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Thread: Stropping - During shave/after Honing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Robini's Avatar
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    Default Stropping - During shave/after Honing

    I have been doing some experimentation with my stropping regimen. I was curious how the strop really affects ones shave experience. I recently honed a razor from bevel set to finish, progression was Chosera 1k - SS 5k/8k/12k - SG20k. The bevel appeared even, consistent scratch pattern and popping hair with ease. I began my shave WTG without any stropping off the hones. The first pass was very good with no irritation and slicing through my beard effortlessly. XTG, same as before. ATG, the chin and upper lip were giving me a bit of pulling. One trip to the strop, 10 +/- on linen and about the same on leather, the blade was again plowing through like a hot knife through warm butter.

    I have also been testing stropping between passes, mostly before ATG. I found the same thing. This one trip to the strop during a shave significantly improved the edge for the final pass and tough ups.

    I figure this could be a result of my shaving technique needing some improvement however, I could not be happier with the results I am getting. On the other hand, a trip to the strop during a shave could just refine the edge and repair any minor damage caused by the prior pass(s).

    I would be interested to see a razor's edge following a shave and following a good stropping under magnification to understand what happens to a blade after a shave. I am also very interested to hear others experience/opinions.

    Many thanks!!
    Rich

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    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    I believe I've seen a thread like this before, but I can't recall very well.

    I only hear positive things about a good stropping and edges lasting an exuberant long time with only stropping.

    I don't have microscopes and all, so I go by feel and stropping makes everything feel nicer

    When I was a total noob I had a white pasted Dovo strop and a razor with a small chip in the edge, I took it to the "linnen" part that had white paste on it and I could visibly see the chip getting smaller with only stropping, there's something necessarily good about stropping a razor (if stropping technique is correct)

    I have a few strops, and usually use my Dovo after honing and have to say it's still going strong and does a great job, I love their linnen part (the V-shaped pattern one)
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 02-24-2018 at 05:36 PM.

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    Before my barber started using a shavette he used to strop mid-shave on me.........cursing under his breath at my beard. He gave me one shave with a shavette and I vowed never again. When he was done my face looked like you ran a lawn mower over it.
    sharptonn and Steel like this.

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    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    I've been hearing / reading about people stropping mid shave as well, even just on their hand, it can certainly only help; I personally haven't found a need for it mid shave

    Robini, if you search around on the forum I'm positive pictures have been posted of edges under the microscope coming off the hone vs. after stropping, certainly looked a bit smoothed out for sure IIRC

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    Senior Member criswilson10's Avatar
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    The edge of a razor is a bunch of very tiny teeth, just like a saw blade. As you shave, the hair shifts those teeth out of alignment. Stropping shifts the teeth back to the centerline of the blade.

    If you have really tough hair or a really thin bevel then stropping between passes can give you better shave. I don't do it all of the time, but every now and then when I start an ATG I'll feel that it could be closer and do a few palm strops before continuing.

    Try it, see if it works for you. If it doesn't, then no big deal. If it does, then add it to your shave routine.
    And as always, YMMV.
    Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead - Charles Bukowski

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    Well I dont know if anyone did microscope pics after the shave and then after stropping but I do know this nice site that has lots os microscope images of blades hnder the sem microscope.
    https://www.google.ro/amp/s/scienceo...opping-do/amp/


    I apologise if you know it already.

    Basicaly depending on the type of steel and temper the edge will unevitably sustain damage at the apex durri g a shave.
    This damage can be plastic deformation, braeakage, or both depending on steel ...temper...technique and beard.

    Lower tempered steels tend to roll or deform...ie plastic deformation.
    Stropping on leather has a double role...it mecanicaly sets the steel back in line straightening the bends and deformations of the fine edge...and second....a burnishing effect....it actualy mooves mettal arround by abrasion and friction.

    Higher temper steels tend to microchip at the edge because the tension in the steel matrix is so high the edge tends to lose small prts of it instead of rolling.

    Stropping will improve this by burnishing - moving metal arround and the microchips tend to get smaller or at least get their sharp edges rounded.

    Mid temper steels tend to exhibit both patterns of edge degradation.

    One must also take into consideration micro oxidation at the very edge.
    Although we not always see it...at a micro level once carbon steel is exposed to water ad oxigen...chemestry does it job and oxidation apears at the very apex.

    This is why it is so important to whipe the blade dry and strop it after shaving....the strop dries and oils the bevels and edge preventing micro oxidation.

    I like to treat my work horse strops with a small quantity of Balistol...does wonders for the leather and for the edge.


    Hope this helps.

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    Senior Member alex1921's Avatar
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    I learned about the micro oxidation you describe cotiga the hard way. I was in a habit to give the razor 10 laps on firehose and put it to rest. One day I picked a razor that was sitting like that and inspected the edge under the microscope. Just looking at the edge for comparing finishers, boom. Small black spots at high magnification. Couldnt see anything with the naked eye but they were there. Since then I always finish on leather after shaving

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    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    Hmm, those are good suggestions, I have the habit of only stropping on the linen side after a shave, I'll add a few laps on the leather from now on!


    @ ovidiucotiga, Yes! I'm positive that's the link I once visited with pictures, solid reference!
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 02-25-2018 at 09:01 AM.

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    I coat my blade with paraffin oil after shaving, but I don’t strop until the next shave.

    Is oiling the blade good enough to protect it?
    David
    “Shared sorrow is lessened, shared joy is increased”
    ― Spider Robinson, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon

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    It all depends on the oil type...the condition of the blade when aplying the oil...and storage conditions.

    There are many types of oils...natural camelia oil...mineral...parafin...Balistol....Reinasance wax worth mentioning...although not an oil.

    I tested many of them and found Balistol works best...it also has some components that neutralise acids...oxidation is not only water steel and air...it can also come from sweat on your hands or scale decomposition like cell rot that emits nitric oxide that attacs the steel.

    Condition of the blade...blade must be dry...stropped and whiped clean.
    If I plan on long term storage I may sometimes use acetone on a microfiber cloth to degrese the blade completly before aplying a fresh coat of balistol and I prefere to use rubber gloves to prevent sweat and oils from mi fingers from getting on the blade...this way I am sure I aply a nice even coat of oil.

    Residual oils mai prevent a nice coat of fresh oils from setting.


    Storing conditions are idealy in a dry well ventilated space....or at least dry.
    I use wood boxes for individual razors I store with silica gel bags

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