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Thread: Common stropping mistakes?

  1. #1
    Stubble Slayer
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    Default Common stropping mistakes?

    I've noticed some talk of improper stropping ruining the edge of an otherwise very sharp razor. I'm wondering, what are the most common edge killing mistakes a new stropper might make?

    I mean, it seems pretty straightforward and simple, but still, I want to make sure I'm not screwing anything up. What comes to mind as the major problem(s)? Is the problem more of a "big picture" problem such as leading edge first instead of spine first? Or is it something smaller, like, using too much pressure? Or is it something hard to pinpoint, like lifting the spine up and rolling the edge? I guess any of these are problems, but what are the most common ones that really come to mind when you mention that a newbie might have ruined his shave ready edge by improper stropping?

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    Just a wanderer on this journey mkevenson's Avatar
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    Good question. I will follow the replies from the experts.

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    Large Member ben.mid's Avatar
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    My guess would be both excessive pressure & lifting the spine, particularly at the end of each stroke, with the edge in contact as the spine loses contact with the strop.

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    Some common mistakes:

    Too much slack in the strop. Pull it as tight as you can

    Too much pressure. Anything more than the weight of the razor is too much

    Lifting the spine. This often occurs at the end of the stroke. Listen, you can hear it when you do

    Slapping the edge against the strop when you roll the razor. It's called rolling, not flipping for a reason.

    Not stropping the entire edge. Use X strokes. They come naturally, don't try to force something else.
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    The ones listed above are probably the big ones. I've also killed two edges from flipping at exactly the wrong spot, so that the edge of the razor scraped down the edge of the leather handle that is sewn on to the end of the strop. But that's probably not a common mistake.

    IME using too much pressure or allowing too much slack doesn't permanently ruin the edge, it just needs to be restropped correctly and the edge will come back ok. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize this though, so plz disregard any old posts of mine that take a contrary position.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fccexpert View Post
    Some common mistakes:

    Too much slack in the strop. Pull it as tight as you can

    Too much pressure. Anything more than the weight of the razor is too much

    Lifting the spine. This often occurs at the end of the stroke. Listen, you can hear it when you do

    Slapping the edge against the strop when you roll the razor. It's called rolling, not flipping for a reason.

    Not stropping the entire edge. Use X strokes. They come naturally, don't try to force something else.
    Thanks for the tips.

    Out of curiosity, which of these will do so much damage that proper stropping isn't enough to correct the edge?
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  11. #7
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Strong concurrence on all these aspects as well the fact that stropping correctly can fix many of these problems. I'd say all of these problems, if mild, can be corrected by correct stropping.

    I also think that a minor mistake can create a dull but smoother razor and the dullness can lead to a problem. Bad stropping technique may not be apparent to the user.

    I would also suggest, stopping being a problem. The blade can never stop on the strop.

    I think another big picture mistake is not knowing how a strop should be dressed appropriately. So although the technique is great, the surface itself isn't so good.

    I recall doing an experiment in damage about a year ago that showed to me anyway that sag was a bigger damager than pressure.

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    Senior Member badboris's Avatar
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    I think the biggest mistake is speed.
    Everyone here, that read the "how-to" strop articles know what to do and can do it, if you do it slow enough.
    When you try to go faster without being ready, that's when you make mistakes.
    All the above mentioned mistakes can and will happen then.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Too much slack is counterproductive but pulling the strop too taught MAY also be a problem. I owned a wide Dovo strop that was fairly thin. When pulled tightly, it had a tendency to have a slight concave surface. This led to the toe and the heel of my razor being stropped but not the center portion. I have a more traditional width strop now and I don't have that concavity problem with a taught strop.

    Chris L
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    Senior Member AusTexShaver's Avatar
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    To the list of already good answers I would add flipping the razor while it's still in motion (before reaching the end of the stroke) and digging it into the strop.

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