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Thread: Worth restoration?

  1. #11
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes, it does appear to be a case of cell rot and if so, you should get the scales off that razor as soon as possible. That is a very nice blade and probably can be saved.

    Those are some nice looking scales, unfortunately that style of faux tortoise is notorious for off gassing. Something in the chemical composition of how they were produced and more importantly stored causes the off gassing. Heat and stored in an enclosed space seem to be triggers, like a glass display case in direct sunlight.

    You can slowly close the blade in the scales and see if the rust pattern on the blade matches the light and dark blotches on the scales, on both sides when fully closed. If the rust patterns and blotches match, that is pretty definitive. As said judging from these photos and without having the razor in hand, it does appear to be a real possibility.

    It is very common on light colored “Ivory Imitation, Cracked Ice and Faux Tortoise from the turn of the century. It is one of the first things I look for when I see that style of scale on old razors. I saw some today at an antique show.

    If so, get them off quick and save the blade. Do not store those scales with any other razors.

  2. #12
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Don't store the scales at all. If the rust pattern matches the pattern on the scales, find out how to unpin a razor and throw the scales away.
    Euclid440 likes this.

  3. #13
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    Thanks again. They are not stored with any other razors, just picked it up last night and it's on it's own in the original box. Found some decent replacement scales online and will remove the scales, and send the blade to a pro for honing/cleaning up.

    Thanks for all the great responses. I'm really learning a great deal from you all.
    Bruno and earcutter like this.

  4. #14
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    I tend to think that celluloid rot damage is vastly exaggerated
    First off turn of the century scales are 100 years old. The damage we see took a very long time to occur.
    I think it is more of a product of improper storage.
    I have seen where one side of the blade is much more effected than the other. This has me beleiving the razor was stored for a very long time in one position and I would imagine that it likely was contained in some sort of container.
    The damage to the steel will follow the curvature of the scales which indicates that as little as 1/4" of distance from the celluloid is safe.
    Heat and restricted ventilation likely were contributors to the cell rot.
    I beleive high humidity and long term storage with fingerprints has damaged far more razors than cell rot.
    I lived in a very humid area for a couple of years and found that the gun cases that had so well protected my guns in other drier areas had become a curse.
    The guns withour cases did much better in that area because they were better ventilated.
    I think the same thing applies to razor steel.
    I would bet that if a cell rot damaged razor had the damage to the steel repaired and given a thin coat of oil, that it could rest out in the open for the next hundred years without problems.
    Montgomery likes this.

  5. #15
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galaxy51 View Post
    I would bet that if a cell rot damaged razor had the damage to the steel repaired and given a thin coat of oil, that it could rest out in the open for the next hundred years without problems.
    I would take that bet as the acids that are released from cell rot will eat right thru oil in a few days. Restore enough razors & you'll experience it.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so..

  6. #16
    Senior Member Wintchase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galaxy51 View Post
    I tend to think that celluloid rot damage is vastly exaggerated
    First off turn of the century scales are 100 years old. The damage we see took a very long time to occur.
    I think it is more of a product of improper storage.
    I have seen where one side of the blade is much more effected than the other. This has me beleiving the razor was stored for a very long time in one position and I would imagine that it likely was contained in some sort of container.
    The damage to the steel will follow the curvature of the scales which indicates that as little as 1/4" of distance from the celluloid is safe.
    Heat and restricted ventilation likely were contributors to the cell rot.
    I beleive high humidity and long term storage with fingerprints has damaged far more razors than cell rot.
    I lived in a very humid area for a couple of years and found that the gun cases that had so well protected my guns in other drier areas had become a curse.
    The guns withour cases did much better in that area because they were better ventilated.
    I think the same thing applies to razor steel.
    I would bet that if a cell rot damaged razor had the damage to the steel repaired and given a thin coat of oil, that it could rest out in the open for the next hundred years without problems.
    I used to believe that before I bought a razor (I can't remember the brand offhand... Black scales with some nice bolsters...) andway, famous for cell rot.. I cleaned the blade and within a couple months the rot started to degrade the blade again.. It was an eye opener... I took the scales off and put them in a plastic bage, and the bolsters started rusting immediately.. ticked me off because I thought that the scales didn't look bad when I got the razor... I will have to rescale them when I get the time.... I wish I could remember the brand?.... It is sitting in the to do box.... pretty popular brand though....

  7. #17
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    From what I have seen, cell rot is a time bomb and a lot may depend on where you are at and the weather. What sets it off is most probably heat in an enclosed space. So a razor could be stored just fine for years, then a vendor picks it up and puts it in a glass enclosed case in a flea market or antique store in direct sunlight and it kicks off. I have seen razors at flea markets too hot to touch the steel. Don't know the temp, but it is damn hot.

    Once started, it cannot be stopped, but when will it start? That is the question.

    Lately I have seen quite a bit in the California sunshine always in a glass case.

    Oh no another Global Warming Victim… Got to go and call, Al Gore maybe he can get a multi million dollar study done.

  8. #18
    Heat it and beat it Bruno's Avatar
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    Cell rot is also a bit like a nuclear reaction. It starts very slowly. 1 neutron splits an atom and releases 3 more neutrons. Those 3 each split an atom and release 3 each. Those 9 each split 9 atoms etc. Cell rot is slow to begin, but once it is going, the reaction is going only 1 way. And whether you believe it or not, putting rotting scales near good ones triggers the same reaction.

    From the evidence I've seen over the years in the restoration forum, cell rot is
    1) highly destructive
    2) irreversible
    3) contagious

    It is true however that leaving your razor open to air diminishes the effects, because the gasses evaporate instead of build up.
    But of course, the comes with its own set of problems, and a razor that can never be stored properly anymore is not that convenient.
    Til shade is gone, til water is gone, Into the shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath.
    To spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the Last Day

  9. #19
    Senior Member k5MOW's Avatar
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    Good luck on the razor.

    Roger
    Have a great shave.

    Roger

  10. #20
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    Wondering how the restoration is going?
    I have a ThePerry Mason Company PURFOCO razor, vintage but was is in fantastic shape...excellent steel and great edge. I cant imagine a better razor being out there. It may not be a lessor blade after all.
    Thanks

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