Help with Cleaning a Straigh-Razor

I found a straight-razor at the flea market the other day, so obviously I bought it. Now I'm wondering how I would go about cleaning and sharpening it? Does anyone know good metal cleaning tips for such a delicate blade? I know that you sharpen the blade before you intend to shave on a strop, or a piece of leather, but anything else? On the blade, it has: George Wostenholm & Son's Celebrated I-XL Razor Sheffield, England

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lemonie8 years ago
Sheffield was a major centre for steel, and even today people like Swann-Morton are still making top-quality blades. So I should think this is a good one.
Wostenholm pattern knives

And it's just down the road!
Yes it is, although it might take an hour to drive there. L
Goodhart8 years ago
The Strop does NOT sharpen the blade, it HONES the blade.....big difference.

It must be sharpened first with a set of stones at a VERY sharp angle (the blade laying nearly flat on the stone), starting with a hard stone and progressing down to a softer one for removing burr.

THEN you are ready to use the strop.
A good strop has a RUFF side (woven fabric) and a leather side. The leather side is for the final honing.

The old standby of practice, practice, practice before actually use on yourself or another, is essential. Shave a foamed up balloon, shave your Mom's fur coat (um, better not do that), but find a way to practice, and the methods of honing so you have it at it's sharpest (many nicks in the face are caused by a DULL blade catching on a thick hair, or pimple).
PS: A hard and soft set of Arkansas stones are great for the initial sharpening.
bumpus (author)  Goodhart8 years ago
Thanks Goodhart! Good idea with the balloon. :D
Goodhart bumpus8 years ago
Your welcome.....I can't use mine anymore, one cut and I bleed nearly forever *sigh*, even so called safety razors are a pain that way....
Kiteman8 years ago
KentsOkay8 years ago
Very cool, aren't these called cutthroat razors?