View Full Version : An uneven spine

12-05-2009, 05:16 PM
I have a Geneva Cutlery 6/8 razor that was giving me really nice shaves, but the blade needed some cosmetic work.

After I prettied it up I had trouble honing it. I tested the edge by shaving arm hairs, and parts of the blade just weren't getting sharp.

Well, I thought I knew what was going on, and marking the edge and the spine with a Sharpie confirmed it. I had sanded out some heavy rust spots on the spine, and now the spine isn't flat. Parts of the spine aren't making contact with the hone. And parts of the edge aren't getting sharp.

What shouId I do now? Sanding the spine to flatten it is one possibility. I kinda hate to do more sanding, I have a mirror finish on the blade and I did that without a Dremel. I would hate to muss up my 'sweat equity', but I need to get this razor back into shaving condition.

Taping the spine with enough tape to level it off is another.

Opinions? Advice?

12-05-2009, 05:57 PM
Do you have any pictures?

This is my guess from a logical point of view, not a honer point of view, the blade would need to worked on until it's flat again and the whole edge makes contact again.

12-05-2009, 06:11 PM
How large is the "un-flat" section? Do both sides have such spots? Grinding the entire spine width down might take quite a while. And making the new spine surface follow its original contour might be difficult to do by hand.

If the "un-flat" spine section isn't very long, then keeping both spine areas adjacent to it on the hone should be enough.

Pictures of the areas blackened with marker and honed lightly would help some.

12-05-2009, 06:45 PM
After re-inking, and a few strokes on the hone, the inch or so at the heel of the blade, next to the shank, still has the ink on it on both sides. The ink is gone from the rest of the spine.

On the edge, on one side all the ink is gone. On the other side -- the side without the logo -- I still have ink in the first inch at the heel, matching the ink on the spine.

So, the spine has low spots at the heel on both sides. To even it out by sanding I would have to flatten it for about two-thirds of the length. I'm leaning strongly toward tape. Maybe lots of tape...

12-05-2009, 06:54 PM
I'm going to ask the question that you may have already answered.

Is the blade smiling? If so, thats the cause of the problem. If not...thats a very badly ground/honed razor. Its actually a little weird that the spine is lower near the heel than near the toe. Usually its the other way around, and usually from poor honing.

12-05-2009, 07:01 PM
This blade has a poker face. :huh:

No smile, no frown.

I caused the uneven spine by sanding out some heavy rust spots on the spine.

12-05-2009, 07:04 PM
This blade has a poker face. :huh:

No smile, no frown.

I caused the uneven spine by sanding out some heavy rust spots on the spine.

Did read that part. Exactly how much did you sand off the rear 1/3? You must have sanded off a lot of metal to achieve the effect I'm visualizing. Which could be far from reality.

Anyway, sounds like a very painful lesson you have learned. Obviously the best solution is probably to sand down the front 2/3 to even up with the heel. You could also just hone it down, but it won't look right.

12-05-2009, 07:09 PM
Since the ink is gone all along the logo-side cutting edge, that side should be ok. See if you can pick up the first inch on the non-logo cutting edge with a rolling stroke or maybe a narrow hone. Does the razor have a slight smile on it?

You could also try stroking that side with a 45 degree heel-leading stroke. No X motion. This way the tip part of the spine can be used as the reference on the heel, during the stroke. If that doesn't work, it might be grind time.

12-05-2009, 07:12 PM
How much metal did I sand off? A lot. There was some deep rust on this blade on and near the spine.

While I was sanding I noticed that I was removing some of the evidence of the (moderate) hone wear. Didn't think about what that meant for honing it up again.

A painful lesson? Well, it's not that bad, but this is how we become experienced, isn't it?

12-05-2009, 07:25 PM
I did something similar to a warped razor once.

On the positive side, having a razor for grinding practice isn't necessarily a bad thing. Once you get some big flats on one side, it'll look more like a Japanese razor. I've heard they are awesome! :blink:

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

12-05-2009, 07:53 PM
Guys, I think I got it!

I decided to start with tape. Thought I'd give the easy way a try first, before I start sanding again. I put five layers of electrical tape on the spine, to make the level of the spine more consistent, and went back to the hone.

You could also try stroking that side with a 45 degree heel-leading stroke.

Thank you, Steven! I didn't know that move.

With a little work on the hone, and some fancy strokes, I have removed most of the hair from the undersides of my arms. The heel seems to be cutting hair now. I'm going to do a little more work on the edge, then I'll take off the tape and use some Maas to clean off what's left of the Sharpie.

Tomorrow morning I'll see how it shaves.

12-05-2009, 07:57 PM
If you want to save some Maas, I use rubbing alcohol to remove the ink.