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Super Straight Score

Went round to do a job for an old friend.
I told him about my wetshaving hobby and he said "I've got some old cut throats lying around somewhere. My mum was a hairdresser and my old man was a barber. You can have the razors if I can find them."
And he did find them!
A George Butler Shakespeare with ivory scales, a 6/8 Kropp and a lovely smiling Gong!
Wow - he paid me for the job and gave me the razors as a bonus.
I'm so pleased I just want to tell my friends on B&B about it :thumbup:
 

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Nice!

The interesting thing about the gong is the questions that arise. Did people enjoy that particular type of honing, was it easier to use, is that just what happens to well loved/used razors and thus purposely honed thst way or was that heavy honing due to improper technique.
 
Very nice! That Shakespear will be a looker once cleaned up! I just hope for you that the rust doesn't run underneath the tang?

For the Gong razor, there are so many straights with the toes worn out like this, I also wonder if it was wanted, or simply a side-effect of heavy-handed honing towards the that end.
 
Turns out the third razor isn't a Kropp. Cleaning reveals that it's a Taylor's Eyewitness 6/8 - this just keeps getting better :thumbup:
And how those superworn smilers like the Gong ever came about is another one of those razor mysteries. I'm intrigued to find out how it shaves...
 

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Just a guess, but I would think the most common place to damage a razor would be toward the toe. Maybe it's to cover up a chip? I hone with two hands and slide just the tip a little extra when I lift off because I like the tip slightly rounded, the square points just end up cutting me. It's never that extreme though.
 
Nice!

The interesting thing about the gong is the questions that arise. Did people enjoy that particular type of honing, was it easier to use, is that just what happens to well loved/used razors and thus purposely honed thst way or was that heavy honing due to improper technique.

That's what happened when you followed the instructions that came with most Barbers hones. They show that you should do a rolling stroke, like you do with a smiling edge. The toe of the razor travels further on the hone than the centre of the heel and that causes the much higher hone wear rate at the toe.
 
That's what happened when you followed the instructions that came with most Barbers hones. They show that you should do a rolling stroke, like you do with a smiling edge. The toe of the razor travels further on the hone than the centre of the heel and that causes the much higher hone wear rate at the toe.

So are the instructions wrong? Should a atraight end up looking like that optimally at ebd of its life?
 
So are the instructions wrong? Should a atraight end up looking like that optimally at ebd of its life?

The instructions were about making sure you got a sharp razor which you did. Perhaps back in the day, they didn't worry about the look of the hone wear at the toe. I wouldn't say the instructions were wrong but they certainly aren't optimal for keeping hone wear even on a razor. I've shave with a few that have the big hone wear at the toe and they still shave fine.
 
Had a good look at these razors last night and really got some respect for those Sheffield blades!
The Eye Witness cannot have been used for at least 40 years but was shaving armhairs right out of the box. The heavy rusting revealed equally heavy patina and there's some corosion on the tang but the edge was true.
I refinished it on an oilstone and CrOx and shaved with it this morning. It's taken a good edge right away, is very well balanced and feels great in the hand . It also gives an extremely comfortable shave.
I have a Lockwood Bros. Pampa which was also made in Sheffield at around the same time (late 19th century?) and that behaves in a similar manner, so I guess that was the peak of English razor design.

The George Butler is also cleaning up well and is already schooling me - cleaning the very end of the toe with some mineral oil, my finger slipped down the point and received a long deep cut which is the worst injury I've got from a straight!
It's bound up now and there's no long term harm done, but it's a very good lesson in the mindfulness these beautiful objects require.
 

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Shaved with the George Butler this morning and it has taken an even better edge than the Eye Witness. Beautiful :thumbup:
Working with these blades, I've now got a honing progression that I'm happy with (barber hone, water stone, oil stone, CrOx, canvas, horsehide).and over time I'll refinish the other straights in my rotation the same way.
Looking at the smiling Gong, whoever honed it previously certainly did it in a quick and careless way and whilst the middle and heel of the blade have a good edge, the toe was as blunt as a butterknife. I guess as a barber shaving somebody else this might be less problematic than for manouvering the blade round your own face.
I've taken it back to the 3k to get a bevel set all along the edge, and I look forward to trying out its smile!
 
Managed to date the George Butler quite accurately too.
It seems that Butler acquired the "ART" trademark in 1861 and relocated production from the Trinity works to Eyre Street in 1864.
Since this razor has both the "ART" and Trinity Works marks, this places its year of manufacture somewhere between 1861 and 1864.
 
Did you check the bevel with a scope prior to shaving with it? I say this only because it happened to me once or twice when re-setting the edge on some razors that I later found some very small nicks on the edge, while everything else looked real sharp & nice. I now bring the edge down to the 1k no matter what, and double check everytime to make sure I haven't missed a thing.

Otherwise it looks like the George Butler came through! It looks stunning.
 
Did you check the bevel with a scope prior to shaving with it? I say this only because it happened to me once or twice when re-setting the edge on some razors that I later found some very small nicks on the edge, while everything else looked real sharp & nice. I now bring the edge down to the 1k no matter what, and double check everytime to make sure I haven't missed a thing.

Otherwise it looks like the George Butler came through! It looks stunning.

I've got a jeweller's loupe but keep forgetting to use it.
I took that George Butler back to 3k initially and it's delivered a great result, so I'll have a look when I get in.
 
Nice score pmaster! This is one of the great things about straight shaving in this modern age. A friend of mine was telling a friend of his, whom I have never met, about my straight shaving, and a really nice antique horse hide strop was passed on to me from ' a friend of a friend'.

The strop is fantastic!
 
Haha sadly i'm not the owner of these wonderful straights, its the OPs, mjclark. I was only admiring/commenting on his lucky score!

Nice score pmaster! This is one of the great things about straight shaving in this modern age. A friend of mine was telling a friend of his, whom I have never met, about my straight shaving, and a really nice antique horse hide strop was passed on to me from ' a friend of a friend'.

The strop is fantastic!
 
To get those kind of heirloom piece, you have to be in an old city.
Here in Silicon Valley, at best you'd get a pack of Gilette Excell blades (back when they only had 2 blades).
 
Well the George Butler held up under the loupe test and also the shave test! Something I really noticed was how long the shave result lasted - 12 hours on it was still great.
Tried the smiling Gong this morning. It had previously been honed very unevenly and the toe was completely blunt so I took it back to the 3k to get an even bevel then lots of concentration on toe and heel, and lots of rolling strokes.
However that blade started out, it's ended up quarter hollow, so shaving with it felt (and sounded) closer to a wedge.
That smile and narrow toe make it very manouverable and very very sharp.
It's noticeably smoother than the Butler and the Taylor, and the result was another great shave :D
 

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