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New Ventures...W&B Extra Hollow

I like old things...for instance I have a 100 year old forging hammer I bought when I began taking blacksmith classes.

Last night I purchased this little gem off eBay and going to take a stab at making like new again or at least as close as possible. I’ve never done this before, but have read many posts on here, watched numerous videos on YouTube and have read numerous articles on restoring straight razors.

That being said, I’ll keep this thread updated as I make progress. The scales seem to be in rough shape, but I’ll assess them more once I receive the razor.

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From what I can see of the scales so far they look to be OK and would clean up just fine. Sand and polish would do the trick.
Unless areas out of the pictures are damaged.
 
How's it going?

I haven't even started yet...SRAD took over and I've been spending more time looking and buying razors than I have working on the ones I have. To add to that I'm in grad school at the moment and that eats up a lot of my time.

What do you use to sand and polish scales?

This is a great question and something I haven't explored yet. I'm hoping he @mycarver chimes in, LOL!
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I haven't even started yet...SRAD took over and I've been spending more time looking and buying razors than I have working on the ones I have. To add to that I'm in grad school at the moment and that eats up a lot of my time.



This is a great question and something I haven't explored yet. I'm hoping he @mycarver chimes in, LOL!

I'd start that blade with a bit of Bar Keepers Friend. Just make a bit of paste and rub it around on the blade with your thumb or a rag for a short time (like a minute or less for the whole blade). Then rinse it very, very well. Dry it.

You'll find, I think, that the blade looks much better.

I got this information on BKF from Mike @Esox. It's a cleaner. You can read his stuff on using it to confirm my understanding, but I've used the stuff successfully on my W&B.

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After that, you might want to rub it with Flitz and a rag. Flitz is a polish, and not a very abrasive one.

You might find you don't need to sand it anywhere near as much as you think.

I'm sure there are other ways to go about this, but this is an easy enough way to go without buying a ton of stuff. Both BKF and Flitz are very useful and worth having around. In ten minutes you'll know a lot more about what you've got.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I'd start that blade with a bit of Bar Keepers Friend. Just make a bit of paste and rub it around on the blade with your thumb or a rag for a short time (like a minute or less for the whole blade). Then rinse it very, very well. Dry it.

You'll find, I think, that the blade looks much better.

I got this information on BKF from Mike @Esox. It's a cleaner. You can read his stuff on using it to confirm my understanding, but I've used the stuff successfully on my W&B.

View attachment 930250

After that, you might want to rub it with Flitz and a rag. Flitz is a polish, and not a very abrasive one.

You might find you don't need to sand it anywhere near as much as you think.

I'm sure there are other ways to go about this, but this is an easy enough way to go without buying a ton of stuff. Both BKF and Flitz are very useful and worth having around. In ten minutes you'll know a lot more about what you've got.

Happy shaves,

Jim

Jim - great information and thanks for sharing! When I don't find myself running down the YouTube rabbit I've watched a few videos on cleaning up the blade itself; however, you're the first to mention the BKF. Thank you, I really appreciate it!
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Jim - great information and thanks for sharing! When I don't find myself running down the YouTube rabbit I've watched a few videos on cleaning up the blade itself; however, you're the first to mention the BKF. Thank you, I really appreciate it!

You might benefit from reading some of Mike's posts on BKF. Here's a bunch of them, linked.

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Another little tool worth having around is a toothbrush with brass bristles on both ends. The stores sell them for cleaning guns. On my blades with etched surfaces I use Flitz on a microfiber cloth on the etched surfaces (carefully). On areas where there is no etching I use the brass toothbrush with Flitz.

Other guys use different polishing chemicals. I'm sure they all have their uses. They're not all the same in terms of abrasiveness. Flitz is pretty forgiving.

Hand sanding with wet dry sandpaper is pretty easy. Start with a high grit. If it doesn't work keep going lower until you find one that does the job. Do the job. Then go to the next higher numbered grit to remove the scratches left by the lowest numbered sandpaper. Then go to the next higher numbered paper to remove the new set of scratches. Etc.

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In other words you're trying to make scratches with the highest grit possible to begin with. You don't know what the highest grit that will do the job is until you try with some grits. So, start too high.

You're going to get scratches but you want them to be as small as possible. The scratches made by, let's say, 600 grit, will be removed by 700 grit, but 700 grit will leave scratches itself. The smaller 700 grit scratches will be removed by 800 grit, but 800 will leave its scratches. Remove them with 900. Remove the 900 scratches with 1000. Etc.

It's easier to remove 800 scratches than 60 scratches. Lots easier.

I made up the numbers. You don't have to have every sandpaper grit made, but get a bunch of sandpaper. It's expensive for paper. Here's a nice assortment, linked, to give you an idea. Auto parts stores have a package with an assortment containing some with even lower numbers. I sometimes use very low grit stuff - like 60 or 80 - and often use 200 and 300, but use the highest numbered stuff that works.

Just cut off little pieces with scissors. I use it dry or wet under running water.

After the sandpaper polish again with Flitz and a microfiber cloth. Take the sandpaper to at least 1500 or 2000 before polishing with Flitz.

The sequence is clean and polish to see what you've got. Then sandpaper. Then polish again. Then hone and shave. Admire your work at every stage!

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Be careful with the blade. Dull razor blades don't exist. I've been the the ER with a razor blade cut so trust me on this.

I can't tell much about your blade from the photos, but it might be worth restoring. You'll know a lot more with just a little work. Even if the blade turns out to be trashed already (and I'm not saying it is) some work on it will be valuable in teaching you things.

Your scales from what I can see of them look pretty good. What are they made of, do you think?

One of the lessons I've learned doing a little bit of restoration is how to better evaluate the razors I see offered for sale. Some need just a little bit of work. Many vendors have used power tools to quickly "restore" the razors they sell. Some are skilled and experienced and careful, but some are not skilled at using the tools nor careful so the razors look good until you look closely. There are also many very nice and not expensive razors to be had.

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I have to ask myself what my time is worth, too. Yes, it's a hobby and a labor of love, but only if what I get out of it is worth it to me.

One other thing. Some guys like the old razor patina and will clean the razor up just a tad and then hone it and use it. They like that it looks old and crummy shows its age.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I use wet and dry sandpaper but I dont use water I use WD40, I start off around 600 grit then work higher till I get to 12000 grit. Then I use white diamond polish on the blade to see if any scratches still show, then with the handle I use wet and dry again but with water.
Same again as the blade but the polish I use is Novus No2 to polish to a high shine.

But it depends what your after I have been known to use denture toothpaste as it wont scratch or remove etchings with a denture brush but I do try to keep away from the etching
 

Esox

I didnt know
I got this information on BKF from Mike @Esox.

Credit where credit is due. @AlphaFrank75 turned me on to BKF.

Bar Keepers Friend cleans a lot better than many might realize. There is an abrasive component in it, but thats not what does the cleaning. When you add water the powder creates Oxalic acid. Thats what does the cleaning. If you have any small cuts on your fingers, you're going to feel it.

This is my post war Gillette Tech after a scrub with a toothbrush and dish soap, then a light polish with AutoSol. I was afraid if I went any further with a polishing compound I'd remove the frosting from the cap.

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This is after literally 5 seconds with a light sprinkle of BKF and a quick rub with my wet thumb.

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The Tech is Nickel plated and as I understand it, BKF doesnt touch Nickel. It will however, strip gold plating on contact.

My 1940 Gillette Regent after three soaks in hot water, scrubbing with a toothbrush and Dawn between soaks.

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After another 5 seconds with BKF.

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It stripped the gold so fast I watched it dissolve and didnt have time to stop it.

Do not use it on gold!

It removes patina on Brass instantly. Nothing I've found cleans stainless better or faster. I would expect it to clean the blade in the OP in seconds while doing no damage to the steel. If the recesses in the letters dont clean as readily, I'd use a toothbrush, but with very little pressure rinsing and inspecting often.

Always clean the piece first. Then you can see how much and what kind of work it needs. Once properly cleaned, many things need far less polishing than you might think and that polishing is accomplished quicker. It would be very easy to distort the letters in the OP's razor with sanding or over polishing. That lettering still looks very sharp, keep it that way.

If you plan on fully restoring that blade theres something I'd do when it's almost finished. Once you have the scales fitted but not set and the stamping on the blade is clean and dry, find a paint that matches the scales, or use a contrasting colour, and paint over the letters. Once the paint has filled the recesses, wipe the blade off with a tightly held, stiff clean cloth. It will remove the paint from the blade, leaving the letters filled so the colour added will make them stand out and pop. If it gets messed up or you just dont like it, a quick wipe with mineral spirits with a slack rag will remove it. Let the paint cure, set the scales and you're in business.

 
Jim - That’s a ton of information and great information to boot! Thank you sir for taking the time to type all that and share your experience! I greatly appreciate it!


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