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Back in the shop. Catching up.

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Handmade Wedding band by shavesmith
Blond ox horn damascus custom straight razor.

A great week away celebrating my sister’s wedding, and now I’m back in the shop.

A little glimpse into the production of the gold wedding band that I crafted for her husband, with lots of firescale. Looked much more like 14K gold after some polishing and a bath in jeweler’s pickle.

Also, one of the unposted custom blades I finished in somewhat recent time.  Damascus, ox, and a hefty beard chopper.

Catching up on emails today, and working my way back into the craft (back to the grind, literally, and happy for it).


Good steel heading home

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These last months have found me more at the workbench than the computer, and as a result, I’ve been catching up with my queue of custom straight razors. It’s been a good feeling getting blades that I’ve designed with folks home after a long wait.

I try to make each blade a little better than the last, with notes of growth as I go on this lifelong journey as a craftsman.

I’m grinding good steel every day, and glad to hear from the fine folks who are shaving with my steel, or waiting for theirs to arrive.


A brief Trip , Kitchen Knife with African Blackwood

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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

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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

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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

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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.