Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: just got my first (few) straight razor, need some info.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Stockton, CA - We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
    Posts
    6,852

    just got my first (few) straight razor, need some info.


    ADVERTISEMENT
    Well I just picked up a few straight razors from a local antique dealer who also is a knife nut. I asked him if he had any that were in need of work because I wanted to try restoring and rescaling. He brought out a couple boxes with maybe 30 razors and let me pick through. I found a plastic handled Case with a chipped blade, a Dixon (Dixie maybe, I can't remember for sure) with warped scales and a H. Boker with home made scales done poorly. The Boker is the one I am interested in first. It is a 5/8 and marked "damascus" over "magnetic steel" with the boker trees on either side, all etched on the blade. Tang stamp is a sideways tree with "H. Boker" over "Germany." I haven't been able to date this one or figure out why it is marked damascus. It looks like a single steel. Was that a tradename of a certain brand of steel?

    Because this is worthless without pics, here you go...

    The Boker is the top one in the group pic.



    Here is the blade etching and tang stamp






    Just for fun, here is what I plan on using for the new scales, bamboo flooring scraps 3/4" thick. Enough to cut it book matched.




    If you have any info about this razor that would be cool. Also I have checked out SRP.com and didn't find any info about this specific razor.


    -Xander

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NE Florida
    Posts
    9,025
    I've seen a lot of straights marked "Damascus" that are not Damascus steel as I understand it.

    Why do they do this? I have no clue...

    But, curiously enough, most razors marked "Magnetic Steel" are actually magnetized.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Stockton, CA - We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
    Posts
    6,852
    Quote Originally Posted by markksr View Post
    <snip>...
    But, curiously enough, most razors marked "Magnetic Steel" are actually magnetized.
    Strange, I haven't checked it to see if it is actually magnetized or not. I don't understand why they would be, to keep stones/strops from loading with steel particles maybe?

    I figure this is a decent blade to try my hand at restoring, even if it just sits on the shelf in my collection of knives. For $5 I think it was worth it. I paid $20 for all three. Maybe someday I will attempt at shaving with it or another one.


    -Xander

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    Sherwood, OR
    Posts
    28,913
    Quote Originally Posted by markksr View Post
    I've seen a lot of straights marked "Damascus" that are not Damascus steel as I understand it.

    Why do they do this? I have no clue...
    Damascus in this case means layered. The layers are likely all the same steel, but it is a layered process.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  5. #5
    Nice find. All three look to be good candidates for restoration.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    The Brink of Insanity
    Posts
    1,533
    Hi,

    Nice score! You should have fun refurbishing these. I suspect the damascus thing was often a marketing gimmick. Because damascus blades tend to have a legendary reputation of being the sharpest of the sharp. It's always nice to associate yourself with the best, even if you are not yourself.

    I wonder if the Magnetic Steel on the Boker is a brag about being a true carbon steel blade. Or a reference to magnetic conditioning of the edge that was a popular idea back in the day. A quick google reveals a number of patents for such devices. I have seen a couple devices advertised just a few months ago. I have no idea if such things work or not.

    dalee
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Stockton, CA - We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
    Posts
    6,852
    I thought I would include this over here. I got this response from Stacy over in the shoptalk sub-forum, I asked about the "damascus" etching on this blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by bladsmth View Post
    DAMASCUS blades were mythical for several hundred years. Practically no one had one...no one had seen one....no one knew what they were or were not. All most people knew was that they would cut anvils in half, and then precede to slicing a falling silk scarf into confetti ....all with one gentle sweep. How did they know this????? - The people who used the term DAMASCUS on their advertising said so....thus it must be true.....they wouldn't lie, would they?
    Since no one had a patent ,or even any real idea about damascus, the term was applied to many things as a selling hype. Sometimes it referred to a manufactured surface pattern (wire damascus shotgun barrels),sometimes to an engraved, machined, or etched pattern ( damascus/damascene on watch movements, fake "damascus" shotgun barrels, and metal work) ...., and sometimes to nothing at all ( damascus razors). Plain ordinary swords and knives....and razors..... had the term applied. The steel industry in Sheffield and Solingen well knew that the public would line up to buy a product named after such a legendary material. And there was no Internet to expose the hype, or government agencies to make them prove the claims.
    IIRC, durring the late 1800's and early 1900's, Wilkinson marked a lot of swords and things DAMASCUS as well as implied it by using the "Star of Damascus" (a six pointed star which had no real meaning) on the blades. Most military swords still bear this star for no reason than hype - to imply that the steel is of superior quality.


    Some razor facts:
    A straight razor was a necessity of like. Every man had one..... or most likely several.
    Every man hated shaving with one.
    Every man wanted a closer shave with fewer nicks.
    Along came marketing hype to fulfill his dreams.

    A non-accurate statistic is - The planet is 50% men and 50% women...50% of those men shave at least part of their face....50% of those women shave some part of their anatomy.....
    A very accurate statistic is - The razor industry is 100% aware of this.

    Over roughly the past 100 years the razor has morphed from a straight thin edged blade
    to a straight thin blade with a floating edge guard ( first "Safety Razors"
    to a 1" piece of a straight razor in a handle
    to a single edged thin piece of steel ( called a razor blade)
    to a double edged thin piece of steel
    to a single edged sliver of steel
    stainless steel joined the party
    blade holding technology went crazy
    to a coated razor blade
    to two blades
    to three
    to four
    to ????who knows how many blades??
    to blades that vibrate
    Guy razors vs Girl razors.......
    ........and it will continue.

    How many of us have a drawer somewhere with at least three or four different type of blades and/or handles in it?....and probably at least three electric razors we got as Christmas gifts.
    Why - because we and those who buy gifts for us are all the target/victim of marketing hype.
    We were probably perfectly happy with out old "Blue Blade" or "Injector" razors.
    But we would feel behind in the times, .....no we would feel foolish....if we did not have the latest and greatest thing that TV hype was telling us about - long live Billy Mays.

    A Fun Fact for the younger forumites to impress their friends with at your next gathering/party is -
    If you are younger than 40, you may have never noticed that there is a small slit in the back of most medicine cabinets make prior to 1980 ( still is in some). It is a razor blade disposal slot. A blade lasted a few shaves at best, and was disposed of. The trash can was the normal place, but that was a worry to parents of small children, as well as the people who took out the trash. ( Today they would call it a Bio-Hazard) The answer was a small slit to slide the used blade through.......were did it go??? - Into the wall space ( which was as good as a black hole as far as never being seen again.). This slit was the marketing hype/ploy of the pre-fab medicine cabinet industry.
    I have remodeled old bathrooms and pulled several thousand rusty blades from the hollow space in the wall below the medicine cabinet. If your house is over 50-60 years old and has a slot in the cabinet, it is a virtual guarantee that there are old blades in the wall.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •