What's new

Strange Wade & Butcher

Gents,

I have had this razor longer than any others in my collection, and I am perplexed! It was the second one that I purchased, I got it off of eBay, and if memory serves me correctly it was just over $70. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing in purchasing or using straight razors…just knew I wanted a famous Wade & Butcher! I didn’t even know the difference between wedge and hollow at that point.

The razor had some tarnish and blemishes here and there, so I sent it to Doc years ago, who cleaned up the face and tang a bit, and cleaned/oiled/polished the original scales. I do not believe he did a complete regrind (Alfredo…did you somehow turn this into a Filly?), but he did hone it for me. I got it back, was happy with the work, used it a few times, and moved onto my next acquisition. It sat in my drawer for years unused.

So the other day, I picked it up, and thought… “What the hell is this…a big pre-1890 Wade & Butcher with a Filarmonica 14 type grind?”

Yes…somewhere along the way…someone took this razor, gave it a paper thin full hollow grind, and finished it so that the bevel near the edge is so thin it’s almost invisible.

I couldn’t believe it, and so I honed it on what is becoming my favorite JNAT!

5A34F6F6-01E4-4FD2-9E34-FD865694B519.jpeg
3B2E7BBF-0190-4A5D-A257-6D5F947A5E1C.jpeg


Today’s shave confirmed what I thought I had…a big Wade & Butcher, with a grind that I have never seen or heard of from this time period! It has the quintessential buttery smooth and soft Sheffield steel, yet it shaves/sings like my favorite Filarmonica razors!
50273E5F-9714-41F7-8A91-D40EE632B411.jpeg
F4C8AB28-6532-435E-AC17-A10D45421502.jpeg

Here are some pictures of the bevel near the edge (hard to get since it’s so thin), and of the grind!

3748D4CB-2151-4762-A4FF-FCFF228E522B.jpeg
F6482934-3F5B-4723-83EA-FE3D323F0D9C.jpeg
C88E82BB-09B3-453C-9CFC-E22FEA526BD7.jpeg


Are these more common than I think? Perhaps they are, and I just have never seen one?

Does anyone else have one, and any pictures they want to share?

Thanks!

Vr

Matt
 
Both of my W&Bs are post-1890, one quite a ways post, I think. The younger one is pretty typical hollow-ground profile but it is pretty thin (not that thin, though). The older one may be ground more like yours. I recall it thinning out significantly from about the bottom of the barber's notch to the edge. I'll take pictures tonight and see if reality matches my memory.
 
It's a combination of my two unicorn razors - a fili & W&B all rolled into one!!

What a beauty - enjoy :c18:

Thanks…I was thinking unicorn as well, when I scooped it up out of the drawer…the resultant shave was the best in most recent memory. I actually think this thing is going to give my Salamanca Filarmonica 14 Especial a run for its money!

Vr

Matt
 
Wow! I have to agree it was reground. And by an expert. Both kinda crazy and super nice!

Thanks! Yes…it took an evil genius to do this…probably to have ground a wedge down to this type of hollow! I wonder how they did it without completely ruining the blade and ruining the hardness.

I am not even close to being knowledgable of such things, but it seems like it would be a tall task.

I initially thought to myself… “Why not just buy an extra full hollow?” I think the answer is in the blade style, and its Sheffield steel.

Vr

Matt
 
After I used the WB I was so impressed, I thought of the Salamanca, in terms of the quality of the end result and thinness at the edge. Here they are:
6CB42561-ED9E-4C9F-8388-FB4EA76CE8F3.jpeg
27B33CCB-BAA2-4619-B112-210133B7398A.jpeg


Salamanca Grind:
71D3A482-E4E2-4A45-AC87-88EECEDC0F93.jpeg

WB Grind:
9777962B-7AEA-4F07-837B-683B97B52FF1.jpeg

The grind on the Salamanca is more hollow heading toward the spine, but at the edge they sure felt the same!

I am going to redo the edge on the 14 after a special stone arrives on Thursday or Friday. The shave will tell me if I am crazy or not!

Vr

Matt
 
They are out there. Once the technology to make a full hollow became available they quickly became the preferred choice. Rather than throw away good steel a lot of owners or makers had their old wedges "refurbished" into a hollow. When you think about it, 90% of the work was already done, so it would have been easier than making a razor from scratch.
 
They are out there. Once the technology to make a full hollow became available they quickly became the preferred choice. Rather than throw away good steel a lot of owners or makers had their old wedges "refurbished" into a hollow. When you think about it, 90% of the work was already done, so it would have been easier than making a razor from scratch.

Like much of my life, I am lucky to have stumbled into this one!

Vr

Matt
 
We will never know the state of the razor before the regrind, so I will not sit in judgement. Bottom line is it is pretty cool that someone could take a Wade & Butcher and regrind it such. It also says something about Wade & Butcher - that the razor could successfully handle such a significant change.

Thanks for sharing - go, Wade & Butcher!
 
That’s got the neat front and wicked thin grind as well! Sweet razor! How’s it shave?

Vr

Matt

When I started shaving it took a great 12k/jnat edge. I got it restored though as it was a gift and just use it for rare occasions. After it was restored I put my coticule edge on it and it has had that same edge for roughly 5+ years I think (under 20 shaves though). Always shaves like a dream and just a phenomenal coticule edge.
 
Top Bottom