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Thread: Folding the edge...

  1. #1
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Cool Folding the edge...

    You hear this many times on the forum when somebody says I just got a razor that was "Supposedly" shave ready but it won't shave..

    Usually one of the Mentors or Senior Member's will ask about the stropping and mention "Folding the edge" this is usually hidden by tons of posts with tons of opinions and tons of fixes having nothing to do with the issue


    I just got in two Dovo's that were honed by two different vendors, both of which under Magnification tell the same story

    I tried to capture what I saw with my USB but it was clear as day under the 65x loupe

    These are Folded edges, these will not shave, this has nothing to do with the original honing, this is all about the subsequent stropping, this is what the experienced members mean when they say "You might have folded the edge" ...

    Depending on the severity, this can sometimes be Stropped out, obviously these two need re-honing however...

    Name:  Dovo Folded Edge.jpg
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    Name:  Dovo Folded Edge 2.jpg
Views: 1366
Size:  25.9 KB


    See it really isn't a myth

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  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Great pics Glen,Every Time a Newb comes over with Their new Razor to learn about Stropping,First thing I do is gentley deflect the edge and show them just how thin and fragile the really are.Makes an impression that Razors are not like knives
    CAUTION
    Dangerous within 1 Mile

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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Good show, Glen, that is sound advice illustrated with fine pictures.

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    Junior Member Jefe's Avatar
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    Excellent post. I'm waiting on my first straight from SRD and it's great to see a picture of this of what improperly stroping can lead to.

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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Rolled the edge, or folded the edge, that was a lesson hopefully you have to learn only once...been there, done that!

    Thanks Glen!
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    Senior Member Splashone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrank View Post
    Rolled the edge, or folded the edge, that was a lesson hopefully you have to learn only once...been there, done that!

    Thanks Glen!
    Is there anyone that hasn't as a newbie?
    The easy road is rarely rewarding.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Haroldg48's Avatar
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    When I bought my first SR and strop from a Hoffitz store more than 30 years ago, no one told me (nor did I have any other source) that you were supposed to keep the spine on the strop and turn on the spine, not the edge. My mental model was of my barber, probably 15 years before stropping at a very fast pace (with a slapping sound) before he did my neck and sideburns.

    After about 2 months of shaving every day with that abused razor, I gave up and put it away until last year.

    I began SR shaving again last summer with the help of this site, and that razor is now in my rotation again, thanks to professional honing (by Lynn).
    lz6 and Substance like this.
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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    This may have solved the question that I have had for days. I've been testing a stone for the past 2 weeks. I have 8 razors finished on it to date. One of the razors, an old Sheffield wedge, I had this same problem. Under a loop I saw this exact pattern. I saw a beautiful edge with "tracks' of edge just missing,,,my first thought was inclusions in the stone had ripped the sections away. But I'm a fanatic about lapping, using a DMT 1200 on my finishers throughout the honing process.

    Then I realized that none of the other 7 had that problem. I also remember that I stroked the Sheffield across my T-shirt a few times to remove any swarf that might transfer to my strop.(a habit I have)

    Could the strokes on my t-shirt have rolled the edge?

    Will the edges on an old Sheffield roll easier than other steels??

    I'm glad I used the loop to see this damage before I went to the strop.
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  10. #9
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    Ah, I had wondered whether it was possible to actually roll the edge - that's answered my question!

    I still can't look back at the time when i finally got a decent people edge from honing only to immediately ruin it with diabolical stropping, without a sense of annoyance.

  11. #10
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    The big problem with stropping (and straight razors in general) is the mechanics are really easy. It's a very simple process. Holding the strop too taut and using too much pressure will kill an edge.

    I recently got a haircut at a barbershop in town. The barber moved the razor down by the side of the chair and went "whoosh, whoosh" with the razor. I thought to myself, holy sh!t, I just witnessed a barber stropping a razor. At the end of the haircut I confronted the barber, an 80 year old Italian. I asked him to demonstrate. He held the strop extended, BUT LOOSE, and stropped. He repeated over and over again, "see it's easy, no big deal". But, to me it was a really big deal.

    He wasn't yanking the strop taut like a construction worker, or using severe pressure. He let the strop dangle and react to the razor movement, yet he held the strop extended lightly away from the chair; he held it effortlessly. He held the strop so lightly that he could swirl the razor around any which way he wanted. He swirled the razor, lightly, effortlessly.

    He made it look sooooo, easy. And I got it. It is easy!

    Now, clearly, if you hold a strop rigid tight and use pressure, the slightest mistake, heck even without a mistake, will fold the edge, effectively ruining it. If you hold the strop rigid tight and use no pressure, you'll only strop the bevel, not the edge. There is no need to strop the bevel.

    So, you've got to strop the edge, and you've got to do it lightly. The strop must be extended, but not too rigid. Otherwise you'll fold the edge. There simply isn't any other possible solution. The leather has to deflect some, and an edge can't contact a deflected strop with heavy pressure. Not really with any pressure. Your razor and hand alone is enough pressure.

    But, don't take this thought as needing to concentrate on the pressure application of razor and hand. Rather, think of this as an excuse to strop lightly, effortlessly, easily, because your hand will automatically provide all the weight (pressure) you'll ever need, until the edge needs to be honed again.
    Last edited by AFDavis11; 04-14-2014 at 10:26 PM.

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