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Thread: Understropped and Overstropped

  1. #21
    Senior Member Grizzley1's Avatar
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    Alan, let me start off by apologizing because as I read this thread. I was thinking he should put down the crack pipe. However, after reading all the replies I never realized that so many people didn't know how to strop. I've been shaving with a straight many, many years and didn't think this was a subject that even needed explaining. Since the point is to polish the edge. I didn't know that some people weren't using any pressure, which to me is ridiculous. Of course some pressure is needed not enough to bend the edge over but also not so little as to do nothing. I myself have been using three-inch SRP and to Illinois, 327 one pasted one not and have never had a problem stropping. I just assumed that most people would realize that just a light touch, enough to feel it, dragging would've been common sense. Again, you have my apologies. I've always found that the weight of my hand and as was stated about a half-inch of deflection of the strop is normal. If you dragging your razor across the strop was so much pressure that you see smoke coming off. Maybe you should lighten up. However, I had no idea that there were some newbies out there that were using no pressure as that would be a waste of time. I'm glad that you enlightened so many others out there. And once again my apologies.
    Griz

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    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    I think this is a very good post. I get it completely. I've started to concentrate on my stropping more, trying for more of an x stroke, and concentrating on the pressure and such..

    I wonder if a 'right' angle for stropping might be at the same height as the hand that holds the strop end? At present, the towel rail I secure mine to is higher than the holding hand...
    Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
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  3. #23
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    No problem,

    One of the benefits to being a mentor is that sometimes you have to create posts that make you look pretty dumb, or that you worry extensively about little things that don't matter. To a lot of people, including myself, it's relatively easy to get the concept of stropping. But I still find two concepts a little elusive, one, exactly what is the absolute best method of stropping, and two, what words precisely describe it and when do you know when you've achieved it. Maybe that's three.

    Now, I need the crack pipe to get through the day . . .

    A lot of people reply to my posts, simply in agreement. Most of the people who learn from them are the beginners and the lurkers.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzley1 View Post
    Alan, let me start off by apologizing because as I read this thread. I was thinking he should put down the crack pipe. However, after reading all the replies I never realized that so many people didn't know how to strop. I've been shaving with a straight many, many years and didn't think this was a subject that even needed explaining. Since the point is to polish the edge. I didn't know that some people weren't using any pressure, which to me is ridiculous. Of course some pressure is needed not enough to bend the edge over but also not so little as to do nothing. I myself have been using three-inch SRP and to Illinois, 327 one pasted one not and have never had a problem stropping. I just assumed that most people would realize that just a light touch, enough to feel it, dragging would've been common sense. Again, you have my apologies. I've always found that the weight of my hand and as was stated about a half-inch of deflection of the strop is normal. If you dragging your razor across the strop was so much pressure that you see smoke coming off. Maybe you should lighten up. However, I had no idea that there were some newbies out there that were using no pressure as that would be a waste of time. I'm glad that you enlightened so many others out there. And once again my apologies.
    Griz
    Last edited by AFDavis11; 02-04-2012 at 11:46 AM.

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  5. #24
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    I think any angle will work, but I prefer the strop to be level. Since I believe the amount of deflection is important, I like to be able to see the strop deflect.

    Quote Originally Posted by carlmaloschneider View Post
    I think this is a very good post. I get it completely. I've started to concentrate on my stropping more, trying for more of an x stroke, and concentrating on the pressure and such..

    I wonder if a 'right' angle for stropping might be at the same height as the hand that holds the strop end? At present, the towel rail I secure mine to is higher than the holding hand...

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    Member Cochese2323's Avatar
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    This thread is a great read for a new guy. I just got my razor/strop from SRD last week. Dovo Best 6/8 and the Latigo strop. I am fairly certain that after reading this I used way too much pressure and may have dulled my blade already. My first shave didn't go great, but I at least got some good smooth strokes so I know what it fells like. This morning, not one really smooth stroke. Just doesn't feel like the razor is gliding. I stopped after a couple strokes and went back and stropped probably another 100 laps as little pressure as I could. Didn't really seem to help much. I am sure my technique is most of the problem, but I shaved probably 75% of my face WTG and ended up with just a lot of razor burn.

    My question is, if I keep stropping with very light pressure, will it eventually get better or I am pretty much screwed at this point not having any honing stones or strop paste?

  8. #26
    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cochese2323 View Post
    This thread is a great read for a new guy. I just got my razor/strop from SRD last week. Dovo Best 6/8 and the Latigo strop. I am fairly certain that after reading this I used way too much pressure and may have dulled my blade already. My first shave didn't go great, but I at least got some good smooth strokes so I know what it fells like. This morning, not one really smooth stroke. Just doesn't feel like the razor is gliding. I stopped after a couple strokes and went back and stropped probably another 100 laps as little pressure as I could. Didn't really seem to help much. I am sure my technique is most of the problem, but I shaved probably 75% of my face WTG and ended up with just a lot of razor burn.

    My question is, if I keep stropping with very light pressure, will it eventually get better or I am pretty much screwed at this point not having any honing stones or strop paste?
    I think if you've dulled your razor by using too much pressure or rolling the edge, you need to take it to a hone. Stropping does not sharpen the blade. There's a HUGE amount of information on this site about what stropping does (or doesn't) do, and I'm yet to find a real conclusion to the debate, but it's enough to say the stop conditions the blade and however it does it; it extends the length of time between sharpening the bade.

    Get yourself a Norton 4/8. You could most likely bring the blade up with 20 light strokes on the 8k side. If you watch a few videos here, use really light strokes, lap the stone first (I guess you really should get a good lapping stone too; the Norton one works well) and concentrate you should succeed.

    However, if you can't afford a hone yet (and I highly recommend learning to hone yourself, it's very satisfying) or anything else to help with the edge, try stropping on rolled up newspaper. I did that when I had no strop and it seemed beneficial.

    You do actually say "I am sure my technique is most of the problem", but I'm not sure if your being self depreciating or honest with yourself :-) If the later, ensure your face is well prepared and you have a good lather. Lather first and then strop, let the lather rest on your face as you strop. Strop very slowly, concentrate really hard, try to concentrate on JUST stropping, forcing all other thoughts from your mind. It's a Zen thing. Then place down the razor and check your lather with your finger tips. Has it dried a little while stropping? If so, dip your brush in a little water and face lather a little or add a little more water to your lather in the bowl (which should be sitting in a sink full of hot water (or in a scuttle)) and re-lather your face. Then, check the angle of the blade. Is it too steep? If your blade doesn't glide, but digs in, it could be the blade angle. Another reason for poor glide is the lather. Is it runny, or does it have millions of tiny bubbles? I like a frothy, bubbly lather, but the bubbles must be small.

    The strokes should generally be short and overlap, though I use some long strokes, mainly on the easier parts like the cheeks. I'd never try and use a long stroke on a place like under the chin, they are very short and very very light there, I hold the razor for ATG under the chin very lightly with thumb and forefinger at the pivot, allowing the razor to 'give' if it tends to dig in. I then back off, adjust the angle, and try again.

    If you only got your razor last week (I'm assuming it's your first) I wouldn't do ANY ATG until about another month at least.

    Are you shaving too much? It's easy to get excited about your first straight shave and shave each day or even more than once a day; I did; I was VERY excited! A straight razor shave removes more skin than what you may have been using before, so I think really, in hindsight, you should shave only each second day at first, or at least have the first weekend off. if you haven't allowed some time off, this may account for the razor burn.

    This is all just my opinion and views, there's a LOT of opinions out there! Hope this helps...
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    Walt Whitman

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  10. #27
    Member Cochese2323's Avatar
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    That is some great info. I have been wet shaving for a while and I use Tabac soap and proraso preshave, so I don't think it is my beard prep/lather.

    What you said about me depreciating myself is probably true. I would think that I would at least be able to get a couple good strokes in while shaving 75% of my face and it being the 3rd attempt.

    I also was working on 3 days growth, so not shaving too often.

    I am going to give it another go tonight, hopefully it will go a little better. If not, my razor for SRD came with a free second honing. Might send it to them and have them send it back with a Norton 4k/8k stone so I can start to remedy this for myself. I am actually really looking forward to learning to hone. I think I might get a second razor first though so I have something I know is shave ready to compare to when learning to hone

  11. #28
    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have all bases covered. Sending it back for a re-hone and getting a stone sounds like a good plan too, as does getting another 'reference' razor. was just explaining that to my son only 10 minutes ago! he only has one razor, and while it shaved leg hair, I didn't think it passed the TPT (though, to be honest, I didn't test shave it). He's had the one razor all the time she's been SR shaving (four months) and he strops on his belt, so that may cause some issues. He's only 21 and has sparse hair, (only needs to shave every second day) so can get away with a dullish razor. When he tried one of my others he KNEW it was sharper than his. He then did 20 laps on the Shapton 16k with no pressure, and then 10 laps with TRULY no pressure and REALLY concentrating (those were my instructions). I then tested it and it was fine; even for ATG under the chin. I'd shaved this morning (It's evening now) so not a TRUE test but pretty good. he's only used a hone about three times, and only the Shapton 16k so far, but I'll introduce him to the Norton 4/8 soon...

    Good luck and best wishes!
    Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
    Walt Whitman

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