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Storage and edge retention

Hey Gents!

Only a few months into SR shaving, so still learning something new every day.

This question is in regards to razors maintaining a good edge in storage. A week or two ago I put my razor away to revisit some of my vintage open comb DEs, which was a lot of fun. I oiled up my daily driver SR (a T.I.) with mineral oil as usual and put it away. The edge was refreshed a few days prior and it was feeling great when I put the razor away. The razor sat for a week, and all was well. When I picked up the SR again for a shave, I noticed the edge was a little on the tuggy side, and after the shave I had to refresh it again.

I thought that was strange as the edge was still fairly fresh when I put it away. Is it normal to have to touch up an edge after storing it? I feel like I properly oiled it up before I put it away, but if this is unusual then there was clearly something I did wrong.

I do understand that stropping improperly can affect the edge, but I think I'm passed that at this point in stropping technique.

I'd love to hear what you all have to say. Thank you.
 

Herrenberg

Contributor
My SR rotation is large enough that the razors almost always sit for that long, and they do not seem to lose keenness.

I used to see this occasionally, before I moved to the desert. When I got a microscope, I saw tiny pits in and near the bevel. I was drying the razor pretty thoroughly, but then leaving it near the sink while I rinsed off the lather. No visible water droplets, but I guess there were some tiny ones. I stopped doing that, paid extra attention to the drying part, and have not seen the problem since.
 
I strop on linen then leather and apply oil by palm stropping after each use. I have been wondering the same thing. I store mine in the bathroom. I have not noticed any change in the edge..
 
Kousuke Iwasaki was an early adopter of volatile corrosion inhibitor paper. He wrote extensively about storage treatments to maintain shave ready edges in a textbook for barbers in a course he taught at Tokyo University. He discusses mineral oil, choji oil, etc and found them all vastly inferior to VCI. It works like magic. This is a guy who was advocating the use of microscopes in barbershops for examing blade edges after honing way back in the 1950's. Lots of Japanese barbers used them. Iwasaki obtained a bachelors and masters in metallurgy & metalography from the University of Tokyo simply to improve the quality of his forging. The man knew of what he spoke. You can buy a roll of it inexpensively on Amazon.

My Iwasaki tamahagane western SR has been in it's original VCI blanket since the early 1970's when it was forged. It needs to be replaced regularly though, which I do by putting in a fresh VCI tab once per year. It still looks brand new.



 
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Kousuke Iwasaki was an early adopter of volatile corrosion inhibitor paper. He wrote extensively about storage treatments to maintain shave ready edges it in his textbook for barbers he wrote for a course he taught at Tokyo University. He discusses mineral oil, choji oil, etc and found them all vastly inferior to VCI. It works like magic. You can buy a roll of it on Amazon dirt cheap.

My Iwasaki tamahagane western SR has been in it's original VCI blanket since the early 1970's when it was forged. It needs to be replaced regularly though, which I do by putting in a fresh VCI tab once per year. It still looks brand new.



Very interesting. Thank you.
 
My SR rotation is large enough that the razors almost always sit for that long, and they do not seem to lose keenness.

I used to see this occasionally, before I moved to the desert. When I got a microscope, I saw tiny pits in and near the bevel. I was drying the razor pretty thoroughly, but then leaving it near the sink while I rinsed off the lather. No visible water droplets, but I guess there were some tiny ones. I stopped doing that, paid extra attention to the drying part, and have not seen the problem since.
Interesting point. Humidity is starting to ramp up around here. I generally strop on linen after shaving and I really take care to make sure I oil thoroughly but perhaps I forgot to make sure the edge was dry and applied oil badly, which are both plausible. Thank you.
 
I thought that was strange as the edge was still fairly fresh when I put it away. Is it normal to have to touch up an edge after storing it? I feel like I properly oiled it up before I put it away, but if this is unusual then there was clearly something I did wrong.
Did you strop before the shave?
 
When using mineral oil to help protect a blade's edge, the blade should be stored edge down. This is because the oil flows down due to gravity. If not being stored edge down, you can use petroleum jelly to protect the edge.
 
When using mineral oil to help protect a blade's edge, the blade should be stored edge down. This is because the oil flows down due to gravity. If not being stored edge down, you can use petroleum jelly to protect the edge.
Stored on its side. Very interesting point and will take that in consideration. Thank you.
 
I have 30 razors and I rotate them a lot. My edges tend to stay sharp after months of not using them. I store mine in pencil cases with desiccant packs and in a closet away from the bathroom.

Larry
 
Thanks everybody! I de-oiled my Gold Dollar which hasn't' been used in a month or 2 (at least) and it's passing all of the "is your edge shave ready" tests that we all do haha. I'm sure this was an isolated incident with my T.I. and will take better care drying off the edge and do a better job with mineral oil application on the edge when storing.

Will probably pick up some desiccant packs and mess around with VCI because NYC summers are soupy.
 
Kousuke Iwasaki was an early adopter of volatile corrosion inhibitor paper. He wrote extensively about storage treatments to maintain shave ready edges in a textbook for barbers in a course he taught at Tokyo University. He discusses mineral oil, choji oil, etc and found them all vastly inferior to VCI. It works like magic. This is a guy who was advocating the use of microscopes in barbershops for examing blade edges after honing way back in the 1950's. Lots of Japanese barbers used them. Iwasaki obtained a bachelors and masters in metallurgy & metalography from the University of Tokyo simply to improve the quality of his forging. The man knew of what he spoke. You can buy a roll of it inexpensively on Amazon.

My Iwasaki tamahagane western SR has been in it's original VCI blanket since the early 1970's when it was forged. It needs to be replaced regularly though, which I do by putting in a fresh VCI tab once per year. It still looks brand new.
I wonder if storing it in a sealed bag with rice might work well too.
 
I wonder if storing it in a sealed bag with rice might work well too.
I imagine it would. Rice is poor man's silica gel. It will moderate humidity well enough to de-water a cell phone (ask me how I know). The problem is it'll suck up water all summer long, but when it's saturated, it will release water in a relatively air-tight space onto to cold steel. Condensation and carbon steel don't always get along particularly well.

As long as you change out the rice/dessicant or recharge it in the oven, it does a great job. Trouble only arises if you forget about it in a drawer for years on end in an area with large temperature/humidity fluctuations. I forget about stuff all the time, so I stick with VCI.
 
I imagine it would. Rice is poor man's silica gel. It will moderate humidity well enough to de-water a cell phone (ask me how I know). The problem is it'll suck up water all summer long, but when it's saturated, it will release water in a relatively air-tight space onto to cold steel. Condensation and carbon steel don't always get along particularly well.

As long as you change out the rice/dessicant or recharge it in the oven, it does a great job. Trouble only arises if you forget about it in a drawer for years on end in an area with large temperature/humidity fluctuations. I forget about stuff all the time, so I stick with VCI.
Thanks, I have some silica packs lying around so I might toss those in a bag.
 
My stropping/maintenance procedure is:

Immediately before shave 50 to 60 laps on clean leather.​
After shave wipe dry with toilet paper (not touching the edge).​
About half a dozen laps on a clean chamois strop to clean the edge.​
Fifty laps on 0.1μm diamond pasted hanging balsa strop.​
Twenty very short X laps on the 0.1μm balsa strop (pushing and pulling across the strop).​
If blade is not going to be used for a while (more than about a week) apply Renaissance wax.​
All of this keeps my edges in perfect condition and they never need honing again.

Total time is less than 5 minutes.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Do you guys strop after shaving or wait till the razor comes back around in the rotation to strop?
I give it a quick strop after, about half as many laps as I do before the shave. I mainly do it to make sure I remove any stubborn moister or soap residue that might remain on the edge after drying the razor.
 
Do you guys strop after shaving or wait till the razor comes back around in the rotation to strop?
I do 15 linen/ 15 leather after a shave.
Honestly I probably forgot to do that before I stored my T.I., hence this thread haha

Pre-shave ~40-60 on leather
 
Storing the razor out of the bathroom with a thin film of Vaseline has worked well for me but I get tired of cleaning it off before shaving…
 
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