Broken razor handles and repair

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Bookworm, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    I've managed to get two or three broken razor handles (Gillette Old type tubes) that I'm going to take to a customer to see if they can be laser welded. I don't like the soldering and epoxy that many people have used.

    As part of this, I'm eyeballing trying to make, for fun, some replacement tube handles from carbon fiber. Here's my problem - I have to buy about a meter at a shot, for two inches of testing. I can't find any local shops where I could buy some scraps. I HATE wasting stuff.

    So, I have some questions.

    1) Any suggestions on what to do with the extra tubing?
    2) Anyone want some to play with on their own?
    3) If it works, anyone want a handle to replace a cracked unit, at least until I run out? I don't want to do this as a business. If it works out well enough, I'll dump a handful of them to the TSD store (gratis) and let them make some profit.
    4) Anyone tried it yet?

    Or should I not bother?

    Now, on to some information. Gillette was NUTS. Friction fit is understandable, but he must not have understood the tensile strength of thin brass. The tubing itself is approximately .300 inches ID (7.62mm), but the threaded knob and the base knob tend to have inserts that are closer to .330 inches OD! Rough approximations, the tubing is 19/64ths inside diameter tubing, and the inserts are 8.4mm. .8mm may not sound like much, but that's a measurement off of one already with a tiny hairline crack, but the closest to untouched. Wall thickness is .025 inches, approximately .65mm That means that the difference in the insert size to tubing size is greater than the wall thickness.

    That also means that the ends had to be just about hammered into place, and the surprise isn't that the tubes crack - it's that the tubes didn't crack immediately! If they'd heated the tubes, inserted the parts, then let everything cool, it might have been okay, but all of the parts were plated individually, then assembled. Heating would probably have damaged the plating and nitrocellulose lacquer. (thicker tubing might have been okay as well) I'm wanting to try the carbon fiber because it has very good tensile strength, although I'll probably have to grind out the inside a bit.

    I'm also trying to get a page up that I can start using for compiling data. One of the things that I've noticed is that there are lots of places with overall weights for entire razors, but not for the caps, tubes, etc; I want to real measurements. I'm anal that way. Anyone have any specific stuff they want me to measure and post up here? Assuming I have the razor in question to do the measurements? (distance between comb teeth, etc) I can't do alloy tests; I'm an IT person, not a metallurgist, but I have calipers, small scales, and a variety of other tools and toys. (if you have data, I'd love to have it)

    Opinions? Comments? Suggestions?
    jeraldgordon, preidy and Redfisher like this.
  2. mrchick

    mrchick Odd, Terrible Avatar

    Sounds like a cool idea. I agree about it being a poor design. I've seen NOS razors with cracks.
    Puma likes this.
  3. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Go for it.
  4. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    Sounds like a neat project. The pictures of the carbon fiber handles will probably be pretty neat too.
    Good luck!
  5. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately the cheapest carbon fiber tubes are 1) ugly flat black, and 2) probably not strong enough in the dimensions to take the stress of the ends. Nobody wants to sell a single 1 foot piece, and the place selling 2 foot pieces has a $30 minimum. However, they _do_ have it in three colours! Red, blue, and black :)

    Kind of expensive for a 2-3 inch piece for experimenting. That's why I was asking if anyone had other ideas as well :)
  6. nikonNUT

    nikonNUT Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  7. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    yeah, that's the pultruded carbon fiber. From the reading I did on it (I'm not an expert), it's strong in flexation, but not the bursting strength I'm looking for. I mean, I _could_ use it, but if I'm going to do it, I'll do it right the first time. I appreciate the link. That's still a better deal than had. They had the material, and similar price, but you have to buy $30 of it at once. I'll probably end up spending $24 from a local company in Crosby, Tx, get 1 metre of it in two 5 decimeter sections, and work with that. If it looks nice, I'll spend the money to buy a couple of colours from DragonPlate. Then get rid of what I don't use (maybe make a pile of handles). Seems like a waste, but when you only have one game in town, you don't have a choice but to play.

    No other suggestions? Nobody saying "I have a couple of broken ones too!"?

    I'm going to go through the rest of this towerhobbies site and see what they have.
    DaltonGang likes this.
  8. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Oh, I have several cracked handled razors too. Several Single Rings, and a Gillette Big Fellow. The fixes have a lot to do with personal preference. Many like the original look of these razors, and don't want to drastically change that look. I've seen many fixes, with epoxy, on some badly split handles. Done correctly, you would have to look really close to see the repair point. Soldering just looks messy. I've thought about fixing some of mine,, with epoxy, but I have other razors that have preoccupied me since then.
  9. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm committed. I just ordered a meter of carbon fiber rods, or as those idiots measured it, 'two 500mm' rods. Am I the ONLY one that uses decimeters, or even decimal points? That would be two .5 (half) meters, or two 5 decimeter rods. It's like most of the folks that sell products think that the metric system is _only_ made up of millimeters.

    Anyway - I just ordered the silver/black rods. If they work out, I can order red, green, or blue Kevlar modified rods. I think there might even be gold. $16 with shipping from the California warehouse of a Chinese company. (I'd rather pay $25 and order it from a US company, but this is for pure experiment, and I may end up throwing a lot of stuff away)
    PanChango likes this.
  10. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Oh - add on. Talked with my father (mechanical design engineer for years, still with his PE stamp), and showed him the measurements, and he was as astonished as I was. His thought was that Gillette didn't use engineers, but rather 'designers'. A 10% difference between the ID of the tube and the OD of the plugs is nuts, even for a friction fit - or as he put it, an interference fit. If they'd carved that down to a 5% difference, it would have fit just as well, and NOT blown out the tubes. If they hadn't gilded/plated the joining surfaces, then they probably would have also mildly bonded on the molecular level, over time.
    twhite likes this.
  11. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    I used copper pipe to fashion a handle on a new standard 20161001_100142_resized.jpg it wasn't perfect. It was functional, and the colors matched.
    Dansco, AGHisBBS, gorgo2 and 9 others like this.
  12. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    Nice improv David. It looks natural.
  13. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Hey, it did the job, so I see no issues with it.

    Sent from my SGH-T699 using Tapatalk
  14. twhite

    twhite Peeping Tom

    Try these guys. I use them for my kites. You may find something more to your liking.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  15. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Link is appreciated. I always like more options for buying hobby stuff.

    Unfortunately, it appears they only sell poltruded carbon tubes. That has minimal radial strength. I've ordered wrapped tubing, which is much stronger. We'll see if it's stronger than the brass for the force of 'bits and bob' insertion.
  16. twhite

    twhite Peeping Tom

  17. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    I'm looking, eventually, at possibly ordering from DragonPlate - - They have a good selection, but their prices aren't the best, and they require a $35 minimum. I'm not going that way unless 1), it works, and 2) I decide I want to make a few dozen handles "Just because".
  18. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Just checked SkyShark. Looks like a good site - they do have the wrapped tubes, but it appears that their tubes are too narrow. I need .313 ID (approximately 8mm), and most of theirs are, at the largest, .244 ID. Their Diamond tubes threw me for a minute - they're tapered, so it took a second to identify the 'small end' and 'large end' ID and OD. That's a nice feature for kites and similar.
    twhite likes this.
  19. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Just received two carbon fiber rods, 5 decimeters long. I'll be seeing how much grinding out of the internal diameter I'll have to do to be able to slip the OLD knobs into it. Internal diameter is probably similar to the brass tube, outside diameter is slightly larger than the original brass tube.

    Checked the threaded section from a NEW Common bar handle (cracked), and it's 10mm in OD. The OLD threaded section is 8mm OD (roughly. All of this was done in mils, not in metric. Yes, the Imperial system _does_ have a decimalised version). So, if this works, I may pick some up for NEW handles as well. The problem there is that I'll have to hit the lathe and make some wooden plugs for the bottom. Maybe cocabolo, or bocote.

    Question - how long is a good handle? Keeping in mind that the length does NOT equate to weight. I don't want to slice up some, get them fixed, and find out nobody will want to use them :)
    twhite likes this.
  20. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Well, I did some quick wet grinding (so I didn't have to use a respirator, and could do it inside), and managed to shove an end on. Now I have to get it off again :)

    Here's an overexposed shot that shows the carbon fiber detail, and a close up shot that shows the knob mounted to the rod. It's not perfect, as I just wanted to see if it would work.

    DSCN0055.jpg DSCN0057.jpg

    Edit - used a ramrod and popped it right out. It wasn't going to come out without help, so the carbon fiber friction is definitely good enough to hold for rotational force
    gorgo2, RyX, Enrico and 1 other person like this.

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