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INFO! The 2022 Gold Dollar Mod Competition

This competition is a lot of fun seeing what you creative types come up with. Since I am the antithesis of creative, I idly sit on the sidelines waiting to see the works of art that are birthed from you gents! Thank you participants!!!!!
 
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Update: Gold Dollar Alibaba Purchase
Got the Gold Dollar's in the mail today.
  • Link to Product Page
  • Ordered on May 20, 2022
  • Delivered on May 30, 2022 (10 days total from ordering to on my doorstep)
  • Shipping from China to Canada
  • Didn't get dinged with customs, so total cost for 12 Gold Dollar Razors with shipping: $79.90 USD or $101.11 CAD ($8.43 CAD per razor)
Initial Impressions:
Did a quick unboxing and quality inspection. 4 out of the 12 razors have some kind of imperfection on the spine (see attached), similar to, but not as bad as the possible crack that I posted earlier in this thread. This may just be cosmetic--I'm not convinced this would be detrimental to the razor, but for these four, I wouldn't bother doing an entire modification, rescaling, and making it look fancy. These four razors I might use to practice honing and then possibly just give them away once they have a nice edge on them. I can't see anything wrong with the other 8, except that they do not center in their scales when opening or closing. This doesn't bother me since I plan to rescale these anyway. This brings the average cost per nice blade that I would bother putting time and energy into up to $12.65 CAD (101.11/8)

I also notice that compared to the photos and videos I have seen on YouTube of people honing these, the stabilizer seems to be quite a bit slimmer than I expected (photo attached). I'm not sure if/when they changed their design or manufacturing, but from the videos I have seen online, I expected I would have a lot of grinding away to do. If I have to grind these at all, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Some of the toes in a couple of the razors are looking pretty rough with an uneven grind or small nicks that need to be fixed, but it's nothing major.

They are, as expected, sharp, but would be a nightmare to shave with in their current state. My condolences to whoever buys one of these and decides to use it as is. How do they sell so many of these things? Are there that many people out there restoring and fixing these razors? I imagine most people are just looking to buy and try a cheap razor.

I'll do a tap & wobble test on these later tonight or tomorrow when I have time and edit this post with the results of how many of these razors have a warp or twist in them.

Anything else I should look for?

Overall, I am very happy with the vendor I ordered from and these razors will keep me busy for months to come as I build up my collection of sharpening stones and practice fixing geometry issues, setting bevels, honing, and rescaling.
 

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Update: Gold Dollar Alibaba Purchase
Got the Gold Dollar's in the mail today.
  • Link to Product Page
  • Ordered on May 20, 2022
  • Delivered on May 30, 2022 (10 days total from ordering to on my doorstep)
  • Shipping from China to Canada
  • Didn't get dinged with customs, so total cost for 12 Gold Dollar Razors with shipping: $79.90 USD or $101.11 CAD ($8.43 CAD per razor)
Initial Impressions:
Did a quick unboxing and quality inspection. 4 out of the 12 razors have some kind of imperfection on the spine (see attached), similar to, but not as bad as the possible crack that I posted earlier in this thread. This may just be cosmetic--I'm not convinced this would be detrimental to the razor, but for these four, I wouldn't bother doing an entire modification, rescaling, and making it look fancy. These four razors I might use to practice honing and then possibly just give them away once they have a nice edge on them. I can't see anything wrong with the other 8, except that they do not center in their scales when opening or closing. This doesn't bother me since I plan to rescale these anyway. This brings the average cost per nice blade that I would bother putting time and energy into up to $12.65 CAD (101.11/8)

I also notice that compared to the photos and videos I have seen on YouTube of people honing these, the stabilizer seems to be quite a bit slimmer than I expected (photo attached). I'm not sure if/when they changed their design or manufacturing, but from the videos I have seen online, I expected I would have a lot of grinding away to do. If I have to grind these at all, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Some of the toes in a couple of the razors are looking pretty rough with an uneven grind or small nicks that need to be fixed, but it's nothing major.

They are, as expected, sharp, but would be a nightmare to shave with in their current state. My condolences to whoever buys one of these and decides to use it as is. How do they sell so many of these things? Are there that many people out there restoring and fixing these razors? I imagine most people are just looking to buy and try a cheap razor.

I'll do a tap & wobble test on these later tonight or tomorrow when I have time and edit this post with the results of how many of these razors have a warp or twist in them.

Anything else I should look for?

Overall, I am very happy with the vendor I ordered from and these razors will keep me busy for months to come as I build up my collection of sharpening stones and practice fixing geometry issues, setting bevels, honing, and rescaling.
Great score! Those will indeed keep you busy. Even the substandard ones should be great to practice on, as you say.
 
I can’t seem to edit my previous post on so I’ll just add to it here.

I’ve attached two photos that show the similar “cracking” along the spine. In one photo you can see it goes through to the bottom of the tang along the jimping.

Other inconsistencies I’ve noticed: the Gold Dollar logo on the tang is etched lightly on one and stamped into the others. Would have preferred they were all just lightly etched as the stamping is rough and ugly.

Almost all the razors sit very flat on the surface plate and pass the tap and wobble test. A couple need a very, very light touch up which should only take a minute to fix on a coarse diamond plate.

Grind marks everywhere. I wouldn’t mind keeping the black ‘fancy’ gold dollar logo on the show side of the razor blade, but on a lot of them there are scratches and imperfections on the logo, so it’s gotta' go. Jimps are pretty rough all around.
 

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I can’t seem to edit my previous post on so I’ll just add to it here.

I’ve attached two photos that show the similar “cracking” along the spine. In one photo you can see it goes through to the bottom of the tang along the jimping.

Other inconsistencies I’ve noticed: the Gold Dollar logo on the tang is etched lightly on one and stamped into the others. Would have preferred they were all just lightly etched as the stamping is rough and ugly.

Almost all the razors sit very flat on the surface plate and pass the tap and wobble test. A couple need a very, very light touch up which should only take a minute to fix on a coarse diamond plate.

Grind marks everywhere. I wouldn’t mind keeping the black ‘fancy’ gold dollar logo on the show side of the razor blade, but on a lot of them there are scratches and imperfections on the logo, so it’s gotta' go. Jimps are pretty rough all around.
You only get 15 minutes to edit a post. After that you have to write a new one.

The cracks look pretty scary to me but I guess if you are not using power tools they probably aren't dangerous. I wonder if the cracks go all the way through.
 
You only get 15 minutes to edit a post. After that you have to write a new one.

The cracks look pretty scary to me but I guess if you are not using power tools they probably aren't dangerous. I wonder if the cracks go all the way through.

I asked someone who makes knives and they said it's likely not a crack, but rather the "flash" (seam) that is formed during a process called drop forging--probably how they make their blanks and batch them out so cheaply. If it were cracks it probably wouldn't form in the same place on almost every affected blade. Don't know if this is true, but I was told it's likely just cosmetic so if I am grinding away on one of these and it disappears once I take off the top layer of metal, then I'll know.
 

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I asked someone who makes knives and they said it's likely not a crack, but rather the "flash" (seam) that is formed during a process called drop forging--probably how they make their blanks and batch them out so cheaply. If it were cracks it probably wouldn't form in the same place on almost every affected blade. Don't know if this is true, but I was told it's likely just cosmetic so if I am grinding away on one of these and it disappears once I take off the top layer of metal, then I'll know.
That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation! Of course wear goggles while you grind :) I'm sure you know this.
 
I needed that reminder, thanks Mike. I keep trying to remember a new pair of safety glasses when I'm out and keep forgetting!
I'm often guilty of forgetting the goggles. So far I've been lucky. I need to get something better than what I use for yard work.
 
I asked someone who makes knives and they said it's likely not a crack, but rather the "flash" (seam) that is formed during a process called drop forging--probably how they make their blanks and batch them out so cheaply. If it were cracks it probably wouldn't form in the same place on almost every affected blade. Don't know if this is true, but I was told it's likely just cosmetic so if I am grinding away on one of these and it disappears once I take off the top layer of metal, then I'll know.
That makes sense - I suppose we'll know depending on how the grinding goes. Best of luck.

Definitely looks like less of a stabilser on those, though looking through the pictures online there's a lot of variation.
 
Progress report - though I've done a bit more in the last few days. Apologies for the lousy phone picture.

Part of the reason for the 2mm brass was I’d been thinking of a hammered effect and I thought the thicker material would do better with that. This was done with an 8 oz ball peen hammer. The ends bend up during the process (which I half expected), but flipping them over, putting a wooden block against them at judiciously selected points and hitting that with a lump hammer gets them back to something approaching straight. I used a heavy book as a soft anvil.

Holes drilled with hand tools (I just like the feel of a mechanical geared hand drill), which took some doing even with a tiny pilot hole - I ended up keeping the Dremel-clone at hand with a flexible sanding disc ready to refresh the bit with a quick touch every minute or so. I liked the idea of offset pins (as with “Eccentric Tendency” last time), so went with that.

More to follow.

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Progress report - though I've done a bit more in the last few days. Apologies for the lousy phone picture.

Part of the reason for the 2mm brass was I’d been thinking of a hammered effect and I thought the thicker material would do better with that. This was done with an 8 oz ball peen hammer. The ends bend up during the process (which I half expected), but flipping them over, putting a wooden block against them at judiciously selected points and hitting that with a lump hammer gets them back to something approaching straight. I used a heavy book as a soft anvil.

Holes drilled with hand tools (I just like the feel of a mechanical geared hand drill), which took some doing even with a tiny pilot hole - I ended up keeping the Dremel-clone at hand with a flexible sanding disc ready to refresh the bit with a quick touch every minute or so. I liked the idea of offset pins (as with “Eccentric Tendency” last time), so went with that.

More to follow.

View attachment 1466716
Very cool! I love the hammered brass.
 
Progress report - though I've done a bit more in the last few days. Apologies for the lousy phone picture.

Part of the reason for the 2mm brass was I’d been thinking of a hammered effect and I thought the thicker material would do better with that. This was done with an 8 oz ball peen hammer. The ends bend up during the process (which I half expected), but flipping them over, putting a wooden block against them at judiciously selected points and hitting that with a lump hammer gets them back to something approaching straight. I used a heavy book as a soft anvil.

Holes drilled with hand tools (I just like the feel of a mechanical geared hand drill), which took some doing even with a tiny pilot hole - I ended up keeping the Dremel-clone at hand with a flexible sanding disc ready to refresh the bit with a quick touch every minute or so. I liked the idea of offset pins (as with “Eccentric Tendency” last time), so went with that.

More to follow.

View attachment 1466716

I love it so far!
 
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