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Thread: Stone scales

  1. #1
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    Default Stone scales

    I would like some feedback form more experienced shavers before I make a set of stone scales for one of my restored razors. This is a project I've been considering for a while now, ideally I would like to make a brush / razor set out of a chunks of lapis I picked up a while back.

    I'm not particularly concerned about the process of producing the scales and attaching the razor, I am nearing my first decade as a jeweler and have made gemstone handles previously. I'm more interested in the practical implications once the razor is complete.

    First off the weight, what does an ideal handle weigh? In my experience most razor handles tend to made of light material, I have seen a few handle made of steel and some dense wood is around the same specific gravity of lighter stone. This might be entirely a matter of personal preference, but if their is a strong norm it would be good to know before I deviate from it.

    Second is the hardness issue. I have seen razors that were damaged by closing them into the scale. A soft wood or plastic scale mitigates this damage. Clearly in these cases the pinning was loose or misaligned. The concern is this - should I expect a decade of normal use on a razor to move that pin every time? Or just if the razor is misused. How often does the edge of a properly pinned razor come into contact with the scales?

    Third is flexibility; this might be where I'm stumped. I picked up a small collection of razors to play with, and it seems that most all of the scales flex when the blade is pivoted. It seems like you could machine the tang of a razor completely flat without much difficulty but that odds are that flexibility is there for a reason. I am assuming it keeps enough tension such that friction keeps the blade from swinging around. That seems like a great idea - because no one wants a razor that swings shut abruptly.

    The final issue I see is the points of contact the blade has with the scales when it is closed. Softer materials don't scratch a finish the way a stone would. This does seem like an issue someone has fixed before; I'm inexperienced but isn't that the idea behind the 3rd pin for razors something for the tang to sit on? Perhaps I will need to plan on accommodating that.

    Given all of that it seems like making a steel insert that has both the pivot rivet and the '3rd' rivet in it that could supply some friction and be capped in stone might be the way to go.

    I appreciate having a place to talk about this and I will pay close attention to your opinions.

  2. #2
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    This has come up a few times in the past...

    The solutions are varied but basically it comes down to these issues...

    Weight that is a real kicker and honestly sometimes looks have trumped function even in Vintage scales, basically to have really fancy scales you put up with an unbalanced razor...

    The flex, and that has been dealt with for two ways..

    The "stone" is mounted in pieces on a flexible backing


    The wedge and pivots are made of a flexible material

    You might take a look at some of the Vintage MOP scales for ideas too..

    Now the fragile nature of these types of scales can not be over looked, the scales are suposed to protect the delicate edge, but again to have the fancy scales that function would be negated...
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  3. #3
    Admin & Forum fixer Bruno's Avatar
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    My main concerns would be the weight and the delicacy. If you don't want the scales to be really heavy, they'd have to be really thin and slender. And that would mean they will be fragile.

    If the razor itself is a concern regarding scratches, you could make them a 3 pin design, so that the blade itself does not actually touch the stone scales.
    Happiness is a field, littered with the mangled corpses of your enemies. - Vlad III of Wallachia

  4. #4
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    Carey OH, Fort Drum NY, Currently in Afghanistan.
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    What about inlays I think that would look classy.
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