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  1. #1
    Member freeman's Avatar
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    Default Greetings and questions about strops & honing

    I recently developed an interest in straight razors. A week ago I decided to take the plunge and bought a razor, which should arrive in the mail in a week or two. Two days ago my fiance showed me an old razor she had been keeping in a box, apparently it belonged to her great great grandfather. I examined the blade pretty closely and other than the expected rust and patina there where no obvious nicks or cracks in the blade.

    Last night I was cruising this site and stumbled across the restoration forum. After reading a few threads I decided to attempt a restoration on my fiance's straight razor. A trip to Woodcraft and some quality time with a dremel tool later I ended up with this:




    Appologies for the awful iphone picture, I can't seem to find my good camera. Anyway, to continue, I think I have a working razor now that needs honing and stropping. Having zero experience with such things this leads to a number of questions:

    While purchasing a ready-made strop is definitely an option, I'm (among other things) a leatherworker and would like to make my own. My question is are strops normally made from vegetable or chromium tanned leather?

    Also, I'd like to get this blade shave-ready as soon as possible (yes, the anticipation is killing me). Do you think I should send the razor off to be honed or would it be a worthwhile investment to get a set of hones? Am I nuts for even considering attempting to hone the thing with no prior experience?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mbwhoosh's Avatar
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    Welcome freeman!

    I can't answer your questions about the strop but we have many fine leather workers as members here like ken from ruprazor.com and tony miller from thewellshavedgentleman.com so you should have some insight shortly.

    As far as honing I would suggest sending it to be honed by a professional:

    1. You have never honed or shaved with a straight razor so wouldn't know what is considered "razor sharp" as a starting point.

    2. Honing like all things takes practice and your bound to make mistakes, so better to practice with a cheap razor rather than your fiance's grandfathers razor

    3. Hones are expensive and unless you plan to do a lot of honing (ie: doing restores or offering your services to other members) its kind of a waste since once you hone a razor, unless you drop it or clang it on a faucet or strop it improperly, will only need minor maintenance for the rest of its (and yours) life.


    Great job on the restores

    If you need any assistance in finding wetshaving materials such as a brush or soaps please let us know all are members are very helpful.

    Also please checkout the wiki for lots of instructions on proper stropping and razor shaving techniques.

    Welcome again freeman if you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Deryan's Avatar
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    +1 advice from mbwhoosh about the honing, if your planning on starting your SR journey definately have one of the expierenced get that razor "shave ready" for yah,(you can find some offering services here in our classifieds)so in the future you can use that as a benchmark as to what is really "shave ready"sharp. Welcome to SRP and the wonderfull world of SR's.
    Last edited by Deryan; 09-27-2009 at 01:33 PM.

  4. #4
    I just want one of each. keenedge's Avatar
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    Hi Freeman, welcome to SRP. If you haven't seen it yet here's a wiki on making your own strop.

    Making a (very) home-made strop - Straight Razor Place Wiki

    And here's one for making a "linen" strop.

    Making a linen strop out of denim - Straight Razor Place Wiki

    +1 on everything mbwhoosh said about sending the razor out for a hone.

    You'll be able to find some for the job in member services.

    Member Services - Straight Razor Place Classifieds

    Best of luck with your projects and future shaves.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP. Really cool that your fiance kept grandpa's razor and even cooler that she gifted it to you. I would hold off on the hones and as the other members suggested send the razor out for sharpening.

    Once you decide that straight razor shaving is going to be something that you are going to continue with then buy the hones.

    In the meantime this is the suggested reading for new members to acquaint themselves with what they need to know before you begin here.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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