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Thread: Learning to strop

  1. #1
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    Nov 2017
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    Default Learning to strop

    Iím SR shaving about a month now and my biggest challenge seems to be stroping correctly. Iíve watched videos where someone is turning their wrist on the change and others where it is recommended that you keep your wrist still and turn the blade using your fingertips only
    I do notice a lighter sound when i drag the blade away from me . Im also confused about how much effort I should be using to make sure the razors edge in making contact with the strop
    Iíd appreciate any feedback

  2. #2
    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    Stropping is one of those things that will just click and then you will wonder why it didn't always go well.

    Try with just the weight of the razor and no pressure at all. If you find that the shaves feel better then fine, if not try just a tiny amount of pressure. It is important especially when you are starting out not to use too much pressure as you can very easily damage the edge.

    The chances are if you are still able to shave after a month, your stropping isn't far off. If it was you would have damaged the edge by now and you would feel that in your shaving experience.

    Good luck with this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    First the sound means nothing. And second, it's going to be awhile to get to where you can improve an edge, in the beginning we are just trying not to damage which comes down to slow steady laps with the spine and edge in contact with the leather. The give of the strop will keep on the edge as long as your flat on the leather. You don't need much pressure.

    As to the flip, or wrist roll, I think it's going to be what's easier for you to learn. I roll it thrust my fingers and it works for me, but it's more important that your not rolling your edge by too much pressure or bad flips digging into your strop. SLOW is the key , it's not a race, plus find someone close who,s been doing it for a while or make it to a meet it will speed you up in person. Tc
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  5. #4
    Member athiker's Avatar
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    Just an idea : when I first started using a straight, before learning to strop, I would learn to roll ( the flip ) the razor. Just sat while I watched TV, reading or whatever and practiced rolling. Holding it lightly between the thumb and forefinger with it cradled in you hand. It helped me to control the razor with a light touch.

    BTW: Careful . . If you drop it don't try to catch it !

  6. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    Some folks talk about the leather wrapping around the spine. I found this to be helpful but keep in mind its just a tiny bit. This allows for the leather to be flat against the side of the blade and the following edge will run on the flat leather. Do not have the leather roll up around the edge as this is what will damage the edge.

    Ive recently, after a year, found just the right feel and preasure and am finding my edges to get a touch better and last longer. It takes practice. As far as you hold it, i th8nk is up to you. People give you the basics but its up to you to f8nd what 8s comfortable and what works the edge r8ght.
    Good luck.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member dshaves's Avatar
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    Where you position yourself to the strop may be a helpful personal experiment to try out too. Rather you are parallel to the strop or standing at the bottom of the strop or at an angle to the strop could help you find the best position that fits your wrist and hand movement for better control...
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    In starting out, I used the fingertips only, pencil-roll flip, keeping the wrist fixed. This lead to unexplained nicks along the edge of my strop from time to time. Then, after a brief exchange with a member on another forum at the time, and who has sadly passed away (Jerry, mrsell63, RIP), he encouraged me to grip the shank (tang) more diagonally and make a slight turn of the wrist during the flip. Following his recommendations, I have yet to nick or cut a strop since, as I am more in control; whereas with the pencil-roll flip, the strop is in charge.

    Linked is one of Sham's videos, which is similar to my stropping method. The only significant differences I have with it are that I hold both elements at the same time, preferring a barber's square-end cut, and that I start at the top rather than at the bottom as shown.

    Last edited by Brontosaurus; 11-13-2017 at 09:15 PM.
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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alschepis View Post
    I do notice a lighter sound when i drag the blade away from me .
    The sound of an object moving towards you will be different from an object moving away from you. It's called Doppler effect. Think about an ambulance with sirens on and how the sound changes once it passes by you.
    Just my nerd moment of the day

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