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Thread: Strop peeling on one edge

  1. #1
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    Default Strop peeling on one edge

    Hello everyone!

    I'm new to straight shaving, and so far I'm loving it! I'm a little overly obsessed, my wife would say, as I keep feeling and judging my cheeks and chin to see where I need to improve and such, but overall I feel I'm doing well. I think she has come to fear the "How does this look?" question, ha ha.

    I started with a cheap shavette, to see if I even liked it before dropping the big bucks, but 2 weeks ago I got my first straight and strop in. I've watched multiple videos, read through the threads, and even practices stropping with the unloaded shavette to make sure I was ready to strop without instantly ruining my blade. It seems that every time I shave, I get better at stropping, and the blade travels smoother and closer and I get better results. So while I need improvement, I am improving, and I think I'll have the hang of it soon. Since it's 2.5" wide and my razor is somewhere around 3", I am using a cross stroke - 20-25 strokes on the canvas, 60 strokes on the leather. I am experimenting with holding the strop flat versus giving it a slight angle towards my right hand as I saw Lynn Abrams do in his YouTube video about stropping. I'm not sure which I'm more comfortable with yet.

    But there is one thing that I haven't seen mentioned in any of the threads or videos regarding stropping that I noticed on my strop today. I use a Fromm 2.5" top grade cowhide strop with a canvas back. I'm right-handed, so I hold with my left. Today, I noticed after stropping that the cowhide is peeling for about 4", roughly 2" from the handle of the strop, from the edge to about 3/8" in. And by peeling, I mean like if you got a sun burn then rubbed the dry skin so that it rolls up as it flakes off (disturbing analogy, I know, but it's the best way I could think to describe it). Along the spine of my razor there was a fine brown dust. It's not worn through - looks more like it's scuffed in this region. And it's not nicked or cut and today was probably the smoothest, easiest shave I've had yet, so I don't think the edge is hitting it in a way it shouldn't be.

    Does anyone know what I am doing to cause this and what I need to adjust about my technique to prevent it? Am I putting too much pressure on the spine on my stroke?

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Hi Big Bob
    Welcome to SRP! Pictures are very helpful with these type of thing's. Without seeing the strop, from your description I think I would be tempted to glue that piece down with liquid Band-Aid, I think I've read where others use rubber cement, but I would wait to see who else chimes in, on the other hand if it's as thin as peeling sun burned skin, I'm not sure what I would do...... most likely remove it. On another note, when stropping no pressure is needed, just keep the spine flat and continue with the X stroke, of course spine leading.
    CHRIS

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    Here are some pictures of my strop. You can see the scuffing/scraped area along the bottom edge in the first two pictures (I'm pointing to it in the second picture).

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    This third picture shows the whole strop, and there isn't anywhere else where this kind of wear is happening.
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    Here, it looks like a scrape, and on the spine there was some brown dust, and some flaky debris left on the strop (since cleaned away)

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    I think you might find that the damage is being caused by your thumb nail catching the edge of the strop as you move the blade across to form the X stroke. Have a close look where your thumb is at the point of most damage. With the nail being side on to the strop it kind of picks at the leather on each pass. Learned by my own experience moved my thumb back and used way less pressure, problem solved. Hope this helps.

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    BigbobbieK (03-19-2014)

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I get this on my strop too not as bad though. IMO it's the heel/shoulder catching, abrading the leather. I think you're good, I wouldn't get to excited about it. one more thing make sure your strop isn't twisted, & pull the strop taut. I make my own strops, and noticed that the wider and longer they are, I seemed to have more problems like this. So now I use a 2 x 18 strop I made, nicking the leather cupping and twisting all went away...
    Last edited by Trimmy72; 03-18-2014 at 03:38 PM.
    CHRIS

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Not saying it is not possible,but dragging your thumbnail across the edge of the strop is almost impossible
    Siguy likes this.
    CAUTION
    Dangerous within 1 Mile

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    Senior Member deepweeds's Avatar
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    I had a similar issue with the Illinois 127, as a result of pulling too hard and "crumpling" the handle in my hand; it cupped the strop near the handle (and, sadly, really stretched the strop over time). When I switched my grip (holding the strop leather above the handle b/w my index & middle fingers) and lightened up, the problem went away.
    Trimmy72 likes this.
    Keep your pivot dry!

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  11. #8
    Huh... Oh here pfries's Avatar
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    Trimmy72 is probably on to something. As far as the fine brown dust it's not uncommon with the 827 . It will quit doing it after a while.
    It is just Whisker Whacking
    Relax and Enjoy!
    Local Help/ Mentors



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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelfixed View Post
    Not saying it is not possible,but dragging your thumbnail across the edge of the strop is almost impossible
    Best get mine cut then!

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    Thanks for the help, guys! I was worried I was doing something really wrong without realizing and would really mess up my strop or blade if I continued on as I was. I'll keep an eye on my thumbs, grip, and keep an eye out for twist in the strop. Thanks again everyone!
    Last edited by BigbobbieK; 03-19-2014 at 03:17 AM.

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