04-16-2015, 08:05 PM
#1
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I recently purchased a secondhand Standard Razor, and when it arrived, the threads in the handle had been stripped out.

I post this here, in the hopes that it helps someone if this ever happens to you.

Speculation on why this happens? The aluminum handle is soft. The threaded post on a Standard is steel, and harder than aluminum. It's relatively easy to twist the handle hard, applying torque that could damage the threads in the handle.


First, buy some supplies.

1 - 11/64 drill bit.
1 - tap handle (not for kegs. for tapping threads.)
1 - helicoil thread repair kit. In this case, I bought a PermaCoil branded kit from Amazon.
1 - (optional) AlumaBlack. Use this if you scratch the black anodized coating. It repairs the finish.

The way this sort of thread repair kit works is, you drill out the damaged threads with an oversized drill bit, tap in new threads that are also oversized, and then screw in a thread insert that looks like a spring. The outer side of the spring insert fits the threads tapped in the handle, the inner thread fits the top cap of the razor.

Step 1: Drill out the ruined threads.
[Image: rMjwgqo.jpg]

The existing hole will guide the drill straight. Still, because the tap has a good amount that is tapered, or has no thread cutting at the bottom of it, you should drill deeper than you think. Also: the post on Standard razors is quite short compared to Maggard, Gillette Tech, and others. If you wish to use the repaired handle with something other than a Standard, drill deeper.

[Image: 8ZPreZf.jpg]
Overside, with no threads!

Step 2: Tap threads.

Technique is important here. Try and start it straight up and down, and for every quarter turn, back off a bit. You should get the feeling of it cutting the threads when you turn clockwise, and cutting the metal off when you turn in reverse. This makes it easier to keep tapping threads. If this were steel, I'd use an oil to lubricate it. Aluminum is soft, and we can get away without it.

[Image: KEozoch.jpg]
This is a tap.
[Image: Ay86oGT.jpg]
Tapping threads.

[Image: rzosQ44.jpg]
Threads!

Step 3:
Load a coil on the insertion tool and screw it into the handle. If your kit has a pre-load winding tool, use it. I didn't, and while I was able to screw in the new thread insert, the tool broke on me.

[Image: 5drrXLZ.jpg]
PermaCoil. The other name in thread repair.

Still, I was able to remove the broken off part of the tool with some vise-grips.

And you're done, unless you're me.

Because I didn't drill quite deep enough, the replacement thread just barely stuck out above the end of the handle. I didn't want to scratch the baseplate of my razor with the end of the threads, so I took out the dremel and cut off 1/4 turn of thread. This would have worked perfectly, except that the dremel skated across the top of the handle, removing some anodization. Fortunately, we know how to fix that.

[Image: uqrlz3j.jpg]

I used some rubbing compound and followed with chrome polish to clean up the scratch. I then cleaned it with rubbing alcohol.
After that, I treated it for 1 minute with AlumaBlack. This stuff oxidizes the aluminum, just like anodization.

[Image: F9bCLid.jpg]

The handle at this point worked perfectly with Standard's head. But wait: the enemy of good is better. I wanted to see if I could make it work with other heads that have longer studs. I used a pick and removed the thread insert (they aren't meant to come back out). I'm going to drill deeper using a smaller bit that won't damage the threads I've already tapped. I'm going to try and tap another quarter turn so I don't have to use the dremel again, and then I'll put the new threads in and clean up the end again.

The permacoil set cost 19 bucks on Amazon. It's possible to get a set on eBay for 12.87, but the difference was having Amazon ship faster.

If you have the reverse problem, and the threads on the top cap are damaged, it's possible to repair them using a die. Many heads use the M5x0.8 thread for that post, but not all. Be sure to check before purchasing a die.

After this project, I'm going to try my hand at nickel plating a very old Tech that was originally gold plated, but now is mostly copper.

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 04-16-2015, 09:13 PM
#2
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Great post! Very informative. If this ever happens to me, I will ship it to you for repair. Tongue I cannot be trusted with tools.

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 04-16-2015, 09:15 PM
#3
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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By the way...welcome to the Shave Nook!

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 04-17-2015, 03:38 PM
#4
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Great work and welcome to The Shave Nook!  Smile

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 04-17-2015, 03:45 PM
#5
  • ncguy1
  • TARHEEL
  • North Carolina
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Very nice!  You must have more patience than me because by the time the insert tool broke off in there I would have seen how far out in the yard I could have thrown it lol.

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 04-17-2015, 04:29 PM
#6
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Thanks for the kind welcome!

I would be happy to help anyone who has this sort of issue. It wasn't that hard.

I'll post another picture when i'm done to my standards, showing it working with other heads.


Sent from my mobile device

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 04-17-2015, 06:32 PM
#7
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@vmarks,

I performed a similar fix on a hole that held a cylinder head stud in the aluminum block of my Harley Sprint.  I imagine it was a lot easier than drilling and tapping something as small and delicate as an aluminum razor handle.  I have had some success "rebuilding" threads in low-stress applications with some wheel bearing grease and epoxy.  I applied a little epoxy to the hole, greased the threads of the stud, and stuck it into the epoxy.  The epoxy bonded to the original threads in the hole, but the grease prevented it from bonding to the studs.  Try that sort of thing at your own risk though.  I don't want to be responsible for permanently gluing someone's razor together. Smile

Regarding the replating, of your Tech, I recently did a DIY replate on my Gillette New long comb.  I posted the whole procedure with pics on my blog.  Basically, the key to the whole thing is surface prep - cleaning, buffing/polishing, and degreasing.  I haven't done the base plate yet.  It's gold plated.  I contacted the manufacturer of the plating kit, and they said that plain nickel or the nickel alloy I used for the rest of the razor should replate over gold without an issue.  I suspect though that there is a protective layer of lacquer that I will have to remove before I can plate it.

Welcome to the Shave Nook! Shoot me a message if you have plating questions.

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 04-18-2015, 06:58 AM
#8
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Lacquer on metal is not a good idea- the lacquer cracks and the metal tarnishes under the lacquer. No way to polish it other than to strip the lacquer.

I did this sort of repair on an air cooled Vw I used to own- the exhaust manifold studs were tiny and would strip. Like your cylinder head, because it's a bigger piece of metal, it's a little easier to maneuver and your not afraid of drilling like I was on the tapered handle.

I thought about packing the hole with jb weld and tapping that, but using the coil thread repair seems like a better quality repair- metal vs. mystery metal.

With the plating, good advice on prep work. I've used 1200 wet/dry paper,bar keepers friend, brasso, and greased lightning on the parts so far. I'm thinking of putting a buffing wheel in a dremel to get in the details. The Tech is an old USA triangle slot with Bakelite handle. It was gold plated but when I wiped it down after dish soap, it showed all copper. I've never tried a NEW.

Sent from my mobile device

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 04-18-2015, 03:26 PM
#9
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Yeah, with something like a razor, the coil is definitely a better repair.  Since it's steel, it will be sturdier than the aluminum that was there before.  I want to say that I used the epoxy on a vacuum cleaner part or something.  I was surprised that it worked so well, but I'm not sure how it would hold up to wear and tear with something that's supposed to be taken apart repeatedly. 

Hey, if you're plating stuff anyway, maybe plate the second coil you were going to put in so it won't rust.

I've been half looking for a Tech. I'm sure I'll pick one up at some point.  I hear they're wonderful shavers.  I am loving my New, especially after the replate.  It looks great and shaves great too.  The plating has held up very well so far.

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 04-18-2015, 04:33 PM
#10
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(04-18-2015, 03:26 PM)Shannon Wrote: Yeah, with something like a razor, the coil is definitely a better repair.  Since it's steel, it will be sturdier than the aluminum that was there before.  I want to say that I used the epoxy on a vacuum cleaner part or something.  I was surprised that it worked so well, but I'm not sure how it would hold up to wear and tear with something that's supposed to be taken apart repeatedly. 

Hey, if you're plating stuff anyway, maybe plate the second coil you were going to put in so it won't rust.

I've been half looking for a Tech. I'm sure I'll pick one up at some point.  I hear they're wonderful shavers.  I am loving my New, especially after the replate.  It looks great and shaves great too.  The plating has held up very well so far.


I don't know whether the coils are stainless or not, but they come not under tension, and when you insert them it's under tension. The act of inserting the coil winds it tighter. My thought is that any plating would break off from the flexing / tighter winding they undergo when inserting them.

EDIT: Even if the plating the coils survived the tighter winding to insert them, because they're steel, I'd have to copper plate first, and then nickel plate. I think I'm going to leave them as they are. For now. Maybe.

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 04-19-2015, 04:40 AM
#11
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Like repairing a spark plug thread only probably a lot easier. Excellent work and welcome.

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 04-19-2015, 03:19 PM
#12
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(04-18-2015, 04:33 PM)vmarks Wrote: EDIT: Even if the plating the coils survived the tighter winding to insert them, because they're steel, I'd have to copper plate first, and then nickel plate...

Yes, I would have thought so too, but the nickel alloy kit I bought is supposed to be able to plate directly onto steel.  I originally bought it to repair the plating on my motorcycle handlebars.  Once I cleaned off the rust, there was bare steel beneath.  Maybe whatever other metals they add make it compatible with steel.  However they did it, it seems to have worked, as the plating has been on for a few years.

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 04-20-2015, 09:55 PM
#13
  • Carson
  • Member
  • Adelaide, Australia
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Good work! I suspect most people would've written off that handle but you have brought it back to life.

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 04-21-2015, 04:31 AM
#14
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Great write up! 
My sole razor is the Standard so knowing this can happen to the threads will make me cautious of over tighting. 

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 04-21-2015, 05:55 AM
#15
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Thank you!

The Standard is a fine razor and this should in no way make people scared of one- just tighten it flush, it doesn't need to be torqued.

But if it does happen, this wasn't a hard fix to do. If I had just drilled deeper the first time, it would have been dead simple.


Sent from my mobile device

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