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snopes
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Comment: Does the US Navy actually sell old ships to companies like
Gillette so they can make razor blades? I know this sounds odd, but I
have heard this one many times while I was in the Navy. I have also seen
that many charities associated with old naval vessels ask for donations so
their ships do not end up being cut up and used for razors.

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Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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WE had a series of ads promoting recycling with different things made from tin 'saying' "I used to be a can."

I've yet to see an ad with a razor blade saying "I used to be a man-o-war!"

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My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

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Jews in Space
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Nevermind, stupid software erased everything I wrote that took me THREE HOURS to write....
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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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An early 1990s ABC documentary on the Royal Australian Navy's six Oberon-class submarines, "Wear Them With Pride", noted near the start that two of the six had been sold off to be turned into razor blades.

How anyone knew exactly what the metal would be used for wasn't explained.

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- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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Joseph Z
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There was an article on this a while back. A "Remington" joke where they said they took old military stuff and turned it into their razor blades.

I'll see if I can find the story.

Edit: I thought they said it was Remington, but couldn't find any articles on that. However, Altavista (Search Military + turned into razor blades) came up with a bundle of xxxxx articles (Scratched. Jokes is not the right word).

There's this one article No. 95-P 39 "turned into razor blades" came up as the nuclear submarine being the case of razor blade phenomena.

quote:

* Retired nuclear submarines cannot safely be "put into mothballs" as can surface ships or diesel submarines. The cost to man and maintain a nuclear submarine in storage is virtually comparable to maintaining it on active duty. As a practical matter, therefore, if budgetary constraints are not relaxed, "retired" submarines will have to be dismantled ("turned into razor blades"). There will be no way to call them back into service if the need arises at a later date.



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Joseph Z

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Dogwater
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So, "turned into razor blades" is more tongue-in-cheek, or just a saying rather than truth?

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Kathy B
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If you do a Google search on [navy ships "razor blades"] you will find any number of quotes that indicate that "razor blades" is indeed jargon for a ship that is being scrapped. Some samples:

"Go ahead, fella, give all the publicity to the big ships. The [USS Patton] is going to be made into razor blades.'...Chief Russell said: "Easy, Johnny. She did her bit and we know it, and that’s enough. And if she’s going to be turned into razor blades, she’ll make good razor blades—the best."

"The ship is not going to become razor blades, and the crew is happy about that."

The USS White Plains has been made into razor blades (a dream come true) according to the Navy.

All these remarkable ships, the invention of the fiesty Admiral Jackie Fisher, turned into razor blades after the 1922 Washington Agreement.

That's actually my dad's boat, U.S.S. George C Marshall SSBN-654. She's probably razor blades now.


I found a couple of anecdotal references to Gillette buying WWII surplus scrap for its operations.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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NovaSS
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Check out the link

http://www.donshelton.net/djs-srp1.htm

This is what happens to nuke subs.

My first sub was cut up there and is in a couple pictures. At least these guys understand what these old boats mean to the old crews. They take off sheet metal and parts and silk screen the boats name, hull numbers and other data on them and release them to the public. I have a couple plates of stainless from the galley and some deck matterial on my desk next to my computer. Kind of like having an urn of a lost friend sitting around.
Heres a picture of a dry dock full of "sails"
 -


sniff sniff.

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JFB
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Razor blades, kitchen sinks, automobile parts ...

When a ship is scrapped, it's scrapped. Its components are melted down, purified, pressed, etc., and distributed on the open market. The "razor blades" term is used for irony. Hulking warship turned into small domestic item.

The saying has been applied to locomotives and steel buildings too.

The US Navy doesn't sell directly to razor companies. It sells decomissioned (and desensitized) ships to scrappers, who do the deed and sell their product to the manufacturer.

Nova: My condolences on your sub; I'm glad you managed to rescue a few pieces of her. My ship's still out there, but I did get a souvenier or two during rehab at Portsmouth.

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Jews in Space
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The condensed version of my previous essay that got erased by the BB software:

In the scrappers market, certain scrap sells for certain prices. The most desirable of scrap is heavy or dense metal. Tanks and Ships have this sort of dense metal.

A Tank is worth more scrapped than mothballed when it's at the end of it's useful life. So are Humvees (for safety reasons, Military Humvees rarely enter the Civillian side due to safety and street legal issues).

Of course, this isn't really followed in many parts of the Armed forces when it comes to Metal recycling. AMRC still has tons of obsolete, mothballed, and nearly scrapped planes at their facility in Arizona.

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S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Here is a new wrinkle in the scrapping of ships. It is now cheaper and easier to sink the ship rather than scrap it. The ex-HAYLER (DD-997) was sunk off Virginia as a reef just a couple of months ago. Environmental regulations make scrapping ships almost imposible.

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- Blofeld

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.:
Here is a new wrinkle in the scrapping of ships. It is now cheaper and easier to sink the ship rather than scrap it. The ex-HAYLER (DD-997) was sunk off Virginia as a reef just a couple of months ago. Environmental regulations make scrapping ships almost imposible.

As I recall, the Royal Australian Navy has been either scuttling decommissioned warships as reefs, or using them for target practice (ie a live fire test for the new Collins-class subs). The Royal Navy also scuttled a frigate earlier this year.

--------------------
You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by J Barrows:
The US Navy doesn't sell directly to razor companies. It sells decomissioned (and desensitized) ships to scrappers, who do the deed and sell their product to the manufacturer.

More than likely this is the more sensible thing. Selling the nuclear subs to razor companies without it melted down to pure metal (after it's scrubbed of course) would be very hazardous to human health.

Who wants a radioactive razor blade anyhow? [Big Grin]

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Joseph Z

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Beachmaster
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
(for safety reasons, Military Humvees rarely enter the Civillian side due to safety and street legal issues).
You are mistaking Humvees with Jeeps. The old Jeeps were not the same as a civilian jeep. The military versions were lighter, had a smaller wheelbase, lacked the standard equipment like doors and seatbelts and generaly had a high center of gravity for their frame. Military Jeeps were never intended to be driven on the highweays, having a top SAFE speed of around 40-45 MPH. Most of these military jeeps that were sold to the public had their frame cut.

Humvees on the other hand are sold as is to the public. Depending on where you register the vehicle, it is as easy as putting in seat belts to make the grade. Here in Arizona, used military Humvees are all the rage and sell for about $30,000 for a basic model, far less than a civilian version.

http://www.clarktruck.com/

Clark sells lots of used military trucks. they recently had 300 Himvees listed last week. Now the site shows only 50 are left. They want $25,500 for one.

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Mele Kalikimaka
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Beachmaster:
quote:
(for safety reasons, Military Humvees rarely enter the Civillian side due to safety and street legal issues).
You are mistaking Humvees with Jeeps. The old Jeeps were not the same as a civilian jeep. The military versions were lighter, had a smaller wheelbase, lacked the standard equipment like doors and seatbelts and generaly had a high center of gravity for their frame. Military Jeeps were never intended to be driven on the highweays, having a top SAFE speed of around 40-45 MPH. Most of these military jeeps that were sold to the public had their frame cut.

Humvees on the other hand are sold as is to the public. Depending on where you register the vehicle, it is as easy as putting in seat belts to make the grade. Here in Arizona, used military Humvees are all the rage and sell for about $30,000 for a basic model, far less than a civilian version.

http://www.clarktruck.com/

Clark sells lots of used military trucks. they recently had 300 Himvees listed last week. Now the site shows only 50 are left. They want $25,500 for one.

For starters, I never made any reference to the old Willy's Jeeps. We're talking about the Humvees here.

Secondly, the info was garnered thru a GAO booklet on Goverment Auctions.

quote:
Q: I see ads in magazines about $25 Jeeps and other cheap deals thru Goverment Auctions. Can I really walk off with a cheap Jeep?

A: These ads more often that not entice you to purchase infomation about such auctions, when in reality such deals are rare. Military Jeeps (M-151) have not been sold in any Goverment Auctions since the 1980's, and Military Humvees are not road worthy and are scrapped once their useful life is over.

However, you can walk off with a $1 yacht....just expect the yacht to be in poor shape and requiring heavy a/or major repairs.

And, according to this link

quote:
Can I Purchase A Jeep Or Humvee/HMMWV?

Jeeps
DoD does not sell the M-151 series of vehicles commonly referred to as jeeps. The Department of Transportation has ruled that jeeps are built for off-road use and could be unsafe at high speeds; therefore, for public safety, we render them inoperable prior to sale (i.e., cut or crush the unitized body and suspension system).

Humvee/HMMWV
Currently, DoD has a rebuild contract with the manufacturer to upgrade and refurbish used Humvees for further DoD use. Humvees that are not suitable for the rebuild program are little more than residue. The military version of the Humvee does not meet Department of Transportation safety standards and is not now sold.

So those "Military Humvees" in the link? Best guess they might be Civillian Models modded to be Military Spec.
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snopes
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Comment: I was in San Diego last week visiting among other places the
Naval base there. I was being given a tour and at one point we passed an
enormous U.S. Navy battleship.

The person giving me the tour (not a Navy person, a San Diego Chamber of
Commerce person) said: "I've been told that the Navy just sold that
battleship to the Gillette company which will make razor blades out of
it."

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nicky
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Jews in Space:
The condensed version of my previous essay that got erased by the BB software:

In the scrappers market, certain scrap sells for certain prices. The most desirable of scrap is heavy or dense metal. Tanks and Ships have this sort of dense metal.

A Tank is worth more scrapped than mothballed when it's at the end of it's useful life. So are Humvees (for safety reasons, Military Humvees rarely enter the Civillian side due to safety and street legal issues).

Of course, this isn't really followed in many parts of the Armed forces when it comes to Metal recycling. AMRC still has tons of obsolete, mothballed, and nearly scrapped planes at their facility in Arizona.

So presumably scrapped ships get recycled into new ships, not razor blades.
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Bunion
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
There was an article on this a while back. A "Remington" joke where they said they took old military stuff and turned it into their razor blades.

I'll see if I can find the story.

Edit: I thought they said it was Remington, but couldn't find any articles on that. However, Altavista (Search Military + turned into razor blades) came up with a bundle of xxxxx articles (Scratched. Jokes is not the right word).

There's this one article No. 95-P 39 "turned into razor blades" came up as the nuclear submarine being the case of razor blade phenomena.

quote:

* Retired nuclear submarines cannot safely be "put into mothballs" as can surface ships or diesel submarines. The cost to man and maintain a nuclear submarine in storage is virtually comparable to maintaining it on active duty. As a practical matter, therefore, if budgetary constraints are not relaxed, "retired" submarines will have to be dismantled ("turned into razor blades"). There will be no way to call them back into service if the need arises at a later date.


I remember back in highschool (this is the early 80's) in a class about the Soviet Union that they would often just sink old nuclear subs in the bearing sea (sp?) instead of dealing with the hassels of properly dismantling and disposing of a nuclear reactor. I have never really checked on the accuracy of that claim though.

Bunion

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You get more of what you want with a kind word and a gun then you do with a kind word alone.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Guessing from the amount of old harware they have lying around on their naval bases turning to rust, I doubt it.

Besides, it would probably be too easy for west to examine them and potentially find out thing they are not supposed to know.

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/Troberg

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dfresh
Deck the Malls


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I just read an environmentalist's group article in which it was reported that Boris Yeltsin stopped the practice of dumping submarine cores (not complete subs, just the reactor cores) into the Artic Ocean. During the Cold War, used cores would be dumped into the Artic east of the Kola Peninsula.
That article cited an article by David Perlman in the San Francisco Chronicle, December 18, 1996. However I could not find that article.

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The armor plate used for ships built prior to or during World War II was (supposedly) particularly good for making the old Gillette Blue Blade (carbon steel) type razor blades. I believe that Gillette bought a couple of tons of battleship armor in the 1920s at scrap metal prices. Considering that a World War I era battleship had upwards of 70 tons of armor plating,* one ship would be good for millions of razor blades.

Nowadays, nobody makes carbon steel razor blades. Stainless steel, which keeps a better edge, is universally used for blades.

*Norman Polmar The American Battleship. New York: Motorbook International, 2003, page 28.

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Ad astra per asparagus.

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