Monday, October 20, 2014

Trash or Treasure Razor? Part 2: The Hardware

This is part two of a short series of articles describing an attempt to rescue and transform what is perhaps the least expensive, new, all-metal DE razor. As it arrived in my mailbox from China, it was dangerous, with a blade exposure that could literally shred one's skin if used unknowingly, inexpertly.
This is what the Trash/Treasure razor looked like right out of the package.
Unfortunately, I modified the baseplace before I thought to take a photo with
blade inserted to show the factory-original blade exposure.

Because I never thought I'd be discussing this razor much less once again considering shaving with it, when it arrived, I never took a close-up, side-view photo of this razor head with a blade mounted to document the hazardous orientation of the blade. I started experimenting with changing the shape of the baseplate before I realized that this little project should be something I should share in this web site.

The process involved in this trash-or-treasure experiment is to use some simple hand tools, some simple inspection techniques, and a little patience to see if this cheapest of razors can be transformed into a usable instrument for any person who shaves.

The good news about this razor is that it has some characteristics missing from other inexpensive Chinese razors that I've tried. For one, its top cap holds the razor blade straight and parallel. This gives it the potential to be saved. Second, the blade angle in relation to the shaving plane formed by the top cap and the safety bar seems to have the potential to be relatively small, which offers the possibility that it will tend to cut whiskers more than scrape, which can yield a more face-friendly shave. The third positive aspect of this razor is that, when the razor is fitted with a blade and properly assembled (using the recommended method), it tends to self-center the blade quite well -- something that at least one razor I've reviewed doesn't do.

For me, the razor must be made into a much milder shaver because of my sensitive, thin, and somewhat loose skin. For others, the razor can be modified to be less mild than I would prefer; however, as it came from the factory, it was far too aggressive to be a safe, daily razor for pretty much anybody.

The tools of this process are simple: a small, flat-blade screwdriver and perhaps a small pair of pliers. You also need sharp near vision to inspect your work, so if necessary, have your reading glasses or magnifying goggles on hand. To inspect and evaluate the outcome of your adjustments, you will also apply the information in my earlier article, How to Inspect a DE Razor Before First Use.
The hardware for this Trash/Treasure project: the razor (of course), a small, flat-
blade screwdriver, which is the primary adjusting tool, and some small pliers as

The process entails using the screw driver, primarily, to make small adjustments to the safety bar. Because the baseplate steel is soft and the screwdriver provides much leverage, it doesn't take much force on the screwdriver to make the needed small changes to the baseplate's safety bar. Then using the inspection techniques in my previously-mentioned article, one then repeatedly reassembles the razor with blade to check the adjustment outcomes and notes further adjustments needed. This adjust-inspect-adjust-inspect iteration continues until the baseplate is oriented so that its safety bars are straight and parallel to the blade edges as well as having a blade-bar gap and blade exposure that are both the same and sized to give you the shaving character that best fits your face and beard.

Tomorrow the adjustments begin.

Happy shaving!

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