04-01-2018, 07:07 AM
#1
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I received a new Rex Ambassador from Bullgoose on Wednesday and used it for the first time today. Two other firsts were the Gillette Silver Blue blade that Phil sent along as a bonus and the Floid Vigoroso I bought. The shave was wonderful. No nicks or weepers, smooth passes both wtg and atg.  The razor had none of the quality issues outlined elsewhere on the nook: i.e. No alignment or finish issues. First pass was on a setting of two and the second I turned down to one. 


[Image: cKoB89X.jpg]

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 04-01-2018, 07:16 AM
#2
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Very happy to hear you liked the shave. Yes we did a lot of refining of the design and are thrills that so many are loving it too!

Matt


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 04-01-2018, 07:20 AM
#3
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I'm glad to read that the issues with the razor were resolved.  Well done Razor Emporium.

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 04-01-2018, 07:39 AM
#4
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Thank you - I want to do a big post somewhere showing some photos of what all has transpired over the past 6 months since we launched. Would that be something people would like to see?

Matt


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 04-01-2018, 08:22 AM
#5
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Thumbup Thumbup  Let me see.

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 04-01-2018, 08:24 AM
#6
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(04-01-2018, 07:39 AM)Razor Emporium Wrote: Thank you - I want to do a big post somewhere showing some photos of what all has transpired over the past 6 months since we launched. Would that be something people would like to see?

Matt


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Matt, I think our members would like to see such a write-up.

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 04-01-2018, 08:31 AM
#7
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(04-01-2018, 08:24 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote:
(04-01-2018, 07:39 AM)Razor Emporium Wrote: Thank you - I want to do a big post somewhere showing some photos of what all has transpired over the past 6 months since we launched. Would that be something people would like to see?

Matt


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Matt, I think our members would like to see such a write-up.


Ok. Let me snap some photos tomorrow at the shop and I’ll plan on posting something here early this week. Thank you!

Matt


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 04-01-2018, 09:42 AM
#8
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(04-01-2018, 07:39 AM)Razor Emporium Wrote: Thank you - I want to do a big post somewhere showing some photos of what all has transpired over the past 6 months since we launched. Would that be something people would like to see?

Matt


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Seeing something like this would be great.

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 04-01-2018, 11:54 AM
#9
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Matt,
I'm very happy with my REX and use it almost exclussively. The only wish I have is for it to have been a bit more efficient than it is on setting 6. Is there a way you can make it more efficient without affecting smoothness levels? If there is a possibility, I'll pay for it to be done. I read that other owners use it at lower settings than 6, but for me it would be perfect if made a tad more efficient. I use all of my adjustables on their highest settings except the Gibbs which I use at N. The 6S@6 is way inefficient for me even on a feather.

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 04-01-2018, 12:48 PM
#10
  • BigT
  • Junior Member
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I should receive mine tomorrow, can't wait. Impressive reviews so far. Thanks to Matt for the "legacy" concept.

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 04-02-2018, 12:03 AM
#11
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(04-01-2018, 07:39 AM)Razor Emporium Wrote: Thank you - I want to do a big post somewhere showing some photos of what all has transpired over the past 6 months since we launched. Would that be something people would like to see?

Matt


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Definitely. This is a truly great adjustable, and everyone needs to see that the issues have been resolved

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 04-10-2018, 09:16 PM
#12
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OK! Sorry for the delay. It's been a crazy week at the shop. We are busier now than we were at Christmas!

So I wanted to update you guys about some of the changes to the Ambassador. 

For those who don't know the timeline:
  • We announced the Ambassador at Big Shave West in April, 2017
  • We released ~150 pre-order razors in September of 2017 (M3). Of those, about 25 units came back to us for 3 key issues (finish, adjustment dial not working properly, guard canting) We paid shipping both ways and addressed all issues to the customers' satisfaction. 
  • We then sold another ~100 razors with the M3 date code. These all had the new brushed finish. Of these, only a handful came back with any issues. Again, we paid shipping both ways and made sure the customer was satisfied with the outcome. 
  • In the Fall of 2017, we produced around 200 razors with the M4 date code. Of these released, less than 5 came back to us with issues (namely canting) Again, we paid shipping both ways and made sure the customer was satisfied with the outcome. 
  • For 2018, we have so far released almost 300 of the N1 razors as of this week. So far we have seen 0 come back for canting / dial moving issues. Only 3 for dial seized (a result of thread lock liquid migrating from handle to just under dial. In all 3 cases I was able to solve it with warm water alone. We are contemplating dropping the use of thread lock all together but that's a story for another day...)



CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS
We started changing some of the geometry of the components in an effort to optimize manufacturing and produce "cleaner" and easier parts to produce. 

The razor cap was the first part to change. We are milling these parts out of solid stainless steel billet. By going from a curved part inside to an angled piece, the part required about 1/3 of the machining time. Plus it looks cleaner. Here you can see the original LEFT and Current RIGHT: 

[Image: rex-caps-compared.jpg?t=1523417667&_ga=2...1522988028]

The next part to change was the guard. Originally with the M3, we were trying to mimic the look of the Gibbs with the square lather holes with internal bevel. However Gibbs were cast in Zinc whereas we are trying to mill stainless. This internal bevel required us to use the most expensive machine in the shop - 5 axis mill (every machine in a shop has a $ value that it has to "charge" every minute it is working in order to pay for itself / operator / profit). By changing the holes with M4 / N1 to more closely resemble a Gillette, we were able to not only produce a cleaner part, but use a standard 3 axis mill instead. Here you can see the original guard versus the new guard. 

[Image: rex-guard-compared.jpg?t=1523418924&_ga=...1522988028]

The guard was also made thicker. This was to combat deflection / bending that was occurring during manufacturing. Here you can see two unfinished samples compared (sorry for poor quality this was shot with my cell today)

[Image: rex-guard-thicker.jpg?t=1523419456&_ga=2...1522988028]

We also changed the "blade tray" as I call it (the part that the blade sits on / stays stationary as the guard raises and drops during adjustment). Again, the first iteration was more or less a direct copy of the Gibbs. When we updated the cap, we wanted the same 20 degree bevel (made by a custom 20 degree end mill bit) to match up with the blade tray to provide a really solid blade lock (even though we already had that) but really to cut down on machining time and make a cleaner look. We also gave it's end caps / "ears" a rounded look - easier to machine as compared to squared off ears from the first model. Here are the two parts compared: 

[Image: rex-blade-tray-compared2.jpg?t=152342081...1522988028]

It's very important to note that the PRIMARY reason for the above changes were due to improving how we MACHINED the parts. Ask any machinist - simple geometry is easier to make than complex geometry. I do feel that the razor overall looks nicer now, however it only went up 6 grams in weight and it was my goal to shave with many prototypes of all of these changes to make sure it shaved as similar as the original 0001M3 as possible. I think the M3 and N1 shave very similarly overall. 

We did have 1 change made that was in direct response to customer feedback. That was the internal threading that I call the "neck" - it connects to the above blade tray and is what the spring rides on, nut travels on, and is what attaches the handle to the head. 

We made 2 changes to this part that solved the two MAJOR issues we heard from customers: 
  • We added more of a shoulder to this part. This added spring compression, ergo making the dial harder to turn i.e. less likely to "move" on accident as a FEW customers said. 
  • We decreased the number of threads on it and fattened it up SLIGHTLY so that as it travels through the guard, there is more metal to metal contact - eliminating the "canting" or uneven blade gap as the guard travels up and down.
Here you can see the original Left and Current Right:

[Image: rex-neck.jpg?t=1523421346&_ga=2.20872788...1522988028]

FINAL THOUGHTS

When I decided to take on making the first American adjustable since Gillette, I knew it was going to be an audacious goal. First, I had never made a razor before and second, it was a complicated piece of machinery at 8 pieces and 2 springs. The amount of variables present here is exponentially greater than a 3 piece razor. However I wanted to make a splash in the industry and do something that hadn't been done. 

I'm very happy to hear so many customers are loving their Ambassador razor - it really makes all the work worth it. We did lots of experimentation before ever releasing a razor, had many prototypes and "test shavers" use them - but there's nothing like making a few hundred of something and hearing from your customers on what they think. Even Gillette produced many versions of the Toggle and Fatboy as they were perfecting their adjustable design - those early models today are collector's items. Their market research is precisely why they abandoned the bottom adjustment dial and made the toggle lever bigger. 

I'm proud of every razor we put out - any customer concern we take seriously and I work on every Ambassador personally to make sure it will be met with satisfaction. We have a lot more in store for Rex this year (website, straight razor, strops, leather cases, safety razors, soaps, brushes....) and the Ambassador is just the beginning. We are thrilled that it is now being carried at several popular online + brick & mortar stores around the country and world. 

We are hoping that it continues to have success and even aim to (hopefully) bring it's cost down slightly (I'd love $199!) due to all these manufacturing process changes that have made it more efficient to produce. I want Rex to be high end, yes, but obtainable. 

I'm here to answer any other questions on the Ambassador or anything else. 

Thanks for making it this far into my epic post. 

Regards, 

Matt

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 04-10-2018, 09:40 PM
#13
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Nice post Matt. Very interesting to read the history of improvements. Good luck with the brand and razor.
Steve

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 04-11-2018, 02:04 AM
#14
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Excellent post Matt appreciate all the explanation of changes made, It is a very complex razor

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 04-11-2018, 02:35 AM
#15
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Great post Matt.  I'm sure the nembers will appreciate it and find it informative.

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 04-11-2018, 07:02 AM
#16
  • BigT
  • Junior Member
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Thanks for this post Matt, appreciate it. Great explanation.

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 04-11-2018, 07:13 AM
#17
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Thanks for the info Matt.

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 04-11-2018, 08:59 AM
#18
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
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Nice post and nice seeing companies responding to customer comments.

Also shows the complex engineering aspect if a few minor tweaks make a big difference.

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 04-11-2018, 09:35 AM
#19
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Thanks for posting this. Very informative.

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 04-11-2018, 10:32 AM
#20
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Great info.

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