Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
Like Tree41Likes

Thread: What does stropping really do?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    oregun
    Posts
    18
    Thanked: 22

    Default What does stropping really do?

    I honed a razor last night, when I was done the bevel as seen through my $12 microscope
    was almost black, just a few faint lines were visible, just as expected.

    After I stropped on a poly stop loaded with green compound then leather I happened to look
    again, to my surprise the bevel looked like it had just come off about a 6k grit stone.

    I always thought that stropping polished beyond what a stone could do and that was the reason
    the razor would get sharper, doesn't seem to be the case here. My curiosity up I honed again and started checking each strop I had to see what effect it had on the bevel.
    I tried poly with green compound, linen with dovo white, cotton with dovo white, linen with
    diamond spray, a whipped dog leather strop, and a shell leather strop, they all left scratch marks
    on the bevel, some more than others but all left marks. The one that surprised me the most was the shell, it left far more marks than the whipped dog leather, does that mean it is doing more sharpening or less?

    Can somebody explain to me why the edge appears less refined but gets sharper when I strop it?

  2. #2
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    10,911
    Thanked: 3507
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Stropping does not sharpen, in that it does not remove steel--strictly speaking, but it does align the edge. If you have small burrs left over from honing, those burrs can either get aligned with the edge or they can break off--thus breaking off steel.

    If your bevels and edges appear more scratched or chipped after stropping, then it can be due to a dirty strop, the wrong compound, or really bad technique.

    How "loaded" was your compound? There should not be much on the strop.

    From where did you get the green compound? Not everything that is green is sufficiently homogenous and fine to be useable for razors.

  3. #3
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    27,677
    Thanked: 4401
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    You have to distinguish between a plain strop and one with grit on it. With grit you will sharpening depending on what you have on it.

    A plain strop, we say it dresses the edge. Just improves it a tad but not really sharpening.
    Substance and jmercer like this.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to thebigspendur For This Useful Post:

    Hirlau (03-19-2016)

  5. #4
    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    13,972
    Thanked: 3319

    Default

    Cows & horses eat grass so yes there will be abrasive silicates in leather strops.

    Would be interesting to try porpoise leather

    You will also notice the scratches more because they are in the opposite direction of your honing unless you strop toe leading. They should not be deep tho or you have contaminants on your strop.

    Poly can be quite abrasive depending on the poly. Think Scotchbrite.

    As Utopian said not all green compounds are suitable for razors.

    Another thing that can determine how deep the strop scratches are is how much pressure you use.

    I don't use the average abrasive compunds as I'm yet to find one that doesn't degrade the polish of my finishers. Even the Dovo White on linen can change an edge.

    Finishing on a 12 k however the edge can be improved by pastes.
    Substance likes this.
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

  6. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Diamond Bar, CA
    Posts
    5,042
    Thanked: 2285

    Default

    Not really sure what you are asking, because I can’t see what you see.

    If you are comparing paste, do so with the same substrate. Your results will depend on the grit, size, abrasiveness of the paste, the finish on the bevel the substrate and pressure.

    If you are seeing deep stria, after stropping on paste, that is common. The paste is polishing the finer stria and revealing deep stria, that was never honed away by the finer stones.

    What are you honing on, and what is the make of the razor?

    BTW “Green Polishing Compound” is not shave quality Chrome Oxide and will leave a chipped, harsh edge.


    Photos would help.
    Steel likes this.

  7. #6
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    10,911
    Thanked: 3507
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    Cows & horses eat grass so yes there will be abrasive silicates in leather strops.

    Would be interesting to try porpoise leather
    No good.
    There are abrasive silicates in the ocean too.

    Would be more interesting to try extraterrestrial alien leather

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    oregun
    Posts
    18
    Thanked: 22

    Default

    Thanks guys, I learned a lesson today, clean your strop once in a while. After wiping them down I m getting nearly no stria from the leather strops.

    It surprised me that strai from the compound (the good stuff from SRD) was as course as it appears.
    I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that it looks to be a larger grit than my stone
    Yet improves the edge.

  9. #8
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    10,911
    Thanked: 3507
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I always keep my strops covered to help keep them clean. I also wipe my strops with my hand prior to use in order to clear off anything that may have accumulated on it. Also, I occasionally wipe my strops with a slightly damp wash cloth in order to clean them and to add moisture to them. Finally, I always strop on newspaper after honing in order to avoid transferring any grit from the hones to the strop.

  10. #9
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32,563
    Thanked: 11021

    Default

    I just leave my strop/strops hanging in a hallway and don't do anything to them but strop. I do palm rub every so many months if it occurs to me. I'm not recommending that, just stating the facts. An old barber told me back in the '80s that the strop "straightens the edge." Same thing Utopian said, "aligns the edge," and tbs said, dresses the edge. I hit the lined first then the leather. This is what I always saw the old barbers do years ago, and I figure they wouldn't have kept doing it if it had no purpose. I know there is controversy over whether to use linen or not, but for me it is my default method.

    I've always tried to get the maximum out of the hones, so I rarely use paste or chrom-ox. This is not that those things aren't good adjuncts to the hones, but out of a sense of trying to achieve better results through whatever my honing skills are. Also, if I'm finish honing on a yellow green Escher, or a Suehiro 20k, going from those expensive hones to fifty cents worth of green powder just doesn't make sense to me. A lot of guys on this board like to experiment with all these things, and that is one of the great things about it. Even an old dog like me might learn something new if I keep an open mind.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to JimmyHAD For This Useful Post:

    Steel (09-15-2016)

  12. #10
    Historically Inquisitive Martin103's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    5,925
    Thanked: 4183
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    An explanation in pictures, first is after a shave, 2nd is after linen and leather. These pics are the cutting edge magnified 3000 times if i remember correctly.
    Name:  pre stropping.JPG
Views: 223
Size:  11.9 KB
    Name:  post stropping.JPG
Views: 224
Size:  15.4 KB

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Martin103 For This Useful Post:

    MW76 (09-15-2016)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •