Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
Like Tree30Likes

Thread: A question for custom-razor makers

  1. #1
    Member rkuchenbecker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    78
    Thanked: 9

    Default A question for custom-razor makers

    Has anyone here experimented with tungsten carbide? I've heard that it's the hardest metal on Earth (or maybe it was Alloy 1090?), but I wonder how well it could be made into a razor.

    This is purely speculatory, unless someone wants to try it or has done so already - I'm really curious.

    Thanks all,

    Rich
    sharptonn likes this.

  2. #2
    "My words are of iron..."
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,857
    Thanked: 947

    Default

    It's a good question. I'll quote Wikipedia, "Tungsten carbide is approximately two times stiffer than steel, with a Young's modulus of approximately 550 GPa,[2] and is much denser than steel or titanium. It is comparable with corundum (α-Al2O3) or sapphire/ruby in hardness and can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as cubic boron nitride and diamond, in the form of powder, wheels, and compounds."

    My recommendation is to stick with steels in some form, even a super-steel that has just a little tungsten in it. Personally, just to have a lot of fun with the Honemeisters who live here, I would make a razor out of pure tungsten carbide and pass it around to them. The look on their faces and the conversations with them afterward would bring joy to my heart. The bill I'd get for having to replace their hones would not be that much fun though. Let's say that tungsten carbide would more likely hone the hone than submit to the hone, as it were.

    Making razors is one thing. Thinking about the fellow who follows you in the process is another.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Mike Blue For This Useful Post:

    sharptonn (03-30-2014)

  4. #3
    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    13,809
    Thanked: 3982
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Ah...

    We've been here before.
    The short of it is this: there are NO requirements on a straight razor. in terms of tensile strength, abrasion resistance, etc. The only thing that matters is the crystal structure which has to be very fine grained and even. Hard enough to take a fine edge, but other than that, it doesn't really matter.

    S30V, M4, etc are all wonderful steels, meant for applications that require a sharp edge, but most of all need to withstand brutal usage. They will be sharp, but not quite as sharp as plain steel. Yet people flock to the super steels because 'they are better' than boring regular steel. My advice: don't, unless you do it just for curiosity's sake. super steels are wonderful for various purposes, but all those wonderful properties don't change the fact that for plain, low stres edged tools, simple carbon steel still rules the roost.

    Last year we had a guy here who spent a good amount of money, getting a blade maker to make a couple of customs from various steels like M4. They were much too hard to hone properly, and in the end the shave was sub par.

    Besides, materials aside, I find that a proper understanding of the geometry of a razor and reproducible heat treating processes are much, much more important for the quality of a razor than the 'exoticness' of the steel.
    Happiness is a field, littered with the mangled corpses of your enemies. - Vlad III of Wallachia

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bruno For This Useful Post:

    EisenFaust (03-30-2014), sharptonn (03-30-2014)

  6. #4
    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    18,166
    Thanked: 5813

    Default

    Thank you Mike and Bruno for answering Rich's question. Just spent an hour with him, in person, showing him some things and he will make a fine member here. A great young man! You should understand that Rich is in training to be an engineer's engineer.
    Naturally, He needed answers!
    Fine and friendly answers. Thanks!
    Cangooner likes this.

  7. #5
    Member rkuchenbecker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    78
    Thanked: 9

    Default

    Yup! Thanks again, Tom, and thanks to you guys for the responses.

    Something I thought of on my drive back to campus: with a tungsten carbide blade, I knew you'd have to use a diamond abrasive to hone, but even chromium oxide couldn't stand up against that razor.

    @Mike: I guess I thought it would be funnier before thinking about getting the bill - haha.
    sharptonn likes this.

  8. #6
    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    13,809
    Thanked: 3982
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Well, you could use DMT hones to hone a tungsten carbide blade. DMT and a lot of elbow grease
    Happiness is a field, littered with the mangled corpses of your enemies. - Vlad III of Wallachia

  9. #7
    Obsessive compulsive EisenFaust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,233
    Thanked: 319

    Default

    I'm still waiting to see a ceramic razor...
    skipnord likes this.

  10. #8
    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    13,809
    Thanked: 3982
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EisenFaust View Post
    I'm still waiting to see a ceramic razor...
    That's been tried as well, a couple of years ago.
    It was a bear to hone, and the report was that is was very scratchy during shaving.
    Because of the brittleness of ceramic, the edge develops lots of microchips.
    EisenFaust likes this.
    Happiness is a field, littered with the mangled corpses of your enemies. - Vlad III of Wallachia

  11. #9
    Senior Member celticcrusader's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Merthyr Tydfil South Wales UK.
    Posts
    3,793
    Thanked: 955

    Default

    Baxxer likes this.
    “Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn't there, and finding it.”

  12. #10
    Senior Member UAcowboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Corona De Tucson/Tucson, AZ Area
    Posts
    270
    Thanked: 32

    Default

    Being the engineering type myself i chose to get a TC wedding ring. It has stood up to some pretty rough treatment and has not even the slightest scratch. I can only imagine the effort it would take to hone a blade made from it. on the up side you would probably never need to do it again.
    *Insert deep thought/profound statement here*

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •