07-08-2012, 11:03 AM
User Info
So you've bought your Rolls Razor. Now what?

Well, it's not going to be shave-ready......or anything near shave-ready, so forget about just using it as-is. Also, the included hone is for touch-ups only - you cannot hone the blade on it.

If you're lucky, you may be able to find a nice set where the blade is pretty pristine. It's still not going to shave you well, but it will not need any restoration. However, the most likely situation is that your blade has some minor rust damage - like the blade on the left of the pic below. Or maybe the blade is really rusted, like the one on the right.

[Image: IMG_20120704_220011.jpg]

Are these recoverable? Yes!!

Before you do anything else, you'll need to remove the 'safety-bars'. These bars flip from side to side when you strop or hone the blade, but you'll need to take them off to really hone the blades.

To do this you gently pry it off with a screwdriver (I'm using a pair of tweezers, but by wife was not at home, so that's fine. Biggrin).

You'll notice that the safety bar has two dimples on one side and only one on the other, as you can see in the blades below.

[Image: IMG_20120704_220034.jpg]

It's easier to pop the safety bar by prying on the side with one dimple.

[Image: IMG_20120704_220108.jpg]

And it's off.

[Image: IMG_20120704_220134.jpg]

Now you need to get rid of the rust.

For minor restoration work, all you'll need is some metal polish like Maas. However, for more challenging blades, you'll need wet/dry sandpaper. I use 220, 400, 600, 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit wet/dry. You can get the higher rated sandpaper from an auto body store.

Use the lower grits to remove the rust, and then progress slowly up to the 2000, at which point the blade will be pretty shiny. With some serious elbow-grease you can remove most of the pitting too, but I'm not trying for perfection here. To get the best results, you'll need greaseless compound and some sort of polishing medium.........way more than I have at home.

Anyway, after you've gone through your sandpaper, you can polish it up further with some Maas. It will be pretty shiny at this point.

[Image: IMG_20120708_125001.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20120708_125011.jpg]

Do not progress to the honing until you're happy with the cosmetic shape of the blade. If you decide to polish the blade after honing -

A) You may cut yourself on a sharp blade
B) You'll dull the blade with the polishing agent.

Now your blade is ready for honing.

What you really want to pay attention to is the angle that the blade is held at on the hone. When it's in the Rolls stropping mechanism, the blade spine doesn't touch the hone or strop - it's held off the surface of the hone by the mechanism.

I've found that the best approximation of this angle is reached by taping the spine of the blade with three layers of electrical tap carefully placed one over the other.

When using multiple layers of tape it is important to align each layer with the next to make sure they're all even. You then place the blade in the middle, and fold the tape over the blade.

[Image: IMG_20120708_132516.jpg]

One of the big issues with honing Rolls Blades on your own hones is that the blade has no easy handle (like a straight has), so flipping the blade is a problem. To obviate this, I like to use an overhang on one side - and I also stick a Q-tip in the hole on the side of the blade.

[Image: IMG_20120708_132713.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20120708_132615.jpg]

I then proceed to hone my razor.

Razor honing (straight razor honing) is something that's simple and complicated at the same time, and it's better described elsewhere (look up coticule.be for some of the best videos and instructions). I'll just mention that I use a DMT1500 to set the bevel and remove any pits at the edge, and then I hone on a coticule. I have other hones, but this is the sequence I like the best. I start with a thick slurry, and then once the scratches from the DMT 1500 are removed, I proceed to dilute the slurry in steps, finishing off on pure water.....at which point the blade should pass my sharpness tests (which it did).

ADVICE: If you don't know how to hone straight razors, you should send out your blade to be honed by a pro. If you really want to get started on honing, your best option is to get some lapping film (all the way up to 0.3 micron) - look up lapping film honing on any of the forums.

Once the blade is honed, you're mostly done. You need to slip the safety bar back on the blade. Place the blade back on the stropping mechanism (look up the instructions in Part 2), and then assemble your razor and shave.

[Image: IMG_20120708_133044.jpg]


Next up: Tips and tricks for maintaining your blade edge, honing, stropping, and other stuff.

37 1,731
 07-08-2012, 08:46 PM
User Info
I've really been enjoying this series so far Yohann. Thank you for sharing Biggrin

3 3,439
 07-13-2012, 08:25 PM
User Info
Any tips on possible places to send a Roll's blade off for honing?

31 7,892
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)