So, you've got grandpa's old safety or straight razor and want to get 'er cleaned up and ready for use? Have a bushel basket of flea market treasures collecting dust and begging for use? Want to know if the smile on your straight is enough to make you frown? Have a burning desire to replace those stunning sticky tan-ish 1960's plastic scales with something, well, attractive? This issue of B&B Confidential is for you!
B&B is chock full of threads and wiki entries where members share their favorite restoration techniques. Most of these tips and tricks aren't difficult. Hundreds of our members have experienced the pride of bringing an old razor back to life! Today, we're sharing some of the best of our many restoration threads with you in the hopes that you'll feel compelled to bring a remarkable piece of history back to life, and to add your own experiences to our communal knowledge base. Let's start with the safety razors!
(Thanks to DoubleE!)
While a few members choose to replate*, over time, most have found time spent cleaning, sanitizing, and polishing a razor to be relaxing, cost effective, and a source of great pride. Safety razors can almost always benefit from a good cleaning, but it's very important to use the proper cleaning method. Gold-plated razors, for instance, do not react very kindly to harsh chemicals or long-term soaks.
contains an excellent discussion of cleaning methods that have worked well for our members.
*Please be very careful who you choose. Look for B&B member vendors with good reviews. If they've cheated our members, or provided consistently shoddy workmanship, you wont find their name on our site.
No, you don't need an industrial autoclave to sanitize your razors, but most members do want to be certain that any creepy-crawlies have left the premises before putting razor to face. How to accomplish this is an oft-debated topic here, but one that no one thinks is difficult to accomplish, whether with a commercial sanitizer such as barbicide, plain old alcohol, or, well, less conventional means. Read more here!
(Thanks to taprater and AsylumGuido!)
You've worked hard to clean and sanitize that razor. Now it's time to bring it to a nice shine. There are plenty of products out there that can be used to accomplish this, but generally you want a compound that's as minimally abrasive as possible. Most folks find good old-fashioned elbow grease to be the way to go here, as motorized polishing tools can quickly get you into trouble. As always, though, YMMV! Several types of polish used by our members are mentioned here
. Here's a nice short thread on how to polish
, followed by a great thread on polishing those tricky gold razors
So, you're interested in restoring a straight razor (or at least seeing if it's worth restoration!). B&B is full of master craftsmen and hobbyists alike who are willing to lend a hand with all sorts of helpful information. A great place to start is this informative thread
by our own mdunn.
This series of videos
, graciously shared by member undream, takes you through his restoration process step-by-step.
Confused by the division between the "must haves" and the "wanna haves" on the restoration equipment list? This thread may help
And, just to provide drool-worthy inspiration, here are some examples of the heights of razor restoration, done by guys who do this stuff professionally: one from thirdeye
, and one from BillEllis
Of course, many straight razors look their best with a nice polish, as well. This thread
can let you know what to use, what not to use, and when.
And finally, check out our wiki section on razor restoration
! Amongst the great information there you'll notice some holes to fill. That's where you come in! Simply PM a mod if you'd like to add your expertise to the wiki so that future generations know how to rescue grandpa's razor. Of course, feel free to ask questions, give feedback, and provide insight throughout all of the forums here at B&B. Our amazing community depends on members like you!
* If you would like to be a B&B freelance journalist and contribute a segment of the B&B CONFIDENTIAL please contact a member of the Mod team.