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Off-center blade?

Hey guys,

I recently received this blade shave ready from a hobbyist and was really excited about it. It was certainly shave ready and I have enjoyed my first two introductions to straight razor shaving with it, but after the second today, I noticed that the blade is not at all centered. I played with it some, and I can't tell for sure whether the point of the blade touches the inside of the scales or if it is ever so slightly behind the blade. If it is the point of the blade, I imagine I would be dulling the blade every time I close it. Is there a way to easily fix this? Or is this typical and it is actually touching the blade slightly above the point, not actually on it?
$20131231_015035.jpg
Thanks,
Luc
 
It's best if you can correct it. It will require you to remove the pivot pin more then likely .
did you do the scales or was it rescaled prior to you getting it?
 
My guess is that the holes for the pivot pin were not correctly lined up - looks like the scales are straight.
You can live with it, just be very careful when closing the blade so as not to chip the edge on the scales, or you could take out the pivot pin and maybe put a washer in on the opposite side to the side it's leaning (might work, just trying to imagine it in my head) or finally you can enlarge one of the holes, the one on the side towards which the blade leans, move it forward slightly and repin - you'll want to ensure that the pins are nice and tight to hold it in place though.
 
You can always steam the scales and overcompensate the movement and allow then to cool off, 9/10 this works.

What are the scales made of?
 
Just a guess but from here they appear to be wood?
There are several possible reasons for blades to shift or hit a scale. Many razors from the factory are not symmetrically ground along the taper. This throws a blade off even if the scales are perfectly straight. Offset holes as it was said will do this along with tension induced while pinning can cause a shift. Sometimes it won't show up immediately as over time the tension causes the scales to flex slightly. If they are wood some slight warp or twist , ever so slight will do it too. Especially on some burls due to wild grain.

The razor can be unpinned and shims added but it's a solution I don't care for as I don't like stacks of washers here and there just to center a blade. Just doesn't look right. Sort of a band-aid solution. I prefer to rework the insides of the scales to get the blade aligned properly and then it looks like there is nothing amiss.
As an aside I find most blades will tend to hit the back scale as the face of the shaft is usually off from the factory due to stamping, grinding or whatever.
 
One other thing. It appears as if the scales don't bow out as it looks like there is just a spacer as opposed to a wedge in place. I may be reading the photo wrong. But if that's the case the sides of the shaft are bearing on the insides of the scales and if the razor isn't ground symmetrically as I mentioned above then the blade will always be off center . It has to be compensated for in some way because as the razor closes the shaft pushes it one way or the other.
 
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One other thing. It appears as if the scales don't bow out as it looks like there is just a spacer as opposed to a wedge in place. I may be reading the photo wrong. But if that's the case the sides of the shaft are bearing on the insides of the scales and if the razor isn't ground symmetrically as I mentioned above then the blade will always be off center . It has to be compensated for in some way because as the razor closes the shaft pushes it one way or the other.

In the end, when it comes down to it, it sucks to say it (and I know it's happened to me before when I made some scales) the scales weren't made right (IMHO), as they need to be made to fit the blade (IMHO). Though they seem to look beautiful from what I can tell, there are two basic purposes of the scales: to protect you from the edge when closed, and to protect the edge from the world. If they are banging on the scales, they aren't doing the latter and need fixing (again, in my opinion).
 
Here is a kluge fix that works.

First let me say that unpinning and sanding the inside surfaces of the scales in the appropriate places is what I think is the right thing to do.

If you want a quick fix without unpinning you can put a few layers of clear packing tape on the inside of the front scale near the pin to push the tang in the desired direction. Truth be told I have two razors patched this way in my rotation. Until now, nobody but me ever knew about them. I had to think for a second to remember which ones they were.
 
Considering that a razor isn't a one-hand open pocket knife, and that you should be using two hands to open and close it, a slightly off blade is not a big deal, and you should leave it alone for the following reasons:

1. It's 10 degrees where I'm at right now. It's 80 degrees in another part of the USA. And the temperature inside the post office's trucks is 20 degrees colder in the winter and 20 degrees hotter in the summer, when transporting packages. And they leave your package on the doorstep, out in the elements. This fact is important because of #2:

Wood, horn, and ivory scales can and will will warp if there are drastic changes in temperature and humidity. I'm looking at a stack of horn blanks sitting on my desk right now that were perfectly straight in the fall, and now that its winter and its very dry, they are all horribly warped. It happens. Sometimes, you can mail a razor to somebody where the scales are perfectly straight, and by the time the person on the other end receives them there is something off with them. Also, sometimes razors will "settle" into their new scales, and while initially the blade will be slightly off, it will right itself over time.

The way I look at it is this: fix that blade now, and it might throw itself off center again in a different season. Give it time, let it settle, and know that its not the end of the world, and it might not even be your hobbiest friends fault. What is his fault is the 1/4" thick scales - ouch.

That said, there ARE a few ways to fix it, but I wouldn't recommend any of them yet.

Also, +1 on what Mycarver said about the blades being asymmetrically ground, and needing individually tweaked scales to compensate for the the blade.
 
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Thank you guys all for taking a look and giving suggestions
So I will message the hobbyist to see what he says, but I took several more photos from just about every angle in case it reveals something. Also a couple more notes, this is not the nicest of razors so it's not a huge deal, I feel like most likely I will follow daflorc's suggestion and just always close it with two hands watching the blades. The scales are made to look like wood but are actually plastic. It is just a Gold Monkey
$20131231_140356.jpg
These two are with the blade at the same position:
$20131231_140444.jpg$20131231_140501.jpg
As are these:
$20131231_140537.jpg$20131231_140545.jpg
So you can see how far into the scales the blade touches the scales first
 
And here are some from above at different angles to give you a sense of whether or not the pins aren't well aligned or anything else that may be wrong (PS deflorc, what's wrong with the scales/the 1/4"? is that too wide or something?):
$20131231_140637.jpg$20131231_140823.jpg$20131231_141224.jpg$20131231_141244.jpg
 
I was going to post that the same happened to me and the vendor graciously re-did the scales (he had drilled the pin not straight), but seeing it is a gold monkey means the vendor did not do the pinning here. On the pictures it is hard to tell but the pin does not look straight (ie. fully perpendicular the the blade and scales).
Anyway, considering the value of the razor, best is to be careful when closing it and use it for what it is for now until you get the bug to buy something else.
 
(PS deflorc, what's wrong with the scales/the 1/4"? is that too wide or something?):
suppose I'll let him answer, but I rough-sand mine to ~1/8" thick, then shoot for ~3/32" by the time I'm done hand sanding, but that's just my taste.
 
(PS deflorc, what's wrong with the scales/the 1/4"? is that too wide or something?):

Actually those new pics help a lot - the first pic made the scales look SUPER thick, but the rest of the pics show that they're a standard 1/8" thick or so. I prefer a little thinner than 1/8" on most materials, and with ivory, I shoot for 2/32". Yes, 1/4" thick would be waaaay to thick and clunky. Too thick of scales don't bow right, are too heavy, look cheap, and pull the wedge end apart using the pin as a lever.

I think your gold monkey is just fine the way it is :)
 
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@totorle, yeah I think that's gonna be what I end up doing.

@Krodor, so 1/4" is just thicker than average? Is the only difference the weight?
 
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