What's new

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

Thanks a lot very kind of you to say so.
I think maybe the photos flatter it a little but it was a fun project.
 
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 1264166View attachment 1264168This 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.
pView 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 1264186Anyway, 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.
Great job 👏very beautiful! Outcome :) ✌️👌
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
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 1264166View attachment 1264168This 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.
pView 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 1264186Anyway, 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! You did a wonderful job with that!
 
Thanks for all the kind comments, it was a lot of fun to do and very rewarding. I still use this razor regularly as part of my small (8razors) rotation, and I still give it a little smile when I open the razor for my shave.
 
Top Bottom