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Winter Entertainment

Well, I was going to revive an old thread where I had asked several questions of you experience fellas around here. I realized, however, that those questions have since been answered, and it wouldn't do me any good to have people answering them all over again.

I got into this little hobby shortly after my introduction to wet shaving. I like to work with my hands, and this is a great activity to help pass the time during the cold winters in Montana. This summer, though, I was traveling relentlessly and had to completely postpone my introduction to razor restoration. Now that it's cold again, I'm back at it.

Basically, in that other post I referred to I was beginning to learn the art of razor restoration, and that started with a Joseph Allen & Sons 5/8 wedge (or nearly wedge). That blade is pretty much ready for scales now. I haven't quite acquired all of the tools for scale making yet, but as soon as I do I'll have that one finished up and will get some pics up for you. I work as a volunteer, so everything I do is on a minimal budget. Buying $20 worth of coping saw is something I have to plan for.

In the meantime, I thought I would post some of the others I have started. These three I just undressed (removed scales) today. I began cleaning the blades, but they aren't ready for pics quite yet. They have come from various places. Two of these I picked up off of a B&B'er here to learn on, and the other I got from a local antique shop.

Anyway, I'm going to use this post to ask some questions to some of you experienced guys and also as a show and tell sort of thing. If any of you guys have some input on these razors (shave quality, things you notice about them, history, whatever) let me know. You can probably provide me some information I don't already have.

Here we go:

Razor 1 is a Traveler's Gem. The back is marked "Rich Leukroth New York, Made in Germany". This one has some pitting right on the shaving edge. My hone skills are very novice, so I don't know what I'll be able to do with it. I was going to try to salvage the scales (they were in good shape only misaligned), but I busted one of them in the de-scaling process. I found a source for sheet carbon fiber that I'd like to try to make some scales from for some of these lighter blades. Anyone ever work with that stuff? Does it make good scales?



Razor 2 is another Joseph Allen & Sons Non XLL. It has some pretty heavy hone wear near the toe but a fairly clean edge. It should clean up nicely.



Finally, this one is a Joseph Fenton & Sons Cutlers, Sheffield. I've never heard of it. The tip has a quasi-French point, but looks to have been modified at some point. I've never heard of this brand before, but it looks pretty solid. The pitting is pretty deep, but it should polish up. It is roughly a 6/8, 1/4 hollow. Nice heavy blade.



The three of them, undressed.

 
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I'm rooting for the Fenton. That one will make a smooth shaver, no doubt.
Thanks. It's my favorite so far, but I have another half dozen razors on the way from a couple of ebay wins. We'll see what comes of them.

Seraphim, I know you do a lot of work reshaping blade tips. How do you do it? The Fenton's tip has been modified, and the job was poorly done. It is uneven and looks pretty bad. I'm considering reworking it, perhaps with a Spanish point. Got any useful input? I have a dremel-type device that would certainly do the work, but I know too much heat will screw with the hardness of the metal.
 
Thanks. It's my favorite so far, but I have another half dozen razors on the way from a couple of ebay wins. We'll see what comes of them.

Seraphim, I know you do a lot of work reshaping blade tips. How do you do it? The Fenton's tip has been modified, and the job was poorly done. It is uneven and looks pretty bad. I'm considering reworking it, perhaps with a Spanish point. Got any useful input? I have a dremel-type device that would certainly do the work, but I know too much heat will screw with the hardness of the metal.
Having only done this once, take it for what it's worth. :001_tongu
When I did the surgery on my Newfoundland point (yes, I'm going to start calling it that from now on.:001_tt2:) Glen (GSsixgun) recommended that you use a small diameter sanding drum and slowly rework the tip. So that's what I did. I set my rotary tool on the slowest setting and slowly worked the blade from the edge to the spine always keeping the direction of spin going towards the thicker part of the razor blade. I don't know if the direction of the spin means much or not, but I it made me feel better working towards the stronger part of the blade. I wrapped the razor in several layers of old shop rag and held the blade with a leather gloved hand. I also wore saftey goggles in case the blade shattered or a bit of junk flew off the wheel and into my face.
I also kept a small can of water handy, and dipped the blade into the water on a *very* frequent basis.
You don't want to bear down very hard with the sanding drum. Just remove a fraction of metal at a time. The rotary tool should never sound like it's bogging down.

I'm sure there are much better ways to do this, but that's what I did, and it seemed to work.
hope this helps a bit.

btw. the Fenton is just damn sexy, gosh I love those heavy blades.:w00t:
 
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Thanks for the input, John. That is exactly how I was thinking of going about doing this.

And yeah, I'm pretty excited about that Fenton. I worked on it some earlier, and the pitting is going to be a pain for my perfectionist approach to this. :rolleyes: I really want that blade to shine.

I hear those Joseph Allen & Sons non XLL's make good shavers, too. I have two of those under way, and I'll have one ready as soon as I get my hands on some type of saw to begin making some scales. Well, that and however long it takes me to figure out how to hone one. I'm still brand new to honing. Too bad I haven't adopted your crazy metal working skills yet. I'd love to put that Fenton in some of those 'John C custom-cool' scales.
 
Thanks for the input, John. That is exactly how I was thinking of going about doing this.

And yeah, I'm pretty excited about that Fenton. I worked on it some earlier, and the pitting is going to be a pain for my perfectionist approach to this. :rolleyes: I really want that blade to shine.

I hear those Joseph Allen & Sons non XLL's make good shavers, too. I have two of those under way, and I'll have one ready as soon as I get my hands on some type of saw to begin making some scales. Well, that and however long it takes me to figure out how to hone one. I'm still brand new to honing. Too bad I haven't adopted your crazy metal working skills yet. I'd love to put that Fenton in some of those 'John C custom-cool' scales.
I feel your pain. The W&B that I've got currently underway is just going to have to have some pitting left on it. I'm thinking of leaving it as a satin blade as well.

The scales will be totally finished by monday, and I'll set the blade and she should be ready to goto a honester. :w00t:
 
So I got a package in the mail today. Six more restoration projects! I should have plenty to do for a while. I won the lot of them on ebay. I'll put some pictures of them up when I get the chance; probably this weekend. I have a busy night tonight.

Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this set of razors. Once of them is chipped beyond repair, but I'm okay with that. It just came with the set. There was also a shavette style razor. It is in good condition, just needs a little cleaning. I'll clean it up and try it out. I've never used one of those things.

Included in the lot is a Joseph Rodgers 6/8 with some pretty substantial rust on the tang, but the shaving edge is pretty clean. This one won't be a looker but should be functional.

There's a 5/8 ERN, which will be more like 4/8 before it's usable. The edge is pretty caddy-wompus.

There is a W. Greaves & Sons 6/8, square point that still has the wooden scales on it. The scales need some work, but I think I might try to salvage them. They aren't broken or cracked anywhere. The blade is in good shape, no nicks or chips, no pitting, and very little, light rust.

The last one is a Wester Bros 11/16, square point. This one is in probably in the best shape of all of them. I'm going to try to avoid even removing the scales of this one so I can get shaving with it soon. They are straight and clean, even though they are bakelight and I'll want to replace them eventually.

I have a question for you guys, though. The last two razors I mentioned have some bluing on the blades. Is heat the only thing that can cause this? And, would that keep them from being good shavers?
 
Bluing won't affect the shave. Sanding and/or polishing will remove the blued finish, though. The bluing process is a combination of chemical and heat, and the heat is fairly low (doesn't affect the hardening process.) Blued steels are a little more resistant to corrosion.
 
Ok, guys. Here are some pics of the razors I just picked up.

The bottom one here is the Wester Bros. I already cleaned it up and honed it. I'm going to give it a shave run tonight to see how I did honing. This is only hone #2 for me, so I have my doubts. Also, I didn't go for the gold cleaning this thing. I didn't even remove the scales...or do anything to the scales, for that matter. I'll put some more pics of it up later.

The one above that is the W. Greaves & Sons.



The bottom one in this pic is the ERN, and the top one is the Joseph Rodgers. The ERN has a pretty jacked up edge, as you can see, and the Rodgers has some pretty nasty rust on the tang.



The broken one is a Century or something. I haven't paid it any attention, really. I'll chuck the blade, but the scales I'm gonna hang on to. I don't really like them, but they are in good shape. We'll see what happens. Maybe I can trade them or something.

The other is a shavette style thing marked "Universal". The patent info is stamped on the back, and it appears to be U.S. made. Anyone ever use one?

 
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