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The topic of “mirror finishes”. Polishing a blade to a true #8 mirror finish.

So please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes because I’m having a hard time typing accurately as my hand is a ball of rubber right now. I’m working on another blade and am going for a TRUE #8 finish, which is no easy task.

Every time I have finished putting a real mirror on something, I told myself I’d never do it again. It is so time consuming and can be rather frustrating.

I want to share what I’ve learned from my experiences doing it, as it might help someone else out.

The most important thing is extreme patience. If you don’t have it, don’t even bother. Not trying to be mean, just trying to save you time.
You can get a nice shiny/reflective surface quite easily, but getting a surface ABSOLUTELY flawless is 100x more difficult. Lol, if anyone has seen Breaking Bad, or scene might describe the process quite well. When Gale is explaining to Gus how Walter’s meth is 99.x% pure, Gus tells him it’s only 3% better than theirs. But Gale tells him that the “tiny” 3% is MASSIVE.

Same goes for a mirror finish. The result is STUNNING if you get it completely flawless (no visible scratches under low magnification). It’s night and day. Same goes for the amount of work/persistence and patience required to get it there. Multiple times the duration that it takes to get it close.

So is it worth it? Depends really. In my opinion, it has to be a SPECIAL blade and you have to have the time to commit. Some people do it over months, but by bit. I do a binge, day after day for hours each day until it’s done. I just feel zoned in or something.

If you are gonna do it, you want to have the right materials/tools. I’m gonna put together a list (and a procedure guide) for the different materials/methods that I’ve found work best. I’ve done A TON of trial/error in pursuit of finding the most efficient method. I’ve got a background in restoration (non shaving items as well as razors), so a lot of that experience helped. But there is always more to learn and/or different ways you can try things.

As soon as I put together those lists I’ll update here. Cheers.
 
I always go for mirror, liquid mercury finishes, if I'm doing a full restore. I believe the mirror finish will help fight corrosion.

I feel your frustration, I did 13 progressions on my W/B before I got it right, One tip that really helped me was using a little WD40 on the wet/dry to keep it from loading and adding scratches of it's own.

Yep, I always go for a mirror finish. I also frequently don't get it as good as I'd like.
 
I always go for mirror, liquid mercury finishes, if I'm doing a full restore. I believe the mirror finish will help fight corrosion.

I feel your frustration, I did 13 progressions on my W/B before I got it right, One tip that really helped me was using a little WD40 on the wet/dry to keep it from loading and adding scratches of it's own.

Yep, I always go for a mirror finish. I also frequently don't get it as good as I'd like.
WD40 is an absolute must.

You do hand sanding? I’ve been messing with diamond paste on dremel buff pads. (I’ve used a dremel A LOT and am comfortable with not catching edges or heating up metal). 15 different paste syringes that goes up to 200k.

If you sand, do you use the cork wrapped with paper? Also, I’m curious about how others place/position the blade when sanding. I’ve used craft foam to build little ledges and stuff to support edge, especially on full hollows. Trying something new so I wanna see how it goes before I report on it. If it ends up being a disaster I’d hate for someone to read about it…. Lol, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

One other question. Directional sanding; do you alternate parallel/perpendicular as you switch grits? I’d love to see a photo or two of these liquid mercury T-1000 blades you’ve done.
 
The trick to real mirror finish is dead flat. If you use a Dremel or even a buffer, you are losing flatness.

There are great knife maker videos on mirror finishes, they all hand sand. There are also a group of Sheffield knife makers producing some great knives with real mirror “Black” finishes.

There are also some great old threads on this and other fora on old school “Black” finishes. Also search Crocus finish

Yes, if you want flat, you must sand cross directional.
 
All this talk of mirror finishes and no pics?!?!

Or did someone spike my coffee with acid? LOL
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You guys have more patience than me.

Plus, I don't mind if a vintage razor has a few marks to show its age. I can't buff the wear off my face, so I might as well have a razor that matches.
You might not be able to - but I'd be happy to give it a go!! :p
 
I've tried mirror finishes and it is true, it takes EXTREME patience. I don't think I've gotten anything to liquid mercury mirror smooth, but I have flirted with being kinda close. I have done a couple that I was quite proud of. I'm into vintage razors, and the earlier the better. I don't do high polishes on razors from the 1850s. In fact I try to do as little as possible to them. I like patina, but we can't have rust. The razors I have done are less special. A 20th century Tory, ERN, or Genco isn't hard to come by. I got me Genco fluid steel absolutely gorgeous, then the cat knocked it onto the tile floor and shattered it. Stupid cat.

That Filarmonica is well done and gorgeous... better than my work.
 
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