Key to maintenance is to keep them dry when not in use and strop prior to use (same as with any straight razor). I must also say please do keep them in a place where they can cause no unnecessary harm as they are very tactile and little hands might want to play with them – you only need to touch the blade to cut hence please be very careful with the storage and use.
In terms of maintaining the edge, regular stropping will keep the blade good for months, dependent of course on how sensitive your skin is. When the edge begins to dull you will feel it in the shave i.e. it will pull and tug as opposed to slice, and your eyes may well water as a consequence. When this happens you have 1 of 2 choices, the first being send it back to me (or someone else) and for a small fee I will restore it back to hanging hair sharp. The second, and most cost-effective, is perform this for yourself with the use of a chromium oxide impregnated balsa strop. These cost a total of about £10 and do help brighten a dull edge. I repeat, try this first as this might be all it needs. When I need to perform this I do about 30 strokes, as I would on a leather strop, then strop as usual on leather. If this doesn't work, it will most probably need honing on either an 8k or 12k+ whetstone (or both) which you could either purchase yourself or, save yourself the £100+ this costs, and send back to me for re-sharpening.
This is how I look after mine:
Before every shave I strop, repeating 25 strokes on each side. After every shave I thoroughly dry the razor, strop 10 times on canvas and then put away. Usually every month I will perform 15 strokes on a chromium oxide impregnated balsa strop just to bring the edge back to life...it's that easy.
If you store the razor for any period greater than 1 month I reccomend that you apply a tiny slither of oil first in order to avoid rust. This is especially important if you have a kamisori with any kind of handle as these generally either soak up fluid or it is hidden 'down the handle'.
Quite simply, a balsa strop is a piece of balsa wood impregnated with Chromium Oxide (green paste. powder or compound [I use Veritas chromium oxide honing compound]). They cost around £5 or £6 to make and last a long time before you have to re-apply the compound. A good size lump of compound (size of a snickers bar) will last you about 4 lifetimes (and it can be used as a very strong metal polish). How you make one is as follows:
Heat the compound over a cooker ring (not too close and only for about 15 seconds) and then rub gently on the balsa wood until you achieve a smooth even layer over the wood. This may take a total of 30 minutes but is worth the effort. I keep a very thin layer on mine as opposed to 'over-charging' it as do not want it to resemble a carpet.
If you have any questions though please do get in touch and I will be happy to help.
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