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Thread: Technique Feedback Please

  1. #1
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    Angry Technique Feedback Please

    Hi everybody,

    My problem is that my edge doesn't stay good beyond 1-2 shaves. I can get some of the hair off my arm, but not all of it. And the HHT fails totally. I can take a hair and move it along the whole length of the blade and it won't cut.

    I already asked on the IRC channel, and the guys there encouraged me to post the video here. Not easy to strop and make a nice video at the same time!
    https://goo.gl/photos/1gPFe7pDb8FopEdi8

    This is my 3" corium Leather strop I got from ClassicEdge and the razor is the one I got thanks to the SRP Giveaway. (Thanks again!)
    The issue is not razor-specific. The same happened with my Dovo Best.

    I put a bit of pressure on the razor. Even then, I don't hear much from that strop. Every now and then, I hear a 'toc' sound similar to 'knocking on wood'. I tried putting lots of pressure, and also tried with only the weight of the blade. Same results.

    I tried with the strop downwards, upwards, perpendicular to me. Same results.
    I also tried putting my index on the tang, and even two fingers from the other hand on the spine. Same results.
    Also, I tried with a hanging newspaper strop and I feel it sometimes improved my edge, but no magic here either.

    This is a big roadblock for me. Even though I'll eventually finish lapping and burnishing my PHIG, I can't go back to the stone twice a week - assuming I even hone well in the first place!

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You have rolled the edge.

    Paddle strops are notorious for rolling edges with new stroppers. They do not “Give” like a hanging strop and will roll an edge easily with too much pressure.

    Once rolled, you will have to look straight down on the edge, to see if it is rolled or broken off. It is easily broken or chipped, when flexed in the other direction. The cutting edge of a razor is very thin, and can only be seen with 1,000 power or higher, much more fragile than folks think.

    Stropping can be difficult to learn, too much pressure and or lifting the spine just once, can ruin an edge.

    Look at the edge with magnification, what you see, will dictate the repair, most probably a touch up honing.

    Slow down, use light downward pressure, stop forward motion… before you flip and keep the spine on the strop at all times.

    Flip with your fingers, holding the corners of the tang in the middle of the thumb and pad of the forefinger. Move the thumb, like flipping a switch. Torque just enough to keep the spine and bevel flat on the strop.

    It is hard to see your flip in the video, but does seem to be a bit of fumbling

    If you flip using the wrist, it is uncomfortable and you can slam the edge on the strop. If you lift one end of the strop off the table, holding in the hand so you have a little bit of give to the strop surface.

    Yes, you will have to keep going back to the finisher, until you master stropping. Make sure that you are fully resetting the edge with your finisher, you may need to drop down to lower grit if the damage is more severe.

    As you learn to strop, first you will learn to do no or less damage, then gradually improve the edge. It can take a year or so to get to the point where you are consistently improving and edge.
    Last edited by Euclid440; 06-08-2017 at 04:39 AM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Well I always use an x stroke, even on a three inch strop. I would question your honing to be honest. Have you tried to meet with any of the guys back east? Badgister is in Montreal and there is a whole bunch of guys in southern Ontario. I think there are regular meets in the greater TO area. Perhaps you can send your blade to another member that is not too far away and have your edge assessed and perhaps repaired. Effective stropping is the key to maintaining a an edge though. Low or no pressure and a nice steady stroke.
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    What they said-you will always get spot-on advice from Euclid or RezDog. A couple of things I see:
    -Start the flip before you get to the end of your stroke to avoid what almost looks like a quick, almost imperceptible "backing up" at the end before the flip, which can wreck both your edge and your strop!
    -Even though you are learning and getting the muscle memory down, you may in fact be going too slow, which can lead to the hesitation and mis-strokes that cause problems.
    -Finally, what I learned that works for most blades is the dictum "tight and light": in other words, the strop pulled somewhat tight and yet still relaxed if that makes any sense (you don't want a death grip on either the strop or the razor). And two, light torque on the edge, at least until you learn when you can and should torque the thumb back with a little more pressure for certain heavy grinds.

    And RezDog probably has a point-Did you START with a shave-ready razor? All the stropping in the world won't help if that is not the case. Best to have 1 pro-honed razor as a reference while you learn on another one what to shoot for in your edges.

    Another thing many of us learned early on in our journey is that (at least in my case), I HAD to get really good at stropping before I really learned to hone up to that butter-smooth edge that still sometimes eludes me. Once you get it down, you can sort of zen out mindlessly, watch tv, talk to the wife, etc., while stropping. But for now, definitely pay attention to what you are doing and its effect on your edges. I hope this helps. Aaron
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    I agree with Euclid about rolling the edge. To me the common denominator is the flat paddle type strops. In my view they invite pressure in order to get the razor through the length of it. I think over the last five or so years I have used a paddle strop, and half a dozen different hanging strops. Many I damaged. Then I discovered Kanayama strops. Do yourself a favour and try one out. They increase for me, the quality of the edge and are a pleasure to use. The cordovan stropping surface is slick and is shiny to the eye, meaning very light pressure is all that is needed, due to the lack of draw. I've been using a #70000 for about 9 months as my everyday strop, and it improves with age. I've also not put a mark on it. No nicks. I believe it's strop discipline. Meaning you take a bit more care with a $200 strop, than the cheaper ones. Give it a go.
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    The other issue that I saw in your vid, besides what ScoutHikerDad already pointed out, is that at times you are putting the shoulder of the razor on the strop. You want just the blade edge on the strop.

    You are stropping correctly when you hear just a hiss when the razor moves down the strop. If the sound is loud and the edge feels a little "gravelly" the edge is not there yet from the honing. At least these are a couple of tells that work for me.

    Bob
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    Hi everybody,

    Thanks for all your replies. Both razors I tried were shave ready to begin with - that's not the problem. Phil at ClassicEdge (twice!) made my Dovo shave-ready and str8razor did the Kropp. I'm very confident that the razors didn't hit anything either.

    I'll invest in an hanging strop, re-read your suggestions, practice some more with a knife and a newspaper strop, and get the edges fixed.
    As for the Kanayama strop, I'll skip that advice for now - unless there is some amazing Father's Day sale I'm not aware of. Something about the price tag and the fact that I'm not convinced yet I'll continue straight shaving (I gave myself 6 months).

    And I'll ping Badgister too

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    Quote Originally Posted by malaverdiere View Post
    Hi everybody,

    Thanks for all your replies. Both razors I tried were shave ready to begin with - that's not the problem. Phil at ClassicEdge (twice!) made my Dovo shave-ready and str8razor did the Kropp. I'm very confident that the razors didn't hit anything either.

    I'll invest in an hanging strop, re-read your suggestions, practice some more with a knife and a newspaper strop, and get the edges fixed.
    As for the Kanayama strop, I'll skip that advice for now - unless there is some amazing Father's Day sale I'm not aware of. Something about the price tag and the fact that I'm not convinced yet I'll continue straight shaving (I gave myself 6 months).

    And I'll ping Badgister too
    Don't give up. In fact, I often cheated in the beginning by finishing the shave with a cartridge razor when my edges and technique weren't quite there.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaverdiere View Post
    Hi everybody,

    Thanks for all your replies. Both razors I tried were shave ready to begin with - that's not the problem. Phil at ClassicEdge (twice!) made my Dovo shave-ready and str8razor did the Kropp. I'm very confident that the razors didn't hit anything either.

    I'll invest in an hanging strop, re-read your suggestions, practice some more with a knife and a newspaper strop, and get the edges fixed.
    As for the Kanayama strop, I'll skip that advice for now - unless there is some amazing Father's Day sale I'm not aware of. Something about the price tag and the fact that I'm not convinced yet I'll continue straight shaving (I gave myself 6 months).

    And I'll ping Badgister too
    I have had razors honed by Phil and they sure were shave ready. In your original post you say the edge does not last past 1 or 2 shaves. If you have been stropping before each shave it could be your stropping that is dulling the edge. The blade does not have to hit anything to go dull, poor stropping will do that right quick.

    Take a pro honed razor and shave without stropping it the first time and even second and third to see if it dulls as quickly as before when you were stropping before each shave. If it remains sharper than when you were stropping the razor you have your answer. It is your stropping doing the dulling.

    Yes, do not invest in an expensive strop till you are good at stropping. Nothing hurts more than slicing up an expensive strop instead of a less expensive one.

    Bob
    After listening to someone talk ever wonder who ties their shoe laces?

  11. #10
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You can use the paddle, just watch the pressure. Hold up one end of the strop, so if you do use pressure your hand and arm will absorb some of it.

    Your edge may have been shave ready, but may not be now. Look at the edge, straight down with magnification and light, any reflection is where the bevels are damaged and no longer meeting. It will have to see a hone to re-set it.

    More importantly, if it is not shaving arm hair, you don’t have an edge. You may be able to restore it with a Chinese Natural, but be sure the bevels are fully meeting before you strop, then use light pressure to maintain it.
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