Step by Step guide to a Restored Razor

Discussion in 'Razor Restoration' started by gssixgun, Oct 29, 2009.


What are we using for scales ?????

Poll closed Nov 5, 2009.
  1. Acrylic, Light colors (White, Yellow, Gold, Gray)

  2. Acrylic, Med colors (Red, Orange, Copper, Brass)

  3. Acrylic, Dark colors (Black, Blue, Purple,)

  4. Exotic Wood, Light colors (Olive, Leopard, Bocote)

  5. Exotic Wood, Dark colors (Cocobolo, Wenge, Ebonies)

  1. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Finishing the wood scales...

    Everything I have done to this point is the same for all materials...
    Here we go different directions depending on what the scales are made of...

    For Acrylics you would sand with micro mesh and polish out...

    For Micarta and other fiberglass products you would sand until the finish you want is obtained

    For natural horn, bone, antlers, you would sand then polish and buff...

    But for wood we have to finish it....

    How you proceed from here is your choice there are so many woods and finishes I can't possibly go through them all..

    Here I am going to show you a very simple, very durable system, that works for many woods...

    First I am going to do what is sometimes called a wash coat, I am using just mineral spirits and the final finish here... I could actually mix this in a cup or something, but I have found this to be fast and easy... I take a swatch of rag and wipe down the scales with the mineral spirits, this cleans off sanding dust, and penetrates the wood.... Using the exact same wet spot on the rag, I saturate it with finish (in this case wipe on poly), I then wipe this on the still wet scales ... This gives a thin wash coat, that penetrates deep into the wood and seals it....

    Tuckmar 49.jpg

    I made these stands out of wire, wood, and duct tape the scales will set here and dry...

    Tuckmar 50.jpg

    The first wash coat...

    Tuckmar 51.jpg
  2. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    Oh boy, the question that caused a huge stir :eek: on another shave forum..

    According to some people NO, the balance will work out in the end by you adjusting how you hold the razor...

    According to me YES, the razor should balance to the tang when it is finished or darn close... You can see many pics I have taken with the razor balanced to a spot on the tang...
    One restorer/custom maker thinks that is BS...
    I think if you can't build it balanced, why build it at all...

    But for me, yes my razors will balance out, as to tricks, not really you just get better at it as you go along...
  3. Pureslab

    Pureslab New Member

    Fantastic thread and photo essay !
  4. tjgriffin

    tjgriffin Active Member

    Wow! This is amazing! The one problem I have is that you make look so easy! That's why I stopped watching This Old House type shows. They just lead me into trouble :rolleyes:

    Great work. I nominate this for a sticky! Can I get a second?
  5. MN_Nick

    MN_Nick Member

    Its coming along nicely! This is a fun thread. Keep up the good work.
  6. Crankymoose

    Crankymoose Member

    great thread,

    what is done wrong when the edge of the blade comes through the bottom of scales, is that something that must be accounted for in the way they close when making them and once made if it happens is it something that can be corrected or are basically new scales needed at that point
    (yeah I got a set that does that)
  7. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor

    My thought is the wedge must be too thick or the scales are too skinny for the blade. (ie - scales for a 5/8 razor holding a 8/8 blade)
  8. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    I've had a couple of razors with the same problem, Jim, and they were pretty much what JoAnna said, and I also had one where the wedge pin was a bit loose, causing a similar effect to a thick wedge.
  9. hoglahoo

    hoglahoo Yesterday's News

    bowed scales can cause that to happen as well
  10. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    All valid reasons....

    I seem to see this the most on the 8/8 Friodur on e-bay, it seems that the 7/8 sized scales that are available leave this dangerous situation of the heel sticking out just enough to slice ya good...

    My guess is the same as everyones else's if the razor is vintage and the scales fit right at one time, then there is a problem with something changing throughout time,, Like a loose wedge pin or the material itself bowing, swelling, or warping, like Jim and Lee said...
    If the razor is newer then I would go with JoAnna's theory and guess mis-sized or mis-made...

    Jim/CrankyMoose also look at post #59 second pic down, see the way the razor even if it were way to deep in the scales still will not come through on the bottom??? That is a rather safe build...
  11. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Finishing box !!!

    The scales were coated and left to dry, then sanded one more time...
    Now the finish coats will be rubbed in.. To actually be able to rub in any finish you need a sturdy way of holding the scales that doesn't get finger prints all over them... This is the easiest way I have found...
    One old box, two pieces of double stick mounting tape, and you have a perfect tool for rubbing in finishes...

    Tuckmar 52.jpg
  12. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    Too late. It's been a sticky since day one. :D
  13. rodd

    rodd Knotty Boy

    This is an awesome thread. Thank you for doing this.
  14. tjgriffin

    tjgriffin Active Member

    PFfffttt! Great minds think alike! Some are just slower than others... :rolleyes:
  15. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Putting all the pieces together...

    Starting with 1/16" brass rod I use about 1 inch per pin so I always have more than enough...

    Tuckmar 53.jpg

    I put 1 inch of the brass rod down into the vice jaws, making sure everything is straight...

    Tuckmar 54.jpg

    I clip off the excess rod, this leaves about 1mm above the jaws, but it is an uneven cut..

    Tuckmar 55.JPG

    Using a small metal file I smooth the cut rod, so I get a nice, smooth, even, peen

    Tuckmar 56.JPG

    Peening is actually fairly easy once you understand that it is Tap tap not bang bang use very gentle small taps to figure out how hard to hit just put your finger on the anvil side of the vice and hit your own finger right on that really sensitive spot at the edge of your cuticle if it hurts you are hitting to hard... No seriously try it...

    Tuckmar 57.jpg

    Although it is hard to see there is a #0 washer on the end of the rod held on by the peen, this is also your second test for peening correctly... The rod under the peen must be smooth and straight, so that the washer slides right up under the little mushroom of the peen... If there is a percussion bulge or a bend at the very top of the rod you were hitting too hard...

    Tuckmar 58.jpg

    Here is a pin ready to go through one side of the scales, I am using a stacked washer system here with the #0 and the #0W...

    Tuckmar 59.jpg

    Here is a very OCD tip...The washers from Microfasteners have sides, you won't really notice the difference unless you pour some out on the work surface... Then you will see the there is a flat side and a slightly rounded side...I always put the rounded side to the outside it is MHO that you get a better looking finished look that way....
  16. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Still more to do...

    This is the pin going through the front side scale, I pay attention to which way the pins start and do them the exact same every time...

    Tuckmar 60.jpg

    This is why I use that lucky #7 I know that when the wedge goes on, it should look like this before I put the back side scale on :) with even wedges like this rounded one sometimes it can be hard to tell which is the top from the bottom so the wedge lines up perfectly the 7 eliminates that problem...

    Tuckmar 61.jpg

    Ok here is the set up right before I set the first pin, at the wedge end... Some things to note, see the fake tang set in there with the Micro bolt, that is to keep everything as straight as possible as I tighten in the pin...I have plenty of pin in there so I can make sure it doesn't keep falling out when I am moving it around...

    Tuckmar 62.jpg

    Tuckmar 63.jpg

    I have clipped the pin here also just like the other side within 1mm...

    Tuckmar 64.jpg

    Very Very carefully file the clipped pin smooth, here is another spot to set yourself way back in the process, if you rush and slip, and file hits the scale you are back to re-finishing :(

    Tuckmar 65.jpg

    Tap-tappity-Tap gently lock in the wedge.... I don't try and clean these up now I just want it locked in not even that tight...

    Tuckmar 66.jpg

    Working the pivot end here with another pin done exactly like the wedge end was done

    Tuckmar 67.JPG

    Adding the razor, it goes bearing washer against the front scale then razor then bearing washer then backside scale....

    Tuckmar 68.JPG

    Same as before Do-se-do you do the clip file peen square dance

    Tuckmar 69.jpg

    Taking the razor you then keep tap tap tapping until everything is tight and smooth as you get better at peening you learn to go more around the edges on the pin instead of just straight down....
  17. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Always great to see a craftsman at work.

  18. jimmyfingers

    jimmyfingers Member

    I respect your strive for perfection.

    What is that tool with the red screwdriver handle?
  19. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    The finished razor !!!!!

    Surprise surprise surprise !!!!!!


    Here is the thread of the finished razor.... The 12 Days of Good Cheer Razor

    and thank you all for participating in the restore of this razor, I hope you had as much fun as I did...
  20. jazzbeadg

    jazzbeadg New Member

    I have a razor, blue steel, and green jade scales. courtesy of cattaraugus cutlery, little valley, NY. very nice. i love stone scales, if you can pull that off.

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