Mirror polish

Discussion in 'Razor Restoration' started by Reformation Student, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    I think you might be confusing regular metal polishing techniques with Razor Restoration..

    I would advise that you restore some Hollow grind razors first and realize just how easy it is to snap one before giving advice about how to restore them...... Just pressing on one from the side with your thumb can snap a blade

    Sir: your advice is dangerous to the razor and the person behind the wheels...as you haven't delineated the procedure to use or the equipment...

    Take that for what it is worth, and why do any polishing at all if you like the pits..?????
    Steve56 likes this.
  2. 8thsinner

    8thsinner New Member

    Yes it's true I haven't got Razor Restoration under my belt as of yet, And yes I am describing regular metal polishing techniques.

    If you think my techniques would be dangerous then fair enough, I am glad you said so. Maybe I will test myself on this blade of mine and see how it goes first.

    As for pits, I like them yes, but I will not ignore them or try and remove them, I think half the beauty of using vintage razors is that the steel has a character of it's own and a history. I don't see why everything has to be completely cleaned up as if it's brand new. To me thats like taking a 15th century solid english oak table and painting it pink. And yes I have seen that done.
  3. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

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    I apologize for coming off strong, but I have read to many stories of flying steel over the years...

    I know a couple of the guys use the Dremel with a softer steel brushes, and some use the flap style wheels and many many more have shattered blades using them...

    Razor Restoration is a whole different animal, and I came over from Gunsmithing, and it still took hundreds of razors before I stated to even think I knew what I was doing...

    Like you were saying, you have to first off decide what direction you are even going with the restoration and sometimes the razor does the thinking for you..

    Some of them lend themselves to full Custom restores some look better as Vintage or back to Factory and some like you mentioned just need a touch of cleaning a good honing and they are fine ...
    That is a decision between you and your razor :D
    Karl G likes this.
  4. 8thsinner

    8thsinner New Member

    Yes you came off strong, but I can also understand your view point, you make a living bring old blades into factory looking goodness, and yeah I would say your pretty damn good at it too, and somewhat cheap too even btl.

    But I hardy think you can compare mishapped dremel workings to a wire brush...Granted safety is not something I consider myself qualified to offer out, infact I would say even a room full of lawyers would take all day sorting that out. I am old school, I don't mind falling and getting a bruise, I take MY life as MY responsibility.
    I certainly don't have the tools to do what you do, I make do with very little infact throughout everything I do whether it's shaprennig up my katana or stitching up a leather backpack.

    Anyway, were getting seriously off topic here, You stated rather bluntly that I am dangerous, Why not tell me and everyone else, how you would go about cleaning out pits if that was the intention?
  5. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    As usual a huge misconception, I make a living as a Financial Manager,,, Razors are but a small hobby business...

    You might want to do a bit of reading on this forum and SRP and B&B as there are multitudes of threads about how to clean and refurbish razors, my ways are far from the only ones...

    In fact if you just read this thread you would see the safest and most sure way of doing it by hand...

    As to wire brushes I would never let them touch a razor, in fact I have never heard of any of the restorers using one, other than the Dremel one,, Not by hand nor machine....Perhaps on a heavy blade it could be used safely, I just don't see the advantage of scratching the heck out of the blade, to then have to polish it back out....

    There are many people including myself that have invested hours of our time showing people on all the shave forums, how to do things Safely and Effectively using Pictures, Animations and even Videos, the only difference is these are proved techniques on Straight Razors...We never post what we think might work, or what worked on a knife or a sword, without clearly stating that, as this can create a dangerous situation... The hardest thing to understand in this hobby is that Straight Razors are different, once you learn that, then you are on the way to shaving bliss....

    I hope that helps you understand
    Karl G likes this.
  6. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    I agree that sometimes a completely clean finish isn't desirable in a razor. When I cleaned up my grandfather's old straight, I intentionally left some of the pitting and discoloration because I wanted to show it's history. Though, it is plenty usable now. Essentially, I just used MAAS to clean off the as much of the old discoloration as possible and left it at that. Similarly, when I refinished my hard wood floors, I intentionally left some of the discoloration in the wood for the more antique effect because the floors are 80+ years old.

    Basically though, I am looking to get no name razors from antique stores which wouldn't cost a great deal of money (many around my area can be had for $10 or so) and practice learning a specific technique, one for the enjoyment of it and two for the learning experience. Not necessarily because I think everything old must look new again (I wouldn't mind doing that with my waist line though :D )
  7. 8thsinner

    8thsinner New Member

    I think I am going to be going that way myself, This new market I found I have found three straights in so far, I have only bought two as of yet, but getting involved with this thread has shown me I should do some walking before I start trying to help people on their running form.
  8. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    Getting involved is sometimes the quickest way to learning something new or different. I'd like for you to PM me your method of sharpening up your katana. I'd love to read or see different techniques for that as I love the Japanese sword.
  9. 8thsinner

    8thsinner New Member

    As I am partial to practising suemonogiri/tameshigiri, I don't go much for fancy hamon work, I prefer a practical finish. For this I simply use my hands and the finest wet and dry I can find to finish with, 2500 is the best I have found myself.

    Literally just curve the fingers and rub, up and down and up and down...
    For the Kissaki though, I find a mouse pad under the wet and dry helps a lot.

    If you know your katanas even a little you will know that a marto is not much of a blade to work with, well heres a quick link which might dispell that, if treated and sharpened correctly they are very nice cutters. The model in the following video was the full tang 440C version, I rehandled it and bound it with a leather battle wrap and added proper pins.

  10. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    Very nice. I haven't done tameshigiri in years. My katana is an unsharpened iaito I used to use for iaido practice. I used another's sword for cutting practice after our iaido seminars. It was a lot of fun and gave me a better understanding of what the iaido kata were designed for.
  11. LRD_III

    LRD_III Member

    At one point I was the self proclaimed Village Idiot of SRP and Glen can tell you why. I thought honing was simlar to pocket knives (which are in fact harder IMO to hone than a razor), and that restoration was easy. NOT!!!! Honing is easy, restoration is very hard depending on what equipment and expertise you have. Now in this situation, you should listen because razors are much different than any other form of cutlery. Ask anyone like me who dropped a NOS DD Goldedge I bought for $40 and cried as the blade cracked
    1/4" after only falling less than 2ft. I can tell you that hand sanding is boring and inefficient, but it works eventually and you can get a decent looking finish. However, you will not get the perfect mirror like Glen, Max, Brad, or even Lynn (who is an excellent restorer as well!) by hand sanding. It doesn't matter how long you sand. You can also get cut doing it no matter what precautions you take. If you are serious about getting a good mirror finish on a lot of razors, then buy a buffer and learn to use greaseless and buffing compounds. Whatever tool you use though, you shoudl know how to use it safely. A dremel is the easiest way to break, over heat, or ruin an edge as you will find. A buffer is also an easy way to have a blade slung at you or into you if you do not know how to use one as well as ruining blade temper and other things. You can also ruin a great set of scales with a buffer if you do not carefully watch what you are doing. If hand sanding were the best way, then the professional (ie.paid) restorers would hand sand and never be able to charge enough to make money. Most of them have multiple buffers set up with greaseless compounds and buffing rouges so that they can move from station to station quite quickly. That is the secret to their ability to make money doing razors where there are no need to rescale. They can move quicker than you think with razors not needing scales and hence do a pretty good volume of razors when scales are not invloved. It's a better business tool to encourage handsanding for beginners because its safer for new guys, and once the new guy hand sands a bad blade, they will next find a restorere and pay them because it's cheaper time wise than hand sanding. Just don't think they are making millions though because buffers, compounds, wheels, and tools for doing these thigns are expensive not to mention the expertise it takes to run these machines.

    That being said, I have used a brass brush on a dremel to achieve a satin finish that looked good, but I had a lot of sanding one before I attempted it. Other than that, I agree that a brass brush is NOT somethign to use on razors. They do not remove pits well and they do not leave desireable markings.
    Listen to Glen and the more experienced ones (ie. not me). Even though I am not friends or have much respect for some of them, they know how to restore razors and have taken lots of time to share information that would take months to learn othewise. Also note, I am not talking about making scales. That my friend is very time consuming and for me is much more difficult than running a buffer or honing a razor.
    Good Luck!
  12. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    I wondered who replaced me as the official SRP idiot when I left :D. You are right about the pocket knives. I'm learning how to hone pocket knives and found them harder learn than straights.

    I absolutely listen to guys like Lynn, Glen, and Bill Ellis when it comes to razors. Learning from them is exactly why I post my questions and they have reduced my learning curve drastically.

    I will stick to hand sanding/finishing for now since I'm just learning, want to be as safe as possible and never plan to do this as a paid activity. And I do know I can cut myself doing hand work. Nothing is completely safe

    As for making scales, not even interested. yet;)

    Thanks for the input!
  13. shamraze

    shamraze New Member

    what your thought on taping the spine?
  14. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    My newest simple answer :)

    Until you feel so confident in your honing that you do NOT put any wear on the tape, use tape ,,, after that, One layer of tape simply doesn't matter.
    Anyone that thinks it does hasn't done the math or the work to prove it ..
    Really simple = "If you have to ask, use Tape" :)

    More than One layer of tape is a different matter altogether and is used for Geometry Correction whole different subject that I would be happy to discuss if that is what you mean, again all about math :p
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  15. Steve56

    Steve56 Hone Hoarder

    Agree with Glen, never use a wire brush. A fiberglass brush works well, but needs to be extended a bit so it isn’t so stiff, even a fiberglass brush can scratch steel - you’re trying to remove scratches and marks, not make them. Be careful with the fiberglass brush, the bristles will snap off and you should not get these in your eyes or on your skin.

    A layer of electrical tape increases the bevel angle on razors from say 11/16 to 7/8 wide by about a degree. More with narrower razors less with wide ones. Usually not an issue but it never hurts to check the bevel angle. 1 mil Kapton is actually 2.7 mil total including the adhesive, a little less than half the thickness of Scotch 77, so about 1/2 degree increase, and it’s more wear-resistant than electrical tape which is a nice bonus.

    Always support the blade of a hollow razor when working on it, as Glen says you can snap one with finger pressure. I usually use a rubber jeweler’s block which also makes for a fine small hone support.

    Cheers, Steve
    brit, gssixgun and SevenEighth like this.
  16. neiasden

    neiasden Member

    what he said! that's what I'm going with too LOL.

    OTE="8thsinner, post: 358943, member: 4705"]If your tackling it at 220 then yes probably more change could be expected, However

    I honestly think the better way to go would be to get the majority of pits out, a wire brush works wonders for this.

    Then patina the blade so the pit is protected, then continue up the grits to polish everything around it.

    I think pits actually add a nice look to vintage razors. But thats probably just me.[/QUOTE]

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