Hand Tools

Subject:
Things that can be out of date, too
Response To:
Everybody makes mistakes ()

david weaver
There are nice discussions in Holtzapffel's texts about setting razors, too, but the razor discussion is archaic because better quality razors were made after the two editions that I've seen. Probably the golden era for european razors was the early 1900s to about 1950 or so (mostly solingen - french razors were made in droves, but they tend to be a bit sloppy in their finish, and the English also made razors, but they are less consistent and also not as skillfully finished and ground).

The best razors ever made (most consistent and absolutely the best, including the edge they take under a microscope) were made by a few japanese finishers in the 1960s and 1970s or so. Incremental improvement is the reason for that, and a supply of specialty steel in japan that is better than vintage steel (it is easily as good as the finest vintage steel ever made, but every single piece of it is superb without variation). Tanifuji Fukutaro is a finisher who comes to mind (though there are others, I just find his razors a little more easily). His razors are harder than solingen razors but still sharpen well on anything, and they create a smaller foil, lose less of it to the linen and strop and have a smoother edge line (which you can actually feel as a better shave). Tanifuji's lifelong quest, which he probably succeeded in pretty early, was to make a razor that took and held a better edge than any german razor. He had the benefit, though, of having the bar set elsewhere so that he knew what he had to beat.

So, not every topic in a vintage text is covered better than one in modern, but the discussion of design and life in a piece, and not sanding the liveliness out of it is well covered in Hasluck's carving text, and there's quite a lot of interesting stuff in holtzapffel. I don't suspect anything in the last 200 years has improved discussion about planes or their use, either.

I also hate to say this, but finishing an already well finished razor with inexpensive chromium oxide pigment will result in a better edge that can be gotten from the most expensive of natural stones. Getting a metallurgical microscope and seeing when to use it and how much so that it's more consistent has really illustrated that to me. Plenty of shavers fall short of an edge that's ready for it, though. Holtzapffel talks of various things to finish hone a razor, and various items that are used by cutlers as they're finishing them in production, but none of them are as good as "Chrome ox" in its pure form of 1/2 or 3 tenths of a micron.

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Whelan planemaking book?
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Can't answer about the Whelan book
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Thanks (NM) *NM*
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Re: Whelan planemaking book? *LINK*
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Whelan planemaking book?
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Nice Article!
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Dimensioning: Question about roughing planes
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Do you profile your cap irons?
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Nicholson
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Fun with math
Where did the ball go?
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Focussing on the key point
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(Message Deleted by Poster)
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Re: Do you profile your cap irons?
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No worries *NM*
Reference: Peter Nicholson, 'The Mechanic's Compa
Peter Nicholson plate XII, pages 91 to 93 *NM*
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Re: Reference: paragraphs 3 and 4 *PIC*
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Errors or suboptimal statements in books
Everybody makes mistakes
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Things that can be out of date, too
Re: Dimensioning: Question about roughing planes
Re: Whelan planemaking book?
Re: What is the title
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Thanks Patrick *NM*
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