Super Moderator
I recently had a couple of vintage safety razors re-plated by Chris at RazorPlate.com and he very kindly gave me some tips on both the correct use and maintenance of  vintage safety razors.  Chris is a true gentleman and a very knowledgeable and dedicated craftsman who is doing great work in restoring vintage razors - he is an absolute pleasure to work with.  I thought I'd share his vintage razor maintenance advice with the DFS membership.  I had a 1951 Aristocrat and a 1958 Fatboy replated by Chris in gold and black rhodium respectively.  I had not known about the correct operation of blade tensioning on the Fatboy and Chis was happy to share his knowledge in this regard respecting both razors.  I have done a cut and paste from one of our email chains and these are Chris' words:

The Aristocrat does NOT have the "final quarter turn".  It does not have the "tensioning spring" in the TTO knob.  It is a fixed-position razor.  The TTO's sole purpose is to open and close the doors.  Snug the TTO, but going overly tight with it serves no purpose, if the doors are already closed tightly.  Just open the doors- install a blade - twist the TTO knob to close the doors - turn the TTO until you are sure that it is not going to loosen while shaving.  It is really that simple!

The adjustable Gillette razors are an entirely different mechanical design.  The Fatty and Slim have a floating adjustment plate, that goes up and down through cut-outs in the base plate.  It has four tabs that come-up through the base plate.  The blade rests on these four tabs of the adjustment plate.  Basically, the adjustment plate follows the movement of the adjustment dial.  Both of these models of razors have a spring in the TTO knob.  The "final quarter turn" compresses the spring and locks the "moving parts" together, thus tensioning the blade and preventing any floating of the blade or adjustment plate.  Shaving with a Fatty or Slim, without locking things in-place with the "final quarter turn" is not a pleasant experience.  Lock it down tight and you will be rewarded with a smooth, gentle and efficient shave.

Finally - and I can't stress this enough - a few words regarding how to keep your newly plated razors looking like they do now - for many years to come.

1) Keep them clean as you go along.  Never let the finish get cloudy with soap film.  Soap film retains moisture.  Moisture held against plating will do bad things over time.  After each use, remove the blade - wash the razor between your hands using dishwashing liquid - use the soapy pads of your fingers to rub the plating finish - rinse thoroughly under running water.  You can gently use a soft-bristle toothbrush if needed.

2) DRY the razor after cleaning and rinsing.  Letting water "air dry" will leave behind water spots.  Water spots contain mineral deposits.  Mineral deposits slowly build and become very hard to remove - BECAUSE - the mineral deposits are harder than the plating.  Anything that can remove set-in mineral deposits can easily remove plating right along with the mineral deposits,

3) Pat-dry your blade with a towel.  Do not wipe it as this can dull the blade - or a slip, can give you a nasty cut.  Pat-dry with a towel and set the blade aside in a safe place - or - put it back in your cleaned, rinsed and dried razor.  You will now be ready-to-roll for the razor's next use.

4) I know this sounds anal and OC - but the truth of that matter is that, if you follow this advice, your razors will stay beautiful for decades.  Once you get used to the routine, it does not take any more than 30 seconds to do it.  It is well worth it, to protect your expensive plating investment and to keep your razor looking like the envy of others!

5) Do not use polish on a 24K gold or black rhodium razor.  Polish will remove 24K gold.  It will strip it right off of the razor.  Not good!  Rhodium is a durable, hard plating metal - BUT - the black component is an additive that plating solution manufacturers add to "regular: rhodium in order to make it plate dark.  Overzealous polishing can wear away the darkness and leave one with a "regular rhodium finish.

6) Remember - that cleanliness and TLC are the essential ingredients to ensure the continued beauty of your razor for years and years to come!


preidy, Mickey Oberman, hrfdez and 10 others like this post

Toronto, Ont. Canada
Thank you Marko and Chris.

Invaluable advice for a user of old single edge razors.

Matsilainen likes this post

Austin, TX
Nice recommendations - thanks for sharing Marko !

Mickey Oberman and wyze0ne like this post

Pics or it didn't happen! Tongue

kwsher and Mickey Oberman like this post
- Jeff

Super Moderator
(04-26-2016, 07:25 PM)wyze0ne Wrote: Pics or it didn't happen! Tongue

Go to the foot of this thread for pictures that Chris took before he sent the razors out to me:


Super Moderator
Not quite to the end of the thread - I reposted the before pictures and the in-process pictures at the end of the thread, the after pictures are of (obviously) the really shiny razors Smile

Oh yeah Marko, I remember seeing those. How did I not thumbs up that post before? That Fatboy looks especially badass! Very nice.
- Jeff

Super Moderator
(04-27-2016, 04:22 AM)wyze0ne Wrote: Oh yeah Marko, I remember seeing those. How did I not thumbs up that post before? That Fatboy looks especially badass! Very nice.

Thanks Jeff, Chris really did a great job on both the razors - the black rhodium on the Fatboy is really cool, not OEM but thats ok, there are plenty of historically accurate Fatties out there that this one being inaccurate doesn't concern me. They are both very nice shavers. I avoid using blades that have the waxy substance on them in these razors as it makes it harder to clean the razor. Its a bit annoying because some of my favourite blades have that substance on them.

Matsilainen, wyze0ne and kwsher like this post
Good tips, I give mine a quick scrub with a soft toothbrush and pat dry, but that's about it...I wonder how many people will reliably do all those steps after every shave. Not disagreeing that the advice is spot on but I think I'm too lazy to add more steps. But then again I don't have any replated razors yet Wink
Good advise shared here thanks for posting

Marko likes this post

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