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French Manufrance 3 Piece OC Le Barbu Razor

A couple razors came in the mail for me today.

One of them was an interesting French razor that I thought was kind of pretty in a simplistic way so I bought it.

The razor is made by Manufrance otherwise known as Manufacture Francaise d'Armes et Cycles de St.Etienne

As far as I can tell there are two versions of this razor, a 1 piece with a flared hinged top called "Prima" and the 3 piece I bought called "Le Barbu"

It's in pretty good condition even though I have no idea how old it is.

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It came with it's original aluminum case with engraved name on the cover. There was originally 2 blade boxes.
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The cap is also engraved with the company name and "Le Barbu" in script.
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More views of the 3 pieces.
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You can see how the blade is held in with two tiny posts. The handle fits perfect into the spot cut out for it in the base.
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Here is going to be the hard part. As far as I can tell the original blade (middle) was made specially just for this razor by the same company. I'm going to have to possible made a jig so I can cut & drill a SE blade to match the blade, of course it will be SE not DE like the original blade.
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Top of the day!!,

I hope that this link might be of help to you in your blade quest. Medical blades is the Google search I used. There are more so enjoy and good luck!!

And that's a great lookin' razor!!

http://www.lutz-blades.com/us/products/blades-by-shape/oblong-blades.html

Thanks! :) I got excited when I saw the blades on that page link, I think the narrow ones might fit but the problem would be that they are for cutting tools and I don't think you can shave with industrial blades.

You got me on the right tract though! I'll be off to spend another few hrs looking for blades for this razor now lol.
 
Lovely razor. Good luck with the blade quest.

PS, your photographs of this razor are very well done.
 
Lovely razor. Good luck with the blade quest.

PS, your photographs of this razor are very well done.

Thank you! There photos were just done on some white paper with strip lighting in my basement. They turned out ok but I wish I had the light booth from work I made. It has professional lighting and is color matched to my cameras setting.
 
Well I did a rough draft of cutting down a SE blade today. I scanned both blades and traced them. I then engraved them into a piece of acrylic to make a jig to drill the holes. I also made a acrylic jig to cut the top half of the blade off.

The jigs worked pretty well but I've decided to change a couple things. I think I might try machine shearing the blade in half instead of using a cutting wheel.
As for the holes I found that I didn't have any high quality drill bits that were the correct size so I had to use a high speed steel #31 bit in the drill press.
If I decide to move ahead with the design I'll probably get a good 135 degree split point Viking Hi-Molybdenum drill bit set and try it in our Foredom coolant bath drill press setup.

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I did a rough filing of the burs on the holes. I didn't really care if the blade scratched for this run. The cutting edge is still untouched.
With the proper drill bit, cutting speed & coolant there shouldn't be any burs next time.
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The blade fits and matches the exact placement of the original blade. The last issue I possible have is blade thickness. The original blade is actually about half way between a DE & SE in thickness. So do I go with a SE that is a bit thicker or a DE which is thinner?
 
I say stick with an SE blade as the width is a better match for the razor. The DE would be far easier to cut in a shear without warping though...you could probably get away with putting the holes on each half of a DE blade for the indexing pins, then just snap it in half.
 
The head on that razor looks stuning, beautiful. I am amayed with both it's look and your skills. Keep us posted!
 
Well I tried the razor out. It's the most aggressive razor I've ever used and I'd say it borders on not being usable. I double checked that the new blade had the same exposure as the old blade and it does. The problem isn't the blade exposure past the cap as much as the short OC teeth. It's like your shaving with just a bare blade and no guard.

I can't really decide how this razor was meant to be shaved with.. if you go for a steep angle using the cap then the teeth don't even touch your face before the blade does. If you go for a shallow angle so that the teeth do touch your face then the blade is pretty much dragging against your skin.

When I compare it to any of my NEW or NEW Improved razors I can see on the Gillettes that when you have the angle correct the teeth & cap touch your face with the blade at a nice cutting angle. The blade is also a lot further back from the end of the teeth on the Gillette's. There is no way of getting close to that with this French razor.

It makes my Gem MMOC & Schick E look like Techs hah!

I'll take some comparison photos tonight to show what I'm talking about.
 
Thanks for the information about the razor and how it shaves, and for taking one for the team.
I have a 2 or 3 razors mainly french made, that sound very similar in the way they work so i will take
my time and try not to make a mess.
I think i would try a shim under the back edge of the blade to try and alter the angle, and try and tame it a bit.
 
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