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My first attempt. Need critique and guidance

This is not ready for prime time. I shall say this first before anything else. I realized, as my collection is growing, and I seem to be getting more and more into wedge safeties, I had better learn to restore and hone these things myself, or this is going to creep out of my price range. So, a bit ago, a guy was selling a straight with good scales and a moderate amount of rust for something like $10, so I thought this would be a really good learning razor.

While I was fortunate enough to turn my brain on when I was actually rubbing this thing close to the edge, my brain was not thinking far enough to take a "before" pic, so unfortunately, all I can show is my "after" shots. But suffice it to say there was a fair amount of rust from the spine down to almost the blade -- one of the reason I chose this was the blade itself had very little on it.

I was able to remove all the rust and corrosion. I used 120 grit sandpaper, WD-40, and I did run the Dremel over it with the sanding attachment thinking it would be good to speed things along. I am not sure if it helped or not. But between the dremel and hand sanding, I kept at this until every spot of rust/corrosion was gone.

After that, I began vigorously sanding back up, trying to be as even as possible throughout. 180, 240, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 3000. This is my result. I did get it back to a mirror finish. But I also still have a fir to significant amount of pitting. Plus my sanding lines are still there. I am not sure if it is because of the dremel use or I just needed to sand more.

I wanted to see what I could do with the equipment I have on hand. I have not attempted to begin honing yet (stones are in the mail). Where would I go from here to get the razor more presentable and clean up the evidence of work and pitting? Or can it be at this point? Or would I need more significant machinery to do more?

Thanks for guidance on my first try.


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It looks pretty good. Based on my experience both with woodworking projects and more recently with razors and scales, if you still see scratches it means that you moved too quickly up the grit progression. Drop back down. I’m guessing the Dremel with the sandpaper attachment is the culprit. I haven’t used mine, but I’m guessing that it is 120 at best, might be lower. If you spend more time with each grit level, it won’t matter which direction you are sanding. However unless the goal is to get all the way to a mirror polish, then I do agree that the final sanding should be perpendicular to the edge for best effect.

I haven’t had the patience to wipe out deep pits entirely. So some of my razors are clean, but do show the remains of pitting. But I also haven’t gotten anywhere close to making something look “good as new”. I’m happy with ”doesn’t look like you’ll need a tetanus shot after using this” 😀
OK, so basically, "lay off the dremel and put in the time with elbow grease" in the future. Got it. So I need to go back down on the lower grits until I get all that stuff out before moving on up. And then as I get higher, switch from parallel to perpendicular? Or should I restart again but this time doing all of it perpendicular? From the videos I'd seen, almost everyone was rubbing parallel, so it did not even occur to me to go in the other direction.
So currently trying to figure this out myself. But my view is that you can just switch directions at one particular grit Level. So if your progression is 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, maybe switch in the middle of 1500. That’s what I’m thinking of doing right now.
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