"Premier" razor?

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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Bill_K
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"Premier" razor?

Post by Bill_K » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:56 am

Gents,

Do any of you have experiences with a "Premier" razor? I found this in an antique store in town; the scales are as ugly as sin but I think the blade is worth re-scaling.

Thanks in advance.
Edit: Sorry, I forgot to mention that it says "Sheffield" on the other side of the shank. I was negligent in not taking a picture of that side. #-o
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Bill

EL Alamein
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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:39 pm

Looks like scale rot if the tarnish on the blade follows the contour of the scales when it's closed.

I'd get those scales off asap. Don't wait until you have replacement scales. If you're going to replace them anyway then it can't hurt.

Other than that it doesn't look so bad. Looks like a nice blade in fact. Once you have it descaled I'd suggest cleaning it up and honing it once the new scales are installed.

Chris

Bill_K
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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by Bill_K » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:23 am

Thanks Chris, that's a good point about the tarnish following the scale contour. The razor is still in the antique shop but that'll change in the next day or so. :wink:

As an aside: the JR Torrey razor that I was so happy to buy (my previous topic) evidently has such a bow in the blade that the honing guy said it's not worth trying to salvage. In chatting with him, he said that it's not something that I could have readily caught in the store; he made the discovery as he started honing.

I'm thinking of taking the Torrey's scales and using them on the Premier.
Bill

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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by EL Alamein » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:18 pm

Bill, sounds like good plan, much luck to you.

Chris

Bill_K
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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by Bill_K » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:34 am

Well, I've finally finished - I've removed the hideous scales from the Premier razor, cleaned up and buffed the blade, and installed the scales from my JR Torrey. It's my first attempt at restoring a straight razor, and while it was a definite learning experience (i.e. I made a couple of mistakes) I think it turned out pretty well.
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Edit: the colour of the blade isn't really gold; that's the colour temperature of my overhead light. It's really silver-coloured.
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Bill

Bill_K
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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by Bill_K » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:48 am

My next project is to pick up a couple of stones and try to hone this thing on my own. I'll keep you updated on that process and how it shaves.
Bill

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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:14 pm

Looks great! Let us know how it shaves.

Chris

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First shaves with the Frankenrazor

Post by Bill_K » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:31 am

Perhaps fitting for this time of the year, I managed to get a couple of pretty decent shaves from my "new" Frankenrazor this past weekend.

To back up a little bit: I bought a 4000/10000 stone from our local House of Knives and my first task was to dress the stone. After that, it took me three iterations but I finally managed to get an edge that would "ping" the hair from my forearm after stropping the blade.

I could hardly distinguish Saturday's and Sunday's shaves from previous SR shaves using my Genco. Adding to the pleasure of the shave was the realisation that I restored a long-unused vintage razor, honed it myself, and used it to get a couple of shaves that were more than acceptable. \:D/

Questions for the group:

1) The whetstone I bought is about 1 cm narrower than the blade. To hone it, I held the blade at an angle to the direction of travel with the heel leading the way. I know it's not ideal but aside from buying a wider 'stone, do you have any suggestions for honing? Would circular strokes work?

2) I'm not sure if it's my imagination or not, but Sunday's shave seemed to be more comfortable that Saturday's. Would the extra stropping have anything to do with it?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Bill

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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:24 pm

Bill, to address your questions:

1) Honing at an angle with the heel leading is perfectly acceptable and is in no way detrimental IMHO. It is actually a method depicted in many hone instruction illustrations. I myself hone my blade this way and have never encountered an issue. You can experiment with circle honing or whatnot to see what method you prefer but honing on an angle should never be an issue.

2) A second shave being smoother after honing is a well-known phenomena. I've experienced it most times I've honed my blade. There are many speculations with regard to what causes it, the simplest one is that stropping causes a secondary micro-bevel or a rounding of the edge. It may be as the blades edge breaks in to this it becomes smoother.

Glad this worked out for you.

Chris

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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by Bill_K » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:11 am

Thanks Chris, I'm encouraged by your feedback.
Bill

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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by drmoss_ca » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:29 am

I think it has turned out that we have far fewer rules about honing than we thought when everything was decided by Lynn's edict. You can lead with the heel, the point, or keep the razor square if the hone is wide. Smoothest results come from keeping to the same attitude throughout the honing - don't lead with the heel sometimes and with the point at others or your scratch pattern will look like a cross-sea breaking in confusion on a beach. Likewise, the risks of a wire-edge used to be overblown, and we can thank the use of pocket microscopes for correcting that. If you hone with the edge trailing and never leading you will get one. If you go in circles, back and forths, or meticulously swap sides for each stroke, you will be fine. If you hone and hone and your razor is getting narrow and you have never seen an edge on it you are pressing too hard. I'd have an opinion on "microchipping" if I had ever seen it. I haven't.

I don't claim to be a great honer. Turns out some of those making claims aren't either. So I have to make it easy for myself. I don't start with a stone coarser than that razor needs in its current state. If it needs a touch up only, that's all it gets from maybe my two finest stones. If it has a ding then it gets the works. Some razors prefer different stones. Often hones work together in a team, and using a progression of the same brand is better than mixing them up. With naturals you have to find out what goes together by trial and error. I generally use back and forth strokes on the same side of the razor, and after five or ten, will do the other side. Then repeat. How many times depends on the razor and the hone. I always use stones wetted, even if not ceramic whetstones but natural stones. Use less and less pressure as you go along, and dilute the slurry as you progress if on a natural stone, ending with just water and no slurry. I know when I'm done by the kind of squeaking my wet Escher makes and the sense of suction of the blade onto the stone.

I have no qualms about using a pasted strop or three after that. Purism may be satisfying, but the best possible shave is even better. A series of pasted paddle strops will keep a razor very happy for a long time between touch ups. I keep four of them; Flexcut Gold for recalcitrant Livis, red, green and black.

Finally, there are so many pretty razors out there, exemplifying the skill of craftsmen old and new. But we might be better off if we chose a razor with our eyes closed. The prettiness don't help the shave, only the steel can do that. Many obsess over Rockwell numbers, and have the idea that the perfect razor will be as hard as diamond, will require a pilgrimage to a magic quarry for the rarest hone, and months of fasting and vigils to achieve the edge (virgins may be harmed during the making of this edge), but once honed it will split a hair at a hundred paces forever. Well, fill yer boots. I'll follow the wisdom of the heyday of straight razor manufacture - a softer steel that is easy to hone to a great edge, and the pleasure of doing it rather more often than Das Wunderrasiermesser von Chronik. Easier on the virgins too. Consequently, my favorite modern manufacture razors are O1 tool steel and no harder than 62-64 HRC at most. My preference is for heavier blades, half or quarter hollow, but this is preference only and if you prefer the sound of duelling banjos to that of a heavy scythe efficiently reaping the stubble go for it. As long as you are enjoying yourself, you're doing it right.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

Bill_K
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Re: "Premier" razor?

Post by Bill_K » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:06 pm

Great advice - thank you!
Bill

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