What would be best to use with a Dremel?

Discussion in 'Razor Restoration' started by Reformation Student, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    I am using some MAAS on a really blackened razor with a lot of pitting. I need something more than elbow grease at this point and thought using a Dremel would be a better idea. What should I use?
  2. Jimbo

    Jimbo New Member


    Have you given any thought to hand-sanding? I have an innate fear of high speed rotating instruments, metal edges, and fingers interacting in a no-so-happy synergy. ;)

    Sounds like your razor needs metal removal to me - so if you are going to use a dremel I guess sanding drums (is that the word?).

    But seriously, all these stories you hear of 14 hours hand-sanding...in my experience it doesn't need to take that long. Even the most grunge-infested razors have taken me no longer than 5 hours, although I must admit I'm fairly happy with almost-but-not-quite mirror finishes. I'd imagine hand-sanding is cheaper than buying copious dremel attachments too. But you could get it to a satin finish with wet/dry, then attack it with the rotary tool to really shine it up.

    I'm probably over-cautious - I'm sure the dremel works wonderfully.

  3. mastermute

    mastermute FatBoy

    Well, I have only bad experience with Dremels for this purpose. I have heard that it works, but I haven't mastered it. Handsanding is my preferred method!
  4. harrykoeln

    harrykoeln New Member

    You can use a Dremel at all. There is just one Problem. The grain size of the original Dremel sanding bands.
    I found an easy way to make my own - exact that grain size, i need.
    That's what you need:
  5. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Tool Time

  6. Bronco

    Bronco Mac Daddy

    Dremel makes something similar to this that does a nice job, fits on the same shaft as the felt buffing pad, downside - they are about $4 each.
    Remember that the blade will get hot, get blue spots if you linger. Some of the older blades seem brittle to me so I lay it flat on a board so I don't chip it. It aint easy but it can be done. Don't ask me how I know these things. :o
  7. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    Thanks for the input guys. As I don't want to ruin this razor, if I can avoid it, let's discuss the hand sanding. What grit do I use? Are we talking the wet/dry sand paper that is found in the local automotive store? After the sanding, how do I get the near mirror finish on the blade face?
  8. Jimbo

    Jimbo New Member

    Generally there's a progression: start with 80 - 120 grit; 180; 240; 320; 400; 600; 800; 1000; 1200; .... you get the idea. And yes, I buy my paper from an automotive store.

    The low grit (80-120) gets rid of pitting etc. This usually takes the most time for me - just keep sanding until the rust and pitting and black has gone, or is gone enough for you to be happy.

    Generally, after that, what you are doing is incrementally removing the scratches from the previous grits - if you make too large a jump you could be there all day trying to remove 80 grit scratches using 400 grit paper, for example.

    I use a cross-hatch pattern until 400 or 600 grit. So, I'll sand horizontally (parallel to the edge) on the 80 grit, say. When I move up to the next grit, I'll go perpendicular to the edge. On the next grit, parallel again, and so on. I find I can assess removal of the previous scratches easier this way.

    But, when I get to the 400 or 600 grit stage, I'll start sanding exclusively perpendicular to the edge from then on - this is to match the "natural" look of a razor (they are ground that way).

    I can only get 1200 grit paper here, so I stop at that and then polish (with the dremel or whatever). Other guys who have access to higher grit paper go up to 2K grit (or higher) with the hand-sanding, I think. It's these last high grits, combined with how well you managed to do on the lower grits in terms of pitting and scratch removal, that give you the basis for the mirror shine.

    That's the gist of it - maybe others can chime in with their specific grit progression or better approaches. Just watch out for RSI and mess - everything you touch goes black (I've ruined 5 pairs of shorts hand-sanding, because I rest the razor on my leg as I sand...).

    Good luck - and don't bail out on the lower grit work too early. Try to hang in there - things progress more quickly once you get up to the 400 grit stage.

  9. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    Thanks James. Very thorough instructions. Even a brain-dead guy like me could follow them :)

    You said to watch out for RSI. What is that?
  10. Jimbo

    Jimbo New Member

    Sorry Steve - sometimes I forget I'm not lecturing first years...:o

    RSI = repetitive strain injury (make sure you take breaks and stretch the old fingers every now and then - it gets a bit crampy sometimes).

  11. Padron

    Padron Active Member

    Great posts Harry and James!! :D

    Hi Steve,

    Flap wheels may also work well for you...Look here :)

    If you use a Dremel just make sure that the wheel is rotating away from the edge and not into it :shocked003....Also a large strong magnet can be useful for holding the blade in place while sanding / polishing....

    Hand sanding does work however, if the pitting is severe it can be difficult to remove...and require quite a bit of sanding.....be careful not to sand into the shoulder and spine.....I once sanded a blade down by hand and was still not able to get it where I wanted it....I wound up sending it to Joe Chandler for a re-grind.....he let me know that by sanding into the shoulder and spine as severely as I did.......... I threw the bevel out of whack.....:o It did come back from him in perfect shape though :D

    I think Gary ( Traveller ) offers a regrinding service that may be more cost and time effective for you ;)


  12. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Tool Time

    Very great post, James! Personally I don't sand my blades. I polish them up with the buffing wheel and the dremel to get rid of rust or get newer blades to shine. I don't polish/sand out any pitting, though. Sometimes a razor (at least to me) is more appealing when it looks worn and used - the signs of age tell its story.

    @Neale: I've never used these wheels before but I sure wouldn't wanna touch the edge with one of these.

    As Steve reported, be very, very careful with the dremel. DON'T linger on a spot, let the razor cool down and not get heated in the first place!
  13. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    I'm sure that's true, Neale, and normally I'd go that route. This is my grandfather's razor, though, and I'd like to work on it myself. My mother can't ever remember him using it, but he kept it all those years so it's worth my time.

    Thanks for the advice about being careful with the shoulder and spine. I don't think that crossed my mind and probably wouldn't have until too late.
  14. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    The only lecturing I get anymore is from my wife :eek: but I'm in no danger of getting RSI. I find I have to take frequent breaks when doing anything of a repetitive nature, especially when working on smaller things like razors or models.
  15. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    I use a Dremel to start, just to cut down on the time, but I think the only thing I would use is a flap wheel or this 320 grit buffing wheel:


    For tough spots of rust I have also used a piece of 0000 steel wool with some MAAS.
  16. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Tool Time

    Used to use these thingies too, but they wear down far too quickly for my taste...
  17. Ragnost

    Ragnost Member

    I use the wire brushes for cleaning off the rust very gently then bang them in a case tumbler

    Attached Files:

  18. mastermute

    mastermute FatBoy

    Ahhh... is that Zeepk brand? :rolleyes:
  19. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    I opted to go the hand sanding route and it's working OK. I also opted to not remove ALL the pitting and discoloration. Just enough to make it look attractive and yet still retain some of it's historical look. Thanks to Klaus for this idea.

    I'll start a different thread with pictures after I get it finished.
  20. RocketMan

    RocketMan Member

    I scooped up a Boker Red Injun 101 with a little pitting and a couple of scratches. No shine left, sort of grey even after some autosol.

    So, I picked up 800,1000, 1500, and 2000 grit wet dry. I thought I would just start with a piece of 2000 to see what would happen and it immediately seemed to just start scratching the razor up. The part I touched with the sandpaper looked worse. Why is that? Did I stop too soon? It didn't seem like this 2000 was fine enough for the job.

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