The “straight razor challenge” took on a bit of a life of its own, and has finally concluded.
Fans of the Forge kindly agreed to moderate the contest, which was a difficult thing because there were no rules other than “make straight razor.” They really did a good job, though, and pulled in Albert Edmonds from Seattle Edge Sharpening to offer opinion as an expert on straight razors. I also like their production values:
When we decided to do this, Mike Poor posted about it in a couple of places, which attracted two other entries including one from Steve Schwartzer. That’s sort of like arranging a pickup game of basketball at the local parking lot, and having Michael Jordan show up; Schwartzer is a Master Bladesmith (MBS – basically a PhD member of the teaching faculty of knifemakers) who can put together a blade like nobody’s business. None of this stuff is “effortless” but someone at Schwartzer’s level is able to work much more efficiently and effectively than an advanced amateur even if they have similar gear; knowing what works is important. Make sure you take a good look at the metal in the blade that Schwartzer did – the last time I saw something like that it was the inside of my eyelids while I was tripping on oxycodone and pain endorphins during the “kidney stone incident.”
This was a great deal of fun and a heck of a project.
I was interested in the different grinds and layouts that we all used.
The plan was to “pay homage” to the winner, which seems like a pretty good way of doing it. I decided to design a T-shirt and had a small number made in a variety of sizes. Because I wanted to make them useful, I made them black so that I could wear them in the shop and wipe my hands on them. Which gave me the idea for the design.
The badger head logo I use is by Andreas Avester, and I sent them one of the shirts as soon as the box arrived. It’s modeled here: [Andreas]