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  1. #1
    Senior Member 1sgtscot's Avatar
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    Default nicked my strop today

    I guess I'm getting careless. I have been sanding on two vintage razors and trying to get my grandfathers old strop back in shape. In the mean time I keep practicing my stropping. I am finding that the sanded razors seem to have lost their keeness and I was trying to bring it back today. I decided to speed up a bit (been practicing my form for couple of weeks now). I am getting the X stroke down but it is slow, so today I went a bit faster and on the up stroke I must have stopped too early and pulled back. Nice 1/8 inch nick. I got it good too.

    I guess one shouldn't quit thinking when working with these sharp things...

    Anyway, I was able to shave with the blade and it did seem to cut better than last week. So, I guess the day wasn't a total loss...

    The nick sanded out quite nicely too.

  2. #2
    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Default

    You described sanding a blade and stropping. Did you hone in between?

  3. #3
    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
    You described sanding a blade and stropping. Did you hone in between?
    I have a similar, if not the same question. Hand sanding, or any other sanding will dull a blade fairly quickly.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1sgtscot's Avatar
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    Honing between sanding and stropping...

    I don't have a set of hones yet, just a barber's hone. I worked with what I have. I bought the razors to learn how to hone and thought working with the barber's hone would help me develop the technique.

    I did not set out to shave with them yet, just sand and clean up while saving money for hones. But I got a little eager...

    So, I used lather on the Barber's hone and went to work. I know this type of hone is used for touch up, but in one of the posts I read that it can be used for a lot more so I decided to try. After the lather I started the honing strokes (X pattern) and worked to watch the water ahead of the blade and how the lather would disappear. I also tried the circle method I had seen on another video for honing with just one hone. These were not my shave razor so I wasn't worried about ruining the edge, but more interested in watching the water, soap and blade while trying to make my arm move just right...

    Anyway, after quite a while doing this I decided to shave my arm and try some of the sharpness tests. I wasn't expecting a whole lot but one of the razors did shave my arm a bit, so I kept working. Later in the day that blade was shaving hair near the skin on my arm, but my arm was getting bald from all the testing so I started trying my other arm. Hadn't really held the razor in my left hand yet, so this was new. Anyway, using my left hand, I was quite a bit more careful when doing the tests and discovered that this razor (Torrey by the way) would occaisionaly cut hair midway up the hair. This was new for me, but encouraged me to focus on that blade. By now, I was using the Barber's hone with lather and working with the blade until the lather had disappeared and most of the water was gone as well. I would replace water by spooning some water up with the blade and thin the mix. I did notice with the circle technique that the foam was turning gray so I assumed I was cutting metal and started the thinning technique. You could say I was experimenting with what I had read about and watched on the various videos.

    As I did this I recognized something new. The water was no longer being pushed ahead of the blade, but now was starting to 'jump' onto the side of the blade. I guess this fascinated me a bit as I kept watching. Finally decided to try shaving... Not good on the first attempt but it did cut, and more razor burn than I usually get.

    I did not work at this continually, but over the course of a couple of days. At the same time I was working on an old horse hide strop my grandfather had. It has not been used in several years and was hanging on the wall behind a coal stove so it was a bit dried out. I cleaned it with saddle soap and added neats foot oil. (I do work with saddle leather quite a bit) It cleaned up nicely and I was able to read the markings better and realized it was made from horsehide. Somewhere duing this I decided to try stropping with this and the razor I was working with. Don't know if this made a difference, but between this strop and my regular one I bet I put about 300 - 350 laps on this particular blade. Mind you, most of this and the honing was for practice, not to get a shave ready blade, BUT...

    The next morning I shaved with that blade and all went well. I wouldn't say it is as sharp as my regular blade, but I can shave with it... This was surprising but exhilerating as well...

  5. #5
    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Congrats! I did something similar a year or two ago with my grandfathers blade. I t was a lot of work but it is doable. I really loved the part where you talked about the water running up the blade instead of being pushed a sure sign of good honing. I also was impressed with the fact that you were willing to do hundreds of laps on a strop. Should you ever decide to start honing for fun and get the hones necessary I think you will do good. You have the inquisitive mind as well as the patience.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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  7. #6
    Senior Member 1sgtscot's Avatar
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    Default figured it out

    I think I know why I nicked my strop so something else good came of this.

    I had been trying to go faster with my stropping. The problem was that I was making a very fast up stroke followed by a very fast down stroke (hanging strop). I had focused too much on keeping the blade flat, limited pressure and go fast that I forgot to start to roll the blade for the reverse stroke as I ended each stroke. I was kind of stopping the blade and then rolling to before I started the return. Don't know why I did this, but that is what I was doing and on one of the up strokes I must have gone too fast for my arm to stop without a 'back stroke'. This is when I nicked the strop. In fact I did it again trying to figure out what I did.

    So, I went back to the drawing board and slowed way down and started to lift the edge (not the spine) as a stroke neared the end of the strop, then roll the blade (keeping the spine in contact with the leather) as I started the return stroke. It took a while but I think my arm knows the motion now. I am stropping much faster and smoother now. Practice helps...

    Did notice something else now though. I am stropping on both a horsehide (grandfather's) which is much stiffer and second strop that feels like latigo (much softer). I notice now that as I roll the blade occaisionally I hear it 'slap' on the leather. Much more noticeable on the horsehide strop. I think I may be rolling or flipping too fast here. Anyway, thus goes todays lesson. I think I learned a lot...

  8. #7
    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    If you are hearing a slapping sound, be careful, you may be lifting the razor as you roll it and could damage the edge.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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  10. #8
    Senior Member mrbison's Avatar
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    This is a little off of your main topic but what grit sandpaper did you use to get the nick out of your strop? I've got a few minor ones in my strop from when I was just learning the basics and now they are an inconvenience...





  11. #9
    Senior Member 1sgtscot's Avatar
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    Don't know exactly. I have a piece of steel designed to sharpen an axe or something similar. Don't remember where I got it, but I think it was a hunting/sports store. Very Very coarse and I used it to lap my barbers' hone when I first got it. It is similar to the DMTs with impregnated diamond chips and it feels very rough. I normally use it to start sharpening my tools and knives then proceed to something smoother. It puts an edge on a knife very fast. The steel got very 'dirty' during this also and I had to clean it several times while repairing the strop. I put the strop flat on a table and 'sanded' several inches either side of the nick. The steel is about 3 inches long (1 inch wide and about 1/2 inch thick) so just touching the nick caused me to sand such a large area. The nick is very near the top of the strop so it probably would not have hampered my stropping by more than an inch or so anyway, but I wanted to clean up my mistake. I would think something (sandpaper maybe) around 200 grit would work as well.

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  13. #10
    learning something new every day Deerhunter1995's Avatar
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    Default barber hone

    Well that just goes to show how versital a barber hone really is, Ron said he once completly honed a razor on one to. I have one it was the best 10$ i ever spent on any rock.

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