Picked up a straight razor?

Joined
Nov 9, 2019
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48
I’m wanting to get into / try out straight razor shaving. I’m planning on ordering a new ready to shave razor soon. However today I picked up an A. W. Wadsworth & Son razor. I’m planning on trying to hone it and see how it works out.

The razor looks to be in decent shape for 15 bucks at the antique store. It has only one minor nick in the blade. The others they had where torn up. Probably fixable but beyond my ability.

If I can’t fix it it’s probably gonna get turned into a decorative piece. Only thing I’m concerned with is it looks like the edge may be off ever so slightly. Maybe it’s the way the razor is made. I’m not sure.

It also has Swedish Steel Hollow Ground on the blade but it’s very had to see. Would you hone this razor and give it a shot?




 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
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3,772
It might be problematic with the rust pitting. I usually stay away from razors that have rust near the edge. I guess that is what I am seeing in the pictures?
Either way clean it up and hone away, you will learn something from the experience.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
48
I looked it over again I don’t think that’s “pitting.” Maybe but 🤷‍♂️. I’m ordering a 12k Shapton to use as a finishing stone.

I went ahead and threw it on my King stones. I’ve got up to 6k right now and an 8k Shapton already on the way. The little tiny chip may be problems. I’m not 100% sure but it may actually be a very small crack. It may just be a very small chip on the side. I’m gonna bring it to a friend who works on watches. He’s got a coupe of those high magnification jewelers loupes.

If it’s a small crack I’m gonna hang it up and keep looking.
 

UncleBoots

Gold Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
132
Cleaning up the surface with some 600 grit sandpaper would make things a lot clearer.

12K Shapton is not a common choice as a razor finishing stone. There's a 12K Naniwa that is, but I'm not sure which one, if there are more than one.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
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3,772
I looked it over again I don’t think that’s “pitting.” Maybe but 🤷‍♂️. I’m ordering a 12k Shapton to use as a finishing stone.

I went ahead and threw it on my King stones. I’ve got up to 6k right now and an 8k Shapton already on the way. The little tiny chip may be problems. I’m not 100% sure but it may actually be a very small crack. It may just be a very small chip on the side. I’m gonna bring it to a friend who works on watches. He’s got a coupe of those high magnification jewelers loupes.

If it’s a small crack I’m gonna hang it up
I couldn’t really tell on the little tablet I’m on, but it sounds like you are pretty well set. The magnification will really help you. Don’t do to much reading up and get over loaded with information or well meaning advice.

Do you have a strop? If not they are a must.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
48
I couldn’t really tell on the little tablet I’m on, but it sounds like you are pretty well set. The magnification will really help you. Don’t do to much reading up and get over loaded with information or well meaning advice.

Do you have a strop? If not they are a must.
Ya I’ve got a strop I dabble in leather work. Mostly make belts dog collars. Noting fancy.

I made a couple strops a few years back. Mostly glued to a oak wood plank. I gave a few to friends who are knife geeks like me. I’ve also got one made a hanging one. It’s basically a 2 inch wide by 2 foot long strip.

The hanging one is great for touching up knives. Or removing burrs. Before I learned how to “steel” knives I used the hanging strop all the time. The ones I’ve got in wood planks are coated with compound. They are all just regular old veg tan.

The strops I made work great on regular knives. But this is my face we are talking about so im probably gonna dump some cash on a quality strop. I’ve read vegtan works fine but I’d rather works amazing.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
3,772
Ya I’ve got a strop I dabble in leather work. Mostly make belts dog collars. Noting fancy.

I made a couple strops a few years back. Mostly glued to a oak wood plank. I gave a few to friends who are knife geeks like me. I’ve also got one made a hanging one. It’s basically a 2 inch wide by 2 foot long strip.

The hanging one is great for touching up knives. Or removing burrs. Before I learned how to “steel” knives I used the hanging strop all the time. The ones I’ve got in wood planks are coated with compound. They are all just regular old veg tan.

The strops I made work great on regular knives. But this is my face we are talking about so im probably gonna dump some cash on a quality strop. I’ve read vegtan works fine but I’d rather works amazing.
I can’t really tell any difference in performance between the strops that I own. It’s just personal preference based on the feel or draw. I think your home made strop will work just fine. Most folks end up putting nicks in their first strop as they are learning.
 
Joined
May 19, 2007
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7,073
Offset or imperfect edges are reasonably common. a 12k shapton will finish it fine, though from what I understand, the shaptons will tend to need a bit more lapping than other stones as they don't consistently absorb water each time they dry. (although this could be fudd-lore as by the time you are in the 12k range you are getting into the diminishing returns zone, and the tolerances in those old blades is... loose)
The main thing is that either the steel is fine, and the edge will polish up, or the corrosion will make it continually loose its edge. No way to know until you really put it through its paces.
As far as strops, its all about how "clean" the surface is, so if you have some good quality latigo, you should be fine. Really what you are buying with a razor strop is the size it took to get the good bit. So use whatever you can, chamfer the edges and go to it. I've stropped (poorly, but functionally) on gutted paracord, seatbelt, and I've talked to guys who've used denim and tire sidewalls. Its easy to get hung up on perfect, but in reality a lot of guys back a century ago just made due (which may be why straights fell out of favor very quickly when decent disposable blades came along)
 
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