05-03-2012, 06:34 PM
#1
User Info
EverReady 1906 Lather Catcher

[Image: DSC03485.jpg]

Is there a SE razor user anywhere who doesn’t absolutely love the looks of a lather catcher? I for one find them the most interesting, intriguing, and desirable SE razors of them all.

Waits Safety Razor Compendium tells me that the EverReady 1906 was designed for a rib back blade. The pictures I see in Waits shows the rib back blade as being a significantly thicker blade than our SE blades of today. The first one of these razors I managed to acquire was quite ugly with corrosion, but it was the one real surprise in a lot of razors that I bought on ebay. I cleaned it up and tried it and it was promising enough to prompt me to look for a better razor of the same model.

Looking at the razor, the full lather catcher is obvious, and it has an open comb, which is one place your razor may have issues. Mine certainly did.

I finally found the razor I test here. It wasn’t perfect though. The razor is frail. My good condition razor had issues. The razor has spring loaded clips along the side that the blade passes under. These clips clearly should be free to move since they are spring loaded. One of my clips wasn’t moving. Another issue was the comb. A lot of the fingers of the comb were at different heights. Yet another issue, and the most pressing one, was that the blade would pass right through when attempting to load it.

Allow me to digress. Basically this razor is 19th century technology. That’s a good thing. These mechanisms are extremely easy to look at and figure out how they work and what is expected. None of the issues with this razor were difficult to fix. The razor is made of plated brass and brass bends easily. That was the cause of the problems and also the solution. Just bend things back into place. I love this technology! Just look things over, understand the way it works, and put things back into place.

Obviously, unless the razor can hold a blade there is no reason to work on anything else, so that was the first issue to tackle. One side would catch and stop the blade, the left side wouldn’t. Examining it showed the stop portion of the comb to bent down and out of alignment. The solution was to bend it back into place so that the blade hit the stop. Basically, I made the left side match the right side which was good.

Then I examined the side clamps and saw that the clearance on the offending one was lacking. It was pretty easy to figure out what needed to be bent to fix it and allow it to move. The other clamp had a bent hold down portion, again, easy to fix but I needed a smooth jaw long nose plier for that fix. I adjusted the other hold down for our modern thinner blade as well, again a simple bend of the part did the trick. That resolved the issues with the head as far as holding the blade went. You want the side clamps to hold the blade firmly down so that the blade contacts the stops. They are spring loaded, so as long as they put pressure on the blade you’re good to go. It isn’t rocket science.

The next issue I had to deal with was the comb. The teeth on the comb were at all different heights. I first chose the setting that the majority were at and adjusted the others to the majority by eye. It was frankly, extremely aggressive. I like aggressive razors, thought to myself, “What the heck!”, and tried it that way. OK, it was very aggressive, far too aggressive even for me. Think blade glued to a popsicle stick sort of aggressive. I like aggressive but this was far more aggressive than I wanted. So my brain cells kicked in and I remembered the ugly corroded razor that I had. Long story made short, I adjusted the comb on the better condition 1906 to the setting on the ugly one that I had already used. Issue resolved (as it turned out). All of it done by eye. Just sight down the length of the comb and the teeth that need adjustment will show themselves.

My point is that these are easy to work on. If you find a pretty one that needs adjustment either buy it for me, or buy it for yourself. If you drop this razor it might get out of alignment, but it’s easy to fix.

[Image: DSC03486-1.jpg]

The head is classical full lather catcher. You either like them or you hate them. I’m of the former as I suspect most SE razors users are. I love the looks of these heads. The handle on the EverReady is a tubular affair and extremely lightweight, short too. The razor with the lightweight tubular handle weighs 20 grams (scale is accurate to 5 grams), I didn’t weigh it with the extension. That handle is a diminutive 1 15/16" long and 1/16" shy of 3/8". It’s also quite smooth. It does have little bumps of it, but they are smooth as well. That weight makes this razor the lightest weight razor of any that I own and use. I like light weight razors, but that was even too light for me! And the feel of the handle left a great deal to be desired. I replaced the handle with a solid handle and I liked it much more with the replacement handle. Handles can be replaced easily since they screw in. It takes about 5 seconds to do if you have spare EverReady parts on hand. With the replacement handle the razor weighed a more reasonable 50 grams.

[Image: DSC03561.jpg]

The following measurements are with the replacement in place. At the widest part of the head it’s approx 1 3/4" wide. The widest part of the cutting head is at the base of the comb and is 1 11/16" wide. The handle I put on it is 2 3/8" long, and is perfect for me, but I understand others may have a problem with that. Again, put the handle of your choice on it. It’s requires a handle with the small thread. I have no idea what the actual thread is, but if you’ve tried to exchange handles on many EverReady razors no doubt you know what I mean. The entire razor from the blade clamp in the raised and locked position to the bottom of the handle is approx 3 9/16" long.

The razor also comes with a handle extension that I assume is used to hold a blade for stropping. I didn’t do that. Todays blades won’t fit in it correctly. So while I have it it’s useless except maybe for someone who likes a longer handle. Makes no difference to me though sinceI changed the handle to one that I like better.

So how does the razor shave? My first shave with it was when I had the comb misadjusted and it was far too aggressive. I also used the lightweight handle which I already discussed. After the adjustment to match the first (ugly) 1906 I own the shave was much better. It’s still aggressive, but not at all unreasonable. As I already explained, the teeth on the comb were misadjusted at first, but I adjusted them for a better shave. IMO that’s a strength of a razor made of brass. Sure, they can bend, but that means they can also be bent back into alignment. If one wanted to, I have no doubt that this razor could be turned into a real pussycat of a razor. The replacement handle worked out fine and I strongly suggest replacing the original lightweight tubular handle if one of these razors comes into your possession. I liked the weight concentrated in the handle.

This is one classy razor that I absolutely love the looks of and it’s a great shaver too! Even better, if you don’t like the way it shaves, make it more or less aggressive, just go slow, large adjustments will have you chasing your tail. The changes required are minute and subtle.

This is one very nice razor.

I know once I do this it won't be original anymore, but my intention is to send it out for replating to preserve it. My big decision is chrome, nickle, or rhodium?

Update: FWIW, the decision was made...nickle. It'll be back from the plater in a few days.

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 05-03-2012, 06:51 PM
#2
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
User Info
Great post. Thanks for taking the time to share with such wonderful detail.

47 1,381
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 05-03-2012, 07:05 PM
#3
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
User Info
I have several lather catchers but my favorite is my 1907 Ever Ready with a short wood handle. I get superb shaves from it.

2 11,211
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 12-27-2012, 06:52 PM
#4
User Info
(05-03-2012, 06:34 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: EverReady 1906 Lather Catcher

[Image: DSC03485.jpg]

Is there a SE razor user anywhere who doesn’t absolutely love the looks of a lather catcher? I for one find them the most interesting, intriguing, and desirable SE razors of them all.

Waits Safety Razor Compendium tells me that the EverReady 1906 was designed for a rib back blade. The pictures I see in Waits shows the rib back blade as being a significantly thicker blade than our SE blades of today. The first one of these razors I managed to acquire was quite ugly with corrosion, but it was the one real surprise in a lot of razors that I bought on ebay. I cleaned it up and tried it and it was promising enough to prompt me to look for a better razor of the same model.

Looking at the razor, the full lather catcher is obvious, and it has an open comb, which is one place your razor may have issues. Mine certainly did.

I finally found the razor I test here. It wasn’t perfect though. The razor is frail. My good condition razor had issues. The razor has spring loaded clips along the side that the blade passes under. These clips clearly should be free to move since they are spring loaded. One of my clips wasn’t moving. Another issue was the comb. A lot of the fingers of the comb were at different heights. Yet another issue, and the most pressing one, was that the blade would pass right through when attempting to load it.

Allow me to digress. Basically this razor is 19th century technology. That’s a good thing. These mechanisms are extremely easy to look at and figure out how they work and what is expected. None of the issues with this razor were difficult to fix. The razor is made of plated brass and brass bends easily. That was the cause of the problems and also the solution. Just bend things back into place. I love this technology! Just look things over, understand the way it works, and put things back into place.

Obviously, unless the razor can hold a blade there is no reason to work on anything else, so that was the first issue to tackle. One side would catch and stop the blade, the left side wouldn’t. Examining it showed the stop portion of the comb to bent down and out of alignment. The solution was to bend it back into place so that the blade hit the stop. Basically, I made the left side match the right side which was good.

Then I examined the side clamps and saw that the clearance on the offending one was lacking. It was pretty easy to figure out what needed to be bent to fix it and allow it to move. The other clamp had a bent hold down portion, again, easy to fix but I needed a smooth jaw long nose plier for that fix. I adjusted the other hold down for our modern thinner blade as well, again a simple bend of the part did the trick. That resolved the issues with the head as far as holding the blade went. You want the side clamps to hold the blade firmly down so that the blade contacts the stops. They are spring loaded, so as long as they put pressure on the blade you’re good to go. It isn’t rocket science.

The next issue I had to deal with was the comb. The teeth on the comb were at all different heights. I first chose the setting that the majority were at and adjusted the others to the majority by eye. It was frankly, extremely aggressive. I like aggressive razors, thought to myself, “What the heck!”, and tried it that way. OK, it was very aggressive, far too aggressive even for me. Think blade glued to a popsicle stick sort of aggressive. I like aggressive but this was far more aggressive than I wanted. So my brain cells kicked in and I remembered the ugly corroded razor that I had. Long story made short, I adjusted the comb on the better condition 1906 to the setting on the ugly one that I had already used. Issue resolved (as it turned out). All of it done by eye. Just sight down the length of the comb and the teeth that need adjustment will show themselves.

My point is that these are easy to work on. If you find a pretty one that needs adjustment either buy it for me, or buy it for yourself. If you drop this razor it might get out of alignment, but it’s easy to fix.

[Image: DSC03486-1.jpg]

The head is classical full lather catcher. You either like them or you hate them. I’m of the former as I suspect most SE razors users are. I love the looks of these heads. The handle on the EverReady is a tubular affair and extremely lightweight, short too. The razor with the lightweight tubular handle weighs 20 grams (scale is accurate to 5 grams), I didn’t weigh it with the extension. That handle is a diminutive 1 15/16" long and 1/16" shy of 3/8". It’s also quite smooth. It does have little bumps of it, but they are smooth as well. That weight makes this razor the lightest weight razor of any that I own and use. I like light weight razors, but that was even too light for me! And the feel of the handle left a great deal to be desired. I replaced the handle with a solid handle and I liked it much more with the replacement handle. Handles can be replaced easily since they screw in. It takes about 5 seconds to do if you have spare EverReady parts on hand. With the replacement handle the razor weighed a more reasonable 50 grams.

[Image: DSC03561.jpg]

The following measurements are with the replacement in place. At the widest part of the head it’s approx 1 3/4" wide. The widest part of the cutting head is at the base of the comb and is 1 11/16" wide. The handle I put on it is 2 3/8" long, and is perfect for me, but I understand others may have a problem with that. Again, put the handle of your choice on it. It’s requires a handle with the small thread. I have no idea what the actual thread is, but if you’ve tried to exchange handles on many EverReady razors no doubt you know what I mean. The entire razor from the blade clamp in the raised and locked position to the bottom of the handle is approx 3 9/16" long.

The razor also comes with a handle extension that I assume is used to hold a blade for stropping. I didn’t do that. Todays blades won’t fit in it correctly. So while I have it it’s useless except maybe for someone who likes a longer handle. Makes no difference to me though sinceI changed the handle to one that I like better.

So how does the razor shave? My first shave with it was when I had the comb misadjusted and it was far too aggressive. I also used the lightweight handle which I already discussed. After the adjustment to match the first (ugly) 1906 I own the shave was much better. It’s still aggressive, but not at all unreasonable. As I already explained, the teeth on the comb were misadjusted at first, but I adjusted them for a better shave. IMO that’s a strength of a razor made of brass. Sure, they can bend, but that means they can also be bent back into alignment. If one wanted to, I have no doubt that this razor could be turned into a real pussycat of a razor. The replacement handle worked out fine and I strongly suggest replacing the original lightweight tubular handle if one of these razors comes into your possession. I liked the weight concentrated in the handle.

This is one classy razor that I absolutely love the looks of and it’s a great shaver too! Even better, if you don’t like the way it shaves, make it more or less aggressive, just go slow, large adjustments will have you chasing your tail. The changes required are minute and subtle.

This is one very nice razor.

I know once I do this it won't be original anymore, but my intention is to send it out for replating to preserve it. My big decision is chrome, nickle, or rhodium?

Update: FWIW, the decision was made...nickle. It'll be back from the plater in a few days.

I agree with you completely. I love the look of the lather catchers. For a while, I used an Eveready like yours. However, it has a black wood handle, and every time I rinsed it, the black would bleed. So, I stopped using it.

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 12-27-2012, 07:41 PM
#5
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Brian, I felt like I was there with you with your adjustments. Glad you are enjoying the lather catchers.

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 12-27-2012, 09:21 PM
#6
User Info
fmlondon, You can replace the handles. Sure it won't be original, but you can keep the old handle for originality. Plus, I'm working on having some wooden handles made. The key is the threaded stock. It's some esoteric thread. Once the threaded stock is located anyone with a wood lathe can make a handle. If I'm successful I'll post in this forum.

Here's what the '06 looks like today gents. Ready for another 100 years of service.

It's on the right.
[Image: DSC03640smaller.jpg]
[Image: DSC03643smaller.jpg]

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 12-27-2012, 09:24 PM
#7
User Info
That was a great read, i have been tempted to pick one of these up on ebay...it was great to find out so much about it.

5 135
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 12-27-2012, 09:59 PM
#8
User Info
FWIW, the '05 and '07 shave just as good as the '06. But you'll need a book such as Waits Safety Razor Compendium (an e-book [still $15?], just google it) to differentiate between them.

The Superior Lather Catchers also shave outstandingly. There are others, I just don't have them.

Just beware of LCs that use wedge blades exclusively. You need the knowledge to maintain one of those. Got that knowledge? You should be OK. I'm not that good... yet.

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 12-28-2012, 09:32 PM
#9
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How many different head configurations did Gem and Eveready have from 1898 until 1912 and 1914? I have seen so many different looking heads with full lather catchers, part lather catchers, and different means by which the blade was held in place.

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 12-28-2012, 10:06 PM
#10
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FML, I don't know. As I wrote I don't do anything (of meaning) with wedge blades so for me they don't exist. I'll probably never progress past the Rolls Razor if I can even be said to get progress on that front.

The best way to get your answer that I know of is to obtain a copy of "Waits Safety Razor Compendium". Just google it. It was a $15 download, may still be. It's well worth the $15. You won't believe what's there. I use it as a reference if I see something I want to buy.

If you buy a copy get back to me somehow (PM, here in a new thread, on TOST, whatever) and I'll tell you how to make it extremely useable if you use Windows.

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 12-29-2012, 09:53 AM
#11
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
User Info
Excellent read, very interesting razor. Looks sharp after replating.

Early on in my shave journey I acquired a few Gems, got rid of them.
I could not get a decent shave. I had opportunity recently to retry a Fliptop and Open Comb. The shaves have been spectacular.

I'm look for additional models and maybe I will find a lather catcher.

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 01-03-2013, 09:04 PM
#12
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I use my Rolls on occasion. There is no denying what a spectacular razor it is. As I primarily shave with a straight razor, the Rolls is definitely my all time favorite. I have not tried a Star with a wedge blade, but I do have some nice blades as well as the apparatus with which to strop them.

I should have said the Rolls is my all time favorite safety.

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 01-03-2013, 10:12 PM
#13
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FMLondon, There are some of us who would really like to learn how to get our RR blades in shaving condition. There was an effort by one gent, but he stopped in mid stream. It would be a great service if it was continued. (hint, hint Biggrin )

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