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Thread: I want to start making straight razors: design help needed

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    Question I want to start making straight razors: design help needed

    Hello everyone!

    I've been making knives for a couple years as a hobby and really wanted to try to make a straight razor. Here is a base design that I drew up in CAD software.

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    I was planning on doing about a 3" blade out of 0.25" x 1" O1.

    Is the tang an okay length or should it be shorter? And is the pin hole positioned in an okay spot on the tang?

    Let me know if you need any more information on what I was planning and thanks in advance for your help! I'm really excited to try this out.

    Benjamin

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    Senior Member dinnermint's Avatar
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    Do you currently have experience with straight razors? That will help alot, in that you can take direct measurements from what you like to use and add your own twist to it.

    If not, that pivot looks a tad close to the blade. This will bring the blade close to the wedge, but I'm assuming that the scale was just a quick mock-up in CAD and actual fab will be to match the blade.

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    I'm actually 17 (about to turn 18) and don't really have enough facial hair that I need. I just have a lot of people I know who said they'd like to see me make one haha!

    I'll move the hole back a little bit and lengthen the scales to match. You're correct, that was just a quick sketch so the actual scales would have a nicer curve and contouring. Do the lengths of the blade and tang look okay? I believe I saw that 3" blade is about the standard.

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    Senior Member dinnermint's Avatar
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    Thereabouts at 3" is good. It wouldn't be terrible to see if you can get a cheap razor from an antique store, etc. This will also help you see the contours of a razor. The most "important" dimensions in usability is an appropriate tang for gripping and the final grind of the razor to give the appropriate shaving angle. If you're more interested in a cosmetic rather than a functional razor, then those aren't all that important. The tail length can be just about anything, since they used to never be there and have grown to "monkey-tails" in the past. Check out the "shave of the day" threads as well as the "razor clubs" to see more razors and get some ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dinnermint View Post
    Thereabouts at 3" is good. It wouldn't be terrible to see if you can get a cheap razor from an antique store, etc. This will also help you see the contours of a razor. The most "important" dimensions in usability is an appropriate tang for gripping and the final grind of the razor to give the appropriate shaving angle. If you're more interested in a cosmetic rather than a functional razor, then those aren't all that important. The tail length can be just about anything, since they used to never be there and have grown to "monkey-tails" in the past. Check out the "shave of the day" threads as well as the "razor clubs" to see more razors and get some ideas.
    Okay sounds good. I definitely want them to be functional, it doesn't make sense to make something that can't be used well.

    I'll keep looking at different shapes and stuff to get more reference as to what looks good and would function well. Once I start I'll definitely try to do a WIP thread or something.

    Thanks for your help!
    dinnermint and Slawman like this.

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    im currently making a razor for the first time, using the same steel. ill put some pics of mine up when i get a chance. Im basically winging the entire process, as i have never forged before haha. I think i have a good idea now of the process. If it doesnt work out i can still hang it on the wall!
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    Last question (for now )...

    How far forward should I take the taper in the tang? About where I have the highlighted line? I saw that it's recommended to taper a bit into the blade so that the shoulder doesn't get in the way when honing.



    I also put the pin hole a bit further back and adjusted the handle shape accordingly.

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    This has already happened so many times before.

    Please buy a few razors and study them. Use them. It does not matter if you have whiskers or not. Shave lather off of your face. If you want any hope of making a remotely decent razor, then you have to understand straight razors and you cannot do that just by making a few of your own.
    ScottGoodman likes this.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    I did some extensive measurements some time ago on a Classic W&B FBU let me see if I can't find that file

    But honestly as Ron said above getting a few Vintage razors and seeing how they actually function and work is the best

    The most common mistakes I see on the Customs that cross my bench,,, especially from clueless knife guys (sorry but it's true)


    #1 Have zero concept of how and why the wedge is actually a "Wedge"
    #2 Scales are WAY to thick and do not flex, nor do they even know why they should
    #3 Wrong Bevel angle Target is 16 - 17
    #4 The use of "Cool" super steels and using way too hard a temper
    #5 Pivot to Tang ratio and fit is built for looks rather then function makes Stropping (Very important) awkward
    #6 Balance is way off toward the scales again making Stropping and even Honing awkward
    #7 Function over Form always and that function for a SR is NOT the same as a Knife


    Anyway that is what I see way too often
    Last edited by gssixgun; 05-03-2016 at 09:26 PM.

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    A pet peeve of mine is those godawful torx screws that always come loose.
    Traditional pinning is the best fastening method for a razor.
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

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