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Thread: Newbie: Are these straight razors worth restoring?

  1. #1

    Default Newbie: Are these straight razors worth restoring?

    I have 28 straight razors bought as a bundle-deal from an antique store. The blades of all but 6 seem rather beat up but two of those with rather beat up blades have scales made of what I think is bone.

    I am wondering if it is worth sending these to someone for restoration or if I ought to get the scales affixed to one of my blades that is in better condition.

    (Also, if anyone can give me any advice on what to do with the rest I am looking for any solution except tossing them.)

    Photos as follows:
    1. Emde Bros. (Germany) "Extra Hollow Ground, Fully Warranted"
    2. Albert (illegible). "Magnetic Diamond Steel, Full Hollow Ground"
    3. Emde Bros. (Germany) "Extra Hollow Ground, Fully Warranted"

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    Both look saveable, but before they hit the buffer it's hard to tell whats the condition. If the grinds are thick enough, then some metal can be removed to bring the razors back to life.

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    Welcome to B&B!

    It all depends on what you want to do. The second blade (Albert magnetic) look like it needs some big sanding to get there but it might get there.

    What you need to look for is chips on the edge. If there are big chips, then, the razor is probably useless...

    I would say, post as many pictures as you can (even of the bad ones).

    I think that you could rescue the two pictured. Someone who actually restore straights would have a better opinion than me.

    You could always try to do it yourself too. Start with a high grit of sandpaper (1200). It's a long process, I did a few where I probably spent 15 hours sanding (in a few sessions, of course)...
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    Never throw away any straights. You could at least salvage the scales if worse comes to worse.

    Probably much cheaper to send them off than try to do it yourself.

  5. #5
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    I apologise for the delay in posting the rest of my razor 'collection' but below are the first five photos. If anyone wants a more detailed photo or can tell me 'yes, get that restored/sharpened' or 'don't, it's junk', let me know. If anyone would like any of these razors, PM me.

    I will post all 30 in groups of 5 (maximum attachment limit) over the weekend.

    The photos are:
    1. Challenge Cutlery Co., black scales
    2. C.C. Craig & Co. Solingen, white scales
    3. American Barber, W.A. Case & Sons, black & white scales
    4. J. Wiss & Sons Co. '1315'
    5. H. Boker & Co. 'Extra Hollow Ground, Fully Warranted'

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    Are you giving those or selling them?
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    I am a newbie, but like luc spent a fair old amount of hours sanding a few razors that were like yours, some worse, but they are now out being honed and shinning like new and i have 6 more to do, so have a go and enkoy it

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    Quote Originally Posted by taffy View Post
    I am a newbie, but like luc spent a fair old amount of hours sanding a few razors that were like yours, some worse, but they are now out being honed and shinning like new and i have 6 more to do, so have a go and enkoy it
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  10. #10
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    Apologies for the time between posts. Here are razors 6-10:

    6. Best * Quality Tuckman [illegible] Steel, Solingen, Black scales
    7. Genco Gold Seal, Geneva, NY USA, orange translucent scales
    8. H. Boker & Co. "King Cutter", black scales
    9. Clauss, Fremont, O. USA, black scales
    10. Taban, "Peacock's Pride JWP", C. Friedr. Ern. Wald, Germany

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Koskov View Post
    Apologies for the time between posts. Here are razors 6-10:

    6. Best * Quality Tuckman [illegible] Steel, Solingen, Black scales
    7. Genco Gold Seal, Geneva, NY USA, orange translucent scales
    8. H. Boker & Co. "King Cutter", black scales
    9. Clauss, Fremont, O. USA, black scales
    10. Taban, "Peacock's Pride JWP", C. Friedr. Ern. Wald, Germany
    Those look savable yes!
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    Razors 11-15:

    11. H. Boker & Co., black scales with repair
    12. Rofeson "ShurEdge", Rochester, NY "The Razor that fits your face", black & white scales
    13. J. Wiss & Sons Co., Newark, NJ USA, black scales
    14. H. Boker & Co., "Edelweiss", white scales
    15. Emde Bros. Germany, "Extra Hollow Ground Fully Warranted", white scales

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    I think many of these can become fine shaving blades.

    1. If you just want a good shaver, quite a few of these should sharpen up nicely.
    2. If you want to make a profit, you will need to start learning to polish and sharpen.
    3. If you want to get one or more beautiful straights for your own use, take your time inspecting these before sending a couple out for a full restoration.

    What's your major objective?

  14. #14
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    Razors 16-20:

    16. Joseph Elliot's Best Silver Steel, Sheffield Eng., Diamond A Brand, black scales
    17. Red Imp 133, Made in USA by Case, red scales
    18. Repeat Wardham Brothers Cutters Sheffield, black scales
    20. Norwood, Geo. W. Korn Razor Mfg. Co., faux wood pattern scales
    19. Geo. Wostenholm & Son Sheffield England, "Peerless", white scales
    Last edited by General Koskov; 05-28-2010 at 08:01 PM.

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    Some things to look for:

    A straight razor which is honed often loses metal from the edge and from the spine. That results in flat areas on the sides of the spine. Large flats and narrow blades are an indication that a blade is almost worn out.

    Your second batch of razors starts with a Challenge razor. That one, for example, has almost no flat area on the spine. That one, and the others in that batch of photos, looks to have had little wear from honing. Those should sharpen up with ease, if the photos are good and there are no chips missing from the blades.

  16. #16
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    Razors 21-25:

    21. No brand name, initials on scales & blade, black scales
    22. J.A.N.S. Ltd. "The York", Butter Sheffield., black scales
    23. Demon, Fores Bros. & Co. Ltd. Toronto, white scales
    24. Kirecord "Best Cutter", Solingen Germany, white scales
    25. Hilger & Sons., Germany, white scales

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    23 and 24 are dead. Keep them for the scales!
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  18. #18
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    I am trying to get perhaps 5 of these razors shave-ready for myself. As I have no interest in collecting razors for the sake of collecting itself, I would like to give those not easily restored to someone who would spend the effort restoring them. My trouble is determining if there are some razors which, though rather worn, are worth restoring.

    Thanks, DavyRay, for your information on the wear on the spines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by General Koskov View Post
    I am trying to get perhaps 5 of these razors shave-ready for myself. As I have no interest in collecting razors for the sake of collecting itself, I would like to give those not easily restored to someone who would spend the effort restoring them. My trouble is determining if there are some razors which, though rather worn, are worth restoring.

    Thanks, DavyRay, for your information on the wear on the spines.
    I would recommend checking with a honemeister that also restore straights unless you want to have a shave ready straight to start with (not a looker).

    Here's the list, if you want to pick someone close to you!

    http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/index.php/Honemeister

    I would say, pick your 5 favorites and discuss it with the Honemeister.
    Cheers, Luc - My Gear(Wiki) - Have a question, PM a mod. That's why we're here!
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    The last razor in the final post (Boker) is a very nice razor and looks like it's in good shape.

    The Red imp, Joseph Elliot, and Boker king cutter would be my next three choices to restore.

    After that I'd probably restore the Emoe as the fifth.



    I wouldn't bother with anything from the last two posts other than what I mentioned or the other boker . Everything else could be worth restoring if you wanted to spend the time. Some wouldn't take much, others would.
    Last edited by SliceOfLife; 05-29-2010 at 08:17 PM.

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