Fun With Shims

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by 82R100, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. I've got some Gillette Techs and always get smooth, comfortable shaves with them. Two have ball end handles and rectangular baseplate reliefs; the third has a fat handle and triangular reliefs and was my grandfather's.

    Among my other razors I have a red tip Super Speed which always gives me great shaves. I appreciate the slightly more aggressive shave I get from the red tip and have decided to experiment with shimming my fat handled Tech to adjust its blade gap upward slightly.

    For my shim I decided to trim the cutting edges off of a used DE blade. First I marked it with a Sharpy:


    I then used some old scissors and trimmed to the inside of each marked line. This picture shows the blade setting on the inverted razor cap:


    A few things to note at this point:

    - You probably don't want to use your best scissors for this.
    - The resulting shim will probably end up a little warped.
    - You'll end up with two twisted very sharp slivers of metal for offal. Be very careful how you handle these. Be sure to dispose of them in a proper blade bank or similar sharps container.

    Here's how the ship looks laying on top of a new blade:


    You'll note that my trim job was far from perfect. The shim's mission is merely to space the blade up from the baseplate a little to increase the gap to the safety bar. Note well that this is the order in which the shim and blade should be stacked. The blade should be immediately under the cap with the shim between it and the base plate.

    I'll shave with it tomorrow morning and see how it does. Assuming all goes well I'll probably branch out to try it in some of my other DE razors.

    Here are my attempts at gap pictures before

    View attachment 96689

    and after
    View attachment 96690

    - Chris
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2017
  2. Great idea! Looking forward to hearing how this works. You should post a before and after pic of the blade gap with the shim in. That would be interesting.
  3. cool idea, but i'm wondering if the shim covering the baseplate holes (exhaust ports :lol:) will cause any clogging
  4. I am also interested in the results
  5. Since the shim bears against the baseplate in the same area as the blade did, it shouldn't be any closer to the ports, in fact the added blade gap should help, marginally. See the side view pictures I added to the end of the original post.

    - Chris
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  6. Pictures added.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  7. Looking forward to the report of your experience.
  8. jlindy

    jlindy Contributor

    I do the same thing with my Weishi, and get great shaves with it now with the slight increase in blade gap.
  9. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Depending on how you do it, you will get a milder or more aggressive DE. In all cases, it will work.
  10. A cheap and simple way to convert a weenie razor into a Hot Dog!:thumbup:
  11. I'm really looking forward to your results. I like the before and after pics, there is a definite difference, something is going to happen.:detective:
  12. Well, that was a good shave.

    It's not an outrageous effect. You don't need to worry about getting bitten. Fundamentally, it still shaves like a Tech. What I noticed was that you could feel the blade a little--more like a red tip SS, but still not that aggressive.

    I think I've achieved my goal. I have some genuinely aggressive razors to suit my mood. I just wanted to see what could be done with a Tech. A two shim arrangement is definitely doable, though with the nuisance of extra pieces to handle.

    I might eventually try this in an open comb vintage Merkur that I have (that I've previously found to be annoyingly mild).

    - Chris
  13. Interesting report, Chris. Thanks for taking the time to take and post the photos. :thumbup1:
  14. Chris, great stuff, thanks for the report.
  15. Is this in the same area of what I was suggesting here?

    Originally Posted by michiganlover
    Modern day blades are much thinner than vintage blades that were in use when the Old Type debuted. You might be able to improve the quality of the shave by taking a DE blade (carefully) cutting the edges off of it, and using it as a shim between the base plate, and the actual blade. This will create at least some gap. Assuming the razor still fully locks down, you could probably employ multiple shims.

    John that's a great idea but would 1 central and perhaps 1 washer on the posts not achieve the same thing with much less risk?
  16. What I've done is exactly what michiganlover suggested, but for a slightly different reason. I don't believe that what I've done replicates a thicker blade so much.

    So, you're suggesting using washers on the pins of an Old Type instead? I can't recommend that. Part of what makes the new thinner blades as usable as they are in the old razors is that they are firmly clamped between cap and baseplate. I don't see that level of support using washers (if I've even interpreted your suggestion correctly).

    - Chris
  17. much earlier....

    It's shim I found in my old type set when I got it this morning.

    Dont know if it's original or not, but it appears to be made out of brass, and doesnt look home made
  18. Cool idea using a shim, however couldn't you get the same affect by just loosening the handle a little bit? I believe that method was actually listed in the instructions that came with those types of razors from Gillette.
  19. Loosening the handle is somewhat different in a couple of ways:

    1) If you're using a 3-piece razor particularly, it's likely that the head will unscrew more as you try to shave with it.

    2) As the blade is clamped less it becomes less rigidly held and more likely to bite you. Remember, the instructions assumed that you were using the older, thicker, much stiffer blades.

    That being said, we're all (well, mostly) grownups here. Feel free to experiment and post about it. :smile:

    - Chris
  20. huh, this could shed a whole new light on the variety of razors I already have. Would even make some of the less used ones become more versatile...Trying this tomorrow or Wednesday...

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