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A brief Trip , Kitchen Knife with African Blackwood

By | About ShaveSmith | No Comments

My new brother got married, and I’m happy to call his wife family.

Took a flight, train, and drive to reach central Pennsylvania, all while carrying a 14″ chef’s knife. I have this condition where after something is done, I look at it  periodically (and neurotically) to ensure it’s safe.

It’s a thicker blade than a Japanese chef’s knife, but thinner than a German chef’s knife. Made entirely from high carbon Hitachi blue #2, hand ground, hafted with African Blackwood and aluminum pins, grip is asymmetrical, with an excellent handshake. Cutting edge shaped with a subtle nod to an itallian herb cutter called a mezzaluna for a nice rocking motion.

Hitachi blue will age and tarnish, and over time this will build into a beautiful and unique patina that protects the steel. I’m sure we can pull out a metaphor for a good marriage from this.

I’m back in the shop, crafting, typing out emails, and my faithful assistant (border collie named Indie) is helping me catch up.


Customer Visited My Workshop, Picked Up His New Heirloom

By | In the workshop | No Comments
Customer visit
7/8ths, Wedge Grind, African Blackwood, Fine Silver  – Custom Straight Razor

A good friend and customer picked up his custom straight razor from my shop recently, and I snapped a quick photo of him holding it.

I was happy to hear that this business traveler is working close to my workshop for a few months, so we stayed in touch, and I was able touch up his edge as he started shaving with his new blade.

We chatted about razors, I told him about the nuances I loved within his blade, and talked about the good things in life.

It makes me really happy to get to know him, and know how his shaves are progressing, and see his collection grow.

A Hollow Ground Custom Straight Razor – 5/8 Damascus, Textured Carbon Fiber

By | In the workshop | No Comments
A hollow ground custom straight razor made by ShaveSmith
A hollow ground custom straight razor made by ShaveSmith

Hollow grinding  is a term used to signify the thickness of the blade. Some blades are better hollow ground than others, and very few damascus razors are made with this craft.

I modeled the grind off a historical piece from my personal collection that I find to be one of the best hollow ground razors makers, originating from Solingen, Germany.

The key note of this piece is how thin the leading edge is – thinner than aluminum foil. This gives a unique characteristic few razors made today have – a “singing” grind. This is where the razor sings on the strop, and gives feedback on the shave.

Texture scales with a purple hear wedge complement this unique blade.

Steel – Wood – Texture

By | In the workshop | No Comments

An experiment to add further texture to a piece.

I used the same texturing elements in the steel, as I did the ironwood handles.

No maker’s mark on this, at the customer’s request. I love unbranded things, letting the form do all the talking. Plus, I know my work when I see it.

An Old Customer, New Dad

By | In the workshop | No Comments

A long time customer became a proud new papa, and had a razor made with his little girls’ name on it.

I only knew the name for the engraving a few days after she was born, and I finished the piece, and sent it home.

We used purple heart and white recon stone for this piece, making it a nice reminder of his new life as a father.

The joy I get to share with my customers and their journeys gets put into my steel.

Blades Shipping Out Through the Holidays

By | In the workshop, Working | No Comments

Lots of blades getting the last touches before heading home. I’ll be working and shipping through the holidays, so if you have a question about an order, or want to chat about progress – drop me a line!

I’ll be at the workbench for most of the time crafting your blade, but will try and catch up on emails in the morning and evening.



Shaving With a Modern Artifact

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Straight razors have the unique ability to make you wonder “how old is this”.

Some blades that are 250 years old look like they were designed by a modern craftsmen. And blades like this, look as though they’ve been dug up in a archaeology find.

This is a great razor. Beastly 8/8 kamisori, and the only one available.