08-04-2015, 11:22 AM
#1
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From what I can tell, it's hard to find a Gillette Old Type without a cracked handle these days. Drawing on my education and experience, it is in part due to the way they are made - two end pieces press fitted into a hollow tube. As anyone who have worked with machinery can attest to, this kind of construction gives raise to lots of stress on the hollow piece (hoop stresses - not by itself a bad thing). Stress will, over time, give raise to cracking unless the surface is near perfect.

[Image: 6UyU8Ss.jpg]

The Old Type handles were probably anything but perfect when they were made - there would be no point in broaching and polishing the barrels, since razors was and are considered semi-disposable items. At the time the Old Type was manufactured machining the barrel the needed close tolerances would also been much more costly than the equivalent operation would be today, both in money and time.

The end result is - with more than a hundred years of hindsight - obvious; the handle cracks. My Old Type (part of my Khaki Kit) isn't bad, just a short crack on either end, but some handles have cracks going straight from one end to the other.

The cracking is repairable, either by filling it with epoxy or - for the adventurous shaver - by welding. In my opinion it's not needful to repair it unless the crack hampers the enjoyment of the razor.

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 08-04-2015, 03:39 PM
#2
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I seem to remember someone repairing his with silver solder. I think a modern silver solder would be reasonably hard, so it would be a somewhat sturdy repair, but given my soldering skills, I don't think it would look too presentable.

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 08-04-2015, 03:52 PM
#3
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Michelangelo' masterpiece Sstatue of David is developing stress cracks in his ankles. I personally prefer buying contemporary kit. No doubt it  will suffer the
curse of 'moths and rust ' of time also. Oh well, Carpe Diem- seize the fish and think 'DOMANI' which is never here.

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 08-04-2015, 05:16 PM
#4
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Longer cracks that go in to the knurling are hard to solder without filling part of the knurling.  It can be done though.  Making them disappear is often hard to impossible though. Often you'll still be able to see where the crack was.

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 08-04-2015, 05:42 PM
#5
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I have a 1909 single ring with a hairline crack, but the way that razor assembles it locks the handle in place so I haven't needed to glue or do anything to that razor.
Now when I got this common ball-end it was split the whole length and was impossible to use as is, so I pressed in a new tube. Technically a franken-razor now but it is fully functional again.

[Image: RDrinky.jpg]

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 08-04-2015, 05:49 PM
#6
  • DLP
  • Senior Member
  • Missouri
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(08-04-2015, 05:42 PM)vuk Wrote: I have a 1909 single ring with a hairline crack, but the way that razor assembles it locks the handle in place so I haven't needed to glue or do anything to that razor.
Now when I got this common ball-end it was split the whole length and was impossible to use as is, so I pressed in a new tube. Technically a franken-razor now but it is fully functional again.

[Image: RDrinky.jpg]
 
franken-razor maybe but still looks good

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 08-04-2015, 05:54 PM
#7
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I don't think you can replacing the tube makes it a frankenrazor at all.  It's sill exactly the same razor it was before, with a different tube on the same handle ends.  I am curious what tube you used though.  Looks like you harvested it from another razor.  Unless of course you lathe knurled it.

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 08-04-2015, 07:18 PM
#8
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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In the same lot with that old type I got a 40's superspeed that had a safety bar broken off and a missing door. It looked like it was used to pry a nail or something, so I cannibalized the handle to fix the old type. It was a prefect fit really, I just oiled the ends and press it together with a vice.
It looks great when polished but the tube is nickel plate and of course the old type is silver so when it tarnishes you can tell – as in the picture. I like the handle better than the original because the knurling is richer & has a nicer grip.
Really you don't need another razor I'm sure there is brass tube or even knurled pipe out there that would fit.

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 08-04-2015, 07:54 PM
#9
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There is-- You can replace it in say stainless like in this photo-- Haven't found any good options in knurled.

[Image: vhqD3zg.jpg]

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 02-05-2016, 07:08 PM
#10
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Fixed mine with J-B Weld. Seen others use inserted metal rod set inside.

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 02-06-2016, 11:55 AM
#11
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I've seen very few without a crack at all.

I prefer after market handles anyway.

The weirdest repair I've seen is a piece of copper tubing. With the finial and ball end soldered back on. Poorly.

Tongue

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 02-09-2016, 04:28 AM
#12
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we get asked all the time about filling it - brazing can work but often just cracks again over time. I think its just part of the territory.

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