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Thread: Stropping degrade blade edge?

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    Special Agent Gibbs's Avatar
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    Default Stropping degrade blade edge?

    I have several razors, good quality, and some nearly new. However, after while and after some stropping on my nicked strop, I get the tugging and pulling and very uncomfortable shave. This is with razors like Wacker, Gotta, Revisor, Dovo and the like. I have been DE shaving for some time now, and the razors pretty much became safe queens.

    My strop is a rather wide strop that I bought new a few years ago, but it has several nicks and hangs around in the bathroom. Do Strops vary in quality? In other words, do some strops contribute to degradation of the edge rather than improve it? Does Neatsfoot oil help any?

    Ordered a DOVO Shavette to try out and with longer blade, might simulate the actual straight razor without wondering about the improvement / damage from poor strop or poor stopping.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth ejmolitor37's Avatar
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    If the nicks have flaps sticking up then I could see those affecting your edge. Keeping your stop in the bathroom doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
    If the nicks are not causing the damage I'd guess next would be technique. Lifting the spine and rolling your edge.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    There are a variety of options. Both poor stropping and poor strops can cause the edge to degrade rather rapidly.
    You can glue deep cuts, and flaps. You can also to some degree sand down a nick, but it you go too deep that isn't good either. There is also the option of trimming the edge of your strop. There is also the possibility of buying a replacement leather for your strop. The nicks probably did not do much for your edge either. You will need to find the cause or causes of your edge tugging. I suspect it could be a little of both. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to stropping.
    If you choose to sand your strop 320 or 400 have seemed quite effective in the past. It you are gluing rubber cement seems to be good. You want a glue that will remain flexible when dry.
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    FrankC
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    Strops can also become contaminated with something coarsely abrasive, children or others can play with them unbeknownst to us and put things on them that will harm an edge.
    If not properly taken care of they will become dirty and this can and will effect stropping in a negative way and as said elsewhere the damage to the surface is not helping.
    So to directly answer your question, "Yes" strops do vary in quality and some strops will degrade an edge rather than improve it.
    So will inadequate stropping technique, not saying your technique is poor just saying it takes a certain skill level to improve an edge on the best of strops.
    If your strop was new just a few years ago it probably doesn't need any Neatsfoot oil, and this will not correct a dirty, contaminated or nicked up strop.
    If you are uncertain about your strop and or your technique finding a mentor in your area and spending a couple of hours with them could be very beneficial so would attending a meet-up where all this could be sorted out straight away. Either way I bet you would fine the experience to be helpful.
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    Pretty good advice here already. I don't have much to add really.

    My first strop was a 3" wide one and I nicked it a few times. Luckily they weren't deep. I actually managed to sand them smooth with the edge of my thumb nail.

    If I were you I would get a new edge put on those razors (it sounds like you have some great ones), practice your technique with something blunt like a butter knife and finally just use one of the restored razors for a while. That way you can see if your stop/stropping is the problem before dulling all of the other blades.

    I have found that the blades will start to tug after a while even with a good strop and stropping technique. They usually come back to life with a refresh on my Naniwa 12k (although I struggled with that at first too and had to come here for advice there too).

    Good luck and I really hope you sort it out and get going again soon.
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    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    Do you use a fabric stropping component? It can make a world of difference. A leather strop alone will not do much to fix the damage (on a microscopic level) caused by shaving.

    Best regards,

    Pieter
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Dieseld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbs View Post
    My strop is a rather wide strop that I bought new a few years ago, but it has several nicks and hangs around in the bathroom. Do Strops vary in quality? In some aspects, yes they do
    In other words, do some strops contribute to degradation of the edge rather than improve it? No for the most part, but if the strop is in poor condition, yes
    Does Neatsfoot oil help any? It can, if the strop is very dry. But it can also really mess one up
    I have to check my map, but since you're in Michigan as well, maybe we can get together and I could possibly help you out. Shoot me a PM
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    Special Agent Gibbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pithor View Post
    Do you use a fabric stropping component? It can make a world of difference. A leather strop alone will not do much to fix the damage (on a microscopic level) caused by shaving.

    Best regards,

    Pieter
    Thanks for all the replies!!

    Pieter, the stop has a fabric on the back side of it and I used it but it's like a caveman pulling a choke on a motor to get it to start. He seen other do it but not sure the reason of the use. LOL

    No other kids at home, except occassionaly our 23 Year old daughter and she doesn't mess with it. The strop just hangs around on the wall in the master bathroom. It's 3" wide and about 20" of usable area. Longer but I taped up the ends where the screws hold it on.
    I bought it online, but think I only paid around 35.00 for it. I figured it beat my leather belt.

    I live close to Glenn MI, about 14 miles N of South Haven. I'd even send this strop to someone to take a look at, or, just look on Amazon and get a new one (I have Prime and 2 day free shipping ) But getting a new strop if there is nothing wrong with the old one is rather pointless if I am going to degrade the edge with any strop due to poor technique.

    I'll have to learn a lot more about this fabric that is on the back side (separate) of this strop. Would pictures be of any help?
    The Wacker, Revisors, Gotta, and DOVO were all bought new just a few years ago. I bought a 10k stone at a wood working place in Grand Rapids and will have to dig it out and see if I can get the edge back in shape. Also have a green and brown barber hones as well as an unusual stone called a "Frictionite 00" I got at the local antique store for around $22.00, an it has a "use this side first" and "finish on this side" decal on the side.
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    You could get by the rest of your life using nothing but that Frictionite for touching up your edges. It is a much better than average barber hone.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Dieseld's Avatar
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    Since you have chosen not to receive PM's, I can't send you my address.
    But I'd happily look at the strop for you, and let you know what I think.
    Look sharp and smell nice for the ladies.~~~Benz
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