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Repairing Buffalo Horn Scales

150 Wade & Butcher 16 16ths.jpg

I picked up this 8/8ths Wade & Butcher last week. I've refinished enough blades back to gently polished and shave ready that I'm good with the blade and experienced at re-pinning. I'm inclined to make an attempt to repair the scales rather than splurge on a new set.

The pivot pin end is quite stable with a bit of chip and insect damage. The other scale has a large chip missing. My question is whether there is any hope to establishing a stable set of repaired scales.

My thinking at this point is to use an epoxy filler (maybe dark blue rather than trying to match the black) and then sand it down to match the shape. Does anyone know if this works or would simply be an unstable mess?

I'd appreciate some input on optional approaches.

I would replace. If that is a lead wedge, you might want to reuse that. Somebody else might chime in with a different opinion and maybe ideas for salvaging the scales.
+ 1 on what Slash said .Too much damage to the horn .Even if you could fill in missing horn with filler /epoxy .It would not look good .New Horn scales would look great .Good luck on your project .
Thanks for the advice. I'd enjoy trying to repair the old scales but I would also like to have a nice set of solid scales on this razor. which the old scale probably won't become. I realized last night that nothing is stopping me from doing both. I'll get around to trying an epoxy-fix just to see how it turns out. In the meantime I'll set out to find a decent set of horn scales.


With a great avatar comes great misidentification
If you have some basic tools you can get some horn blanks from Maggard's. I've used them and besides being on the thick side they are nice blanks and make some good scales in my experience.
If you have some basic tools you can get some horn blanks from Maggard's. I've used them and besides being on the thick side they are nice blanks and make some good scales in my experience.
Thanks. I got pins and washers from Maggard's a couple years ago. They do have a good selection of materials.
Replacement is best option.

If you are adventurous you can cast the scales in resin and insert some bone or ivory, also for the wedge. You might even take out sections of the horn to fill with resin or bone/ivory to create a dramatic look. Carbon fibre liners to make them durable, or if you want to go thin.

Ivory below

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Where do you live....if you don't mind me asking.i have some 100+ yr old ceder(I think) siding would look great on that blade. I'm in Ohio.
I will try out the epoxy fix just to see what I'm able to produce and the carbon fiber liner sounds like a solid idea. I'll also order some horn so I can try my hand at that. In the meantime, I dropped by a local shop here in Ottawa (Canada) this weekend and picked myself up a piece of Gabon Ebony and some Lycos Oil. I tried my hand at cutting and sanding something temporary and I have to admit to being reasonably happy with the outcome. Although I may thin them out with a Belt Sander. In the meantime, the pic below are my temporary scales. 150 Wade & Butcher.jpg 150 Wade & Butcher.jpg
If you have the piece that is missing from the rear scale, they can be fixed easily. If you don't have it, then they can still be fixed but the difficulty level increases significantly.
Hello, the original can be salvaged, but the repair will be more or less visible. The missing piece can be replaced with clear epoxy mixed with horn dust. I’d glue both scales to something thin, durable, flexible to reinforce them, cast the resin then shape and polish it. The replacement will be color matched, but the striped pattern of the horn can’t be replicated.