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Thread: Historic Grinding Technologies

  1. #1
    Preserver of old grinding methods hatzicho's Avatar
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    Default Historic Grinding Technologies

    Hi Folks,
    I am member here at SRP since about 9 years now.
    I have been exploring the old thuringian quarries for razor hones for about the same time. Even longer I am in the field of sharpening knifes and razors. Since more than 5 years I have been travelling around Germany to visit, speak and learn from old grinders.
    I took over a lot of grinding equipment and have my own grinding workshop running for about two years now. Sharpening knifes, scissors and of course my main interest is on razors:

    Grinding - Restoration of vintage straights - Honing

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    On my webside I am selling vintage NOS and restored razors as well as new good quality straights also honing stones and other stuff that has to do with grinding or shaving.

    Beside that I am still exploring the history, techniques and methods of the old german grinding schools. I will part with informations on this -as far as it belongs to straight razor production - also here on SRP with separate threads.

    If you are intersted in vintage knife and scissors grinding methods, love old machines and tools and want to see or learn how they work, please also visit my webside. I will share informations there from time to time.

    Traditional grinding workshop

    Hope to see you there soon!

    Remaining with the good old German Grinders regards:

    Well sharp!

    Last edited by hatzicho; 05-31-2021 at 08:34 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Badgister's Avatar
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    Fantastic website Peter! I wish you all the best in this new endeavour. I am fond of the traditional approach and congratulate you for helping preserve these tried and tested methods. Beautiful razors, hones and the celebration of old world craftsmanship.
    BobH, hatzicho and DZEC like this.

  4. #3
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
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    I wish you the best with this.

    Please include more photo's and video's of the grinding equipment. That would make it very appealing.
    BobH and hatzicho like this.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

  5. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth Kees's Avatar
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    Great workshop you have!

    As you are interested in traditional sharpening and polishing: have you ever had a guided tour of the Harrachov Glass Factory? They have a huge workplace where crystal is still polished the old fashioned way with belt-driven polishing stones.
    If you scroll down you can see a picture.
    They also brew their onw beer to boot!
    hatzicho likes this.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr.

  6. #5
    Preserver of old grinding methods hatzicho's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the welcome also here in this section.

    Yeah there will be coming up more pictures, informations and stories too on the webside.
    Here are some impressions of the oldest part of my grinding workshop:

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    I met the grinder who owned the shop in 2012 for the first time in a small town in Thuringia. Actually I was searching for thuringian whetstones when I entered his store there. He had already retired as a grinder for more than 20 years at that time, but still running a small store for knifes, handcrafts and gifts. The grinding workshop was still in perfect shape though.
    His grand-/ grandfather settled down as a grinder in that town in 1869.
    In the following years I visited him frequently, gain from his knowledge and learned some of the old techniques.
    When we first spoke he said - well hopefully a grinder will take over all the workshop soon. But nobody was really interested in getting these old equipment. Some years later he told me that his son has getting in contact with a museum. But they didn’t really had a serious interest and of course wouldn’t have paid a single pence for all the stuff. Finally in 2015 I asked him, if I can take over the machines. And he agreed.

    So I emptied a small room at my house, dismanteled the whole equipment and build it up exactly in the same way as it was before at my home.

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    And it still existed in that way. I have added two or three machines that fit in the timeframe, but no new equipment and no Solingen machines – these are all installed in another room.

    So for your understanding, this old workshop is based on what is called the Hamburg way of grinding.

    Won’t go to deep here in that thread, just a short explanation.
    In Germany three different methods of grinding have been emerged since the late middle ages. One variant in southern Germany, a main craft in middle, east and northern Germany (the Hamburg way) with exception of Solingen and surrounding areas who had their own method.
    Whereas the Solingen method in formes times was mainly used to grind heavy knifes and swords (because it allows to put more pressure on the workpieces during grinding), the Hamburg grinders produced smaller knifes and cutlery. And of course razors - long before Solingen was even thinking about grinding razors.

    In Napoleon Leblanc’s essay on Barbers Razors from 1895 you can still read the statement: … Hamburg grinding is considered the best…..

    So, but I really came up a litlle OT here now. Hard to stop when I am in the mood….

    Well sharp!

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  8. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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    Thank you for mentioning that the Hamburg way of grinding is/was different. I had always wondered about that and am curious about the term Hamburg Ring sometimes seen on razors.

    hatzicho, jfk742 and Gasman like this.
    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  9. #7
    Preserver of old grinding methods hatzicho's Avatar
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    Werner Breidenbach Special Edition Razor

    Some of you may have seen my thread about Werner Breidenbach in the razor club section here:

    So at the moment you can find a very special offer in my webshop:
    Already 2018 Werner Breidenbach celebrated a very special anniversary. In this year he worked as a razor grinder for 70 years without larger interruptions.
    No other grinder I have seen, talked to or even heard from has worked such a long time in the razor trade in Solingen.
    He is an absolut master of grinding and you will hardly find any better razor grinder in present but also few in the past to match his skills.
    In order to greatfully honor this anniversary Master Werner Breidenbach has issued a limited special edition.

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    He grinded the number of 70 individual razors from old blankets, provided them with his logo and the anniversary imprint, and mounted them in high quality scales.
    The razors are delivered in engraved wooden boxes with a certificate and a small bottle of camellia oil.

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    Each piece is unique and numbered in the wooden box. You will find razors from 5/8 to 7/8 in width, mounted in horn or other high quality scales, some with spine work and all etched with his logo and anniversary words on the blade.

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    So if you are a lover of perfectly grinded, thin full hollow straights, produced by one of the absolute Solingen masters of this craft, have a look to my webshop.
    I will be continiously listing some numbers of the special edition.

    Special Limited Edition 1948 - 2018

    Thanks for looking.
    Stay sharp!
    Last edited by hatzicho; 06-02-2021 at 02:29 PM.

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