Our development of the new straight razor has been coming along nicely since we launched the project a few weeks ago. The process is a long one, with many variables/decisions to play around with before the final razor is be ready.
Last week we looked at the creation of the 192 layer razor billet – A mixture of both Shirogami (White Paper Steel) and 1.2842 (US 02) steel, which is an Hypereutectic Industrial Tool Steel. With the razor billet ready, it was time to create the blade and everything else that goes with it.
In this video, we see our Bladesmith set out a groove for the razor. Basically, this is where the yellow blob is in the image below. This is also where the shoulder of the blade will go (if we go with a shoulder, we might look at shoulderless).
Here is a really poor diagram we’ve produced of the different parts of a straight razor. If you search the web you’ll find these sorts of diagrams everywhere, but you might see different areas of the razor labelled differently. Whether they be right or wrong is beyond us, but for future referencing in our posts, we will be using this diagram’s labels as the key.
Once the groove is made, it is then time to start on the tang and shank. Damascus is notoriously difficult to forge and can split easily, so a great deal of attention to detail is needed.
Here, we see the tang actually take shape. The hammer and anvil work is purely exquisite, and shows the attention to detail and craft needed to create something like a custom straight razor.
Further refinement of the tang is needed, and the process of using hammer on anvil is a long one. As it gets closer to finishing the shank and tang, the Bladesmith uses lighter blows to put a delicate touch on the finish.
Next week, we will hopefully have more on the forging of the blade. Please remember that everything at this point in time is in the development stage – so shape of the tang and shank could change in its final stage. We are merely trying to create the best possible razor, and we’re looking at every option as we go along.