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MALBAR 70

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My parents got this thing in a box of stuff they bought from an antique shop. It's been kicking around the kitchen for about 25 or 30 years. The thing is, we have absolutely no clue what it is or what it does. It's called the Nicholls machine with a date of Feb 9th-(19)09.
I was hoping someone out there had seen one before and knows what it is. Please help solve a family mistery!!
 
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MALBAR 70

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I hope this helps. The only other information I can give is that the center part is loose and swivels/rocks back and forth.
 

rharshberger

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Definitely piqued my interest, no idea but definitely interested in the answer!
 

rharshberger

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My interest was piqued as well. I think I found it though. Looks like it is a stropping machine:

https://books.google.com/books?id=F...epage&q=The "Nicholls" machine handle&f=false
That makes total sense, it was most likely used with Double Edge Safety Razor blades, hence the stroping action both directions does one side of two edges, rotate the tool 180 degrees and do the remaining 2 edges. These kind of tools can be quite valuable to those like myself who still use DESR type razors. I use a 1935 Gillette New (comb type bar) and a Merkur Baber Pole HD (new manufacture, straight bar type). While I am not a collector as soon as I get it unpacked I will post another unique auto stroping type tool from the 1920's that was used on straight razors and belonged to my great-grandfather.
 

MALBAR 70

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Wow! Nice work! I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what that thing is and it looks like you got it. Thank You.
From reading the description and looking at the pictures, that is exactly what it is.
I KNEW I could trust the great collective knowledge that is TRF!!
 

JJSR

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mystery solved,
I was on that site but gave up, the fine print started to hurt me eyes.
 

rharshberger

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Here are some pictures of an Auto-Stropper for straight razors....

BrandtsAutoStropper1.jpgBrandtsAutoStropper2.jpgBrandtsAutoStropper3.jpgBrandtsAutoStropper4.jpg

The packaging appears all original, even the orange wax paper, the instructions I have carefully re-folded each time they have been taken from the box. The stropper shown in the last photo is hung on a hook by the adjustable leather strap, and the blade of the straign razor is inserted in the holder located on the opposite side of the metal plate (fourth picture), then the two metal handles are alternately pulled to strop the blade. The strop leather is in excellent shape and with a little oil would be supple and serviceable again. This tool belonged to my great-grandfather and along with his straight razor are two of my most cherished items that belonged to him, the other is his 6' two man crosscut saw and sawtooth setter.

Edit: the above Auto-Stropper will also do DESR and SESR blades too! It helps to actually read the instructions...(hope I don't have to turn in my Man Card for that admission) :facepalm:
 
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Tonimus

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Interesting. I'm cheap, but not so cheap that I'd strop a DESR. Used to be worth it, but with current metallurgy and low cost blades... Definitely a neat tool, though.
 

Woody's Workshop

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Nice job on finding out the mystery. I too, had my interest peaked. I was looking in a different direction though. Thought it might be part of an old belt driven farm impliment.

Nothing like a single edged SHARP straight razor shave. Baby's butt smooth. Cream makes a difference too. I use a badger brush and bar creme.
Going to try that stuff they been advertising on TV, Cremo.
Butt I don't strop my razor in the old fashioned way.
I use jewlers rouge to a piece of leather glued to a board.
Edge is so fine, it feels smooth but will slice you so clean you won't even feel you're being cut.
 

rharshberger

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Nice job on finding out the mystery. I too, had my interest peaked. I was looking in a different direction though. Thought it might be part of an old belt driven farm impliment.

Nothing like a single edged SHARP straight razor shave. Baby's butt smooth. Cream makes a difference too. I use a badger brush and bar creme.
Going to try that stuff they been advertising on TV, Cremo.
Butt I don't strop my razor in the old fashioned way.
I use jewlers rouge to a piece of leather glued to a board.
Edge is so fine, it feels smooth but will slice you so clean you won't even feel you're being cut.
Bath and Body Works carries a brand of shave creme (Colonel Bigelow) in a tube (big and toothpaste like tube) that I use along with my shaving mug and hard shaving soap, I love my DESR's and my preffered blades are Derby Extra's, for $20 I got 200 blades from Ebay, thats about 5 years or so of blades. Much cheaper than those darn multiblade monsters.

The only DESR blade I would actually strop is the Feather Blades, they are so sharp from the package that stropping is required to smooth them up a bit, otherwise I get pretty bad razor burn from them.
 

tomsteve

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wow!!! when i was a real youngen there was one tied a rope and screwed into the vanity in mom and dads bathroom. i never thought of asking what it was.
 

tightwad

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Darn. I knew what it was as soon as I opened up this thread, but you guys beat me to it. I guess I should have been surfing the TRF last night instead of watching the Mariners. Anyway, my dad had a similar devise that he used on is leather cutting knives...he was a mender of your soles. (A shoe repairman) Good post brought back memories.
 

MALBAR 70

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This is fantastic, I really like hearing stories from people who have seen or used this strangely fascinating object.
Some of the guesses we have had in the past ranged from the practical to the downright bizarre.
No one came close though.
Me, my wife and kids were at my parents house for dinner last night, I saw it and figured someone on TRF may know what it is.
A few snapshots later and a 30yo mystery is solved. My 84 year old Dad was thrilled to find out what it was.
Thanks again ndzied1!
 
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