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  1. #1
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    Default Hand-Hold Preference?

    So, in the quest to better my stropping technique, I have started experimenting with different handholds. I have a TM 3'' wide Latigo with the Contoured Leather Handles. With that I got the 2.5'' wide Latigo starter strop with a plain, no grips bottom. I started out using the 2.5 by rolling it over my fingers with my pointer out straight to keep it flat, and stropping... As I've gotten comfortable stropping, I rarely use the 2.5 anymore, and rely on my 3'' Latigo and Cotton... At first with that one, I pulled it taught by the handle so that my arm extended straight away from my body, and pulled it out sideways...

    Recently however, I have started hooking my pointer and middle finger into the rectangle buckle at the top of the handle, and pulling it taught by pulling away from where it is fixed, across my chest, rather than straight-arming it... This lets me pull those 3 inches REALLY tight, and get a good, equal stropping surface.

    So, my question to you guys, what is your prefered strop handhold, and what position/hand placement do you hold it with. Also, what is your prefered strop (the maker/model, and width?)


    Unrelated: As I said, I'm practicing my stropping. If I maintain proper form, is it possible to over-strop a blade like you can overhone it, or does continual obsessive stropping not cause damage unless you roll the edge? (I'm not talking hours on end... Just 1-4 times over the course of a day) [If it is important at all... I shave 3x a week]

    Thanks,
    Jeremy

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    Default

    Also, is it possible to pull a strop TOO tight? Because I watched a video posted in the Stropping Wiki, and it showed the strop held with enough slack that it deflected at the spine



    So, can I be pulling my strop too tight, or does that not really matter... Like, can a strop be too loose, but once it's tightened to a certain point, any tighter doesn't make a difference, just looser makes it worse...

    Thanks

  3. #3
    They call me Mr Bear. Stubear's Avatar
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    I'll try to address your questions in the order you asked them.

    I have my strop hanging on a hook behind the bathroom door. This hook is around eye height for me so I just pull the strop downwards and away from the door. The result is that I have the strop at about a 45 degree angle with one end at belly button height and the other end at about shoulder height. Not the classic way of doing it but it works with the space I have available and I get good results!

    The strop has a formed handle on the end so I just grip that. Its a Dovo one I got from Trumpers and its 2" wide, like this one:

    Dovo Best Prima Rindleder Leather Hanging Strop - $69.99 : Straight Razor Designs, The Finest In Gentlemens Shaving And Grooming Needs

    I've asked for a SRD 3" red latigo and webbed fabric for Christmas though, so I may be upgrading to one soon!

    You cant overstrop a blade. From the SRP Wiki; "Unlike honing a blade, in which a whetstone removes metal bent out of alignment from the blade's edge, stropping the blade re-aligns the indentations without removing any material."

    You can overstrop if you are using abrasive pastes however, so dont be heavy handed with those! If you have a strop with CrOx or diamond spray you can actully dull the edge with too many strokes.

    As you say, you can dull the blade by rolling the edge and poor stropping technique.

    If you're practicing it may be better to use something like a butter knife rather than risk dulling your razor!

    Its not possible to pull a strop too tight, unless you damage the strop or its mounting, then you've pulled it too tight!

    You dont need to put masses of tension on the strop though, just enough to keep it mostly flat when you strop the razor. A small amount of flex is fine, lots of flex is not. You can see how much flex is Ok in the videos that are out there on Youtube.

    When I strop I probably get a few millimetres of sag and thats about it. You dont need to put loads of pressure on the blade either, about 150% of the weight of the blade is all you need. So basically, put 150% of the weight of the razor on the strop and then add tension to make sure you have no more than 2-3mm of sag, and thats how much tension you need in the strop!

    It feels to me like I'm putting about a pound of tension on it. Just enough to keep it mostly flat as I say.!

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Stubear; 12-15-2009 at 09:36 AM.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I have vintage 2 1/2 pro barber strops, SRD 3", HandAmerican, and Tony Miller. I use all of them on a rotating basis depending on which one calls to me just as with my razors. I like my strop to be slightly below my navel so at my height hooking onto a doorknob is ideal. I pull the strop tight. The idea of leaving more slack than the natural flex, whatever it is, of a tight strop seems to me to be potentially hazardous to the edge.

    Stropping expert AFDavis11 posted this hand hold here and I have adopted that for my own. The main thing I focus on is not putting a slight twist in the strop when I pull. Here is another interesting thread on stropping that AFD posted. Alan has said that stropping may be more important than honing so it is worth focusing on developing the skill as well as possible.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stubear View Post
    You can overstrop if you are using abrasive pastes however, so dont be heavy handed with those! If you have a strop with CrOx or diamond spray you can actully dull the edge with too many strokes.
    Fortunately, I have yet to even make a Pasting Strop... I only have the one Cotton and Red Latigo TM, so no pastes as I use both sides for my tri-weekly shaves.. I am, however, getting a TM Horsehide and Linen at some point soon in the future, at which point my old Cotton (on the latigo) will become a paster, just for touchups until I buy a 4 sided Pasting Paddle for honing (A friend of mine uses one, he claims they work just as well as any hone stone, and he'll teach me how to not botch it up, so I'm inclined to go that route), all of that was to say, thank you for the heads up on the Pasting Strop

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubear View Post
    When I strop I probably get a few millimetres of sag and thats about it. You dont need to put loads of pressure on the blade either, about 150% of the weight of the blade is all you need. So basically, put 150% of the weight of the razor on the strop and then add tension to make sure you have no more than 2-3mm of sag, and thats how much tension you need in the strop!
    Alright, well I always pull it REALLY tight, but I guess I can slack of a little -so my shoulder stops cramping >.< - Thank you very much


    And thank you, Jimmy, I'll check out those links

    Edit: The AFDavis11 hold you linked, I've seen that, that is how I hold -well, held, I've quit using it as I prefer handles- my handle-less TM practice strop

  7. #6
    Senior Member leadduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShavedZombie View Post
    Also, is it possible to pull a strop TOO tight? Because I watched a video posted in the Stropping Wiki, and it showed the strop held with enough slack that it deflected at the spine



    So, can I be pulling my strop too tight, or does that not really matter... Like, can a strop be too loose, but once it's tightened to a certain point, any tighter doesn't make a difference, just looser makes it worse...

    Thanks
    Interesting video. As I watched it, I found myself thinking, "He's really applying too much pressure." I guess you can't really judge the pressure just from watching, but it just seems to me that it's very difficult to attain that kind of speed with that much slack in the strop without bearing down. Anyone else have that impression?

  8. #7
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    I actually thought that he had too much slack rather than too much pressure...

  9. #8
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    I like to use a D-ring or similar to pull the strop taut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leadduck View Post
    Interesting video. As I watched it, I found myself thinking, "He's really applying too much pressure." I guess you can't really judge the pressure just from watching, but it just seems to me that it's very difficult to attain that kind of speed with that much slack in the strop without bearing down. Anyone else have that impression?
    And what's with that outfit the guy is wearing? Is he in some sort of institution for the criminally insane?

    It looks like that guy likes a bit of pressure when stropping. Some folks don't buy into the whole "just the weight of the razor, whispering along across the strop..." way of doing things.

    Bu then again, he may simply be criminally insane!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    And what's with that outfit the guy is wearing? Is he in some sort of institution for the criminally insane?

    It looks like that guy likes a bit of pressure when stropping. Some folks don't buy into the whole "just the weight of the razor, whispering along across the strop..." way of doing things.

    Bu then again, he may simply be criminally insane!
    He also looks like the kind of guy that would continue a ridiculous argument, just for fun

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