First glimpse of re-plated razors
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.