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My First Handmade Razor

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Its all Bart's fault, I said to myself, as I headed off into the workshop to start my latest project, you see he planted the seed in my imagination, and encouraged me that I had the skills to succeed in an attempt at hand making a razor.

I must admit that I was doubtful of a successful outcome, but thought "why not give it a try?" it should be fun if nothing else, and it was, fun that is but it was not successful, the material I chose for the blade came from an old saw, and in my ignorance I believed it would take a good edge, I was wrong, it didn't, and after several attempts I finally gave up, and went to plan B, I replaced the blade with one fashioned from a Double Arrow Razor, certainly up for the job, and if I made a hash of it there would be no great loss.

The spine and tang are made from mild steel, lightly polished and set with a brass thumb notch, and monkey tail, the scales are antique Bakelite which seemed to suit the style, originally intended to be a 7/8, it nows comes in at a slightly slimmer 6/8, and has taken a wicked edge, I am looking forward to tonights test shave.

Many thanks for looking Chaps, and here are some pictures, first with the now defunked saw blade, and the last one in full SOTD mode, with its new functional 6/8 DA one.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)

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Bart

Well-Known Member
You could have done far, far worse on your first hand build razor, and I'd still say it was a good job. Of course there are things that could be said, mainly about proportions that could have been just a tad better. But you also did other aspects so stunningly well, that I can only. bow my head in admiration. I absolutely love the shape of the tang, the brass details, and the fact that this razor looks as if holding it will feel special. The choice of materials (brass, Bakelite and steel) are spot on for the design of your art piece.

Now, the constructive criticism part: the tang could be 2 or 3 mm longer, the design begs for a smiling edge, the tail could be twice as large, and the scales a little shorter.

It is a great job, and I hope you'll build another one. Please put me first on the list, for when you start taking custom orders. :)

I have quite a few worn tools that are over 50 years old, some of which might be suitable for razor building. I definitely can't build razors, but I can try to put a shaving edge on a couple of old band saw blades, and cabinet scrapers. It must be doable to source more interesting blade material than Double Arrow blades. There is something odd in dismantling one straight razor to build another.:D

Very well done, my friend.:thumbup:

Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Many thanks :)

The edge does have a slight smile, however I agree it could be more pronounced, not sure if the tang would be better longer? but for sure the tail could be, I agree that for a first it could be far worse, although I certainly wasnt looking for perfection, the scales I happened to have, and wood didnt seem right, nor plastic (modern plastic, perspex, polycarbonate etc) so I went with what I had.

I would be very interested in finding a suitable blade material, it was not only odd, and a lot of work, but felt like cheating to me, using something that was already a razor, however needs must and frankly I just wanted to get it done.

I doubt very much that I will be taking orders, or getting any requests lol

And Bart, you do know that if you send me something I can make a blade out of, I will send you back a Razor right? slightly longer in Tang and Tail, with a more pronounced smile, and with slightly shorter scales ;)

Many thanks again
Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Birnando

Member
I think that is a very good effort!
Lots of things to like about it.
I do agree with Bart, a tad more smile to it would not hurt it.
But again, I liked the overall design!
Well done Sir!
 

Snuff

Well-Known Member
Nice job! And that for a first try. Let us know how the shave was? Greets Ron
 

vgeorge

Well-Known Member
Dr. Ralfy,

Let me put it this way - I am holding back the Nobel, but grant you a second doctorate. :p

It is obvious it is a work of love, may be first love - I bet your first teenage date was not perfect either, but quite exciting and a great accomplishment. ;)

The only reason I am not lining up with an order today is because there is a global recession raging on.

Thanks for sharing! You are an aaarteeest!
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Ralfy,

My offer to provide steel stands... I'll send enough for several razors if you put me on the list ;)

As said on FB. Beautiful! :thumbup:

Best regards,

Paul
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Ah thanks Old Chaps :blush:

Paul, I would be more than happy to do that, however I will need to know the best way to heat treat the steel?

Many thanks and best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Hi Ralf
I can see art in the construction.I could send you black celluloid if asked me.I keep a reservation for the metal hardness.I believe that the edge don't stands more than two shaves.Please keep me informed.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Ralfy, I'm not metal expert, but I've done a little heat treating. Hit me up either on text or FB, and we can start working on it. :thumbup:
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Dr Ralfson, that's a great piece of craft, but you've already known it, of course :)

How on earth do you set brass on steel? :blink:

cheers, my gifted amigo,
Matt
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Beautiful work Ralfy!
It is a bit disappointing to hear that the saw blade didn't work. I always had in the back of my mind that if I wanted to do something in steel, that a saw blade is a possibility. Do you think it is a heat treatment issue? I mean, that it could work if the blade was tempered again?

regards,
Torolf
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Paul, I will email you later buddy thanks :)

Matt. Silver solder ;)

Torolf. I am not sure, I thought the same and tempered the blade first to a dull red and cooled it in oil, then again at 400 degrees in the oven and let it naturally cool, I suspect the steel is not high enough in carbon? I do have spring steel that I could try, and also a big chunk of tool steel, that I am sure would do it. But that would take an age to work into the right dimensions. I am also toying with using wood and cold chisels, if anyone has any advice I would be very grateful.

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr soft blades lol)
 

chti_lolo

Well-Known Member
Beautiful work Ralfy :thumbup:

Homemade razor seems very fashionable. On a french forum two members have made their own razor, the first blade was made of a file, the second from a sheet steel (here is the link
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).
So maybe cardoso could help you, I know he also posts on B&B.

Regards

Laurent
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Ralfy, is your family from Sheffield? :w00t:

That's some good work for a first go. I've seen less refined work from so-called pros.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
I am sorry my friend Ralfy.I didn't read your post thoroughly thinking that you kept the saw blade for your razor.I am taking back my opinion that the edge does not stand more than two shaves.Any way i would like to know what about your first shave.
As i said in my previous post i can see art in your constraction.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 
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