09-21-2012, 10:06 AM
#1
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
I have tried a Gillette New Long Comb recently and was instantly made a fan of aggressive OC shave. However, since I am still a newb at OC I got a bit burned by that razor after a few consecutive shaves. I will still work at it and am loving the shave it provides, but want to try a slightly less aggressive OC. I did get a modern Merkur classic 1904 OC and it's a beauty, but alas, too mild. So, I went looking for a New short comb as I understand it is a milder razor than the long comb. I have found one and it arrived today. It had a bit of copper corrosion (green stuff), but cleaned up very well and is a beauty:

   

   

   

   

   

The razor appears to be in very good condition, but is definitely showing signs of wear (I reckon it's about 80 years old). The handle is not cracked at all! I find the handle to be very light and am thinking of filling it with epoxy and/or ballast such as bird shot or brass rod. It is beautiful two tone (copper/brass or gold) and is bigger in diameter than the ball end, which is good. I think a bit of weight would do wonders to improve the feel of it. Also, the handle is ope to air and water up at the threaded hole. I think this allows a lot of corrosion to build up from inside and cause the cracking. Let me know if you have any wisdom on this.

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 09-21-2012, 10:15 AM
#2
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
That is a beauty and congratulations. My only advise is to try it out before you do anything to it.

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 09-21-2012, 10:21 AM
#3
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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This is one of the better examples I've seen, congrats!

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 09-21-2012, 10:21 AM
#4
  • Johan
  • Barberian of the lathering
  • Sweden
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Congrats!!! Looks nice and you got a box for it to.I have a short comb myself but dont use it much at all. Similar condition.

Funny thing though. I found the sc a little bit more harsh than the lc. I´ve compared them several times and i even though theres no bigger difference in their behaviour i feel that i like shaving with lc a bit more. But ymmv as they say. No idea about the corrosion risk but i like to know how it feels shaving with it, if you go through with making the handle heavy. Some use rods of tungsten i´ve red.

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 09-21-2012, 10:30 AM
#5
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I find the long comb NEW to be much milder than the short comb NEW.

If you want more weight you can put the NEW head on a variety of handle, including those from iKon, UFO and Weber, besides most brands of razors.

If you go down the route of adding weight to the handle, tungsten putty works great.

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 09-21-2012, 10:33 AM
#6
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Very nice razor! I just snagged a long comb from eBay and it feels really heavy to me, so yours must be a different model. I don't know much about dating and models and all that. But boy, is it an amazing piece of design and machinery. Every time I hold these old Gillette's in my hands I am just awed by them

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 09-21-2012, 11:49 AM
#7
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It is a Gillette "Red & Black Set". New head with a common bar handle. Circa 1934/35 originally gold plated. They came in long and short comb versions. Nice shavers, (I have one) but the handles can crack around the top. You got a good one there a lot have lost most of the plating, ( the gold is very thin......Dodgy). Weight should be about 52g to 57g.

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 09-21-2012, 12:30 PM
#8
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Great looking razor, enjoy your shaves.

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 09-21-2012, 07:13 PM
#9
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Nice!

Every cracked handle I've ever seen has a fairly straight crack. I'd be willing to bet that it's the way it was manufactured. Probably began with thin flat stock and formed it into a tube. then the ends were soldered on. That's just a guess about the tube but I've seen the soldered ends.

I suspect but have no proof that it's just Armstrong torqueing the handle down that over stresses the tube and that cracks it over time along stress lines made in the forming process. No need for high torque IMO. Just snug is plenty. It's not like pressure is applied to it in use.

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 09-22-2012, 11:45 AM
#10
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
(09-21-2012, 07:13 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Nice!

Every cracked handle I've ever seen has a fairly straight crack. I'd be willing to bet that it's the way it was manufactured. Probably began with thin flat stock and formed it into a tube. then the ends were soldered on. That's just a guess about the tube but I've seen the soldered ends.

I suspect but have no proof that it's just Armstrong torqueing the handle down that over stresses the tube and that cracks it over time along stress lines made in the forming process. No need for high torque IMO. Just snug is plenty. It's not like pressure is applied to it in use.

Good point on the torque, but we are men and we TIGHTEN things. We love to TIGHTEN things. Should have been designed for since they were marketing to men (who love to TIGHTEN things). The later Techs had solid machined handles, which may indicate that Gillette paid attention to this problem. I think in this day and age I would fill that 100 year old hollow tube with epoxy to shore up its structure and not feel one bit bad about it. Even if it's not (yet) cracked. these things have stood the test of time and if they need a bit of help at 100 years old, I am not going to criticize.

I have spotted an Old with a cracked handle at a local antique store. The handle is off the ferule with threads, the ball end is fine. The head has no plate loss! Neither does the handle, but it's cracked and dis-attached from the ferule. It's not very expensive and I will stop by later and snag it (didn't have enough cash in wallet today). This guy also has what appears to be a Bostonian set in an elevator box. It appears to have a NI head. I am not very familiar with those, but just so I know what the good price for one should be, can anyone give me a ballpark? It's in pretty good used condition with a box that is rigged to raise the platform on which the razor and blade box rest. Very cool box in its own right.

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