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  1. #1
    Senior Member todot62's Avatar
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    Default Less is More when stropping?

    Doc has a thread going in the 'Shaving' forum called http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...erd-facts.html

    There seems to be a theme popping up on stropping, 'less is more.' The old instructions are advocating in the neighborhood of 5-10 laps and you're good to go. What does everyone think, are we over doing it on the stropping? I've only been doing this for a couple of months, and my routine has settled on 20/40 (linen/leather) before the shave and 10/20 after. I'm also using a 40+ year old C-Mon strop. I think just for the hell of it I'm going to start doing 10/20 before and 5/10 after, just to see if I can still get a great shave. If it works, I may even go down to 5/10 before and see how that works. Any thoughts?

    Tod

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Doesn't hurt to try it and see how it works for you. I had been told by an old barber 25 years ago that you can over strop a razor. Then I came to SRP and saw guys doing a lot of laps. When I read this thread here (4th post down by mparker) I started doing 50 and 50. Then I read thebigspendur's the great experiment and now I'm doing 60 and 60 + 20 on leather after the shave. I'm getting good results.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    I use 7. If that doesn't work I do about 3-4 on linen, and then 7 again. As with most straight issues though, in practice I am quite an anomoly from the pack.

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    I'm pretty convinced that after honing you need to do a fair bit of stropping to bring the razor to its best. So I'm happy doing 60 laps before each shave, for at least 3 or 4 shaves. After that I may try doing less. (But that will mess up my prep as I wrap a hot towel round my face while stropping.)

  6. #5
    Senior Member todot62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFDavis11 View Post
    As with most straight issues though, in practice I am quite an anomoly from the pack.
    Yes, you may be an anomaly, however; that's why I started this discussion. If the old school instructions, by the actual manufacturers of old school razors, advocate 5-10; and as evidenced by you, it is possible to follow old school thought and have success, why must we now insist on 40+ as the 'new' standard on razors that are 100 years old? Maybe 60+ laps, as JimmyHAD does, will give a better shave, but is it the best thing long term for the blade?

    I've just had a chance to glance at the article Jimmy references, but it is very interesting.

    Tod

  7. #6
    Senior Member kevint's Avatar
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    I tend to add strokes as the razor starts to feel dull. By the time I am up to 40 on linen(i count t o 80 to get 40 each side) it is often time to rehone as it never lasts to long before i loose the wisker melt effect.

    Starting with a freshly honed razor i do about ten laps, after a week, usually 2; i use linen too.

    In a month, 6 weeks or so something has happened to edge- it gets prickly and more cloth and hide does not help up to about 50 laps or so.

    10 or a few more laps on my finish hone often puts it back new.

    I'm trying to figure out now what I am doing wrong that keeps me from making it a year w/o honing

  8. #7
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    I think we are overlooking some parts of this question, most of what I am reading, and have read, pertains to Barbers, not users... Now the Craftsman entry was very interesting, as I have a NOS razor, and an NOS strop, I could do that test....

    We need to be careful not to gloss over to many facts out there, like tons of the older strops were double leather, where one side says plainly "Hone this side"
    Many of the older Loom styles were set up the same way....

    Now I would bet if I were shaving 10 people in one day I could strop just a few laps between and do just fine because the steel never has time to build up micro-corrosion...
    That is what we are really trying to eliminate when "we" strop...

    Anyway do some tests, see what the outcome is....

    As to never having to hone the razor with proper care, I would love to cry "BS" on that but honestly, I have yet to re-hone one of my personal edges, unless it was damaged in some way..... so for the last 2 1/2 years I would have to agree with it, even though I don't think it is true....

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    Quote Originally Posted by todot62 View Post
    The old instructions are advocating in the neighborhood of 5-10 laps and you're good to go.
    5-10 laps per customer, 5-10 customers per day, and next thing you know you're doing an awful lot of laps each day.

  10. #9
    Never a dull moment hoglahoo's Avatar
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    It takes several dozen passes on the strop for me before I can no longer tell that the strop is improving the edge anymore. Why would I stop at 5 or 10 if I know that doing 5 or 10 more will improve the edge? Maybe the way I strop and the way I shave have something to do with it

    Like others have said, experiment and see what works best for you
    Find me on SRP's official chat in ##srp on Freenode. Link is at top of SRP's homepage

  11. #10
    Senior Member todot62's Avatar
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    I understand that I can experiment and see what works best for me, but that's not the point of the discussion. I'm wondering at what point we went from 5-10 strokes to 40+ as the 'standard'. If 60 is better, why do many (quite frankly, all of the instructions posted so far) of the old, original instructions from http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...erd-facts.html imply that stropping too much is bad for the razor? Glen has given some good information to chew on. But there has to be more to it than that.

    As Glen has said in another thread, http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...important.html, and I agree. Perhaps the amount we strop should be investigated as well in light of the information posted in Doc's thread.

    If anyone is new and has not read this three year old thread, http://www.straightrazorplace.com/fo...ping-king.html, it warrants some serious study as well. -->Tod

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