Monday, November 15, 2010

Hones for razors

The link above is to a video line I started to show hones and stones for razor repair and maintenance. As these videos get made I'll break them down into their categories, Sharpening razors, Sharpening Kitchen Knives, Honing razors, and so forth. In this video I was testing my settings (need to zoom in a bit) as well as set the grounds of what stones I will be using.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Here is a good one :) This razor, while not having a readable name, has a distinctive shape to it. This style was only seen at the end of the 1700's and the early years of 1800, not much past 1820's from what I've been able to gather. The scales are old but no way to tell if they are original, they look like strips of wood with bark attached, kind of makeshift if you will. But they have to many "Fittings" that go with manufactured scales of the time. Lead spacer, iron/steel pivot pin, and the like that suggest period but without a name to research... we up the creek on it. I have decided to try saving these scales and tightening them up and leaving them on this razor. I'm kind of getting used to them now.

I'm trying to upload the video so it can be seen here but so far it's been a failure... 3 earlier attempts lasting up to 6 hours of uploading (each time) has not produced a video Grrr, so hopefully the link will work if this video doesn't load as well....

Friday, June 25, 2010

SotD video

Another video of some weirdo holding a leathel weapon to his throat in the guise of shaving :p This video is with my BJ Eyre Late Greaves & sons wedge. Made around 1858 in Sheffield England.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Here is a video of what happens when someone asks what else can be done with kitchen knives...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fredrick Reynolds

FREDERICK REYNOLDS Birmingham In business in 1892
Not sure how long or when Frederick Reynolds was operating but it's obvious from the above razors that some time was passed between manufacture. The first pictures are from an older and seemingly hand finished razor. While the second is typical of post 1900 finished razors.
While they shave extremely well, they feel quit unlike each other. The first is a heavy bladed razor with a stiffer blade in horn scales. The second, while having the same style grind, is much thinner and lighter, plastic scales finish it off.
I need to dig up the link but I found out what this grind is actually called. For a while it was accepted as a foux frameback. Now it's accepted as the "Rattler" grind. It was discovered in an old barbering manual. I'd love to find a few old books like that :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pair of Rattlers

Northfield Rattler x2
NORTHFIELD CUTLERY CO. A mark used by NORTHFIELD KNIFE CO. Connecticut. ca. 1858 - 1919
I acquired the cut down razor about a year or so ago, and have been looking for another one that was uncut, just to have a full sized model. Last week I finally found one in really good shape. Good isn't the word for the shape of this one :) It honed up rather easy and shaved remarkably well.
I have no clue when these two where made in the time the company was in operation, but given the less than automated look of post 1900 razors I'm thinking these where early on in the companies production.
The name Rattler comes from this particular grind, something I just became aware by a posting on "The Straight Razor Place" forums. For a long time is was called a Foux frameback or concave grind. Now we know better :p

Monday, May 24, 2010

SotD + notes

Well I have been working on allot of razors lately :) I forgot to do a few of my SotD's (Shave of the Day) lately so I thought I'd add a few here. Sorry if you where looking forward to them :p Right lol...
While I have been restoring older blades, I got the thinking about what I do vs what some others have been doing on restorations. Lately I have been seeing a HUGE number of beautiful old blades getting polished, sanded, and generally returned to showroom floor shine... To me that is ruining the blades age and beauty. Not that I think these guys are "Evil" heck it's just a razor... But why ruin it's patina, it's unique character by turning it into something that comes running off the assembly line now days???
When I restore a blade I save all the old parts that can be saved and use them again on the same razor. Old horn scales are my new repair nightmare lol, rejuvenating dry horn that has been nibbled on by bugs can be a challenge. I'm looking into fillers that can fill in the holes and help reinforce the scales for use again. I also only polish out active rust and any build up of gunk. MAAS is the polish compound I have been using, paper towels and finger pressure are all I use. On rare occasion I use a dremmel with a wire brush to get rid of bubbly active deep corrosion. So far this has left me with cleaned up razors ready for use that still retain their original patina.
Nothing is better, shaving wise, than to use a razor straight from the 1820's in all it's glory. Hone it up and shave with it again almost 200 years after it was made. I have almost restored a set (7 to 10) razors from the early 1810-1850 range and can't wait to start getting my pre 1800 set started :) I guess all my practice on the later 1800's razors is prepping me for when I have to tackle the really old pre 1800's razors as those parts will all end up being hand made if I can't reuse them, yikes :p
Ok enough rambling, I have a 1850's French blade to hone up :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13 SotD

Razor; Jmperial Razor Germany
Brush; Shave Mac SRP 08
Soap; Mitchell's Wool Fat
Strop; Tony Miller Latigo
This is one razor I thought I would have trouble with. But the only trouble I ran into was the scales, boy where they messed up. I was surprised to get the scales off without breaking them, the pin was pretty mashed up in there. Once I got them off I cleaned them with MAAS (metal polish) and cleaned the razor as well. When I went to re-pin them on I was amazed at the size of the pivot holes I ended up using 2 washers of different sizes to get a good seal over the pivot holes. After peening them on and getting them tight enough, again amazed they didn't break, I took the razor to the stones. This one honed up right easy :) After a quick polish I went about my shave. I got new soap today "Mitchell's Wool Fat" and had to give it a try :) good stuff for sure :)
I noticed (as may have you) that some Imperial razors have a "J" instead of an "I" I haven't had time to check into that one yet. Another mystery to hunt down :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

SotD May 8

Razor; Case Brothers Cutlery Co LV NY Tested XX
Brush; AoS Pure Badger
Soap; TGQ's Desert Ironwood cream
Strop; Tony Miller Latigo
Bowl; Lodge Iron Pot
Well this is yet another from the earlier mention Score. I was happy to have some friends at SRP help me find out more about this razor, Very early Case product made between 1900 and 1904, still tracking down the engraving on the blade.
Typical of US razors of the time, it has hard steel and being a short 5/8 quarter hollow, very tough to hone up. It's also the first razor I tested the new Asagi stone I just got. Instead of my usual 20 passes on the Cro2 leather before stropping I just went from the stone to the strop. I did my usual 60 passes after honing and as I was shaving I think it needed to be a bit sharper, while it was shaving just fine it just felt lacking. Now this is the first time shaving with this razor as well as the first time off this stone so... Ya more testing needed. I think the next test will be off an established shaver and see where that leads to.
All in all a good shave :)

Friday, May 7, 2010


If you get into straight razor shaving, you really need to get into hones as well. Putting your own edge on these beauties and getting a fantastic shave with it is a great feeling.

There are different stones needed to do different tasks. Bevel setting, Sharpening/Honing, and finishing. Ideally you would have at least one of each of these, more would be better but not 100% needed. Grits for each area, Bevel setting, 1k would be fine. Sharpening 3k to 6k, and finishing 8k and up. If your razor already has a set bevel you can pass on the bevel setter if you needed to. So lets look at Sharpening and finishing...

One of the best bang for the bucks out there is the Norton Combo stone 4k/8k. If you have a razor in good shape and is reasonably sharp, this stone would be all you really need for sharpening. The 4k side can sharpen a dull razor that has lost it's edge but doesn't have damage on it, chips and such. Once that cuts hairs you can move to the 8k side and polish that bevel and edge. Remember 8k is kind of the minimum for finishing so you will have to do more on the strop (another topic) before you shave.

As you can see above there are More than just Norton's out there :p These are my finishing hones, 2 are natural Japanese hones and one is a Belgian Coticule combi stone. Natural stones are not for novices, as they don't have a set grit and take some experimenting to find what they work best on and with. I'm not saying you can't start with them, just that you shouldn't. Once you have gotten used to the mechanics of honing and stone maintenance you can better make use of naturals if you want to. And pay for them dearly, they start at about 3X the cost of synthetic stones and go up FAST with out being "Better" just different and interesting.

All the stones I have mentioned here are water stones, water is used as a lubricant to was away swarf (stone and steel rubbings). I use only water stones as that's what I'm used to. Oil stones are also available in many grit sizes. But I'm not able to comment on these as mentioned I haven't a clue about them... Yet... As I acquire them I'll give them a shot :p

Thursday, May 6, 2010

SotD May 6

Well here is the first clean up and hone from the earlier score. EB Eyre/ Late Greaves & Sons "Palmetto Razor" Pretty close to a 8/8 for sure but I haven't messured it just yet. I took it from Micro Chips to a BBS (baby butt smooth) shave in just about 1 hour, I was really suprised :) These big thick choppers tend to be a bugger to hone but this one was a sweet one. Most of that time was spent getting the bevel set haha, after that is was like 20-30 strokes on the Ohira hone, same on the blue belgen, Yellow coticule and 20-30 on the Cro2 leather... Wow what a shave :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Whoo hoo :) I love getting a winning bid on lot items :) You never fully know what all your getting till you go threw it all. Yesterday I recieved one such lot. I knew some of what I was getting and bid according to those few items, I even won at much lower than I bid :) So over the next few weeks I'll be posting the ones I fix up and so on. This is going to be fun :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shave of the Day May 4

Razor; Landers Frerys & Clark MOP tang
Brush; AoS Pure Badger
Soap; TGQ's Oak & Moss cream
Strop; Tony Miller Latigo
Bowl; Lodge iron pot

I just finished setting the bevel and honing it to shave ready just before I shaved with it. I must say I was not sure this blade would ever be useable again :) Sure glad it worked out :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Something to consider...

I don't know about you all, but I'm getting pretty tired of the disposable lifestyle we have been handed over the years. What I mean is that just about everything we use today has something to throw away attached to it. And forget about toys and such... More trash attached to the toy than the toy on it's own... and it gets thrown away soon as well.

About 10 years ago I started looking at what I was using and throwing away. At that time I didn't know how to slow down the 2 to 3 trash cans of junk I threw away every day... Every Day... I was amazed at the amount of crap that was the packaging to the food I was eating at the time, the products I used daily and so on. I soon started looking for ways to use less stuff, and if I couldn't use less how to get these items without packaging... Soon it dawned on me that allot of this stuff is already out there in a more durable form, we call them Antiques/Junk.

One of the items that set off this crazed mentality was shaving gear. Disposable razors, Cartridges, Cans of goo, multiple wrappings and so on... AND THE COST!!! One option was to stop shaving, tried that, work gets funny about that in some places... So I had to shave and I'd seen ways of doing it before :) Yup the time tested Straight Razor. These buggers are still usable after 200 years, and most likely out live me.

So I started looking into straight razor shaving and what was involved. You can have a set of 2 or 3 razors, a bar of shave soap, brush, and strop, for what it costs you in 1 year of buying modern shave gear... Now here is the kicker, next year you only need to buy soap... and the year after that, and the decade after that... You see where I'm getting at? Baring an accident where you break something you don't need to buy dozens of the new 5 bladed whozits and a few dozen cans of the next toxic waste. It's CHEAPER AND uses next to now packaging that lives on in our dumps or oceans. Now I'm not a granola head but I sure as heck don't like the looks of our trash piling up around us.

Give it a look over a look over, you may get the bug to try something different and do your part to lessen the trash build up :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Shave of the Day 4/30

Todays shave :)
Razor; Robison 6/8 hammered tang
Brush; ShaveMac SRP 2008
Soap; TGQ Oak & Moss cream
Strop; Tony Miller Latigo
Bowl; Lodge iron pot

Howdy All...

Welcome to my Straight Razor blog. I've been shaving with a straight razor now for a few years and I have no intention of ever going back to cartridges. I also restore razors I get off auction sites as well as those I just bump into in my travels.

I'll be talking about shaves, hones, strops, and brushes... Ok anything that pops up dealing with straight razors.

Till then I'll get my stuff together and get the rest of this blog fleshed out :)