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Thread: Something just isn't clicking

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default Something just isn't clicking

    So, I've watched every stropping video I can, but I'm still messing something up somewhere. I can take a perfectly shave worthy edge off a Swaty barber hone, and within 20 strokes on linen and 40 on leather make it tug and pull. For the life of me I cannot get the hang of this stropping thing. On the bright side, I'm not cutting the heck out of my strop.

    Either I have a tension problem with the strop, or a pressure/torque problem with the razor. Or maybe a combination of the 2? I was tugging the strop pretty hard to keep it perfectly flat, but I've since come to realize that's probably not the right route and eased up considerably. Now I keep it taught, but allow it to flex some as I've seen in Lynn's videos.

    I've also tried various pressure types on the blade. I'm sure I started out a little heavy handed. Applying slight torque to 'force' the edge against the strop just feels inherently wrong, like I'm probably rolling the edge. Lately I've settled on light pressure, like I use for finishing strokes, but that doesn't seem to be making head way either.

    I guess my question is, how tight do you hold your strop, and for those of you who also hone your razors how much pressure do you use relative to honing strokes?

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    I gave up hanging mine because I was doing the same thing. Now I just lay my strop flat on my dresser and run the razor over it, light pressure medium to fast speed, 40 strokes (20 on each side). I make sure when I flip it I don't hit it on the edge, I can get 3 of my 4 Wm. Elliot&Co. razors singing on the leather, The 4th I just got 2 days ago, I have it shaving leg hairs nice and smooth now (1000k 4000k 8000k). I probably will put it to the leather tomorrow.
    Last edited by THORandODIN; 04-01-2016 at 11:40 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I discovered the same - that laying the strop on something flat and hard makes things noticeably easier. But I am hell bent on learning to do this 'right' lol.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    The advantage of the paddle (or flat on the table) is that you don't have to worry about pressure or bending the strop. Hint hint :<0)
    The tension on a hanger is proportionate to how much you press into it with the razor. Try and make slow purposeful laps. Everybody watches the vids and thinks " Flap flapo flapflap flap flap " at 3 laps a second is the right way. That may take a year to get the hang of.

    Pull your hanger tight and then let off so there is some ( barely ?) slack. Go lightly with the razor. If that doesn't work go lighter. Do 75 laps.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    I only use a bench strop for my pasted strop, my daily drivers are all hangers. In the beginning I found that the harder I pulled on the strop that the harder I stropped the blade. Light tension was equal with light pressure on the blade. The roll is ever important and of course the torque come added pressure on the edge. I concentrate on keeping the pressure on the spine and speed kills. A nice even steady stroke, it is part of my shaving zen and there is never any reason to rush that. If I am in a hurry I should probably skip the strop and shave.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Apparently Jerry is faster!
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    Default " Something just isn't clicking"

    The strop ain't supposed to click.
    You should hear a "swish or swooshing" sound as to swipe the razor across it.

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    Senior Member dinnermint's Avatar
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    I have compulsive muscle memory breakdown. I am always finding myself pulling the strop too tight and too little pressure. My razors felt unstropped after 60 to 100 laps. There's a happy medium that can be difficult. Knowing the draw of your strop can help dial in the feel as well. Mine felt like glass improperly, not the medium it is supposed to be...

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Haha, I'm definitely guilty of trying to go 3 laps a second. There for a while I thought I had it down well enough to get away with speed stropping, but after watching a few videos, and doing a marker test I realized I was stropping the back side of the bevel and not really hitting the edge.

    Needless to say I've slowed way down, but the edge of my blade is still degrading at the same rate. I also noticed my strop is glassy, and that strikes me as weird. At one point it had a fair amount of grip to it.

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    Senior Member dinnermint's Avatar
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    Also, I rubbed my strop with some of my face oil in my palm. Forgot to do that for a month or so and that helped too. Oh and palm rub 10 or so laps to warm 'er up and add some draw.

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