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Opinions on Finish?

I had picked up a lot of razors mostly aiming at a W&B, but this guy was in there as well. Original condition is seen as it is the top razor in the first picture below. I decided with a little spare time before summer comes, I'd take a blade I'm not invested in and see what I could do. The after pictures follow. Excuse my fingerprints on the tang.

My question is - how far / how much material would you go down to get that perfect finish? The staining and some pitting go somewhat deep and it seemed like a fool's errand to sand it down that far. The finish is pretty good polished finish but the staining in certain light is still present and it isn't a fully "mirror" finish.

Thoughts? Obviously if the starting point was much cleaner and less staining/pitting the mirror is more achievable but trying to gauge how far one goes.

Thanks!
 

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Legion

Staff member
That pitting is deep. I’d probably leave it how you have it and spend the time trying to hone away any pitting at the bevel.
 
Thanks, I was thinking this was about as good as it'll get. The edge had all those small chips when i got it, so thinking I'll have someone experienced still hone it. Hopefully it'll still be a good shaver given it's Sheffield steel. We will see. It needs new scales too, so it might get cheapies being just an ok blade.
 
You have 3 choices, blue the blade with gun blue to enhance the pitting for a Rat Rod look, hand sand with 600 and 1k to bring back the “polish”.

Do a 600 grit one direction satin finish, makes the pitting a bit less noticeable.

Remove a lot of material, aggressively hand sanding, Greaseless compound or re-grind.

Nick Wheeler has an excellent tutorial on laying down a pristine satin finish with 600 wet and dry, one direction. (Nick Wheeler Hand sanding knives 101).
 
thanks for the response. I am not too big on the rat rod look, but maybe the satin finish is the best approach on a razor like this. Appreciate sharing Nick's video, he's amazing!
 
Yup, satin finish can hide a lot of sins, but a good high quality satin finish is as much or more work than a high gloss bright Sheffield finish.

I have seen Nick’s knives in person, they are flawless.

I used to make my personal blades flawless, now days clean, rust free and super shaver is my goal.

Take a look at Mike’s, Woldpack 34 satin finish Sheffield blades for pristine satin finish razors. On other forums.

Those too I have seen in person, amazing finishes. The photos do not do them justice.

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those are a crazy finish! Thanks for sharing. I need to watch that Wheeler video this evening to figure out how the hell they did that.
 
The finish on those razors is amazing, @H Brad Boonshaft!

I prefer a satin finish over mirror on the old Sheffields. I would experiment with different finishes, taking photos. I have only restored blades by hand using wet/dry sandpaper. I prefer 1200-grit finish followed by a light polishing with Mothers on the old Sheffields. Here is an example. Before.

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After. I removed most of the pitting on this one.

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Here is one where I left a little pitting.

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^
There are definitely fundamental principles like don't overheat a blade to the point that it loses its temper, but most of this is common sense and a question of preferences. There are clever tricks, though, like covering etching and plating with nail polish so the face can be polished.

I have also learned a lot by looking at other peoples' work and asking questions.

I recently bought some Renaissance wax. This stuff is kind of magical. Not only does it protect, but it seems to clean up the appearance of the steel.

And I bought two Sunshine Polishing Cloths from Matt at GSG. I need to spend more time with the cloths but preliminary results say that these things really work:


And, finally, you most definitely want to watch this thread:

 
Mike was hand sanding, to get to his satin finish, he took it to a high polish, then dulled it down with Crocus Cloth by hand single direction sanding.

He was also experimenting with Sheffield Black finish, super high gloss, after hand sanding. He was making his own wheels from leather and hard felt and using loose Ferrous Oxide.

It has been years since I have seen or spoke with him, but he said he put in hours of hand sanding on each razor.
 
Thanks for the tips! I do need to play with nail polish as I do have some with etching I don't want to lose.

I was just planning on buying scales and pinning materials from GSG so I'll pick some of those cloths up too, sounds like a nice product. Thanks!
 
For a great scale making tutorial Google, (How I Make Traditional Horn Scales, My Way).

There is a ton of good advice on making and fitting scales. The problem with premade is the fitness. Proper design is made on paper, as you will see from the tutorial. There is a lot to razor scales, other than just handles.

You can avoid fitment issues by planning on paper.

Horn is cheap and easy to work, even with just hand tools and sand paper , looks good and is a traditional scale material. Texas knife for pinning rod and supplies or any Hobby shop for 1/16” brass rod, Micro Fasteners for washers/ collars or AJ Kennedy on eBay for really nice/quality collars and kits.

Lots of good pinning videos and tutorials. Scale making and pinning is not difficult the key is planning.
 
Well I tried my damnedest at a satin finish, but the deeper corrosion on this actually seems to get highlighted by the satin marks. One of the videos shared here (I believe) mentioned getting the surface as flat as possible before applying 600 grit, but obviously in this case that's not very possible given how deep the corrosion is. I wonder if this is why the video recommended as flat/smooth as possible to avoid this very issue.

Regardless, I went back to a "mirror" polish.
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I'm definitely not too worried, just sometimes a perfectionist when working on things. Struggling to make a better satin given the pitting, but the mirror polish doesn't look that terrible so I may stick with it on this one. Next time I'll probably continue practicing satin.
 
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