I recently picked up a unnamed razor that has a slight curve to the spine.
When I sharpen it should I follow the curve (as it is now) or sharpen it straight?
Over 2 1/2" there is almost a 1/16" curve (approx 1/16" visible between razor and a straightedge, at the halfway point). The cutting edge also has a smile that almost but not quite matches the spine (maybe 3/64 difference, end to middle) It has been well used so I don't know if the curve is intentional or just careless honing. I'm even wondering if it a special purpose razor, (like some kind of hair shaper?).
Anyway it cleaned up much better than I thought with just toothpaste and some Silvo polish. Not perfect but enough that I want to sharpen it and see how well it shaves before I invest more cleaning time. So do I follow the existing smile or sharpen it straight?
I'm assuming since I want to use it I should make it straight, but if it is a special purpose razor that is supposed to have a smile I should maintain that shape. Since it has no markings I can't research it. I'd hate to straighten it only to have someone tell me " Oh wow, you've got a [RARE}.xxx.[/RARE]! Too bad you straightened it. No-one ever finds those and they're worth a mint is good condition!"
Second question: how do you clean and polish the part of the tang that is right at the pivot point (protected by the scales there)? The scales and pins are in good condition and I'd hate to have to take it apart if I don't have to.