Restoration How-tos and bookmarks

Discussion in 'Razor Restoration' started by PalmettoB, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    Since there is more interest now than ever in restoring those old antique store and Ebay finds (myself included in that pursuit), I think it's time for a thread where we can post up some helpful hints and even some favored locales for buying hardware and such. Maybe if it's all in one place, we can have a handy, quick reference for us DIY folks.

    Now you "old timers" and masters need not fear us newbies. I'll never get to where Peter (bg42) or Gary (traveller) or some of these others are in my restoration work. The point is to take a blade I already have and fix it up myself! So any advice you have for us newbies is greatly appreciated.

    I'll start with some links to stuff I have found that might help (Thanks Klaus!!), and a wish list.


    escutcheon pins:

    hardwoods suitable for scales:

    This is certainly not an exclusive list, and if you have a better place, or YOUR favorite place, to buy these supplies, post it up! Which takes me to the wish list. Where do you find the "cup" washers or bulls-eye type washers that are seen on some the great old larger "chopper" blades? How about brass, stone and plastic spacer materials? Any particular finishes you folks recommend?

    And don't forget the blade itself! How about Dremel attachments or sandpapers and such? MAAS, or Flitz? Or something completely different?

    Any of you old-guarders that are willing to help without giving away trade secrets, feel free to chime in! (I personally want to thank Peter {bg42} for giving me some great advice!)
  2. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Tool Time

    Very cool idea, Blair!
    I'll certainly add my $0.02 when I'm sober again :D
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  3. bg42

    bg42 New Member

    I would be glad to answer any questions on how to subjects if I can ,however I feel that there are others a lot more knowledgable than me, I just muddle through.
    There is that workshop on how to do the pearl scales I did a while back ,that also shows how to line up pivot and wedge holes and how I do the collars etc (MOP101) you may wish to bring that forward .
    Thanks for the kind words ,as I said I`ll help if I can
    Kind regards Peter
  4. Ragnost

    Ragnost Member

    possibile suppliers

    Here is a list of possible suppliers some will be more relevant to UK or European users Adjustable pins Hones and tools Wood for scales (exotic woods cut to scale size) MOP and Shells for scales As above Tools Tools Tools Tools Tools Polishing supplies Tools Tools Case tumblers (easy way to clean and polish both straightsand DE’s) Hones (slate)
    hope this is a help to all :)
    BeShaved likes this.
  5. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Tool Time

    Great list, mate, it's appreciated! ::
  6. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    NICE! There's some real gems on there.
  7. rrp1501

    rrp1501 New Member

    Thanks! I'm just starting out. Can anyone give me pointers on what to do and what I need. I've been hooked by Straight Razors and would like to start restoring old Razors. I am a retired/diabled vet and have alot of time and have a genuine desire to restore Razors. Just to see the lines of a beautiful, clean, shinning razor is a real treat! I've been collecting pocket knives for some time so that's where I was first bitten by the Str8 bug! Thanks to all in advance and God Bless!::git
  8. j3ckl3r

    j3ckl3r New Member

    depends on a lot. ebay is a good source for razors to play with. sometimes you can get a really nice deal on an old antique but theyll always have cheap junk you can buy to practice on.

    you pretty much need an entire wood shop if you intend to completely restore a razor. if the scales are ok you might be able to get away with a large variety of sand paper glued to some glass plate. if youre as ambitious as i am you'll need much more. i intend to get a forge up and running so i can fix razors that are cracked and chipped.but that will have to wait until i finish school and pay off my $10k student loan.
  9. wyatt46

    wyatt46 Well-Known Member

    I picked up some old Straights and found that they dont clean up as easy as Nickel coated DE's.
    One from T.Noonan and Son Co. called a Black Demon, with a woodgrain Scale (I guess thats what its called).
    The other I can only make out "Sheffield Silver Steel"on it, Black handle
    The Scales are in good condition

    My question is what is the best way to get the tarnish off the blades and shank ?
  10. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Wyatt if that blade is in good shape those are awesome shavers, I mean really good :D
  11. Larry Stephenson

    Larry Stephenson Active Member

    Just discovered this and other posts cruising through the older forums. Thanks a lot. Very useful info sources.
  12. JimPo42

    JimPo42 Purported Hand-Shaver

    This is a great thread. I actually just got my tumbler today. Frankford Arsenal with 5lbs of untreated walnut media from ebay. Everything seems in working order so hopefully in the next few days I can pop a blade in there to see how it goes.
  13. Tiddle

    Tiddle Member

  14. Tomas Garcia

    Tomas Garcia Member

    What may be nice is a "how to" on picking up a RESTORABLE razor? Some warning signs to look for I. The blade that may be something a novice wouldn't realize, like rust or black spots in Certain areas etc. That way may e newbs to straight razor restoration/straight razors In general don't buy a lemon off eBay for 70.00 or something? If someone were to do this then pics of examples would definitely be helpful!

    P.S. if a thread like this exists on this site already then my bad I did t find it!
  15. Tiddle

    Tiddle Member

    About 2 months ago (I've had to work on this in pieces b/c of school) I decided I wanted to do some custom bolsters for a blade I was restoring for myself. So, I set off trying to find some info on going about this; unfortunately I pretty much found nothing other than I cut them out shaped them and glued them on; here's the pics of the finished razor. After a few PM's and "it's a pain it's not worth it, or I would just find some old scales to rob," I decided I would just figure it out as I went, planning, experimenting and the like, and try to document it as best I could (sorry I'm not a photographer); in hopes that someone else might see this and decide to give it a go. On a skill level of 1-10 I would say this is about a 6-7; you need some basic metal working skills like using a grinding and cutting disk, and a basic concept of measuring and planning way ahead for the unexpected, and patience like no tomorrow; if you like to knock something out in a weekend be prepared to spend a good 4-6 hours a day on the these. Honestly a little here and there is ideal; b/c planning your next move is going to save you a lot of frustration and $$ in the end. My tool list included: dremel with the metal cutting and grinding wheels, diamond or steel miniature files (you can get a set of kobalt which is what I used for $30 at lowes),chasing hammer (same you use to peen the pins), a small vice w/ rubber teeth to prevent marring and a ton of sanding later, your scales and wedge made and ready to be finished (this has to be done first to get your initial measurements from), digital calipers, 5 minute epoxy, small stirring sticks (you'll see later), sharpie marker, straight edge, and sandpaper in grits 180 or 220, 320 or 400, 600, and 1200 (personally I used greaseless compound on my variable speed grinder for the final sanding, buffing compounds of your choice and metal polish to put the final luster on.

    First I lined up the scale on the 0.001" thick SS sheet stock I decided on for the bolsters to gauge about how far back I wanted the bolsters to go; then used the calipers to measure from the tip of the scale to my stopping point for the bolster. I did this front and on the pivot end of both scales. Next I measured the width of tip and pivot of each scale and recorded that measurement.


    Here is the length I settled on (the calipers are set in inches by the way).

    Next I took 3 points: the front of the scale and the two sides and measured the thickness of both scales tip and pivot,; this is your wrap around length if you want the bolsters to wrap around the scale; if not you can skip this step. If your measurements vary some say 0.105 on the bottom side and 0.107 at the top, take the larger of the two; this will leave more of the steel hanging over when you wrap the ends over, but you will grind this excess off later so no worries!
    Next I used a sharpie to trace an outline of my scale ends onto the steel, then took my measurements of the wrap around from earlier and calipers and measured from the outline and marked the front and sides and used the sharpie and straight edge to connect them. Next I lined up my pin holes, marked and used a 1/16 punch to indent the hole to be drilled later for the pins. Next I took a carbide awl and scratched my outlines into the steel. This helps later with cutting b/c the awl/scratch leaves a small ridge for the disc to ride in leaving a straighter more precise cut.
    Next off to the drill press, I set the press at 330rpm the lowest speed on mine, and used Norton honing oil as a lubricant (a machinist friend of mine recommended this as this is what he uses for small projects).

    Next I used the calipers to lay out my pattern with the sharpie, the blackened areas are the places that will be cut out later. Once I laid out I took the awl and scratched in the pattern onto the steel. Now to cut, I put on the metal cutting blade onto my dremel, clamped a flat piece of wood onto the edge of my bench, then clamped the sheet with the areas to be cut hanging off the edge, then just follow your lines!


    After that step I placed the bolsters in the vice and used the grinding disc to get the basic shape of the bolsters, and took then to the scales to see how the pattern lined up. Then the diamond files came out to file the final shape in. Here is the final shape; I've masked off where the bolsters end here, and do the same over the exposed areas of the dymondwood; you'll see why later.


    Next I used the stir stick broken in half, double stick tape, and sandpaper to sand the inside edges to 600 grit.


    Now is just the matter of wrapping the excess around, for this I used the chasing hammer and a jeweler's anvil to lightly tap the bolsters into shape, and masked the exposed areas. In the pic below I have the bolsters removed so you can see why I masked them I only have to take 180 or 220 to these exposed areas to "scuff" up the dymondwood so the epoxy adheres, this will save you from having to resand the whole shebang later, and will help w/any squeeze out so you won't have a ton of excess epoxy to sand off later too!


    Next I put butchers paper over the tips of my clamps so nothing gets stuck together, and used a small modelers brush to brush the epoxy on; a trick here is to put some 0-80 bolts upside down (the head coming out of the bottom of the scale) to hold your bolsters in place when you place them on, then just pull the bolt out and gently clamp them, just enough to make sure they don't slide around...again, GENTLY IS THE KEY HERE!


    Now after two days of curing, the clamps come off along with the masking tape, then just grind off the excess overhang on the bottom sides, and sand the bolster up to 600 or 1200 grit and buff, I cheated here though... I left the tape on after the clamps came off and went to greaseless compound on my grinder to speed the whole sanding up, you can go either way it's up to you. The pic below is the finished bolsters, but I haven't buffed the scales and bolsters yet, that pic will go into the customs section when the razor is back together and ready to hone. I hope this helps and I'll be glad to answer any questions as best I can, just PM me and I'll respond as soon as possible. Are these the best in the world...not close, but I think I did ok for my first attempt at something like this. Thanks for looking, and check out the final pics coming soon!

    Karl G likes this.
  16. Thanks for the info

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