04-21-2012, 03:27 PM
#1
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I've been lurking around ebay for improperly labeled auctions - ones that sell "Gilllette" or just plain "vintage" razors. I've been DE shaving for the better part of a year and I thought I'd branch into SR shaving.

I stumbled upon an ebay auction for a "Antique / Vintage Straight Razor Made in England" with no description. I was happy to see that the box in the second photo said Wade & Butcher and was in pretty good shape. The razor itself looked promising as well - larger blade width, black scales, no frowning, cracked scales, or pitting. I promptly bid and won the auction at approximately $30 USD with shipping.

Fast forward a few days to today.

It turns out that the box is missing it's end cap (no biggie), but the razor isn't a Wade & Butcher. It's a Davis & Wheeler from Worchester. Upon reviewing the ebay pictures, I can see now that he didn't really put a clear shot of the razor on the auction.

The razor is in good condition. Scales are great, it opens & closes smoothly with a minuscule amount of effort. It feels hefty as well, weighing in at 1 3/4 oz.

I'm curious if I got a decent deal. Is this particular razor worth $30? Does anyone know the history behind Davis & Wheeler razors? (Googling didn't really result in anything useful). I'm sure it'll need honing prior to use - is it worth the cost of the razor to get it honed?

Now for the pictures, there's many more on imgur.

[Image: 2PAb3l.jpg]
[Image: aMo1gl.jpg]
[Image: bNHLPl.jpg]
Thoughts? Did I get hosed or did I managed to snag something awesome?

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 04-21-2012, 03:36 PM
#2
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Well, you didn't get hosed. $30 is pretty good for a usable straight.

The razor looks to be in decent shape. No major hone wear on the spine, and little rust damage.

The only issue seems to be a little frown or warp in the blade, but that's pretty standard for a blade of that age (if it is a warp).

Don't get caught up in the W&B hype. They made decent blades, but no more so than any other maker of the time. Your razor is rarer (as most English blades of that time were from Sheffield), and it's likely to shave as well or better than a W&B.

-----

As an aside: never buy a razor off ebay if you don't have clear pics of the blade itself. Good way to get hosed. Sellers know the 'big name' razors and will do their best to disguise an unknown blade as such.

One more thing: If you're just getting into straights, you should send that out to get honed/restored. Don't expect it to be shave-ready.

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 04-21-2012, 04:13 PM
#3
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Looks like it needs a lot of Flitz or Maas for polishing with woolpad #000 or #0000 to get all that tarnish off

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 04-21-2012, 10:12 PM
#4
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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It will take some work to hone this one but you might be surprised at how good it shaves. I looked in all the manufacturers data I have but couldn't find anything about that maker. I have had some unknown razors that shaved like the big names. If you get it honed let us know how the shave went?

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 04-22-2012, 05:44 AM
#5
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(04-21-2012, 10:12 PM)Snuff Wrote: It will take some work to hone this one but you might be surprised at how good it shaves. I looked in all the manufacturers data I have but couldn't find anything about that maker. I have had some unknown razors that shaved like the big names. If you get it honed let us know how the shave went?

Thanks for looking, I've decided to get it honed, I'm just not sure who to go with right now. Once it is returned, I'll report back on how it shaved.

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 04-22-2012, 05:47 AM
#6
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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I've seen far worse for far more $$! You're ok and as the experts mention, it's probably a very salvageable blade.

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 04-22-2012, 05:54 AM
#7
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(04-22-2012, 05:44 AM)pezhore Wrote: Thanks for looking, I've decided to get it honed, I'm just not sure who to go with right now. Once it is returned, I'll report back on how it shaved.

I don't know where you're based, but if you're in the US, I could hone it for you for free.

I could also polish it up a bit, but I don't do heavy restoration, so it's not going to have a mirror shine.

You'll just have to pay for postage both ways. Smile

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 04-22-2012, 06:28 AM
#8
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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pezhore, your not going to get a better deal than that. And Yohann knows what he is doing when it comes to honing.

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 04-22-2012, 08:10 AM
#9
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(04-22-2012, 05:54 AM)yohannrjm Wrote:
(04-22-2012, 05:44 AM)pezhore Wrote: Thanks for looking, I've decided to get it honed, I'm just not sure who to go with right now. Once it is returned, I'll report back on how it shaved.

I don't know where you're based, but if you're in the US, I could hone it for you for free.

I could also polish it up a bit, but I don't do heavy restoration, so it's not going to have a mirror shine.

You'll just have to pay for postage both ways. Smile

Sounds good, I PM'ed you.

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 04-22-2012, 09:12 AM
#10
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Many razors were made for individual barbers and carry their name and many were made for hardware or specialty stores and carry their name. That's were these no-name razors come from.

Take the Hoffritz brand as an example. Their straights were made by a number of well known and quality manufacturers.

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 04-22-2012, 07:51 PM
#11
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Seems like you got yourself a great deal on that rare razor! Free honing as well. Could not ask for a better deal, in my opinion. Congrats and let us know how it shaves.

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 04-23-2012, 01:53 PM
#12
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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Yes, $30 is a good deal. Can't really tell from the pics but is it 7/8 or so? Larger blades are a bit harder to find so that's good too.

Free honing - very nice of you to do that!

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 04-26-2012, 05:31 AM
#13
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I received the blade for honing yesterday.

It's certainly worth $30.

The blade is in really nice shape, and will polish up nicely. It does have some spots of 'black spit' that are not going to come off, but that's in line with something of this age. It's 6/8" at the heel and just over 5/8" at the point. Not too small and not too large, and it's hollow ground. No real rust issues.

The scales are lovely - black horn with a pewter spacer, and the blade is tight in the scales.

The only issues with the blade are:

A) The edge is wavy. It looks like someone tried ot take care of it, but they used a very narrow hone or something. I'll have to straighten out the edge before anything else can be done. I'll try and keep a slight smile on it, but we'll see what happens.

B) There's a disproportionate amount of hone wear on spine on the reverse side of the blade. Again, I think this was because someone who didn't quite know what they were doing was trying to keep this blade honed.

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