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

  1. #11
    Senior Member Willisf's Avatar
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    I guess whatever works for a person...... do it!
    Millions of opinions on techniques, "what to do, "what not to do".......

    Always learn something new and try it out. If it works, great, if not....move on.

    I was told when I was a very young man...... "Listen and learn from the wisdom and knowledge from an older person....... They made it to their age for a reason."

    Is it over there or over yonder?

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth Haroldg48's Avatar
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    This is the same guy who does the super fast honing going in both directions, with pressure?!? I say watch with the proverbial grain of salt. http://http://youtu.be/1z1voZKvGW8
    Just call me Harold
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    A bad day at the beach is better than a good day at work!

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    Senior Member BeJay's Avatar
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    I've seen a couple of his videos and he does things a bit differently then most of us. He does back and forth strokes with pressure on finishers then down strokes to remove the bur. It seems he's more concerned with a bur because his technique is creating a bur. His stropping technique also looks like it may be the reason "too much stropping" damages the edge. When I see what he's doing part of me wants to say he's doing things wrong. The truth is though, I have never shaved with one of his razors so I have no idea if he's right or wrong. If HE is getting a good result with HIS methods, he's doing it right. I would suggest going with the more common techniques when starting out. If you want to experiment later, have at it. It's only "wrong" if it's damaging or doesn't get good results.
    B.J.

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    Right or wrong I found the man interesting. What absolutely irritated me was the young kid constantly interrupting him while he was talking. Didn't his father teach him proper conversational etiquette? His mother should sew a zipper on his mouth.

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    To each his own.
    Howard is a very intelligent guy to talk to but I think that Chromox on a balsa strop is magic, even after using a 30k stone. I am not even sure the 30k does anything.

    His technique did not work for me.

  7. #16
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    Two things I'd like to comment on. First, the idea that more than 10 strops deteriorates the edge. Stropping concentrates most of the pressure on the very edge, as opposed to honing , which distributes the pressure over the whole bevel. Stropping refines the edge. The optimum edge is attained when stropping smoothes all the hills and valleys into a more or less straight edge. Any stropping past this point starts to deteriorate the edge, because it is increasing the 12 - 14 degree ultimate angle. The angle increases to a point where it is no longer comfortable to shave and then it's back to the hone. I can't comment on the statement about stropping making an edge rough because I'm overseas in an area with rubbish reception and can't view the video ( do they still call them videos, or am I showing my age?). Does it matter whether you do 10 or 100 strops (stroppings?). Maybe this guy has researched that (once again, wish I could see the video), but I think the difference is academic to most of us. The amount of wear done between 10 and 100 is negligible, so long as the pressure is light to medium and your technique is adequate
    .
    The second point I'd like to comment on is the one made about keeping a razor sharp. Once again, I haven't viewed the video, but from years of butchering and having been taught by the best, you're better to do a few strokes on your steel after hitting bone or cutting for a minute or two, than you are to plough away with a half-sharp knife, then try to re-sharpen. Yes, i know knives and SRs are different. I've worked with both, the theory is the same: Sharp! Using a pasted stop? My jury is still out on that one. Opinions please gentlemen
    Never hone a razor when you're sitting in a chair, drunk and naked. If you do, however, make sure you don't let the TV distract you, not even for a second - not that I've done it

  8. #17
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    I sent Howard a number of emails and found him to have a great amount of knowledge in metals, honing and stropping. He is not alone in believing that less is better. I use a Mastro Livi loom strop with chromium oxide on linen and a very smooth skin on the other. Mastro Livi believes that stropping on his skin side will be a good daily blade procedure. He says you only go to the chromium oxide when the blade tugs. Mastro Livi is a believer in daily stropping on his skin will produce a polished edge and smooth shave. Normally 15-20 laps on the skin and 5-10 on the linen.
    Steel likes this.

  9. #18
    Senior Member notitfortat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benz View Post
    Right or wrong I found the man interesting. What absolutely irritated me was the young kid constantly interrupting him while he was talking. Didn't his father teach him proper conversational etiquette? His mother should sew a zipper on his mouth.
    Dear lord that is incredibly annoying.

  10. #19
    Previously lost, now "Pasturized" kaptain_zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    Howard was active on this forum 8-10 years ago. Haven't seen him in awhile. I haven't watched the video, but I'm happy with stropping my razors, and since every pro barber I've ever known, as well as every pro barber manual I've ever read, are 100% in favor of stropping the razor I'm sticking with it.
    As Jimmy points out, Howard was THE source for Coticule hones back in the day and he was active on this forum. A lot of his newer knowledge appears to be sourced from sharpening woodworking tools, and as we all know... 'taint the same beast as shaving.

    In woodworking, we are not concerned with a harsh feeling blade to the wood, we want to slice off as thin a slice of wood that we can, with a plane.... In shaving, we want to lop off the beard WITHOUT slicing off a thin layer of skin.

    It seems Howard has been drifting away from straight razor honing and over to plane/chisel honing for woodworking, and yet he seems to infer that what is good in woodworking must be good in shaving.... and that is not always true.

    Stropping a plane blade is probably not a good thing (it WILL reduce the sharpness the edge), but stropping a carving knife IS a good thing and is often done with pastes.


    Wikipedia may not always the best source for information, nor might an individual posting contrary information on Youtube, necessarily be a reliable source, unless vetted by numerous other knowledgeable folks. I tend to ignore statements like "It's the way it's always been done" as "proof" that it is correct. Like any science, we develop theories and then let our peers poke holes in it if they can, and we try to keep an open mind to new theories, just in case something new has come to light. After all... everyone KNEW that the world was flat, everyone KNEW the Earth was the centre of all creation, until someone came up with a new theory that it wasn't, and let others attempt to poke holes in that theory.

    SRP is a great source for information, it has a large group of people practising the art, and most get wonderful shaves doing what they are doing. It does not mean there is no better way to do things, any more than a Laser razor is the ultimate way of shaving.. The current state of straight razor shaving and maintenance is constantly being tested and probed for weaknesses, we still theorize and test new ideas (many of them probably old ideas, done in the past, only we don't know about it), and when we find something that seems to work better, we offer it to the rest of the members in hopes it will improve things for them.

    All that said... it's pretty hard to improve on what barbers have been doing for decades. Their livelihood depended on happy customers. If, as a barber, your shaves did not measure up to someone else's shaves, you could be sure your customers would flock to that person's chair instead. And as we all know, barbers, stropped their razors between customers, and sometimes even between passes, on the same customer.

    Regards


    Christian
    "Aw nuts, now I can't remember what I forgot!" --- Kaptain "Champion of lost causes" Zero

  11. #20
    Jack of all, master of none KenWeir's Avatar
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    Well everyone's comments here have piqued my curiosity. Too much going on in the house right now but I'll be sure to grab my headphones & see what the fella has to say after wifey is asleep.

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