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What's Your Most Frequent Level of Restore?


Rose to the occasion
I kind of use different levels depending on how bad I want to shave off of the razor and how soon.

I like to evaluate things before I sink a lot of time and effort into them. So my first stage would be, if scales are intact, try to find good steel for an edge and knock off enough rust to make a working razor. Test shave if possible.

My second stage is for scaleless blades that may have potential. Clean up and re scale as needed. Not as simple as it sounds because I usually go over board on the clean up and I like to make my own scales. Possibly my most used option.....but I get a lot of mission creep.....

Then there's level three, which rhymes with OCD. As many pits gone as humanly possible, manufacturing flaws and all grind marks removed, scales by me to make it mine which may or may not have any resemblance to the originals, spilled mercury surface finish, more exotic scale material. Last razor I did at this level took 13 sanding progressions and 3 sets of ebony scales and about a years worth of labor (stolen time) before I got it right. A labor of love I guess. I never once said this is a drag. I felt plugged in and turned on, lost sleep while, lost in my project....Don't care about resale value, it will most likely be passed on in a few years and hopefully who ever ends up with, it fondles it with fascination and reverence and wonders how I pulled that off.

Note - All surfaces a sanded manually with 400 - 2500 W/D with my pointer finger. Dremel polishing on tang radius and barber notch only. Final polish is gently with loosely sewn 4" wheels at low rpm and a bit of white rouge

It worries me a bit that I don't have a level four. A true restore with all original scales and hardware etc, respect of patina and imperfections. If I ever scrounged something worthy of level four, I'd farm it out. Yes, there is a couple grail razors out there I'd like to have. Some are quite expensive. I'd rather get one I could turn into my level three, than baby a level four.

How far do usually go?


Girls call me Makaluod
I'm pretty much in your camp @duke762. I don't believe I have the skills to get to a level 4 and I am still working on my first level 3 restore, a pre 1890s 8/8 Cadman "Bengall". Level 1 and 2 restores are my most common. So far I have only bought 2 vintage SRs that were just un-restorable and had to be thrown out.
Knock the rust off and put an edge on it, most often. Repair or replace the scales if necessary. I don't care about a bit of patina on an antique, as long as it is clean and working properly.

This sounds much like my target in a restore. I primarily want an enjoyable shave. I like a sharp edge, no active corrosion, a reasonably tight pivot, and decent centering. Anything after that is up to my whims of the moment.

I like the patina and the signs of how a razor was used and maintained. My most extreme case of avoiding any restoration of obvious faults is a $20 Wostenholm pipe razor.

The blade did not have any red rust and did not need a bevel set. A prior owner replaced one of the black scales with another one close in color and shape, but more than 1/8" shorter. I haven't rescaled. I haven't polished Wostenholm's etched screed off the blade. Somehow it centers reasonably well. I haven't even taken the stick-on price tag off, so I can continue to pat myself on the back for recognizing a diamond in the rough.
Original, good condition, no deep pits etc...clean it, gentle hand polish with a bit of polish on a cloth so I don't remove all the patina, sharpen and shave.

Rough with deep pits, etching gone, previous mods or regrinding, broken scales, missing scales... all bets are off. Anything from keep the shape but sand it smooth to altered how my whim desires, and new scales usually in a classic style.
Being new to this, i was recently pretty enthusistic and had some down time. This allowed me to spend more time sanding the steel on a handful of blades - not the mercury finishes but removing anything visible. The last few, i enjoyed just cleaning up, removing rust and having fun with scale combinations.
I also think the level intended is aligned with my preference of blades - if i have a special blade, more time is worth it.
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