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Thread: Flip or flop

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    Default Flip or flop

    Folks,
    See my recent thread about my ongoing attempt to improve my stropping (after practicing for a couple years!)

    I am basically overhauling my stropping technique and so recently re-watched AFDavis' 2 videos. Boy, what a smooth and fluid motion he has.

    So -- I am trying to really master "the flip" and may be doing it right or may be doing it wrong. I'm looking for some advice.

    When I try the flip, I find that it seems that I either need to use the tips of thumb and first finger to rotate the razor, or my ring/little finger. Does this make sense? Which one is the right "motor" for this motion?
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    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    I saw your other thread. Method I use is similar to what Sham recommends in this video. I only differ in that I start at the top of the strop and hold both elements together when stopping on leather (linen I pull reasonably taut and hold it on its own). Trick for me was to adopt a more diagonal grip of the shank from side to side, as shown here, rather than a pencil-roll flip with the shank gripped from top to bottom.

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    I had not seen this video before-- very nice demo of the finger movements that make the flip happen.

    Will have to practice this now that it makes sense to me.

    thanks!
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Hold the corners of the tang, the middle of the thumb pad, upper left corner and the opposite corner, the pad of the index finger or second joint pad, as Sham and AF Davis, do in their videos.

    Then flip the razor, like flipping a switch, with the thumb. Sham demonstrates this as he is talking, in the beginning of his video, (0-50). Where he flips the razor back and forth.

    You can also keep the razor flat on the strop by torque with the thumb. Use just enough torque to keep the razor flat on the strop.

    This allows the razor to be flipped with only the thumb moving, the wrist does not change position.

    If you flip, twisting the wrist, you will use too much force and slam the blade into the strop. This will cut your strop and bend and or chip the edge.

    Any downward pressure, from the wrist will roll the edge.

    The other big tip is…Stop forward movement, then flip. Slow down, as you gain muscle memory you will pick up speed, but one lap per second, is plenty fast, 60 laps per minute.

    Quality not quantity.
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    I doubt this will help much since I do honing and stropping backwards from almost everyone but I thought I'd post.

    I flip the razor edge down, exactly like they tell you not to do because I learned honing and stropping on kitchen knives. No one flips a kitchen knife over on its spine, honing or stropping. BTW I have never ever, in all my life, cut a strop with a razor. I use cheap strops for knives because I do cut/scratch them getting the tip of the knife to 100% and you use the tip of a kitchen knife a lot.

    Now, I also have the strop nearly vertical. That is, the anchor point is not waist or chest high, it's at the top of my head. The reason is that if the strop is near vertical, you do not have to extend and contract your arm very much and your stroke will be more consistent.

    There's no reason to re-learn flipping the blade, do what works, but I would be interested to hear what folks think about the vertical strop after using it a while.

    Cheers, Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    Hold the corners of the tang, the middle of the thumb pad, upper left corner and the opposite corner, the pad of the index finger or second joint pad, as Sham and AF Davis, do in their videos.

    Then flip the razor, like flipping a switch, with the thumb. Sham demonstrates this as he is talking, in the beginning of his video, (0-50). Where he flips the razor back and forth.

    You can also keep the razor flat on the strop by torque with the thumb. Use just enough torque to keep the razor flat on the strop.

    This allows the razor to be flipped with only the thumb moving, the wrist does not change position.

    If you flip, twisting the wrist, you will use too much force and slam the blade into the strop. This will cut your strop and bend and or chip the edge.

    Any downward pressure, from the wrist will roll the edge.

    The other big tip is…Stop forward movement, then flip. Slow down, as you gain muscle memory you will pick up speed, but one lap per second, is plenty fast, 60 laps per minute.

    Quality not quantity.
    Just to make sure I'm getting this-- when you talk about the thumb being on the upper left corner, this is assuming the razor is at the far side of the strop and getting ready to be drawn towards the body, right?
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Good question, No, the opposite.

    I always start going up, (away from the body), So the edge is facing the bottom or handle of the strop, the spine facing the top of the strop.

    The middle of the thumb pad is in the upper left (the edge side) corner of the tang. The opposite corner is in the middle of the index finger pad (Distal Phalanx) or the second pad the (Middle Phalanx). Which one does not matter much, whichever is comfortable.

    When you get to the top of the strop, stop and flip the thumb, the bottom corner of the tang, (the edge side) is now in the thumb pad and the razor will flip on the spine and the edge, gently onto the strop. The spine, never leaves the strop.

    Watch how Sham flips the razor from side to side in the video, using just his thumb and the hand and wrist does not move.
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    I must be missing something.

    In watching the video, Sham seems to have his thumb on the flat of the tang -- in fact at one point he refers to putting your thumb on the razor's manufacturer's name.

    To me, with the razor moving away from the body, the thumb would need to be on the proximal (near the body) lower corner. After the flip at the far/distal end of the strop, seems the thumb would then be on the distal, upper corner.

    This is assuming the thumb actually stays on the same corner, regardless of the direction of travel. Is that assumption correct or incorrect?
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    Perhaps the misunderstanding is that the thumb shifts from one lower (edge side), corner to the other lower corner as the razor flips.

    As you flip, the thumb switches corners from the upper corner to the bottom corner, because the bottom corner is now, on top.

    So, assume you are beginning to strop, away from you, There isthe stamped side (front) and pile side, (back).

    The stamp side will be up, and the thumb is on the upper, (stamp), edge side corner. As you flip, by moving the thumb to the right, the razor flips so the pile side is now up, and the thumb is now on the pile side, edge corner.

    The bottom of the tang rolls across the thumb pad from one corner to the other. It is the thumbs perch on the corner, that allows you to flip the razor.

    As I said earlier, watch Sham flip the razor as he is talking at the beginning of the video, that is exactly how you will flip the razor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    Perhaps the misunderstanding is that the thumb shifts from one lower (edge side), corner to the other lower corner as the razor flips.

    As you flip, the thumb switches corners from the upper corner to the bottom corner, because the bottom corner is now, on top.

    So, assume you are beginning to strop, away from you, There isthe stamped side (front) and pile side, (back).

    The stamp side will be up, and the thumb is on the upper, (stamp), edge side corner. As you flip, by moving the thumb to the right, the razor flips so the pile side is now up, and the thumb is now on the pile side, edge corner.

    The bottom of the tang rolls across the thumb pad from one corner to the other. It is the thumbs perch on the corner, that allows you to flip the razor.

    As I said earlier, watch Sham flip the razor as he is talking at the beginning of the video, that is exactly how you will flip the razor.
    This is such a simple-seeming thing yet devilishly difficult to get all the terms straight (at least to my mind).

    I have now watched Sham's video a half dozen times and still don't get it.

    When I try the flip myself, the only way that it really seems to work is when I have my ring and little fingers actually make the flip happen, and the thumb passively comes along for the ride. In so doing, the thumb does switch corners, as the razor basically rotates under the thumb.

    Not sure if this is consistent with what Sham and others do?

    Also, have not heard of the "pile side" before -- does that refer to the non-stamped side of the razor?

    Thanks for your patience!
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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