After ages of procrastination I finally got to doing my first scales...
Definitely will be replaced at some point in the future as there are quite a few things that just aren't right. Pics first:
So due to budget constraints I looked around to see what material I could use that I like. Acrylic was an option but it doesn't really do it for me. I had recently tracked down a grove of biggish bamboo (up to 4" diameter) and there have been a few posts of very nice bamboo brush handles. So prepped the bamboo as suggested, heating it (I used a gas stove as no blow torch) to get most of the sugars out - then dried in an oven at 100 celsius for 4 hours.
Also no power tools were used with the above - hence why the razors are a bit rustic still :-)
The material is really nice but the curve causes some problems. I didn't orientate both sides the same on the curve and hence they didn't line up perfectly - also due to the curve you can't stack them and work on both at the same time. Also the curve means getting a wedge to fit neatly is a royal pain. So used a lot of tape and eva foam for spacers to try and shape the scales and after pinning the scales had to do more shaping. When opening the razor alignment does change slightly - think this is because I slightly bent the pivot pin when peening and the inside of the scales at the pivot aren't even.
Didn't follow Legion's advice for the pinning and forgot to smooth the ends of the pins which meant they didn't roll over nicely.
The next set was made from a block of treated pine (no idea what they treat it with but it leaves a lovely colour and shine) - roughly cut with a handsaw to about 6-7mm slices - on a bench and then hit with a hand plane to thin down. Cut out with a coping saw (need a better quality saw and better finer toothed blades!). Originally the razor in the pine was to be in the bamboo but the bamboo set were just too big. Still don't have the size of the wood scales right - too thick visually and get a bit in the way when honing.
Both sets have been finished with a couple of coats of Danish oil and are about to finally honed on my LPB.
As for the razors - in the bamboo is one of Larry's orphans that I purposefully haven't polished, a 5/8 Morley that shave a dream (secretly think the difference is due to the hone wear which has change the edge angle). The other is a "Southern & Richards" Sheffield blade that had flea bites in the edge hence the hone wear (water paper on glass) to knock those out.
So what would I do next time:
1] Not going to give up on the bamboo, going to see if I can get a thicker/wider piece and if I can flatten it some during drying to get closer to a set of flat scales
2] Pinning/Peening needs more practice and helps to hit with some fine water paper/polish afterwards to get a nice finish
3] The size/thickness of the scales is much more critical than I thought - the above are too agricultural, need to make them finer.
forgot to get the jandal shot!!!!! AAArgh - will have to wait till next time