stropping pressure

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
as we all no we strop with a taught strop using only the weight of the razor. one thing i noticed while watching bart stropping he uses a decent amount of pressure on the linen and leather while strop is still nice and taught. I tryed this and i actauly think it works better. bart do you use a little extra pressure for any particulat benifit? The benifit i found is it uped the hht for me on a razor that was'nt hitting hht that well of the hone. So little pressure on canvas seemed to do the trick.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Heretic!!! You're doing it wrong!

Or, it seems to work better for me too. It just so happens that's reason 5,278 that I don't really "listen" to most people
 

Gunner777

Well-Known Member
Heck I might as well jump on the bandwagon. I do the same thing. I use more pressure than the blade weight and yes it works better:)
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Hey Gary,

I have been using more pressure lately with good results, but with a slacker strop. Haven't done enough stropping since I got back, but I am trying to pull it tighter as Bart does (it really helped to hold the strop for him) with the same downward pressure.
How much better it is from what I was doing I don't know yet. I do know that there is no disadvantage to it. Might even help with guaranteed contact over the whole edge?

regards,
Torolf
 

mrmaroon

Well-Known Member
I actually use quite a bit of pressure. I tried doing it with none just a minute ago and it didn't really work with my strop. It did work on my slick as shit horsehide strop though. It has no draw at all.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
TM280 said:
Hey Gary,

I have been using more pressure lately with good results, but with a slacker strop. Haven't done enough stropping since I got back, but I am trying to pull it tighter as Bart does (it really helped to hold the strop for him) with the same downward pressure.
How much better it is from what I was doing I don't know yet. I do know that there is no disadvantage to it. Might even help with guaranteed contact over the whole edge?

regards,
Torolf
well i have been comparing and as you say defanatley no disadvantage. i find it gives a good pick up after the hone, its like your still mildly honing the blades edge on canvas.Either way it does no harm. i watched an old barber strop and he kept his strop slack after coticule honing. I beleive he did it for a reason. may be to work the very cutting edge more to produce a slight convexing to up keeness.

gary
 
G

Guest

richmondesi said:
Or, it seems to work better for me too. It just so happens that's reason 5,278 that I don't really "listen" to most people
Neither do I. Well, not any more, anyway. The amount of personal preferences disguised as facts derived through experimentation (look up experiment in your dictionary of choice, and compare that to what is sold as "experiments" by many elsewhere) is... interesting.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
It just so seems that stropping works the most efficient for me, when I put just enough pressure on the razor to be able feel the action of the strop, being transfered through the razor to my fingers holding the razor. I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it does to me.

Stropping is a craft: it depends more on experience than on experiments.

Bart.
 

RicTic

Well-Known Member
BeBerlin said:
richmondesi said:
Or, it seems to work better for me too. It just so happens that's reason 5,278 that I don't really "listen" to most people
Neither do I. Well, not any more, anyway. The amount of personal preferences disguised as facts derived through experimentation (look up experiment in your dictionary of choice, and compare that to what is sold as "experiments" by many elsewhere) is... interesting.
This is a truism I've found in the 12 months since I started straight shaving.
Scouring the straight razor forums for pearls of wisdom, only to find that your mileage truly does vary.
For a n00b, sorting the chaff from the wheat, so to speak, can become very confusing, very quickly.
 

Woodash

Well-Known Member
A couple of other variables that I find interesting:

1) Slack or no slack? This used to be a big consideration for me as I used to roll my edges when I was first starting out, and I couldn't figure out why a freshly-honed razor could give me such a crappy shave. Nowadays, it's no problem, but when I use a hollow grind, I typically pull the strop ~taut. For a stiffer grind, I'll slack it up a bit as shown here in a popular video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h1GC34yyKE

2) Sound of the razor on the strop. I used to listen for that 'whish, whish, whish' when I started, and then I started to shave with the wedges, etc. Now there is no 'whish, whish, whish', but only a kind of unsatisfying 'thwup, thwup, thwup' sound. And I was trying every way to vary the pressure and even the angle very slightly to get the sound that I thought I should be getting. Stropping has gotten pretty good lately. I don't pay attention so much to sound....:blush:
 

Gunner777

Well-Known Member
I also put enough pressure on the blade to feel the action of the blade against the leather. I also found I have better results keeping the strop pretty taught.
One thing I believe a lot of people do is use to few strokes and don't get the burnishing effect from the strop. I also picked up a vintage dubl duck shell cordovan strop which made a difference for me. That leather made a tremendous difference in results and the feel when stroping. Now I use an Old Dog strop from Hand American which uses horsehide from Horween company in Chicago. The back side uses a Russian pattern which is especially good for large razors.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Woodash said:
A couple of other variables that I find interesting:

1) Slack or no slack? This used to be a big consideration for me as I used to roll my edges when I was first starting out, and I couldn't figure out why a freshly-honed razor could give me such a crappy shave. Nowadays, it's no problem, but when I use a hollow grind, I typically pull the strop ~taut. For a stiffer grind, I'll slack it up a bit as shown here in a popular video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h1GC34yyKE

2) Sound of the razor on the strop. I used to listen for that 'whish, whish, whish' when I started, and then I started to shave with the wedges, etc. Now there is no 'whish, whish, whish', but only a kind of unsatisfying 'thwup, thwup, thwup' sound. And I was trying every way to vary the pressure and even the angle very slightly to get the sound that I thought I should be getting. Stropping has gotten pretty good lately. I don't pay attention so much to sound....:blush:
I'm not being argumentative, but I wonder about point number one. Do you really think you were rolling the edge, or could it be that due to poor technique in shaving, and listening to the no pressure advice, that is to blame for the poor shaves? I mean, as you shave, the edge deteriorates. If you don't strop effectually, that edge is going to really go down fast. This isn't really even directed at you, this is something that I've been thinking about for a couple of days and was looking for an opportunity to float out for feedback.

I do pay attention to sound, but not as much as feel. As the feel gets more consistent, the sound does too. But, with each razor, there will be a slightly different feel and sound, so again it comes down to understanding of the gear we have.
 

Woodash

Well-Known Member
richmondesi said:
I'm not being argumentative, but I wonder about point number one. Do you really think you were rolling the edge, or could it be that due to poor technique in shaving, and listening to the no pressure advice, that is to blame for the poor shaves? I mean, as you shave, the edge deteriorates. If you don't strop effectually, that edge is going to really go down fast. This isn't really even directed at you, this is something that I've been thinking about for a couple of days and was looking for an opportunity to float out for feedback.

I do pay attention to sound, but not as much as feel. As the feel gets more consistent, the sound does too. But, with each razor, there will be a slightly different feel and sound, so again it comes down to understanding of the gear we have.
Well - maybe it wasn't exactly rolling the edge, but I can tell you that I was degrading it somehow. I doubt it was a shaving technique thing, as I could get a fine shave one day with a freshly-honed razor, and then it would go south the next. As soon as I figured out what I was doing, the edge quality and the shave quality after stropping went back up.

And I agree with you about the feel (in addition to sound). I just continue to be surprised by how much of difference there is between, say, the extremes of an extra hollow and a wedge - especially something like an old Sheffield with a smile. It's like stropping a rolling pin.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
I think just talking about more pressure is misleading. You can put a lot of pressure on the spine but none on the edge. To me it is a combination of moderate pressure on the spine just to feel the tautness of the strop and a gentle torquing of the edge into the surface of the strop. I feel the torque in my finger and thumb. The way I think about it, slack or taut doesn't matter that much if you just kiss the edge. Works for me. ;)
 
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