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Thread: Sale on Hart Steel

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    Default Sale on Hart Steel

    I know there were a lot of controversial posts about Harts recently, and I personally do not own and not even planning to buy one, but there is a quite nice sale on round and square 5/8s and 6/8s going on Classic Shaving right now: $89.74. So if anyone here was looking for an opportunity to try one - here it is.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    I miss Classic Shaving. It used to be a nice store till it got bought out by
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I might draw some fire for saying this, but there are literally hoards of vintage razors that are nearly unused that are far better finished than those, and that includes the grind (so it's not just cosmetic).

    I understand that people want to buy something that's being made now, but the comparison even against something relatively inexpensive, like a non-stainless henckels 6/8 shows far more skill, care and finish in the latter than in the hart.

    Some of this might not be obvious to people who don't make things, but those razors that were made as a commodity when there was a lot of competition are just better than just about anything made now (there may be a decent grinder or two, but without competition, the group as a whole - including the independents - just isn't going to match something that isn't intended to be a collector's item. I say that, because a collector's item has value above and beyond utility and you can argue on artistic merits instead of technical).

    When you get into the World Masters, Erns, Dorko's, etc (let alone tanifujis, etc), there's no comparison at all, and even when you step down in price to something you can find easily at $50-$100 with almost no use, the same is true. O1 is used now because it's accessible, and it is a decent edge steel, but it is a diemaking steel. I would suspect that the reason that the razors have a heavy grind is because it doesn't take the skill that a double hollow grind takes - not by a mile - O1 is reasonably well behaved, but not quite so much when you grind it very thin, and it's temperature sensitive (but so is everything old razors were made of). It's more like making a long-hollow knife. Very crude.

    Even at $90, I'm out - I'm out at anything above zero, and maybe even at that. I'll bet it won't be long before those razors are made overseas and look funny, too. I'll put my rubber suit on now in case lightning starts to strike. I'm sure some folks have had a good shave from these razors - I had a wonky wostenholm razor that was near wedge that shaved fine, but in the end, it was no match for day to day shaving and care to the razors that were made when just to hold a job, you had to be very good at making a double hollow razor.

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    I had a Hart Steel not long ago, not a bad razor but over rated and not near as good as vintage US made razors like Genco, Torrey, C-Mon, HM Christensen, J Wiss & Sons, etc. and the vintage US made razors can be bought for far less money. The steel in the Hart razor felt a little harsh to me compared to steel used in vintage razors.
    "If You Knew Half of What I Forgot You Would Be An Idiot" - by DoughBoy68

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    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    I had the pleasure of honing some of the newer one's and to be honest they have gone down hill fast, real shame as they were pretty decent razors before new owners decided $$ was more impotant than quality, never really appealed to me as they are a pretty plain razor with oversized clunky scales but some like them alot.
    "A Honer's adage "Hone-Shave-Repeat"

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    Senior Member Andy77's Avatar
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    I learned to shave with a straight on Hart 6/8" several years ago. Mine will always hold a place in my heart (and a spot in my rotation).

    But that's a sentimental evaluation- so don't listen to me!!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoughBoy68 View Post
    The steel in the Hart razor felt a little harsh to me compared to steel used in vintage razors.
    I don't know where vintage razors are on the hardness scale, because how are you going to get a versitron to whack the razor without breaking it like thin ice, but...

    .. sometimes (and I'm not suggesting you're doing this) people attribute razors that have a harsh edge with just being really hard, and it is true that razors over a certain hardness don't strop as well, but in this case, I would presume the problem is more likely:
    * the steel (before heat treatment)
    * The steel after heat treatment
    * the steel after final finishing

    In the large makers, the steel comes out of a die and is finish ground after hardening, but I don't know what someone like Hart would do. Maybe they have dies, but it takes pretty big equipment to die forge things. Using O1 allows someone to do all of their work in open atmosphere and buy precision ground stock (or ground at all, wouldn't necessarily need to be precision) to do it with.

    if you got good quality O1 (like austrian or something), and if you did well with the grinding and heat treatment, you could have a really good razor up to about 62 hardness. If you do any of those poorly, you could have a bad razor that was a full measure softer.

    The art of razor making goes far beyond what any of us could just pick up and make as artisans, and (I know nobody likes this), but even guys like Livi have never made razors remotely close to the skill level involved in something like what Tanifuji has done, or some of the high dollar ultra quality makes like globusmen, dorko, Dennert (it's too bad there aren't more of those). Livi makes art, and i'm sure some of them are good shavers, but the stuff that came out of Germany early-mid century was the result of incremental improvement and in house selection and talent building over a very long period. You just can't replicate all of those details very easily - it is like the cutler's version of fine jewelry to get all of the details right in making a super quality double extra hollow ground razor that is straight and has nice proportion - and then do one after the other on a skilled production basis.

    You can, however, make a wedge razor pretty easily. I've got the tooling to do it- has there ever been a thread on here where folks took a shot at making razors on their own? You have to have a hardening setup and a suitable grinder of some sort (I do), which is a bit of a barrier to entry. If you wanted to make a true wedge, you could file and scrape something acceptable. (getting off topic here a little!!)

    (back on topic - I'd hate to waste $90 on something that turned out not to be that great....)
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    THIS was Charlie Lewis' first grinder.

    THIS was his second one.

    This stuff can be done on a low budget.
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    MJC
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    Well it was a great idea at one time.
    I have four from the "middle period" as I call it - I'm the 2nd+ owner of all of them.

    The earlier razors (w/o jimps) seemed to have chipping problems - which West Coast was addressing with replacements. (at the time)
    My two 7/8 Square points are good shavers but they respond best to a Zowada style honing progression/finish. They also seem to spend a lot of time in "waiting to be honed-time out section" than something like my pre-1891 W&B Celebrated Hollow FBU - which hit 84 shaves without a touch up the other day... (now there was a gang who knew how to make a razor...)

    The Hart custom shop Kamisori style fixed blade does not get enough use to give a fair comment, it might need a new home.

    The 6/8 SP Hart/Baxter "not a replica" is one of my favorites. In fact I used it for the 1K challenge recently and it was shocking-good.

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    It is sad that the current regime has decided to pivot to "sales prevention" mode.
    But it is a useful reminder of the value of quality and craftsmanship in the long run - at least to those who can see, understand and appreciate...
    The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills - Bukowski

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    That's what I'm thinking, and that's my kind of tooling. Even a double hollow setup could be done for fairly low money, but there is a chance of a pinch with a setup like that. Lots of momentum and then a pinch would be bad.

    Is lewis the one who has a double wheel belt grinder setup on youtube? That one is pretty cool.

    Do any of the current custom razor makers do a double hollow with a very thin grind?

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