What's new
  • Welcome back Guest!
    If you have been away from our site you may have to request a new password. Simply click on the link for "lost" password in the log in page.
    Thank you.
  • Guest
    The BST is now open, please note the changes in our guidelines to address the recent fraudulent activity. Ensure you read the guidelines prior to creating a sale thread in the Buy-Sell-Trade forum with special attention to the new photo and payment requirements.
    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Restoring/Preserving Horn Scales

I have a few very old meat cleaver style razors that have horn scales. The horn, over a period of 100 years or more, can get very dry and sometimes brittle.

Based on what I have read in the past I have restored horn scales by a light cleaning with Dawn and a damp cloth to remove any surface dirt and then air dry completely. Then I will put the entire razor in a zip lock bag with a tablespoon of Neatsfoot oil and let it soak overnight. Then I remove the razor from the ziplock bag and wipe the scales and blade with clean cotton cloths. This can revive horn quite dramatically.

Btw...Neatsfoot oil is derived from rendering the shin bones of cows. An amazing product for restoring old leather or horn.

Extreme dryness can be very damaging to horn, so be careful with dehumidifier desiccant packs and dry storage. The oil treatment I describe can prevent this from occurring. But also be mindful of very old steel and rust - a delicate balance.

I am interested in hearing from others what you do to restore horn scales.
 
Last edited:
As an addendum to my above note, and for those who may be wondering, Ren Wax is safe to use on horn. I generally dont use Ren Wax on horn scales that have been treated with Neatsfoot oil treatment. I dont feel it is necessary.
 
With regard to not keeping horn (and ivory) scales in a too dry environment, you can also apply Renaissance wax to the steel to resist steel oxidation in that not-too-dry environment. Just remembered to relax the bevel and spine-wear areas after a stropping and shave if the SR is going to be unused for some time - like a week or more.
 
I used 00 and 0000 steel wool with food-grade mineral oil to clean up the scales on this razor and then treated the scales with 100% neatsfoot oil (not neatsfoot oil compound):


I have a "new" razor in similar condition inbound. For this one, I may try the steel wool with the neatsfoot oil.
 
Top Bottom