02-10-2014, 08:10 PM
#1
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I have been using the Feather system for about a year now, and I really like the Feather/KAI SE blades. So far I have been using mostly the Feather DX and RG, but I have used the SS, and KAI Captain razors as well.

I have heard a lot about the Cobra, and recently got to try it on a pass-around. A tad on the mild side (the Cobra does have a guard like most DE's and SE's), the blade on the Cobra is not completely exposed, so you are a little "restricted" on what angle to use. BUT, the Cobra had a neat twist - it put the excellent and very sharp blade in a "T" handle, so it was very neat to use.

For a while now I had ideas about making my own T-Straight: a razor like the Cobra, but like a real straight razor with no guard of any kind. But I don't have a CNC shop, nor a 3D printer, so I am somewhat limited on what I can do by hand on my hobby shop (garage). I had used strong, neodymium magnets on a flashlight-related project, and I have been thinking that these might be strong enough to hold the blade in place. I took notes, and wrote down some concepts, and keep thinking about the idea of making my own razor (blade holder) to try these ideas, and see if I can shave with it.

But I then heard about the Huntlee, which I think an outstanding design, seems to have better ergonomics than the Cobra (I really never liked the Cobra's handle), so I put my own prototype on hold and waited for a while. After learning that the Huntlee is delayed, I decided to re-engage my own project since I just want one for myself - for my personal use. I figured it would be cool to give it a try.

Since I have easy access to DE handles, I made it so that I could screw in any M5x0.8 threaded DE handle, and I made it so that it will work with any Feather/KAI blade regardless of size (light, pro, super, guard, etc). I finished it yesterday (Sunday) and I shaved with it this morning. Yes, I was pretty nervous, but I was surprised with a great shave - same as I normally get from my Feather DX, BUT with the added ergonomics of a DE/SE type handle.

It is certainly not a pretty sight, and the magnets I had on hand where too thin to have the strength I needed, but it works, and it gives me ideas of what to try next. This is my T-Straight razor, first prototype:
[Image: 20140209_165525.jpg]

[Image: 20140209_165548.jpg]

[Image: 20140209_165914.jpg]


Like with all of my projects I have additional photos of the build process for this first prototype, so if the admins approve, I will post additional photos.

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 02-10-2014, 08:17 PM
#2
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I really like the innovation! Thanks for sharing.

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 02-10-2014, 08:22 PM
#3
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Interesting. You weren't kidding when you wrote that it would be like a straight razor instead of a SE razor.

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 02-10-2014, 08:22 PM
#4
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Very cool!!! Looking forward to updates.

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 02-10-2014, 08:34 PM
#5
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Cool idea.

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 02-10-2014, 08:57 PM
#6
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Wow, that is very unique and that handle is quite beautiful! Is it stainless steel?
Best of luck with your endeavor! Smile

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 02-10-2014, 09:59 PM
#7
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That is pretty creative, very cool. I look forward to more progress pictures.

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 02-11-2014, 12:03 AM
#8
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Wow!

I agree not so pretty, but definitely very interesting.

If this is your prototype, I'm really looking forward to your next, perhaps more refined version. Regardless, congratulations on your invention. You are most innovative, to say the least!

(02-10-2014, 08:10 PM)wquiles Wrote: Like with all of my projects I have additional photos of the build process for this first prototype, so if the admins approve, I will post additional photos.

No need to seek approval, but if it makes you feel better you do have my "Moderator endorsement" to share those additional pics!

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 02-11-2014, 01:51 AM
#9
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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I like it!

A remarkable example of ingenuity and talent.
Please share more about your work in progress.

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 02-11-2014, 03:02 AM
#10
  • Boaz
  • Junior Member
  • Renfrew UK
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Excellent work

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 02-11-2014, 04:13 AM
#11
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That's nice! Looking forward to additional photos.

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 02-11-2014, 06:16 AM
#12
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Thank you guys. It does look a little scary, right?

Here are a few more work-in-progress pictures. Getting the brass block to the target size:
[Image: 20140208_170935.jpg]

[Image: 20140208_172725.jpg]

[Image: 20140208_173420.jpg]


Testing to make sure the blade fits:
[Image: 20140208_182140.jpg]


The red "thingie" allows me to remove the piece, put it back again, and be nearly spot on perfect again, so the DRO measurements/positioning remain from operation to operation:
[Image: 20140208_183238.jpg]


No guard of any kind - the blade is fully exposed:
[Image: 20140208_183642.jpg]


The angle between the head and the handle was loosely done based on another well known SE razor:
[Image: 20140209_151112.jpg]


Once I picked the angle, I milled, drilled, and tapped right in that fixture:
[Image: 20140209_152308.jpg]

[Image: 20140209_153939.jpg]

[Image: 20140209_154116.jpg]


Here I am using one of my DE handle tools to check/verify the threads:
[Image: 20140209_155606.jpg]


It looks scary, but the blade can't move backwards (back wall), nor sideways (side ears), so it can only move up - this is what the magnets are doing. But I only had available (from a past project) the really thin ones you see here, and I had to stack a lot of them together to get the tension I wanted. That is why I said the magnets were not quite strong. I ordered last night some magnets of the same diameter, but longer (cylinder shape, instead of disk shaped) which should be substantially stronger to try out. That being said, the magnets are in fact strong enough as while shaving the blade has stayed perfectly in place:

[Image: 20140209_145229.jpg]


To give you an idea, those side ears holding the blade from lateral movement are only 0.010" wide!. If/when I make another head, I am planning on making them a tad wider, and incorporate a few lessons learned from this one.


After two shaves the angle I used seems to work great, but I would like to move the handle further back away from the edge - this one is a tad too close:
[Image: 20140209_165916.jpg]


Today I tried the new head with one of my Titanium handles, which gave me a better balance since the brass head is relatively small and light compared to the solid brass handle:
[Image: 20140211_080016.jpg]

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 02-11-2014, 08:03 AM
#13
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Very interesting. Good luck with this.

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 02-11-2014, 08:33 AM
#14
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A great step forward in improving the Cobra Classic. How about adding a top plate?

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 02-11-2014, 08:39 AM
#15
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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William, were/are you an engineer or machinist by profession? That took some thought and know how to pull off. When you said blade exposure you were not kidding.

Maybe someday you can machine a top plate with a stud so you do not have to use the magnets.

Well done sir.

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 02-11-2014, 08:41 AM
#16
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Congratulations. Your pictures reveal a great deal of creativity and talent. I would think that having magnets that were not strong would aid by serving as a reminder to not apply pressure when shaving.

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 02-11-2014, 08:52 AM
#17
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That is still quite impressive with the machining and shaving with it! Best of luck! Biggrin

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 02-11-2014, 03:06 PM
#18
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Thank you guys for your kind words.

Yes - I am an engineer by training (BS/MS in Electrical Engineering), but not formally trained as a machinist. I am a self-taught machinist, and I started that work/hobby in 2007. I do have an excellent mentor and friend (full time machinist/gunsmith/welder) in Illinois who has been an invaluable resource these years. I also have an electronics mentor in California (other projects not related to shaving!), so again, I am not totally alone with my hobbies.

Yes - I am thinking about a top plate idea as well. Both a version held by magnets, and potentially a version more similar to a standard DE where the top plate has a screw in it (although that involves a lot more machining work)

I will see how the stronger magnets work out in the next week or two. In the meantime I plan on shaving with "it" every day now Wink

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 02-11-2014, 03:54 PM
#19
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Wow, I'm impressed! And I even think it looks good! I look forward to seeing future developments.

- Murray

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 02-11-2014, 08:30 PM
#20
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Very cool. I had sometimes wondered about a 'straight with a handle'. Now I know it's real haha!

...sent from mobile device...

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