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stropping issue

i have the hardest time in the world keeping the spine of my razor on my strop. all because it raises off does that always mean that the edge is rolled. because im still getting decent shaves maybe not as good as they copuld be. thoughts? id have to spend all my time going back to the stones if that was the truth
 
In my opinion raising the spine will degrade the edge when stropping. This is based purely on two things, 1) when the razor is honed the spine will be in contact with the stone (or one or two tape thicknesses away), and 2) personal experience.

Leather won't be as unforgiving as a stone or film, but will not help the edge if the angle is wrong.
 
its been accidental

Start practicing your flipping technique using a butter knife until you build proper technique. Stropping is crucial to owning and maintaining a straight razor. If you cannot perform the flip and keep the spine on the strop the entire time, you will not strop the edge, you may damage the strop itself and you may damage the edge of your razors. Or more than likely all three.

Practice with the butter knife for several days.
 
Like most things in the straight razor world, it's all about muscle memory. The more you do it, the easier it will get.

Like explained above, slow down and do it right, even if it takes longer. As you gain experience, you will get faster without even trying. If you can only do 20 laps, doing it right, it's better than risk doing more and rolling your edge, or cutting your strop.

These days, without rushing I can strop my 70 laps in less than two minutes before I shave.
 
Yep. Bothered me too for a while. Did it very slow and deliberate until I mastered flipping with the spine on the strop.

If you haven't nicked your strop yet, I would say this would be an excellent time to practice with something dull. This is a dangerous time for your strop. Butter knife is great. The change of direction of motion, blade orientation and timing, all have to come together. Practice slowly, watch technique. I used to just freeze at the end of a stroke and do the flip in slow motion until it felt more natural.
 
i have the hardest time in the world keeping the spine of my razor on my strop. all because it raises off does that always mean that the edge is rolled. because im still getting decent shaves maybe not as good as they copuld be. thoughts? id have to spend all my time going back to the stones if that was the truth

One thing to notice is that when speeding up the stropping it's easy to sometime
raise the edge above the leather strop and this means that the spine is now contacting the leather
very different ( "sharp" spine edge to leather) and this will create a sound very different and louder. Easy to make wrong conclusion that the sound must be from the bevel being messed up.
 
I always start and end each pass with only the spine touching the strop. I put the edge down and lift it back up while the razor is moving forward. I haven’t nicked a strop yet. Just like shaving: if the edge is down and the razor isn’t moving, you’re in the danger zone.
 
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rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I always start and end each pass with only the spine touching the strop. I put the edge down and lift it back up while the razor is moving forward. I haven’t nicked a strop yet. Just like shaving: if the edge is down and the razor isn’t moving, you’re in the danger zone.
Now you tell me, after cutting up my first two strops 😄.
 
Is it only me but do most nicks occur on the heel side of the strop? And how bad do they have to be before they can't be sanded out.
I used to nick my strop in the flipping area at the heel side very often, usually shallow nicks that did show first the days after in the leather.

After training on doing controlled "soft" flips and not turning the blade with a smash I rarely nick the strop any more.

To be able to do slow soft controlled flips I needed to have the right grip on the shank and scale.
Found that during stropping not rarely the grip slipped a bit and this caused me to nick. So focused on noticing if the grip changed during stropping and if so stopped during this stroke and adjusted the grip before continuing.

Now I can strop fast and subconsciously detect when the grip slips and stop stropping in the stroke to adjust the grip.

In other words it seems that badly controlled flips and unwanted change of grip during stropping caused the nicks.

If getting nicks I do some sanding with wet/dry so nothing in the leather is raised above the surface. No need to sand a nick all down. But if the blade hits a tab of leather there will be increased resistance and it may make me respond with a counter force and cause another nick.

Like ice fishing, when there is a bite you react with a counter force without thinking.
Not good when stropping.

Have a small cigar paper box with 1,5"x1,5" 300#, 400, 800, 1500 and 2000# wet/dry.
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
i have the hardest time in the world keeping the spine of my razor on my strop. all because it raises off does that always mean that the edge is rolled. because im still getting decent shaves maybe not as good as they copuld be. thoughts? id have to spend all my time going back to the stones if that was the truth
Yes, it is true. Yes, raising the spine while the edge is still on the strop is bad. How bad? Maybe just a little bad. But why settle for a little bad? DO NOT LET the spine come off the strop. You be the boss. Remember too, always flip the EDGE up and over when you change directions, not the spine. The EDGE comes up. The EDGE. Remember that. The EDGE comes up and flips over the spine. The spine is stuck to the strop.

Perfection comes from attention to the details, however trivial. If you don't take charge of the details, you may get "good" edges, but never knock your socks off wow shazam slap ya mama and bust down the door up tight and outta sight edges.

However, it is your razor and your face and your whiskers. Whatever blows your skirt up. Do it like you feel it. But now you have my advice, FWIW.
 
Stropping is the hardest thing for new guys to learn, and it is the cause of most straight shaving issues. A single errant lap can wipe an edge, probably thanks to Hollywood and hundreds of thousands of actors wildly stropping dull prop razors.

How much damage lifting the spine does, depends on a lot of factors. First how good the edge was to begin with, height of the spine lift, how much pressure, how fast the stroke and the quality of the steel.

Good shave is a relative term, most new guys are happy with cutting hair, no blood, and call it “Good”.

So, your shaves will get better as your stropping and honing improve. It can take up to a year of daily stropping to get to the point where you are consistently improving a shaving edge, by stropping on linen and leather. Stropping on paste, will exacerbate any deficiency in technique.

If you very lightly lift the spine, you may just bend the foil edge and not break it. It may still shave but it is weakened and will chip easier and quicker with shaving and future stropping.

Slow down, you will not improve the edge by stropping faster. Use just enough pressure to keep the spine and the edge on the strop. Stop, then flip, do not slam the edge into the strop at the flip.

Grasp the tang by the corners with thumb and forefinger and flip with the thumb flipping the razor like a switch, the spine never leave the strop. Begin forward movement in the opposite direction, slightly before the edge makes contact with the strop. If you flip with the wrist, you will slam the edge into the strop. Stropping is all about finesse, not speed.

Small nicks can be Super Glued with a drop of glue on a tooth pick and clamped over a piece of paper.
 
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I have found it easier to strop lighter razors on ’smaller’ strops that conforms better to the leather. Heavier razor are easier to strop, even on wider stiffer leather like latigo. I am still braking in my Kanayama with bigger razors. The leather is not supple enough for my extra hollow 5/8 blades yet. So if you have a new strop it might help to frequently condition it with just a clean palm. They just get better with use.
Shorter strokes can useful if you tend to lift the spine and loose contact.
I struggled in the beginning with my latigo strop on my singing razors. It was much easier on a different strop. One argument for heavier ground razors is they can be easier to strop.
 
I realize that everyone is different. Practicing keeping the spine on the leather while keeping the edge just above the leather (without touching) has helped me to improve my stropping.

I play little games with myself like 5 laps without letting the edge touch followed by 10 laps of normal stopping with letting the edge touch.

Practicing this has helped me to 1) keep the spine on the leather, 2) control when the edge touches down and takes off, 3) control the amount of pressure being applied to the edge, and 4) make smoother turnarounds.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
I realize that everyone is different. Practicing keeping the spine on the leather while keeping the edge just above the leather (without touching) has helped me to improve my stropping.

I play little games with myself like 5 laps without letting the edge touch followed by 10 laps of normal stopping with letting the edge touch.

Practicing this has helped me to 1) keep the spine on the leather, 2) control when the edge touches down and takes off, 3) control the amount of pressure being applied to the edge, and 4) make smoother turnarounds.
That's a great idea. I'll try that tomorrow morning.
 
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