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Hoffritz plating?

I just picked up a Hoffritz slant on d'Bay and am now wondering what the plating is so I can choose the best cleanup method. This is what I bought:
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Thoughts?
 
Recently I was reading some stuff about old Merkurs (basically that's what the Hoffritz is). I could probably find the threads again but I'm using Tapa.

Anyway, that black thing on the handle certainly doesn't look like tarnish, but to me it looks silver plated, or at least the handle. I think I read something about silver handles and nickel heads.

Nice score, congrats.
 
I have a 1940' Slant Merkur. Basically the same thing as your new razor. The finish is called a silver finish. I have some literature, but I'm traveling right now. I'll be more than happy to forward it to you in a few days.
 
This thread made me think of this post from a few years back.

I often wonder about this as well.

I've read several different explanations of what the handles are plated with but I have no idea which is correct. I've also read that when new the vintage Hoffritz/Merkurs did not have the whitewash oxidation on the handle...not sure of this either.

One explanation is that the handles are silver-plated but they sure don't get covered in black tarnish like any other silver plated items I have that I know are silver-plated, include a couple of razors. Nickel plating tends to tarnish black as well...though not as easily as silver. Another explanation is that the whitewash is painted or lacquered onto the handle.

Still another explanation I found from someone who seemed to know what he was talking about was they are plated with "white nickel." A quick google search shows that white nickel doesn't even contain nickel...it's a mixture of Tin/Copper/Zinc. The natural oxidation of white nickel over time is apparently what gives the handle it's whitewashed appearance. If it is "white nickel" I don't know which of the three metals would be most likely to oxidize but this seems to make some sense because zinc oxide is is powdery white substance insoluble in water. But, I'm just not sure. Could it be both silver plated with a thin layer of white nickel plated over it to keep the silver from oxidizing? I read that silver is often covered with a very thin layer of rhodium for this reason.

Anyway, I've had two or three vintage Hoffritz and Merkur razors with dark stains on the whitewashed handles and none of the stains were removed with Scrubbing Bubbles, ultrasonic cleaner, or polished out with silver polish. The only way I was able to remove the stains was to put the razor in a vibratory tumbler filled with crushed walnut shell/crushed corn cob media for about an hour. It came out looking like a brand new razor with a bright white metal plating. Both the stains and the whitewash oxidation completely gone.
 
Merkur/Hoffritz/Coles/Pomco - they sure got around, didn't they?

I agree with all of the above - looks kinda like silver but doesn't look at all like silver tarnish, which is what really prompted my post. It's in the hot u/s bath with Dawn right now, after a couple of 15 minute rounds it'll get scrubbed with Bubbles, and funny as it might sound, I have a tumbler with crushed corn cob & liquid polish tumbling a 40's Super Speed out in the garage as we speak (or type), so I should have all of the bases covered. :laugh:

So the vintage Merkurs weren't Zamak?
 
I have a 1940' Slant Merkur. Basically the same thing as your new razor. The finish is called a silver finish. I have some literature, but I'm traveling right now. I'll be more than happy to forward it to you in a few days.

Can you scan the literature and attach it to a post? I would also be interested in seeing it and I'm sure there are others who would benefit from it.

thx
 
Handle is silver, head is nickel. Take a bowl, line it with aluminum foil shiny side up, put baking soda in there and then pour hot water in up to the neck of the razor. It will reverse silver tarnish with a reaction. It may take a couple of goes.
 
Most of the black in the knurling and on the knob was removed, not in the u/s Dawn bath, but with Scrubbing Bubbles and an electric toothbrush - so it wasn't silver tarnish. The grooves in the knob and the ring above the knob are white, and they have been unfazed by the cleaning process so far, so this has got me wondering what it might be (maybe OEM finish?). The black splotch on the handle where it meets the shoulder is missing plating, and that's probably the worst of this razor's flaws (which is much worse in the pic than in my hand).

I'll hit the handle with some Goddard's Silver Dip (I like that better than baking soda/aluminum foil) and post pictures later today.
 
Goddard works faster, most of the time, for me too. I will put some on an old toothbrush, to get the knurling, and crevices, on my old Wilkinson sword razors.
 
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Well, this is what it looks like after several rounds in the hot Dawn u/s bath, Scrubbing Bubbles, Goddard's and my first shave with it. The most benefit came from the Bubbles, and the Goddard's really only attacked the corrosion where the handle meets the shoulder.

Nice shave, I see why these are chased after on d'Bay, but I can't be as careless with this slant as with the RRSS V3. Good backup, though.

$100_1636.jpg
 
Nice razor, I was bidding against you. I love my Hoff's. I dont have that case and that was the big reason I wanted it. The more I shave with slants, the more they are becoming my trusted dailys.
 
Nice razor, I was bidding against you. I love my Hoff's. I dont have that case and that was the big reason I wanted it. The more I shave with slants, the more they are becoming my trusted dailys.
Sorry for that, moose!
 
I believe that the white is actually a powder coat and not metallic at all. I love that case.

BTW - I'll include a photo of mine, as the white is still uniform (I don't think that the original owner ever used the razor).

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I believe that the white is actually a powder coat and not metallic at all. I love that case.

BTW - I'll include a photo of mine, as the white is still uniform (I don't think that the original owner ever used the razor).

View attachment 568708
I'm thinking I agree with you about the white coating - and beautiful Hoff!
 
I own several Merkur slant razors with all the different brandings like Hoffritz, Pomco, Coles etc.

I can say that they changed the plating on their razors over the decades. Remember that these slant razors were made for more than 70 decades! Early models had nickel plated handles, later they plated them with silver and the white silver knurling. Late Hoffritz slant razors for example had a chrome plated handle then like the current production Merkur razors. There were also gold plated razors as well.

On the silver plated handles it was the same like on the gold plated Gillette TTO's: There was a thin clear laquer that sealed the plating and when it came off the handles started to tarnish. So, if you ever get your fingers on a minty Merkur slant razor with all the different brandings avoid to clean or polish the handle with aggressive chemicals.

Once the handle shows some tarnishing the banking soda / aluminium foil method is probably the first method to get that thing shiny again. You could also try to get it shiny again with a non abrasive polish but use it carefully.
 
I own several Merkur slant razors with all the different brandings like Hoffritz, Pomco, Coles etc.

I can say that they changed the plating on their razors over the decades. Remember that these slant razors were made for more than 70 decades! Early models had nickel plated handles, later they plated them with silver and the white silver knurling. Late Hoffritz slant razors for example had a chrome plated handle then like the current production Merkur razors. There were also gold plated razors as well.

On the silver plated handles it was the same like on the gold plated Gillette TTO's: There was a thin clear laquer that sealed the plating and when it came off the handles started to tarnish. So, if you ever get your fingers on a minty Merkur slant razor with all the different brandings avoid to clean or polish the handle with aggressive chemicals.

Once the handle shows some tarnishing the banking soda / aluminium foil method is probably the first method to get that thing shiny again. You could also try to get it shiny again with a non abrasive polish but use it carefully.
Thanks for adding to the knowledge base, Oel! Do you know any way to date these razors?
 
I tried to copy the info, but is not working out. I have to figure it out.

This is my Slim handle Merkur Slant with that same "silver" finish. In person looks more like a white fine powder coating.
 

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I have to dig around my den to see if I can find my Hoff, I haven't seen or use that rascal in quite some time. Thanks for giving me an excuse:laugh:
 
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