Recently did that at work when I realized I took an unstropped razor, I’ll never try to travel with leather again!Newspaper strop. I used one from time to time in my student days.
I also made a paddle strop out of some leather glued to an IKEA chopping board.
There's a lot of reading there. Unfortunately you will need to read the whole thing, including all of the linked threads. Beginning to end. But when you are finished, you will know the cheapest and easiest and quickest way for a newbie to get a BETTER than professional edge, both in sharpness and comfort. Most new guys who actually follow directions will have their first treetopping edge on the first attempt, and max out on the second or third. If you already have a good 12k or 1u edge, you can skip the lapping film part and just set up the balsa strops. To be assured of success, you need to carefully follow all instructions and make no substitutions, omissions, or shortcuts. Stray from the beaten path and you will be disappointed. The idea is to stick 100% with proven techniques in a systematic method, and not deviate in the least, thereby achieving best possible results right out the gate. Experimentation and freestyling are not provided for in The Method. Do that after you achieve proficiency and confidence.
It is seriously big time better to start out with a shave ready razor, one that is actually shave ready and not just claimed to be shave ready. This way you know what a shave ready razor is, and how it looks and feels, so you have a chance at duplicating it and evaluating it after you know how to shave. I have said this a hundred times: it is difficult and frustrating to try to learn to shave with a razor that you are trying to learn to hone. Don't go there. You might think you know what sharp is, but shave ready sharp is a whole nother critter. Imagine if you will, being told as a young aspiring art student, that creating a good copy of the Mona Lisa is a fine ticket to get punched and a great showcase for your talent. But the catch is, you have never seen the Mona Lisa. You figure WTH, its just a smiling Italian chick sitting in a chair, I can do that. You paint a portrait that looks quite a bit like a picture of the Mona Lisa that you saw online. Any art expert would do a face palm or have a laughing fit on viewing your work. Why? What makes your copy so ludicrous? The fact that you have never seen the original or even a very good copy. You have no frame of reference, no basis. No benchmark. Same with a true shave ready edge. How will you make one when you don't know what it is?
If you insist on honing your own razor before you even know how to use it and before you have experienced a great edge, then The Method is really the only way to get in the game in a quick, inexpensive, and meaningful way. Unfortunately, if you didn't listen about learning to shave first, you are probably not the sort who can follow detailed directions and so your chances of success are greatly reduced.
If you start with a shave ready razor, then alles gut. Read the main thread and then the pasted balsa strop thread. Freestyle it and you will fail. You may get fair results eventually, but it will not be a Method edge and you will not have an easy time of it. Do it as described and you will succeed brilliantly, by at least your second attempt, to raise the bar, and improve your edge to a level of sharpness that you cannot imagine. As a benefit, you can use the .1u balsa after every shave to keep your edge crazy horrible sharp indefinitely, and never need to go back to the hones. Total cost for everything you need, from bevel set to maintainer, will be less than what you would pay for one really nice synthetic finisher.
You will also want a decent hanging leather strop. No, don't use a belt. No, don't rely on newspaper, though it will sort of work if you just survived the zombie stropocalypse or you left on a trip but forgot to take a strop with you. If you really want to go cheap, there is a guy selling as The X Bay (thexbay on ebay) on ebay, amazon, and his own site, selling a very modest 2-1/2" wide strop that actually works, for under ten bucks. After you are competent at stropping, then upgrade to a nicer one. Beginner strops catch hell so no sense paying $75 for a nice strop that you will slice and dice to bits. Make your mistakes on a cheap one. At least stay under $50 for your first strop.
I received two shave-ready straight razors from the forum members. I experienced sharp razor blades a few times. I also tried a hanging strop a few times.If you already have a good 12k or 1u edge, you can skip the lapping film part and just set up the balsa strops.
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Three pieces 3/4" x 3" x 12" for $27.52. Better than glass or marble. Strong, light, thick enough to hold and hone in hand safely.
Nobody makes balsa strops to sell. Takes up too much time for such a low ticket item. Just make up a set yourself. Anybody not handy enough to do that, probably isn't handy enough to use them, anyway.
That looks great...I love how evenly the Crox is applied...did you use the cream or the rough crayon?
I made a paste with powder and a little mineral oil, applied it with a finger, then buffed it in/ removed the excess with paper towels. Leaves a thin but even coating. Totally unnecessary, practically speaking, but I am a bit ocd about how this stuff looks if I make it.That looks great...I love how evenly the Crox is applied...did you use the cream or the rough crayon?
Shavette is easiest and cheapest. I am very happy with my 2,50$ Cloud shavette with Cloud long blade snapped in half. It lasted 12 shaves ! A shave cannot be cheaper, can it ?^^^
The easiest straight razor option IMO still remains a shavette. But straight shaving is not supposed to be an easy journey, it a journey of personal growth and exploration.