Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Damascus Razor – Start to Finish – Part Two


This will give you an idea how much area the wire inlay covers. The practice plates have outlines on them in the shape of my humpback style straight razors. The middle design has only been cut in the shape of a square channel. I colored in the design with magic marker so I could see where I left off during the cuts.



After gaining a bit of confidence with my ability to actually put in some wire inlay on the razor itself, I set up some thermo-loc from GRS tools to prevent damage to the blade while I worked on it. I love this stuff. Remember, ask for Linda if you want stuff from them. Actually, in the process of adding a link to their site for you, I just discovered that they now offer on-line purchasing, so calling them isn’t really necessary unless you have questions. I hate it now that they are offering on-line buying… only ‘cause now I’m going to go broke when I see all the neat stuff they have to offer.

Anyway, here is the blade clamped within the thermo-loc and in my ball vise. I applied a purple-ish dye to the surface so it was easier to see what is scratched into the surface. Within the four equally measured sections, I drew in the design I wanted… freehand.

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Next, it’s time to start cutting with a #37 flat graver. That looks like this:

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This next pic shows the dye sanded off. The residue from that sanding process filled the area that was engraved. I only left it in place so you could distinguish the outlines better. If you look closely on the spine, you can see the divisions of the steel of the damascus pattern in the shape of half circles.


Once the pattern is cut to the proper depth and all of the edges are undercut, I used my engraving system to pound the 24K gold wire into the channel. That produced this:


Once the gold is pounded in place, I cut it flush using a wider flat graver than the one I used to dig the channel. Then I sanded it flush and outlined the gold with a “V” border. I cut the border in the steel rather than the gold so that the gold didn’t lose any width in appearance.

It is a difficult process in that the steel is much harder to cut than the gold and the graver tip could easily drift off into the softer material. Also, it’s very important to be accurate with the cuts because the slightest variation off of the true outline would easily be noticed. Especially since the wire is so thin. If you look closely, you can see the two small legs that had not been cut prior to taking the picture.


I put a bit of gun bluing on the spine for the next picture to highlight the effect of the pattern in gold.


This next pic will give you an idea of the relative size of the work done on the spine. It’s a pretty intricate process, yet very rewarding when it comes out OK.








Blogger Wylie said...

That is some crazy-good work Bill, can't wait to see the finished razor. Only wish I had skills like that...maybe one day.

8:48 PM  

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