Results 1 to 6 of 6
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Substance
  • 1 Post By bluesman7

Thread: Technique of stropping on balsa vs hanging leather

  1. #1
    Coz
    Coz is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 0

    Default Technique of stropping on balsa vs hanging leather

    So I haven't spent much time with my straight edge razor yet, let's say I have about 15 shaves.
    The reason I'm using the balsa is because I spent months without touching the razor, and I might have decreased the sharpness of the edge when I first got the blade due to poor technique. I have been using the balsa more often than I'm supposed to as practice and because the first few times I used the balsa the edge seemed to get progressively sharper over subsequent times. Given that I live in an undeveloped country and after searching I haven't found anyone experienced who could look at the blade and tell me everything is fine, I'm sort of learning on my own.

    I have a question regarding stropping on balsa: when stropping on hanging leather, you are supposed to 'lead with the spine' which I interpret as 'apply more force to the spine than the edge'; I'm aware that the force should be minimal, that the edge should never touch the strop without the spine also touching it, and so on. Is the 'lead with the spine' rule valid also when using paste on balsa?

    I'm asking because today I applied a bit more force on the edge than on the spine while stropping on the balsa (not on the hanging leather, I lead with the spine there) as a experiment, and the edge got sharper than I have been able to get it before.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth Substance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Gladstone QLD AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    3,169
    Thanked: 778

    Default

    G'day Coz,
    Couple of questions and answers
    - to clear it up does your Balsa strop actually have a leather side ?

    If it does have leather you need to treat it the same as a hanging strop the only difference is little or no flex to avoid rolling the edge.
    So with leather hanging or fixed you still only need to maintain a light razor weight only pressure with the spine leading with edge flat on the strop.
    Minimal weight is required

    - if you have no leather side I personally recommend getting a leather strop this is much finer and better for your razor than the balsa alone.

    - alternatively use your hanging strop flat on a bench like a fixed strop and Use the same technique.
    Keep in mind The only real difference is the hanging strop can flex and the fixed can't.
    JMHO
    Hope this helps ?
    Last edited by Substance; 01-25-2016 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Dyslexia
    rolodave likes this.
    Saved,
    to shave another day.

  3. #3
    Coz
    Coz is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 0

    Default

    It's a balsa with pastes on both sides, no leather. I have a piece of leather besides the balsa.

  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Diamond Bar, CA
    Posts
    5,042
    Thanked: 2280

    Default

    So, you have probably found the right amount of pressure. Typically we say strop with little or no pressure, but that is not always true. The problem is quantifying pressure, how much is a little, how much is weight of the blade?

    Really you have to use some pressure, just not too much. If you don’t use enough, not much happens, if too much, you can roll or break the edge. It is always best to start with the least amount of pressure and increase slightly until you find a point that works, as you did.

    Keep in mind that too much with some paste can make an edge harsh, and that using the same paste on a different substrate will have a different effect. And too much pressure on the edge will kill it.

    So as long as you like the result, keep doing what you are doing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bluesman7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Denver CO
    Posts
    1,211
    Thanked: 272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coz View Post
    'lead with the spine' which I interpret as 'apply more force to the spine than the edge'; .
    "lead with the spine" refers to the direction that the razor is moved on the strop or balsa with the razor moving spine first.
    Steel likes this.

  6. #6
    Coz
    Coz is offline
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 0

    Default

    Not only I did the nail test (which only worked once, for obvious reasons) when I first got the blade, but I'm sure I stropped a few times where the leather was bent too much at the edge; still, it still shaves well enough after stropping on balsa, and I don't expect to strop on the balsa for a while. When stropping on the hanging leather, to know how much pressure I should apply I guide myself by how uniform the sound the blade makes is(not loudness or pitch, just that it sounds the same through the length of the strop and on both sides of the blade), and that the bend on the leather is minimal and at the spine only.

    Thanks for all the replies.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •