L. Kern en Zoom, Amsterdam razor restoration.
My grandmother used to sing a song about bringing tulips from Amsterdam. You may not know the song, but bear with me. I’m going to sing as well, not about tulips, lovely as they are, but sing the praises of this sensational razor from Amsterdam.
I have worked on about 3 Dutch razors. This one is, by far the most striking and attractive. Plus, it shaves tremendously and effortlessly too.
The razor, I would suggest, seems to date from the 1920s. It showed the usual signs of neglect, in the usual places too. The razor’s tang and the spine showed the corrosive effects of being stored damp. The photographs below are all workshop not Photoshop, so please excuse them if they're not optimal.
However, the ivory scales, the shape of the blade with its stylish shoulder-less blade, barber’s notch, gave this razor some swagger. This razor had character; it was made by a craftsman too. It is beautifully ground.
The rust was soon removed to show the scars; these were removed to show fresh steel.
The razor soon lay on my workbench with its component parts, ready to be re-pinned.
Whilst a lot has changed since this razor was first assembled, some things remain the same. The way I pin razors, for example, is precisely the way it was done then; it’s the only way to do it and ensure that an equal and correct amount of tension is built up in the pin around the razor blade’s pivot; this way ensures that the razor doesn’t strike the scales.
Those are tools hanging on my workshop wall, by the way!
The way I pin razors, for example, is precisely the way it was done then; it’s the only way to do it and ensure that an equal and correct amount of tension is built up in the pin around the razor blade’s pivot; this way ensures that the razor doesn’t strike the scales.
Honing on a vintage Belgian coticule was followed by stropping on linen and Cordovan Shell.
The shave was delightful, the blade is beautifully balanced and a wonderful testament to the Dutch razor manufacturers I knew so little about.
Perhaps this video will illustrate the razor’s fine lines, if you can ignore my skills as a Director, cameraman and tea-maker.