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Thread: Gillette black beauty - plastic or metal handles ?

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    Junior Member GabV's Avatar
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    Default Gillette black beauty - plastic or metal handles ?

    Are the black handles made of plastic or are they painted metal ?

    Is it possible to take these apart and have them replated and put together without destroying parts ?

    Also, I have a old slim twist - possible to change and fit new handles on these ?

    Thanks

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Since I don't know for sure I ought to keep my mouth shut ...... but that hasn't stopped me yet so ......... I believe the Slim adjustable with the black handles is a metal handle coated with rubber or plastic. Because of the TTO mechanism, and the way Gillette attached their handles, I don't thing it is possible to swap them, but I could be (shudder) wrong, I was wrong once before.
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    Senior Member MattCB's Avatar
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    I have pulled apart a few of the BBs and find that the handles are a very light non-ferrous metal.. I think it is aluminum but it could be another alloy. I have heard that it is a 2 part paint that is heat cured but I have touched them up with black Testers paint and it looks great. Don't use a sharpie as you can tell the difference. As far as replating the metal parts, I think it's possible but getting it fully disassembled without causing damage is hard to do. I can pull apart and reassemble a slim and fatboy 90% of the time, but the BBs are about 40/60
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    Senior Member MattCB's Avatar
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    As far as the slim handle replacement, I think you could swap in another slim handle for parts but I haven't seen anyone do a new handle. The TTO mechanism is integrated into the handle itself.
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    The First Cut is the Deepest! Magpie's Avatar
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    I just gave away a BB as a Christmas present. the handle itself was black anodized aluminum (pretty sure) or some other "inexpensive" metal. The underside of the carriage seemed to be either plastic, or a heavy coating of some sort on more lightweight metal.
    I have seen way more BB with plated carriages than I have the blacked out versions.
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    Senior Member tedh75's Avatar
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    My understanding is that he handles are aluminum. If that is the case, anodizing makes sense, but doesn't have to be the case. Never having held one I couldn't say. I know in 1977 they replaced the metal bottom plate with a black plastic one. On the slim and 1-9 fatboy this would have been the adjuster plate. I don't know if the super (BB) worked the same way.
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    Senior Member MattCB's Avatar
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    The black plastic undercarriage or adjuster plate was only on the last couple years. I am not a big fan of them looks wise, but work fine.
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    Senior Member tedh75's Avatar
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    Here is a nice little article on the adjustables in general with some info on the BB.
    The Gillette adjustable razors — BruceOnShaving.com a blog by Bruce Everiss

    A few more tidbits in this.

    http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/Gille...per_Adjustable
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    Junior Member GabV's Avatar
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    Thank you for all information, interesting that Gillette replaced the metal bottom plate with a black plastic one in 1977 as I did not know that. I just bought a long handled super adjustable "Black Beauty" from 1975 and I'm glad I did't buy plastic base one.

    Any sites that will show Gillettes changes year after year for fatboy,slim adjustable and super adjustable ?
    It would be interesting to see what was changed in detail for better or for worse for each shaver series, like plastic details and the one or two rivets t-bar fitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattCB View Post
    As far as replating the metal parts, I think it's possible but getting it fully disassembled without causing damage is hard to do. I can pull apart and reassemble a slim and fatboy 90% of the time, but the BBs are about 40/60
    This would be interesting to document, what year razor can be dismantled and how ? A database like this will benefit users.

    I got a feeling that they perhaps made the best quailty razors in the mid 50's to mid 60's and in the 70's tried to save more on the production costs.

    Any thoughts on that ?

    When did Gillette stop production of the fatboy,slim adjustable and super adjustable ?

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    Senior Member tedh75's Avatar
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    As stated in the first link I posted...
    Toggle: 1957-1960
    Fatboy:1958-61
    Slim: 1961-68
    Super: 1969-86

    As far as the quality of later Gillette razors my understanding is that the Super is well regarded. I am certainly no expert. If you do a google search on Gillette date codes you should be able to find some of the info you were asking about. Razor Emporium has some good articles and videos. You might be surprised what a google search and some surfing turn up. Badger and Blade is a good resource for info on DEs and SEs. You could also try searching this forum. There is a lot of good info tucked away in old threads, not to mention the library. Have fun!

    Just out of curiosity what quarter is your 1975 from?
    “To be fair, I did have a couple of gadgets which he probably didn’t, like a teaspoon and an open mind.”
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