"Partial" Stropping Technique

Discussion in 'Strops/Stropping' started by Alum of Potash, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Attached is a diagram illustrating a technique I have been using with a linen and cordovan leather hanging strop (~5 cm wide by ~42 cm long) over the past month or so, which has helped me to maintain a pretty sharp edge during this time. It is slightly modified from the stropping technique of a friend and fellow wet-shaver in the nearby town of Nancy. Basically, the technique involves the X-stroke, but is limited to only half of the strop's entire length. This may help in avoiding any stray cuts into the strop itself, which in my case, have invariably occurred at either the top or the bottom end of the strop when seeking to strop along the most of the strop's length.

    Prior to shaving, I strop for 15 laps on linen, followed by 50 laps on leather. In each case, the laps occur in three sections on the strop, marked "1," "2," and "3" on the diagram. This is mostly to equalize wear throughout the strop's length, but it also helps as a memory-aid in counting, with 5 laps occurring in each numbered section of the linen side (making for 15 laps total), followed by 10 laps in each numbered section of the leather side and then another 10 laps each in sections 1 and 2 of the leather side (making for 50 laps total). Always, the hand pulling the strop is placed just below the stropping section in question, rather than continually being placed at the very end.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  2. very interesting
  3. luvmysuper

    luvmysuper Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Drawing looks ok to me. :wink2:
  4. The drawing has been mysteriously fixed! Thanks. Now I can remove my edit remark.
  5. Sure looks like a good way to muscle some more stropping mileage out of any piece of leather to me; while I think I can shave w/ the off hand unconsciously and hone w/ the off hand about as good as a moderate user with their dominant hand, I've failed to master stropping with the bad hand (which would be an ideal way to maximize strop longevity).
  6. Interesting. I have one strop too long to use the whole thing comfortably, this could be a way round that (to even up wear.) Also the strop looks flat, but the wear patterns indicate some unevenness, which in theory could lead to some spots on the blade not receiving enough attention. Again, shifting the working area about could fix that.
  7. Thanks--and I guess I should add that the stop I've been using is the Walking Horse small Horween I bought from you a while back. Love that thing. Being right-handed, I prefer to push the blade while honing with my left hand, while my right hand's fingers maintain and guide the toe's contact with the honing surface--this seems to be the opposite of what you do in your videos. As far as even strop wear goes, I can definitely see the advantage of ambidexterity there (rectangular hones can be turned around). Still, I have often thought that it might be an improvement to market strops with handles and attachments at both ends; that way the person stropping could turn the strop around to even out the wear without needing to experiment with ambidexterity. Apart from hanging strops, paddle strops could really stand to benefit from such a design.
  8. I have a strop that I like to use when travelling that has sometimes has some twist to it, causing unevenness. I find that dividing this strop into smaller areas like I've outlined above really helps to reduce the overall twist effect, minimizing the problem.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  9. I tend to strop in an elongated C shaped motion and never really use more than 2/3 of the strop

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