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Any info on this Imperial Warrented razor?

Howdey all, wondering if anyone has any info on this razor. Just managed to snag it on ebay, but can't find much info about them.
The tang reads 'Imperial razor, warranted, registered 20507, Germany".

The blade reads "Armoured Steel Cruiser, New York, United States Navy."

I work in the Merchant Navy, so love the blade just as it is, but if any one could tell me a little about if, or even a possible age range, it would be much appreciated! SmartSelect_20210215-072159_eBay.jpg SmartSelect_20210215-072206_eBay.jpg SmartSelect_20210215-072224_eBay.jpg
 
I'm by no means a specialist when it comes to naval vessels but to me the design of the cruiser indicates that it was built in the late 1800's and no later than 1910 (bow shape, fire control tower, three smokestacks, no large turrets for main artillery). The word "Germany" on the tang means that the razor is made 1891 or later. I know nothing about the razor, but it is a very fine one and I do congratulate you and hope that it'll be to your liking.
 
Per other members, Imperial was founded by the Kastor family in Germany, likely in the 1890s. Some members of the family did live in the US, but its unclear to me to what extent they ever manufactured in the US. I have 2 Imperials, interestingly, one says “Sheffield Steel, Ground in Germany”. In terms of end dates, the Kastor family was Jewish and the German government took over the company in 1938, and it ceased to exist at the end of WW II (1945). That’s why you see both years as the end of the company.

My 6/8 Imperial (the one that says “Sheffield Steel” is like a squeegee, conforming to the shape of my face - one of my favorite razors. But not as pretty as yours!
 
I love the shape of the blade on these Imperials. I have seen some that include the words "New York". Here is my beat-to-crap 6/8 inch Imperial Safety 20507 with the bicycle engraving I bought a few weeks ago. I cleaned the sucker up a bit, deciding to leave some of the pitting. I had been struggling to get the edge sharp enough to shave my chin area but after spending a lot of time working on my leather stropping I finally got the blade to make a singing sound on the leather and then pass HHT for the first time this evening. My theory is that the razor is made from harder steel that requires a really good stropping. My plan is to use the razor German kamisori style - at least for a while.

The seller's photo - heavily oxidized:

s-l1600.jpg

Current state - still some pitting but no rust:

20210216_034253676_iOS.jpg
 
I've managed to do a little research of my own on this razor, and jusging from the stamp on the tang, the way they've written the Imperial logo looks like its one of their early blades from the 1890's. The ship on the blade, the Armour Cruiser New York, was launched in 1893. She later changed her name in 1911 to the Saratoga. So from the imperial logo on the tang and the ship itself, I think its fairly safe to assume its at oldest, 1893, most likely some time in mid 1890's, but possibly up til 1911. My guess is more around 1893, as a commemoration for the initial launching of the vessel though, as the imperial logo was changed some time between 1900-1910.
 
I've managed to do a little research of my own on this razor, and jusging from the stamp on the tang, the way they've written the Imperial logo looks like its one of their early blades from the 1890's. The ship on the blade, the Armour Cruiser New York, was launched in 1893. She later changed her name in 1911 to the Saratoga. So from the imperial logo on the tang and the ship itself, I think its fairly safe to assume its at oldest, 1893, most likely some time in mid 1890's, but possibly up til 1911. My guess is more around 1893, as a commemoration for the initial launching of the vessel though, as the imperial logo was changed some time between 1900-1910.
That means that my guess want that off. :001_smile
 
I had been struggling to get the edge sharp enough to shave my chin area but after spending a lot of time working on my leather stropping I finally got the blade to make a singing sound on the leather and then pass HHT for the first time this evening.
Are you using that razor without any honing? Looks like you have rust and devil spit through the bevel. Be real careful (and check your tetanus booster).
 
Are you using that razor without any honing? Looks like you have rust and devil spit through the bevel. Be real careful (and check your tetanus booster).
I killed the edge on a beer bottle, and then honed it three times: 1k > 4k > 8k > 12k then 4k > 8k > Ozuku then 8k > 12k. There are still some small chips on the edge. I decided not to grind them out. I figured that over time more honing will eventually remove them. I also had a tetanus booster a few years back - I will double check the year.

Would you grind the chips out?

I should also add that the steel seems hard and I am still in the process of cracking the DNA of harder steel. I think I am almost there.
 
Would you grind the chips out?
It could just be the pictures, but it just sort of look like you had some serious rusting/putting all the way to the edge. Which no, I would never leave. I do on occasion let pass some small chips toward the heel or toe as long as I don’t feel them at all. Some of those on a smiling razor would cause a lot of steel removal that just isn’t necessary, but they are not the norm. The norm for me is a banging perfect edge or at least that is my goal. I don’t care what the rest may look like but if I can’t get a perfect edge and relatively clean bevel then it is not a shaver......or gets ground down until I am in clean good steel and is beaten into submission.
 
I killed the edge on a beer bottle, and then honed it three times: 1k > 4k > 8k > 12k then 4k > 8k > Ozuku then 8k > 12k. There are still some small chips on the edge. I decided not to grind them out. I figured that over time more honing will eventually remove them. I also had a tetanus booster a few years back - I will double check the year.

Would you grind the chips out?

I should also add that the steel seems hard and I am still in the process of cracking the DNA of harder steel. I think I am almost there.
I can see three large chips in your edge by enlarging the photo. Click on it then enlarge.
I would not shave with that edge myself.
If you honed that 3 times from 1k up - I think you might have a problem.
 

CollegeGroomer

Contributor
That’s a nice blade! I have one by the same company that I found on Etsy for around $36, the “Improved Eagle”: image.jpg
Like with all my razors, I sanded this up to at least 7k paper. And after honing, it’s been a great shaver. I’ve used mine with arkie, JNAT and synth edges, and it’s taken them well.
 
Sounds like I should watch some videos about removing chips.
You can, but lots of weird info out there.

First rule I can advise you on is don’t ever bother going through a progression of finer grit stones until the first stage, bevel setting, is 100%. Just don’t because it is a waste of time.

Chip, pit or any damage removal is a about the same if doing all on bench stones. Grind it out by honing and the bigger the problem the coarser the stone to start will save you a lot of time. If it is going to mean some serious steel removal I will sometimes tape the spine while I do the heavy work and then when about done at that stage of remediation I remove the tape and proceed as normal. It just saves eating the spine up.

But regardless it is all the same goal of a perfect apex between the two sides. Some just take more work to get there. But if you don’t get a good apex at bevel setting then finer stones are not going to help your edge any - they will just polish the bevel up that blunt edge.

That razor is not in my hand, but probably not as hard as some Swedish or Japanese steel razors. Those can work you to death before you get anywhere!
 
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