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Thread: Horn stabilization problems

  1. #11
    I used Nakayamas for my house mainaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelfixed View Post
    Stefan,people that charge, will claim they can resin stabilize anything, even a diamond.
    They are one of the two major stabilizing businesses in US, I doubt they are just claiming things.
    In any case IMO stabilizing material for scales is pointless, it does not work well. Stabilized wood is just as brittle as natural one when it is cut the wrong way, burls do not become tougher all of a sudden. I doubt horn will become less prone to warp.
    The alternative is imitation horn acrylic but so far I have seen only round stock and not sheaths on line.
    Stefan

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainaman View Post
    They are one of the two major stabilizing businesses in US, I doubt they are just claiming things.
    In any case IMO stabilizing material for scales is pointless, it does not work well. Stabilized wood is just as brittle as natural one when it is cut the wrong way, burls do not become tougher all of a sudden. I doubt horn will become less prone to warp.
    The alternative is imitation horn acrylic but so far I have seen only round stock and not sheaths on line.
    Agree 100%.I think resin stabilizing is way overhyped.Resin stabilizing is not rocket science,anyone can do it.
    It works well on spalted,pithey woods for sure but you cannot stabilize hardwoods, High oil content woods or woods with acid content such as redwood.
    You mention burls,They are extreamly hard and dense.I do not think they could be stabilized.
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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Inquiring minds want to know ....... I know nothing about horn available for rescales nowadays but ....... having many vintage Sheffields, and what have you, made with horn back in the day, that did not warp, I'm wondering if the horn is different now, or could there have been a method the old timers used to stabilize the stuff ?

    I've seen plenty with bug bites, cracked at pivot or wedge, but very few warped horn scales on vintage blades. Not saying there haven't been some with a slight warp, but I'm talking about to the point where it interfered with closing the razor. I've not seen that on a vintage (100 + years old) razor.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    Inquiring minds want to know ....... I know nothing about horn available for rescales nowadays but ....... having many vintage Sheffields, and what have you, made with horn back in the day, that did not warp, I'm wondering if the horn is different now, or could there have been a method the old timers used to stabilize the stuff ?

    I've seen plenty with bug bites, cracked at pivot or wedge, but very few warped horn scales on vintage blades. Not saying there haven't been some with a slight warp, but I'm talking about to the point where it interfered with closing the razor. I've not seen that on a vintage (100 + years old) razor.
    My experiance also Jim.The old sheffi horn scales were pretty thick,maybe thats why they do not warp.
    I know from making Ivory scales,that if you start with dead flat material (well seasoned) once pinned they do not move,IF you are very carefull not to generate any heat when making them.
    I know from making horn scales,If you hit them on a buffer and they get hot, they will warp instantly, JME
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    Senior Member Splashone's Avatar
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    Went to my razor box this morning to pull today's shave and one of the horn scales on my W&B Fine India Steel has a crack in it! I finished that only about a month ago...not happy.
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    when thinking about the old horn, 100+, what was it? water buffalo, cape buffalo, moo cow? the asian and african horn to me seems stronger and more dense in composite than cow or bison.

    these horns also seem to have longer and straighter areas that would seem less prone to warp. they are also without a doubt more dense. and since the europeans had such a presence in these countries it wouldn't surprise me if this was the case.

    my thoughts. and this could have already been discussed and i am behind the times.

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    I have made a few powder horns and bow tips for archery but I don't have much experience with imported horn.
    Below are some rambling thoughts on the stabilizing of horn.
    I have steamed hardwood and I beleive the same process is used to straighten water buffalo horn.
    Maybe repeated steaming/cooling cycles would help?
    The horn, although very dense it will still have a certain moisture content internally.
    Maybe try heat curing in an oven. The wife will oversee the project of course.
    I would think the shrinkage lengthwise is a result of moisture loss over time and a prolonged heat curing should be benificial.
    Maybe a whole summer clamped flat in solar powered hotbox would produce the ultimate cure?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funstuff View Post
    when thinking about the old horn, 100+, what was it? water buffalo, cape buffalo, moo cow? the asian and african horn to me seems stronger and more dense in composite than cow or bison.

    these horns also seem to have longer and straighter areas that would seem less prone to warp. they are also without a doubt more dense. and since the europeans had such a presence in these countries it wouldn't surprise me if this was the case.

    my thoughts. and this could have already been discussed and i am behind the times.
    Interesting questions,one would think the sheffi blades used horn from India, or Africa back in the day.
    I have had two seven day sets bought new from Wacker,the scales were always perfect,The paperwork for customs always stated the horn material was Bovine (cow) imported from france.
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    Gunning for Greaves AirColorado's Avatar
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    You guys are scaring me! I'm about to place an order for some 1/8" blond and streaked horn slabs to use in the fall so I can easily fall back into scale making once it gets too nasty out to fish. After reading this, I'm thinking maybe I should wait until September to do that.

    There's been enough "old stock" pressed black horn scales on hand here up until now, so I haven't had to buy any more. The old stock is just a bunch of old scales in good shape as well as some blanks I'd accumulated - no horn slabs except one small one.

    I'd never really heard about new horn being prone to warping quickly. I know to store it at around 1/8" thick to avoid delaminating but the warping is news to me. I fact, I do have a small horn slab here that's been in a drawer for about years that looks as straight as when I bought it. Well 15% humidity or less most of the time may be a factor in it remaining straight - and - I always keep my slabs (wood, MOP, etc) stacked - so maybe the combination of laying on a flat surface, with a little bit of weight on them, and the dry environment may be keeping all my slabs flat.

    Anyone seeing warping in a really dry climate?

  12. #20
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    You haven't heard much about it because it is a very low percentage problem, and many places keep their stock pressed for months to years before it is sold...

    Now with E-bay getting in on the action the horn is coming from many different sources and is of questionable age therefore this like many other parts of our hobby are changing so is this..

    Trust me with this unfortunate fact

    "Every single material we use for scales from the most stable G10's to the freshest Naturals, all come with a unique downside to using them as razor scales"

    You just have to work enough different ones to find the issues of each


    ps: As dry as the air is in Colorado, we should all probably send our Horn to you to store for us until we need to use it
    Last edited by gssixgun; 04-05-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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