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Save the scales or make new ones?

Make new scales or not?

  • Keep old scales and try to keep inlay

  • Make new scales out of horn/bone


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I figured I'd post a poll to see what people would do with this one...

Its my first ERN straight razor, however the scales are...well, kinda ugly-ish.
$DSCF9276.jpg

The first issue is that I am not actually sure the "inlay (more of a metallic stamp)" will hold up to the sanding needed to get the scales black again (unless someone has a magic solution?).
The second is the writing ERN surrounded by a star looks like some razor that was on sale and that was stamped badly (not even in line with the rest of the scales)

Then again, they are the original scales, and I usually always keep the originals when possible.

The two options are:
1 - Keep the scales and try to work around the inlays.
2 - Make new bone or horn scales.
 
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option #1 - Never tried it but how about cutting some tape to size and covering the ERN & star then sand away.
If it does not work out you would have taken something out it. Option 2 is always there it turns out not to taste.
 
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Make new ones if you dislike them, but keep them somewhere safe. If it were mine, there is no way they wouldn't be going back on unless they had terminal damage.
 
If they are plastic and you have the ability to make new ones in Bone or horn without too much pain, I would not hesitate to ditch the original, just keep the wedge or something like that.
 
Yeah they are plastic (celluloid). If only I could remove the inlays to do a proper cleanup, or reset them on an other set of scales... But they a more akin to a sticker than a metal inlay.
 
Yeah they are plastic (celluloid). If only I could remove the inlays to do a proper cleanup, or reset them on an other set of scales... But they a more akin to a sticker than a metal inlay.
Soak the scales in acetone, after 5 minutes or so use an exacto knife under the inlay and they should lift right out.
 
The only reason I would replace those scales is if they are experiencing cell rot. Once you sand and polish those scales you may end up with a whole new look to those.
 
pmaster, I think you're skilled enough to make new ones AND save the inlay... I've seen your work... do what doc226 said
 
Yeah if the inlays were thick enough, but I doubt they are :-/
Then again I could just take my chances, soak them in acetone and see...worst case I loose the inlays, best case I get them to put on new scales (I really love the little crown&sword emblem).

The other annoying thing is like bladerunner said, these types of scales polish to a crazy mirror shine, I would hate to ruin this set.
 
I've seen people remove those inlays via acetone (like Doc said) and they superglue them onto the surface of custom made scales. Put a few coats of CA over them and sand between coats, just like finishing any other set of scales. Buff, and they'll look great and stay on permanently.
 
After the pics of cell rot I've seen, I have trouble trusting celluloid scales. I'd try to get the inlays and make new scales, either with them or without them. You could try to recreate the shape of the old scales
 
The option I would try, especially if you are going to toss them is sand right over the metal. I did this with a Puma and thought the metal would be the first thing to go. The metal turned out beautiful, along with the scales. Here's before & after pics....
Before


After
 
I don't believe that those are celluloid or experiencing cell rot. Looks just like vulcanized rubber or ebonite that undergoes a change when exposed to sunlight, releasing gases and changing colour.

I've found vintage razors at antique shops, actually a Herder double hollow ground razor, that had this issue with none of the rusting associated with cell rot.

I don't remember where but there are threads either on this forum or the other one that talk about how to do decent restores of this kind of material.

$115124d1355703070-f-herders-double-hollow-ground-d-b-g-m-dsc04688.jpg
$115125d1355703077-f-herders-double-hollow-ground-d-b-g-m-dsc04692.jpg
 
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I have a herder with similar scales, ebonite, i thought, and IIRC a soak in neatsfoot was recommended

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I don't believe that those are celluloid or experiencing cell rot. Looks just like vulcanized rubber or ebonite that undergoes a change when exposed to sunlight, releasing gases and changing colour.

I've found vintage razors at antique shops, actually a Herder double hollow ground razor, that had this issue with none of the rusting associated with cell rot.

I don't remember where but there are threads either on this forum or the other one that talk about how to do decent restores of this kind of material.

View attachment 403213
View attachment 403214
 
I thought pretty much all old "plastic" materials were either celluloid or bakelite? However no matter which material it is, I've actually restored many scales like this before and what I do is usually sand off the brown stuff until I get to the clear black, and then polish the scales to a very nice shine. I already started on this one as you can see some black is starting to come through. I stopped because I wasn't sure the sticker (I'm now pretty convinced they are now inlays, but just metallic stickers) was going to hold. I will continue to proceed in this manner under water, going very gradually closer to the stickers and see where it gets me.
 
The following info comes from Neil Miller:

Ebonite was a brand name for very hard rubber first obtained by Charles Goodyear by vulcanizing rubber for prolonged periods

Ebonite smell funny due to the high sulphur content - during 'vulcanization' of rubber sulphur is used to effect the hardening, and about 30 - 40% of the finished product is sulphur. Thomas Hancock filed for a got a patent for vulcanization before Goodyear, on May 21, 1844. Goodyears patent was awarded three weeks later.

It was also referred to as vulcanite and was used for pipe mouthpieces, pen bodies, bowling balls, lead acid battery cases, etc. Sunlight and heat degrade it, making the sulphur come to the surface. The discolouration has a range of colours through yellow, brown and greenish. Depending on the actual material and the phenols used, you can dip the parts in boiling water, sand and polish. Bleaching (50;50 bleach/water) may also work - after bleaching you need to restore the pitted surface by sanding with fine grades of paper and repolishing, either with Maas, Flitz or similar. Sometimes just simply polishing will remove light deposits, but if you are using a buffer beware of generating too much heat as this will oxidise the surface and bring the sulphur deposits to the top (although that is the point of the boiling water method - bringing it to the top them removing it).
 
Thanks for that info! Very interesting. Although I wonder what's the difference between just sanding them vs putting them in boiling water. Maybe I won't have as much sanding to do with boiling water? Anyone tried this method before?

The following info comes from Neil Miller:

Ebonite was a brand name for very hard rubber first obtained by Charles Goodyear by vulcanizing rubber for prolonged periods

Ebonite smell funny due to the high sulphur content - during 'vulcanization' of rubber sulphur is used to effect the hardening, and about 30 - 40% of the finished product is sulphur. Thomas Hancock filed for a got a patent for vulcanization before Goodyear, on May 21, 1844. Goodyears patent was awarded three weeks later.

It was also referred to as vulcanite and was used for pipe mouthpieces, pen bodies, bowling balls, lead acid battery cases, etc. Sunlight and heat degrade it, making the sulphur come to the surface. The discolouration has a range of colours through yellow, brown and greenish. Depending on the actual material and the phenols used, you can dip the parts in boiling water, sand and polish. Bleaching (50;50 bleach/water) may also work - after bleaching you need to restore the pitted surface by sanding with fine grades of paper and repolishing, either with Maas, Flitz or similar. Sometimes just simply polishing will remove light deposits, but if you are using a buffer beware of generating too much heat as this will oxidise the surface and bring the sulphur deposits to the top (although that is the point of the boiling water method - bringing it to the top them removing it).
 
I think the big difference is the boiling water (heating the scales) brings the sulfur to the surface, as stated. Simply sanding will remove the surface issue but not as much sulphur.

Let us know how it goes :)
 
I didn't have much time tonight, but I was able to sand away some of the brown goo away:
$photo (4).jpg$photo (3).jpg

The obvious problem is that I can't fully sand in between the little cracks of the sticker, but I think it will look nice nonetheless.

I'll try to post pics once the blade is put back in and the scales are all polished.
 
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