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The Fabled "Tan Tip" SS Under the Radar?

The seller certainly sounds confident in his description and if I remember correctly paydepst has one of these. Could this be what Krumholz mentions in his book? I was going to snipe but I have a red tip and I decided I didn't need three more SS adding more clutter to the closet. :cool:
 
To quote the description: "This razor is not a silver version with the plating worn off. It actually has a translucent tan lacquer on the handle with denotes it as the "normal" razor of the three piece set. This particular specimen is in very good condition with only a minor amount of wear on the underside of the head."

I find it hard to imagine how the space directly under the head would be the most "worn" area. Not many people hold their razors directly under the head. I think it makes more sense that the opposite is true. Maybe someone smoked all their lives, and while shaving, and it's a thin layer of nicotine?
 
You guys have short memories :smile: Back when the big tan tip thread was going on Paydepst had a razor with the same "translucent tan lacquer on the handle" on the way to him. The thread died a slow death with the coup de gras being my correspondence with "The Complete Gillette Collector's Guide" author Philip Krumholz admitting that he couldn't remember who told him of a tan tip or if he had seen one and that he no longer had his notes on the subject. So no one on this forum has seen a Gillette SS with a tan tip but at least one other razor with the tan lacquer has been sighted so ......... could be that for a short time this denoted the mild version of the variable strength trio.
 
I think w/ all of the razors the collected members of this site have seen, more than two would be seen. You would figure more SS's were made than 195's, and more than a few members have seen/possesed one. If they were indeed a "set" w/color differences, there would be advertising around to promote this fact. Collect all three, etc.. I've gotten a eBay special that had a similar coating on part of it. It wasn't a SS though. Also, I would think lacquer would tend to gum up the works of the razor, especially if it flowed inside then hardened.
 
Lacquer was used on the gold plated razors as a top coat.
I havn't seen any Flared SS's with Lacquer on them.
To me, this looks like a razor that has been heated somehow.
I have also seen some older razors with a soap liek film that was extremaly hard which looked like this, part of the finish.

Brad...yep the can of worms is open again.....:scared:
 
FWIW, paydepst definitely has one and I have heard through the grapevine that Gatorade also has one as well. Then there is the one that sold on ebay. That is three with what I assume is the same lacquer coating. It may be the solution to the mystery of the mild version of the color coated SS known as the tan tip. Might be something else but with three individual and unrelated examples I don't think it is something that was done outside of the Gillette factory. If paydepst and Gatorade would give their opinions it might be helpful for those of us that are interested in such things.
 
I just found this thread.

So here goes...

The seller's description is spot on if he says the coating is most worn under the head. That is because this is not...repeat...IS NOT a lacquer coating such as you see on a gold plated razor rather I believe it to be a protective coating placed on the flare tips to safeguard their jewelled finish during assembly. I really don't think that would be so hard to accept as a possibility. The reason the coating is spotty on the neck is the jewelled knurling stops about three quarters of the way up the handle and the head once attached protects that area and isn't as prone to scuffing. If you've ever seen an NOS Flare Tip (and I have a few including one on the tan base!) their handles glitter like diamonds. The coating was supposed to be removed at some subsequent point during assembly and it was simply overlooked. During this era Gillette was producing thousands of these things if you recall. I have no problem seeing how a few could have gotten past the "eagle-eyes" in QC. Gillette QC was good but it wasn't perfect.

Add to that the fact that Krumholz admits he has never seen a painted tan tip. I'm not surprised as I do not think they exist in production form if they exist at all. That's not a slight against Krumholz but remember he's human too. Charlie (Gatorade) and I have discussed this at some length in pms and emails back when it was a bit of a buzz on the forum. There is no way to prove my theory but in light of the evidence available it certainly holds water I think.
 
Thanks for chiming in Mark. It seems like the tan tip is the DE equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster or the Easter Bunny. :smile: I should have known that if neither Arik or Achim had one they do not exist.

OTOH, playing the devil's advocate, it seems unlikely to me that Gillette would bother to put protective lacquer over plating that is much harder and tougher then the coating only to have to remove it later. It was a relatively cheap product after all and why increase production costs with such an unnecessary step?
 
OTOH, playing the devil's advocate, it seems unlikely to me that Gillette would bother to put protective lacquer over plating that is much harder and tougher then the coating only to have to remove it later. It was a relatively cheap product after all and why increase production costs with such an unnecessary step?
Well like I say it is just a theory. Plus I don't know how the assembly line was set up. It may not have been that big of a deal to put it on and take it off. It looks like it was applied as a dip coat perhaps it may have been taken off a similar way.
 
I just found this thread.

So here goes...

The seller's description is spot on if he says the coating is most worn under the head. That is because this is not...repeat...IS NOT a lacquer coating such as you see on a gold plated razor rather I believe it to be a protective coating placed on the flare tips to safeguard their jewelled finish during assembly
How do you feel about the thought that the "coating" is a product of being held and used? It would explain why it isn't under the head, as no one holds the razor there, and at most puts a finger up there. I only say this due to a recent experience. I was at a stop light and leaned over to tie my shoe and my nose was near my steering wheel. I caught this odor, and when I looked up, I realiazed it was my steering wheel cover. I don't wipe down my interior that much and on the black vinyl areas of it, there was a tan coating. I will guess it was composed of skin oil and old skin cells. A quick going over with a handi-nap got some off, and some dish soap and a rag got it clean all over again. I think if someone shaved before they showered, they would have an abundance of dead skin cells, and also oil. If you leave oil in a container long enough, it becomes almost solid(at least in my experience having some in a spray bottle for my grill). If someone never cleaned their razor very well, and used it every day, it would lead to accumulations right about where they were on that razor. After ten years or so of not being used, that layer would in essence become a lacquer or varnish. Also, why would they produce a "set" over the span of two years? The red tip was B2, the SS was c1, and the blue was c4. Just my two.
 
It's too uniformly thick and even around the handle and the TTO for that. I won't say it's impossible but I think it is improbable. The splattering of the coating under the head reinforces the quick dip theory too.
 
It's too uniformly thick and even around the handle and the TTO for that. I won't say it's impossible but I think it is improbable. The splattering of the coating under the head reinforces the quick dip theory too.
Were these razors hand assembled, or machine assembled? Do the tips on red tips and blue tips have a lacquer on them? Sorry to be so questioning, but I'm really interested in this, and am just trying to figure it out.
 
I haven't seen a blue tip up close and personal but I have a couple of red tips and they are paint or lacquer of some sort. Pretty tough stuff judging from the way they have adhered to the knob over years of use. The fact that in the case of the red and the blue only the tip is colored is another conundrum when considering the elusive tan. If the lacquered model in question is the middle of the road version why the whole handle and not just the tip? We have to hope that someone who was hands on at Gillette during the years these were produced gets back into wet shaving and graces this forum.
 
I am guessing if they were hand assembeled, the process was about like this. I am picturing four bins for the worker, one each for shaft, head, silo door/center bar assembly, and tip. They take the shaft and a press presses the head on. They then take a silo/center assembly and thread it into the razor and apply a tip. The stick it into a machine which "fixes" the shaft to the tip and applies that little 3/4 circle of metal around the end of the silo/center bar assembly. It's complete then and either put on a conveyer to packaging, or directly packaged then put on a conveyer. The problem I have with a temp protective coating is that during the lathing/knurling they are bathed in cutting oil, which has to be washed off. They would have to be dried to apply the lacquer, and then dried after the lacquer is applied to prevent them from sticking together when placed in a bin. If they were run on an assembly line the whole way, there shouldn't be anywhere along the line for them to come in contact with anything that would scuff them. If only the shafts were coated, I can't figure out how they would remove only the lacquer and not the paint of the colored tip. I am thinking the tips were powder coated or something similar as they were mass produced, and seem to "wear" like a powder coated item. Again, I hate to keep opening the can of worms, but I'd like to figure this out.
 
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