04-20-2015, 06:34 PM
#1
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It all started when I decided I wanted to try a vintage Tech, and wanted to get a friend of mine in Japan into DE shaving as well.

I picked up some Bakelite-handled 1938-1941 Tech that were originally gold plated. When I got them and cleaned them up, what little gold was left wiped right off. Left with some otherwise nice copper shavers, what to do?

Learn to plate.


[Image: fyTPukm.jpg]

I bought a nickel anode off Amazon for $13 and cleaned up the razor heads. The baseplates spent overnight in a bath of greased lightning, the top caps in dish detergent. Then they got polished with a bit of bar keeper's friend and brasso to get copper corrosion off.


[Image: AkxAmHC.jpg]

Next, I prepared a bath of distilled white vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. I broke the anode in half, and then broke that half into quarters.

I got out a car battery trickle charger and connected the quarter anodes in the solution and waited about two hours (12vdc, 12amp setting.)


[Image: 5K21BGa.jpg]

Bubbles formed on the negative contact first. Eventually, they also formed on the positive contact. The way this works is, the positive anode gives up metal, which settles partly in the solution and partly adheres to the negative anode. Don't get the clips in the solution, they'll pollute it with metal other than nickel, which will be terrible to plate.

[Image: uj6eW5e.jpg]

Here, you can see two things - one, after a few hours the solution turned green as the nickel dissolved into it. Also: I plated the baseplates. They turned out OK on this first go, but I was learning technique. I made the mistake of just dunking them in for about 3 hours. They plated very thick, but they also looked really rough. I wet sanded them and polished them to get them back into something presentable. Later on, I polished more and got them a lot nicer.

Plating is done at 6v, 2amp here. After a lot of trial and error, I found that dipping the part for 30-50 seconds, removing, washing, light polishing, dipping again worked best.



[Image: Imq8yZZ.jpg]

The top plates were really hard at first. They just didn't want to plate well, and when they did get even coverage, they looked like the example on the right. To get to the example on the left, I had to plate, polish with brasso, wet sand with 500, wet sand with 1200, polish with a buffing wheel and green jewelers rouge. 


[Image: qFkWf1k.jpg]

I have to say, I'm quite pleased with the results. They're certainly better than the shape they were in when I got them.

[Image: yqEiVuf.jpg]

This is the one that was unpolished above, now cleaned up. 

[Image: GeJZRBt.jpg]

What's interesting to me is that the bakelite handles are not identical. They have different contours right where the end of the handle is.

[Image: 2cNalzr.jpg]

[Image: aoZ5gj3.jpg]

[Image: rHAqqDc.jpg]

And that's where I stop for now... until the next time I decide to learn something else.

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 04-20-2015, 06:44 PM
#2
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
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Enjoyable post vmarks. I applaud your bravery with the experiment!

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 04-20-2015, 06:49 PM
#3
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(04-20-2015, 06:44 PM)eengler Wrote: Enjoyable post vmarks. I applaud your bravery with the experiment!

Thank you! 
I'm just lucky my better half put up with my doing this in her living room! I started out in the driveway, but then the thunder and rain began...


The open comb in the first pictures is a weird 1930s thing that is clearly a cost-reduced razor.

The Tech was cost-reduced, to a point - the baseplate was stamped, but the top plate was cast. 
The open comb in those pictures is so cost-reduced that the top plate is also stamped, and the threaded post is pop-riveted on. When I got that razor, it was gold-toned and rusty on one side of the comb and top plate. I shaved with it anyway, and found it to be -very- aggressive. Too aggressive for my tastes, but since it was rusty, why not clean it up and plate it?

So it's now plated, and I'm watching it to see that I got all the rust removed (plating doesn't adhere to rust.) 

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 04-20-2015, 09:03 PM
#4
  • jarobe
  • Junior Member
  • Auckland, New Zealand
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That's pretty awesome. Good job! 

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 04-20-2015, 09:52 PM
#5
  • Carson
  • Member
  • Adelaide, Australia
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You seem to have a knack for DIY projects.

Congrats on the great results.
Cheers

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 04-21-2015, 05:31 AM
#6
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Amazing project.  Plating is complicated.

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 04-21-2015, 05:41 AM
#7
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They turned out looking great. Congrats!

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 04-21-2015, 05:50 AM
#8
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Thank you! This was the first time I tried plating.

Wondering what I should try next...


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 04-21-2015, 06:31 AM
#9
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How about making me a stainless steel razor? That could be a good project for you

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 04-21-2015, 07:34 AM
#10
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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It turned out great.
Thanks for posting, I have been thinking about trying something like this for a while now.

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 04-21-2015, 07:58 AM
#11
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They look great!  It's amazing how many uses there are for battery chargers that do not in any way involve charging a battery.

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 04-21-2015, 08:16 AM
#12
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Mostly, I didn't want to sacrifice a wall wart for some of the many consumer electronics I have around. I could have just as easily used a USB phone charger and the 5v power lines on the USB cable.


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 04-21-2015, 09:20 AM
#13
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Nice bit of practical chemistry there, and wonderful results too  Smile

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 04-21-2015, 09:58 AM
#14
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Very nice results!

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 04-21-2015, 01:55 PM
#15
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(04-21-2015, 06:31 AM)Mrchick Wrote: How about making me a stainless steel razor? That could be a good project for you

Don't think I haven't considered this.

Questions I would need to answer:
What's the hardest part of shaving?
How much trouble is it?
What is the thing no one has done well enough yet?


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 04-22-2015, 06:31 AM
#16
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(04-21-2015, 01:55 PM)vmarks Wrote:
(04-21-2015, 06:31 AM)Mrchick Wrote: How about making me a stainless steel razor? That could be a good project for you

Don't think I haven't considered this.

Questions I would need to answer:
What's the hardest part of shaving?
How much trouble is it?
What is the thing no one has done well enough yet?


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Great questions. The simple answer is that I haven't found anything truly difficult about shaving. Sure their are learning curves with different razors, but it's not too difficult. I have one thing that comes to mind as far as a wish list. I have become a big fan of single edged razors and it would be kind of cool to see an adjustable one. As far as double edged, I can't think of anything that hasn't been done. Have fun.

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 04-22-2015, 07:20 AM
#17
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What problem were you solving from moving to SE from DE? What is your favorite SE? What do you like about it? What kind of adjustment range do you wish it had?


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 04-22-2015, 07:39 AM
#18
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No problem. I just found that I get a good shave with the single edged blades and I get more shaves out of one blade. Most of my experience is with an Ever Ready 1912, which I like a lot. I have acquired some more SE razors to play with. I was thinking adjustable SE so people could dial in what works best for them, as they can do with an adjustable DE. Look at all of the base plates people buy for Razors like the ATT. An SE with with on-board adjustment might be kind of nice.

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 04-23-2015, 11:31 PM
#19
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Nice project.  They turned out pretty good!

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 05-01-2015, 09:24 AM
#20
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I will have some more playing projects coming if anyone cares to see. I may even take a video if someone wants?



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