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Thread: Stropping is King

  1. #11
    Super Shaver xman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honedright View Post
    ... you don't exercise propperly, you won't fully bennefit from propper nutrition.
    I could argue this point citing wheelchair bound etc., but I get the message.

    Quote Originally Posted by honedright View Post
    ... if you can't propperly strop, even an expertly honed razor, by a so called "Honemeister", will fail to give expected results.
    I wouldn't dream of argueing with tis except that if you really can get 100-150 shaves without honing then you're not a Stropmeister, but a Strop-Super-Star!!

    X

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    I'm pretty curious about stropping technique, and just when my curiosity got going this thread went quiet. I hope it's clear I was kidding in my last, and that I haven't offended the stropmeisters.

    I'll confess I've regarded proper stropping as a simple matter of keeping the spine and edge in constant contact with the leather, and using no pressure and even strokes while keeping the strop taut. What are the other factors?

  3. #13
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFDavis11 View Post
    Great thread guys! Now what are the characteristics of stropping which allow you to hone once a year, semi-annually, or quarterly?
    That's something very hard to describe. But start with the basics and add years of practice and a touch of honest re-evaluation every now and again, then you are on the right track.

    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by dylandog View Post
    Is that the special technique you and Honedright are using, stropping on the ball of the thumb?
    Oh, no. No, no, no. I won't go there again! I've tried describing that thumb thing (read: "thumb test") and have angered the Moderator Gods to the point of having my posts removed.

    I'm done with that nonsense!


    Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by xman View Post
    I could argue this point citing wheelchair bound etc., but I get the message.

    Ok, there's a possible exception there. But even non-ambulatory people can benefit from some types of exercise.


    Quote Originally Posted by xman View Post
    I wouldn't dream of argueing with tis except that if you really can get 100-150 shaves without honing then you're not a Stropmeister, but a Strop-Super-Star!!

    X
    I won't argue with you. Heh, heh, heh.....

  6. #16
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylandog View Post
    I'm pretty curious about stropping technique, and just when my curiosity got going this thread went quiet. I hope it's clear I was kidding in my last, and that I haven't offended the stropmeisters.

    I'll confess I've regarded proper stropping as a simple matter of keeping the spine and edge in constant contact with the leather, and using no pressure and even strokes while keeping the strop taut. What are the other factors?
    This is one point where I differ in my technique and disagree with some. While light pressure may be appropriate at times, moderate and heavier pressure are called for at other times.

    It takes a bit of experience to know what and when.

    Scott

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    Super Shaver xman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylandog View Post
    I'll confess I've regarded proper stropping as a simple matter of keeping the spine and edge in constant contact with the leather, and using no pressure and even strokes while keeping the strop taut. What are the other factors?
    I think you've pretty much covered them all in brief. There can be some consideration as to which leather is best to use and what the proper ratios of evenness, tautness and pressure can be and those will vary somewhat from shaver to shaver with individual razors and on various strops. That's what makes it art.

    As for thumb stropping ... I don't think it can be recommended as a proper substitute at the least since it's impossible unless you're of Paul Bunyan's stature to cover the blade evenly and get an even stropping along the edge (and can you imagine how many laps you'd have to do to get your razor unevenly stropped this way?!), nor can it be recommended as appropriate for anyone less than very well initiated to try out since many of us have nicked our strops permanently and there's no arteries running through them. The best a brief thumb stropping could accomplish to my mind would be cleaning gunk caught up on the edge away and I still prefer to use a towel for that.

    X

  8. #18
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    I have to agree that the subject of stropping has received scant attention on any of the razor forums during the past 3-4 years. We really do need a lot more information on that subject.

    Just my two cents,
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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    This is a very interesting thread - but while PuFF says he only uses a pasted strop every now and again, he does indicate that he uses different types of leathers for different purposes - which suggests that different leathers/finishes may do different things to the edge.

    I've only been at this for about a month - I started off on a used Dovo strop (light leather, not sure which type) and then used the starter strop I aquired from Tony with my 3 inch strop and am now using my 3 inch red latigo strop.

    In short, I've noticed a different effect on my razor with each strop (width is another factor that distinguishes these strops).

    The Dovo has a much thinner, softer leather and did a good job on my razors.

    The learner's strop (red latigo) doesn' seem to be finished as well as my 3 inch strop (not a criticism as it was free and I didn't expect it to be anything other than a very basic piece of leather). It has a harder finish and has more draw. What I noticed was that I had to use a little more pressure to move the razor along the strop and that my razors didn't feel as sharp as with the Dovo.

    The 3 inch strop has a nicer finish than the learner's strop (duh!) and is much smoother and has a lighter draw - I've only been using it for a couple of days, but it seems to be doing a good job on my razors.

    I guess what I'm saying is that, as with hones, different types/finishes/weights of leather may also have a role to play and there will be personal preferences and differing opinions. However, even my very limited experience suggests that material plays a role in strop performance - and that you may want to vary technique/pressure depending on strop material.

    Now having said all this, I suspect that for most newbies (and I definitely include myself), its probably best to get a good strop (whether its from Tony, Keith, Illinois, Dovo, etc.) that more expereienced SRP members seem to like/feel is a quality strop and stick with it until you are comfortable with your technique and can maintain a razor through several shaves using nothing more than an unpasted strop (leather or leather/linen) before experimenting with different strop matierials - I've just happened to have used three different strops over the past month - I thought it was me, but Scott's post seemed to give weight to my experience with different types of strops having a different effect on my razors.

    I would be interested in hearing from more experienced SRP members about their views/experience regarding both strop material (in particular differences between latigo (red/black), honey, and the various finishes offered by Handamerica) and technique.

    While I suspect I'll have to go to the pasted padle more frequently than Scott, I do want to learn how to better use my strop and think that stropping is just as important to shave quality than is honing.

    Just my very long $0.02.
    Last edited by suzuki; 12-07-2006 at 06:06 PM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by suzuki View Post
    This is a very interesting thread - but while Scott says he only uses a pasted strop every now and again, he does indicate that he uses different types of leathers for different purposes - which suggests that different leathers/finishes may do different things to the edge.
    Ummmm, YIKES! I never said that! In fact I thought I made it pretty clear that I use an UNpasted, plain old, untreated hanging strop. I've never used abrassive stropping pastes and I really think they are unnecessary. I think if anyone wants to, or likes using pastes, that's just fine.

    While it is true that at times I will use a "Russian" 827 strop instead of my regular Dubl-Duck shell (both un-pasted by the way) I don't remember mentioning that in the present thread.

    And it is true that different leathers will have a different effect. For instance the "Russian" has a much greater drawing action than the smoother shell strop. Both will polish the edge just fine, but the"Russian" will draw out the edge much faster. I think the shell will give a much finer "shave ready" edge (especially on full hollow ground razors) and that is the strop I use most often. I think a comparable strop is the IRS 361.

    Scott
    Last edited by honedright; 12-07-2006 at 06:05 PM.

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