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Thread: sterilising antique razors

  1. #11
    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valthorenzoe View Post
    Thank you,

    yes I intend to get it honed, however I'm in Australia in Queensland I'm still in the process of trying to find someone that will hand hone it. The razor already feels pretty sharp, and I'm wondering how it will come up after just being put on a strop..
    I don't understand how a strop works? if you get the razor honed, what use is putting on the strop?

    Thanks for the advice
    Welcome from SE Washington State USA.

    While being down under may seem to have a disadvantage you are in luck as Oz is also down under and does an excellent job with straight razors including honing.

    You can send him a PM (Personal Message) here:

    https://straightrazorpalace.com/members/onimaru55.html

    As has been mentioned the 70% alcohol is better as it does take longer to evaporate/thus killing more 'bugs' in the process.
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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    Off the wall but it works:
    Wash with "Dawn" or a citrus liquid.
    Then rinse well and ;
    Dip it completely into 190proof Vodka ( Much cheaper than "Everclear!"
    Open and close it while wet with alcohol and use a blow-drier to dry it. At a distance!
    JMO
    YMMV
    ~Richard
    You forgot the last step, Richard....Drink the vodka!

  3. #13
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    If the razor has been unused for decades there's nothing in the steel to hurt you but hair & muck caught in the scales needs to be cleaned out.

    My thanx to the guys for recommendations but I'm on hiatus from razor work for now. I recommend Dion up in QLD for all work now. His SRP handle is "Substance"
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so..

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Geezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharptonn View Post
    You forgot the last step, Richard....Drink the vodka!
    No, not for me..Maybe for some others

    I also use the 190 for a full length blade dip after shaving. It holds a great deal more water than its volume. and dried very quickly.
    The 140 as mentioned above is good for the same reason but can be made from the 190 for the sterilization factor. I think by adding 30% by volume of water to it.
    .Correct me if I am wrong!

    YMMV

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Substance's Avatar
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    Gday @valthorenzoe,
    Welcome about mate
    We’re are you? Im in Glady QLD.

    Barbicide is my go to disinfectant, only used on the steel also especially with light scales as they can stain.
    As mentioned no need to really use it, if getting a full polish and hone as everything is cleaned off already, but I always do before sending them out to others once honed.
    Pm sent cheers Dion
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    If the razor has been unused for decades there's nothing in the steel to hurt you but hair & muck caught in the scales needs to be cleaned out.
    Unfortunately, that is not quite true. While most bacteria and viruses die out if left on surfaces for a while, there are some bacteria (like anthrax) that form bacterial spores that can go into "hibernation" for decades or even centuries only to be activated when they enter the human body.

    There was an anthrax outbreak during WWI from poorly sanitized horse hair shaving brushes used by many British and American soldiers. That is why horse hair brushes disappeared from the market for many decades. Modern horse hair brushes do not pose a risk.

    Apparently, the latest outbreak of anthrax was in Siberia in 2016. Rising temperatures allowed frozen bodies of dead reindeer to thaw. One boy died and 20 others were affected, but survived after treatment. These were the first cases of anthrax reported in Siberia in over 75 years, so that gives you some idea of how long anthrax spores can live.
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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    So as long as the previous owner didn't die of anthrax or use the razor to shave reindeer you should be ok

    Seriously tho any old razor I used went a thorough cleaning & possibly full restoration. Abrading all surfaces will remove any spores only putting the restorer at risk
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so..

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Substance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valthorenzoe View Post
    Thank you,

    The razor already feels pretty sharp, and I'm wondering how it will come up after just being put on a strop..
    I don't understand how a strop works? if you get the razor honed, what use is putting on the strop?
    Thanks for the advice
    I have responded to this personally with Steve via email but thought I would share it here for others benifit from also


    Looking at the pics you sent I note the following
    The blade has very extreme hone wear to above the stabiliser & into the belly of the blade and the toe would be very thin here. - This is not a very good condition of wear at all

    Can it be honed - yes
    Would it hold an edge - most likely, as I don’t think I’ve had a bad vintage steel yet
    Is it worth honing - not really (JMHO)
    Is it worth a full cleaning up - not really, a quick clean / polish with something like Autosol would be enough to clean to a basic vintage “User” condition

    Is it worth rescaling - no , not for this blade
    I can’t see the wedge end in the pics, but if it is solid there is no need to anyway

    I say this in all honesty mate,
    I would not recommend to get work performed on this blade, unless it was a family heirloom that you really wanted to use for nostalgia sake.
    Then I would do the minimum to clean & hone only

    I hope the value when you bought it was well under $20AUD so it can be a cheap lesson learnt,
    if the scales are solid they may be used on another st8 if required

    I would also suggest reading through the SRP beginners area for buying straights and what to look for and avoid etc

    I (& most others) would recommend getting a shave ready str8 to start with and avoid eBay etc until you know what you are looking for

    Check out my site I have lost of shave ready str8s in a fair variety of prices & types
    For a beginner I would aim for the 6/8” size plus or minus 1/8” so 5/8” to 7/8” max
    Square or round points are the same to me, just avoid true spike points until you have some experience


    As for the benefit of stropping vs honing
    Honing - removes steel and sets bevel and blade geometry & trues the cutting edge ready for stropping

    Stropping - maintains the shaving edge,
    The Linen (2nd or back strop) material polishes away any residue soaps etc,
    The leather or main front side of a strop then is used to realign and smooth out the very fine cutting edge keeping it in shave ready condition

    Stropping -
    If the blade is not stropped the edge will degrade with every shave as it refines the edge keeping your edge shave ready,
    over time and can even smooth out a harsh edge if done right,

    Abrasive pastes on a strop can remove steel also but a lot slower & can lead to uneven blade wear
    but the bevel and edge needs to be set 1st or this will take a long time

    I hope this helps
    Regards
    Dion

    Pics below of the str8 for future reference and guidance

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    Last edited by Substance; 08-27-2018 at 01:20 AM.
    Saved,
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    So as long as the previous owner didn't die of anthrax or use the razor to shave reindeer you should be ok

    Seriously tho any old razor I used went a thorough cleaning & possibly full restoration. Abrading all surfaces will remove any spores only putting the restorer at risk

    I only used anthrax as an example. There are other bacteria and fungi that form spores. Any old shaving equipment should undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitizing process.

  14. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayClem View Post
    I only used anthrax as an example. There are other bacteria and fungi that form spores. Any old shaving equipment should undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitizing process.
    RayClem’s warning should be taken very seriously. Tuberculosis is one of those diseases that can be passed through improperly cleaned shaving equipment or scissors. It’s one of the reasons barbers in most developed countries are not permitted to use anything but replaceable blade razors nowadays. Even the old cylinders of Barbicide they used to sterilize combs didn’t really do it for anything that might cause blood to flow.
    David
    “Shared sorrow is lessened, shared joy is increased”
    ― Spider Robinson, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon

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