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The rubber band shim

Discussion in 'Single Edge (SE) Razors & Blades' started by riverrun, Sunday October 22, 2017.

  1. riverrun

    riverrun

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    Shimming modern GEM blades for use in vintage razors is nothing new and I have written about it here.

    Here's another way of doing it and one I quite like - the rubber band shim:
    The rubber band in the following pictures is 1 inch long (when laid flat) and ¼ inch wide (rubber bands seem to be measured in inches). The blade with the rubber band is 2.19mm thick, which is slightly more than required, but it works really well. The rubber has the added advantage that it properly removes any blade chatter. One thing to keep in mind when using the rubber band shim is that the rubber band stops the blade from sliding around in the head, so you shouldn't rely on the spring in the head moving the blade towards the blade stops. Just make sure the blade is seated properly when closing the head.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    One disadvantage of the rubber band shim is the availability of suitable rubber bands. I have one rubber band of the correct size and no idea where it came from. If you know of a good source of 1 (maybe 1¼) inch long, ¼ inch wide rubber bands, please let me know.
     
  2. Rohleder

    Rohleder

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    I tried this today as like yourself, I had one single band that was approximately the right size (though a bit narrower than yours so it only covered half the spine.) Result? Best 1912 shave to date. Blade chatter greatly reduced and the razor gave no neck irritation at all which is usually my only issue with it, even with a regular half spine shim.
     
    riverrun likes this.
  3. A bicycle inner tube could be a good source for bands? Just need to find the right width and cut into strips.
     
    riverrun and jimmyc like this.
  4. riverrun

    riverrun

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    I did look into that possibility, but the information on inner tubes on the web is frustrating. They don't ever tell you the actual dimension of the rubes, just which tyres they fit. You get helpful advice like:
    • 700 x 23-28c (for road bike tubes)
    • 29 x 1.75-2.4" (for mountain bike tubes)
    That doesn't help me.
    The width of the blade is 38.9 mm, the circumference of the tube needs to be less than twice that: 77.8mm
    So the diameter of the tube needs to be less than 77.8/Pi = 24.7mm, but not much less.
    A wall thickness of 0.5mm would be ideal, but probably a bit thin for bike tubes.
    Which tube fits the bill? I have no idea and I'm not going to buy a bunch of inner tubes to find one that fits. I have a feeling the shop won't let me return them once I've sliced them up :D
    If anyone finds a tube that fits the above description, just send me 20cm or so.
     
  5. Using a rubber band is a great idea. I managed to find one just the right size which will stretch fairly tight over the spine and cover about 2/3 of the spine's width.
    I'll give this a try tomorrow morning and see what effect it has.
     
  6. Ask at a proper bike shop for ones that are going in the bin. Depressingly, an awful lot of people either don't know how to fix a puncture, or can't be a***d. So they take the bike to the bike shop for a new tube.

    HTH, John
     
  7. Bizzyberry

    Bizzyberry

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    I found this place but I think the minimum order would be a bit excessive and they are in the US. They do have a handy size chart though.

    http://www.lee-rubber.com/sizes.htm
     
  8. Just been having a rummage and found out a 27 x 1 1/4" tube.
    I reckon it might be about right. I don't do SE so no gem blades to test it on. Let me know if you want a length and I'll get some in the post for you.
     
    Blademonkey likes this.
  9. BJS

    BJS

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    Kids Loom Bands will fit...
     
  10. riverrun

    riverrun

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    How wide is it if you put if flat on a table? How thick is the rubber?
     
  11. riverrun

    riverrun

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    How wide are they? They look rather thin on ebay.
     
  12. I got my rubber band from the odds-n-sods dish. I reckon it came as one of those small bands that tie up micro-USB cables when you get a new gadget.
    Using my calipers I measure the spine to be 0.98mm thick and with the rubber band attached 1.91mm. So the extra thickness is 0.93mm or 0.47mm extra each side of the spine. That's about the same as half a spine shim added under the spine which seems about right to me.
    Sounds promising but the proof is in the pudding - which will be tomorrow's shave.
     
  13. riverrun

    riverrun

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    That sounds OK - the rubber band I have been using is 25mm and a bit of a stretch...
    If you can spare a bit of old inner tube, I'd love to have some - whatever fits flat into an envelope - 15cm should keep me going for years...
    I promise to report back and mention you in my article about shimming... :D
    I'll send you a PM...

    So it's a 27 x 1 1/4" tube. 27 is the wheel diameter I assume (in non-metric).
    1 1/4" in real money is about 32 mm, so I assume that's the diameter of the tyre it fits rather than that of the tube itself?
    Who comes up with this shit? Mathematicians don't ride bikes I assume....
     
    Bizzyberry likes this.
  14. riverrun

    riverrun

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    I think my rubber band came with a router, maybe around some cable, but I'm not sure.
    If you like your blades shimmed, a rubber band should be even better. I love the way it quiets down the blade. Some people love the sound of "buttering toast" when shaving with a 1912 - I don't. I reminds me that the blade is not intended for the razor...
    Enjoy tomorrow's shave.
     
  15. Well I've had my shave with my 1912 razor and the rubber band shim and although it was smooth I'm not sure if I can really tell if it made much difference.
    I could still hear the rasping action (which I like) and it provided a very good shave but would I have had just as a good a shave without the band?

    I've never really been convinced that raising the spine of the Gem blade by 0.5mm or even 1mm actually changes the shaving angle by any noticeable measure. Surely it's only a degree or two.
    My schoolboy trig says... tan-1 (0.5/19.5) = 1.5 deg

    Shimming a DE is different as you're increasing the gap between the cap and the baseplate but shimming a Gem is just altering the angle a touch.

    Anyway, maybe it was smoother, I don't know. I'll try it again tomorrow (in another razor) and see.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Rohleder likes this.
  16. Rohleder

    Rohleder

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    My neck tells me its smoother but, every 1912 seems to shave slightly differently (at least the eight I've had have done, three good & five meh/bad.)

    It could be the shave is actually better as I'm actively concentrating on it due to evaluating the band rather than any difference caused by the band itself?
     
    fancontroller likes this.
  17. riverrun

    riverrun

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    The difference it makes for me is that without a shim I can't shave with the head flat on my face, with a shim I can.
    Flat on the face seems a natural angle for me when using an SE.
    This is based on my British made 1912.
     
    fancontroller likes this.
  18. Rohleder

    Rohleder

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    To quote the instruction leaflet: "In order to obtain the best results do not hold the razor flat against the face, or at right angles to the face."

    That said, I do agree it does seem to provide a better shave with the cap flat to skin... It gives me a ton of irritation if I use it any other way (with the modern GEM blades.)
     
    fancontroller likes this.
  19. riverrun

    riverrun

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    A length of bicycle inner tube arrived today, curtesy of @Vanvanlife (Thank you!)
    It works really well as a rubber shim. Excellent. I had a really great shave with my 1912 today...
    The tube was 27x1 1/4"
     
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