The "what is" and " how to" thread for the Rolls Razor

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by gregindallas, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    Steve is right: here's a traveling set I bought some years ago. (you've both got great sets there, by the way!)

    2014-06-28-02.JPG

    One of the cylinders containes a small traveling brush (though the knot is all warped up, so I will replace the knot with a synthetic one - always good for traveling). The other cylinder is the perfect size for a Palmolive stick. You might try that one out for your container as well. Oh, and the rectangular box between the brushes and the soap and brush containers came with a Gillette Ball End Tech! And some junk blades (my humble opinion). The large rectangular container stays at home and is replaced with a Rolls Razor when I use this traveling set so I can choose between razors even when traveling. ;)

    2014-06-28-03.JPG
     
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  2. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Member

    I picked this pre-war De Luxe 'E' set up the other day, Imperial 2 razor complete with two spare blades, all original, there's some loss of silvering to the mirror but otherwise not bad condition for a set that's nearly 80 years old!

    Steve de_luxe E_1.jpg de_luxe_E_2.jpg
     
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  3. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    Congraz! I've got the same set! Slightly better condition and with manual. It is my first Rolls and my favourite one. The box (so to say) has a matte finish in stead of a shiny chrome finish. How about yours?

    Den Rolls type E open2.jpg
     
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  4. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Member

    Is the Imperial an aluminium one? I have an aluminium Imperial that was matte finish when I received it, probably due to oxidation over the years, they can be easily restored to a shiny surface using metal polish. Most of the Viscounts which are made from aluminium seem to have dulled to a matte finish over the years
    Steve
     
  5. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    Nope. No aluminium. But I like it the way it is. It's got that aged look now. ;)
     
  6. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    Wow!! now they are really nice sets.
    I also have what I considered to be a matt finish imperial but felt it was to heavy for aluminum and though I have tried to polish it up, it has refused to shine like I would expect? The aluminium viscounts I have polish up to a real gleaming shine
    Gra
     
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  7. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Member

    I don't think Rolls ever produced a matt finish razor and as far as I'm aware the only materials used were nickel plated brass, aluminium and stainless steel (I assume the gold plated Rolls used gold plated brass components). I wonder if the matt finish razors are stainless steel ones, we work with a lot of stainless steel and over the years it can 'dull down' to a matt like finish which can be difficult to polish back to a mirror finish without specialist polishing equipment.
    I've just weighed a nickel/brass Imperial 3 and it weighs 472 grammes, the Imperial 3 aluminium weighs 309 grammes, so there is a noticeable difference in weights,

    Steve
     
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  8. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    Yeah, I've also never seen anything relating to Matt finishes, and I haven't as yet, but will weigh them when I can and report back, I have a gold plated one that is more than fairly well worn in places and I'm sure that it is brass. The Matt finish one does feel too heavy for aluminium but as I say I will get back to you on various weights later. But it wouldn't ever surprise me for Rolls to throw up the odd curve ball now and again ha ha!
    Gra
     
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  9. thevez2

    thevez2 uses Gillette's new Tarantula Razor - 8 blades!!

    I have many Rolls Razor sets, at least a dozen. But I have never used them because I didn't know how to hone them. A friend said he'd hone one for me so I could try it out and I asked if he would film it and do an instructional video for honing the Rolls Blades. It looks easier than I imagined. I should have my newly sharpened blade soo, so I can gibe it a try. Here is the video if anyone is wondering how to sharpen theirs!

     
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  10. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    Tidy video many thanks for that,
    Is a shame he didn't give full progression I got the 1k then back down to the 200's to get the chips out quicker then back to 1k and onto 4k but didn't get the last two stones grit, though that said he didn't know what his final finishing stone is?
    Surprised he didn't take off the guard, and didn't tape the spine ( a big debating point that ) as some do some don't.
    But it was good to see it in action and get another viewpoint
    Really hope you have a good experience with using it, you will have to let us know, it's a little daunting at first but just keep that almost flat to your face angle going and you will be fine I'm sure. There are quite a few if us out there that use them.
    Gra
     
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  11. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    Hi Steve
    I've had a real good look at my Matt imperial and it's a ringer :rofl:
    It's a rather dull and dirty nickel over brass body with 2 dull aluminium doors fitted to it:scared011:
    so giving it a heavier that all aluminium feel to it!! :rolleyes005: duh!
    Well we live and learn ha ha
    Gra
     
  12. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Member

    So are the aluminium doors from a Viscount (single greek key pattern) or an Imperial (three greek key pattern)?
    Steve
     
  13. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    The doors are aliuminum Imperial with the 3 key pattern.
    So it's between both the weights.
    I can only assume at sometime past someone has changed them, both the strop and hone are in really good condition
    I have both full aluminium Imperial and Viscount models and now it seems a hybrid ha ha.
    Gra
     
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  14. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Moderator
    My three Rolls Razors all weigh about 453 grammes (452, 454, 455). 455 grammes being the dull finish 'Deluxe E' ; the other two are shiny Emperial 2 and 3 Rolls Razors.
     
  15. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Member

    After a bit of searching about, I believe I have sourced a suitable replacement material for the friction pad in the friction clip assembly.

    The material is 0.5mm thick 'plain red vulcanised fibre', this is produced in sheets and according to the manufacturer, "The process of making this base material is complex, but briefly involves the saturation of cotton paper with zinc chloride. The zinc chloride enables the cellulose structure of the cotton to swell and once pressed together, begins to form a bond. The zinc chloride is then slowly leached out of the material on steam drums to leave the finished product with 5 to 6 percent moisture content. This is then pressed to form flat sheeting. The final product is a homogenous piece, and nearly a 100% cellulose mass, free from any matter."

    I have obtained a sample of this material and produced a replacement friction clip as follows:
    1. Source a old worn or damaged friction. pad.
    2. Soak the damaged original pad in hot (not boiling) water for at least 10 minutes, at the end of this time the pad will have become pliable and you will be able to press it flat, place a weight on it to keep it flat and allow it to dry, when it has dried the pad will be flat and this is now a template to cut a new pad from the vulcanised fibre sheet.
    3. lay the original pad onto the vulcanised fibre sheet and mark round it, you'll need a 5mm leather punch to form the hole in the centre of the new pad. Cut the new friction pad from the vulcanised fibre sheet.
    4. When you have completed cutting the new pad and punching the central hole (for the mounting pin) soak the new pad in hot water for at least 15 minutes, by this time the pad will be pliable, if not, soak for a little longer.
    5. You now need to form the pad into the familiar cylindrical shape, I did this by rolling the pad up and inserting it into the friction clip spring, fit the 'wing clip' to the friction clip spring, fit the attachment pin into the spring clip and re-fit the assembly onto the brass spindle in the case.
    6. Allow the new pad to dry, when it has dried, you will find that upon disassembly the new friction pad will retain its cylindrical shape.
    I have replaced one worn friction pad, which produced very little friction / pressure, with a new replacement and this has restored the friction / pressure to the stropping mechanism.

    Hopefully this discovery will allow the razors to be better restored in cases were the friction pad had become too badly contaminated or damaged to make it servicable,

    Steve
     
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  16. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    Good grief Steve that's totally amazing!!! Good on you!
    " plain red vulcanised fibre matting" how on earth did you get to that! I am super mega impressed! Can honestly say that phrase has never entered my head before. I have tried various different types is industrial gasket materials but everything bit the dust for one reason or another. Usually in the first point due to thickness or not being able to get the thinness ha ha 0.5mm is pretty thin I wonder Is the sample really stiff before soaking ? I'm going down the lines of thinking it's something like a fibre washer material?? And most fibre washers I've used have been red and the friction pad is red ( on most of mine) probably barking up the wrong tree ha ha. Trying to sound smart

    So, the important questions
    will your source sell to the general public in not big quantities?
    We're not wanting a sheet bigger than A5 defiantly A4 really if that.
    How big was your sample piece ?
    How much cost wise are we looking at?
    Or have you set yourself up as the shave den unofficial supplier having had to buy a piece 6' square
    Seriously though this is a major breakthrough well done mate.
    Gra
     
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  17. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Member

    The manufacturer, R. H. Nuttall (https://www.rhnuttall.co.uk/) is based here in Birmingham in the UK. I managed to persuade them to let me have a small sample (about A4 size) as a trial to see if it was a suitable replacement for the original Rolls friction pad material.
    On the home page, drop the 'materials' link and select vulcanised fibre, this will take you to the product section, scroll down the page to the 'non WRAS approved' and you'll find details of the sheet sizes and thicknesses - I believe they will supply cut pieces to order, so you don't have to buy a full sheet. There are vendors on Ebay selling vulcanised sheet, but a quick look didn't show any of the required thickness, but as an indication the Ebay sellers are selling 130mm x 50mm x 0.8mm pieces for 2.25 GBP - but bear in mind that this is thicker than the sample sourced from R H Nuttall, but at least it gives an indication of price.
    I used 0.5mm thick sheet, which is marginally thicker than the original pads I have, however, I assumed that after 60 or more years the pad would have been subject to some wear and compression, being under spring pressure all the time and to a lesser degree there may be some slight wear to the brass spindle, so the slight increase in pad thickness may compensate for wear and tear on the mechanism,

    Steve
     

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