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Newbie questions : HHT and shave ready razor, stropping...


Well-Known Member
I have had my first straight razor shave today with my new shave-ready dovo 5/8 tortoise razor.
I proceeded with my straight like with my Dovo Shavette with short and very light strokes and found it difficult with the with the grain pass, but ATG pass was smooth. Maybe it's a question of angle of the blade, or should I put more pressure on the blade and use longer strokes as this razor is more forgiving than my shavette?
As WTG was quite difficult, I tried to perform an HHT on the blade, it was difficult with the straight and very easy on the DE blade on the shavette. I have read that good shave ready razor may not pass the HHT, what is the advantage? is it made on purpose to take into account different kind of razor blade?
I have also bought a beautiful modular paddle strop (with smooth leather, scrubbed leather and felt pads). After the shave, I have dried the blade and performed some strokes on the felt to dry the edge of the blade. I had to concentrate on my stropping technique, and decided to train on the felt so as not to nick the leather pad? is this harmless for the edge, is there an overstropping risk?
Hi Chti_lolo

1 important thing to note here, if the razor came from Dovo and was "Factory" shave ready, then believe me it is not.
you should never ever ever need to use ANY pressure on the skin, no matter which direction you are shaving in, if you do then you stand a very very good chance of cutting yourself.

The felt side of your strop, if its clean felt, will not hurt the blade at all, however it is vital that the blade is properly stropped on Leather before every shave, almost everyone does at least 20 laps on clean canvas, then at least 60 on clean leather.

The blade should easily cut hair in any direction, and if it fails the HHT then expect a poor shave.

I am assuming that the Razor is not shave ready, and if you can, my advice is to take advantage of the free honing service available through this site, that way you can totally rule out that part of the equation, and at the same time experience a blissfully sharp and smooth Coticule shave :thumbup:

Hope this all helps
My Best Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
Ralfy has answered most of you questions, however it would be a very good idea to oil the razor after its been used and cleaned. Just a drop or two and then wipe it very carefully with a cloth.

As for the stropping...the strop will get nicked:rolleyes: Sorry,but I dont think anyone learning to strop can avoid that...I sure couldnt.

Thanks Ralfy and Torbs,

My razor was bought with a professional sharpening, shave test and desinfecting service and was coated with camellia oil.
I have done the HHT again today after stropping my razor (60 on clean felt and 60 on smooth leather) , HHT doesn't pass neither on my Dovo straight nor with my DE blade on my shavette (maybe it's because I wash my hair in between).
My straight was near HHT-3 (between 2 and 3) yesterday, and the DE blade HHT-5, I think I have not well understood the test (not a binary test). What surprised me is that WTG was quite difficult and ATG was easy, when I have a dull DE blade, ATG is worse than WTG. So I think I have to use a steeper angle for the WTG but as Ralfy adices me with no added pressure.
I will also put a drop of olive oil to coat the blade (I thought that this was only necessary in case of long time without use)

Well,maybe I`m slightly paranoid when it comes to maintaining razors,but I usualy oil them after use. And dont forget a drop now and then at the pivot point. That place easily corrodes as humidity is caught between the scales/blade and offcourse in the "pinning hole" ..sorry English is not my native language:p

Kind regards
"Pivot hole" :thumbup:

Ok I oil after every shave too, but its sometimes weeks before I use the same razor twice

Back to the main topic, if I am right the HHT was worse after stropping?
if thats he case we need to look at your stropping technique, and yes fresh washed hair is the best for HHT, of course everyones hair is different and you will have to learn to "read" the hair that you have.

Best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
+1 for oiling the blade. I was always doing this and the old newspaper article on honing that Smythe dug out a while ago kind of confirmed this. Only that I recently started to use vaseline for it, it has much better viscosity than oil, on some more polished blades my oil tends to form smears and drops!

best regards,
"Pivot hole"

Yeahhh....thats excatly what I said! Erhhhhh..:blush:

Finding the right amount of pressure when stropping, can be rather frustrating in the beginning.
It will take some practise and some nicking as well. Ralfy is much better at explaining this, but I can asure you that he knows what he`s talking about:thumbup:

Kind regards
Aka the Hamster Murderer :cry:
So, I will stock a bunch of fresh washed hair and wish I could "read" them before being bald.
Yes, my strop has got its first accident :cry: I think it's because I strop so carefuly that I pause while flipping the razor over and tend to raise the wrist a little at the end of the stroke so I nick the upper left side of my strop (2 little nicks 1mm wide *2mm long* 0.5mm deep).
I have made a scan (1600 dpi resolution) of my blade to see if I can see damages on the edge

the edge height is 50 microns ?? have I done a wrong reading of the scan.

For you, experienced guys, do you know a good way to repair a strop because mine will be tortured for quite a long time?
I've read that you need to flatten the hole with fine sandpaper or pumice stone, then fill the hole with either leather dressing (olive oil, neatsfoot oil, wax...),contact cement (neopren glue I suppose?), rubber cement (like that I use to repair punctures on my bike?).
I think there´s different ways of fixing a nick,depending on the type of nick..I cured a rather nasty nick with CA. A very very small amount should be applied at the bottom of the nick,press it firmly together and wipe off excessive wont have much time,actually you have to do it pretty darn fast.

If we`re talking small, shallow nicks it can be sanded away. I wouldnt take too much effort in doing this right now,as there will inevitably be more nicks...Though deeper "flapping" nicks should be fixed asap.

I`ve had excatly the same problems ( still nick it now and then)so I simply decided to use the strop as a practise strop. Though it really hurts to nick a fine strop..well,there is only one way to learn it and thats to practise.It`s a tough world;-

As for oiling blades..I simply use WD40 in a spray bottle. The slightest possible burst and it`s more than enough. Wipe off,and thats it.Works fine for me..

Kindest regards

CA...Cyanoacrylat,in my native tongue. Glues almost everything in seconds,it`s particulary good at gluing fingers together with various items ;-)It hardens very fast,so be quick. Also very good at wood finishing if you consider making scales someday.

Super glue..thats what it is. In Denmark we call it "one second glue" I know for sure that it easily fixates fingers to : Fishing rods, straight razor scales,buffalo horn, fingers to fingers and much more...:scared:

Hahah..and it wasnt even funny..

Super glue it is :thumbup: Contact cement also works very well, e.g evo-stick, bicycle puncture repair glue aka rubber solution also works well, what we are looking for is a quick, clean, flexible glue, that is easy to remove when some gets (and it will) onto the surface of the strop.

For shallow nicks I smooth them out with a little 400 grit wet and dry, used dry, I wouldn't use pumice, as it can leave grit stuck in the leather and that's not good
Yes you will nick, slice, and chop your strop before you have the technique down tight, what's more every time you do, you may need to touch the razor up slightly, that edge is suitable for cutting human hair, and not much more.

There is a thread somewhere here about how a good stropping technique is vital to maintaining an edge, indeed our very own Rayman used the same razor every shave for at least 6 months, and kept the edge by stropping alone :thumbup:

My warmest regards and best wishes
Ralfson (Dr)
I have improved a little my stropping technique and get my razor back to HHT 2-3 (on fresh washed hair) with only the felt side

Thanks for your good advices