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Getting Some Old Restos Going - Need a Little Help

So, a little over a year ago I picked up a bunch of razors from an online auction (two separate lots, if I remember correctly) with every intention of poilshing them up to use. Now, over a year later, I have yet to shave with any of them. I have polished up some of the blades, but none have been honed and most of them need scales.

Anyway, to complete some of these projects, I need a few questions answered. If y'all could help, I would be stoked. Here they are:

1 - I'm trying to decide whether to restore or trash some of the old scales. What is the best way to positively identify scales as bone/ivory and not celluloid or plastic of some sort? I have a pair on one of the razors that looks a lot like bone/ivory (has 'grain' in it), but I want to be sure. Are there any special considerations when rejuvenating bone/ivory, if that's what I have?

2 - I have a couple of razors that have pin holes that seem to be wallowed out or something (bigger than standard size for a pin). Is it a viable option to just use a thicker rod to make a pin from, or is there a better way to go about solving that problem?

3 - I have the wood to cut some of my own scales to replace some of these. To what thickness should that wood be cut before I start shaping it into scales? I think I could figure this one out, but I thought I'd ask instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

4 - I have one or two of the razors that have a cool looking 'paina'. If there were left unpolished, the blades could have a neat looking, dark color. Is there anything wrong with NOT polishing up the blade as long as there is no rust on it?

Ok, that's all. I'm trying to improve myself a little by following through on all of the projects that I start, and I'm excited about these. I just don't always have a lot of patience. Thanks, guys.
 
1-I don't know about bone but to test for ivory you can use the hot pin test, do your research before trying that. Post pictures most of us can tell by looking what they are made of.

3- 1/8"

4- No I have a few that I have done nothing to. Also I usually polish mine up by leave the pitting in the blade to add character.

Be sure to post pictures of your progress.
 
Thanks, Matt. I'll get some pictures up as soon as I can, but it will be a few days.

Any input on repinning razors with 'wallowed' (as I describe it) holes? I thought I've seen posts somewhere that talk about sleeving the holes with brass tubing. Any merit to that?
 
You always use a bigger size piece of brass. But then that would require bigger washers. There is no rule that says you have to use 1/16". I don't know if I would do brass tubing, I could be wrong but it might get all galled up if it is a daily user with brass being as soft as it is. Maybe someone with more knowledge of this will chime in.
 
#2. i use the inside ink pen ink resivior tube brass or plastic doesn't matter. just force it in if it does't fit exactly and drill hole to i/16" id. it has worked well for me in the past. trim the shim to the outside lines of blade. the plastic ones make for a really smooth swing.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
+1 on using tubing as a shim. I've used brass in the past, but the pen refill idea is a good one as well. Alternatively it is not the end of the world if the razor hole is a bit big and the blade has a little movement, as long as the scales are snug. It could provide a hiding place for water though, I suppose.

Probably the simplest method, and the one I use most often, is to fill the hole with extra strength epoxy, and then drill a new 1/16 hole in that.
 
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A hot pin will melt plastics, it will not melt bone or ivory. It's not hard to tell the difference visually when you know what to look for, some detailed pictures would be helpful if you can't decide what it is.

I sleeve over-sized pivots by filling the hole up with an epoxy rated for metals, then after it is hard I drill my 1/16 hole in the center. Tubing would also work, but I find expoxy is just as easy and it's a perfect fit.

1/8" is a good width, any thicker and they'll feel too chunky, IMO. My wood scales are typically about 3/32.

Nothing wrong with patina.

Good luck.
 
Thanks everybody! I took some pictures over the weekend, and I got some good ones of some of those scales. I'll try to get them up sometime soon.
 
Ok, so I got to those pictures a little sooner than I had thought. Here they are.

This one is of all...well...almost all of the restorations I am pursuing. From left to right they are: some old, unidentifiable Sheffield blade, Joseph Fenton, Joseph Allen & Sons NON XLL, W. Greaves & Sons, Joseph Rodgers & Sons, and Wester Bros Anchor Brand.

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Here is the one with the scales that I think may be bone or something. What do y'all think? Can you tell from this picture?

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I agree that the Anchor could turn out sweet. I'm pretty excited about that one. However, it needs the most hone work. You can't really tell from any of these pictures, but there is a 'high' spot right in the middle of the shaving edge...kind of like a frown. Its not terrible, but I'm pretty new to honing. I'm going to focus my efforts on getting those scales cleaned up for now and either wait until I get better at honing or send it off to get it shave ready.

Any more input on whether those scales are really bone? I'm pretty sure they are, but I haven't hot pin tested them yet.

I'm also pretty excited about the Greaves & Sons. I'm just a little nervous about the blade. After some closer inspection, it has some bluing on it like it has seen some heat. I hope it hasn't annealed the metal. Any of you have any advice there? Do I just need to put it to the hone and see how it does, or can I sand down to see how 'deep' the metal is blued? I've never run into this before...
 
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I didn't want to start a new thread for this, but where do most of you find washers for pins? I'm having a hard time finding any locally, and I'd rather not mail order those unless it is a last resort.
 
This is from another thread. Very extensive research by the OP, dirtychrome.

dirtychrome
For normal stuff, you'll look for #0 size hole in washers

Washers/collars....so many choices.

So the popular configuration of triple washers is three flat washers as smallest brass, middle stainless, largest brass with nickle rod
Microfasteners part#s
FWB0 #0 brass small ODhttp://www.microfasteners.com/catalo...cts/WASFWB.cfm
FWS00 #0 stainless medium ODhttp://www.microfasteners.com/catalo...cts/WASFWS.cfm
FWBW0 #0 brass wide ODhttp://www.microfasteners.com/catalo...cts/WASFWB.cfm

Not as popular, but for Triple brass and brass rod: Top is small brass, bottom washer is wide, but center washer is a wide washer sanded down on belt sander. So for middle washer, I take 4 wide washers that have been rubber cemented together, place on 1/16 drill bit shaft, kiss the bundle to the belt sander to bring to desired width. Ill use brass rod.
FWB0 #0 brass small OD
FWBW0 #0 brass wide OD sanded down
FWBW0 #0 brass wide OD

Double washers I dont really do much, but an ok look is small stainless and the above medium -at least what I call medium
FWSS0 #0 Narrow Washer S/S I.D. .062xO.D..125x Thk .017
FWS00 #0 stainless medium OD

For doming, I use a doming/dapping kit to curve as little or much I want on whatever washer I like.

Inboard pivot also use the
FWBW0 #0 brass wide OD.
If too thick, whack it with a hammer. Sometimes need to drill, typically not.

I always swing by new to me hardware stores. Often the #0 washers from their different vendors may be a different OD than my 'normal' inventory, so usually pick up what they have. Seems stainless often had, brass not so much. Because this type of vendor is not consistant for sizes, is why I like MicroFasteners.com for regular inventory. I can trust MicroFasteners to ship the same size that matches my previous orders from them, no matter how long ago.

Then there are non-washer options.

Lots of choices for beads to be modified. Worth a look, very reasonable usually. I have liked using spacer beads that I file down like these

This is current ebay link for the below Dovo. If expired by time you read this item is
6X3 FANCY RAW BRASS SPACER BEADS LOT 24
- vendor is valclaws, and have been happy with selection
http://cgi.ebay.com/6X3-FANCY-RAW-BR...item4cf7f5a256
http://straightrazors.me/str8pics/shell/5.jpg

These larger ones are from same ebay vendor and called
5MM SOLID BRASS FLORET SPACER BEADS LOT 18
current listing
http://cgi.ebay.com/5MM-SOLID-BRASS-...item56427f5584
http://straightrazors.me/str8pics/gelleaine/3.jpg

I havent used these yet, but look intriguing

http://www.theimperialshave.com/cate...nd-Sharpening/
http://www.theimperialshave.com/prod...78881_zoom.JPG


I should have also added the following
If going to put together a MicroFasteners.com order, you should also add microfasteners. These are simple brass hex head machine screws. Super helpful to bolt together scales to test out.


Include in your order at least two of the hex socket wrenches. I keep two in the garage, and two in my office, where I do a lot of night work, when can be done inside. $4.50 each, well worth it.


WR0 Miniature Hex Socket Wrench -fits 3/32 hex head
http://www.microfasteners.com/catalo...SubCategory=WR


HBB0008 Hex Head Machine Screw 1/2" long=most commonly used
HBB0012 Hex Head Machine Screw 3/4" long=sometimes you'll want
http://www.microfasteners.com/catalo...cts/MSCHBB.cfm


HNBS0080 Hex Nuts - Brass
http://www.microfasteners.com/catalo...cts/NUTHNB.cfm
Hope that helps with ideas

 
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As far as the blue steel - if it's lost it's temper , you can find out but lightly running a file , smooth not coarse , along the edge . If it bites at all , it's lost it's temper . It should make a skating sound like metal on glass if it's still hard .
Remember you're not trying to remove metal , just slide it along the edge like you're trying to sharpen it .
 
Thanks, guys.

Fileroman, where is that thread?

Also, has anybody had any luck finding this tiny stuff at local hardware stores or anything?
 
The scales on the Greaves look like horn. It may not have lost it's temper. Patina from age can also look like bluing and have a rainbow tinge.
The scales on the Rogers look like celluloid. The scales on the Wester Bros. are 100% bone and original to the razor. I've seen several Wester Bros. razors with bone scales.

Thanks, guys.

Fileroman, where is that thread?

Also, has anybody had any luck finding this tiny stuff at local hardware stores or anything?
You might find 1/16" and 1/8" brass rod and #0 washers at hobby stores that sell parts for miniature electric race cars. Some (not many) harware stores may have washers small enough to use. The selection seems to vary from store to store. You can also flatten #0 washers with a hammer and anvil surface to use as internal washers/thrust bearings at the pivot.
 
The scales on the Greaves look like horn. It may not have lost it's temper. Patina from age can also look like bluing and have a rainbow tinge.
The scales on the Rogers look like celluloid. The scales on the Wester Bros. are 100% bone and original to the razor. I've seen several Wester Bros. razors with bone scales.



You might find 1/16" and 1/8" brass rod and #0 washers at hobby stores that sell parts for miniature electric race cars. Some (not many) harware stores may have washers small enough to use. The selection seems to vary from store to store. You can also flatten #0 washers with a hammer and anvil surface to use as internal washers/thrust bearings at the pivot.
The scales on the Greaves are actually wood. I think they could clean up, but I don't really like the way they fit. There is too much space between the tip of the blade and the wedge. . . it looks goofy. Since I don't think they are original (and someone PLEASE correct me if I am wrong!) I think I will find a longer blade to put those on (assuming they do clean up well).

Oh, and thanks for the input!

Oh that Greaves is nice. :drool:
Thanks, guys.


All of this does bring me to another question, about that Greaves. Since the stamp reads "W Greaves & Sons", am I correct in assuming that it was manufactured between 1816 and 1823? According to the Wiki page for them, what was the name of the company during those years. If that is true, then this is a pretty stinking old razor! That would definitely make it the oldest (confirmed, anyway) in my collection.
 
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