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Hollow grinds sans power tools (razors)


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Pretty much as the title states. I've got this itch to try my hand at making some straight razors. I know there are wedge types that are flat ground but most people recommend hollow from what I've read. I don't have a fancy grinder just a little 1x30. I could make some sort of platen I suppose for it but I really prefer to stick to files and hand work due to my lack of money. So does anyone have any suggestions on getting a hollow grind without a grinder? Also any tips on making razors is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

been looking at this link as well

http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?sh...79&hl=strop

Tom

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if your good with a hammer, you could hammer one in, with a peen and a swedge, then clean it up with a curved scraper, or a curved file running lengthwise.. other than that, usually the 1x30 grinders have a wheel up top.. where you can sometimes contact the metal with.. I don't know about yours but the easiest way would be to use a grinder, even a bench grinder..

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if your good with a hammer, you could hammer one in, with a peen and a swedge, then clean it up with a curved scraper, or a curved file running lengthwise.. other than that, usually the 1x30 grinders have a wheel up top.. where you can sometimes contact the metal with.. I don't know about yours but the easiest way would be to use a grinder, even a bench grinder..

 

 

I concure with the above forge the hollow's into the blade first then you may be able to use a half round file to file lenthwise a lot of work but more control over the amount of hollow , or even an old sharpening stone roughd up to a halfe round shape i have used these on japanese blade's i have made and saves throwing them away Recycle them this way

 

cheers and good luck tell

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Ah that is a good plan. Especially considering the grind tends to be asymmetrical with a flat grind on one side and hollow on the other. Might have to adjust the pein side of a hammer just for this purpose or make some sort of a hardy tool. Means I can lay the flat side right on the anvil. Ah something to play with. Unemployment has its benefits at least temporarily. Anyone else care to chime in on designs? I've got some general ideas of size and shape based on other threads.

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So does anyone have any suggestions on getting a hollow grind without a grinder?

Do you own an angle grinder? You would be surprised what you can do with one of these. Rough out with the wheel and then switch to flap discs, going from coarse to fine. Last, find something with the right radius to stick your sandpaper to and start sanding by hand. Bottles are a good source of different radii, you should be able to find one with the right curvature.

 

~Bruce~

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One thing to consider is that the edge of the razor needs to be very thin. Working on the hollow grind after heat treat easily leads to over heating. If you were to establish most of the thin section before heat treat, I guess there is a great risk of drapery effect (wobble) in the edge.

 

If you do not have access to a water cooled belt grinder, I would suggest trying to arrange a set up with a natural or synthetic stone wheel, that you can use with water. The diameter of the stone, will of course decide the shape of the hollow.

It might be a bit slower than a belt grinder, but you run no risk of overheating. That way you can even heat treat the blade with a flat triangular section and shape all the hollow after heat treat.

 

Such a water cooled stone, is perfect for sharpening other blades as well, so it is not a tool you will waste efforts on. Establishing the sharpness on a stone wheel with water cooling is a perfect way to get precise sharpness.

 

"Tormek" is a commercially available solution. You could build something similar if you only found a good stone.

http://www.tormek.com/en/

I do not own one of these myself, but I´ve tried them: really good tools!

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One thing to consider is that the edge of the razor needs to be very thin. Working on the hollow grind after heat treat easily leads to over heating. If you were to establish most of the thin section before heat treat, I guess there is a great risk of drapery effect (wobble) in the edge.

 

If you do not have access to a water cooled belt grinder, I would suggest trying to arrange a set up with a natural or synthetic stone wheel, that you can use with water. The diameter of the stone, will of course decide the shape of the hollow.

It might be a bit slower than a belt grinder, but you run no risk of overheating. That way you can even heat treat the blade with a flat triangular section and shape all the hollow after heat treat.

 

Such a water cooled stone, is perfect for sharpening other blades as well, so it is not a tool you will waste efforts on. Establishing the sharpness on a stone wheel with water cooling is a perfect way to get precise sharpness.

 

"Tormek" is a commercially available solution. You could build something similar if you only found a good stone.

http://www.tormek.com/en/

I do not own one of these myself, but I´ve tried them: really good tools!

 

The links not working ? and the guy said he has limited funds im always amazed how some folk's dont read the posts or dont realise that limited funds or out of work normaly means " hey i aint got no money " so dum ass suggestions like buying a water stone grinder dont cut it , out in the real world fella Please dont asume that everyone out in the forging game has a pocket full of Bucks as this is a stupid and ignorant attitude if this offends you then you should not be answering a Question like this with assinine answers

 

tell

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Tell I appreciate your concern for my financial situation. May have been a bit harsh but you're right I'm trying to avoid spending any more money than I have to.

 

This http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/disp...temnumber=35098 is an alternative if I had more money for a grinder and its not terribly expensive but alas that 60 dollars needs to go to food and rent more than I need a new grinder.

 

This link however http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?sh...855&hl=FIMO did give me some ideas. I think I can swing five bucks for some modeling clay.

 

Also I was thinking about the asymmetrical grind thing last night and I'm not sure how well that would work out when shaving your own face. I mean you pretty much have use both sides of the razor. This would mean a different feel, angle, and learning curve for each side. Perhaps Russel Baldridge or someone else with experience could answer this for me.

 

Tom

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Can you switch gears to a flat grind just to kick start the project. Your 1"x30", files and backed sand paper would probably do the job easily. It might be a good excuse to try making a sen. Maybe knock off the scale with a household acid. Just thinking.

 

Sounds like a fun project, Craig

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The links not working ? and the guy said he has limited funds im always amazed how some folk's dont read the posts or dont realise that limited funds or out of work normaly means " hey i aint got no money " so dum ass suggestions like buying a water stone grinder dont cut it , out in the real world fella Please dont asume that everyone out in the forging game has a pocket full of Bucks as this is a stupid and ignorant attitude if this offends you then you should not be answering a Question like this with assinine answers

 

tell

 

Wow

 

Thank you making this clear.

 

If you read my post, I also said he could build a similar set up himself. Also wanted to point out that such an investment of time (or money) is not only for making straight razors, but can be useful in many ways. I cannot see how such a suggestion is offensive.

 

I never meant to upset someone. Only tried to be helpful. I am no stranger to limited funds. It is the reality for me as well as many other craftsmen in this game. I have been much helped by suggestions from others over the years. I wanted to give something back. Thats all.

 

I do not understand why you come at me with a tone like that, but perhaps I misunderstand your intention.

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Can you switch gears to a flat grind just to kick start the project. Your 1"x30", files and backed sand paper would probably do the job easily. It might be a good excuse to try making a sen. Maybe knock off the scale with a household acid. Just thinking.

 

Sounds like a fun project, Craig

 

The flat grind is supposed to be harder to shave with and having never shaved with a straight razor but liking the manliness concept of it I don't want to get discouraged. Now the sen idea is an interesting one and I'm wondering if I can make a curved one. Keep the ideas coming gentlemen. I should have pictures of some blanks by the end of the day. We're snowed in here after all so I've got nothin better to do.

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when removing a beard, I often use a straight razor to shave with. I'm unsure of the relative quality of it, but it was produced in Solingen, Germany quite a number of hears ago. It is very easy to shave with assuming you're in no rush. If you're in any type of a hurry, you're better off grabbing a mach 3 or something similar. I've also foudn that it is easier to shave when using high glycerin soap and brush as compared to store bought shaving gel/foam.

 

Good luck! I do think i have the patience to try and make such a refined cutting edge. I'm much more at home with hatchets, machettes, and axes at my current level of skill.

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Well I'm 3/4 way through making a blank at least out of an old nicholson file. Then I ran out of propane. Grrr. Going to try to get this finished tonight so it can soak in vinegar over night. I'm shooting for 3" cutting edge approx 6.5" overall, 5/8" ish wide, and 3/16ths thick. This is according to the 3.5:1 rule.

 

I've got a few ideas about how to hollow grind and if they don't work well then I'll do it flat and deal with it. The last hurdle to overcome is the honing setup. I've got a lansky set that goes up to super fine. That gets my knives plenty sharp to shave my arm with a little stropping but I'm not sure its going to be enough for a razor and those damn norton 4k/8k stones are 100 dollars or better. More suggestions if you guys got them!

 

These seem to be quite fun thus far. I'm not the best with fit and finish so I'll be going with just a metal handle (japanese style?). Regardless they don't take terribly long to forge but I'm sure shaping and honing is going to be the bulk of it. I enjoy sharpening knives but we'll see if this drives me bonkers.

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Wow

 

Thank you making this clear.

 

If you read my post, I also said he could build a similar set up himself. Also wanted to point out that such an investment of time (or money) is not only for making straight razors, but can be useful in many ways. I cannot see how such a suggestion is offensive.

 

I never meant to upset someone. Only tried to be helpful. I am no stranger to limited funds. It is the reality for me as well as many other craftsmen in this game. I have been much helped by suggestions from others over the years. I wanted to give something back. Thats all.

 

I do not understand why you come at me with a tone like that, but perhaps I misunderstand your intention.

 

 

Whooh mate it was not intended as a personal insult to anyone but if you look at a lot of the reply posts you get a bit uptight at the better off guys thinking EVERYONE is loaded or has money laying around waiting to be thrown at anything , i may have fraised the post wrong if i offended anyone then im truly sorry as Don said were here to try and help i myself am an invalid pensioner and find that i have to invent my way out of problems even tho the world seems to think pensioners are ritch try living on $300 aust a fourtnight mate taint no fun i assure you

 

thanks guys for the kick in the butt ;lol, :rolleyes:

 

tell

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Af far as sharpening goes, you might just try to get a bit of hollow into the blade. even if it isn;t terrible pretty. When i sharpen mine (all of which are hollow ground) I rest the sipne and the blade ahainst the stone. i use a pretty fine arkansas stone and just sharpen it carefully. resting the edge and the spine allows me to get a consistant edge the whole length of the blade. then a quick few rubs on the strop and its...well...razor sharp. This is the biggest advantage to a hollow grind that i can see. I'm certainly no expert though.

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Af far as sharpening goes, you might just try to get a bit of hollow into the blade. even if it isn;t terrible pretty. When i sharpen mine (all of which are hollow ground) I rest the sipne and the blade ahainst the stone. i use a pretty fine arkansas stone and just sharpen it carefully. resting the edge and the spine allows me to get a consistant edge the whole length of the blade. then a quick few rubs on the strop and its...well...razor sharp. This is the biggest advantage to a hollow grind that i can see. I'm certainly no expert though.

Not a bad idea, the hollowed area need not be polished, the as-forged finish with the scale removed might give it a bit of personality, without detracting from the function...

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You need to check out how Wayne Goddard does a hollow grind on his flat platten. Basically make a curved section for the belt to run over added to the flat platten. That would give you a hollow to do into the side of the blade. Will work if you don't have any other means. Mike

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Af far as sharpening goes, you might just try to get a bit of hollow into the blade. even if it isn;t terrible pretty. When i sharpen mine (all of which are hollow ground) I rest the sipne and the blade ahainst the stone. i use a pretty fine arkansas stone and just sharpen it carefully. resting the edge and the spine allows me to get a consistant edge the whole length of the blade. then a quick few rubs on the strop and its...well...razor sharp. This is the biggest advantage to a hollow grind that i can see. I'm certainly no expert though.

Thats my primary reasoning for having a hollow! Supposed to make it much easier to hone and strop as well as shaves better. Could shave better because its easier to get sharp?

 

Not a bad idea, the hollowed area need not be polished, the as-forged finish with the scale removed might give it a bit of personality, without detracting from the function...

 

Im kind of liking that idea. Would definitely save time and could look cool. I've got a major urge to try and get a hamon out of this file. Its an old nicholson so a water quench could work but damn I'm afraid of cracking it and if the edge and spine aren't the same hardness then it will wear differently as its honed which will slowly change the angle of the cutting edge.

 

You need to check out how Wayne Goddard does a hollow grind on his flat platten. Basically make a curved section for the belt to run over added to the flat platten. That would give you a hollow to do into the side of the blade. Will work if you don't have any other means. Mike

 

Thats definitely one of my ideas and probably the easiest to do. I've got steel obviously and drills screws etc. Got a link to his specific setup?

 

You guys are the best. Pics soon i promise. Oh and I did pick up some of that modeling clay as well. Bright purple so I don't lose it haha.

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Im kind of liking that idea. Would definitely save time and could look cool. I've got a major urge to try and get a hamon out of this file. Its an old nicholson so a water quench could work but damn I'm afraid of cracking it and if the edge and spine aren't the same hardness then it will wear differently as its honed which will slowly change the angle of the cutting edge.

What Peter mentioned about the peculiarities of heat-treating a blade with such a thin edge/thick back, plus the fact it will be flat on one side, deeply hollow on the other, would make me reluctant to try a differential heat-treat or hamon. It is quite possible it may happen naturally due to the extreme cross section of the blade, coupled with the shallow-hardening nature of the steel. Normalize well, warping will be the most likely problem you'll run into quenching this (if it doesn't crack... :rolleyes: ).

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As promised here is a picture of what I'm working on. Might be too thin but we shall see. I've got about 1/16 to get off the spine in final grinding to keep the ratio right. Yes there are still ridges on the sides of the files. They will be coming out before I do any bevels if I forge the bevels which I plan on doing. If I decide to just grind/file in all the bevels then it shouldn't matter. I think the handle is also a bit small so the blade length may be shortened a half inch or so in order to get another inch of handle out of it. Critiques are welcome. This is more or less as forged. I touched up a few places on the profile of the handle and ran the side across the belt too see how bad the ridges were. The end of the blade was hot cut and ground smooth again. Oh ya and I'm going to try a glass bottle behind my 1X30 belt for a hollow grind. Going to try on a piece of 1X.25 mild first to see how it goes but I'm thinking that I can use the end of the bottle for the plunge on either side. Let me know what yall think.

straightrazorstart.jpg

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I've discovered that a quart mason jar fits very well behind my 1X30 giving me a serviceable approx 4" hollow grind. Its wedged in there by belt tension and even slows the grinder down a little so thats a plus. I wouldn't want to make 100 of these like this but I think it will be workable for my own plus maybe a few Christmas gifts. I'll add pics to this post when rough grinding is done before normalizing and HT. Also I used the jar to make an impression for a mold out of FIMO clay so I can hand sand it at the proper angles. The edge and spine being parallel makes this relatively easy at least. Here are a few pictures of my "mold" I had to make a form from the jar first then made my mold from that. The mason jar is the same one that was behind the belt in my grinder. If anyone wants I'll take a picture of that too. You can see the hollow in the blade slightly. I'm not sure its going to be a full hollow even after final sanding but thats ok I suppose. Still better than a flat I suppose and if the secondary bevel is too steep then I'll thin the spin down some. Slow and steady.

P1040043.JPG

P1040044.JPG

P1040047.JPG

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Just wanted everyone to know I was really going about this the hard way. We had a benchtop grinder with a 6inch wheel. I setup a little stop so the angle would be the same every time to keep my lines as consistent as possible and went to town with the finer grit wheel of the two I had. A dip in some cold water after each pass and its coming along nicely without burning the temper out so far. Oh ya I forgot to mention it survived the quench. Water quench so we'll see if I've got any activity. I put a thin coat of ITC 100 (expensive but I didn't have any satanite laying around) on it and scraped it off where I wanted it to harden more. The spine bites a file more than the edge so I know I've got some different hardness there just not sure how much.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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