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

  1. #71
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longhaultanker View Post
    With due respect, Howard's remark was specific to an edge taken out to SG30k. Admittedly an extremely fine edge. I've don't have Howard's face or whiskers, or knowledge of metallurgy. As I previously said I still strop my SG30k edges 50-80 laps with no apparent edge degradation. But I wouldn't call his opinion BS.
    To be clear, I did not call his opinion about stropping to be BS.
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    It's Nice To Be Nice JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I am a believer in stropping. Regular old hanging strop. Linen/leather. YMMV.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Well I'm a very recent convert to stropping as some of you may remember. I now have 2 Red Imp's, a Carborundum and some 60 inches of 2-1/2 vegi-tan belt stock I plan on making a couple out of. I'm making small hand rubbed and dressed strip strops right now and am having some excellent results. I'm playing around with some .3 micron Chromium Oxide powder, some .25 and .1 micron diamond greases. HHT 5+++ is now easy peasy. I've only just discovered this for myself in the last week so you can tell I'm excited.
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    I'm fairly new to this whole world of SR, and so am not going to comment on the validity of the specific techniques discussed. I would like to throw in my two cents the idea of methodology:
    whether or not one agrees with his conclusions, Howard should be given credit for being WAY more knowledgeable than most, and for going above and beyond in his search for empirical evidence. Does that mean he's right about everything? Almost certainly not; but dismissing his ideas or assigning ulterior motives is premature unless one has seen the same body of empirical evidence.

    History is filled with examples where long-standing traditional ways of doing things have been proven less than ideal under the microscope of empirical evidence. One only need look as far as how much push back those proporting the germ theory of disease got from the medical establishment in the early part of the 20th century.

    Again, I'm not advocating for Howard's way of honing razors. I'm advocating for his willingness to hold up long-standing traditions to the cold hard light of empirical evidence to determine if those traditions are accomplishing what we think they are. I have nowhere near enough knowledge to know if his conclusions are correct; but I have enough knowledge to know that when someone has done as much research as Howard clearly has, their conclusions or at least worth a serious consideration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RezDog View Post
    I watched the video and he says that any more than ten rounds on the strop is counter productive and it causes the edge and the bevel to round over. That is not my experience. People can say and do whatever they want, I for one will continue on my excessive stropping and getting good life out of edges.
    Same here. Does this guy constantly hone his razors?

    I have found that razors that are handled carefully can keep going a very long time with just the fabric and leather strops, but then you have to strop quite a bit. If you add a third strop with a little super fine stone slurry on it (or diamond paste), and use this sparingly, then I'd suspect that you can keep going pretty much indefinitely. And I am very picky about my razor edge.
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    Senior Member sqzbxr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoliageFace View Post
    I have nowhere near enough knowledge to know if his conclusions are correct; but I have enough knowledge to know that when someone has done as much research as Howard clearly has, their conclusions or at least worth a serious consideration.
    His stropping technique is appalling, which taints any empirical deductions he makes because they are based on observation of his own efforts. Research itself is only as valid as the quality of your observations, deductions, testing technique, and controls. Fail in any of those and your 'research' is useless, no matter how much time and effort you put into it.
    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." -H. L. Mencken

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    Very possibly true. However, i think it's hard to make the call that his stripping technique is ineffective based on 10 seconds of video. As a classical bass player and teacher, I can tell you that there are plenty of players whose technique looks less than perfect, but who sound great. What they are doing may not be the best thing for most people, but if they are getting good results, who am I to argue?

    Again, I'm not saying he is right or wrong, I have nowhere near enough knowledge to make any such claim. I'm just saying he deserves the benifit of the doubt. At the very least, one should try one of his honings on a known blade and try it out before saying his ideas are BS (which is very different from saying that they are wrong, IMHO).
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    Senior Member blabbermouth OCDshaver's Avatar
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    There's no point arguing about it. Try his method yourself and see what you think. Either it works for you or it doesn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoliageFace View Post
    Very possibly true. However, i think it's hard to make the call that his stripping technique is ineffective based on 10 seconds of video. As a classical bass player and teacher, I can tell you that there are plenty of players whose technique looks less than perfect, but who sound great. What they are doing may not be the best thing for most people, but if they are getting good results, who am I to argue?

    Again, I'm not saying he is right or wrong, I have nowhere near enough knowledge to make any such claim. I'm just saying he deserves the benifit of the doubt. At the very least, one should try one of his honings on a known blade and try it out before saying his ideas are BS (which is very different from saying that they are wrong, IMHO).
    His stripping technique is something I definitely do not want to see

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoliageFace View Post
    I'm fairly new to this whole world of SR, and so am not going to comment on the validity of the specific techniques discussed. I would like to throw in my two cents the idea of methodology:
    whether or not one agrees with his conclusions, Howard should be given credit for being WAY more knowledgeable than most, and for going above and beyond in his search for empirical evidence. Does that mean he's right about everything? Almost certainly not; but dismissing his ideas or assigning ulterior motives is premature unless one has seen the same body of empirical evidence.

    History is filled with examples where long-standing traditional ways of doing things have been proven less than ideal under the microscope of empirical evidence. One only need look as far as how much push back those proporting the germ theory of disease got from the medical establishment in the early part of the 20th century.

    Again, I'm not advocating for Howard's way of honing razors. I'm advocating for his willingness to hold up long-standing traditions to the cold hard light of empirical evidence to determine if those traditions are accomplishing what we think they are. I have nowhere near enough knowledge to know if his conclusions are correct; but I have enough knowledge to know that when someone has done as much research as Howard clearly has, their conclusions or at least worth a serious consideration.
    The underlined portion is the underlying problem methinks.

    I've seen a few videos of stropping that might be dubbed appalling. One of them a barber that operates out of a high end hotel in Ireland. If his technique didn't get results, he wouldn't have that position.

    Until I see what Howard has, all I can say is that his notion is interesting. Honing your blade up to 30K will make it sharp as heck. Honing on a coticule once every week or two will keep your edge going indefinitely. I've shaved right off of every hone I have, none of them are unbearable. But certainly more comfortable after linen and leather. Thus I shall continue to employ the traditional tools of the trade until such time as I can determine by feel that something isn't jiving.

    I think this may be one small error in his conclusions. You can look at things under a scope all day, but the prettiest edge may not be the best shaving.

    Many here shave off a coticule that is likely less than 10K and most probably looks like hell beneath a high magnification scope compared to a 12K, 16K, or 30K edge. Those same people will all tell you their coticule feels better to them than higher grit edges they've tried. I hate my coticule. But it does make one heck of a comfortable shaving edge, possibly more so than any other stone in my small collection.

    As with everything involved in wet shaving and straight razors, YMMV.
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