BeBerlin said:Hm. A best-in-class article that's not in my Wiki. Shame on you, Bart! :scared:
Mijbil said:Hey guys - Bart, thanks for the excellent article. You are right: it is so difficult to get precise, experiment-based scientific explanations of the physics, metallurgy, etc, involved in razors, honing, and stropping. Here's my question: in the videos accompanying your (excellent) new article on stropping, I notice that the strop “bends” quite a bit as you move the razor along it. I’m not sure if this is from the strop being less taut, or from putting more pressure on the blade – though I suspect the former. My understanding was that you want the strop almost as taut as possible, so that the strop doesn't bend around the edge at all, and thus actually bend the edge. Thanks--
This, and also Ray's post, is why I have tried to describe properties of a good strop in my article. Obviously it's possible to get great results of strops that don't meet these recommendations. But let's just say a horse is not as easily tamed as a calf.PA23-250 said:Great article! The basics bear repeating & then there's the new stuff too. :thumbup:
Makes you think about the strop leather as well. Linen we sort of agree has to do something abrasive, but the leather, I'm thinking also has to be sufficiently supple to follow the curves of a smiler or warped blade. A stiff hide may not have enough give to follow a really smiling blade. And then we get into draw--seems like too much draw could be as bad as not enough if it causes the razor to skip. I agree about the "leather progression" business.
Just write them a message in simple English.PA23-250 said:OT, but I'm starting to want an Old Traditional strop now. Do you know if their website has an English option?
Yes, there no need to reinvent the wheel over and over again...Mijbil said:Thanks for the response, Bart. I take your point - the only thing I'd say is that it's not *just* about practice, because as in many things (say, an incorrect baseball or gold swing) one can practice and practice with the wrong fundamentals and get very good at, even refine,a flawed process. Of course, there's always the "trial and error", viz., "does this method of stropping make the razor sharper or duller?" - but if we could rely entirely on that we wouldnt need forums like this, or articles likes yours
Indeed, I advice the former. But what I particularly advice is that you observe your results. A lot of people just strop and think that if it looks good, it must be good. I regularly receive razors with the request to assess the honing. I always ask to strop the razor. You'd be surprised how often I receive blades that I can improve considerably by a decent stropping. I'm talking about guys that shaved over a year with a straight razor.Mijbil said:As for strop tautness: would you say that you pull it fully taught so that it is straight BEFORE you add the pressure of the razor? For there are degrees of tautness. One can also pull it so taut so that it will mostly resist, i.e. not bend from, the pressure of the razor. That's what some advise. I take it that you would advise the former.
Most of the flat strops are designed for pasted use. Pasted strops aim at sharpening which is done at the faces of the cutting bevel. Clean leather stropping aims at aligning erratic steel on the top of the edge. That is almost literally "around the corner", hence the need for the strop of fold a bit around the edge.Mijbil said:What you say about the wisdom of the ancestors makes sense, although there *are* flat strops - bench strops, paddle strops, and loom strops (perhaps designed to replicate the "bending" of the hanging strop, supporting your point, for why else would one design a loom strop?).
Did you by any chance "condition" that Dovo with Dovo's yellow leather fat? Or some other greasy substance? None of the Dovo Russian strops I've seen (and used) displayed the kind of draw you describe (unless that one who had a lot of Dovo yellow fat on it).Mijbil said:I've been using recently a Dovo Russian leather (juchten) strop. I find on such a strop, with pretty heavy friction and draw, that I have to apply quite a bit of pressure - more than the "just the weight of the razor" by far, which works, for example, on the linen side - on the spine, but I also have to apply some solid pressure down on the edge in order to ensure that the edge stays flat against the strop the length of each lap. In a sense, I feel like that amount of pressure is set by the strop surface, and a little bit by the razor; some of my razors slide more easily etc. But what I *can* vary to vary how much the strop bends is the strop tautness - as per what I said above about that.
I beg to differ about this. The strop is tentioned with one hand, and pushed into bending with the other. Whether you would do that vertically, horizontally, upside down, or in the international space station for that matter, would not make any difference. It just may look different, because of a different viewing perspective.Mijbil said:One other thing: I also find that the angle at which the strop is held (mostly determined by the height of the point from which the strop is hung) has a big effect on how much the strop bends. Easier to get some bend ont he strop with the strop at more of an angle, rather than with the strop more parallel to the ground.