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Preserving W&B blade etching: How would you proceed?

It's the last thing I need, but I couldn't pass up the beautiful etching on this blade! What degree of cleanup can I get away with and not disturb that etching? Maybe leave a soft-edged oval around it?

What would you do? Thanks!

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I'd just do a light polish with something mild like Mother's and leave whatever patina is left. It'll shave fine with the patina there and as long as you oil it properly it won't degrade badly over time. Why not let it show its age a little? Some gray hairs here and there adds distinction!
 
That would seem the sensible thing to do! If I don't like it I can continue, right? It would be nice if I could get rid of that crud below the B without leaving a lighter, shiny spot. The black stuff at the front on the hone line should be no problem, so I think I will try that approach. Thanks!
 
I would clean and polish it with dishwashing soap as it contains fine polishing particals and see where that leaves you. Other than that I would not fiddle to much as I like my blades with some character and this one has plenty.

If the etching is deep you can aways do with more polishing...
 
I would clean and polish it with dishwashing soap as it contains fine polishing particals and see where that leaves you. Other than that I would not fiddle to much as I like my blades with some character and this one has plenty.

If the etching is deep you can aways do with more polishing...
Sound advice there. Start light and continue forward if you don't like the results.
 
This type of etch will be gone in a jiffy with Mother's or any other metal polish.

You can cover the etch with nail polish and a fine tip brush and polish that way. Acetone work hurt the etch when you remove the polish
 
I thought I had that exact same wedge that I had been holding onto because I didn’t want to destroy the etching. Dug it out and similar but different. Has reverse etching and different wording. The etching is so light I know it will kill it to do anything to it at all. Guess I need to bite the bullet and say goodbye to the etch because it is useless as is.

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I don't know... Don't you think that by using Doc's nail polish suggestion you could save all but a little of the B? Really, the area around the etching doesn't look bad!
 
I don’t think so. Mine is reverse etched, so the wording and decoration are just polished steel and the etch is around it. Unless I leave just part of it but not sure that would look too good. Shame really. I like the heavy blade - I like the old design too. Just don’t think I can have both as a shaver.
 
That's interesting. I've never seen a reverse etching before, but I guess I will when that blade show up in my mailbox. It sure looks the same as yours!
 
Personally, I would not touch it with anything other than soap and water. You have an AWESOME blade there with near perfect retention of the "graphics". I would not risk screwing that up for anything . . . soap and water, and then a nice honing. What a prize.
 
That blade arrived today. I heeded the wise advise dispensed here and was very careful with it. I ended up printing an oval template to surround the etching and covered it with nail polish. Then, carefully went around it with a buffing wheel loaded with automotive cutting compound. A gentle polish with Flitz and Bob's yer Uncle! The scales are soaking in Neatsfoot for a couple days. Thanks for the suggestions!


 
FYI they are engravings on those blades and are deeper then the older ones. If you run your finger nail over them you can feel that they are cut into the blade a bit so polishing won’t effect them as much a chemical etching would. The others with the gold etchings and other thin etchings will disappear when polishing.

The only thing that would be affected might be the black coloring used in the background. Best advice I can give is use your fingernail and feel how deep it is. If it’s cut into the blade, hand polish away!

Larry

P.S. I have one of these blades as well, taking from experience! Looked at 4th down from the top!

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