09-13-2012, 02:39 PM
#1
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
I was fortunate enough to receive a 1956 5-speed Gillette Toggle in a trade a month or so ago with one little drawback... it no longer adjusted. Bummer as it was, I still felt very appreciative for the opportunity to own one of these rare beauties and have a chance at fixing it up.

Well, a month later... AND IT WORKS! AaaaaBadgerAaaaa

Through a discussion with, who I will call an expert on the Toggle razor, Mr. Tom Owens, he helped me in understand the ins and outs of this particular model. It differs from the later production models and the mechanism is actually more in line with the Fatboy. I'm not going to get into specifics, but he helped me in performing proper hot water and soap baths, these have been daily I might add.

After a discouraging first couple of weeks with no improvement, I watched Razor Emporium's video on the Toggle and learned that the adjusting mechanism for this model was silent! I had never learned of this minor detail, so curiosity got the best of me and I let the razor dry out for a day before trying the mechanism again. Low-and-behold it moved! The area between 3.5-5 actually adjusted!

With a new breath of encouragement I continued on with soap baths for a little while longer. Through discussion with Mr. Owen's he linked me to a thread where someone used a penetrating oil soak to completely obliterate any built up gunk in their razor. Seeing as I had no improvement past 3.5-5, I decided to give it ago. Two days ago I picked up some penetrating oil from an automotive store, filled up a thin mason jar tall enough to completely submerge the razor, and let it soak.

Long story short, the razor now has full range of movement! I am more than ecstatic, practically whooping and throwing my hands in the air (between typing words Tongue) in my joy that I was able to bring this razor back to life. I plan on using it tomorrow and starting a new relationship with it as I learn it's personality.

Now, for having waded through that wall of text, how about some pictures?

Just as some proof, here is the blade gap at 5/3/1
[Image: iJh3zl.jpg]

And now some glamour shots. It may not be the most well-preserved razor, but I still think it is absolutely beautiful!
[Image: djlgal.jpg]

One of the unique aspects of this model is that the toggle has two settings. Completely open to change blades, and loosened for rinsing purposes, shown here.
[Image: t7O3Ml.jpg]

[Image: PAuJJl.jpg]

[Image: SEsMUl.jpg]

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 09-13-2012, 02:51 PM
#2
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
Congratulations on bring your beautiful toggle back to life. That is a very rare razor and only a handful were ever produced. Automotive penetrating oil is very good for those impossible jobs and I am glad it worked for you.

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 09-13-2012, 03:16 PM
#3
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
User Info
Beautiful! Good job on sticking with it.

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 09-13-2012, 03:17 PM
#4
  • syngent
  • Senior Member
  • Oshawa, Canada
User Info
toggles just look cool, great job man, now you can sit back and enjoy

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 09-13-2012, 03:42 PM
#5
  • Triad
  • Triad Razor Handles
  • Texas
User Info
Very nice, glad you got it working!!

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 09-13-2012, 03:46 PM
#6
User Info
What a cool razor and very well done, sir! CoolBiggrin

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 09-13-2012, 04:00 PM
#7
User Info
Excellent work! Enjoy!

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 09-13-2012, 04:12 PM
#8
User Info
Great job, Anthony and enjoy the razor!

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 09-13-2012, 06:08 PM
#9
User Info
Gorgeous! Wonderful restoration work!

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 09-13-2012, 06:19 PM
#10
User Info
Excellent job, Anthony! I'm glad you were able to bring that Toggle back from the dead. Smile

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 09-13-2012, 06:37 PM
#11
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
(09-13-2012, 06:19 PM)yohannrjm Wrote: Excellent job, Anthony! I'm glad you were able to bring that Toggle back from the dead. Smile

Thanks Yohann, and everyone! I'm so happy I was able to fix it!

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 09-13-2012, 07:08 PM
#12
User Info
Great looking razor. Congrats.Biggrin

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 09-14-2012, 01:50 AM
#13
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
Anthony fantastic news. I read your thread and had hoped that you'd be able to get it turning again without having to send it off for costly repairs. Really nice job!!

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 09-14-2012, 02:01 AM
#14
  • Johan
  • Barberian of the lathering
  • Sweden
User Info
Nicely done! Lets hope its shaves as good as it looks.

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 09-14-2012, 02:07 AM
#15
User Info
Always a good day when you can save a razor, enjoy it!

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 09-14-2012, 05:56 AM
#16
User Info
Outstanding job Anthony. You now have yourself a working version of one of the most sought after razors ever produced by Gillette.

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 09-14-2012, 11:15 AM
#17
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
User Info
great looking razor, glad to hear you have working again.

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 09-14-2012, 11:38 AM
#18
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
Fantastic razor. I watched the Razor Emporium video on these also. Very cool. Congrats on getting it working and enjoy it! Just goes to show you that there is not much that can kill a vintage Gillette.

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 09-14-2012, 12:04 PM
#19
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
Had my inaugural shave with it fixed this morning, and it is everything I could have hoped it would be! I am quite pleased.

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 09-14-2012, 12:29 PM
#20
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
(09-14-2012, 12:04 PM)Tonality Wrote: Had my inaugural shave with it fixed this morning, and it is everything I could have hoped it would be! I am quite pleased.

Stories like this make me happy!! Like I said earlier, I was so hoping it was an easy fix. That's the one razor I've never tried so I'll live vicariously through you Anthony!! Congratulations again

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