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School me on the Valet Auto-Strop

Thank you! I don't have the SE bug yet so I am not even close to being knowledgeable on the subject. I learn a little each day from fine gentleman such as youreself, Toby, and John.

Kindly,
Adam
Yet being the key word.
 
VC3 (wing tabs) and VC4 models (runner guard) would be Gillette manufacture.
Some VC2's are also Gillette manufactured. The merger took place in 1930, and VC2's were manufactured both before and after that date. But all VC3 and VC4 models were made after.

And just to be clear, the VC3 and VC4 both have wing tabs and solid runners on the back as strop guides (the A, B, and VB models had a roller on the back to guide the strop). The distinguishing feature between the VC3 and VC4 is that the VC3 was open comb, and the VC4 had a safety bar guard.

VC3 on the left; VC4 on the right. Notice how they changed the pin locations so their VALET blades would work for either, but other blade manufactures would have to change the punches in their blades.

$IMG_0646.JPG
 
Some VC2's are also Gillette manufactured. The merger took place in 1930, and VC2's were manufactured both before and after that date. But all VC3 and VC4 models were made after.

And just to be clear, the VC3 and VC4 both have wing tabs and solid runners on the back as strop guides (the A, B, and VB models had a roller on the back to guide the strop). The distinguishing feature between the VC3 and VC4 is that the VC3 was open comb, and the VC4 had a safety bar guard.

VC3 on the left; VC4 on the right. Notice how they changed the pin locations so their VALET blades would work for either, but other blade manufactures would have to change the punches in their blades.

View attachment 709288
Thanks for the clarification. I only own a VC1, which I appreciate being able to use a GEM with, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I succumb to the temptation of the others.
 
Here is a comparison of the VB and VC models. That's a VB2 on the left and a VC2 on the right. Notice the fronts are designed the same with the side-hinged blade retainer.
$IMG_0647.JPG

But here are the same two razors from the back, again with the VB2 on the left and VC2 on the right. Notice the VB2 has a roller for the strop, whereas the VC2 has a solid runner:

$IMG_0648.JPG

It's easier to see the roller vs. runner from the side as in the next photo. Same razors, VB2 on the left and VC2 on the right:

$IMG_0649.JPG

One of these days I'm going to get around to a photo typology of each of the types of Auto Strops.
 
I have seen a few listed as being made by Gillette. I haven't had the pleasure of holding one in my hands. I think you are correct on it being from a time when Gillette bought them out. That razor is a show piece! Take good care of it.

Kindly,
Adam
Thanks Adam!

Thanks to all the fantastic info from members here I have VC1's and 2's inbound so I can try both the Feather and Gem blades in this elder classic. Now if we could only get a domestic distributor for the FHS-10 :)
 
Here is a comparison of the VB and VC models. That's a VB2 on the left and a VC2 on the right. Notice the fronts are designed the same with the side-hinged blade retainer.
View attachment 709291

But here are the same two razors from the back, again with the VB2 on the left and VC2 on the right. Notice the VB2 has a roller for the strop, whereas the VC2 has a solid runner:

View attachment 709293

It's easier to see the roller vs. runner from the side as in the next photo. Same razors, VB2 on the left and VC2 on the right:

View attachment 709295

One of these days I'm going to get around to a photo typology of each of the types of Auto Strops.
Fantastic info on this genre of razors, thanks!
 

pbrmhl

Contributor
Jonathan, the Valet Auto Strop is a single-edge razor made back when single-edge blades were stropped just like straight edge razors. That's why this subject is in the right sub-forum.

Tried that Gem yet?
 
Notice the VB2 has a roller for the strop, whereas the VC2 has a solid runner
Does that apply to all models, or just the VB2/VC2?

I have three models that take the despined GEM blades, all with a roller. Two have blade restraints attached at the side of the comb and one has the blade stops at the end of the comb curling back towards the front. I thought the side blade restraints were B1 and the end stops were C1, but since they all have rollers, they may all be B1s. The side restraint razors are AutoStrops (not Valets) and the end stop razor is a Valet AutoStrop. I know, pics would help ;-)

One of these days I'm going to get around to a photo typology of each of the types of Auto Strops.
There's not a lot of definitive info on the differences between all the AutoStrop models other than the Stropper website, but that site is a pain to glean information from.
 
Now I'm just waiting for either my FHS-10's to arrive or one of two VC-1's that will take de-spined Gem blades to arrive so I can actually shave with one of these. Oh the agony of waiting!
 
Does that apply to all models, or just the VB2/VC2?

I have three models that take the despined GEM blades, all with a roller. Two have blade restraints attached at the side of the comb and one has the blade stops at the end of the comb curling back towards the front. I thought the side blade restraints were B1 and the end stops were C1, but since they all have rollers, they may all be B1s. The side restraint razors are AutoStrops (not Valets) and the end stop razor is a Valet AutoStrop. I know, pics would help ;-)
These are complex little machines, and the features are really hard to describe or understand without pictures. All AutoStrops have rollers. The Models A and B varieties have rollers on the back in place of a solid runner, as shown in the photo above. I'm not sure what you are describing with side blade restraints (VC3 and VC4 both had tabs on the sides), and most models have blade stops on the comb. So yeah, photos would help. If you post photos of your three razors, I'm sure we could figure them out.
 
The VB1/VC1 have the same relationship as the VB2/VC2, just a different blade holder. The VB1 has roller strop guides, as do the early (before the Valet designation was used) Auto-Strops.

The VB1 and VB2 were the high end models. Sets containing these razors typically sold for $5 or more, while a VC1 or VC2 set could usually be had for $1.

A Safety Razor Compendium by Robert K. Waits had a chapter on the Auto-Strops that is most informative. In fact, the the VC1, VC2, etc. model designations were actually coined by Mr. Waits - they are not official. The VB1 and VB2, as well as the pre-Valet B1 and B2 were all designated by Auto-Strop simply as "Model B" which is confusing, to put it mildly.

--Bob
 
The VB1/VC1 have the same relationship as the VB2/VC2, just a different blade holder. The VB1 has roller strop guides, as do the early (before the Valet designation was used) Auto-Strops.

The VB1 and VB2 were the high end models. Sets containing these razors typically sold for $5 or more, while a VC1 or VC2 set could usually be had for $1.

A Safety Razor Compendium by Robert K. Waits had a chapter on the Auto-Strops that is most informative. In fact, the the VC1, VC2, etc. model designations were actually coined by Mr. Waits - they are not official. The VB1 and VB2, as well as the pre-Valet B1 and B2 were all designated by Auto-Strop simply as "Model B" which is confusing, to put it mildly.

--Bob
Well said, Bob.

As an aside, I don't find stropper.com to be terribly helpful in keeping this stuff straight.
 
OK, here we go with some bad pictures and

Left: AutoStrop, blade restraints on side of base plate, roller guard, solid handle (probably not original), Made in USA. My guess is Model B1

Middle: AutoStrop, blade restraints on side of base plate, roller guard, hollow handle, Made in Canada. My guess is Model B1

Right: Valet AutoStrop, blade restraints on front of base plate, roller guard, hollow handle, Made in Canada. My guess is Model VB1???



 
Looks correct to me. I also would agree that the solid handle is not original - it looks like a VC1 handle.

--Bob
 
Middle: AutoStrop, blade restraints on side of base plate, roller guard, hollow handle, Made in Canada. My guess is Model B1
On the middle one, does the swinging door say "AutoStrop" like the one on the left or "AutoStrop Razor"? The former would be Model B1; the latter would be B2.
 
On the middle one, does the swinging door say "AutoStrop" like the one on the left or "AutoStrop Razor"? The former would be Model B1; the latter would be B2.
Sorry, I just noticed the flap fell down. It says AutoStrop just like the one on the left.

So both you and Spidey9 are saying the Model B1 and VB1 used both types of blade stops. Thanks!
 
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