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  1. #1
    Senior Member MattCastle's Avatar
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    Default First Restoration, Family Heirloom - need lots of advice!

    I'm looking for some opinions on the blade and potential for this razor.

    My girlfriend recently found a family heirloom - an old Ern straight razor. As I am the only person she knows that uses a straight razor, the job of restoring it has fallen to me - not that I'm complaining! I haven't actually seen the razor in person, but I think it looks promising.

    I was hoping somebody could give some history on Ern razors, there wasn't much on the internet. Are they good razors?

    After reading around the forums, my plan so far is to clean up the blade with some sandpapers, working my way up the grits. Some suggestions for what grits to start with and how long to use each one would be much appreciated. The edge looks decent to me so I was thinking some effort on the 4000 and then some pyramid patterns with the 4000/8000 and it might be workable. Am I heading in the right direction?

    Thanks so much, this forum is a godsend
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    Last edited by MattCastle; 03-05-2011 at 06:40 AM.

  2. #2
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    For restoration Tips this is where you want to start

    http://straightrazorpalace.com/works...wers-here.html

    I also host a dedicated live chat every Tuesday in the Chat room (link is above) at 8:00pm Eastern time where we sit around and BS about Restoring razors...
    Consider this an invite

    Now my best tip for you is DO NOT start restoration with an Heirloom razor, they can never be replaced..
    Get a junker of the same "type" as your ERN to learn on

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to gssixgun For This Useful Post:

    MattCastle (03-06-2011), niftyshaving (03-12-2011)

  4. #3
    Senior Member MattCastle's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the redirect, I had read most of the sticky but I found the wiki today and that's answered all my questions.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    Now my best tip for you is DO NOT start restoration with an Heirloom razor, they can never be replaced..
    Get a junker of the same "type" as your ERN to learn on
    That's the best advice you could get here.

    Not only is it a bad idea in general to learn restoration with an irreplaceable heirloom, but that razor needs a practiced hand. The edge has a significant frown. That can certainly be corrected, and if I had bought a razor like that on ebay or at the antique shop I'd dive right in. But, even with several dozen restos under my belt, I wouldn't dream of working on an heirloom with a frown like that, and I'd seriously hesitate with anything that could be considered a family heirloom.

    All that being said, I suspect that razor could be restored into something beautiful and functional.

  6. #5
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Gotta agree on leaving that one to a more practised hand. Polishing the blade is not a huge challenge but that edge will be.

    As far as info goes there were a number of Ern's making razors in Solingen. Although I don't see yours listed I'm guessing it was by C.F. Ern

    August Ern, Solingen in 1922. Brand name: 'AE'. Open-blade razor maker.

    C. Friedrich Ern, Solingen-Wald in 1922, Kanalstrasse 43 in 1939. Brand names:
    'America Del Sud', 'Army and Navy', 'Ator', 'A.V. Humboldt', 'Balance', 'Bank', 'Bar',
    'Barbersone', 'Barbers Pet', 'Barden', 'Bessimar', 'Bur', 'Cuba', 'Electro Taban', 'Ern',
    'Ern 1166', 'Ern A-Z', 'Ern-Blaauwappen', 'Ernette', 'Ern-Goldwappen', 'Ern-
    Grünwappen', 'Ern Junior', 'Ernovo', 'Ern-Silberwappen', 'Es-Ex', 'Farwood', 'Flaggen',
    'Generale Ameglio,' 'Gong Razor', 'Gorki', 'Janissaire', 'Junk', 'Justrite', 'Ka Ci Be',
    'King George', 'Knight Commander of the Bath', 'Kuroki', 'Laborista', 'Le Mondain',
    'Lerne', 'Leiste', 'Liliput', 'Little Dorrit', 'Magnetic', 'Master', 'Master of Arts', 'Master
    of Science', 'Mickiewicz', 'Moustafa Kemal Pascha', 'Niazi', 'Nodzu', 'Oxama',
    'Palmerston', 'Peer', 'Perfecto', 'Persian', 'Platypus', 'Primus', 'Protector', 'Püt',
    'Raccoon', 'Roosevelt Razor', 'Schwert', 'S Essex', 'Sim Mart', 'Ski', 'Strandbad',
    'Suneo', 'The Boss', 'The Crown And Sword Razor', 'The Kid', 'The Michaelin', 'The
    Mussel Razor', 'Turban', 'Waldern', 'Waldoo', 'Wee Macgreggor', 'Zeibek', 'Zepp.'
    Open-blade razor maker.


    C.R. Ern Sohn Nachf., Solingen-Weyer in 1925. Open-blade razor maker.

    Friedrich Ern & Co., Solingen-Weyer in 1925 and 1928, Weyerstrasse 196 in
    1939. Brand names: 'Commodus', 'Damokles', 'Doppeladler', 'Ern & Cie', 'Ern & Co.',
    F. Ern & Co. Weyer-Solingen', 'Kobold', 'Newton' 'Ost', 'Sprock', 'The Sir Isaac
    Newton', 'Vim', 'Weltbrand'. Open-blade razor maker.

    W.C. Ern & Co., Solingen, Schlagbaumer Strasse 75. Brand name: 'Hatuey'. Razor-
    blade maker.
    Ern & Wills, Solingen-Wald, Wittkuller Strasse 154 in 1939. Brand names: 'Ascota',
    'Erwil-Gold', 'Erwil-Luxus', 'Gold-Stern', 'Gold-Strom', 'Rheinkrone', 'Ruhr-Gold',
    'Sensit', 'Vivat'. Razor-blade maker.
    Ern & Ern 'Darsi' Gesellschaft, Solingen-Aufderhöhe, Löhdorferstrasse 133 in 1939.
    Safety-razor maker.
    “The white gleam of swords, not the black ink of books, clears doubts and uncertainties and bleak outlooks.”

  7. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth nicknbleeding's Avatar
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    That has a very nice etched blade. Should clean up fine.

  8. #7
    Some kind of Zombie BigJim's Avatar
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    Just my humble opinion, but if it isn't intended for shaving use, I'd keep it the way that it is. It looks great with its age and quirks. As a family piece, "This is the razor Great Grandpa used." to be enjoyed at family reunions, get togethers, etc., or placed in a case, I think it looks great with the patina.

    IF there's someone in the family who wants to use it, or it's being given to you; then I'd opt for the restore, with the advice previously given.

  9. #8
    Senior Member MattCastle's Avatar
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    I would like to restore it so it's shave-ready, but I'm going to wait until I have more experience, as per all the great advice in this thread. I agree it looks great aged like that, but I think it would mean more if it was being used as it was intended to.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattCastle View Post
    I agree it looks great aged like that, but I think it would mean more if it was being used as it was intended to.
    The two are not mutually exclusive. One of my favorite razors is a Ross W. Black with a great deal of patina on the face of the blade. It is entirely possible to put a good edge on a razor like that without touching the rest of the patina. I'm not saying you should go one way or the other, but you certainly can.

  11. #10
    Some kind of Zombie BigJim's Avatar
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    +1 on that. Also, question: as to the end purpose since this is your GF's family's blade and not your own (if I understand things right...no guarantees there), if no one in the family wants it to shave with, does it matter if it's shave ready? If you make it shave ready and it isn't shaved with, the shave-ready-ness will deteriorate over time as oxidation takes its toll on that freshly honed edge. Same too with the blade if you polish it.

    In the end though I guess it comes down to HER. Does she want it nice and shiny to say "This was grandpa/great grandpa's razor. Look how pretty it is!" or does she want to say "This was grandpa/great grandpa's razor. It's so sharp you could still shave with it!" ??? Either are valid desires, but each requires a different approach.

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