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Thread: Strop + Barber's Hone: Right Sequence

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    Member Corgi's Avatar
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    Default Strop + Barber's Hone: Right Sequence

    Hello, gents,

    I have decided to learn how to refresh my razors. I have a nice Swaty barber's hone that is perfect and ready to use. Razors were professionally honed, but they pull quite a bit so I thought I'd try my hand at refreshing them rather than sending them out again.

    My question is: first strop, then hone--or vice-versa? Or does it matter?

    Any other advice would be appreciated. BTW, razors are a beefy W&B wedge (I believe it is a 1") and another W&B hollow ground.

    Thanks

    Tom

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    Hone then strop.
    I was just watching this video a couple minutes ago. It's a great place to start.https://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=R_uWwbmQlUM

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Yes it matters. Stropping is done to align the edge. Honing is done to remove steel from the edge. Hone, then strop, then shave.
    BobH and pcm like this.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    So how long ago were they honed, and were they honed with tape?

    How have you maintained them ?

    Are you using paste with your strop, if so what is the strop substrate and the paste?

    Generally you would strop to maintain and if stropped properly a razor can be maintained for several months at a high level of keenness.

    But if you are new to stropping, it is not unusual for a novice stropper to do more damage than good.

    One miss stroke can roll the edge and then it will need a touch up honing unless the damage is extensive and lower grits are needed.

    So first look at the edge with magnification, straight down on the edge and see if you see any shiny spots. They are chips or rolled edge. What you see will determine the proper course of action.
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    Senior Member admvalentine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherstockiings View Post
    Hone then strop.
    I was just watching this video a couple minutes ago. It's a great place to start.https://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=R_uWwbmQlUM
    thanks for that video, but now i must get a new barbers hone.....

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    Member Corgi's Avatar
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    Hi, Euclid, the razors were honed about 2 years ago (if I remember correctly), but I have hardly used them at all, probably no more than three times each. The reason is that they still pulled when they arrived from the honemeister. After each "attempted" shave, I have given them about 10 laps on the strop (no paste), dried them, added a thin coat of oil and stored them in a wooden box filled with rice. Naturally, I would also strop before each subsequent shave--although, as I said, I have used them very seldom.

    The edges *look* fine, but the razors just wouldn't perform. I had to finish each shave with another razor--a Filarmonica that was sold "shave-ready" and that indeed was that. I have probably had over 20 great shaves with the Filarmonica in the last year or so, and I was able to maintain it in tiptop shape by just stropping it before each use.

    The main reason I was asking about the strop/barber-hone sequence is: do you hone an already-aligned edge (which means strop first), as may seem logical to a first-time honer (like I am), or do you hone first--and most of all, why?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    The reason I ask is because, stropping is where most new guys have an issue and can damage an edge with one stroke.

    So it sounds like your razors may just need stropping, but you have to be able to strop properly.

    The other issue is if it was taped when honed and you use a barber hone you may not hone to the edge with just a few laps.

    The first thing I would do is look straight down on the edge with magnification. Any shiny spots are where the bevels are not meeting and will require honing and can possibly be corrected with a barber hone.

    If the edge is clean, just strop it about 100 laps, Use light pressure just the weight of the blade, keep the spine on the strop at all times and stop before you flip the razor.

    Some photos of the razors may help, not all razors sold as shave ready are and if stropped, an edge can be damaged before the first shave.

    Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. it is the Catch 22 of Straight Shaving, you have to strop to maintain a razor and you have to learn to strop before you can strop to maintain your razor.

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    Senior Member LexTac's Avatar
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    Before you try honing the razor, strop it and shave with it again. Try changing your angle, too much of an angle can cause pulling as well. Good luck.
    Regards;
    Lex

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    Member Corgi's Avatar
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    Will do as you guys say--although if I had a faulty stropping technique, the Filarmonica would have also become dulled--also because I've used and stropped it at least 20 times.

    Will give it a go and let you know.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    No… not really, it just takes one stroke or too much pressure to damage an edge, usually lifting the spine at the end of a stroke before stopping.

    The spine should never leave the strop, stop and flip without leaving the strop, go slow and use little pressure.
    Too much pressure is also an edge killer.

    Take your hand on a flat surface and run it as you would a razor. Where is the pressure? It is naturally more on the trailing edge than the leading edge. If you add more downward pressure, it is compounded at the trailing edge… the razor’s edge.

    A razor edge is very fragile and it does not take much to damage or ruin it.

    As I said, this is very common...

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