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Thread: 2 goals

  1. #1
    Senior Member kevint's Avatar
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    Default 2 goals

    For some time I have wanted to minimize, (read:eliminate) beard prep. I have made some in roads with technique and edge quality, but to only lather and shave does not quite yield the results I am looking for. So i'm still working on that

    The latest bright idea I have come up with is to eliminate stropping!

    For sometime now I have been shaving right off the hone without an initial stropping. When I figure there is no use honing the blade further I put it in rotation (which for me means I don't use it much but start with another razor)

    2 or 5 strokes per day is not going to wear a blade or hone too awful much is it?
    whatta ya think?
    Last edited by kevint; 01-30-2009 at 01:57 PM. Reason: add a word

  2. #2
    Senior Member claytor's Avatar
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    Default Honing Vs. Stropping

    Interesting idea. The theoretical question I have is exactly what is happening on an edge level in stropping vs. honing. I know finish honing is removing metal to polish, while stropping (may be technically removing metal) is used to realign the edge. Since their purposes are different I don't know if one could replace the other.

    However, I think that since you have a sharp edge you could go straight to the face from the hone. The sacrifice might be shave comfort, but I don't think you would still get a decent shave. I'm interested in your beard prep elimination. Does this discount showers? I usually shower and shave and I just lather and go (occasionally lather, strop, then shave). I rarely re-lather after stropping and I've only done the hot towel two or three times.

  3. #3
    Large Member ben.mid's Avatar
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    I think that honing & stropping are completely different. Honing is about removing material, & stropping is about re-aligning it.
    For me, it's easier to run a blade over a strop than to get out a hone.
    Experiments are great & help with further development, but my view on this one is that our ancestors had access to the same razors, hones & strops that many of us use today. We've got stainless now, & no doubt soon Seraphims ceramic blade, but many of the razors we're using are vintage. If our ancestors felt that stropping was necassary when this was their daily chore, it probably has an important place.
    Keep us updated!

  4. #4
    Member tpoof's Avatar
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    LOL, speed things up by eliminating beard prep and stropping! speed it up even more by eliminating shaving...
    I ENJOY the full meal deal

  5. #5
    Senior Member ronnie brown's Avatar
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    well this is waht i did i hined 4 razors up stroped 3 of them then i did my prep when i started to shave i used the one that i dident strop i thought that i mised somthing then it hit me i dident strop this one so i did 40 laps on leather and woo it made a hghe difference so smoth so you can cut corners on everything but stroping is a must.

  6. #6
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I'm with ben.mid, stropping is a different animal. I believe that my razor is sharper after stropping then after the hone by itself. Maybe it is just alignment maybe there is some abrasion in there as well but it is a better edge for me.

    The only other prep I do is washing my face vigorously with hot water and soap twice in the shower. To me the added comfort I get is worth whatever time that and stropping takes.

    I do admire people who experiment though and maybe you are on to something.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  7. #7
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    I'm moving this thread, as the newbies section is the last place such nut ideas should be discussed.
    I don't know whether honing or stropping is more appropriate, so I'm putting it in advanced honing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    I don't know, Kevin, I'll never see a time where I'll dispense with stropping. Certainly honing is critical to creating a shave ready edge. But that aside, for me stropping is almost more important that honing for me. That leather just tunes the edges so well and so completely I don't know what else to say.

    Chris L

    I'm with you though on the beard prep. I'll come right out and say I hate prep. Shaving would be even more enjoyable for me if I could strop, splash one splash of water on my face, whip up some lather, apply and go right into shaving immediately. I would love that. Beard softening is a huge annoyance for me. Part of the problem for me I believe is my ultra hard water. I can hot towel until the cows come home, take a 20 minute shower blasting water directly on my beard and those extremely softened whiskers dry out and harden back up before I can get the lather on them. Prep oil doesn't really seem to help all that much either so I stopped using oil. So, yeah, I hate prep.
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  9. #9
    Just one more lap... FloorPizza's Avatar
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    Well, I'm seeing this discussion from the exact opposite angle. Having used nothing but the bare side of a four sided paddle strop, I've recently made the discovery of what wonders proper stropping does to a razor. I'd sell my hones now before I'd get rid of the strop.

  10. #10
    Coticule researcher
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    I don't really see your point, other than just playing around with some challenge.

    Beard prep: I always wash my face with hot water and soap, massage the coarse spots a bit, rinse with more hot water and then lather up. I strop while the lather hydrates the hairs. I rework the lather with some additional hot water before I start shaving.
    Adding anything to that routine (a shower, a nice hot towel, a sauna, running an hour through the woods), doesn't change the shaving experience and results one single bit for me.
    On the other hand, removing something out of that routine, does have immediate repercussions on the results.

    About stropping: a razor will shave without it. But it will shave better when stropped, just like your whiskers will be more easily shaved with decent prep.
    If you want to find out when the shave starts to become unacceptable for you, be my guest, but I thought straight razor shaving was all about maximizing the shaving results and experience.

    "Zen" is not synonym of "brief".

    Best regards,

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