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Thread: Strop

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    www.edge-dynamics.com JOB15's Avatar
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    Default Strop

    Hi, i have a few stropping questions and would appreciate the advise.
    This first question might be stupid. I have a 2inch strop and i dont understand the x-stroke.
    I take the blade from bottom left of the strop to the top right of the strop, flip it, then come back from the top right of the strop to the bottom left of the strop.
    So i am going up and down on the same diagonal line.
    Is that ok?
    Also my first strop was a gift, its a Dovo, really soft and more of a suede than a solid leather.
    I have just bought a new one which is black and more like a leather trouser belt material, hard n shiny.
    Which one should i be using..
    Thanks..

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    There's a page on stropping in the library, with a diagram near the top showing the x-stroke: here. The blade should follow the opposite diagonal on the way back (ie if you do bottom left - top right, coming back is top left - bottom right.)

    As far as I know, the material of the strop affects the 'draw' - that's how much friction you feel using it. Hard shiny ones have less draw than soft suede-y ones. I think it's a matter of personal preference which you use. (Although my physics head says that a higher friction/draw should do whatever it is a strop does quicker. I stand to be corrected on that ).

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    No sir. That is not stupid at all. I’m glad to see that you don’t mind using a 2” where most of the world today is opting for the 3”. As for the X pattern question all of it is a matter of what you can perform efficiently to gain the best edge possible with the least effort. It should also be enjoyable. But, typically you would start at the lower left and strop up to the upper right, flip over the spine and strop back down from the upper left to the lower right. Thusly you create a pattern of an “X” as the outcome rather than a swipe across in opposite directions. Personally, I strop starting at the heel back and forth for a few strokes, ease over in the middle of the blade for some strokes and then on to the point for the same. I will however, finish with a few X strokes just to be sure I hit the blade in its entirety. I kind of listen and feel for how much I need to strop. You’ll get that experience in time too. Work on form, amount of pressure, flip and consistency. Speed will come. But, enjoy it as you go.

    I can’t tell you which is best hard or soft. I can tell you that I prefer the dry and wispy to the heaver softer draw. Although I do see the benefits of both you’ll simply have to see which works best for you, your style and the steel you are stropping. I have a piece of Dovo leather. When it is on, it really is nice. However, it is very difficult to maintain in such condition. I keep going back to a nice old piece of leather I have. When needed, I had rather simply scrape off the slick burnished surface, wet it down with my wet palm and rub it dry with the same palm. Sometimes I’ll maybe use a very lightly coated palm with olive oil, neets foot oil, leather conditioner, saddle soap or some other leather friendly stuff and rub the surface hot with it and repeat the water on palm thing. Once dry that surface will sing.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Chasmo

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    www.edge-dynamics.com JOB15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOB15 View Post
    Hi, i have a few stropping questions and would appreciate the advise.
    This first question might be stupid. I have a 2inch strop and i dont understand the x-stroke.
    I take the blade from bottom left of the strop to the top right of the strop, flip it, then come back from the top right of the strop to the bottom left of the strop.
    So i am going up and down on the same diagonal line.
    Is that ok?
    Also my first strop was a gift, its a Dovo, really soft and more of a suede than a solid leather.
    I have just bought a new one which is black and more like a leather trouser belt material, hard n shiny.
    Which one should i be using..
    Thanks..
    i dont wanna comment on my own comment

  5. #5
    www.edge-dynamics.com JOB15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt69 View Post
    There's a page on stropping in the library, with a diagram near the top showing the x-stroke: here. The blade should follow the opposite diagonal on the way back (ie if you do bottom left - top right, coming back is top left - bottom right.)

    As far as I know, the material of the strop affects the 'draw' - that's how much friction you feel using it. Hard shiny ones have less draw than soft suede-y ones. I think it's a matter of personal preference which you use. (Although my physics head says that a higher friction/draw should do whatever it is a strop does quicker. I stand to be corrected on that ).
    Thanks , thats a good link. I will practice the x stroke...I have some mink oil but i think to start off ill just use my hand juice

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    Senior Member ccase39's Avatar
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    I have both a rougher "tackier" strop and one that is smooth shiny leather. I use them both in my stropping routine. I start on the linen then move to the rougher strop and then finally I finish with the smooth shiny one. Has worked very well for me so far. I do about 50 on each.

  7. #7
    Incidere in dimidium Cangooner's Avatar
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    As has been said, that's not a stupid question at all! Far better to ask and get some answers than to scratch your head in isolation, which is what I did for quite some time before finding SRP and other places like it.

    Some good advice above re the X-stroke and stropping material.

    There is always debate here about what kind of strop material is 'best'. Some like a heavy draw, others light. Some swear by cowhide, latigo, kangaroo, buffalo... others wouldn't dream of using anything other than shell cordovan. They all work. They all feel different, but they all work.

    As far as I can tell, whatever works for you is best. Both of the strops you have will, assuming they are in good shape, work perfectly well. However the one that you enjoy using - i.e. the one that feels best to you - is probably the one that you will get the most enjoyment from, and because of that, the one that you will get the best results from. Try them both, see which one you like best, and stick with it. After a while when you're 100% comfortable and used to that one, try the other again. You may change your mind, you may stick with the same one, or you may use a combination of the two. Honestly, whatever works for you is good.

    Also, you can but all kinds of conditioners, pastes, oils, etc. to treat strops, but really you don't need them. Just rub the stropping surface with the palm of your hand. The oils in your skin will do a great job at keeping the leather supple and in working condition. Just be sure your hands are clean, but don't do this *right* after washing your hands as that will remove the oils you want to be adding to the strop.

    So in short, play around with both, see which you like, and run with it.

    It was in original condition, faded red, well-worn, but nice.
    This was and still is my favorite combination; beautiful, original, and worn.
    -Neil Young

  8. #8
    Incidere in dimidium Cangooner's Avatar
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    And I completely forgot to add...

    check out the Stroptober thread. There is a TON of great info, videos, etc. there:

    http://straightrazorpalace.com/strop...st-2012-a.html

    Good luck

    It was in original condition, faded red, well-worn, but nice.
    This was and still is my favorite combination; beautiful, original, and worn.
    -Neil Young

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    www.edge-dynamics.com JOB15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cangooner View Post
    And I completely forgot to add...

    check out the Stroptober thread. There is a TON of great info, videos, etc. there:

    http://straightrazorpalace.com/strop...st-2012-a.html

    Good luck
    I had a shave yesterday. A big event because i only shave once a week.
    I tried some x-strokes . Now i understand how and why ppl cut their strops.
    With me its at the end of the pull down, just before i flipped it i was pushing back up a little.
    I took a little chunk out of my new strop
    Slowing down and practice will stop that foolishness.
    I dont care about the strop i just dont wanna dull my mega sharp Heart Steel blade.
    I treated the leather with a minimal amout of mink oil.
    I'll check out this link now ,cheers

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