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Thread: Museum style resto

  1. #1
    Senior Member Legion's Avatar
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    Default Museum style resto

    Let me start by saying that I know a lot of you guys wont like the way this razor looks, and you are going to call it another one of my "ugly razors". In my defence, I have spent a lot of years working for museums and archives in conservation sections. When I started working on this razor I was fully intending to give it the full monty. Sand off as much pitting as I could, shiny new scales, the works.

    But, as I was standing in front of my drill press, getting ready to drill out the pins, my museum background kicked in, and I just couldn't do it. I mean, those dirty bent scales are older than a lot of the relics in Australian museums, and I was just going to pull them off and chuck them in the bin. Wrong.

    So I decided to do this restoration as if I was a conservator rather than a customiser. Just the bare minimum to get it working, but still as original as possible.

    I left the scales on place (those pins and washers are part of the artefact too) and hand sanded up to a satin finish, removing all rust and grime, but leaving most of the pitting.

    Using rubber bands, wooden wedges and steam I was able to straighten the warped scales. I stabilised the cracks with CA glue and lightly sanded the surface. I rehydrated the horn with mineral oil and gave it a coat of renaissance wax, inside and out, for protection. I tightened the pins and fixed the lead wedge back into place.

    Honing was a major PITA because of the uneven edge and spine, but once all the corrosion was sanded away the edge was remarkably free of pitting and the steel was quite good. After unsuccessfully trying every trick and hone I had to get it sharp, it was a small barber hone sized coticule that was able to do the job. The bevel is quite uneven, but that is to be expected with a blade this old, I suppose. I haven't shaved with it yet, but the edge looks clean under magnification and it is passing all the sharpness tests, so I think it will be OK.

    I guess if this razor was any younger I probably wouldn't have gone this way with it. But, at the end of the day, the thing has lasted nearly 200 years, and who am I to be changing it? If someone ends up with it after me they can do what they like, but because I haven't destroyed or removed anything, when I shave with it I really will feel like I am using a museum piece, and that's pretty cool.

    Before




    After



  2. #2
    Senior Member Legion's Avatar
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    Oh, I made this pouch for it as well. It is kangaroo leather. Gotta try and use all those off-cuts from my strops which I can't bare to throw away.



    Geezer likes this.

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    HLS (05-11-2011)

  4. #3
    HLS
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    I feel much the same as you. There are several I'm cleaning and honing right now, but the idea of removing any original parts makes me feel as though I would be committing some injustice to the razor and none of them are as old as yours.

    Jim

  5. #4
    HLS
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    Excellent work by the way...

    Jim

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    Legion (05-11-2011)

  7. #5
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    In all honesty, I'm not a fan, but you expected that a few of us might not be. However I commend your thinking in keeping it original. I would probably have just coated the lot in oil and wrapped it in a greasy rag for burial and to await someone else more appreciative than me. Nice take on a razor case by the way, but I have to ask, don't you have a sewing machine?


    Mick

  8. #6
    Senior Member dirtychrome's Avatar
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    I dig it!
    If it shaves nice, I'm sure you'll feel as proud/prouder using this, rather than any of your prettiest razors.

  9. #7
    ..mama I know we broke the rules... Maxi's Avatar
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    I think it looks great. Sometimes you need shiny steel, sometimes you need battle scars and character. It's a per razor decision.

    I like it, and the pouch too. Nice touch.

  10. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth nicknbleeding's Avatar
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    I like it. Nice Job

  11. #9
    The only straight man in Thailand ndw76's Avatar
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    As a lazy restorer I love it. With an old razor like that if you polish everything up you erase its history. It would be like interviewing a 140 year old only to find that they have amnesia.

  12. #10
    Lookin like a crim baldy's Avatar
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    When I first started restoring I wanted everything shiny and pretty. These days my tastes have changed. There is room for both in my collection. I like what you've done with this one. Very cool.
    Grant
    "I aint like that no more...my wife, she cured me of drinking and wickedness"
    Clint Eastwood as William Munny in Unforgiven

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