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Thread: A very early F. Fenney and some restoration questions

  1. #1
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    Default A very early F. Fenney and some restoration questions

    Just acquired a batch of four early Sheffield razors all in need of significant restoration. The star of the pack is this F. Fenney which is not a Tally Ho. The Tang is marked simply: "F. Fenney, Improved Razor". I believe it to be c.1820. The blade (love the shape) is actually in great condition. The fancy scales are bone with one rather obvious flaw (a large chunk missing from one scale). The damage does not impact the structural integrity.

    My intention is to restore it keeping the original scales if possible. I will not dismantle for fear of damaging the fragile scales. So to my questions for the experts out there:

    1/ The scales are incredibly thin...I would say paper thin. Is it possible to patch damage like this with a bone shaving?
    2/ I suspect the bone is cow, but are there any experts out there who can confirm from looking at the pictures?
    3/ Has anyone ever carried out a scale repair like this and can you offer any advice?

    Many thanks (pictures below)
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    Last edited by Storyvillenight; 10-05-2017 at 08:24 PM.
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    Senior Member BeJay's Avatar
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    I would say that it is possible to repair it but you will have to disassemble the scales. If it were mine I would take it apart and try to find some matching bone that I could cut to shape. Bone can also be bleached or stained to get a closer match in color. I would then try to color match some baking soda and do a baking soda/CA glue repair to join the two pieces smoothly. I would then figure out some kind of a liner to use to keep the joint strong. Outback recently posted some repairs that he did on ivory using a fiberglass sheet and some resin to reinforce the back of it.

    It's a very special razor you have there. In my opinion it is well worth the time and effort that it would take to repair those scales.
    B.J.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I would absolutely try to repair those. The repair with the very fine fibreglass weave and epoxy that outback did worked out fantastic. I am not quite as creative and have repaired a few sets of scales by lining them with G-10. It comes as thin as 0.014" which is very close to a 1/64", and it does come thicker too. Bone bleaches well with peroxide. I would be inclined to take a piece of bone, fit it close, bleach it white and then stain it as closely as possible to match it up. I really like orange pekoe tea and espresso for staining. You can then adjust the darkness by sanding a little off with high grit wet dry paper.
    That really is a beauty, both blade and scales.
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    As above. ^^^^
    Totally worth saving. Fiberglass cloth and resin repair to reinforce the bone splice in place from underneath will work well.
    Beautiful project piece..
    Congrats.
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    Definitely repairable. Superglue bonds great to bone. In my experience, there's never been any need for fiberglass and epoxy backing, and I've used superglue for structural pieces of ivory at the pivot.

    Matching the colors will be an interesting challenge. If it were me, I'd try to get enough material to run multiple experiments on until I get it close.

    Your best bet is to dye the add-in piece as close to the color of the original scales as possible, but a tiny bit lighter. Once glued on, use a sponge or paper towel to sort of feather in the dye.

    But the pique work is absolutely worth preserving.
    -Zak Jarvis. Writer. Artist. Bon vivant.

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    Shaping and tea-staining a bone sliver and using superglue was exactly what I had in mind so it's great to hear that could work. Because it's not structural, the repair should not come under too much strain. I've had a beef shin ageing outside for a few weeks and intend to cut from that. If it doesn't hold I'll go the scales off and reinforce route...it would certainly make it easier to clean...but this seems to be a great survivor so I kind of want to preserve even the original pins and washers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Voidmonster View Post
    Definitely repairable. Superglue bonds great to bone. In my experience, there's never been any need for fiberglass and epoxy backing, and I've used superglue for structural pieces of ivory at the pivot.

    Matching the colors will be an interesting challenge. If it were me, I'd try to get enough material to run multiple experiments on until I get it close.

    Your best bet is to dye the add-in piece as close to the color of the original scales as possible, but a tiny bit lighter. Once glued on, use a sponge or paper towel to sort of feather in the dye.

    But the pique work is absolutely worth preserving.
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    Senior Member Wolfpack34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voidmonster View Post
    Definitely repairable. Superglue bonds great to bone. In my experience, there's never been any need for fiberglass and epoxy backing, and I've used superglue for structural pieces of ivory at the pivot.

    Matching the colors will be an interesting challenge. If it were me, I'd try to get enough material to run multiple experiments on until I get it close.

    Your best bet is to dye the add-in piece as close to the color of the original scales as possible, but a tiny bit lighter. Once glued on, use a sponge or paper towel to sort of feather in the dye.

    But the pique work is absolutely worth preserving.
    +1...I agree with Zak. Definitely worth restoring.



    ***Nice to see you posting again Zak!
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    Senior Member Maladroit's Avatar
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    Or you could do what is termed a museum repair - i.e. where you make no effort to disguise the insertion. This is most often done where a piece has significant historical value but a repair is required to provide the structural integrity to allow it to be used.

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