Micromatic Clog Pruf Peerless cleaning advice

Discussion in 'Single Edged Razors' started by kcmodan, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. kcmodan

    kcmodan Contributor

    Hello Friends,

    Based on on the soaring recommendations of other Gem owners on B&B, and my own experiences shaving with MMOC's, I have recently purchased two gold tone 17 nub Gem Clog Pruf "Peerless" razors. Both are reported to be in sound mechanical condition but they both could use a little help getting them cleaned up and ready for daily shaving use. I have barbicide, so I am not worried about sterilizing them.
    I have spent the morning looking at various threads and am getting a little confused over the variety of advice given. There seems to be a consensus about soaking in hot but not boiling water with Dawn dish soap to dissolve any residual soap scum, followed by scrubbing gently with a soft bristle tooth brush.
    After that, I would want to very lightly polish the metal, without stripping off the gold tone. This is where it gets confusing. I have read about brasso, bar keepers friend, bon ami, everything up to just letting it alone and using it as is, once cleaned.

    is there any technique you owner's use to get these in top shape once acquired?

    I had also read it would would be a good idea to drop some 3 in 1 oil into the moving parts to keep it well lubricated. Do you owner's find this advisable?

    I just want to make these as good looking, and functional as possible. If these are as good as many of you say, I may be using them a lot.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    DCJ
    Raytown MO
     
  2. Hot soapy water bath and tooth brush is good enough to clean it. Boiling could distort the metal that is why it is not advisable. To polish make sure it is gold and not brass first. If it has a greening going on or tarnish it is brass. If it is brass use brass polish, if gold then use a very dilute ammonia solution or window cleaner with ammonia. For brass depending how much of a mirror like finish you want will determine whether you hand polish or use a polishing wheel and compound.

    Oiling the mechanism is not needed. Hot water soak and or if you have an ultrasonic cleaner is usually all that is needed to free up a seized mechanism. If they seize it usually due to gunk buildup in the mechanism the threads themselves don't have issues with fusing unlike aluminum razors which is advisable to oil.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  3. kcmodan

    kcmodan Contributor

    Did Gem actually gold plate razors during the 1945/46 timeframe of the the Clog Pruf Peerless ' I bought ?. During the war? I just looked at their pictures and it appears to be a lot of the standard greenish tarnish on one, and that one does look more brass like . The other one is darker in places but has a brighter gold color. When I was purchasing it, I just assumed it had some gold tone metal plating over brass - are you saying this might actually be gold plated and to polish it differently?
     
  4. I don't know all I do know is the ones I've seen and owned were all unplated brass same as with what are called bumpless Micromatic open combs. It is usually obvious if it is brass or gold plate when you can examine them in person. The problem with photos is yellow brass which is the particular alloy these razors are made of is easy to mistake for gold depending the lighting. In person you can tell for sure looking at in natural lighting.

    And yes you polish brass differently from gold plate. You treat gold plate the same as you would gold plated jewelry. Just find some instructions how to clean and polish gold plated jewelry and it applies. Gold plate wears off so abrasive polishes are not recommended unlike unplated brass.
     
  5. I use Flitz for polishing my razors. I've used Brasso on copper and brass, and it works well, but I also find it to be harsher than Flitz, which is effective but doesn't appear to damage the plating.

    As for polishing Gold plate -- I do not know the answer to this at all. I will say that I've used Flitz metal polish on my gold-washed Featherweight, as well as other razors that I believe are gold-plated / gold-washed, and it has not damaged the look/plating/wash of my razors. THAT SAID, I don't recommend it to others since I don't know really know the potential harmful effects that are possible and I don't want to steer someone towards something that has the possibility of damaging their finish. Here are my list of never-do's:
    1. Never boil a razor, or even use straight boiling-temperature liquid on any razor. This includes, boiled water, vinegar or any other liquid. I'll boil water and then let it cool for a minute or so, so it's hot, but not boiling hot.
    2. Never use bleach or vinegar....I've heard of enough people damaging their finishes (or lacquers) with those chemicals that I don't trust them. I've successfully used Scrubbing Bubbles, Lysol (concentrate that I mix with water for a strong but not destructive sanitizer), and Dawn. If I use SB or Lysol, I never let it stand in the solution longer than 10 minutes. And lately I've been using mostly just Dawn.
    I hope this is helpful.
     
  6. kcmodan

    kcmodan Contributor

    Luckily, an afternoon outing with my budding artist daughter to a local hobby supply store produced the purchase of a set of stencil brushes, with really small brush heads that are stiff enough for scrubbing but not stiff enough to take of the finish off of something. They get really small and could get into some very fine places that a toothbrush wouldn't reach. I am forever amazed at the things I learn from asking my kids...

    As for the Flitz, I am tracking that down locally, as I was unfamiliar with it...

    Thanks for the advice cell's and based on the Micromatic Monday's voluminous posts, I was hoping you two would be the ones to respond first...
     
  7. Stencil brushes are a great idea....never thought of that!!! Thanks for sharing, I'll be checking them out in my local hobby store!!!
     
  8. kcmodan

    kcmodan Contributor

    So...

    After a long soak in hot dawn water, followed by a careful scrubbing with the stencil brushes, then followed by a long polishing session with brasso and a final dunk in the barbicide, I ended up with two very shiny all brass Micromatic Clog Pruf Peerless razors in very good condition.

    While I am not a night shaver, I couldn't resist so I decided to test this all out with my daily driver setup: Cooper and French Old Goat soap, a Zenith horse hair brush and Gem SS blade on its third use. Three quick passes later, my face isn't BBS smooth, it's glass smooth. My wife was shocked. This razor really does live up to its billing, and I would have to say it has knocked my Fatip Piccolo Mk1 out of its docket as the best razor I own.
    This is one amazing razor... Luckily, I thought ahead and got a spare.

    Thanks to all who specifically recommended the Peerless Clog Pruf...
     
  9. That is great news!!! The Peerless is one of the few GEM's (perhaps the only one if I really investigate my den) that I don't have, and you've got me really thinking about it -- thanks!!!:001_rolle

    And now that you're up and running, I hope you'll stop over for a Micromatic Monday shave sometime. There's a bunch of us who gather anywhere from Sunday to Tuesday -- although Monday is the "official" day -- to share our Micromatic, GEM and GEM-cousin (Star and Ever-Ready) shaves. Hope to see you there.
     
  10. kcmodan

    kcmodan Contributor

    I lurk there but havent posted...

    3 months ago my son gave me an an Ever Ready 1912 from an estate sale he was cleaning up.Since that time, I have managed to acquire: Another 1912, 1914, MMOC, Shovel head (2nd favorite), Clog Pruf 12 tooth, Bullet Tip, Featherweight and an as yet unused NOS Contour. Most of these were from recommendations on the Micromatic Monday's thread. Luckily for me, Gems and their more common cousins seem relatively available and affordable from the usual source.I

    Apart from the paucity of blade selection, why aren't these razors a lot more popular with hobbyist shavers than they seem to be? Even for myself, I have dozens of de razors, a bunch of shavettes, and I think I could think the herd down to my Fatips and Gems...

    But my favorite of all of them has been this Peerless. I do detect a difference between it and it's 12 nubbed sibling. It's worth the time and few dollars to acquire one.

    DCJ
    Raytown MO
     
  11. I totally understand lurking....it's my middle name :lol1:...and I'm glad the thread has been helpful. As to your question, I have no idea why GEM's aren't as popular as Gillette's. If I had been a shaver in the "old days" of the DE vs SE blade wars, I would've definitely chosen SE (and either GEM or Schick) -- I certainly have DE's that I just can't/won't part with, but SE's are my definite favorite. Something I say often is that if my LOTH put her foot down and decreed that I could only have 1 razor, it would be a GEM (in my case it's the GEM Open Comb Damaskeene -- a fairly difficult razor to find and as such a pricey one). But after declaring that I had made my choice, I'd gather up all my Lather Catchers, my Micromatics, my Featherweight, my A1, B1 and B2 Autostrops, and probably all of my Schicks and squirrel them away....there are some DE's I would also hold on to; but not nearly as many as my precious SE's.

    As for the peerless, I guess I'll go back to squinting at pics on the auction site and trying to count the nubs to determine whether it's a Peerless or a "regular" Clog Pruf....it definitely sounds like a great shaver. While the regular Clog-Pruf is an okay shaver for me, it comes in 3rd place behind the MMBT, which comes in second behind my MMOC....so I'm interested in trying the Peerless one day.
     
  12. Couple of things on the blades, for ptfe coated stainless I think the reason for harshness on the first shave is due to the fact they coat the blades after putting an edge on them. That first shave won't be factory sharp until you take off the layer of extra coating until it is thin enough that it matches the actual blade edge. So cork, hand or foam stropping before first use seems to do the trick if you find those harsh.

    I can't speak for other brands but the CVS carbon steel blades are really good also. I think they are just as good if not better than the ptfe coated blades but the maintenance and cost for a 10 pack are why I don't use them more often. I've found that even if you dry them and put them back in the razor after shaking and wiping it dry they still stain in the holder but not on the blade edge. Best way to deal with this I've seen others mention I think is to dry the blade dip it in a container of rubbing alcohol, shake off the excess and store on a magnet for ease grabbing and reloading into the razor for the next shave. If you haven't I would at least give these a try or the singles which are medical blades you can buy at tryablade.

    Finally if you buy them in bulk from these shaving, razor blade or medical supply places make sure they are 3 facet cut regardless of the type of blade i.e. carbon, blue carbon steel, uncoated stainless steel, ptfe coated stainless steel. Those are the correct ones for shaving with.
     
  13. My take is it is a psychological issue. If DE razors are so good there would be some sort of consensus on which are the best shavers. It is like the design is flawed on purpose to never quite get to the finish line. That in and of itself is the hook to get people to keep buying new razors vintage or otherwise because nothing they have ever quite works on consistent basis from one razor to the next. It is well if this one is good but I've never had perfect the next one could be better. You can string consumers along for a long time with this model as long as none ever reach that highest bar on a consistent basis.

    Gem style SE razors sort of have that issue but they work a lot better overall I think due to thicker blades which lead to more consistent shaves regardless of how well the individual razors perform. Unlike DE some of the SE razors do reach that high bar that modern can't claim to do it better or even try. The modern SE gem style market in my personal opinion is either catching the unaware of the vintage, those that just buy razors to buy razors or those that don't like to use razors that were used by others prior. I can't speak for the modern SE gem style razors but if you want to read through here and other forums you won't find any overwhelming consensus regardless of how good they do work that they outperform the best of the vintage stuff out there.

    If you think these razors are good try some of the old Schick Injectors. There definitely is a learning curve when you first use them just like going from carts to DE like a lot of us here first did going either into or back into wet shaving same when going from DE to SE, etc. They do run the gamnut of mild to wild like Gem SE razors and DE but my belief is if you take the time to learn how to use one there is a goldilocks schick injector razor to be found for most everyone. I've only shaved about 15 times so far primarily with a Shick Hydro Magic I2 but I get as good shaves now with it as my Clog Pruf Peerless. It is a different type and feel to the shave but it reaches that same high bar and I am stilling dialing in my technique with injectors. With that said I still would use my Clog Pruf peerless as daily shaver over this for now because it is a lot easier of a shave with no cuts or irritation unlike the I2 for now anyways. The more shaves as I get used to feel and sharpness of injector blades that may change or if I find an better performing injector razor.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  14. Because everyone still remembers Gillette-style double edge, because they were the market leader through most of the pre-cartridge era. They became the market leader when they won the government contract to supply soldiers with razors during WW1, the soldiers were allowed to keep what was at the time a very expensive razor, and then kept selling the Old Type at a very low price when its patent expired and they brought out the New Improved in 1921. They built a lot of market share in a hurry that way. So Gem was always the Burger King to Gillette's McDonald's.

    When I picked up double edge shaving awhile back Gem didn't even enter into the equation. I didn't even remember that they existed. I have a couple of them now and use them sometimes, primarily due to this board.
     
  15. kcmodan

    kcmodan Contributor

    My fascination with using Gem's in all their iterations has been that, at least for me, they are intuitive. I haven't referred to the Gem foldouts that other users have reproduced on for posting on the forum. I picked up my newly acquired 1912 Ever Ready, loaded a blade, and began shaving with it. One or two strokes in, and I had already arrived at the correct angle - I think a blind person could do it by sound alone. You KNOW when this razor is cutting whiskers and when it's not... Putting that under your nose it's pretty apparent that unless you're John Waters going for a moustache trim, a horizontal WTG pass is not going to work well on the upper lip and a different approach is needed. Like I said, it's just intuitive. I am not the brightest bulb, but I can honestly say I have yet to get a serious nick from any of the Gems I own. I cannot say this of my de's or Feather ac's. In reading the Gem postings I keep coming across the reference to them being a "straight on a stick" and I am in agreement with that. I easily get a shave as close as with one of my Kai or Feather shavettes, without the worry of seriously injuring myself should my attention lapse.

    Years ago, fresh out of the U.S. Navy and heading off for college , a friend of mine wisely talked me into buying this new computer: a Macintosh SE with 4 meg of ram and a 40 meg hard drive. This in the day of IBM Pc AT clones running DOS and Windows 3.1. Everyone seemed to have one and they all seemed to run like crap. Most of my friends either went to the Mac lab or just sat in on mine when it wasn't being used - it even helped me to get my first college girlfriend...she loved me for my computer... I digress..
    Anyway, at the time Apple had about a 5 - 7 % market share, despite have a demonstrably better product. But they couldn't compete against the marketing muscle of Microsoft..
    I have been fascinated ever since with the idea that the best product doesn't necessarily win in the marketplace, only the best promoted. I don't know that Adam Smith necessarily took that one into account. I recall back in the day Betamax was light years ahead of VHS, but it's obvious who won that race. According to the previous post, we're shaving with an another example of that ... Marketing muscle wins the day.
     
  16. Apple's OS lost to Microsoft because it would only run on Apple computers with Apple peripherals. Not sure you could even buy just the OS. This tight leash did make them rock solid, but more expensive. They also had to compete with IBM and other computer manufacturers, and scores of peripheral manufacturers. Add to that the scant software offerings . . .

    VHS won because they managed to get most of the movie production houses under contract. Yeah, Betamax was better, but VHS had more movies to watch.
     

Share This Page