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Darwin reversal

I have an odd question. I just got a Darwin Deluxe Adjustable. You know, the one very similar to the Rolls razors but made improvements, and you strop it in the case?

Well, I just got the blades back from honing and can finally use it for the first time, and the blade holder seems to be reversed. It is pushing the blade against the strop instead of pulling it. When you reset it, the blade direction always flips to push against the strop instead of pull. The razor is new to me, so I don't know if there's a button or something on it that can reverse it. That doesn't make sense, because there's no pushing option like a Rolls would have. If someone has any idea how to fix this, I'd appreciate it.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Sounds like the drawer might have been put in upside down.

The rack should be below the pinion, like this when viewed from the top

IMG_20210223_091707.jpg

An easier way to tell, is that the plain ribbed drawer end should be on top, and the patent markings below.

IMG_20210223_091826.jpg

IMG_20210223_091847.jpg
 
Sounds like the drawer might have been put in upside down.

The rack should be below the pinion, like this when viewed from the top

View attachment 1227179

An easier way to tell, is that the plain ribbed drawer end should be on top, and the patent markings below.

View attachment 1227180

View attachment 1227181
Thanks. I thought it might be upside down as well, but for the life of me, it sure doesn't look it. Here's the bottom tab. Positioned correctly as it should be: IMG_7550.jpg

And here's the track. I am not 100% from your pic, but maybe you can see in mine. It looks the same, I think:
IMG_7551.JPG

I can't figure out how to remove the drawer in the first place, if that is what it is.

And here's a vid clip of the movement, showing it keeps flipping to push instead of pull. I pulled out both the blade and the strop so that I would not damage either.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Weird! Something's definitely wrong there.

The drawer is the right way up, and the rack is in the right place. However, the blade holder should turn over slowly, not flip suddenly like a Rolls Razor. If you look at these three pics, where the rack starts, you should be able to see just how far the drawer has to move (10mm?) to turn the blade carrier over, at the start of the stroke, not the end

(sorry, I can't upload video)


IMG_20210223_181717.jpg
IMG_20210223_181735.jpg
IMG_20210223_181748.jpg


If you remove the two screws at the hinge end (just above the slot the strop slides in) you should me able to get the whole carriage out for a closer look. Remove the strop and blade first.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Ahhh! Got it! It's just jammed/gummed up!

The drawer should turn the blade over easier (with less friction), than drawing the blade carriage along the strop. In your case, the rotation about that axle is stiffer, so it's only flipping over when the carriage has maxxed out on its stroke.

So, remove the carriage, and see if there's a way to lubricate that axle so it spins easier. It should, as I say have very little friction, and you should be able to slide the drawer in and out by around 10mm, and the only thing that moves is the axle (blade carrier turning over). Either the axle is too tight (needs cleaning and lubricating) or the carriage is too loose, and needs friction increasing... but I don't know off the top of my head, where is gets that necessary friction.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
It looks like there's some orange thing (leather?) inside that pinion block on either side, and I assume that rubs on either the side wall, or underneath the rail for friction. (i'm guessing side wall)

IMG_20210223_183541.jpg IMG_20210223_183518.jpg

As well as greasing the parts that should be free, clean thoroughly the surfaces meant to cause friction. Getting lubrication in the wrong areas may also cause the problem.
 
Weird! Something's definitely wrong there.

The drawer is the right way up, and the rack is in the right place. However, the blade holder should turn over slowly, not flip suddenly like a Rolls Razor. If you look at these three pics, where the rack starts, you should be able to see just how far the drawer has to move (10mm?) to turn the blade carrier over, at the start of the stroke, not the end

(sorry, I can't upload video)


View attachment 1227362
View attachment 1227363
View attachment 1227364


If you remove the two screws at the hinge end (just above the slot the strop slides in) you should me able to get the whole carriage out for a closer look. Remove the strop and blade first.
I was able to pull the carriage out no problem, but it did not shed any light onto the issue. I have a broken box in my spare parts. I'd just simply use that and call it good if it wasn't for the spot welding on the spare in a few places is broken off. It can't hold the handle at all, and one of the blade holders is about to fall off. However, the blade flipper is in good shape. I noticed I can wiggle the drawer on that one and the blade will move back and forth like a Rolls, and with this one, the flipper only turns one direction until you move the box fully in the other direction. So something somewhere is upside down or backwards. And I do not know what it is or how to fix it.
 
Not gummed up at all. In fact, I added a small amount of Petroleum jelly, and while it smoothed things out a bit (the track is clean enough you can see the nickel polish) if the blade is positioned to push, the box pulls out a little, and it just does not move at all if set to pull (tried making a video of that but could not by myself here).
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Not gummed up at all. In fact, I added a small amount of Petroleum jelly
Where...? If you lubricated the wrong thing, that might be part of the problem.

Try holding the block that the carriage goes into, so it can't slide up and down the strop. Open and close the drawer a little with your other hand, and the blade carrier should roll over gradually over 10mm of drawer travel. Shouldn't take much effort.

If the drawer opens and closes quite freely... it shouldn't! There needs to be some friction there for the axle to turn first. The manual does say apply a few spots of oil, but the axle still needs to turn before the carriage slides.

Annoyingly, I only live an hour's walk from the factory... but all shaving gear knowledge has LONG since gone. It was just a very simple iron foundry over recent times, and closed down about three years ago.
 
Try holding the block that the carriage goes into, so it can't slide up and down the strop. Open and close the drawer a little with your other hand, and the blade carrier should roll over gradually over 10mm of drawer travel. Shouldn't take much effort.

If the drawer opens and closes quite freely... it shouldn't! There needs to be some friction there for the axle to turn first. The manual does say apply a few spots of oil, but the axle still needs to turn before the carriage slides.
Here's another video. It does have the friction stop. Made another quick video showing the carriage movement. I also show how the movement of the direction of the blade is affecting the direction of the drawer (got a somewhat awkward but effective position to rest the camera to show it).

 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Oooh! On that last movement, it flipped over just before it got to the end of travel. Promising. Possibly.

When you were flipping the blade over by hand, that's the first movement it should make. So maybe just doing that repeatedly to work some oil into the bearings at each end will help. The freer you can make that, the sooner the blade will flip.
 
Relubed it and did a spot checked the cleaning. Made no effect. I still think there is something mechanical that is flipped or in wrong and it is not a lubrication issue. I don't understand how a sticky track could cause consistent flipping in the wrong direction. This is a repeatable problem, not an occasional or random issue.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Not a sticky track. The other way around.

It seems yours is moving so freely on the track, that there isn't any resistance to hold the carriage steady, while the rack turns the pinion to flip the blade first. As you pull the drawer, the rack should turn the pinion, flip the blade over, and only then, start to slide. That resistance in sliding, also means that the rack should still be trying to turn the pinion, exerting downward pressure for effective stropping.

If the slide moves too freely, as yours does, not only will the blade holder not turn over, but won't press the blade down against the strop as it slides. The axle flipping the blade should move freely, but the slide should have more drag than it does to keep the pinion loaded with tension on the rack. Obviously the same when pushing, but in reverse.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
OK, I think I understand. Any suggestions on how to either add appropriate resistance back or fix the resistance level?
First, clean off all lubrication, remembering that it will now have got behind the carriage block, and might be tricky to flush out.

Secondly, oil (not petroleum jelly) each end of that axle, and keep turning it over, back and forth with your fingers, like you did in the video. You want to try and work that oil right into the bearings, both sides, to free it up. Apply oil to both racks too, in case there's any gunk in the teeth (rack or pinion) thats gumming things up. Note that if there's gunk hinign in there, the oil should flush it out, so you might need to oil, clean again, then oil again, until grime stops getting flushed out. Not huge quantities of oil, just enough to cover the working surfaces.

If that works, the blade holder should flip over, before the slide moves, in both directions. A tiny bit of oil, just a spot, might be needed if the slide sticks anywhere along the length of travel.

It might take a few attempts over a couple or three days, to start making a real difference, so don't be disappointed if you don't get results in 10 minutes. It's the ideal job to faff around with while watching a movie or something.
 
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