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

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

  1. Johnl

    Johnl New Member

    bdlehr - Have you scrubbed, dried oiled and re-dressed the strop as per Greg's thread? I used some rejuvinated rolls strop dressing. after the out of lid honing you will need at least sixty stropping strokes.

    Looks like you are on the way, It took me three (honing + 60 strops) cycles before my 1950 blade was up and running.

    You will get there in the end.
  2. Tomas Garcia

    Tomas Garcia Member

    Just got mine in the mail today!! Imagine my surprise when I found mine with 2 blades!!!!! One from 1950 the other from 1951. Pics to follow!

    And since I had no idea my rolls had 2 blades already I bought one off a guy from England lol. So now I have 3 razors.
  3. Malaska

    Malaska New Member

    Just wanted to say thank you to Greg. I just bought my first rolls and am going to restore it like he shows here. Hopefully I can get it in tip top shape!
    Andrew Tobasko likes this.
  4. RzB

    RzB Member

    I bought a Rolls this weekend and am looking forward to restoring it too. This is a great thread and I appreciate your efforts in sharing your knowledge and experience.
  5. The Soph Gent

    The Soph Gent Member

    Thanks also Greg. I have two at the moment. I did a general cleaning but am now anxious to follow your restore. I am always amazed at how many I come across in every single antique store. It's an amazing conversation piece to the nay sayers but am surprised at it's little value.
  6. Hi everybody!
    Great thread, I recently got a Rolls from a friend, but sadly the hone is cracked, don't know if you've been over this, but are there any suggestions to replace it? Would it work to get a new hone cut to the correct thickness?

    Sorry if this has already been discussed, I'm just really excited to get this puppy ready for personal use.
  7. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I'd check some antique shops and the like...very often Rolls can be found relatively cheaply, although the biggest problem with them is (of course) cracked hones. But you may find a suitable one cheaply. You could also post on the Wanted thread, someone probably has a spare they don't need. Short of a straight, there's no closer shave.
  8. Thanks a lot Gorgo, will try all of the options
  9. mickeyobe

    mickeyobe Active Member

    When I removed the strop from its lid there was an off white (yellowish) hard, brittle substance loosely attached to the back of the strop. It was cracked all over and most of it fell off immediately.
    I assume this was the original backing and must be replaced.
    What material and what thickness should I use?

    I have just purchased an Imperial 2 in what looks like quite good condition.
    My first shave was a bloodletting experience. Dreadful shave.
    My second I seem to have run out of blood. Better shave but not good.
    My third shave - today. I actually enjoyed it and got a decent but not perfect shave.
    I have never before looked at myself in a mirror for such a long period of time. Its shocking what 79 years can do - perhaps Neetsfoot oil.

    Thank you for this wonderfully detailed series.

  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector

    Article Team
    If I remember right, it was just a piece of heavy canvas. I've heard of people using felt as a replacement to give the leather a bit of a cushion. I'm sure some of the Rolls lovers will be quick to respond with more accurate advice in the next day or two.
  11. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    All my Rolls have that glued cloth part coming off. Some have it missing, period. I don't think it makes that large a difference in the angle the blade is stropped or honed.
  12. mickeyobe

    mickeyobe Active Member

    I was content to accept that the backing made no difference but despite following all the advice about honing and stropping my shaves were getting close to painful and left a lot of stubble.
    I assume as the leather settled lower and lower after the old under pad was removed the stropping angle became slightly and increasingly more acute.

    Last night I cut a piece of backing from a cardboard Kleenex box. I used the strop as a pattern and cut 1/8" inside the lines.

    At last I have had a pleasant, comfortable, clean shave. I almost look good.

    So I guess Rolls knew what they were about. It seems that the shallower angle created by the under pad is important.

    Right now I am happy but I might try an additional piece of cardboard to see what happens.

    lindyhopper66 and PLANofMAN like this.
  13. gregindallas

    gregindallas Rolls Razor Revivalist

    I use cargo strap material from Lowes.
  14. mickeyobe

    mickeyobe Active Member

    I don't know what cargo strap material is but can it be cheaper and more readily available than an old Kleenex box?
    And does it give you a choice of neutral gray on one side or coloured flowers on the other to match your bathroom decor?

    Karl G, macaronus and gregindallas like this.
  15. gregindallas

    gregindallas Rolls Razor Revivalist

    Look like this
  16. mickeyobe

    mickeyobe Active Member

    Thank you. Now I know. A piece of that should last forever. Maybe longer.

    Greg, I also want to thank you for this great site.

  17. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    Good to know. Maybe I can try it and get a better shave with the Rolls. Thanks.
    macaronus likes this.
  18. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot

    +1 :happy088:
  19. mickeyobe

    mickeyobe Active Member

    Well, I tried that extra piece of cardboard.
    Big mistake.
    I didn't butcher myself but the shave was most uncomfortable and the results were appalling.
    I wonder if the blade should be reset by a pro. I am not convinced it is as sharp as it might be.
    So now its back to one piece of cardboard and concentrate on some other aspect of the art.

    Perhaps lathering up. It is rather difficult to comprehend how wet or dry it should be just by watching a monitor.

  20. Not Telling

    Not Telling Member

    Epic thread Gents.

    I'm giving my inherited Rolls Imperial No. 2 a good hone, strop and clean over the weekend so I'll be referring to this thread often.

    A couple of additions I'd like to see to the thread are resetting of the blade and flattening of the hone. I shave with mine all the time, but after using the Rolls in the remote tropical regions of Aus for a few months the blade suffered some serious rust issues, right on the edge. I cleaned it up and reset the edge as best I could, but I had no idea what I was doing. It works OK, but could be much better. My late grandfather (the previous owner) appears to have honed the razor quite vigorously and there are wear marks on both sides of the hone. I'm not sure how to flatten it out, and since I'm now using the same hone (dismounted) for my straight razor, I'll have to look into it sooner rather than later.

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