The pitting is pretty bad on the Dixie... all you can do is hone it up and see how well it does.
That Sheffield is a thing of beauty!
The dixie will take work to get an edge on it the first time, but should be fine, the pitting doesn't look too bad but there is a lot of material that will have to come off.
The Jos. allen is very handsome.
Hone them both up and have at it, nice blades.
The wedge is a stunner, looking for one myself on the cheap. The Dixie will possibly need a bit of bread knifing to get past the Swiss cheese but then again it might just be ok. You'll see once you hone it - holes in the edge are not conducive to good shaves!
if you decide that straight shaving isn't for you I can always find a good home for them both ;)
Thanks for the info gentlemen! Being that I am brand new to straights, I have no means of getting these things in shave ready condition. Assuming it's okay to ask this, where could I send these two to have them polished up and honed? I would be okay just having the Dixie polished up nice for display but I would like to attempt to shave with the NonXXL (at least once) before I think of learning the craft of honing.
As others have said the Joseph has potential, but honestly with that much pitting, I wouldn't bother with the dixie. You'd be surprised how far back you have to grind a razor that far gone to get to true steel. Most people don't grind nearly enough and hone "shave ready" razors that have TONS of microchips in the final edge from pitting being revealed as they take the edge thinner and thinner. Almost every razor I've ever gotten, often "shave ready" had pitting ON THE EDGE ITSELF at 400x because someone restored something like your Dixie and thought it was good steel once it looked shiny off the buffer.
I've been guilty of giving myself a raw neck on occasion because I haven't bothered scoping a razor that arrived looking clean. I would just hone it and it would shave fine... then I'd look in the mirror and my throat would look like I had leprosy. I'd scope it and sure enough, the edge looked like swiss cheese.
PM sent on honing offer...
Yeah, but the Dixie would make a fantastic honer-learner. Lotsa strokes on a hone (sounds like a bad movie about certain reptiles on an aircraft...never mind) will allow good repetition so that by the time he does get to micro-chip free status, he'll have it down pat. I'd not feel bad at all about it it personally...sometimes ya just get the desire to hone something....then you'd break out the Dixie and a beverage and get going.
I really appreciate all of the replies. I'm going to restore the blade on the dixie myself and display it. I have a few others that would be better suited for shaving. Here are two more that followed me home over the weekend. I stole these from an antique mall nearby. Well, I didn't steal them, but I feel like I got a great deal on the two! =)
Wade & Butcher - Sheffield
G.H. Pumacker- Black Diamond - Solingen, Germany
There ya go.
I really like the scales on the Dixie, but given that the blade may be a goner, I'd consider swapping scales with the better blade of the two new ones!
let the RAD begin!
All you naysayers! That Dixie has life left in it! Just gonna take some time and effort to get the crusty off.
Yes, the patina is going to be deep, you probably will loose close to 1/16 inch of width by the time you are done, but the blade will be fine for years more enjoyment. I recommend removing the active rust, cleaning up some of the pitting, and not worrying about most of it. Measuring the blade to calculate your angle and make a decision on use of tape, then get to work on it.
I would hone to find the existing bevel, then breadknife through about half the bevel, reprofile the blade to your liking, then set the bevel and hone. Chances are fair to good that you will be in decent steel after that treatment, but if the edge doesn't hold or want to beak and chip you will breadknife through about half the bevel again (and probably swear about it)
I have had a few razors show up clean with a polish on them and required this treatment because a patina was on the blade, and it was quickly rubbed out with some metal polish before being put on ebay. The blades were clean, but the edge was still rotten!
I have most of the pitting out of the Dixie now. I work on it a little at a time when I have time. I will post some pictures of it when I'm finished. I doubt I will ever shave with it since I have others but it will make a nice wall hanger.