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Razor Grinders

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Razor Grinding is one of the first stages in the making of a Straight Razor or Cut-Throat Razor which is described at [1] The grinder begins with a blank of hardened steel which is rectangular in shape and has a tail sticking out from one of the long edges. It looks rather like a comb with a handle (see the above article). The blank is then ground down to give it a sharp edge, and the blade is then polished.

The razor will then be passed on so that a handle can be attached. These were usually of bone or horn.

Grinding would usually take place at a' Wheel', a log shed located next to a fast flowing stream or river.

The Wheels were divided in to long strips called Hulls. Each hull would contain a long bench on which was mounted a grinding Wheel. The grinder would sit astride the bench leaning over the grinding wheel in order to sharpen the razor.Grinders at work are depicted:

This was a dangerous occupation. Apart from injuries to hands the grinding wheels were prone to shattering. The dust from the process was the cause of Grinders' Asthma described here [2]

Adding the handles of bone or horn (scaling) was subject to Anthrax!

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