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Blade 'hack' for Wilkinson Sword Empire razors

Hi all,

I know others use the original blades with their Empire razors (I have some but wanted to leave them in their packaging) and others use a Gem blade with the spine removed and some other modifications. I was bored and noodling around so I used a variation of the original 'hack'.

I removed the spine very carefully (prying it open with a utility knife/box cutter) and removed the blade, cut the blade in half, and then I reinserted the blade into the spine. I carefully used pliers to pitch the spine as tight as possible to hold on to the blade and voila! I use them like I would use the original blades (were I so inclined to use the originals) and made them to be about that width and size.

It's not the most efficient use of my time but each blade only took me 2 minutes at most and I like the shave the Empire gives (a nice change from my straight and DE razors).
 

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I did something very similar to end up with proper height blades for the Eagle DeLuxe lather catcher razor which uses Gem type blades but a variation that is /was about 0.160" or 4mm shorter vertically than the standard Gem blades. My additional variation other than height is that I used an old spine from a stainless steel Gem blade which is much thicker and stiffer than the current Gem blade aluminum spine. I used the fine stone on my 8" pedestal mount grinder to grind down the blades to the desired height. A interesting project to get blades for a scarce razor that took proprietary blades.
 
Hi all,

I know others use the original blades with their Empire razors (I have some but wanted to leave them in their packaging) and others use a Gem blade with the spine removed and some other modifications. I was bored and noodling around so I used a variation of the original 'hack'.

I removed the spine very carefully (prying it open with a utility knife/box cutter) and removed the blade, cut the blade in half, and then I reinserted the blade into the spine. I carefully used pliers to pitch the spine as tight as possible to hold on to the blade and voila! I use them like I would use the original blades (were I so inclined to use the originals) and made them to be about that width and size.

It's not the most efficient use of my time but each blade only took me 2 minutes at most and I like the shave the Empire gives (a nice change from my straight and DE razors).
Very nice hack. I got to try that because the Empire blades are a real PITA to hone because of it's skinny size and super hard steel. How did you cut the blade in half? I am in the process of trying the OneBlade mod without getting the nibbler and my sheet metal shears are not cutting the blades accurately. Then again, I am practicing on a bunch of carbon steels.
 
It looks to me like this hack will only work for first generation Wilkinson Empire razors, the ones which have opening and closing jaws on the razor 's head to grip the blade. Not sure until I try it if the shortened Gem blades will fit the adapters used by the second generation Empire sets which fit the blades to the bayonet mount on the later razors. An interesting project to try.
 
Very nice hack. I got to try that because the Empire blades are a real PITA to hone because of it's skinny size and super hard steel. How did you cut the blade in half? I am in the process of trying the OneBlade mod without getting the nibbler and my sheet metal shears are not cutting the blades accurately. Then again, I am practicing on a bunch of carbon steels.

For my Eagle razor blade hack I gripped the Ted Pella bulk blade in a pair of vise grip pliers, leaving the cardboard protector on the blade and gripping the blade and cardboard together. Then ground the blade down to required height using my 8" wheels bench grinder. Grind gradually to prevent overheating the blade steel. Deburred the ground edge on a diamond hone.
 
gvw755, I was using a very, very sturdy and sharp pair of scissors (the all metal type for sewing) and wrapped the sharpened edge of the razor in a towel and gently cut (it's not always very straight but that's okay as it is usually still short enough to fit into the spine and that will grip it with the rest of the razor gripping the spine). I was going to get sheet metal shears but it sounds like they aren't as much a time saver as I was thinking?

Rwoodreno, I didn't know there was a second generation Empire razor. I'm lucky I have the first generation then (I have two, one cased and one, this one, without). Let me know how it works out for you!
 
For my Eagle razor blade hack I gripped the Ted Pella bulk blade in a pair of vise grip pliers, leaving the cardboard protector on the blade and gripping the blade and cardboard together. Then ground the blade down to required height using my 8" wheels bench grinder. Grind gradually to prevent overheating the blade steel. Deburred the ground edge on a diamond hone.
Yeah, I was afraid I would have to pull out the Dremel for this, but I figured it would only be for a couple of blades until I decide if I like the OneBlade or return it. If I keep it, then I invest in the nibbler.
 
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