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Cleaning and maintaining bone scales

So I have this 4/8 razor I quite like but have been putting off honing until I had some practice as I there isn't much steel here to lose and I want to keep it. Starting to get curious so I think I'll hone it soon, but it needs a bit of a cleaning.
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Ultimately I'll want to take out the pins and sand it a bit, maybe graft some contrasting wood onto the end of the cracked one. Or maybe both as I'm concerned it's too brittle and I fear I'll wind up cracking the other one anyhow when I try and pin it.

But I want to use it before I get around to that project, how would you recommend I go about cleaning this up to at least be hygenic without repinning?
 
Oh, I'm up for honing it now, I've set bevels on 9 razors including a 4/8--I just didn't want to start with the nice 4/8. What I don't know how to do is clean the scales. Usually I'd just use soap and warm water, floss the scales, dry it out... but I dunno if that'd be bad for the bone. I guess I should have put the main part of my post at the top instead of underneath the images :)
 
Watching this thread.

I've never dealt with older bone scales. Left to my own devices I think that I would just use soap and water and a toothbrush, make sure to let the bone dry thoroughly, then apply some paste wax.

I will be interested in the other advice that you get on this.
 
Those scales are toast, if you remove them you will need a liner on the inside and maybe that won't even hold.

For general cleaning, I would say a light sanding and buff with white rouge is good.
 
Oh ya, I can totally see how that ancient repair wouldn't hold up to repinning. Do you think there is much chance of cutting it diagonally with a scroll saw or something and grafting a piece of dense hardwood onto that end of the cracked scale? Or, if I don't line it with something, would I at least be able to re-use the currently undamaged one (I think mismatched scales might look interesting) or do you estimate time has made it too brittle and I'll likely crack it as well if I attempt?

As for now, a light sanding I can do but the closet I have to white rouge is Mother's metal polish which I imagine has solvents or w/e that aren't great for bone. After some sanding would it be best to run a bit of mineral oil or something on the surface?

And, just because it is generally a bit gross, are soap and water an option if I dry it thoroughly afterwards or they're likely to cause issues?
 
Usually repairs near the pin don't hold up.

Don't use any oils on bone, it makes them yellowish and translucent.
 
Thanks, really appreciate your experience here. Worth trying the graft further down so that 1/4 or 1/5 of the scale is wood or even that is probably too close to the pin and should probably just give up and go for one wood scale one bone?

Soap and water okay on the bone do you think if I dry it thoroughly after?
 
I would just make a new set of scales, unless you want the contrast. Wood and bone also flex differently and keeping the blade centered might be an issue.

Never tried soap and water, probably OK though
 
Excellent point, glad I asked. Would be kinda neat to retain the old material and contrast/asymmetry, but not worth it being super fiddly. Think I'll probably just clean this up best I can intact and use these until they inevitably crack.
 
What would you recommend using on bone scales to stop them from drying and becoming brittle? I was considering neatfoot oil...
I have a few bone scales, haven’t put anything on them. I do keep all my razors in silicone sleeves. Any oil will seep in and discolor the color, it makes it semi translucent.




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