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Thread: To strop or not to strop. (Howard Schechter) Videos

  1. #91
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    I use a Mastro Livi medium loom strop and 15-20 laps on the skin side leaves a smooth sharp edge. I've watched Mastro Livi strop and he has a unique stroke which I find works the best on his strop. I have used a hanging strop and was shown how to lap on it by my friend who is a old time barber. I do 20 to 25 on the strop and it gives me a great edge, smooth shave. A lot will depend on the leather, technique, and the blade material. If it works, your set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcrideshd View Post
    4,862, I don't take any thing for granted and if that don't do it I'm doing another 5,637 by my calculations that would be the perfect amount ,,, or maybe just 20-30,, who knows,, but I,ll stand by my original statement, if your dulling your razor in a short stroke count , ie. 10 laps then your stropping SUCKS. I haven't managed to dull my blade after hundreds of laps. this is why I don't need to go to the stones very seldom. its like this if 10 is what you want to do then do it. if 200 is what you want to do then do it, but do it right and it will not degrade your edge, which is what was said, any more than 10 will degrade it,, that is B>S> after 50 or more laps on my strop mine becomes a smooth shaving tool.

    so time to move on Tc
    Sounds too me like your still stropping that Butter Knife, Ha, Ty
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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    shaved with it to.. put all these razors to shame Tc
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    10 page, 90 post thread, simplicity for all....
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    I have to say I'm a little surprised by this back and forth. In my experience, more stropping (100 or more) definitely makes the edge keener and smoother. So if someone feels like it makes it dull, then I am inclined to think that they're doing it wrong.

    I have experienced that immediately after honing and/or stropping on abrasive paste, sometimes the edge can feel fine after a short stropping. But to keep this going you need to hone it every time, which sounds like a bad idea. Conversely, I have found that using a fabric strop and pure leather extensively, you don't need to hone for a long while. This just makes more sense to me.

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    I recently was passing through Howard's neck of the woods, and stopped in with him for about an hour and a half of honing, razor talk, and conversation on a range of topics, many of them having nothing to do with razors. Having spent some time with him, seeing how his approach works, and having shaved with some razors we honed while I was there, I thought it worth a revisit to this thread to share my experiences.

    First off, Howard is a a great guy, a fun hang, and has a depth of knowledge about, and passion for, razors, Blades, and hones that is second to none. He was extremely generous with his time and knowledge, to the point of arguably costing him some business, as the things he taught me are going to cause me to require fewer honings. Even if One is skeptical of his methods, a conversation with him as well worth one's time.

    Now down to brass tacks; what are the edges like? The short answer is that the edges are good, and indeed are shave worthy sans stropping. I will say, however, that I don't know that they were noticeably better than honings I've had done by other reputable sources; as with most things, there is more than one way up The mountain. What I do think Howard's methods bring to the table is speed and efficiency in honing; if he hadn't been stopping to explain each step to me, and letting me try my hand at some of the steps, I'm pretty sure he could've had each of my razors done in about 10 minutes. He also is extremely adept at spotting issues with The geometry of the blade, and knowing how to correct them to make the honing process easier.

    Finally, to speak to the The original controversy of the thread, I think his stropping technique, well unconventional, is actually very carefully considered, and is an outgrowth of his interest in keeping the process from being overly time-consuming. While I don't want to put words in his mouth, I think he would argue that the additional pressure he puts on the edge during stropping means he can accomplish in 10 strokes what it takes others 50 or 60 to do, and that if one can accomplish a task in less time with less effort, while maintaining comparable results, why not do that? It's not to say that other methods don't work, just that they take more time than is necessary.

    At any rate, I hope this post is useful to anyone trying to make sense of the last 10 pages of comments, and I encourage anyone with questions on his approach to give him a call.
    Last edited by FoliageFace; 06-27-2017 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Grammar mistake
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    @FoliageFace you reminded me of this thread again, thank you. I've recently finished a good razor on an ancient coticule (think at least 2 generations, maybe 3). That stone gave me such an edge, that for the first time in my life I thought I didn't need the strop at all. I shaved with it and I was amazed. Not many natural stones are capable of that I guess and I should say, with stropping the edge comfort improved, as expected. I won't stop stropping any time soon, but this is to say, I guess anything is possible with the right tools.

    As for compensating for the number of strokes with pressure on the strop.... perhaps, in the right hands. I doubt many would agree, or advise going that way. The difference between 10 strokes and 50 strokes is 2 minutes maximum, while taking a high risk of damaging the edge and having to go back to the stones for 15-20 mins (ymmv). That's just not for me I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoliageFace View Post
    Finally, to speak to the The original controversy of the thread, I think his stropping technique, well unconventional, is actually very carefully considered, and is an outgrowth of his interest in keeping the process from being overly time-consuming. While I don't want to put words in his mouth, I think he would argue that the additional pressure he puts on the edge during stropping means he can accomplish in 10 strokes what it takes others 50 or 60 to do, and that if one can accomplish a task in less time with less effort, while maintaining comparable results, why not do that? It's not to say that other methods don't work, just that they take more time than is necessary.
    Keep in mind though, that it was his contention that anything more than 10 laps of stropping is counter-productive because it rounds over the bevel. If he is saying that his 10 laps with pressure accomplish the same as most people's 50 laps, then are his 10 laps rounding over the bevel as well?
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    My complements to foliageface and his visit to Howard Schechter. You did what I did in October 2016. You'll find my little write up here.

    The perfect edge - Nick shaves video
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