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Can someone help me please?

Good afternoon all.

When I was using my 39c this morning I have noticed a very tiny 'dot' in the head of my razor. Is this normal on polished razors? Or am I just being overly picky?

Here is a pic showing what I mean.

Jason.
 

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Flintstone65

Imagining solutions for imaginary problems
As an overly picky person myself, let me just say, "hello, brother"! Seriously, I don't think it's something to be concerned about, I'm not sure what kind of coating/finishing is put on these days. I'm assuming something chromium based, and it looks like something may have "dinged" the finish a bit. If it were mine and bothering me (likely it would bother me, since I am THAT guy), I'd probably take some Flitz metal polish and try buffing it out with a rag. Nothing aggressive like a dremel or anything like that, but just mild polish to see if it "shines out". If it doesn't come out, I'd just keep an eye on it to see if it spreads.
 

Flintstone65

Imagining solutions for imaginary problems
I think its a very tiny pit. Is it worth bothering about? Is it normal for the finish on chrome plated razors to get slightly 'marked' through general wear and tear?

Jason.
No (don't worry about it) and Yes (chrome plated razors will show some wear and tear).
 
No (don't worry about it) and Yes (chrome plated razors will show some wear and tear).
Best reply. Thanks. I think i'm just being overly picky as I know that polished chrome shows marks very easily. Reminds me of my old iPod when the polished back got marked VERY easily. I asked my wife and she said she couldn't see it at all!

Thanks to all of you for your replies. I still have the receipt so if it does get worse I'll take it back on my next day off and exchange it.

Jason.
 
As an overly picky person myself, let me just say, "hello, brother"! Seriously, I don't think it's something to be concerned about, I'm not sure what kind of coating/finishing is put on these days. I'm assuming something chromium based, and it looks like something may have "dinged" the finish a bit. If it were mine and bothering me (likely it would bother me, since I am THAT guy), I'd probably take some Flitz metal polish and try buffing it out with a rag. Nothing aggressive like a dremel or anything like that, but just mild polish to see if it "shines out". If it doesn't come out, I'd just keep an eye on it to see if it spreads.
Merkurs are plated with a triple process. First copper plating, then nickel, and finally chrome. You know the head is ZAMAK, right?
 
Looks like a nick in the plating to me, but not the best close up.
Zamak impurities can rise to the surface over time, so that's a possibility. I never buy anything zamak, but have a couple merkur razors that came in lots I bought. One has a blister bubbling up on the baseplate I've watched grow. $ is better spent on any vintage Gillette imo, if you want a new razor stainless or bust.
 
Well, Merkur ain't what they used to be, but then again neither am I.

Merkur heads (baseplates and caps) are Zamak -- an alloy of zinc with aluminum, magnesium and copper. According to Wikipedia Zamak was invented in the US in 1929.

Zamak is a bit problematic if uncoated, whence it can get rough and flaky. Zinc is well-known for "zinc pest" which causes the metal (or alloys containing it) to crumble into dust. Evidently the purity of the zinc is the prime consideration, as the company that invented it reported that using 99.99 per cent pure zinc in the alloy cured it.

I've always heard that older Zamak razors suffered from pest and other troubles, but that modern production was usually pretty good -- which the zinc purity answers. When you consider that WW2-era military aircraft were made with all of those metals, it's not too surprising that "mining" the leftovers and wrecks after the war ended would put a lot of sketchy Zamak on the market.

If my memory isn't playing tricks, one of zinc's qualities is that it expands just slightly as it cools during casting. This makes it good for duplicating fine details. There are a number of standard alloys of Zamak for various purposes. As a metal for razors it's not my favourite, but it works. Keep it clean, keep it dry; it'll outlast you.

Once plated I understand Zamak cannot later be replated successfully. I have one all-Zamak razor, a first-version Fasan Double Slant, which had lost 99 per cent of its coating by the time I got it. I had it recoated in CeraKote to protect it as much as possible. When it comes to Zamak razors it seems conservation is more successful than restoration.

O.H.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
I wouldn't worry about it, although if possible trade it back in at GFT. I do worry about all the zamak haters out there getting to you. I've been collecting Merkur and other German razors for over 25 years and haven't had a catastrophic failure yet and some of my razors are pre-WWII. Sure, some have little problems but they also have character as well as being wonderful historic shavers.

FYI, I can barely see any blemish. Have you shaved with it yet? Just wondering what you thought of the slant.
 
Put me on the haters list.

Sure. :)

As I say it's not my first choice, but I've come to appreciate it. As I reflect on it the reason I tend not to like Zamak as much as some other metals is not due to quality. It's due to mass in my case -- I dislike plastic and aluminum far more than Zamak because they're light. Not liking light razors has saved me a lot of money on titanium. Which I've spent and more on stainless and brass...

I've got two vintage Merkurs; a pre-1970s 37 and the Super Slant SB that may date from the 1950s. The Super Slant has a little corrosion on the plate but not enough to keep it from being used. I had a 38 -- the later version, not the slant -- and it was my starter razor. The modern 38C has the same handle as Jason's 39C, which while it fit my hands OK was a problem because the barberpole milling made the razor "screw" down in my hands if my fingers were wet. Not hard to deal with but it put me off barberpole handles. Diamond knurling rules.

I have realized it's not terribly difficult to change the handle on a 2-piece razor. I wouldn't do that to a vintage, but if I find a likely modern candidate going on the BST I might give it a whirl just to see if I'm all that smart.

Based on my shaves with the 37, Jason, I predict you'll really enjoy that 39 once you get it dialled in.

O.H.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Put me on the haters list. I can't believe you have a collection of zamak and don't have many issues. While I've only had half a dozen or so (Gillette, Merkur, Mühle) my failure rate is 100%
Love to see some pics of your failures. I often hear about them but rarely get to see what you guys are calling failures.

Here's a 50 year old Coles travel slant head with pits and plating loss. Looks funky but let me tell you it shaves like a dream, cuts stubble like crazy.

full
 
This head is maybe 5 years old.
All surfaces had a mirror finish when I got it.
I dried it off after every use, never dropped it once. The flaking starts as a little mirrored bubble the size of a pin head... they grow, then pop, and the surrounding area starts flaking.
The center area on the underside of the top cap looks like sand paper at this point.
20210929_173344.jpg
 
Thanks to all your replies. I’ve decided it’s not worth worrying about as the razor shaves like a dream and obviously it will get marked from wear and tear. And I don’t want to keep taking it back only to find another mark on it.

Jason
 
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