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Pinning: I use a few types of metals for pinning – Brass, Nickel-Silver, and Stainless Steel. I use 1/16″ Brass or Nickel Silver Rod for the pins, and #0 Brass or Stainless Steel washers. I peen all of my razors with a 4oz or 8oz ballpeen hammer. These materials do not rust, therefore they are perfect for this application. I put a set of thin brass pivot washers between the tang and scales as well.
Scales: When possible, I always try to preserve the original scales — even if there are a few cosmetic issues with them. If they keep the blade safe, they are doing their job, so, why replace them? That said –unfortunately not every 100+ year old razor comes in working condition, so, why not make some nice pretty new scales
As time goes on, I have decided to stop making wood scales. I don’t think its a very good material for scales — it can crack easily and may rot/warp over time. I prefer using synthetics such as G-10, Micarta, and Carbon Fiber, but, where I really shine is when I get my hands on some beautiful buffalo horn blanks. I have made enough horn blanks to know the ideal process for creating mirror-buffed, perfectly shaped buffalo horn scales.
Sanding: I use a variety of methods to sand pitting out of razors. I typically use 3M Wet/Dry Sandpaper — the dark grey colored sandpaper that is waterproof and usable on metals. It works far superior to the brown/tan colored wood sandpaper. I sand at the following grits: 100, 150, 220, 320, 400, 600, 1500.
In addition, I use a bench top belt sander with belts ranging from 80 grit to 220 grit and split mandrel dremel bits with sandpaper flap wheel.. this cuts down on a little time…but honestly most of my jobs are finished off by hand, because of the control that hand sanding provides me.
Polishing Compunds: I use greaseless compounds in various grits (80, 120, 180, 240, 320, 400), and emery compounds. I use these with felt wheels and a dremel, and also on 4″, 6″, and 8″ buffing wheels on a 1750rpm buffing machine. I also use Emery compound, White rouge, MAAS and Mothers metal polishes for the final steps.
Tools: I use a small number of tools for my work. these include a Delta 1700/3400 Variable speed bench grinder/buffer, variable speed dremel, Jet 14″ bandsaw, 4″x36″ Belt sander, 6″ disc sander, 2×72″ belt sander, Drill press, Ball Peen Hammer, Coping Saw, Wire cutters, a respirator, and a bench vice. The most important tool, is a good eye.
My Goal: My main goal is removing active rust on blades. Many times, I will leave considerable pitting on blades, because it just doesn’t hinder a razors performance. I like a little bit of pitting on a 100…150…200 year old blade even if just to remind me of its age.
Honing: I use a series of hones to sharpen razors. I typically use a Chosera 1000 stone for setting bevels, followed by a Dilucot method on a Belgian Yellow Coticule. After the coticule, I finish my razors on a Thuringian finisher. I strop every razor before it goes out – they are ready to shave with!