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Thread: Celluloid Rot?

  1. #11
    Junior Member tigerblade's Avatar
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    I've polished it up tonight with paste and it looks nice again.
    washed it and dried fully.
    I'll leave it a while and see what happens to the blade.

    There are some markings on the scales, that doesn't show well in the photos, what I can only describe looks like white mould.

  2. #12
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    yeah check it and see if it'll get rusty again. if it does i'd say it's the rot and you've got to throw the scales away. how long till it got the rust the first time around?
    as to whether the seller knew about it and intentionally didn't disclose it, i guess we're not in a position to tell.

  3. #13
    Junior Member tigerblade's Avatar
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    It was really strange,
    I put it in warm water in the sonic cleaner and within 3 minutes of it being in there it was a mess!
    I didn't believe it when I first saw it! Never seen anything like it.

  4. #14
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    I can see where you're coming from, by pictures 1204/1205.

    But if you put the razor in the sonic cleaner while closed, couldn't it be that rust started forming all over the blade and the exposed parts were kept rust-free by the ultrasonic action? The scales would block the ultrasonic waves allowing rust to build up near the edge, mimicking the effect of celluloid rot.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    That doesn't look like celluloid rot to me. usually the rust is only where it folds into the scale. Also it takes many days before you start to get even the slightest rust marks and thats where the rot is severe. depending on what was used for detergent in the ultrasonic that could cause some type of reaction with the celluloid.

    I agree quarantine the razor and give a few days, maybe even a week or two but check the blade every day. Celluloid rot is funny. Sometimes its a tiny part of the scale that starts to go and it doesn't always spread to other parts of the scale but will rust and pit a small part of the blade. Then it seems to spread on the blade from the initial corrosion.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

  6. #16
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Pics are always a tuff call, but from what I see that doesn't look like cell rot... nor the rust from cell rot....

    When you said white moldy looking stuff that worried me but there should be visible break down in the actual fibers of the scales by that point, and a distinct smell, like sweet rotten vinegar...
    The real problem with cell rot is it doesn't follow any set rules...
    other then, if you suspect it, keep that razor away from your others...

  7. #17
    Junior Member tigerblade's Avatar
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    thanks for all your advice, I'll monitor the razor and see if anything develops!

    thanks
    Paul

  8. #18
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    I had an experience with cell rot where signs of tarnish formed within days of cleanup... even thru a coat of oil.
    I'm talking 3 or 4 days. My scales were black had no crazing or frosting and no camphor odor. Go figure.

    As Neil said its peculiar yours was ok prior to "cleaning"
    Un pin the blade and run the cleaner again. See if it rusts.

    The "white mold" on the scales is not a good sign tho.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so..

  9. #19
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    There are three main types of celluloid - the two most prevalent as handle materials are celluloid nitrate (a very early form) and celluloid acetate. The former leeches out nitric acid, the latter acetic acid. Both are formed from guncotton, nitric acid, sulphuric acid and camphor. Dark varieties have fillers, clear ones do not.

    The ntrate form has been noted as turning fingers white during handling, but is not as common as the the acetate variety, as it was lobbied against in the early 1900s when movie stock from it began to deteriorate.

    Moisture is a known catalyst in cases of celluloid rot, especially of the initrate type. It is a possibility that the agitation effect of a sonic cleaner spreads the acid that causes the rusting, so that it is not confined to that part of the blade which is normally covered by the handle. If you must clean possible celluloid handles by this method, it might be prudent in the future to netralise any possible acid contamination by adding baking soda to the wash water.

    In defence of the seller, any (in fact, every) celluloid handle is capable of spontaneous breakdown. US celluloid handles are rare post 1950s, but german made ones still appear many decades later. There are pre-1950 handles that have not deteriorated, but that is not to say that they will not - the capability is there. The fault is in the method of manufacture of the material, not some sort of "con" or "cover-up" by someone who sold the razor decades later and who never suspected that this might happen.

    The way celluloid degrades is complex and varied. Some turn crystalline, some split and crack, some smell of vinegar, some have no apparent smell, some explode, some turn powdery and some exude a fine nitrate deposit. In all cases camphor is expelled from the matrix.

    The external environment hastens the effect, moisture in particular. Water is a necessary ingredient for most of the reactions that break down celluloid - it attracts moisture, and moisture acts as a catalyst (ie hastens/accelerates) the reactions.

    Having said all that, it still doesn't look like cell rot to me - the marks definitely look like fingerprints where the blade has been handled, with some small rust spots here and there.

    Regards,
    Neil

    PS: great control experiment Oz! If the blade sans handle still rusts in the sonic cleaner, that would remove all doubt of cell rot.
    Last edited by Neil Miller; 03-01-2009 at 03:14 AM.

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Neil Miller For This Useful Post:

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