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Thread: Is it possible to hone double edge blades and use them on adjustable razors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by niftyshaving View Post
    Found an interesting link. Lots of gadgets at:
    Stropper Redirect
    Thanks for all the responses everyone. After some online reading, I discovered that in World War 2 it was difficult getting new blades to soldier in the field so the blades were stropped/honed with the machine in the link above. So there is a way to extend the life of the blade. These machines are rare and probably not made anymore. Some were manufactured in Germany.

    Here is a video of a guy using one of those pocket machines.
    YouTube - Double edge razor sharpener


    D
    Last edited by ironman9889; 07-24-2010 at 07:05 PM.

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    Senior Member Grump's Avatar
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    I have seen one of those at an antique shop.

    I think it would work well if you use it both before and after. The same as stropping your straight.

    As of now, I will continue as I have.

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    Senior Member Blackpool's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago I read that the reason double-edges lasted such a disappointingly short time was not so much due to the bevel blunting as a build-up of skin cell and soap scum. So in an effort to remove these and extend their little lives, I split a pencil in half, took out the lead, then glued it back together, leaving a slot in the middle as long as the blade is wide. I could then push/pull the blade back and forth on either 3" paddle strop or chinese hone, rocking see-saw fashion holding the ends of the pencil steady with both hands. Not bad. But as previously pointed out, they can be bought very cheaply, and it is a lot of bother to go to. However, I would of course be grateful to hear of a better and cleverer method than my effort.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth niftyshaving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackpool View Post
    A couple of years ago I read that the reason double-edges lasted such a disappointingly short time was not so much due to the bevel blunting as a build-up of skin cell and soap scum. So in an effort to remove these and extend their little lives, I split a pencil in half, took out the lead, then glued it back together, leaving a slot in the middle as long as the blade is wide. I could then push/pull the blade back and forth on either 3" paddle strop or chinese hone, rocking see-saw fashion holding the ends of the pencil steady with both hands. Not bad. But as previously pointed out, they can be bought very cheaply, and it is a lot of bother to go to. However, I would of course be grateful to hear of a better and cleverer method than my effort.
    That is as good a plan as any. A steel rod. dowel or
    pencil with a slot so the blade can be honed and
    stropped at a precise angle is a classic.

    The only problem is that today DE blades are coated
    with PTFE, chrome, Pt and such. i.e. the surfaces
    of the edge are coated with very thin and special exotic materials
    that honing and stropping will quickly remove leaving you
    with steel that is not as well tempered as the best antique straights.

    There are lots of good and bad solutions to extend
    the life of a DE blade. You are correct that crud.
    oxidation and mineral buildup are problems to address.

    Keeping the blade in oil or alcohol can help with
    oxidation. Light stropping can remove soap scum.
    Various solutions etch the fine edge and do provide
    some help especially with asymmetric plating with
    exotics. Spray with common shower soap scum remover
    and rinse under hot water is one idea I have heard.

    Given the price of good DE blades and the price
    of good hones and stropping material the economics
    mostly do not add up. i.e. factor the price of spray
    shower soap scum remover against blade prices
    with 1, 2 3 or more additional shaves per blade.

    I might note that if you find a new trick
    that also gives a deluxe shave you have something
    of value.... Valuable enough to upset the economics of
    the likes of the big blade makers.... that remains to
    be seen.

    I spent part of an afternoon researching patents for razors.....
    and discovered that the topic has had a lot of attention
    over the last 100+ years. Expand your search into
    microtome edges will take you into a world of "too sharp"
    which is an education in itself.

    go for it... it is fun.

    One extender for DE blades is a Dovo 'Shavette'
    that uses half a blade at a time...

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    Senior Member Blackpool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan82 View Post
    Why is it important to hone DE blades, and how would that make buying a DE a waste?

    There was another thread on this recently. IMO I think this defeats the purpose of the DE - cheap blades that serve their purpose before they are disposed of. If conservation is the determining factor than a straight is your best bet.


    I think you were absolutely on the money with this observation, Sir. However a few days ago, while queueing at the pharmacy for a prescription, I saw, amongst a display of nail scissors, tweezers, files and emery boards, a packet of three Ever Ready razor blades, exactly as they used to be made, complete with side notches and reinforced spines. 1.35, and marked "Handy for D.I.Y jobs and needlework"! I have an original Made In USA gold plated Ever Ready in exquisite condition (auction:2/$3!!!, bought it only to give it a good home) but never could find the blades. Took them home, latherer up........... simply dreadful! Obviously they are bevelled to stay sharpish through paper, cotton, wool, pencils etc., but I shall apply my above-mentioned pencil method, and hopefully get a good result. Having said all that, Ryan82, if only I could figure out how to jam a throwaway Derby in it!

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