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Thread: Wide strop bending. Am I the only one who does this?

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    Default Wide strop bending. Am I the only one who does this?

    I have a relatively wide fabric strop + leather strop combo (covering the width of the blade). Since I have another smaller leather strop that I like, I rarely use the wide leather but I use the fabric frequently.

    However, what I noticed is that these wide strops are rarely 100% flat under the blade, so I came up with an idea forcing it to do the job without using x-pattern, which I don't like to use on the wide strop. What I like to do with the fabric, and sometimes the leather, is to bend one end it into a slight U shape across (NOT lenghtwise), and at the other end to an upside-down U (again only slightly). This way, the strop touches the middle of the blade close to my hand, the entire blade in the middle (here the strop is more flat), and the ends of the blade at the opposite end of the stroke (going straight across, not x-pattern). It works pretty well if you ask me, particularly on the soft fabric strop. Ever heard of this?

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    I have never heard of this and it got my interest enough to go downstairs and experiment.

    I didn't see any advantage to doing this especially with the fabric. The u or n shape that I made with the end didn't extend enough along the length of the strop to reach the middle where I actually strop.

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    OK, but then you can just put the bends a bit closer together I suppose?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trondsi View Post
    OK, but then you can just put the bends a bit closer together I suppose?
    Then I would get to close to my fingers or the hardware....

    I strop in the middle which you say is at least the relatively flat part of the strop.

    If that concerned me I would move to a paddle.

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    Ah, paddle! That's one thing I never tried

    Still, my razors are pretty comfy now, so I'm not sure if that would improve things. I do x strokes on my smaller strop, and that one is giving a fantastic finish when I keep going a little while.

    But somehow, the bending seems to work well on the fabric. I am also testing the wide leather again now to see what I think.

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    I never have that problem unless I'm using to much tension, with the proper tension the material stays flat as the blade goes across it, also with a 3" strip (whuch I don't like). I hold both pieces together to help with the cupping. Tc
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    Maybe a photo of this phenomenon may be helpful. Unless there is noticeable cupping of your strop it should work as intended. As TC said pull both cloth and leather side together to establish a firm base. You don't have to have it white knuckle taught just firm. Strop spine leading with light to moderate pressure and the strop will take care of business for you. The contact point between the spine and edge will form a flat surface automatically at that spot. Should work fine unless you feel your strop has some crazy warped leather or something. Good Luck
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    Tony Miller sells some 'vegan" strops made from synthetic materials. He indicates that the synthetic material he uses has a tendency to cup, so he produces the strops with the cupping downward. If the cupping is upward, the blade with catch on the outside, especially if you have a square or spike point.

    Since leather is a natural fiber product, it changes dimensions in response to humidity changes. Since many of us hang our strops in the bathroom, they are exposed to variations in humidity on a daily basis. The flesh side (suede side) of the leather has a greater exposed surface area than the smooth side. Thus, the moisture change from the two sides of the leather will be different. This can cause cupping.

    Somewhere on this forum I read about someone who keeps their strop in a "strop sock" to lessen the moisture changes. Keeping the strop out of the bathroom will also help.

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    Thanks for the input folks! Although, I should point out that I don't have any problem producing a great edge with my strops (I have been doing this for 11 years). It's just the way I handle wide strops that might be unusual.

    I tried my bending technique on the wide leather again. It worked very well. My narrow strop (which I do not bend) might be slightly better, but then this one is also more broken in.

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