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Thread: eBay 101

  1. #481
    The First Cut is the Deepest! Magpie's Avatar
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    Ok, time for one of the most prevalent of Ebay "gotcha" problems. CELL ROT In case you are new and dont know, the handles on some straight razors (scales) were often made with a nifty early form of plastic known as celluloid. Same sort of stuff that they made old movie films from. The big problem with it is, it breaks down and degrades. Often with disastrous results. Sometimes it simply shrinks, some times it turns "chalky" or waxy and brittle (very brittle!) and some times it starts off gassing a corrosive fume that can eat a razor to dust in short order. I will post 3 or 4 easy to see examples over the next few days, so you can get an idea of what it is you are actually looking at on the bay. (or garage sale, antique shop)
    First up, currently on the bay right now. Its a suffering duckatash! ( I just wanted to say that)
    the 4 most frequent culprits for cell rot are Clear scales, Green scales, "Pearl" scales, and the Fux tortoiseshell scales
    But this one is something else you might not have thought about. its THE WEDGE! The wedge itself has gone to meet its maker, and its taking the scales and the tip of the blade with it. I have 2 razors like this myself on the bench at this very moment. Thankfully for me, the scales on them are Bakelite and Vulcanite, so they have held together well, and I will only need to replace the wedge and clean up the tips. The seller here is very honest, and provides clear photos that show the problem. This blade is a good candidate for a rescue even if it ends up needing the tip removed.

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    Last edited by Magpie; 10-07-2016 at 08:42 PM.
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  3. #482
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    I had one of those where the wedge went and wrecked everything.
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  4. #483
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    such a small thing, such big problems. Sounds sorta like me
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  5. #484
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Are you sure the scales are not celluloid. I have never heard of DD using Vulcanite and the bakelite was used in their final production years and that one looks like an older sample. The clear celluloid scales start out totally transparent but turn darker over time. Just because the wedge deteriorated doesn't automatically mean the scales will. Gassing is a funny thing and it can depend on several factors as to what affects what.

    You can tell if you rub the scales with your hand it puts out an odor if it's celluloid.
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  6. #485
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    Are you sure the scales are not celluloid. I have never heard of DD using Vulcanite and the bakelite was used in their final production years and that one looks like an older sample. The clear celluloid scales start out totally transparent but turn darker over time. Just because the wedge deteriorated doesn't automatically mean the scales will. Gassing is a funny thing and it can depend on several factors as to what affects what.

    You can tell if you rub the scales with your hand it puts out an odor if it's celluloid.
    The razor pictured is absolutely celluloid, MY razor that I have with the bad wedge, is NOT a Duck! While its true that the wedge going does not mean the scales will automatically follow, that does not lessen the lesson that cell rot can hide anywhere. I chose that particular razor because it illustrates both wedge and scales deteriorating. I will find more examples of celluloid problems and post them soon.
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  8. #486
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    As promised, more on Cell Rot.

    All too often you will see an advertisement with the claim, "Some rust on blade, but handles are beautiful" The handles LOOK beautiful, but THEY are the CAUSE of the rust.
    This is a recent Ebay Auction, showing what was a beautiful Torrey razor, now being eaten away by corrosion.
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    From the description... "BEAUTIFUL HANDLE

    RUST ON BLADE

    (VERY OLD)

    CASE IN VERY GOOD CONDITION"

    Notice the color of the scales, the sort of brown/orange ish. That was originally GREEN. Here is a photo of one of my own. it was a Wilber of the same style, but with the same celluloid on the tang instead of MOP
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    As you can see, the green is in the process of changing color, and where its done so, rust is forming.
    No matter how pretty the scales may be, they are USELESS! They will destroy any razor you put them on.
    More examples to come...
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  9. #487
    The First Cut is the Deepest! Magpie's Avatar
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    A few last pictures of cell rot. As i mentioned earlier, Some of the worst scales for rot are the faux turtle and the Pearls. (among others) Here is a Robeson "RTFYF" Look at the location of the rust, and then take a close look at the scales exactly where that spot would be when the razor is closed. You can see a small portion that has turned colors. I want you all to keep in mind, that I CLEANED the rust off this spot, and did NOT close the razor. I put it on the side to replace the scales at a later date, and did not want more damage. I dont know if the damaged areas simply were prime spots to hold moisture, or if there is some residue from the cell rot exposure that needs to be chemically neutralized, but the rust returned! Also notice the pins. Brass is more resistant, but will still corrode instead of rust. If you see a razor with pins or inlay that has heavy corrosion, the scales are suspect!
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    And lastly, here is a STAINLESS "President" model in pearl scales, where the degradation was so severer, the rot even ate that! I cried when the blade cracked from a tiny area that had actually rusted through.
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  10. #488
    Senior Member Fikira's Avatar
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    Thanks to "onimaru55" I was pointed out for this thread,
    I would like to share a warning I placed in the "J-Nat club":

    Not calling names, because I'm not going to begin with "Vendor bashing",
    but I do want to highlight certain practices, as placing fake stamps on Jnat's, which are so plain WRONG...
    I made an extra warning (with the known pictures, thank you "Alex" and "Ovidiu") into my articles:
    see: https://historyrazors.wordpress.com/...atural-stones/, under chapter: "Hatanaka Hatahoshi“

    Recently (’18, Okt) I found out that these type of stones also are sold through
    a Japanese eBay address, although the style of pictures, letter type in the listing, stone stamps,…
    are exactly the same as a Russian seller who sold/sells these fake stamped stones…
    Apparently these stones from a “Japanese” seller are send from Russia…

    Especially the stamp: 昭和1年=Shōwa 1 = 1926 is very striking...

    Nice stones though... I cannot say anything about the quality of the stones,
    but with this seller you should buy the stones while ignoring the stamps
    (which are placed for the purpose to ask higher prices)
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  12. #489
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    Just spotted yet another Ebay auction, where the unknowing are bidding on a problem razor...

    Beautiful "Candy Stripe" scales straight razor. Problem is, once again, the scales are celluloid, breaking down, and causing rust. Here you can see the rust forming in a pattern to match the stripes on the scales.
    I have NEVER seen a pair of these scales NOT rusting, same for the "plaid" style. My fear is ALWAYS some jackanape intends to buy this with the intent to put a good blade on the "good" scales, and then sell it to some unsuspecting buyer.

    I know this thread is elderly and no longer frequented, but I hope my last page of posts here can still be of help to some of you new guys.

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  13. #490
    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Good to see you, Steve!
    It's hard to pass on the cool ones like that, but it must be done.
    I still buy some old celluloid from time to time. Looking at the blade in them tells a lot.
    Some is quite stable. Some, not.

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