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Thread: keeping the blade sharp

  1. #11
    Glock27
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    Neat, but how do you determine that. Forty years of doing this ignorantly, a learning process and the beginning was hell, and I guess I still must not have the knack. I strop every third shave and I spend only 30 strokes linen and leather. If the shave is not working at that point I return to the strop for another 10 to 20 strokes each. I use multiple razors so my honing times is measured in many months. Some razors cut better than others and I have not been able to overcome the lazy razor (possibly the metal content). But, your descriptor could use a bit more clarification to those of us who tend to be a bit ignorant to the art.

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    My go to is a 30x jeweler's loupe. Costs like 3 bucks on amazon. Having more helps in the beginning when you're just starting to get an idea what you're looking at, but isn't necessary.

  3. #13
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    My experience is much like yours. I have a fast growing, tough beard that quickly dulls an edge. If I shave with a DE, I can only get a couple of three-pass shaves before the blade begins to tug, even with a Feather blade.

    When using a straight, I like using paddle strops with 0.5 and 0.25 micron CBN pastes every couple of shaves to keep the edge sharp.

  4. #14
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metulburr View Post
    Then i feel like i am at #2. I can sometimes put myself back at #1 by trying to get up to #3 ....if that makes sense.

    i think i got to the point where i feel like im not doing anything when stropping. If i do it the way i should, it doesnt feel like it does anything.

    For others: Its a Gold Seal USA/Germany razor, and not a pasted strop due to having a stone. How much magnification do you need to look at a razors edge? not sure if i have anything. I think im doing OK with honing because the blade is great after the stone for numerous shaves. i always feel worried stropping is going to ruin the edge made by the stone.
    Some of the things that I have noticed at the meets

    Where you hold the razors, I have seen many with their fingers on the flats, not a bad thing but if your fingers are on the corners of the tang it allows you to torque the edge the way you want

    Speed, It does NOT make your stropping better it really doesn't 1- 1thousand up,,,, 2- 1 thousand back is plenty fast

    Pressure, light but steady

    Strop Taut, This comes with experience, but the idea that the strop must be held with a grip of steel and flat as a board will change over time
    I usually say "Taut" not "Tight" it is a subtle difference but it is a difference


    You might want to read this thread for even more tips and tricks

    StropTober: Beginning Oct 1st 2012
    rodb, Phrank, Steel and 1 others like this.

  5. #15
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    60x is a good starting point for a new honer, and can be purchased for as little as $2 up to $15 on line. There are many recent posts on magnification.

    More important that the quality of the magnification is understanding what you are seeing. Here is a post where a new honer takes a razor from Ebay find to shave ready. (Second Try at Honing). It is filled with good micrographs of what to look for in an edge.

    Is your 12k synthetic or a Natural stone? A good synthetic like a Naniwa Super Stone will revive an failing edge, a Natural may not, at least not with out a lot of work or lower grit stones.

    Read the first three post in the Honing Forum, they have a lot of good information on honing for the beginner. You issue may not be a stropping issue as it may not be properly honed.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    Is your 12k synthetic or a Natural stone?
    its a naniwa synthetic. Though i dont consider myself an expert honer...i feel like i am decent with it sufficient enough to fix the edge to shaving required. A couple years ago i nicked the faucet with one of my razors, As well as droped the razor on the floor, and you could see the light mis-direction from the dings with your plain eye. I had to step down the grit and rebuild the edge completely on both accounts. I have gotten razors honed from users on this forum that i use as a sharp example.

    Though the one thing i have never done is look at a blade's edge under magnification. I will have to buy one. EDIT: I checked out online, but some reviews say that the cheap ones when advertised as 30X are really only like 10X. Can you link me a cheap good one?


    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    Some of the things that I have noticed at the meets

    Where you hold the razors, I have seen many with their fingers on the flats, not a bad thing but if your fingers are on the corners of the tang it allows you to torque the edge the way you want

    Speed, It does NOT make your stropping better it really doesn't 1- 1thousand up,,,, 2- 1 thousand back is plenty fast

    Pressure, light but steady

    Strop Taut, This comes with experience, but the idea that the strop must be held with a grip of steel and flat as a board will change over time
    I usually say "Taut" not "Tight" it is a subtle difference but it is a difference


    You might want to read this thread for even more tips and tricks

    StropTober: Beginning Oct 1st 2012
    These are some good reassurances.

    I like to put my thumb on the corner of the tang as im stropping as i can feel the tension and adjust the tension to the strop. I also use it to help flip the razor over via spine as its easier to catch than the flat.

    Ive tried variations of strop tightness. I know you can make it a guitar string or loose as a rope bridge. I usually keep it a hair less than tight, like you can just start to see a bend in the strop loosening from it being tight.

    I think this might be where im having trouble. The strop process. I never felt comfortable with it and never felt like i understood it all the way. But i would of assumed that after 2 years i would of come up with something that would of worked.

    But, your descriptor could use a bit more clarification to those of us who tend to be a bit ignorant to the art.
    Sorry. I am not use to the terminology and i did at one point delve into it, but i forgot it as quick as i learned it. Ill try to make it more precise if i know where im not faltering.
    Last edited by metulburr; 05-09-2017 at 05:16 PM.

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  8. #17
    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Proper stropping, as has been said, can keep a razor shave ready for years.

    I have Sheffield razors that have held their edge, no refresh or crox, for over 3 years now...just disciplined stropping before a shave, and some stropping on linen and leather after a shave to clean it up.

    As mentioned, speed kills, both an edge and a strop, and stropping is one of the fundamentals - a skill that must be mastered.

    As Glen points out - a tight strop is important, otherwise it is very easy to roll and edge...one suggestion might be to go to a bench or loom strop, something that ensure your stropping on a flat edge.

    You can practice with a butter knife to exercise the muscle memory, and this is all part of the journey of fun.....

  9. #18
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    I'm still new (or new enough) at this. I'm enjoying the thread. I strop regularly. Haven't bellied up to the bar for a hone. In a recent acquisition, I got a pasted strop and a barber's hone. The pasted strop actually does help. Eventually I'll try the hone. I would love for there to be a meet near me, but I don't think that's going to happen.

  10. #19
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Here are a couple inexpensive loupes and magnifiers that I use. The silver one can be bought for as little as $2.

    The other is 60 & 100X. don’t know if it really is, but it does not matter, it works…

    Here is a post about honing post 74 shows the scopes. (when is your razor sharp)

    Pressure is more important than the strop tension. It should be taught, but not pulling out of the wall tight. Do not use downward pressure and do not slam the razor on the flip.

    Hold the razor from the corners, so the corner is in the middle of the thumb and pad of the index finger, stop the forward movement then flip the razor using your thumb, (like flipping a switch), the spine stays on the strop the whole time.

    If you flip with the wrist, you will slam the razor onto the strop, break off the fin and make a ragged edge. Use your thumb and index fingers to torque just enough pressure, to keep the spine and edge on the strop. Stop and flip. Go slow, use even pressure.

    A 12k Naniwia is aggressive enough to easily repair and refresh an edge. But do not attempt it blind. Use magnification, before and during the process.

  11. #20
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    I had the same problem years ago. For me the answer was using a fabric strop before the leather. Once I started doing this the edge would last much much longer.

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