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Thread: Honing & shaving with the Puma Microtome

  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Default Honing & shaving with the Puma Microtome

    So I got this Puma microtome on ebay thinking it was a regular straight razor. There is more about that and what a microtome is here. I finally got around to honing the bad boy and began with a Norton 1K. In doing a few bevel setting strokes on the wedge side I could see I would end with a very wide bevel. I already had my customary one layer of tape on the spine and added two to the wedge side only. So now I have three on the wedge side and one on the hollow side.

    I set the bevel using both circle and back and forth (A.K.A. Livi) strokes and X pattern. I was fortunate in that while it didn't come to me sharp enough to shave the edge wasn't damaged at all. I had to work on the wedge side for quite awhile as there was no bevel at all. I finally got it to where it looked good under magnification and passed the TNT.

    I began using the 4/8 pyramids. I honed this razor both at home and at work when I had down time. I used the Nortons , Shaptons and the coticule blue and yellow. It depended on my mood and whether I was home or at work. Last night I used the coticule. I was passing the TPT and popping hairs off of my leg to beat the band so I stropped and shaved.

    The first pass was okay but nothing to brag about so I rinsed re-lathered and went to the new Lynn Abrams felt hanging strop with the diamond spray for 20 round trips. The second pass was real good but I knew it could be better.

    Tonight I did maybe thirty of forty round trips on a Shapton Pro 12K. If it being a microtome wasn't bad enough they had to make it stainless too. It says in the FAQ on the Shapton USA website that the 12K pro is meant for stainless. Anyhow I figured I was where I wanted to be so I went in and stropped 50 linen and 50 leather. It passed HHT and I went in and shaved. Got bbs easily in my regular two passes.

    The poor photos ( sorry 'bout that ) show the razor with the layers of tape and after honing. The wider shiny spot shows where the bevel might have been if I hadn't added the other two layers of tape to the wedge side. Happy to say that I made lemonade out of what would have been a lemon.
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  2. #2
    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    That rocks Jimmy! I bet you had your heart set on that PUMA! Great save!
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    I know what a microtome is. Hell, I've used microtomes. In fact, I had a lab that almost burned down because a microtome-cryostat caught on fire at 1:30 in the morning and would have burned down the whole building if I hadn't been working late. What I don't understand is why any microtome used for tissue preparation would have any actual practical application being configured exactly like a straight razor. Can anyone explain this???

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    wow, that's a great question.

    Here's my guess for the contest. Circa 1930's? The great depression. Razor sales drop dramatically. Steel is scarce. Puma figures to tap the medical market and uses the razor blanks they already have and are tooled for...
    Last edited by Quick; 01-12-2009 at 07:54 AM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
    I know what a microtome is. Hell, I've used microtomes. In fact, I had a lab that almost burned down because a microtome-cryostat caught on fire at 1:30 in the morning and would have burned down the whole building if I hadn't been working late. What I don't understand is why any microtome used for tissue preparation would have any actual practical application being configured exactly like a straight razor. Can anyone explain this???
    Ron, I wondered the same thing. I had never heard of one until in getting the Puma I did searches on shaving forums. Here is an example of a "hand microtome" currently for sale. I guess it is for less precise applications where saving $$ is an issue.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Jimmy. That microtome cost 600 times less than mine that caught on fire! I have seen budget microtomes before but never one that had a blade that looked like a straight.

  9. #7
    Taylors1000 portal5's Avatar
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    I have sold several of these blades before finding out what they were for.
    If I get another I will offer it at cost + shipping

    A pair of 13/16” Straight Sectioning Razors. NR

    Manufacturers Info.
    Flatters & Garnett Ltd
    Manchester. C1900
    History
    http://www.msim.org.uk/media/161951/...%20garnett.pdf

    These razors have a 13/16” Hollow ground blade on one side
    & flat on the other.
    They have a type of Cream plastic scales with an integral spacer.

    Engraved on the tang are the words
    “Flatters & Garnett Ltd Manchester”

    On the reverse is “Made & Ground in Sheffield England”
    Mislaid the pictures

  10. #8
    Never a dull moment hoglahoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by portal5 View Post
    On the reverse is “Made & Ground in Sheffield England”
    Mislaid the pictures
    I came across some old notes that had been scanned and put online that referred to this grind as a section grind, which makes more sense to me when you mentioned that these are sectioning razors

    Here is a head on shot of mine that is only stamped "Made & Ground in Sheffield England"
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  12. #9
    Taylors1000 portal5's Avatar
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    If anyone is after a Microtome I have one!
    A link to the pictures *Taylors1000 Straight Razor ebay sales

    I will place a link to the sale in the auction talk Forum.
    JP5 likes this.

  13. #10
    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    if you shave with this one that means steel is good enough to take the edge. i guess sharpening was PITA. Great job getting done JIMMY

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