Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

First glimpse of re-plated razors

with 4 comments

I don’t have the razors themselves yet, but here’s a photo of 5 of them, all new plated in rhodium:

Click photo to enlarge. From left: Fat Boy, Super Speed, English Gillette Aristocrat #22 (formerly plated in silver), President, Fat Boy.

I’m very excited about their imminent arrival. It took a while. Sebastian at Razor Emporium, which took care of the plating, told me at the outset that he would be away for July and so could not get to them until he got back, but I went ahead and shipped them off on 6 July, all for rhodium plating.

We actually began emailing about the project 17 June. I had thought of asking that one of the Fat Boys be plated with ruthenium: a black Fat Boy! But Sebastian responded:

I just called up my plating shop to see if they offer ruthenium or platinum.  They told me that they tested black colored plating like ruthenium and hematite but they don’t offer it because they found that the plating dulls very quickly.  The also don’t offer platinum because all platinum plating requires rhodium plating over top and given that they can do rhodium on nickel they decommissioned their platinum bath since there was little demand for it.

As for a black colored coating on the razor, they told me that in about 3 months they will have a new black colored clear coating.  It is a polyurethane coat so it would allow us to make black rhodium razors or black nickel.  The polyurethane should last many many years and it would protect the plating as well.

So I may still have a black razor someday. At any rate, once Sebastian returned and looked at the razors, he spotted the crack in the Merkur Slant Bar, which I knew about. I had sent it thinking that the plating might fix the crack, but 5 microns doesn’t really stretch across 0.5 mm. Instead, Sebastian suggested that he send it to a jeweler for repair (which was about half the cost of plating it), so I went that route.

It turns out that Razor Emporium does quite a bit of refinishing work on the razors before they send them to be plated. Sebastian says that their process is proprietary but that it does, for example, address little pits in the finish. So there is that time (a couple of weeks, perhaps) and then the time at the platers (another couple of weeks). But now they’re back and will be on their way here soon.

More photos to come, along with my reviews of the replating.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2010 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

4 Responses

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  1. Stunning. I have a couple I’d like to get replated in rhodium, but uncertain about sending them off to people that I don’t know. How did you become acquainted with the folks at Razor Emporium? How long have they been restoring razors, and will they tell you any more details about their proprietary process? A curious cat…


    30 August 2010 at 7:34 pm

  2. I found the site when I got interested in the Pils razor. Razor Emporium was an importer. I did buy my Pils travel razor from them.

    I then saw the photos of the razors they restored, and really liked them. I emailed with an inquiry and it went from there.

    Apparently this vendor, like many others, is under a B&B ukase. One of my favorite vendors of all time, Giovanni Arbate of Razor and Brush, was similarly disfavored by B&B—as, indeed, I am myself. B&B doesn’t like a LOT of people.

    I like to base my judgments on vendors and the like on my own personal direct experience and not be swayed by hearsay, particularly negative hearsay issuing from B&B. So I went ahead and so far, so good.

    As to how long they (and their replating service) have been restoring razors and for more details about their refinishing process, I don’t know, but I urge you to contact them directly:

    Let me know how it works out.


    31 August 2010 at 4:04 am

  3. Those look really good. Question – do they refinish the numbers on the Fatboys as well? I have a Fatboy, I’d think about replating.



    31 August 2010 at 8:12 pm

  4. I *just* got them back in the mail today, very nicely wrapped. I’ll use the Fat Boy tomorrow, but the answer is yes: the numbers are now nice and dark.


    1 September 2010 at 1:50 pm

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