02-08-2015, 12:19 AM
#1
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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This Friday I got a very unique opportunity. I was invited to come and check out the facility that makes Wolfman Razors. Of course I jumped at the chance to see how Wolfman razors are made in a small machine shop about 25 mins north of Edmonton AB. 

James Dufour (the owner) has been a journeyman machinist for 16 years and is Canadian Red Seal certified. He got his start making parts for aircraft, where precision finish is as important as the fit.
He has taken this attention to detail and used it to create some very nice razors. He currently makes razors for the L.A. Shaving Co. and a line for his own Wolfman Razors.

While there I took over 100 pics and had to change the battery in my camera over the corse of a 4 hour visit. I had a great time as James showed me his machines and some of the early attempts he has made to get to the razors he makes today.

All of the razors being made are stainless and machined from solid round bar (for handles & top cap) or flat bar (for the baseplate). 

These pics are of the various processes he used to make these functional works of art. 

Please note that I am in no way affiliated with James or Wolfman Razors but am lucky enough to be about 30 mins from his shop. 
I forgot to note when I originally posted that the razor that I have was given to me by James for stopping by. 
So far I am impressed with it and have plans to buy a production WR1-SB when they are available. 
I tried to pic some of the best pics, I am not as skilled as some with a camera. 

James in front of one of his CNC machines ready to make some handles.
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A handle in the CNC machine early in the process.
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A drawer full of machine finished handles ready for a final polish. James makes the handles two at a time and cuts them after the machining process.
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Some handle stock and two fresh off the lathe.
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The round bar that he makes the one piece top cap out of and a early stage piece that will end up being 4 top caps.
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More top caps in different stages. The ones in the back are ready to go.



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The milling process starts.
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Skipping a few steps we can see the post being threaded. 
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After the milling and threading and ready for a polish.
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Base plates. Left to right, raw stock, rough cut stock, fully machined and polished.

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Half way.
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This pic I really like as you can see a base plate before and after polishing.
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A hand sanding to remove the machining marks prior to the polishing table. The parts progress from 100 grit to 1000grit sand papers.
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A shot of the polishing area. The drill press has the brush James uses for the brushed razors and the rest are used to achieve a mirror finish. 
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Some early experiments 
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Some prototype razors made out of aluminum. James uses aluminum to get the razors perfect before moving to stainless as it is an easier material to work with.
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A pic of the James and I.
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My SOTD with a Wolfman Razor. This one is a prototype made of all aluminum. It offered a very smooth shave today!
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 02-08-2015, 12:29 AM
#2
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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(02-08-2015, 12:19 AM)jamesrobson5 Wrote: [Image: jhHO0SN.jpg]

Oh man... I need to see if I can get one of these... I'd shave Darth Maul style!

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 02-08-2015, 12:35 AM
#3
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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24 24 24

Thats good! I bet that James would be willing to accommodate. I for one would love to see a video of that shave!

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 02-08-2015, 01:01 AM
#4
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jim - this thread is fabulous! very well done and congrats Clap

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 02-08-2015, 01:11 AM
#5
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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Thanks Marius. This was just a great experience. I am going to use the dual comb for a few days and then make some more informed opinions on it. 

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 02-08-2015, 01:49 AM
#6
  • MPH
  • Member
  • UK
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Great insight into the process of making a razor! Thanks for sharing.

Matt

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 02-08-2015, 02:26 AM
#7
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(02-08-2015, 01:11 AM)jamesrobson5 Wrote: Thanks Marius. This was just a great experience. I am going to use the dual comb for a few days and then make some more informed opinions on it. 

Thanks for sharing the pictures James . Outstanding coverage!!

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 02-08-2015, 05:36 AM
#8
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
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Great Story James.

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 02-08-2015, 06:20 AM
#9
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Awesome pics and guided tour.  James doesn't look like he messes around, he's got an amazing looking shop and has the "arm cross, what you looking at pose" down pat.  Tongue

Make me want to hope on a plan, head to Calgary to visit my Brother and Sister-in-law and their family and drive up and knock on his shop door. 

Thanks for posting.

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 02-08-2015, 07:23 AM
#10
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Fantastic pictures and beautiful work by James. Congratulations to all.

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 02-08-2015, 08:00 AM
#11
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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Thank you so much for sharing Jim!  I'm sure it was an incredible experience, and I appreciate you sharing it with us  Biggrin

I think it is such a great thing to have people like James making such incredible contributions to the wet shaving community....we sure are a lucky bunch!

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 02-08-2015, 08:25 AM
#12
  • lfs70
  • Active Member
  • Virginia
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Very cool pics and story Jim, thank you for sharing your experience.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 02-08-2015, 08:26 AM
#13
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It is ALWAYS an AWESOME experience and 'revelation' to see how things are actually made!

My late Father was a Tool & Die maker at the Ford Motor Company Stamping Plant in the South Suburbs of Chicago
and I was fortunate to work there for a College 'summer job' (1969), makes you appreciate how things are manufactured!

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 02-08-2015, 08:27 AM
#14
  • racebmx
  • Sapone Di Paolo
  • Charleston, South Carolina
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Spectacular!!! Between How It's Made, Factory Made, Food Factory, etc., you Canadians are the undisputed champions of glorious peeking behind the curtains!! Biggrin  Thank you!

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 02-08-2015, 08:37 AM
#15
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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Wow, great thread and great pics. It is so interesting to actually see the progress and different steps involved.
The craftsmanship of my BBS-1 is second to none, and I definitely want to add a Wolfman to my collection. 

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 02-08-2015, 09:00 AM
#16
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Wow wonderful work! What a treat. Now I too really want an aluminium prototype. You lucky dog!

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 02-08-2015, 09:57 AM
#17
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This is a great treat to see. I love the work that goes into this. Thanks James for sharing and James for your craftsmanship.

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 02-08-2015, 10:11 AM
#18
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Very nice! How does this compare to R41 2013?

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 02-08-2015, 10:15 AM
#19
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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I am glad that you guys enjoyed this post. 

It was inspiring to see the pride that James takes in each of the razors he producing. My favourite step was when he told me that each razor is polished twice before being good enough to pass his quality standards. 

(02-08-2015, 06:20 AM)Bruce Wrote: Make me want to hope on a plan, head to Calgary to visit my Brother and Sister-in-law and their family and drive up and knock on his shop door. 

James had mentioned that he would be willing to show others that can make it to his shop. Be prepared for a long day or overnight if your planing on coming from Calgary Bruce. 7 hours round trip, ouch. Undecided .  

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 02-08-2015, 10:28 AM
#20
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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(02-08-2015, 10:11 AM)Arash Wrote: Very nice! How does this compare to R41 2013?

I have not experience with that razor. There is a good review on the Wolfman razor on this thread http://shavenook.com/thread-wolfman-razors

I will post my own thoughts once I have had a chance to get to know it a little more. So far it has left a very positive impression on me.

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