Last week, Dreadnought introduced our new Straight razor project. Not wanting to do anything by halves, we have searched high and low for someone that possesses that quality of craftsmanship we feel a project like this fully deserves. Obviously, we’re rather excited at Dreadnought HQ about the prospect of this razor; a razor fully deserving of our branding. The process is a long but enjoyable one, and we hope you enjoy coming along for the ride with us.
This week we’ll be looking at the development of the razor billet and the different stages behind it.
1. Initial billet of 12 plates , 6 of white paper steel , 6 of 1:2842
White paper steel is also known as Shirogami, and descends from Japan. The steel itself is made from sand iron, and is the same sand iron that makes the legendary steel Tama-hagane. The steel is very pure, with hardly any alloys, and is very popular in Japan in the making of high-end kitchen knives. When hardened, it has a very fine grain structure.
1:2842 steel is the equivalent to the U2 02, a tool steel that has been around for years in the industry, and is known for it’s durability and good forging potential.
Over his many years in the industry, our master bladesmith has combined these two steels many times before. The plan with this damast is to then coat the blade with TiAIN (Titanium Aluminium Nitrate), which brings up a particularly nice pattern.
The overall feedback is that ‘Shirogami’ white paper steel and 1:2842 combined has a tough and aggressive cutting edge.
2. Heating in gas forge of initial block of 12 layers of steel
The gas forge is heated to around 1400 degrees.
3. 12 Layer forge welded together
4. 12 layers drawn out to make second welded billet
The forge welding process is conducted either on a hydraulic press or an air striking hammer – Check our Facebook/Instagram page for the videos.
5. Second forge weld 4 x 12 = 48 layers
The billet is then once again separated into 4, and the parts are stacked on top of each other. The process of stages 1 to 4 is repeated to create a 48 layered billet.
6. Heating in the gas forge for second forge weld
7. Second forge weld completed
If you look closely, you can even see where the two different steels are parallel to each other.
8. Drawing out of second weld
9. Third forge weld billet stacked ready for welding in forge
The billet now consists of 192 layers (12, 48, 192). Again, if you look closely, you can see the layers of the different steel.
10. Third forge weld heating up in gas forge
11. Length of 192 layers
To think, this will eventually be a straight razor.
12. 192 layer being drawn out for razor billet
13. Razor billet ready
14. 25mm wide 6mm thick 192 layers finished ready for next stage
Finally, the 192-layer razor billet is ready for the next stage. The craftsmanship that has gone in to just creating the billet at this point is 6 hours – Blood, sweat and tears have gone into getting it ready for the next stage of creating the blade.
Hopefully next week we’ll be able to bring you more details on the creation of the blade itself.