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Thread: How to Strop with Canvas side?

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    Exclamation How to Strop with Canvas side?

    Good afternoon everyone, i need a little help. I started straight razor shaving about a month ago, bought professionally honed and ready to shave blade and had no problems picking up shaving technique and absolutely love shaving now, actually cant wait for my beard to grow.

    I am however struggling to learn stropping technique, i believe i have probably dulled my edge through incorrect stropping with a hanging strop. I am yet to buy a hone for my razor as i have only had about 5 shaves, is my next purchase. I have been reading though that a dull edge can be restored using the canvas side of a strop, but i am struggling to find information of how to use the canvas side. Im guessing technique is the same as using the leather side, but i was wondering about pastes. I bought a grey paste supposedly used for the canvas side, however what i have manage to read is many people seem to use the canvas side without a paste. My strop is still very new and the canvas side is still yet to be used, would i need to paste for the first time stropping.

    If anyone can shed some light on how to canvas strop it would be much appreciated.

    Joe

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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    I suggest you leave it clean for now.

    For corrective action:

    First, strop a few times on linen, say 10 passes, then strop lightly, very lightly on leather, about 10 passes. Take note of the tension or draw you get from the leather. This will help you assess corrective action.

    To begin corrective action with a strop, ensure the strop is flat, perhaps even on a table. Begin stropping with a little pressure, about 20 laps, then return to using very light pressure, about 40 laps.

    While doing the 40 laps you should feel slightly more draw than you did before beginning the corrective action.

    You may desire to repeat these iterations a few times, depending on the damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFDavis11 View Post
    I suggest you leave it clean for now.

    For corrective action:

    First, strop a few times on linen, say 10 passes, then strop lightly, very lightly on leather, about 10 passes. Take note of the tension or draw you get from the leather. This will help you assess corrective action.

    To begin corrective action with a strop, ensure the strop is flat, perhaps even on a table. Begin stropping with a little pressure, about 20 laps, then return to using very light pressure, about 40 laps.

    While doing the 40 laps you should feel slightly more draw than you did before beginning the corrective action.

    You may desire to repeat these iterations a few times, depending on the damage.
    Thank you so much for info, has worked. Just taken me about an hour and a half to master the technique but now got a phenomenally sharp blade. looking forward to test shave, got a feeling its going to be very smooth.

    Also i did feel more drag like you said, didn't think i would notice but as soon as i did, i did the hanging hair test and passed with flying colours. To any new person learning how to strop i couldn't stress enough how little pressure you need to apply to get the blade shave ready! Thank you so much for rapid response time and clarity, much appreciated.

    Joe

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    Your welcome.

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    Great to hear a success story!

    As Alan pointed out, the use of some pressure is required from time to time for "corrective action". This seems counter productive to newbies as we are always saying that stropping requires ZERO pressure; it is a skill that only comes with experience though, as you need to know when and why you need to use a bit of pressure, as well as when you shouldn't. That is why the no-pressure rule is stressed to beginners, as the likelyhood of doing damage to the edge is much greater in inexperienced hands.
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    Very good stropping advice here. You folks sure know your stuff. Took me a long time to figure out when to put some pressure on and when not to.

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    Would it be correct to say that more damage needs more pressure?

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    More damage needs a hone. The corrective abilities of a strop are limited to fixing the most likely amount of damage produced. Typically a little more pressure applied in one direction is the culprit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StraightShavingAustin View Post
    Would it be correct to say that more damage needs more pressure?
    Quote Originally Posted by AFDavis11 View Post
    More damage needs a hone. The corrective abilities of a strop are limited to fixing the most likely amount of damage produced. Typically a little more pressure applied in one direction is the culprit.
    +1 with Alan's comment.

    Re-reading my original post I hope I didn't give the wrong idea. Pressure is NOT a go-to, fix-all method for dull razors, especially on the strop; in other words applying more and more pressure to "fix" a bunk edge will not work. In fact it's counter-productive. If the aforementioned "corrective action" is not working on the strop you will have to pull out the hone(s). Knowing what a strop can fix and when you need to drop down to a hone is something only experience will tell you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by natchez View Post
    Very good stropping advice here. You folks sure know your stuff. Took me a long time to figure out when to put some pressure on and when not to.
    I'm glad these guys helped as much as they did, and wish the best of luck in all your futures shaving experiences. Now, in order to help other newbs, I think it would be great for you to try to describe how much pressure you discovered is needed to do the trick, perhaps try to relate it to something else. Great job again and best of luck!

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