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Discussion Starter #1
1.
I cleaned up my battered kindle-splitting hatchet passed down from my grandfather and got a bit of a surprise - it is marked:

. US
PLUMB 1942


(Last digit could be wrong, it’s heavily worn)
After looking around the net it turns out it’s a 1910 pattern Plumb, used in both wars and probably his own service issue or liberated from a Jeep/GPW toolkit. It could have been surplus but he came direct from Far East to UK.

Anyway, the wood is shot, so I’m going to haft it with a nice piece of hickory and leave the patina on the metal rather than polish it to a shine. It’s been a really enjoyable diversion so far.

2.
That got me thinking about another family item. My great grandfathers WW1 era cut-throat razor. People are collecting these too, even fairly ordinary ones such as this Cadman Bengal and German Solingen 5/8.

3.
My own razor is a Japanese Feather safety razor. It’s a thing of beauty but the blades aren’t notoriously sharp so if I’m in a hurry I fall back on a multi blade plastic fantastic that is more forgiving of carelessness :)
 

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Go Wild and grow a beard ....use the straight razors to cut all your neckties into confetti and cut the tassels off you loafers.

 

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BB, I returned to a safety razor (Merkur) and a badger brush fifteen years ago, started out on one when I first started shaving in 1972. Thirty bucks for 100 blades now, that will last me 2 1/2 years and gets me a shave that’s as good as any can be had, excepting a straight razor. Beats five plastic encrusted, quadruple -bladed things that cost 20 bucks, last a month at best, and cut no better.

I tried using a straight razor, out of thriftiness, briefly, and though I never donated much blood, could not get fast enough for my morning shave, went to a safety razor and never looked back. I did try a Feather, in fact it still sits in my junk drawer, a work of art that did not cut very well. I would gladly pass that expensive piece of excrement on, free of charge. I also tried a few classic adjustable Gillette, found a simple, fixed German razor does all I need.

In the US, there is a site called Badger& Blade, for all types of wet shaving. It is all right, but lots of hipster douchebags, the kind that need 20 razors, 20 brushes, an army of pre-shave oils, aftershaves, colognes, moisturizers, skin toners, man make-up. You get my drift. Men of my fathers generation (WW2) or my grandfather(WW1) used to kick those kinds of boys asses, and knew they were doing the world a favor for having done so. I can’t abide those dandies, sorry.
 

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I was conflating the two and just knew you were going to say you sharpened up the axe and shaved with it.
 
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I learned to Strop a razor back in 1959 0r 1960. My stepfather used one. He used that Razor Strop in a far different way than what it was made for. Could not walk right for a few days or sit down in class at school. My 5th grade teacher took me into the boys room and was shocked by the welps.

At 17 years old I used one to knock down the 5 or 6 hairs on my chin. I had a blond mustache but no beard.
It was a 1919 Red Point Solingen steel that was very ornate. I have around 6 straight razors here somewhere, most are over 100 years old.

BlueBottle, in WW1 and WW2 the Infantry was issued a hatchet and also trained to use it in battle. To this day in combat a US soldier is allowed to carry a 'Tomahawk' but it is not issued. The Estwing one is a favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had to start shaving young, I needed a second shave for the evening by the time I was 16 - or I could leave it as a my ticket into pubs :). Drinking age here is 18 but I was never challenged.

My father carried an axe in the way that US army medics did, he was an airforce fireman.

The secret with a Feather razor is that they cut at a steeper angle than normal, with the handle away from the face, but different razors suit different faces.
 

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I just beat the whiskers with a hammer and bite em off from the inside.
 

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Perhaps you could find a replacement handle for your plump hatchet on line or an ACE hardware store. That and the razor are very nice heirlooms.

Hatchets are very useful tool for those that spend a lot of time in the woods, small size that can bare down with a lot of useful inertia.

I had an old one I used for wood spiting; its small size tucked away easily within arms length against the spliter to finish up those stringy elm trees...

...ended up painting the handle orange so it would stand out against all the spliter trash.

Ugly but effective.
 

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I learned to Strop a razor back in 1959 0r 1960. My stepfather used one. He used that Razor Strop in a far different way than what it was made for. Could not walk right for a few days or sit down in class at school. My 5th grade teacher took me into the boys room and was shocked by the welps.

At 17 years old I used one to knock down the 5 or 6 hairs on my chin. I had a blond mustache but no beard.
It was a 1919 Red Point Solingen steel that was very ornate. I have around 6 straight razors here somewhere, most are over 100 years old.

BlueBottle, in WW1 and WW2 the Infantry was issued a hatchet and also trained to use it in battle. To this day in combat a US soldier is allowed to carry a 'Tomahawk' but it is not issued. The Estwing one is a favorite.
One of my grandfathers was a barber, I felt his old razor strop on my butt many times. My mom would start popping/snapping it, I’d head for the bathroom and lock the door. But I always had to leave eventually. I earned - and deserved - every one of those lickings. Ouch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks 808
We don’t have Ace over here but I get what you mean.

Because of the heirloom factor I’ve bought a nice piece of hickory that I can shape down to that old fashioned slim fawn foot profile.

I’ll flame over the grain slightly to make it stand out and do a beeswax/linseed oil finish.
My grandfather was very skilled with wood so it feels like a nice connection to spend some time on it
 

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Just seen this topic, after going into the garage I confirmed that my main hand axe is a "Plumb made in USA" it has its leather riveted blade cover, however, there is no date to be found. The second kindling axe is a lighter "Bahco" item.
No cut throat razor but sometimes my stomach feels like my throat has been cut...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
While I was looking around I learned Plumb the ones that are “1910” like mine, but we’re used in WW1 just have “US”, WW2 ones have the date added.

I’ve shaped and fitted a new, slender hickory handle, just need to put a new edge on it. It’s taking a long time so I think it is still well hardened :)

I’ll need a new cover but I don’t have the leather skills my grandfather had. There are replica WW2 webbing covers but I’d rather have leather.

I have a lighter modern one too, but I’m demoting once this one is finished.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The cut-throat razor still takes an edge - but I’m too scared to use it.

I remember back in metallurgy class learning how blades go blunt over time by absorbing metal from their edge. Great grandads‘s razor must have been put away pretty sharp.
 
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