costs $4.58 delivered. The grind marks in the blade are half-assed polished over, but not removed. Lately, I have seen a lot of GDs that have been "fixed" at the factory, crudely and inadequately. But if you don't mind a little work with dremel and sandpaper, and either rescaling or just learning to live with the crappy scales, they can be made to take a pretty darn good edge and give a great shave. These are not your typical "looks-like-a-razor" box cutters or letter openers. With a makeover, they actually shave and shave quite well.

    I have been thinking for a while about making a 7 day set of these things, eventually making a nice case for them and everything. Well, here we go.

    A typical Gold Dollar #66

    I begin by cutting into the heel to remove the bulk of the shoulder and set a new heel where there are no intrusions into the bevel plane. I like to use the sanding drum attachment. It cuts faster than the grinding stones and leaves a smoother finish. I don't push the sandpaper drum all the way down on the arbor because then the tension screw protrudes up past the edge of the sandpaper, and dings up the jimps on this cut.

    Here I have removed most of the shoulder and I am fairing the spine into the shank.

    The #66 at top has had the shoulder removed. The #84 at bottom has also had the fairing roughly done.


    Ten GDs: 7 #66, a #84, and a couple of #200s. The #200 has stabilizers in addition to shoulders, for more dremel fun.

    Removing the back 1/8" of the edge, including the shoulder part, cures the biggest woe of this much maligned razor. Care must be taken not to overheat the blade. Working with at least a half dozen at a time is actually easier, because you can grind for 10 seconds on one, then the next, then the next, and so on. By the time you get back to number one, it has cooled enough for another shot of grinding. Remember that very thin metal heats up quicker than thick. Initially as you grind into the heel of the blade, you are grinding into thick metal. But as the shoulder is reduced, you begin to get into very thin steel. At this point it is better to turn the sanding drum parallel to the blade and begin fairing. Also reduce grinding time to about 5 seconds, even 3 seconds.

    I like the sanding drum attachment for this kind of work. It cuts a lot quicker and smoother than the grinding stones. I don't push the sanding drum all the way down on the arbor for the undercut, because the head of the tension screw protrudes up and dings up the jimps. I leave the sandpaper overhanging a little.

    Be aware of the direction of rotation, because this determines when and where the dremel will grab and "kick" the edge of a surface.

    Did I mention eye protection? I have had a lot of these things disintegrate on me and bounce off my safety glasses. I guess that means wearing safety glasses was pretty darn smart, huh?

    I usually grind a barber's notch in the blade tip, and I did this time, as well. BUT... one blade developed a small crack when I did that. Okay... maybe that isn't a good idea with a razor that has already been heat treated. I also am trying another little innovation... sort of a reverse shoulder. At the point of the spine where the edge of the hone will be, I made a grind so that the very edge of the hone never butts up against anything. Leaving the shank as-is could allow the heel of the blade to be lifted up off the hone, and more pressure brought to bear on the toe of the blade. Now I like a nice, straight edge. Issues like intrusions into the plane of the bevel are exactly why I remove the shoulders from these razors in the first place. So I figure why not reduce the thickness of the shank where it transitions into the blade proper? Yes, that creates a weak spot. Yes, if I drop the razor, it will likely break right there. Okay, I guess that means, "don't drop the razor". I don't think I have ever dropped a straight razor anyhow, so no biggie.

    The scales being utter crap, I cheerfully dispensed with them. Not decided yet on what I will make 10 pairs of scales out of. I am thinking lexan or plexiglass. I will take a look at hone depot and see what they got. I might even mold them out of polyester resin. Nice thing about living on a fiberglass boat... got plenty of resin and hardener on hand.

    Anyway, the next stage is gonna consist of a lot of sanding. So I won't bother with a progress report until I have sanded and polished these razors.
  2. Great post, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of you're progress.
  3. Very interesting. I can't wait to see the finished product.
  4. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    Yay! Now we can start a "post your DIY 7 set" thread. I look forward to your WIP!
  5. Subscribed! You've caught my interest!
  6. You perked my interest too if you can buy one for under $5. Looking good so far.
  7. There is a vendor on the AUS ebay who sells them, free shipping internationally, for under $5 BIN. I think he is in HongKong. I recently ordered 6 and recieved them here in New Orleans I think 12 days later. They are great cheap razors to play around with. Steel is pretty good. I often shave with one. My suggestion is don't buy one... buy a handful of them for experimentation as well as shaving. A GD might be good to practice annealing, heat treating, tempering, grinding, modification, etc as well as honing practice or stone comparison.
  8. Aluminum. That's gonna be my scale material. 1"x1/4"x8' is $18 and change at hone depot. I went there for sandpaper and plexiglass and they only had some stuff about 1/16" thick in any reasonably sized sheet. So it's either the aluminum or mold the s ales out of polyester resin.
  9. You caught my attention.
  10. How will you bring the aluminum down to 1/8" or even 3/32" That's a lot of material to have to sand off... Just curious really because I can't think of a good way to do it efficiently. I do everything in wood, so surfacing down to 3/32" is really easy.
  11. I like scales to be somewhat thicker than 1/8". Mine will probably peak out at between 5/32 and 3/16". And a belt sander works pretty good for aluminum if you keep the speed kinda low. It's not efficient. But then again, efficiency is not my major objective.

    And I still have not totally discarded the idea of molding them. One intriguing possibility with molding them is adding inclusions (coloring, metal flakes, etc) to the resin, or two-stage pours to encapsulate stuff like a logo or something. We'll see after I get around to turning out a pair or two.

    Darn. I forgot to get some of the 1/8" aluminum for wedges. Gotta go back I guess.
  12. can hook you up with 1/8 aluminum, and just about any other damn thing under the sun as well. Fantastic supply for ant DIY projects.
  13. Remember to try and straighten the tang prior to putting any other work into the blade, as things can go awfully wrong....

  14. Great thread, Slash. I can't wait to see how they turn out. I have a couple of these lying around for when I get ambitious enough to take on something like this.
  15. By the way, I was just looking at your old 'Shenanigans' thread a little earlier. Incredible stuff you've done with these razors.
  16. Awwwww! The heartbreak!
  17. Yeah. Aboard ship, McMaster-Carr catalogs are all over the place. They are a major supplier of our tools and supplies. I just don't like waiting. I like to make do with what I can get my hands on, I guess. After all, I could order some ready to apply scales.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  18. FWIW, here in Massachusetts, standard McMaster shipping gets here next day.

    Just sayin'....
  19. It's not a Gold Dollar any more. It's not a Gold Slash yet, either. I rubbed out the old brand and left it as a tabula rasa for my own mark.That's my home depot marble lapping plate, and a piece of 80 grit paper tacked to it with spray adhesive.

    Attached Files:

  20. That's nice!!! can you work on my GD??? :001_tt2:
    I'll be waiting for the next step!!

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