Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Making the Blade Safety Jig

Here is a simplified version of how to make the "new and improved" version of the blade safety jig that Kerry Jones shared with me. There really isn't a whole lot to it and the materials photo should enable you to figure everything out. If not, then maybe razor restoration may not be something you should be messing around with... know what I'm sayin' there, three fingers?

The wood base can be just about any type of wood. Since you will be putting a piece of thin metal over it, wood hardness is not an issue. Instead of a popsicle stick, you could use any similar stick that is commonly found in any craft store. Or cut your own. Just be sure it is not thicker than the width of your razors because the extra height gets in the way.

I use T-88 epoxy for most of my needs when it comes to holding things together. To me, it's the best adhesive ever made. With that said, go ahead and ignore the wisdom and use your own dang glue to hold the steel sheet that you have cut slightly over sized to the block of 3/4 inch thick wood. Of course, that's after you have drilled three holes that are approximately 1 inch apart on a straight line 1 inch in from the edge of the wood. Make sure it's the left edge... (that's a joke, son, I say, that's a joke.) In place of the metal sheet, you could try some Formica, but still cut it a tad bigger than the wood. Contact cement works just fine for this. Works for the metal sheet too, come to think of it. It would be faster than the T-88 thing if that is an issue.

After the metal sheet isn't going anywhere, go ahead and use a file to take the edges down to the wood. That's really old school, but it works. Otherwise, use a belt sander to make quick work of it. Once it's done, run some pilot holes for some 3/4 inch brass brads to hold the popsicle stick down. Also glue it. Any of the aforementioned gluing procedures will suffice. It will look something like this when you are done. If you are intending to fasten the jig to a workbench, drill some holes for (2) #6 screws and countersink them.

This last pic shows how the razor is placed on the jig to keep the cutting edge down on the surface of the metal and help prevent damage or injury to you while you work on it. Extreme caution must still be your foremost concern. This jig will only help you keep your fingers... but it doen't guarantee it.

For those of you who still don't want to make your own, I should have some ready in the next day or two. You can go here to get them.



Anonymous Daniel said...

just wanted to say how happy I am that you started writing again about your work.
Thanks for doing this.

4:02 PM  
Blogger David said...

Great idea! I mount a 25 pound pull magnet under my motorcycle to trip traffic light signals and had a spare one which works well for this application. I am used to using a rectangle of leather as a platform when working with razors, so I covered the work area in leather rather than using bare metal. Works like a charm. Thanks for the tip!

11:13 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

For those of you going with a magnetic jig, you should invest in a little tool demagnetizer. You don't want your blade to stay magnetized, especially for honing.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Your info is helpful if you are using DMT metal hones. I haven't seen it to be much of a problem with the regular stones though.

That being said, you can never have enough tools. eBay has the small electronic demagnetizers for less than $10 as I remember. I use one of those myself.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

So does the Popsicle stick rail go over the magnets or just right up to them? I assume those magnets will magnetize the whole metal surface.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

@ Chris...
Put a blade on the surface and let it kind of go to the natural point where it is most secure. Leaving it there, run the rail up snug against the back of the spine and mark it. Remove the blade, secure the rail, and you are in business.

The magnets will not magnetize the entire surface of any metal used to any degree that is worth mentioning. You will be relying on the position of the magnets that you drilled the holes for.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It is also a good idea to put a layer of tape over the jig, or the whole jig into a plastic bag, which may be removed before the finer grits of polish. Otherwise there can be some grit transferred to ruin or make less than perfect the later polish.

6:03 PM  

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