This week in our straight razor project, we are looking at the crafting of the blade. In this week’s post you can begin to see the shape of the blade, and although a long way from finishing, it’s great to see a bit of life and character being added.
With the tang formed, the bar is now cut into a suitable size. This could be done earlier in the process, but the Bladesmith finds forging easier with a longer piece of metal to hammer.
Here we see the creation of the ‘Point’ of the razor. There are many different ways the Bladesmith can fashion the toe, point and nose in the creation of this straight razor – Some familiar ones might be the French or Spanish point. As yet, we’re still undecided on which to use.
The blade is now heated to around 1100 celsius. For those following the posts on this project, you might have noticed that we started with a whopping 1400 degrees and we’re slowly getting cooler as we go. Basically, our Bladesmith has pointed out, that when he is creating the razor, and it gets to the more intricate parts, he needs it cooler, as this is better to refine the steels grain structure.
The raw hide mallet moves steel without putting any dents or hammer marks into the flat surface . In this video we see the straightening of the spine and tang. This is the final touch before special heat treatment in the heat treat oven.
The razor is placed in a heat treat oven, the temperature is raised to 660 Celsius. Held at this temp for 30 minutes then allowed to cool slowly inside the heat treatment oven to room temp. This slow cooling anneals the steel and creates a spherical grain structure, important for machining the steel before hardening and stopping the blade warping.
We’ve just received the next installment of videos and images from the Bladesmith, which have really excited us as they show the grinding of the blade (making it all shiny!). A lengthy and time consuming process, but ultimately the end results look stunning.