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First attempt at making the Gold Euro

I ordered a couple of GD's the other week and they arrived on Thursday so, as I took the afternoon off I decided to break out the grinding wheels and sanding drums and have a go at doctoring one of them. Here is the first picture of what is a WIP.
I need to take some more off the spine as it's interfering with the hone on the toe - didn't think of it earlier.
Photo isn't great but I've ground off the stabiliser and added a butchers notch (well it's supposed to be a barbers notch but I don't feel right giving it a proper name). The notch may soon turn in to a Spanish point.
Still waiting for my pins and acrylic to arrive in the post so I will only be rescaling next weekend.
For information the bevel is approx 17 degrees according to my roughish calculations - really surprised to be honest as I heard they were often a lot more - this was after I reduced the spine a little on my 600 stone. Had a quick go at honing it on the coti but didn't have enough time to get it shave worthy, wasn't far off though so I'm looking forward to finishing it and letting you know how it shaves - more pictures will follow when I progress a little further.

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The quest for Dremel-fu continues, my fingers are vibrating and I haven't had time to sand it yet but I had a spare hour to work on the Gold Euro today so here are the latest shots. Had to grind a bit more of the shoulder as it was interfering with honing and decided to furthe mod the butchers notch and add a thumb notch. Still a WIP but getting to where I want it now!$76c8dd20.jpg$667569f4.jpg$761e188f.jpg$3cafd55b.jpg
 
Looking good. At this stage you have a lot of work invested in this razor so be very very careful not to let the dremel near an edge or corner turning the wrong way. It can grab your razor and throw it who knows where. On my website www.thevoicestoldme.com there is some straight razor stuff and one page in particular to look for is an explanation of the bevel, how to measure it properly, and a little calculator app for figuring out the bevel angle.

I hope you are wearing eye protection. Stuff happens.

Don't fret the sanding. You have a very heavy blade there that can take a lot of coarse grit sanding. Start out with 80 grit to smooth out the grind marks and fair everything smooth. Don't stop sanding with the 80 grit until you have completely smoothed everything down. Subsequent finer grits will take FOREVER to do even a tiny bit of the work that the 80 grit should have done, so get it right the first time. Go from there to 120 grit. The 120 grit should not have to do any shaping or smoothing at all. Its only purpose is to remove the 80 grit scratches and replace them entirely with its own finer scratches. From there, 150 or 180 grit. Likewise. Each stage MUST do its job COMPLETELY or the next stage simply will not be able to cope. Insufficient work at any stage will doom your razor to a so-so finish. Then 220, then 300, 400, 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit. Then 3u diamond paste (www.tedpella.com) on a felt wheel in the dremel. This stage is very touchy. The wheel can grab the razor. Or the wheel skitters off the blade and you ding the blade with the dremel collet. After 3u, go 1u and .5u. You COULD go .25u and .1u but this isn't all that necessary. .5u will give you a startling mirror finish, IF and ONLY IF you did your job with the coarser stages.

Hand sanding is dangerous... to you more than the razor. It is amazing how easily this "dull" razor can slice deeply into your hand. I am talking stitches. A valuaable tool is a 1" diameter piece of rubber hose. Wrap sandpaper over it and put it on your finger. Slide it longways along the razor to get in the hollow grind. Near the edge, you can fold a small piece of sandpaper so that the grit is inward. Pinch it over the blade between thumb and forefinger, preferably with the edge out away from the web of your hand. You can also use TWO pieces of hose as sanding blocks, and pinch the razor between them.

Make sure your edge is straight and true, and your bevel angle is where you want it, before sanding. That way, if you care to do so, you can sand the spine round again. In other words, sand the flat strip where you honed down the spine so that it is not flat anymore. This makes the razor look new and quite impressive.

I always straighten the edge of a GD first, by breadknifing it. Then the straightened edge is my guide in reducing the spine. Sometimes I add a piece of tape to the edge, and refresh it as needed, which is often. Remember while you do this, that if you reduce the spine without reducing the edge proportionally, you are reducing the bevel angle, so make allowances for that. I use a coarse diamond hone for this operation but sandpaper glued to your lapping plate works just fine. After the spine is taken care of, I roughly set the bevel on a 300 grit diamond hone. Again, sandpaper carefully glued to a flat surface will work in a pinch. All this should be done before final sanding and polishing.

You may have to reduce the shank as well, so you don't get a step, or shoulder, that can interfere with subsequent shaping and honing. YMMV on that. I like to grind out the stamping anyway. After all, it is not really a Gold Dollar anymore, when you have so thoroughly modded the razor.

A true 17 degree bevel on this razor will shave nicely. I usually go a little skinnier than that, 16.5 degrees or so. But even an 18 degree GD will shave pretty good. Just don't end up any fatter than that and you will be okay.

You get out of this kind of project exactly as much as you put into it. If you keep paying attention to detail and keep doing the quality of work that you have shown us so far, you will end up with a razor to be proud of, that will shave very well indeed. If it doesn't turn out so good, no worries. Another $3.96 will get you another one shipped from China and you can start anew, armed with the knowledge and experience you are getting from doing this one.
 
Cheers for the info Slash. I didn't realize that it was your site, it's a great place to get info on straights. Thanks for putting it all on virtual paper.
If it hadn't been for you I probably would have gone at it without eye protection!
 
Finally got a good edge on it, not a problem with the razor just my honing skills or lack of! Did a unicorn and shaved this avo, Great shave, really close and no tugging. Will have to invest in some nice scales to do it justice!

Anyone readin this and thinking of trying.... Do it! I've never tried something like this before and it worked great, didn't remove the stabiliser, I ground them down so the blade is slightly longer than it was.
 
Finally got a good edge on it, not a problem with the razor just my honing skills or lack of! Did a unicorn and shaved this avo, Great shave, really close and no tugging. Will have to invest in some nice scales to do it justice!

Congrats! Yes, it is a blast to work with them. Getting a nice shave from something you brought out of the darkness is very cool and satisfying.
 
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