03-22-2013, 12:04 AM
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I built this Gold Dollar for fun. After so many restos I had to take a break.
This was a study in planes, angles and lines.
I beveled the top of the spine to finish at a 1.5 mm flat across the length of the blade. The bevel mirrors the same curves as the hollow grind which was swept into the heel and spine area.
The tip of the blade continues the flat across the spine and drops from 1mm to nothing at the edge.
The bottom of the spine follows the same bevel found on the top of the spine. I created a thumb notch which has the bevel, the to the hinge location where it hesitates ( for stability of the scales but will remain hidden) and then into the bottom of the tail where it eventually disappears.
On the top of the shaft I created 40 V shaped cutouts that turn into curves along the face of the blade. These cutouts create a 1mm zig-zag pattern that goes from large cutouts and gradually diminish in size as they reach the tail.
On the thumb notch this same pattern is repeated as jimps and 21 of them , in a 3/4 inch space also go from large to small as you approach the tail of the blade.
The scales are Rosewood with ivory and brass inlays.
I didn't want a washer on the wedge end so I used the brass as the washer with a flush pin.
The interesting part , and challenge was not to leave obvious grinding marks and still polish the blade without rounding over any of the delicate flats I worked to put on the blade. A minute on the buffer would have ruined this piece let alone the details.
Tempered steel isn't like working with cold , untempered steel by any stretch of the imagination.

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0 778
 03-22-2013, 07:50 AM
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Mark

You certainly worked a lot! of nice details into the steel Thumbsup

Love the photo showing the "exploded" breakdown view of the scales, shows nicely what goes into making a set of scales...

Take care, Mike

23 1,872
 03-22-2013, 07:56 AM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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That is quite the makeover and it turned out beautifully. I love those scales.

And ouch, you have a nasty cut on your thumb.

180 24,753
 03-22-2013, 08:25 AM
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It's just staggering what you're able to conceive and then execute. How does the creative process work with you? Did you have a completed image of what you would do mentally or on paper first or did it sort of reveal itself from an early, initial notion?

You have it all though, Mark. The skills of a genuine craftsman and the vision and aesthetic sense of an artist.

5 298
 03-22-2013, 09:40 AM
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Mark, wow, what a magnificent piece! Great work. Please, tell me you are going to use it! Biggrin

89 21,190
 03-22-2013, 10:21 AM
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Mark, excellent craftsmanship.Awesome detailed work too.

1 3,507
 03-22-2013, 12:46 PM
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Very interesting transformation, so as a tribute I'll leave you with this little tune to your Dollar. Biggrin


12 2,061
 03-23-2013, 07:22 AM
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Yeah, I like that song. It's a catchy tune.

The cut on my finger was very small , it just looks big magnified so much.
I had an idea of what I wanted to see on this razor and knew the direction I wanted to take it. I didn't have it formally on paper though. I'm dealing with design and "art" on a daily basis and nothing is done without a plan of some sort. Many times it's just in my head but I do have to put it on paper for others to approve before I do the work for them.
There are times you can start tinkering with something and just let it evolve but usually it goes astray as ideas and concepts change as you go along if you don't have a good vision of where you want to go. You may end up with something good looking just by chance as thoughts pop up as you go along. Or you may end up with a design that looks like it was put together by a committee.

Working with tempered steel isn't nearly as easy as working with untreated steel. And with these you have built in parameters of an already established blade you have to modify within those limits.
With a new piece of steel you have an unlimited range of possibilities with it. And working it is easy. Here you don't have that luxury.
You also have to contend with details this small, and crisp sharp edges don't get lost because you can't take it straight to a buffer to make it all shiny looking. That in itself is a challenge in how to pull it off.
But it's fun.

0 778
 03-23-2013, 11:17 AM
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That thing started as a Gold Dollar?

........................Wow. You do incredible work. Are you some sort of wizard? I feel like your skills cannot be possessed by mortal men.

5 407
 03-23-2013, 01:26 PM
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I've posted these before but you might have missed them.
There are more photos of each on my site, under the Services page , click on the lower right photo for the scroll bar to see more views of them.

All of these were Gold Dollars at one time. I also made the shifter brush. For the brush and the razors that have acrylic scales I made the acrylic for them then spun the brush handle or built the scales. And the one that looks like Damascus isn't. It's merely acid etched to look like Damascus.

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 03-23-2013, 09:15 PM
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Now I love that 57 Chevy and the shifter brush. Very creative.

180 24,753
 03-23-2013, 09:28 PM
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I like that song. It also happens to be the theme to "How to Make it in America", one of the shows I follow.

I have a cut on my thumb there too. Except mine was from being tired and grabbing the blade instead of the tang in the morning. Blush

If only I could get the factory to do even 1/10 of that additional work....

9 3,046
 03-23-2013, 10:04 PM
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Amazing work, Mark!

102 18,709
 03-24-2013, 09:13 AM
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(03-23-2013, 09:28 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: I like that song. It also happens to be the theme to "How to Make it in America", one of the shows I follow.

I have a cut on my thumb there too. Except mine was from being tired and grabbing the blade instead of the tang in the morning. Blush

If only I could get the factory to do even 1/10 of that additional work....

Yes, but if the factory did this work then there would be no reason to build a GD. These wouldn't be unique and all the fun would be taken out of it.
These now are one off's. Not another like them. That's the cool factor in my book. Just getting one to shave is simple, customizing them is something else.

0 778
 03-26-2013, 03:51 PM
  • ethiel
  • Airman
  • Alexandria, VA.
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great job!

1 23
 03-14-2014, 09:26 AM
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Resurrecting a classic thread.
Mike, how did you achieve that Damascus etching pattern?
Stunning creations.

8 949
 03-14-2014, 10:51 AM
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I did it as well as all the other designs with acid .

As a side note the toe of the '57 razor has a red tail light and the bumper carved into it.
The bumper is the end if the spine with the light just above it. I have pics on my computer if you'd like to see it. Let me know.

0 778
 03-15-2014, 07:38 AM
  • geezer
  • Senior Member
  • Menomonie, Western WI
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Mark, Your work is, as always, way above the average mortal. I am not sure that I would have paid the price of years of work and tedium that you have put in to gain those skills.
That makes the quality even more astounding!

8 1,194
 03-15-2014, 08:37 AM
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Geezer, as always you're too kind! Thank you.
Building razors seems to be the intersection of many different avenues I have traveled.
That and an overwhelming curiosity to see " what will happen if I try this" leads to fun results.
Not every razor will please all but interesting none the less. They make for some fun times when it comes to a shave!

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