Reborn in horn
I thought that I would share with you how I repaired a lovely Dorko razor. As you know, Dorko have an amazing reputation. So when I found this damaged razor, I knew that it would respond to restoration, and more than repay any attention given to it.
An initial examination revealed that the lovely scales were damaged and would need replacing. The inlays on the blade tangs were also damaged and that the replacements would have to match the dimensions of the originals precisely. What a pity, it must have been lovely at one time. The blade was also stained from water damage and the edge had a couple of chips too.
All in all, the once lovely Dorko presented an enjoyable restoration project. The inlayed tangs would be a technical challenge which I always enjoy.
The first stage was to clean up the blade. Some light sanding revealed that the water staining hadn't caused deep corrosion to the blade. It was evidently a beautiful blade, well made by a craftsman, evenly and finely ground.
The next stage involved the removal of the scales, which enabled access to the tangs, with their damaged inlays. Next, off came the inlays and the pins were drilled out, all traces of the glue used to fix the inlays were removed.
I was then faced with the question of what material to use to make replacement inlays and scales. After playing with some jade coloured G10, I decided to use buffalo horn, hoping that this would add some warmth and depth to the razor.
The inlays would have to be 1.6mm - most horn blanks are very thick. It would be a dusty and time consuming job to form a piece thin enough for cutting out.
Drilling out and marking the inlays.
Fixing the inlays before final shaping allows the inlays to be formed precisely to match, without standing proud of the razor's steel tang.
I always make the scales freehand and follow my instincts with regard to size, shape, thickness and taper.
I like to use recycled white plastic for spacers with buffalo horn. I find the contrast of colour always attractive. I chose some acrylic and tapered it. Tapering a spacer is, sadly a dying art, but it adds a lovely curve to the scales. It's a shame that so few razors manufactured today have scales with a tapered spacer.
Scales, meet spacer. Spacer, meet scales...and a pencil.
At this point, the blade still has one of the chips in the edge. This would be sorted after the final polish as part of honing.
I must say, I was pleased with the feel of the blade in its new horn inlays. I finished off by sanding the oversize pins flush to the horn of the inlays.
Here, still working on the inlays, I am sanding down the pins to size so that they sit flush with the horn.
The next stage was pinning the blade to the scales and spacer. As you know, I pin using the traditional pin and washer technique. This allows me to adjust finely the tension of the blade but also the direction of the blade's arc of travel.
The razor was honed on my favourite natural hone, stropped on linen then English bridle leather.
The lovely Dorko became razor once more. Reborn in horn.
Here's another view.
The razor is available in my shop too!