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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Thanked: 4

    Default Linen on Illinois Strop Co. #127

    I just received my new strop today. I didnt shave today, but I tried out the leather side of the strop and with my technique (still a n00b lol) it seemed to sharpen the blade just fine. I was wondering what exactly I use the linen on that is on the back of the strop for? Ive read people use it before they use the leather side.

    Also one quick question, is a stroke a full stropping motion as in forwards AND back or is a stroke just forwards? I hear people saying they do 50 strokes. Does that mean 50 back and forth or 100 back and forth. Sorry if this sounded confusing.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Modena, Italy
    Thanked: 271


    A stroke is down and up, so 50 strokes is 50 down and 50 up.

    The leather side is for smoothing and the linen is for sharpening. The linen side is used before the leather side with the only exception being a razor that's just been honed, in which case go directly to the leather.

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    KerryWood34 (07-04-2009)

  4. #3
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Thanked: 12478
    Blog Entries

    Smile Linen !!!

    There are many opinions on linen from "I don't use it" to " I use it everyday"

    The whole idea behind stropping is to clean the edge of the blade of micro-corrosion and align the edge..

    Linen is slightly more aggressive then the leather, and cleans the blade better, leaving a bright clean edge for the leather to align,,,,

    Some people put different pastes on the linen to actually make it even more agressive...(I would not recommend that)

    My recommendation is has always been the same 25 laps linen / 50 laps leather before every shave...

    Laps BTW is the more common terminology, but it is not that important, it does make it more clear that you are referring to up and back though...

    Warning: Stropping correctly is so so important, read and watch the vids and start slow.... Stropping is probably the single most important skill to learn... don't gloss over it...

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    JeffR (07-20-2009), KerryWood34 (07-04-2009), Willie (12-02-2009)

  6. #4
    Large Member ben.mid's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Oxfordshire, England
    Thanked: 761


    Another possibility on the linen is that due to it being more aggressive, as Glen mentioned, it causes the blade to warm slightly. The theory being that this makes the edge easier for the leather to align. I get good results from the linen, & am in the use it every time camp.
    I also give the blade 15-20 laps on the linen after the shave, to ensure it's completely dry.
    Glen's advice is sound. Technique is more important than speed initially, because the speed will come with time. There's no point being quick with shoddy technique.

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    KerryWood34 (07-04-2009)

  8. #5
    French Toast Please! sicboater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Atlanta GA
    Thanked: 591


    The Illinois linen is its own special kind too. Just concentrate as others have stated on technique. You're going to do great!

    Have fun!


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    KerryWood34 (07-05-2009)

  10. #6
    < Banned User >
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Thanked: 156


    I use the linen then leather exclusively now. Does it really produce a better edge? Maybe.

    I think of it as use the linen before the leather because one lap on the linen is worth 2x on the leather or thereabouts. Thats just how I like to justify using it. Doesn't matter in the end I suppose, I like it and I'm going to keep doing it.

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