So Can You Sharpen Disposable Razors?
I recently learned that you can actually extend the life of disposable razors. Basically it’s kind of like those leather strops that were once commonly seen in cartoons. (At least that’s the only place I’ve ever seen them in use.) For disposable razors, denim works better than leather by removing whiskers and hard water deposits caught between the blades and honing the cutting edges.
So I decided to make this snazzy walnut and maple box for my new sharpening system. Even if you have no interest in sharpening razors, I want to show you how I make boxes like this with perfectly fitting lids. It’s a great technique I’ve used for years for boxes of any size or shape.
Rout the sides all at once
First I cut one strip of wood that will be enough for all four sides when cut apart. It’s really helpful to make extras for running tests.
Next, rout a shallow rabbet on two edges of the strip. These will form ledges that the top and bottom panels will drop into. Then rout out a groove. This is where the lid will separate from the base. All of these cuts will be on the inside of the box.
Now you can separate the four sides. I used my miter sled to get perfect miter joints, but you can also use a miter saw or miter gauge on your tablesaw if they produce accurate results.
I resawed and cut out the top and bottom panels.
Glue the box together
I used wood glue to assemble all four sides and the top and bottom panels at the same time, clamping them together with rubber bands. Important: Make sure you mark which side is the lid (the top) and which side is the bottom of the box!
To separate the lid from the base, adjust your router table fence so that an outside groove will overlap the inside groove you created earlier. Adjust the bit’s height so that it is a hair shallower than the first groove. If you cut too deep here, the lid will fit too loose. Run a test piece so you can make these adjustments before cutting into your box.
When the two halves are separated they will nest into each other. (The lid is on the right.)
Separate the lid from the box
When you are confident with your setup, rout out three sides of the box, keeping the top, or lid side facing toward you.
Before cutting out the fourth side, tape the box together so that it won’t bind into the router bit or fly away if the two halves separate.
My box was still held together with a paper thin connection of wood. I separated the halves using a knife.
To complete the box, I routed a tiny chamfer around the lid. This creates a little groove between the two halves and makes the box a little easier to pull apart.
For the “sharpening stone” I wrapped a piece of scrap denim around a block of plywood and stapled it into place.
How to sharpen your razors
To use the sharpener, simple stroke the blades away from you, over the denim a few times. (Opposite of the direction you shave.) It seems to work best to use it right before you shave, rather than after, when the blades are wet.