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Corrosion is not my friend

This Keen Kutter has issues. Here's how it looked after I scraped away (razor scraper and WD40) the top layer of the odd corrosion I found on it. I call it odd because much of it was white and crusty on top, not red or brown.

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Then I got after it with some 00 steel wool and Maas polish. Here's how it looks now:

After WD40, 00, and Maas1.jpg


After WD40, 00, and Maas2.jpg


I'm thinking this is one of those situations where I need to set proper expectations for the end result. That is, I think I can make it clean, safe, and serviceable. I don't think I should add 'showpiece' to my expectations.

This is a 5/8 razor with nearly no hone wear. I'm pretty sure I'll lose 1/32" honing out the rust at the edge. There's some rust in the gold wash area that reads EC SIMMONS, so the gold wash is probably going to be lost.

I'd like to keep this razor as nice as possible. If you have ideas for techniques for this restore, I would be happy to hear them.

Thanks for reading.
 
Looks more like it is from some form of salt corrosion. Is or has the razor been stored in an environment that is higher in salt than normal?

Rust is the oxidation of iron into an iron oxide which comes in various colours depending on what other chemicals may be mixed with the oxide.
 
This happened while in my house and sitting in a plastic storage drawer very similar to this one.

The interior of the drawer/bin was clean and dry. Several other razors were stored within the drawers, and only one other razor developed the same sort of corrosion.
 
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If it is salt, I don't know where it came from. I live in northern Ohio, right on Lake Erie. No salt, no sharks, no worries.
 
Yeah, that looks weird as.

Did that happen to a clean razor in your care, or did you find it like that?

Yes, the razor was clean and corrosion-free when it went into the drawer. It has sat there for a couple of years waiting for some attention.
 
From the location of the corrosion on the blade, it looks like that it is where the steel is more exposed to air circulation, top of the blade and at the edge. This would indicate that there is something in the air greatly contributing to the corrosion.

My educated guess is that the plastic in the container is giving off a certain gas that is reacting to one of the alloying elements in the blade's steel. Why this doesn't happen to many other razors in the container could be that they are made with different alloying elements in their steel.
 
From the location of the corrosion on the blade, it looks like that it is where the steel is more exposed to air circulation, top of the blade and at the edge. This would indicate that there is something in the air greatly contributing to the corrosion.

My educated guess is that the plastic in the container is giving off a certain gas that is reacting to one of the alloying elements in the blade's steel. Why this doesn't happen to many other razors in the container could be that they are made with different alloying elements in their steel.

Any recommendations on techniques to get rid of the corrosion's etching without destroying the razor?
 
Looks like another razor in the case is off gassing. Only way to remove the damage is sanding, start with some 600 and a wine cork, you will lose the gold. Don’t think you will lose a lot of the edge. Won’t know until you set the bevel.
 
I don’t think it is cel rot. That would cause the rust on the parts of the blade inside the scales, this is mostly the other way around. It’s like some chemical got on the spine and was allowed to sit.
 
It could be the salt from you when handling the blade while putting it away, and as the wood drys its allowing it to go to the razor and start the salt off with corrosion. And that's why its white powder now as its dried again the only way your going to get rid of that is by sanding it back to good metal, but you will lose the gold even by handling while sanding but as I was told pretty don't shave and if it means losing the pretty side then so be it.
 
I think the corrosion pattern looks kickass... Just tape up the bevel, and let it go to work on the rest of the blade too! ;)

You know, I was thinking along the same lines...how can I make lemonade out of the rusty lemons in this razor? 🤪

The two razors shared a drawer with these other four razors, each contained within unsealed ziplock bags. The two corroded razors were not bagged, and the steel nearest the drawer bottom developed the greatest amount of corrosion.

Others in bags.jpg


This is the other razor in the drawer that developed the same sort of corrosion. The majority of the hone wear is the result of me trying to hone into a full edge of clean steel.

The other problem.jpg
 
Yeah, I was wondering about that. I'm already planning to change my storage location.

Is there an ideal storage location that is not out in the open? I don't want them being 'dust collectors'.
 
The top set of scales in post 15 is classic cell rot kicking off, note the rusty pivot pin and the discoloration near the pivot and wedge. That cracked ice pattern is notorious for cell rot.

I have seen a single razor in a display case at an antique store, eat all the metal items in a display case in a matter of months.

They should all clean up, but you will lose the etch. Start with 600 and see how deep the pitting goes.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
The top set of scales in post 15 is classic cell rot kicking off, note the rusty pivot pin and the discoloration near the pivot and wedge. That cracked ice pattern is notorious for cell rot.

I have seen a single razor in a display case at an antique store, eat all the metal items in a display case in a matter of months.

They should all clean up, but you will lose the etch. Start with 600 and see how deep the pitting goes.
Good eye!
 
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