Later On

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

Chiseled Face Midnight Stag and the Rockwell R4

with 4 comments

Extremely good shave today. Brush selected in solidarity with a friend’s father-in-law in South Korea. (Long story.) The bush is a Maggard 24mm synthetic.

Midnight Stag is an unusual but pleasing fragrance: Russian Leather, Motor Oil, Hoppes #9, Birch Tar, Oakmoss, Gasoline, Smoke, Cedar, Cade, Bergamont, Vanilla. The ingredients:

Stearic Acid, Aloe Vera Juice, Potassium Hydroxide, Beef Tallow, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Fragrance, Mango Butter, Avocado Oil, Silk Powder

The lather was excellent, and the Rockwell 6S remains a favorite razor: top-notch in all respects. I started with the R3 plate as my standard, but now use the R4. All plates are comfortable and efficient, and this morning I easily got a BBS result with no trace of a nick—indeed, no close calls.

A good splash of Midnight Stag aftershave, and the weekend begins.

A commenter pointed out that the upcoming Rockwell Model T adjustable will include some cast zinc-alloy parts. From the Kickstarter update post: “The new materials for the production that will ship to the backers will consist of an internal stainless steel rod, 12 parts of machined chromed brass, and 4 cast chromed zinc alloy parts.” Gareth explained in an email to me:

Changing those 4 (of 17) parts to zinc alloy was an unfortunate consequence of the cast brass tolerances simply not producing a razor that functioned properly in full production. . . Gillette’s all-brass razors were stamped brass, and then chromed. We were attempting to use cast brass, which unfortunately does not produce tight enough tolerances in full production for the Model T to function as intended. Brass stamping is what create the well-known variability between Gillette adjustable models, and in some cases between units of the same models, which is an affect we wanted to avoid.

I was initially taken aback by the news, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Rockwell knows more about the production process and its requirements than I ever will, and I believe in their intentions to deliver a quality product that matches the high standard set by the final version of the 6S. My belief is based on their response to the initial 6S problems (when they attempted to use cast stainless steel), which involved finding a better way to do it and replacing all the razors of the unsatisfactory first run. In other words, Rockwell has proven itself to be trustworthy, so I trust them. I’m looking forward to the shipment of the Model T in late July (the usual Kickstarter production slip due to the mismatch between optimistic plans and harsh reality—e.g., the discovery that the cast-brass head would not work).

So my own decision is to stick with the Model T. Gareth mentioned that he is looking at an all-stainless Model T, which presumably would be more expensive, and that will be interesting to see. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the current model T—stainless steel, brass, and zinc alloy, each selected for being able to do the job well and also be manufacturable.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 March 2017 at 9:43 am

Posted in Shaving

4 Responses

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  1. I am especially fond of the adjustable safety razor,and like you, I look forward to the model T. Given past history,I wouldn’t vote against Gareth. What other company can you think of would replace their whole product because it didn’t meet their quality standards?

    Rupert Bizzell

    25 March 2017 at 11:07 am

  2. Thick plating is the key to a long lived Zamak part.

    Larry

    25 March 2017 at 12:19 pm

  3. Random question Sir, but what is the thread pitch of the Rockwell 6s? I seem to recall that it is not 10-32.

    Ryan

    28 March 2017 at 2:43 pm

  4. Rockwell threading is 10-32. In some post Gareth gives the reasons for it, but I can’t find the post now. Most now use metric M5 x 0.8

    LeisureGuy

    28 March 2017 at 3:02 pm


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