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Thread: A Few questions

  1. #1
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    Default A Few questions

    Hi

    I've been shaving with a str8 for about 3 years now but am still having some problems that I was hoping someone could help with.

    Firstly - I have a very hard beard that grows quickly and I shave every day.

    I have a "new" Kropp razor (my old razor had some nicks in it from some epic travelling!) I honed it so that it would cut a hanging hair and shave my upper arm without any pulling. I stropped it on the smooth side on my strop (20-25 laps) with virtually only the weight of the razor pressing down. Here is my first question: How much downward pressure should I use when stropping?

    I use St James of London shaving cream which I apply directly to my face and then lather with a badger brush - the lather always dries out before I finish my shave so I have to lather my neck again to finish the shave (this could be because I live in a very hard water area?). My first shave with the new razor was a wonderful thing but my second was not as comfortable (stropping technique?) and the third was not comfortable at all.

    At the end of the shave my razor is covered in soap scum that does not just wash off in water - I have to soap the razor and rub my forefinger and thumb along it to clean the blade (being careful not to go too close to the blade edge). Then I dry using a piece of tissue paper.

    My questions are:
    Why is my razor not holding its edge for even a week?
    I my stropping technique wrong (is this causing a problem with the blade?) I am using the smooth side of the strop with virtually no downward pressure other than the weight of the blade.
    Am I doing something wrong with the lather that it is not lasting for the whole shave?
    Why is my blade so caked in soap scum at the end of the shave? (this happened with my old one too and any soap / cream that I have tried).

    I know this is a lot of questions but I would *so* love for all of my shaves to be the same as my shave on Sunday - the first one after preparing the blade.

    Many Thanks

    Brett

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bansley View Post

    1. Why is my razor not holding its edge for even a week?
    2. I my stropping technique wrong (is this causing a problem with the blade?) I am using the smooth side of the strop with virtually no downward pressure other than the weight of the blade.
    3. Am I doing something wrong with the lather that it is not lasting for the whole shave?
    4. Why is my blade so caked in soap scum at the end of the shave? (this happened with my old one too and any soap / cream that I have tried).t


    1. It may be overhoned, ie very sharp, but brittle. Send it to a good honer, and have him evaluate your bevel.
    2. Probably not. Unless you roll the edge (see the Wiki page on stropping for pictures and videos), stropping cannot dull your razor.
    3. Yes, absolutely. Again, consult the Wiki for some excellent audio-visual material for lathering with soaps and creams.
    4. Because the lather is not lather but a glue like substance. Use filtered water and a bowl, and you'll be surprised how well that works.

    Regards,
    Robin

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP. Have you been suffering with these problems for all of the three years you've been shaving with a straight razor ? You are a tenacious soul, I would have given up. The pressure on the strop should be firm on the spine and light on the edge. My guess is the reason the lather is sticking to your blade is the same as the reason it is drying out on your neck. Not moist enough. As Be Berlin suggested, check out the SRP Wiki and maybe send your razor out for pro honing. You can find members who perform that service in the SRP classifieds here. Look in 'member services'.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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