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  1. #1
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Default Loom Strops/Slack

    Okay, so I'd like to discuss loom strops and their purpose. Here's the thing. Several days recently I have taken perfectly well honed edges and made them better using a slack strop and pressure. Both of those are characteristics that I usually am careful about avoiding. The two of them together, pressure and slack is very, very unusual, for me.

    I have concluded though that if you can maintain a consistent: stroke, slope, and pressure level you can achieve a very sharp edge. Wicked sharp, actually.

    Thus, I think the purpose of a loom strop begins to form.

    I've never owned one, but now, I'm beginning to wonder if their careful slack adjustment was a really, really, good idea.

    Does anyone own a loop strop and increase the slack for any purpose, say for extending the edge out to avoid the need for honing?

    I'm aware of the few historical references to a hanging strop being created for the use of full hollow razors, but I'm not sure if anyone else has had similar experiences as I have had. That a hanging strop can also be used to shape an edge sharp instead of using a hone.

    Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
    A Newbie....Forever! zepplin's Avatar
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    I have incorporated into my stropping procedure - call it, "A slightly deflected strop". The strop actually has a little slack to it, not much, though. I adjust this slight deflection depending upon the grind of my razor and the feel and sound as I make each pass. I am very careful to keep my pressure light and very even. I don't have a loom strop. (I use three hanging strops + linen)

    The results have been spectacular to say the least! I have been shaving with a different razor every day, experimenting to see if the shaves are an improvement from the last time I used the razor when stropped with a "tightly" held strop. I have over 150 razors in my herd. I started doing this a couple of months ago. - so far so good. My edges and resulting shaves have improved tremendously!

    Steve

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    I used to pull the strop EXTREMELY taut -to the point where I started to cause shoulder cramps if I stropped for too long- and got mediocre results... Then, after a trip to Lynn's, I saw he didn't wrench it tight, so I tried it good and tight, but not uncomfortably so, and improved my blades a good deal...

    Another trip to his place, and I realized that, not only wasn't he wrenching it, he was leaving a tad of slack... So I tried this...

    Abridged version is, through testing different things, I have found that a slight amount of pressure ON THE SPINE and a slight slack in the strop do give better results than a nice tight strop...

    Just my experience though...

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  7. #4
    Senior Member ronnie brown's Avatar
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    so i gues i am going to have to try this out and see how it does

  8. #5
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    The edge benefits from a little bit of pressure to help straighten the fin back out and scrub off the corroded and weakened steel. As the edge wears and rounds a bit from the accumulation of mechanical stress and corrosion, then the slack helps put the strop's pressure on the edge where it can do some good, instead of on the bevel where it's increasingly wasted as the edge wears.

    I've got one of the cheap loom strops and always thought it was adequate for a travel strop but was never impressed with it for daily use. The lack of linen is a major problem for me, and putting chrome oxide on one side of the loop doesn't cut it. Does any loom strop maker make dual-material strops in a reasonable length (8"-12") that *aren't* pasted?

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  10. #6
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    As you know Mastro Livi makes a killer loom strop but it is pasted with chrom ox on the canvas side. My guess is you could ask Lynn or Don to order one with the canvas left unpasted. I have one of the Mastro's loom strops but have always used it pulled up snug. I'll have to try it with slack.

    A couple of years ago, IIRC, Bart described honing and stropping routines of older razor users in Europe who stropped with slack in their hanging strop. There was also a video that someone posted around the same time with a pro barber using a strop with a surprising amount of slack in it.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  11. #7
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zepplin View Post
    I have incorporated into my stropping procedure - call it, "A slightly deflected strop". The strop actually has a little slack to it, not much, though. I adjust this slight deflection depending upon the grind of my razor and the feel and sound as I make each pass. I am very careful to keep my pressure light and very even. I don't have a loom strop. (I use three hanging strops + linen)

    The results have been spectacular to say the least! I have been shaving with a different razor every day, experimenting to see if the shaves are an improvement from the last time I used the razor when stropped with a "tightly" held strop. I have over 150 razors in my herd. I started doing this a couple of months ago. - so far so good. My edges and resulting shaves have improved tremendously!

    Steve
    I have to +1 with my friend from Idaho..

    I adjust to the grind and the razor, never ever is the hanger pulled super tight, at least not mine...

    In general the heavier the grind the looser I use the strop, BUT this is all relative and I hesitate to even use the word loose on here because we have so many newbie shavers on the forum that can misinterpret what we mean here...

    I really believe like Alan that stropping is the most under-emphasized part of this hobby and is so important to a COMFORTABLE shave....

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  13. #8
    Senior Member kevint's Avatar
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    I made a sort-of-loom. Leather elevated above a thin board, with a strip of linen pasted on the back. It's small, ok, but not good enough for daily use.

    The hanger i use is thin and short, strokes few.

    Glen is saying stropping is under-emphasized. My impression from reading posts by Mr. Parker and Mr. Davis is these two maintain their razors with some of the lowest lap counts around. I really hang on their every word.
    I do not mean you guys under-emphasize stropping, and perhaps my impression of your sharing similar methods is off base, but i'd like to hear more of how you do what you do which I think to be very seldom honing, long term edge viability with minimal stropping-is that correct.

    My thin strop is conforming to; shaped by the edge. To me that seems important. I am in process of making a thicker more traditional strap to see what I am missing out on. The thin one .06 inch the new one .11 inch thick.

  14. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    I have to +1 with my friend from Idaho..

    I adjust to the grind and the razor, never ever is the hanger pulled super tight, at least not mine...

    In general the heavier the grind the looser I use the strop, BUT this is all relative and I hesitate to even use the word loose on here because we have so many newbie shavers on the forum that can misinterpret what we mean here...

    I really believe like Alan that stropping is the most under-emphasized part of this hobby and is so important to a COMFORTABLE shave....

    Have you ever put a trigger pull guage on your strop to try to quantify the tension you're placing on the strop while using it?

  15. #10
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Have you ever put a trigger pull guage on your strop to try to quantify the tension you're placing on the strop while using it?
    No


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