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Thread: Strop Pressure

  1. #1
    imported_AFDavis11
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    Default Strop Pressure

    Just a quick question gentlemen,

    Do you'all hold the strop very tightly or do you ever let it hang just a little????? I'm not clear on which should give me the best edge. I'm finding they both seem to work as long as I don't use pressure and only let it hang just a tad. Also I have started stroping a little on my hand after the leather and this seems to increase the sharpness of the blade. I'm now into that gray area of sharpening where it's either getting sharper or it's just my imagination. The differences are very very minor. What comes after the hanging hair test; besides the hair test without popping?

    P.S. I may try that back honing thing a little, but I don't have a good high grit stone for it. I have been getting great edges by backhoning at the start of each honing session.

  2. #2
    Senior Member uthed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strop Pressure

    Quote Originally Posted by AFDavis11
    Just a quick question gentlemen,

    Do you'all hold the strop very tightly or do you ever let it hang just a little????? I'm not clear on which should give me the best edge. I'm finding they both seem to work as long as I don't use pressure and only let it hang just a tad. Also I have started stroping a little on my hand after the leather and this seems to increase the sharpness of the blade. I'm now into that gray area of sharpening where it's either getting sharper or it's just my imagination. The differences are very very minor. What comes after the hanging hair test; besides the hair test without popping?

    P.S. I may try that back honing thing a little, but I don't have a good high grit stone for it. I have been getting great edges by backhoning at the start of each honing session.
    Conventional wisdom is to hold the strop as flat as possible, so the correct answer on your barbering exam :shock: will be "very tightly."

    Before or after the hanging hair test, on page 25 of the 1961 barbering textbook chapter on honing it shows the "thumbnail test" .... done properly, it is a way to check for flat spots or rough spots along an edge that may excape detection using just the hanging hair test. Then, if all is in order, the final shaving test will be on a well-prepared face-full of lather.

    Backhoning your razor to achieve "keen" is like driving in reverse to travel from St. Louis to Chicago. It's going to take longer, but there's no law against it. On your barbering exam, you may run out of time ... :roll:

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    David, if I remember correctly, the thumbnail test is one that should be performed before the hanging hair test but not after. Even though finger nails are a natural product, they will tend to dull an edge slightly once it h reached its optimum sharpeness. I have found no test more telling than the hanging hair test other than the shave itself, which of course is the ultimate. There is the hanging ear lobe test however......

  4. #4
    imported_AFDavis11
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    Default thanx

    Thanx, I will keep it very tight for a while. As far as your driving suggestions that may take me awhile. So I will post again in a few weeks. :-) Yes, I don't do a nail test after stropping. I can look at the blade and see a very sharp smooth edge but with some....mmmmm....bends in the perfection. So I think you are again correct there that a nail test is in order as well at some point. I'm going to practice some more before I take the barbers test....is it posted on here somewhere...lol.

    Thanx, again

  5. #5
    Senior Member halwilson's Avatar
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    If you do keep it tight, as you should, also keep an eye on the surface of the strop. I find, that some of my strops that are made of a thinner leather (i.e. Dovos) will tend too curl a bit after continued use. When you put the blade on the strop, check the edge to see if the entire blade's surface is touching. If not, then it's time to flatten your strop again. To do this, I use a small kitchen rolling pin. You can also use a round glass jar.

    Hal

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    Senior Member uthed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halwilson
    If you do keep it tight, as you should, also keep an eye on the surface of the strop. I find, that some of my strops that are made of a thinner leather (i.e. Dovos) will tend too curl a bit after continued use. When you put the blade on the strop, check the edge to see if the entire blade's surface is touching. If not, then it's time to flatten your strop again. To do this, I use a small kitchen rolling pin. You can also use a round glass jar.

    Hal
    .... or just condition both sides and set your biggest Craftsman tool chest on it for a few days (the easier, softer way) 8)

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