Scale Finishing Project - Step 1

rayman

Well-Known Member
So we decided to re-scale one of our newly acquired razors. The one you see here was obviously re-scaled by someone who did not have a clue what he was doing. As you can see, I have already made the scales I intend to use, and this will become our starting point.

OriginalandNewScales.jpg

In this step, we will do two things. First, we will make the blade ready to fit to the scales, and second, we will pick the wedge material we want to use.

Some of the razors we remove scales from have the pivot hole worn larger than we want it to be. This is usually seen at its worst in the larger blades such as wedges or choppers. This is a blade that has a lot of excessive wear. See how the pivot pin can be mounted off center.

BigPivotPinHole.jpg

This oversized pivot hole will never allow the pivot pin to be tightened down properly, and the pin will just bend and the blade will still work itself back and forth without becoming snug.

To solve this problem we will install a brass bushing inside the hole that the 1/16" pin can pivot on eliminating any misalignment or pin collapse when we peen the ends down.

PivotHoleWBushingandPin.jpg

It is a little hard to see, but there is a brass tube going through the hole with the pin extending out the upper right of it.

There are several ways to get the bushing mounted in the hole. One is to fill the hole with epoxy and drill it the same size as the outside diameter of the tube, install the tube and cut it flush with the blade and file as needed for a smooth fit.
The other is to drill the hole larger to fit the brass tube, and again, cut it off and file as needed.
And sometimes, the tube will just fit the hole. Don't count on this happening too often though.

Once you get the tube installed it will look like this.
PinHoleBushed.jpg

And it will line up like this.
FixedPinHole.jpg

Do not, under any circumstances, allow this pivot pin to be allowed to move laterally. It will just bend when you try to tighten it. When we do mount the blade, we will use washers as pivot points against the scales to eliminate wear.

After we have the blade ready to fit and mount, we need to decide what material we want to use for the wedge. I have never seen a vintage razor that didn't have a true wedge. Not until people started using scale material that was too hard to bend or just couldn't figure out why a wedge was needed, did you start to see flat spacers replace wedges. Some even try using resting pins to make up for their mistakes.

If you look at your razors, you will see that the gap in the scales needs to be close at the wedge end, wider in the middle and start to close up again at the pivot point. All of this allows for the configuration of the blade itself. This is usually narrow at the toe, wider at the heel where the tang enters the scales and narrower at the pivot point.

So what are we going to use for the wedge? Here are some choices I have picked.

WedgeMaterial.jpg

From right above the scales going clockwise, here is what we are looking at:

Ebony with brass liner
Ebony plain
Horn
Brass
Faux Ivory
Cocobolo
Red Micarta
and the horizontal slab is reconstituted Turquoise with black lines

I thought maybe the Turquoise would work, but it didn't. The simplicity of this razor and the natural color of the Amboyna made me decide just plain black Ebony was the best choice.

In the next step, I will show you how to determine where to set the blade and the wedge. How to mount the wedge and how to make sure everything is lined up correctly while the glue is setting.

Questions are welcome

Ray
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
An excellent write-up Ray.

Don't forget to turn it into a permanent article for our permanent knowledge base, when the series is complete.:thumbup: Threads like this one should not slowly vanish in the forum archive.

One little remark: as I understand it, these large holes in vintage razors are not the result of wear. A brass pin would never do that kind of wear in steel (hardened or not). Because they had no carbide bits in the old days to drill the hole in hardened steel, the holes were punched in during the forging process. That's why these hole have not the precision of a drilled hole.
This of course does not compromise your excellent and flawless explanation of the pinning process. But since I hope we will be turning this into a permanent article, I believe we must keep the record straight.:)

Beautiful scales, by the way. Be careful with those CA fumes, my friend;)

Bart.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Fantastic article AND the scales are bloody awesome! Big up for sharing this precious knowledge! :thumbup:

Dang, I see there's quite a lot of work with rescaling... Makes me kinda sad, I wonder if I'll ever make it. Don't have that many tools, and hell, this ain't US, it's hardly Europe, to be honest - I've got no idea where to get something like this tiny brass tube, for instance...

Or, epoxy - how do you get the right proportions of resin/hardener? Quantities sold are at least a pound jar - what do you use to measure a teaspoon of needed mixture?

rayman said:
Some even try using resting pins to make up for their mistakes.
What are these?

kind regards,
Matt
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
An excellent write-up Ray.

Don't forget to turn it into a permanent article for our permanent knowledge base, when the series is complete.:thumbup: Threads like this one should not slowly vanish in the forum archive.

One little remark: as I understand it, these large holes in vintage razors are not the result of wear. A brass pin would never do that kind of wear in steel (hardened or not). Because they had no carbide bits in the old days to drill the hole in hardened steel, the holes were punched in during the forging process. That's why these hole have not the precision of a drilled hole.
This of course does not compromise your excellent and flawless explanation of the pinning process. But since I hope we will be turning this into a permanent article, I believe we must keep the record straight.:)

Beautiful scales, by the way. Be careful with those CA fumes, my friend;)

Bart.
Bart,
Very good point about the forging of the hole. You are absolutly correct. In the older blades this hole can have the strangest shape, and the steel is so hard, it can burn up bits like butter. Which reminds me. If you are drilling the hole, make sure the blade is on your left side and the edge is facing you. Twist drills turn to the right, and if the drill bit grabs the blade and starts to spin it, the worst that can happen is you will be hit by the spine and not the edge.

As technology advanced into the 20th century, you can see that the pivot holes became more precise. Even at that, they still are a bit too large and need bushing.

Ray
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
matis said:
Fantastic article AND the scales are bloody awesome! Big up for sharing this precious knowledge! :thumbup:

Dang, I see there's quite a lot of work with rescaling... Makes me kinda sad, I wonder if I'll ever make it. Don't have that many tools, and hell, this ain't US, it's hardly Europe, to be honest - I've got no idea where to get something like this tiny brass tube, for instance...

Or, epoxy - how do you get the right proportions of resin/hardener? Quantities sold are at least a pound jar - what do you use to measure a teaspoon of needed mixture?

rayman said:
Some even try using resting pins to make up for their mistakes.
What are these?

kind regards,
Matt
Matt,
The resting pin is a 3rd pin that has a cover of some type in the middle of the scales, just behind the heel of the blade. It is used to rest the tang on when the blade closes. I will post a picture of one in the next part.

If epoxy is not available, I think I would try cleaning out the hole, or whatever to make it larger. Then put some flux in the hole and drop a spot of solder into the hole. Don't get the tang hot though, that will ruin the temper of the steel. All you are trying to do is fill the hole. Once the hole is filled, finish off the outside, so it is smooth, and then drill it for the 1/16" pin. This would make a great pivot hole.

Ray
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
rayman said:
Which reminds me. If you are drilling the hole, make sure the blade is on your left side and the edge is facing you. Twist drills turn to the right, and if the drill bit grabs the blade and starts to spin it, the worst that can happen is you will be hit by the spine and not the edge.
That's good advice, Ray. But allow me:
[warn]Never drill a hole in metal without securing the object with a clamp. That counts double when the object is small and triple when it has a sharp edge. [/warn]
Please don't doubt for one second that I wouldn't have made the same statement with a fully raised index finger.;)

Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
Please don't doubt for one second that I wouldn't have made the same statement with a fully raised index finger.;) Bart.
Mmmm How is Stumpy my friend? it seems like an age since we heard of him?
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
rayman said:
The resting pin is a 3rd pin that has a cover of some type in the middle of the scales, just behind the heel of the blade. It is used to rest the tang on when the blade closes.Ray
Oh yeah, 3[sup]rd[/sup] pin, now it surely rings a bell. Didn't know it's called like this, too.
Bart said:
rayman said:
Which reminds me. If you are drilling the hole, make sure the blade is on your left side and the edge is facing you. Twist drills turn to the right, and if the drill bit grabs the blade and starts to spin it, the worst that can happen is you will be hit by the spine and not the edge.
That's good advice, Ray. But allow me:
[warn]Never drill a hole in metal without securing the object with a clamp. That counts double when the object is small and triple when it has a sharp edge. [/warn]
Please don't doubt for one second that I wouldn't have made the same statement with a fully raised index finger.;)
Very useful and precious information, thank you both!
tat2Ralfy said:
Mmmm How is Stumpy my friend? it seems like an age since we heard of him?
Indeed, how is the therapy going?

regards,
Matt
 

rayman

Well-Known Member
Matt,
Here are a few pictures of resting pins that are on a Solingen and a C-Mon.

3rdPinCmonSolingen.jpg

You can see the third pin just in from the pivot pin.

Here is the 3rd pin looking from the top on the C-Mon.
3rdPinCmonTop.jpg

And here it is looking from the bottom.
3rdPinCmonBottom.jpg

Hope this helps,

Ray
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Ooops, seems like there was something wrong with the links.

Anyway, thanks for the effort, Ray, once you've mentioned "3[sup]rd[/sup] pin", I'm back home.

Matt
 
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