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Thread: Fewer stropping laps

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    Default Fewer stropping laps

    Hello,

    I recall a few years ago that there was someone who strongly advocated for doing fewer, rather than more, laps when stropping. I can't recall his name but it was interesting to hear his side of the story. As I recall from his video, his point was that something like 8 or 10 stropping laps does the majority of the work, and more than that simply increases the risk of rolling the edge or at best is a waste of time.

    Does anyone know whom I am thinking of?
    thanks
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    No, but for most folks he was probably right.

    Think about this, look at your razor’s bevel with magnification 60-100x. See all the scratches in random patterns? Where did they come from?

    At one time the edge was perfectly straight and the bevel uniformly polished with the stria all running in the same direction.

    The only thing that touched your bevel and edge is you face, beard, toweling and strop. Which do you think scratched your bevel and edge?

    So, if your strop is dirty, inferior quality and your technique is lacking, how is more, better?

    Unfortunately, the only way to improve your stropping, is to strop. Try to make each lap a perfect lap on a clean strop. 10-20 laps are probably more than enough for most to maintain an edge.

    Find your sweet spot, as your stropping improves you will find you need less. A new stropper doing 100-200 laps is probably doing more harm than good.

    Stropping is way underrated. Proper stropping can keep you shaving for a long, long time.

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    I recall the video. I also recall that he used a lot of pressure when stropping. He also did not strop between shave but elected to touch up his razor after 5 or 10 shaves. I think perhaps if that was your technique and you loved your shave and maintenance experience that’s fine for you. I strop much more and much more frequently and my edges go for many shaves. I often shave with the same razor for between one and three weeks, some razors get used for several periods before touching them up. To each there own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 400E View Post
    Hello,

    I recall a few years ago that there was someone who strongly advocated for doing fewer, rather than more, laps when stropping. I can't recall his name but it was interesting to hear his side of the story. As I recall from his video, his point was that something like 8 or 10 stropping laps does the majority of the work, and more than that simply increases the risk of rolling the edge or at best is a waste of time.

    Does anyone know whom I am thinking of?
    thanks
    To my memory I think that you may be referring to Howard Schlecter sp?
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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    The only time I do a lot of passes, is after the blade comes off the rocks.

    60-80 lead pasted strop
    60-80 Russian tanned ( med draw )
    60-80 Roo or shell. ( fast draw )

    Besides that...20-40, before and after a shave. ( desired strop ). Have yet to take a blade back too the rocks, but my rotation is fairly, large. Somewhere in the order of 200+
    Mike

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    Although I don't agree with all of what Howard says he does have a point

    The 25/50 recommendation for stropping is only a starting point most people adjust from there as they get better at stropping

    Also the strop itself has some input here, if you are using a Med Heavy draw you might very well need less laps..
    Another thing that I myself find I adjust for is the finisher I used, I tend to use way fewer linen laps when I finish on a Escher/ J-Nat / or Shapton 30k
    The reverse is true for a Coticule or Zulu
    I just go by the response I get back from my customers and adjust from there


    Basically I guess what I just said is rather simply put as YMMV
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesman7 View Post
    To my memory I think that you may be referring to Howard Schlecter sp?
    Give that man a cigar!

    That's exactly who I was trying to remember -- Howard Schechter. Thanks! I would never have remembered his name.
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    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    No, but for most folks he was probably right.

    Think about this, look at your razor’s bevel with magnification 60-100x. See all the scratches in random patterns? Where did they come from?

    At one time the edge was perfectly straight and the bevel uniformly polished with the stria all running in the same direction.

    The only thing that touched your bevel and edge is you face, beard, toweling and strop. Which do you think scratched your bevel and edge?

    So, if your strop is dirty, inferior quality and your technique is lacking, how is more, better?

    Unfortunately, the only way to improve your stropping, is to strop. Try to make each lap a perfect lap on a clean strop. 10-20 laps are probably more than enough for most to maintain an edge.

    Find your sweet spot, as your stropping improves you will find you need less. A new stropper doing 100-200 laps is probably doing more harm than good.

    Stropping is way underrated. Proper stropping can keep you shaving for a long, long time.
    Love the observation about the random scratch patterns -- i've seen these but never thought to put it all together.

    Sometimes it's good to go back to basics. I am going to do just as you say - aim for perfect laps (and fewer of them).

    And going to clean my strops! Haven't thought to do that for a while.
    rolodave likes this.
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

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    I over strop. Well, 100 laps before no matter how many times I've shaved with that razor. But I'm trying to cut back. I think lately I've been doing 20 after and 60 before. It's hard to cut back when it only takes seconds to do it.
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    STF
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    I do 15 laps on cotton and 40 on leather after a sjave and then 80 on leather before a shave.

    I wish it only took seconds like Gasman says but if I go too fast I end up getting confused and either hearing that sound, I'm sure you remember the the oh oh that didn't sound good experience or cutting my strop. 80 laps takes me about 2 minutes I guess and I have to say, it makes my thumb hurt on the tang when I flip the razor and makes my wrist ache with the flipping. Sometimes i have to stop after 40 for a few seconds.

    I reckon my technique needs improving, but my edges are good for a long time so I must be doing the actual stropping OK.
    - - Steve

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