Stahly Information

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Rob72, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Rob72

    Rob72 Member

    Hi, all,
    I stopped in as a visitor, sometime ago, looking for Stahly info. Found some, but not much, so i wanted to share.
    I'll add to it, as I get to mainspring replacement(from a new manufacturer) and (hopefully) something on head repair/replacement.

    I started on this last week, and took pics, so, without further ado:​
    Early model Stahly Live blade, broken ratchet dog spring, and bound body- unable to wind.​

    There are 3 seams to the Stahly. From the bottom of the razor, they are: just below the knurling, before the handle necks down; at the junction of the neck, before the knurling along the body; again at the juncture of the body, before it necks down to the head-mount. The first and last seams are threaded, the middle (where the red arrows are in the pic) is not.​

    At the middle seam, there is an extension, roughly 3/16" that slides into the body shaft. If your Stahly won't wind, odds are good that it is due to galling, or some minor corrosion at this juncture. That is why the hot water/hot oil soaks are effective, and why we see bubbling from this point- the threaded joints are fully immersion proof. This joint is slightly susceptible to heat expansion, and will probably have some degree of wear from repeated windings.​

    To disassemble the Stahly, it is necessary to secure the body, and apply torque to some irregularly sized areas. I tried to do this without making any special tools or jigs (successfully). The bare essentials are 1) friction tape, 2) a vise, 3) small flathead screwdriver, 4) small hose clamp. Aluminum or nylon vise jaws, or a wood jig, as I made are necessary, unless you use the friction tape and a small strap wrench ($10 from the plumbing section of home Depot) or soft jaw plumbers' pliers ($15 fro Amazon).

    Threads on both ends (on the 3 specimens I have at least) are all standard right hand- righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Essentially, ever time the Stahly is wound, the threads are torqued, so spontaneous disassembly is highly unlikely. Because brass is relatively soft, this also makes intentional disassembly a bit tough.

    In the pics, I used electricians' tape for demonstration contrast. In both locations, friction tape should be wound tightly, and 3-4 passes should provide adequate protection for the body, for the relatively minimal pressure required. As with any small assembly, take you time. If something seems to be slipping, stop, check the friction tape, and apply slightly more hold pressure.


    [​IMG]Do not secure over the seam (between the red and yellow)!! It would make life sooo much harder.[​IMG]

    Gentle loosening pressure with a wrench started things moving, and was easily completed by hand, as follows...

    Here is the bottom cap removed, and the feared mainspring assembly.[​IMG]

    At this point, you need the hose clamp. This next process may be a bit tricky, if your ratchet dog won't engage at all. Wind the Stahly to compress the mainspring, and slip the hose clamp in place, tightening gently. If the dog is not engaging, it may be necessary to wind, then use a dental pick to move the dog (below the spring) into a stop-notch. Hard to see, hard to do, and really hard to verbally explain. If you get to this point, you'll be able to see the parts.​

    The mainspring is contained by a tab in the housing that slides into a cut in the outer edge of the spring, and is similarly bound to the drive shaft, at the center of the spring. Before removing the spring, carefully remove the small steel bearing washer that sits atop the drive shaft. Look for the cut in the sidewall of the spring housing, and back the spring off the tab. Gently, wiggle the spring to draw it off the shaft. Take it slow, you want the spring contained by the clamp, not sprung out from the center. Yeah, it is possible to rewind, but its a horrendous PITA.​

    The bearing washer is indicated by the red arrow, in the second pic:​

    Now, we can see the ratchet assembly, and the screws anchoring the mainspring and housing to the drive assembly and body.​
    Its difficult to see, but this spring is obviously broken, and the dog is left free. Note: the oil seen is original. I used Marvel Mystery Oil (cherry red) to soften things up, and there is virtually no trace of it. These threads, by the Mark I, Mod 0 eyeball, appear to be 40 pitch, so it is a very effective seal.​

    At this point, remove the screws, after noting the location of the spring, dog, and the "middle" screw.​

    Having removed the screws, it is now possible to separate the body and drive assembly. From right to left:​
    The first red arrow indicates the aforementioned neck joint. Some light oxidation is visible, here. The only "upgrade" I would recommend during reassembly is a light layer of grease at this point, to minimize further corrosion, and to lube and maintain the seal.​

    The second red arrow indicates a small felt washer that seals the drive assembly from the mainspring housing. DON"T LOSE IT!

    Moving along(from RIGHT to LEFT), the steel drive shaft. The drive assembly "motor mount", aka the steel flat-coil spring. The drive assembly itself. The eccentric weight that is driven, giving the Stahly its "Live Action". The cap, with front mounting pin for the drive assembly, that is also the axle for the eccentric weight. I didn't take a pic, but unscrewing the head was a bit tough, given the very small area to grasp. Patience, and aluminum vise jaws, I did not use friction tape here, as I could not get things secured. Again, just take it slow, and be careful. This is also right hand thread.​

    The drive gears at the ends of the drive body are off set, so it cannot be assembled incorrectly. The gear ratio is phenominal. Finger pressure on the stainless gear from the mainspring results in blinding whirling of the eccentric's gear, and a humming "clickety" from the assembly.​

    This pic isn't great, and I got the drive assembly reversed, but for a rough idea: (the red arrows indicate proper orientation)​

    The drive shaft has a gear cup, that engages the stainless drive gear, transfer assembly, to the gear spinning the eccentric weight.​

    Topside of the eccentric:​

    Layout of the drive train and casing:​
    Polished casing, ready for greasing at the middle joint:​

    Another not-so-great pic, but the key point being the lugs on the drive assembly aligning with the recesses in the casing. Reassembly is: dropping the drive shaft down the casing, with the mounting spring around it, the placing the drive assembly in the casing, and aligning things so that it will drop into the recesses when the head with the eccentric weight is screwed down. In other words, if you are trying to screw the head down, and it goes about 1/2 way, then stops, don't force things, the drive assembly is not correctly placed.

    At this point, the drive shaft is sticking from the bottom of the casing. Place the felt washer on the shaft, and slide it down into the recess in the casing. (Red arrows, again.)​

    Fabricating a new ratchet dog spring. Brownell's Gunsmithing sells naturalized spring wire stock. I need to borrow a .0001 mic, to give an exact wire size. The one pictured is not the one I went with, but a not-so-bendable prototype, to get the size down. You receive instructions with the spring stock, but basically, you bend a coil around a pair of round needle nose pliers, or a 1/16" center punch, bend a bit of wave into it, and add a sharp bend, where it goes into the back of the dog. Before it is placed, it must be hardened, and this is done in the kitchen oven at 435* for 20-30 minutes.​

    I did not get a picture of replacing the ratchet assembly, but the easiest method: Orient yourself so that your dog's tip will be dropping into the seats in the ratchet. The plate in the bottom of the mainspring housing is free-floating, so you may need a tooth pick to orient the screw holes with those in the drive casing. Place a screw with the spring coil anchored first. Next place a screw anchoring the dog. Picture these two screws as the base of a triangle, formed by the screw holes. Use a pair of tweezers, fine pliers, or hemostats to move the tip of the spring into the back of the dog. Once this is done, the arch, formed by the spring, is drawn back, so that the spring will ride outside the final screw.​

    Locate the mainspring on the shaft, and slide the cutout over the retaining tab in the casing wall. Snap the bearing washer over the end of the shaft, and remove the clamp. At this stage, you should be able to wind and operate your Stahly. If things are sluggish, or stopped, loosen the head cap slightly, and/or tap your Stahly. gently retighten the cap as it runs. Repeat as necessary. It may take a bit of running, to reseat things, and tolerances are very tight in these little machines.​

    I lubed mine with Singer sewing machine oil, as it seemed close to the OEM.​

    So, long story short: no, these are not hard to fix. The most challenging portion for me was getting the replacement spring length correct.

    Hope this helps other Stahly owners, and feel free to contact me with any questions!

    Another problem that may occur is fracture of the mainspring itself. I've located two modern power spring manufacturers, and will be seeing what they offer that may work, and what pricing is.

    I've seen another post, regarding broken springs in the head assembly. This will take a fair bit of research, and replacing these might be cost-prohibitive, but we'll see...:)
    RyX, Mustache, Robyflexx and 4 others like this.
  2. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Very nice work! :happy088:

    Not sure what's wrong with your pics, but they don't seem to be showing up.
    Get that fixed, and I'm thinking this may have a spot in our Safety Razor Master Sticky.
    RyX likes this.
  3. Rob72

    Rob72 Member

    I'm hoping that's corrected...? Please LMK.:cool:
  4. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Pics are in! Great job. Thanks for sharing!!
  5. tomnat

    tomnat accepting applications

    Awesome job, Rob! Really well done. This is some really solid information that is tough to find. :happy096:
  6. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master

    Well done. Thank you. :eatdrink047:
  7. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    IAmTheJody likes this.
  8. AnB_Daddy

    AnB_Daddy Active Member

    I finally found the diagram I was talking to you about before.

    Stahly Razor.jpg

    Attached Files:

    awake2shave and Slipperyjoe like this.
  9. Wilson Laidlaw

    Wilson Laidlaw New Member

    Many thanks for posting that information. I am just about to acquire a Stahly. Hopefully it is as stated, in full working order. However, a CLA (clean, lubricate and adjust - a camera term), might not go amiss. I am very tempted to pass it to my local watchmaker, who would do a much better job than me (he did the full 7 year apprenticeship at Jaeger le Coultre) but I will print out this thread for him. He is a bit of a miserable tooth sucker and head shaker but if I show him that a non-watchmaker could do it, this will be an irresistible challenge to him. I will have to make sure that this post on the thread is cut off!

    Slipperyjoe likes this.
  10. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    I have had a Stahly for a couple of months and just shaved with it yesterday. I did nothing but a light cleaning on the outside, no oiling or tuning up. It works perfectly. The problem with the Stahly, for me, was having to rewind after almost finishing one half of my face. It gives a great shave, though. I don't think it will be my go to razor, but will go back into the collection.
    Slipperyjoe likes this.
  11. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    Very well though out. Luckily the one I have does 'work' but will remember this, just in case.

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