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To polish or not to polish?

Polarbeard

Contributor
I rummaged through my restoration drawer and found this very nice ERN that I can't make up my mind about. I can't date it exactly but my guess is that it is made before 1914. As you can see it seems to be unused and it has got an, in my opinion, very nice etching on both sides of the blade. However the etching has got water stains. What would you do?
  • Polish the blade and remove both the stains and the etching.
  • Leave the blade as it is.
I can't seem to be able to make up my mind. It would be a shame to remove the etching, but then again I'm the type of guy that keep everything I own in perfect condition.
20200522_085134.jpg 20200522_085145.jpg
 
I rummaged through my restoration drawer and found this very nice ERN that I can't make up my mind about. I can't date it exactly but my guess is that it is made before 1914. As you can see it seems to be unused and it has got an, in my opinion, very nice etching on both sides of the blade. However the etching has got water stains. What would you do?
  • Polish the blade and remove both the stains and the etching.
  • Leave the blade as it is.
I can't seem to be able to make up my mind. It would be a shame to remove the etching, but then again I'm the type of guy that keep everything I own in perfect condition.
View attachment 1103991 View attachment 1103992
no polish......

even though im new to this I love the history of markings, etchings, etc.

to me it would be a shame to lose the lettering. I call the stains "character."

camo
 
I would also vote for no polish, although I appreciate your anguish.

If the stains occurred while in your possession, treat them as a lesson learned.
 
You can pretty much flip a coin with this one. I tend to want to delete pits/rust in an early stage in hollow ground blades if I catch it.
 

Vaporstang

Contributor
Have you tried any clean-up at all? Have you tried mineral oil to take off any of the staining? As far as polishing, I think mild polishing in a small test area might help you decide.
 
Tough call. It obviously has more value if you don't polish, however... Why not polish all of it except the for the face with the etching, if it really speaks to you, finish it off. If it doesn't, hold on to that window into the past.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
As your are aware, I'm a completue plebeian with a complete focus on the shave itself. I would hone it and if it shaved like a bandit, I would have it profesionaly polished as I am a clutz at that type of activity, and use it. I have had etched blades polished where the etching came out just fine for what its worth.
 
Here's an idea. Take it to an old experienced jewellery and get his opinion. He might have the skill to polish it out without affecting the etching.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator
sorry, Arne, I can see active rust and you need to remove the rust to stop it, I had the same choice as yourself lose the etching or keep the rust and I had to remove the rust to save the razor.

As they say, pretty don't shave but razor does and it's down to one's self what they want, but knowing you and your collection of beautiful razors I think I know your choice.
 
Arne, I would use 0000 steelwool to deal with the rust/stain. 0000 should not have any significant impact on the etch. Make a call after that.
 
I'm the type to polish it. Actually I've done it. I use a dremel with a cotton buff wheel and green polish paste. Actually left quit a bit of the etching as well in ok condition.
 

Seveneighth

Contributor
Ambassador
sorry, Arne, I can see active rust and you need to remove the rust to stop it, I had the same choice as yourself lose the etching or keep the rust and I had to remove the rust to save the razor.
Has anyone tried using Kurust on a razor? My understanding is that stuff stops the rust activity.
 

totorlekiller

Contributor
Polish. This razor deserves to shine again.
I'd go further: Polish and get rid of the plastic scales.
That razor deserves better. The idea of keeping as original, only makes sense if you are looking at a grand masterpiece whose restoration can not match the skills of the original maker. Otherwise, it is silly.
What you want is a beautiful razor. Sure a nice etching is nice, but so is a perfectly polished blade.
Plastic might have been cool when it was the new age material that will enable us to conquer space, but now it is just cheap and tacky.
 
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