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Thread: Edward Barnes & Sons, work in progress

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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Default Edward Barnes & Sons, work in progress

    With encouragement from some friends on this site I am starting this thread as a sort of tutorial for one method of attempting to restore a straight razor. It's not to say that this is the only way, the right way, or the way others should do it. It's just a snapshot of what I'm doing for a particular restoration with the skills and tools I have available at this point in time. I'll add to the thread as a “work-in-progress” as I go along or until something goes drastically wrong. I hope someone may benefit from it. I owe many thanks to the folks on SRP for what I've learned so far, and continue to learn. I believe everything I'll be doing here was someone else's idea or method before me, but the mistakes I make are all mine!

    I'm planning a full restoration of the blade with new scales and handmade solid brass dome collars. I understand the philosophy about leaving patina on the blade, leaving some “character” and I follow that philosophy at times and other times (like this time) I don't. I will be using mostly hand tools and elbow grease. Not sure how long it will take. There are faster ways to do this but I'm not in a rush and I like the results by doing it slow. However, nothing is guaranteed and I may spend a month only to mess it up in the end… hope not.

    OK, I start by choosing a blade, an Edward Barnes and Sons. Looks like some pitting here and there and small chips along the edge. It's a 7/8 blade but I expect a little of that to be lost in the process.
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    I have no original scales for it so I'll be making some scales out of black horn. I need to cut it and clamp it. I mark it in half and cut it with a coping saw. Then wood glue both sides and clamp with a piece of paper between.
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    Then to choose a loose scale from the junk pile to use as a template. This one looks good and I have the lead wedge to match. Don't know what razor this originally went with but it's an appropriate style IMO.
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    I'm ready to start work sanding the blade. I do almost all of the work with these tools. A block to work off of, dowels for sanding backers, leather for backers, a popsicle stick with one end squared off, and a couple diamond files for limited use on certain issues around the spine, tang and tail.
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    I start with 220 wrapped on a dowel to clean up the blade so I can see the pits. I will know if I need to go to a courser grit. If the condition of the blade were better to begin with, or a thinner grind, I would start with a higher grit.
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    There is more pitting than I thought. It will require a little more sanding which will increase the risk that I get an uneven or wavy surface as a result. It is especially important for me to remove steel evenly from the entire surface of the blade, both sides, to keep it smooth. The spine, tang, and tail will be addressed separately later on. I'll drop down and stay with 150 for a while.
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    Total sanding time so far is 1.5 hours. I'll update with progress from time to time and hopefully, eventually have a good result.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    Lotta work there Garrison, gonna look good once your done. Lots a metal...git at it son. I like using erasers for backers.

    One for tangs,tails, and spine. The other for the face of the blade.

    Put some honing oil, or WD-40 on the blade. Helps keep the paper clear, and make your paper last and work longer.

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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Looking good, 'Tuzi! Great idea to begin with something not too harsh. Looking forward!

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    Going to be a nice looking wedge when completed.
    Look forward to watching it unfold.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth ejmolitor37's Avatar
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    Thanks for going through the process. I love seeing all the freat work you all put out. Cant wait to see it unfold.

    Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk
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    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    You sound like you know what you're doing, but you might want to throw on some tape and hit a 1k just to get an idea of how far you have to go to get to good steel. The pitting around the edge would worry me.

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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by holli4pirating View Post
    You sound like you know what you're doing, but you might want to throw on some tape and hit a 1k just to get an idea of how far you have to go to get to good steel. The pitting around the edge would worry me.
    Yes, that's often a good idea. In this case I decided not to do that right away because I have a lot of sanding to do and I don't want to expose good steel on the edge too soon only to hit it with course sandpaper while cleaning the rest. I may do that later when I am ready to use higher grit sandpaper.

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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Worked on shaping the horn scales today and then did more sanding on the blade. First I traced my "template" scale and then cut with a coping saw outside the line.
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    There's lots of ways to rough shape the scales and I feel comfortable using a dremel, I guess mine is a craftsman, with a 60 grit sanding drum and safety glasses. This is one part of the project that I will use something with a cord but this could also certainly be done using simple hand tools. I do it outside so the dust flies away. The point is just to remove horn, get it roughly close, and then I will do the rest of the shaping by hand.
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    After that I continued hand sanding the blade using 150 and a dowel backer while avoiding the temptation to do the pits more than the rest. The whole surface as evenly as possible. This is the result after 2 more hours sanding. Total sanding time so far is 3.5 hours.
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    Interesting thread, will be following.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    Lookin damn good Garrison.
    Thats gonna become a great lookin shaver. Can feel the buttery smooth shave from here, already. And it sure doesn't hurt to be a smiling blade, gives a scything shave, automatically. [emoji39]

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