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Thread: Masonic SR

  1. #11
    Captain ARAD. Voidmonster's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Pacifica, CA
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    Wade & Butcher razors with that tang stamp date to after 1865 or so (sorry to be vague, but all I can really say is they didn't use it before 1860 and they definitely did after 1870). It likely isn't much newer than the early 1880's, when most of W&B's etches seem to have switched over to a different process that marked much more shallowly.

    Most likely, the original surface treatment on these razors was the 'glaze' or frosted finish. In Sheffield terms, a mirror polish was called 'crocus', because it was accomplished using a special grade of iron oxide mixed with bees wax and pasted onto a leather wrapped wheel. The compound was called crocus because it looks exactly like the pollen on the stamens in a crocus flower.

    There are about 4 different Wade & Butcher Masonic etches, and this is the most durable of them. I don't know what process they used for it, but it's considerably deeper than the others, and also made from an existing design -- IE it was some sort of transfer process from artwork. The older two designs were done freehand with an etch resist, and the fourth was this same design as this but much more lightly done. This one probably could survive a mirror polish, but you need to be able to do the polishing phase using a hard-backed wheel. The softer the polishing wheel, the more it will smear out the details of the blade.

    I use a worn, tightly sewn cloth wheel that has almost no give to it and a high grade jeweler's polishing compound. I wouldn't be confident that would be enough to preserve the design.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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