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Did reconditioning ruin a Fatboy?

Purchased my first Fatboy off the ‘Bay. It was in excellent condition to begin with (no major wear, original box/blades and all)... But before using it for the first time, I took it a step further, having it reconditioned and replated in its original metal by a reputable company.
They did an amazing job. It seriously looked and opened as if it was BRAND new. But then...there was the shave.
First off, I had the hardest time finding the right angle on milder settings. I found myself going over and over the same areas because nothing was happening.
So I dialed it up, higher and higher, but the only difference I noticed was that the blade just felt slightly “scratchier” at higher settings. No matter what I angle I used even with an aggressive blade, I couldn’t get the dern razor to effectively shave my coarse, thick stubble. I was doing five and six pass shaves and still ending with patchy areas.
For perspective, my daily driver is a Timeless .95 with one open comb side and one closed. It’s smooth and easy to knock down any amount of stubble with from almost any angle.
Is it possible that replating the Fatboy “neutered” it? Would it have added too much to the existing metal to allow for sufficient blade exposure? Or is it that this classic razor is just ridiculously mild at any setting?
 

Hannah's Dad

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Purchased my first Fatboy off the ‘Bay. It was in excellent condition to begin with (no major wear, original box/blades and all)... But before using it for the first time, I took it a step further, having it reconditioned and replated in its original metal by a reputable company.
They did an amazing job. It seriously looked and opened as if it was BRAND new. But then...there was the shave.
First off, I had the hardest time finding the right angle on milder settings. I found myself going over and over the same areas because nothing was happening.
So I dialed it up, higher and higher, but the only difference I noticed was that the blade just felt slightly “scratchier” at higher settings. No matter what I angle I used even with an aggressive blade, I couldn’t get the dern razor to effectively shave my coarse, thick stubble. I was doing five and six pass shaves and still ending with patchy areas.
For perspective, my daily driver is a Timeless .95 with one open comb side and one closed. It’s smooth and easy to knock down any amount of stubble with from almost any angle.
Is it possible that replating the Fatboy “neutered” it? Would it have added too much to the existing metal to allow for sufficient blade exposure? Or is it that this classic razor is just ridiculously mild at any setting?
Hmmm ... it’s highly unlikely that a re-plate would change blade exposure. What is your angle of attack (shallow, steep)?
 
Hmmm ... it’s highly unlikely that a re-plate would change blade exposure. What is your angle of attack (shallow, steep)?
Yes. Seriously, it was all of them. I usually hold my razors with the handle closer to my face in search of blade feel and efficiency. But at any angle (or level of aggressiveness for that matter), the Fatboy was almost completely ineffective.
 
Hello, US tto-s are mild. Dialed up Gillette adjustables will become more “scratchy”, but it shouldn’t be that noticeable.
It could be that the Fatboy is not properly set or you simply don’t get along with Gillette tto-s.
A plate thick enough to alter blade exposure/angle should be noticeable on first sight, so I’d exclude this option.

Adam
 

THall

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Possibly the gap wasn’t set just right after reassembly. There are videos on how to do it or you can check with Cap on his availability. Uneven blade gap or maybe a bent bar can cause that feeling on your skin also. 2 slims in what appeared to be in perfect condition I had purchased had slightly bent bars, but I straightened them out myself.
 

KeenDogg

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Excuse me for asking but have you used a Fatboy before? Do you know what to expect with one?

Kind regards,
 
No
Excuse me for asking but have you used a Fatboy before? Do you know what to expect with one?

Kind regards,
No, I hadn’t. I bought it on its reputation and the strength of its reviews, but I had no idea the blade exposure would feel so minimal and that the shave would be so mild.
Since I made the purchase, I have seen a couple folks remark about the Fatboy’s mildness. I just didn’t expect it to be so ineffective in light of all the effective razors modeled after it.
 

THall

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I just saw you use a Timeless as well. I have a .95 Stainless OC myself. You’ll find the Timeless is more efficient than the 195. In my case, I can get a 2 pass BBS with my Timeless with just a little cleanup. Any 195 I’ve used has given me 3 pass BBS with no issues.

If you are certain your gap and blade exposure are fine on each setting I would recommend going with a setting of 9 both with the grain and across the grain and finish up with setting 3 or 4 against the grain. I have a very thick beard and this is what I do with all my adjustables, no matter who makes it, just the settings change a little per model. Go high the first two passes and drop down lower against the grain. Gillette adjustables are pretty smooth so you’ll get where you want to be without paying for it later.

I completely disagree with the thought of keeping any adjustable on one setting. To me, that is just a waste of what they are capable of.
 
Brother Carlio,

I have a fairly tough beard of "old man" whiskers. All of the Gillette adjustable's do their best on my face on an aggressive setting of 8 on their scales of 9.

I suggest you experiment with different blades and different soaps.

I'm surprised you had it re-plated before using it.

All of the Gillette adjustable's give outstanding shaves, close and comfortable.
 
You should have established a baseline by using it before sending it out at 1 or more settings for starters. This would hold true for any razor unless it is unusable. Because you didn't you have no idea if they did hack work on your razor or not. Think of it as a price of an education in what not to do to when you buy anything vintage from here on in. To figure that out if you get lucky someone will let you borrow a fatboy to check against if not you are going to have to buy another one to do the same hoping it is in good working order. The one thing though that makes that feasible is the second one you buy if it is, you should be able to resell it for what you pay afterwards quickly as long as you don't overpay for one. Ebay completed sales is your friend to determine what current market value range is for these razors.
 
You should be able to check the blade gap, with shim stock type feeler gauge. This will tell you if the gap was set correctly when it was reassembled, some (most) plating shops do not disassemble so it could be off ether-way.
 
Your experience echos mine. I use it on higher levels and still have spots left. Just not efficient enough for me. One of the prettiest razors ever, love the weight and feel. Tried it for years but I have stopped lately. I might be ready to give it up.. JM
 
MMMmmm something doesn't sound right. Buy another one, mid price, just clean and use it.
I have a few of them, and maybe the first shaves it was a bit different....to get the angle correctly (I shave my head w it) but once you have it....it rocks.
I bought a 4th, it shaved OK but the finish was 40% gone.....so I sent it to be refinished....they castrated the poor razor....it's NOT good any more.....looks fine but doesn't shave great....so I don't use it.
 

THall

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All this talk about 195s and I realized I had shaved with one in a very long time. Kids and wife asleep so I decided to knock out a shave in the basement with Proraso Red soap and my Plissoft. About 3 days growth.

WTG and XTG on setting 9 and finished up ATG on setting 3. Soft smooth BBS, never disappoints.

I shaved with a minty, no work ever done just cleaned up, no new enamel and no replate. I have a collection of them including some minty ones saved for my sons. I have one hybrid nickel and Gunkote finish, a straight Gunkote and a rhodium replate.

Don’t know if it’s in my head or not but think the untouched, minty ones just are a tad smoother to me. In my head, possibly? One thing I do know is that when that razor is taken apart, no matter who works on it or how good/exact they are with gap etc, it will always be slightly different. Not downing razor replates/refinishing at all and the ones I had done were a mess, came back incredibly beautiful but to me, there is a slight difference between the minties and the ones that were redone.
 

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it was a meddlesome mix of thing that hit you in the ***.

1. the replate job, only ONE person worldwide is trusted to do a plate job on a Gillette tto.

2. who took the razor apart? proper replating needs the razor taken apart, then de plated, then replated in proper steps. As a result, places like razor emporium screw things up badly.

MOST place just replate over the existing materials.

3. reassembly, unless captain murphy did the job, Ill point out that when you replate the razor you have to recalibrate the gap, most don't do that. But just a simple degunk you don't have too re calibrate.

but you have to reassemble it correctly, with the dial and lifter plate in specific position/arrangement.
 
Does the blade tray move up and down correctly and what is the blade gap at different settings? These are the basics that need answers before concluding that the razor is not functioning correctly.
Blade gap can be easily measured with a spark plug gap feeler gauge or similar. Pictures would be be really helpful as mentioned in post #14. A picture, end on of the razor, showing blade exposure would be especially useful.
Is the issue trying to compare the Rex Ambassador to the 195? :confused1
Need more data!
 
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