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My First Straight. With a bit of history. (Picture Heavy)

I was at my father in law's house yesterday and he gave me a straight razor. I really don't know much about straights yet, but he told me that it was his great grandfather's razor and that he (great grandfather) had used it all of his life. He said that he had bought it when he was a teenager in Atlanta.

The razor is marked Matthews & Lively Atlanta, Ga. And also on the shank it says Made in Germany and on the other side I believe it says BEST WON. The razor is about 100 years old.

I did a quick internet search and found out that Morton Edgar Matthews of Matthews & Lively was furniture dealer in Atlanta who passed away on April 4, 1910 of a sudden heart attack. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37595286

I also found that Matthews & Lively held several patents; mostly it seems for hair care products.

I want to restore this old razor and try my hand at shaving with it. Should I send it to someone to have it restored professionally? Is it worth having this particular razor done professionally? Or should I read up on restoration and try my hand at it? And if the later, can someone kindly point me in the direction of restoration information?

Thanks. Here are the pics...

Nice back-story; congrats!! There are several guys here that could probably clean it up very nicely...I am sure they'll chime in at some point...
Please pardon me bumping my own thread. Still looking for some answers. Thank you. :001_smile
So for having someone restored professionally, a rule of thumb I read a while ago was that it had either to be either:
- over 6/8,
- be of a marquee name (Dorko, Dubl Duck, Puma, Le Grelot Thiers Issard, ...)
- or have a special value to you, historical, sentimental or other

The reasoning is that the cheapest renovation I've had were still $50 and it is unlikely you would make that back trying to sell it after renovation unless you meet on of the criteria above.

Now, if you want to do it yourself. If the pins are tight, you could just get a couple of sheets of low grid sand paper.
Something like 4-500 and polish the scales.
For the blade, you might have to start with something harsher, maybe 220 and then move up. Be careful not to hit the edge of the blade too much, as removing a 220grit scratch with a 4000 grit stones can take a while.
For honing, the cost is only around $20 I think and you need that done from time to time for maintenance anyway. You can try to do that yourself if you have the right stones. 1K for the bevel the a progression of 3-4K and then 8K, plus some finishing stone or lapping film.
You could most likely survive with just a Norton 4K / 8K combo, but setting the bevel would take forever on 4K and after 8K you would need a LOT of stropping to get to a shaving point, which might still not be very good.
Plus even with the right hardware, I found it difficult to know what to do on each stone initially. So this is not a route I'd recommend for a first razor.
Thanks for the answers. I'm going to think about it for a few days, but most likely I will find someone professional to do this one for me. I would never sell this one, so getting my money back from it is not a consideration for me. And I really want it done right.
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