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Making razor scales with no shop, no bench, no experience and no skills.

Nice job. I have a couple of suggestions, get a much smaller end cutter and try to find a 2 - 4 ounce ball peen hammer.

-Mel
Hey man,

I just bought a decent little 4oz. ballpein hammer from Amazon. I also picked up a pair of 6 inch "precision" side cutters designed to cut softer wire, hopefully they'll be sufficient.
 
Yeah, I've heard about using the spoon, seems like it works well. I'mn hoping the side cutters work. They should, they're designed to cut close and are fairly thin. That sure is a shiny hammer you got there man, I'm jealous. 😂
 
The Hammer has been polished so it does not dig in or put a scratch on the pin so it gets a nice peen, and it only gets used a few times.
Right on, apparently the finish of the hammer will impart or imprint on whatever you're hitting, if it's a softer metal. I polished mine up as well.

P.S.

What type of end-cutter are those, and are they expensive? They look thinner then some of the cutters I've seen around.
 
Right on, apparently the finish of the hammer will impart or imprint on whatever you're hitting, if it's a softer metal. I polished mine up as well.

P.S.

What type of end-cutter are those, and are they expensive? They look thinner then some of the cutters I've seen around.

The flush cutter is made by CK, Precision Top Cutter Full Flush Cut and yes they cut very close.I think I paid around £15. and been worth it
 
I bought this Bengal near wedge about 2 years ago give or take. It’s a nice blade, small and heavy but I’ve never been in love with the wooden scales that came with it and I could never get them to really tighten.
So I decided it would be a good razor to try my first re scaling project.
I had no tools except a ball pein hammer and a cheap junior hacksaw.
I like tortoiseshell so I bought a sheet of 2mm thick Acrylic in that colour and the rest of the stuff I’d need.
This was a kitchen table set up as I have no shop, no bench, no shed, no experience and no skills.
I bought the following small tools for the job:

Desktop vice for £7.50
M 1.4 washers £3.50
1.5 ml brass rod £1.50
Small Anvil £5.00
Tortoiseshell acrylic £9
Sand Paper 120-3000 grit £7,
A Pin vise hand drill £6
End cutter pliers £5
File £3.50

That’s £48 in total but I’ve got enough acrylic left to make another 2 pairs of scales if I like and if I feel like making more the cost will be minimal as I think I now have everything I need.
First i de-scaled the Bengal.
View attachment 1264166 View attachment 1264168 This was harder than expected as the cutters I’d bought were about 1mm shy of flush. This made the job difficult and after making a gap I ended up sawing through the brass pin with the hacksaw. I managed not to damage the razor.
When I removed the brass pin I saw it was bent in the middle so I think the person I bought it from had been a bit heavy with the hammer and this was why I could never get the thing to tighten.
I traced around the blade and drew a rough scale shape around that. But the drawing was a little scruffy so I traced around the acrylic scales on my Shuredge razor which gave a better shape.
View attachment 1264176

I glued two parts of the acrylic together using a few spots of pva glue, let it dry half an hour, then roughly sawed out the scales shape. But as I’d left the backing paper on the acrylic the next day the two halves had separated so I re stuck them with double sided tape.
Using the table vice I hacksawed the shape out roughly then zeroed in on it using the file.
As I got closer I swapped the file for some 120 grit sandpaper to bring it to the lines.
This hand sanding the shape was quite a bit of work and if I do it again I’ll buy some 60 grit paper for this.
I’d also remove the paper backing which the acrylic comes in as this started to fall away as I was finishing the sanding and filing.
I was just finished the shape when it fell off altogether leaving me to finish the shape by sight. As a result it’s far from perfect shape wise but it should still be usable. Losing the template also meant I’d have to guess where to drill the scales.
Just masking tape alone would’ve been better or maybe to score the scale shape into the acrylic with a pin.
Now the scales were shaped I filed off a 45 degree chamfer all the way around and started hand sanding the scales.
I went 120, 240, 400, 800, 1200, 1500, 2000 then 3000.
I could’ve probably done less but I surprisingly enjoyed this part of the process, seeing each grit bring the job more and more to life.
Eventually the sanding was done. Not a perfect shape but a decent finish and for a first try doing any of this I was happy with the result.
Next I used the pin vise hand drill to make the tang holes. I found it quite easy to use though I did borrow my girlfriend to hold the scales as I drilled.
With hindsight idve made the holes a little closer to the end of the scale.
Now I had to put it all together. First I had to make the wedge.
p View attachment 1264181
I’d been looking at the wedges on my other razors. They were all a little different to each other but I got a decent idea of the size and shape I’d need and a rough idea of how much bow I would need.
I lined up the razor in the scales and lightly scratched the shape of the wedge on the inside of the scale with a needle. Then I lined it up and drew it onto the paper which was attached to the acrylic.
I roughly sawed the shape out and then sanded the wedge shape using the 120grit.
I kept checking the separation at the far end of the scales until I was happy that the wedge was angled right.
View attachment 1264182
then I glued it to one of the scales and drilled it. But the holes didn’t line up perfectly so I had no option but to drill a second hole on one side.
Now it was time to try my hand at pinning.
I felt I should drill a hole into my anvil for pinning but I only had the hand vise drill and the anvil wasn’t impressed by it so I’d say it took the best part of 40mins 20 each over two sittings.
View attachment 1264184
I put The 2inch brass rod through the scales and wedge then added one little washer. Holding it in the vise I gently flattened the end a little with the hammer just enough to keep the washer on. Then on the other side of the razor I added a washer and cut the rod just under a millimetre from the washer.
View attachment 1264183
Holding the scales in the hard earned divot id made, I began to gently tap tap tap in little circles much to my 1 year olds amusement who made many clever and varied attempts at hijacking the hammer.
It took about 30 mins id say but I was being careful not to whack it too hard.
It was actually quite relaxing and just at the end, as the wedge finally began to tighten and both ends of the sharp brass rods were now flattened, domed and shiny and holding the wedge tightly in place, I started to feel strangely good.
I wrapped some 120 sandpaper around the anvil and sanded and brought the wedge flush with the scales then sanded it up to 3000 grit like the rest of the scales.
View attachment 1264192
Again, seeing the wedge finally fitted so snugly and polished like it was truly a a part of the scales was satisfying.
I brought the scales up a bit with brasso metal polish which just left pinning the actual razor end of the scales then honing it
Pinning this end was easier because I’d already done it once at the other end but I struggled to get the razor to centre. I wasn’t sure which side to hit to correct it and pretty soon it was not only not fully corrected but the scales are now very much on the stiff side. They open and close well but still open and close stiffly so I don’t want to hammer it more. I’ll try hammering them wedge end and see if this makes any difference. View attachment 1264187

View attachment 1264186 Anyway, I just have to hone it now and strop it and it’s done.
This was a lot more fun than I expected and my new scales are far from perfect to say the least but I learned a great deal doing it and the Bengal looks better in his brand new suit.
Wow! For your first effort you did a fine job. Well done!
 
I always thought rescaling was something I might be able to do, but it would be too expensive or too hard. But you did it!!

Thanks so much for the pictures and descriptions. Very helpful to me planning, and now I feel a bit more comfortable going to buy even older razors.
 
Seeing this has made me determined to do a little trimming on the wedge on one of my razors. I've never been bold enough to actually shave with an SR, so I don't think about them that much, but that does't keep me from appreciating good workmanship.
 
Nice job.

Here’s a couple tips

For first attempt, try using horn, it is inexpensive there are many colors, stripe shading and most important for had tool making, easy to cut and shape. Shaping can be done by scraping with a sharp knife or scraper, very quickly and easily. It is surprising how much material you can remove and how smooth you can get scraping horn. Super time saver with lots of control.

Cutting scales, make a Birds Mouth table, a V cut into the end of a board and clamped to a bench or table and a coping saw will allow you to easily cut scales a curved line with speed, control, and precision.



Do all your design and planning on paper, start with a tracing of the whole blade, then draw your scales over the blade shape. Make all your adjustments, (pin hole and wedge placement) on paper.

Glue your scales together with Scotch Double Stick Tape, the kind use for wrapping presents. Glue your final scale design paper tracing to the scale with white glue or trace on masking tape, make a cardboard template.

Drill your holes first, while the scales are flat, ensure your holes are square to the face. Drill 1/16th in holes then enlarge to 3/32, this will give you wiggle room to adjust the pins to center the blade in the scales when assembled.

Place the blade on the scale drawing where you want it to lay in the scales, so the edge tip does not poke out the bottom. With a sharpie, mark the blade tip where it touches the top of the scale drawing. Measure the thickness of the blade at that mark on the blade, that is what the thickness of your wedge needs to be at the thick end.

You can buy an inexpensive set of plastic calipers for a few dollars, under $5, they are very useful for measuring many project or screws and bolts and are accurate enough for this kind of work.

The taper of the wedge should be the taper of the tang. You can trace the tang taper by laying the tang on edge on a piece of paper and trace. Or you can just taper it by half the thickness of the thick part, that will get you in the ballpark. Taper the wedge by double stick taping the wedge to your finger and rub on a file, this will get you a flat surface, important.

Wedge taper is critical for clearance of thick blades and to keep the scales in tension and the pivot pin tight.

Mocking up with a small machine screw or bolt and nut, (Micro Fasteners) will save you a lot of headache, by allowing you to assemble the razor and make any adjustments before pinning.



One can easily do fine work making scales with hand tools and some planning. Critical points are, making a paper lay out and pin hole marking, drilling your holes square and making your wedge properly to the correct thickness, taper and flat, (or you will have gaps between scales). And drill your holes a bit larger for alignment adjustment.

Have fun possibilities are endless.
 
Nice job.

Here’s a couple tips

For first attempt, try using horn, it is inexpensive there are many colors, stripe shading and most important for had tool making, easy to cut and shape. Shaping can be done by scraping with a sharp knife or scraper, very quickly and easily. It is surprising how much material you can remove and how smooth you can get scraping horn. Super time saver with lots of control.

Cutting scales, make a Birds Mouth table, a V cut into the end of a board and clamped to a bench or table and a coping saw will allow you to easily cut scales a curved line with speed, control, and precision.



Do all your design and planning on paper, start with a tracing of the whole blade, then draw your scales over the blade shape. Make all your adjustments, (pin hole and wedge placement) on paper.

Glue your scales together with Scotch Double Stick Tape, the kind use for wrapping presents. Glue your final scale design paper tracing to the scale with white glue or trace on masking tape, make a cardboard template.

Drill your holes first, while the scales are flat, ensure your holes are square to the face. Drill 1/16th in holes then enlarge to 3/32, this will give you wiggle room to adjust the pins to center the blade in the scales when assembled.

Place the blade on the scale drawing where you want it to lay in the scales, so the edge tip does not poke out the bottom. With a sharpie, mark the blade tip where it touches the top of the scale drawing. Measure the thickness of the blade at that mark on the blade, that is what the thickness of your wedge needs to be at the thick end.

You can buy an inexpensive set of plastic calipers for a few dollars, under $5, they are very useful for measuring many project or screws and bolts and are accurate enough for this kind of work.

The taper of the wedge should be the taper of the tang. You can trace the tang taper by laying the tang on edge on a piece of paper and trace. Or you can just taper it by half the thickness of the thick part, that will get you in the ballpark. Taper the wedge by double stick taping the wedge to your finger and rub on a file, this will get you a flat surface, important.

Wedge taper is critical for clearance of thick blades and to keep the scales in tension and the pivot pin tight.

Mocking up with a small machine screw or bolt and nut, (Micro Fasteners) will save you a lot of headache, by allowing you to assemble the razor and make any adjustments before pinning.



One can easily do fine work making scales with hand tools and some planning. Critical points are, making a paper lay out and pin hole marking, drilling your holes square and making your wedge properly to the correct thickness, taper and flat, (or you will have gaps between scales). And drill your holes a bit larger for alignment adjustment.

Have fun possibilities are endless.
This is extremely helpful thanks for posting👍
 
I bought this Bengal near wedge about 2 years ago give or take. It’s a nice blade, small and heavy but I’ve never been in love with the wooden scales that came with it and I could never get them to really tighten.
So I decided it would be a good razor to try my first re scaling project.
I had no tools except a ball pein hammer and a cheap junior hacksaw.
I like tortoiseshell so I bought a sheet of 2mm thick Acrylic in that colour and the rest of the stuff I’d need.
This was a kitchen table set up as I have no shop, no bench, no shed, no experience and no skills.
I bought the following small tools for the job:

Desktop vice for £7.50
M 1.4 washers £3.50
1.5 ml brass rod £1.50
Small Anvil £5.00
Tortoiseshell acrylic £9
Sand Paper 120-3000 grit £7,
A Pin vise hand drill £6
End cutter pliers £5
File £3.50

That’s £48 in total but I’ve got enough acrylic left to make another 2 pairs of scales if I like and if I feel like making more the cost will be minimal as I think I now have everything I need.
First i de-scaled the Bengal.
View attachment 1264166 View attachment 1264168 This was harder than expected as the cutters I’d bought were about 1mm shy of flush. This made the job difficult and after making a gap I ended up sawing through the brass pin with the hacksaw. I managed not to damage the razor.
When I removed the brass pin I saw it was bent in the middle so I think the person I bought it from had been a bit heavy with the hammer and this was why I could never get the thing to tighten.
I traced around the blade and drew a rough scale shape around that. But the drawing was a little scruffy so I traced around the acrylic scales on my Shuredge razor which gave a better shape.
View attachment 1264176

I glued two parts of the acrylic together using a few spots of pva glue, let it dry half an hour, then roughly sawed out the scales shape. But as I’d left the backing paper on the acrylic the next day the two halves had separated so I re stuck them with double sided tape.
Using the table vice I hacksawed the shape out roughly then zeroed in on it using the file.
As I got closer I swapped the file for some 120 grit sandpaper to bring it to the lines.
This hand sanding the shape was quite a bit of work and if I do it again I’ll buy some 60 grit paper for this.
I’d also remove the paper backing which the acrylic comes in as this started to fall away as I was finishing the sanding and filing.
I was just finished the shape when it fell off altogether leaving me to finish the shape by sight. As a result it’s far from perfect shape wise but it should still be usable. Losing the template also meant I’d have to guess where to drill the scales.
Just masking tape alone would’ve been better or maybe to score the scale shape into the acrylic with a pin.
Now the scales were shaped I filed off a 45 degree chamfer all the way around and started hand sanding the scales.
I went 120, 240, 400, 800, 1200, 1500, 2000 then 3000.
I could’ve probably done less but I surprisingly enjoyed this part of the process, seeing each grit bring the job more and more to life.
Eventually the sanding was done. Not a perfect shape but a decent finish and for a first try doing any of this I was happy with the result.
Next I used the pin vise hand drill to make the tang holes. I found it quite easy to use though I did borrow my girlfriend to hold the scales as I drilled.
With hindsight idve made the holes a little closer to the end of the scale.
Now I had to put it all together. First I had to make the wedge.
p View attachment 1264181
I’d been looking at the wedges on my other razors. They were all a little different to each other but I got a decent idea of the size and shape I’d need and a rough idea of how much bow I would need.
I lined up the razor in the scales and lightly scratched the shape of the wedge on the inside of the scale with a needle. Then I lined it up and drew it onto the paper which was attached to the acrylic.
I roughly sawed the shape out and then sanded the wedge shape using the 120grit.
I kept checking the separation at the far end of the scales until I was happy that the wedge was angled right.
View attachment 1264182
then I glued it to one of the scales and drilled it. But the holes didn’t line up perfectly so I had no option but to drill a second hole on one side.
Now it was time to try my hand at pinning.
I felt I should drill a hole into my anvil for pinning but I only had the hand vise drill and the anvil wasn’t impressed by it so I’d say it took the best part of 40mins 20 each over two sittings.
View attachment 1264184
I put The 2inch brass rod through the scales and wedge then added one little washer. Holding it in the vise I gently flattened the end a little with the hammer just enough to keep the washer on. Then on the other side of the razor I added a washer and cut the rod just under a millimetre from the washer.
View attachment 1264183
Holding the scales in the hard earned divot id made, I began to gently tap tap tap in little circles much to my 1 year olds amusement who made many clever and varied attempts at hijacking the hammer.
It took about 30 mins id say but I was being careful not to whack it too hard.
It was actually quite relaxing and just at the end, as the wedge finally began to tighten and both ends of the sharp brass rods were now flattened, domed and shiny and holding the wedge tightly in place, I started to feel strangely good.
I wrapped some 120 sandpaper around the anvil and sanded and brought the wedge flush with the scales then sanded it up to 3000 grit like the rest of the scales.
View attachment 1264192
Again, seeing the wedge finally fitted so snugly and polished like it was truly a a part of the scales was satisfying.
I brought the scales up a bit with brasso metal polish which just left pinning the actual razor end of the scales then honing it
Pinning this end was easier because I’d already done it once at the other end but I struggled to get the razor to centre. I wasn’t sure which side to hit to correct it and pretty soon it was not only not fully corrected but the scales are now very much on the stiff side. They open and close well but still open and close stiffly so I don’t want to hammer it more. I’ll try hammering them wedge end and see if this makes any difference. View attachment 1264187

View attachment 1264186 Anyway, I just have to hone it now and strop it and it’s done.
This was a lot more fun than I expected and my new scales are far from perfect to say the least but I learned a great deal doing it and the Bengal looks better in his brand new suit.
Quality work there, to say it was your first time, honestly your work looks so professional.
 
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