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I Forge Iron

First straight razor


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Gave it a go.

A few things I would like to do different next time: better (ckeaner) transitions from handle to blade portion. Remember to use the checkering file on the proximal spine BRFORE you harden it... cant now, its too hard... Probably make the handle skinnier, though the guy who wanted this asked for a larger than normal handle, because HE is larger than normal. Lol

Steel is O-2 started at 4mm thick, final dimensions are right at 1” spine to edge and almost exactly 7mm thick. I had to upset a bit to get the thickness up in order to make the 3.6:1 length : thickness ratio that from my research and  reading is the generally preferred ratio. Cube twist with a hot chisel for the long cuts, dremel/cutoff for the side cuts, then adjusted for an ergonomic grip.

Kept a good even heat while forging, rough ground, 2 normalizing cycles, then held at 1475 +/- 15 deg F for about 10 minutes, quenched in 140 F McMaster Carr 9-11 sec oil. Tempered at 360 for 1 hour. From the literature I could find, SHOULD be Rockwell of about 60-61. 

Ran up the stones from 1k-3k-8k-12k, flat strop with green Cr2 O3 and shaved to see if it passed the test. 

I don’t have a proper contact wheel on a grinder, have a cheap-o 4x36 and a big 4x106 belt grinders. The 36 only has the top tracking (crowned) wheel accessable so that doesnt make for a good hollow grind. But I DO have an old 1950’s Shopsmith with a 2.5” drum sanding attachment that, with a little rocking and patience. gave me a 1/2 decent hollow grind. (I’m on a waiting list for a NorthRidge 2x72 *thumbs up*)



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Nice looking razor. The handle looks more ergonomic than the folding style. I thought I had the only Shop Smith left in the US! I don't use it often because I now have dedicated tools to replace all the functions of the old SM but I can't bring myself to part with it! I may drag it out of the corner and set it up as a dedicated drill. Never to many drills in the shop!

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Balance is great, before the hollow grinding I had forged it to a wedge, it felt too blade heavy. After I finishing grinding, it balances on my middle finger when held in the shaving position above.


Shopsmith: My grandfather (eternal acquirer and hoarder of 'stuff') gave it to me, with another 1 and 1/2 of them in a warehouse should I need parts :)

It works GREAT for taking a 1/8th inch, really long drill bit and hollowing out a hidden tang handle and getting it straight, being able to rest the handle on the adjustable table. I use it as a sander, horizontal drill, wood lathe, table saw, low speed wire wheel tool... you name it. 

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