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View Full Version : Strops? Differences for a newbie.



atracksler
07-19-2006, 09:43 AM
Getting ready to place an order for a Straight razor setup - most likely from classicshaving.com. (most likely dovo bismarck)

Is there a difference betweeen a handing strop (looking at the DOVO Prima) and a paddle strop (DOVO Paddle style), and do I need a sharpening strop in addition (Thiers-Issard Double-Sided Box Strop w/Case)?

I have a small bathroom and dont knnow if I have a place to hang a hanging strop....what do I need?

Thanks in advance, ad

jscott
07-19-2006, 11:08 AM
ok, you have to break it down here and make a choice for yourself.

1st: go http://shop.thewellshavedgentleman.com TONY runs that shop, he's a honemiester over at straightrazorplace.com. he has excellent strops/paddles

Strop comparison:

- a hanging strop is used to prep the razor for shaving. you lather up your face and then u strop your razor (linen side first then leather side if yours has 2 sides) 30 round trip passes (varies between person but this is a good number to start with). ok thats it..that is what the hanging strop does. fine leather to use just before actually shaving. it heats the carbon in the blade smoothing it out thus producing an even finer/sharper edge.

- a paddle strop:
= 1/2sided could have 1 side finished leather other side linen/leather so you could use it exactly like u use the strop, it just doesn't HANG ..its sits on the counter
= 3/4 sided. now you getting longer term razor maintanence. 1 side will be finished leather for the final strop before shaving.. and a couple sides will have paste on them. this paste contains grit which will be used to sharpen the razor. this sharpening is needed on all straight razors when they loose their shaving sharpness (when it pulls too much while shaving). its averaged out circa a month before it will need to be taken to a pasted paddle. conversely some people use actual wetstones (hones) instead of the pasted paddle. these would include high grit 8000-12000 or swaty's (named after austrian maker no longer made) and a few others.

summary:

hanging:
-originally used, historic value
-hang out of the way when not using
-quick to use
-come in larger widths thus allowing you NOT to use the X-pattern when stropping.
- high quality ones are more expensive then paddle strops (contain hardware for hanging)
-can have linen side to prep the razor for the leather

paddle:
-multi sided = multi purpose. no need to buy alot of hones ($$$$)
- are less expensive then hanging strops
- are smaller in leather size thus u need to use a X-pattern on it
- take up more space in the bathroom as its used daily to prep the razor.


my opinion:
1 - go to www.straightrazorplace.com and read their articles, tutorials and the immense amount of focused knowledge on the straight razor
2 - buy a less expensive razor to start and have a honemiester sharpen it for you. deside if u like using it, learn what a sharp one feels like.. then feed the addiction from there
3 - paddle strops are not a bad idea. its alot of things in 1 little area. perhaps if you were going to be honing alot of razors, u would want to buy wetstones for longevity, but since that prolly isn't the case no harm in a paddle strop.
4 - people say you will ding/scrap/cut into the leather as you learn to strop. perhaps you might want to buy a 4-sided paddle and then one of tony's "seconds" hanging strops. they are cheap and are still very high quality, better then alot of stores sell normally. therefore you can practice on that

all this shaving is about personal preference. enjoying your experience and using what works for you. i am new to this and i opted for the hanging strops and i bought some wetstones/hones. i figured i'd be doing this for many years in the future and i might as well learn to hone my own razors. i also bought my first razor for 12$ at a local fleemarket and i sent it to a honemeister on the boards and he cleaned/sharpened it to perfection for me. read the types of razors people suggest/work well. what type of steel to buy (sheffield/solingen/ Elikssomething from sweden) and then go check your fleemarket / antique store and take a look around.

there is alot more to razor upkeep with straight razors. but you only need 1 to do the job. *cough* *cough* you'll end up with lots by the end. where as with DE you need not worry about sharpening the blades you buy and thus you have a weekly expense for new blades for a lifetime but you're saving $ not buying strops/hones. to each their own, enjoy your shave

~J

Tony Miller
07-19-2006, 03:28 PM
Jared,
Great tutorial. There are lots of considerations on buying strops and stones and you covered it very well.

For serious honing only a stone will do but the learning curve is much greater. For refreshing and edge and upkeep of a reasonably sharp razor a pddle seems much easier to use for most guys. As you progress you will find the stone and pasted paddle compliment each other.

For daily use, before each shave the hanging strop wins simplky because the larger surface area is more effective.

Tony

mparker762
07-19-2006, 05:01 PM
You can attach your hanging strop to the bathroom door handle. At least that's what I do...

jbasl
07-28-2006, 08:23 AM
I just purchased a bunch of stuff to start shaving with a SE. I got all my advice from SRP and ended up buying a shave ready from Joe Chandler (Lynn and Xman also seem to be good choices) and a paddle and strop from Tony. Also I ordered two non-shave ready razors to learn to hone (on a Norton 4k/8k). From what I gathered, if you are looking to just learn the shaving side of SE then you pretty much can get away with a paddle, a hanging strop, and a shave ready blade (you can use the honing service on classicshaving.com). You might have to send your razor out to be honed once or twice a year if you go this route (depending on use).

If you want to learn the honing side, you'll need more equipment than the paddle. What you need will depend on how far into the honing you want to go (i.e. fixing up old junkers or getting a decent blade back to shaving condition).

Thats what I gathered from my week or so of research. I spent alot of time emailing with Joe and Tony (also some to Lynn).

I just got my razors from Joe and the shave ready one is...SHARP!

earthquakemcgoon
10-23-2010, 06:06 PM
I have a 3" big daddy from star shaving and it's a great product for a reasonable price. These are made in oolagah Oklahoma with high quality vegegetable tanned leather. It has skived edges and a wool felt piece instead of linen. I was skeptical of the felt but it actually works better than linen. I know Ron Lucas personally and he is a stand up guy.

ouch
10-23-2010, 08:34 PM
I have a 3" big daddy from star shaving and it's a great product for a reasonable price. These are made in oolagah Oklahoma with high quality vegegetable tanned leather. It has skived edges and a wool felt piece instead of linen. I was skeptical of the felt but it actually works better than linen. I know Ron Lucas personally and he is a stand up guy.

You responded to a post that's over four years old made by a guy who hasn't posted here in over three years. :thumbup1:

Nice advice, though.

rickboone1
10-23-2010, 10:09 PM
It's fun to wake old posts. :)

I've done it too. The dates are such tiny print. That's my excuse.

ouch
10-24-2010, 07:59 AM
It's fun to wake old posts. :)

I've done it too. The dates are such tiny print. That's my excuse.

So true. It's an easy mistake to make, and it's fun!

I think everyone has done it.

Slash McCoy
10-24-2010, 08:28 AM
Well, it is a safe bet that even though it is an old thread, there is someone out there who can use the info and the opinions.

FWIW you can get an "S" hook in the chain, shackle, and related hardware section of home depot, hang the "S" hook on the door hinge, and hang the swivel or loop or D ring of the strop on that. Very sturdy setup. Just remember to take it down before closing the door!

Best of both worlds, strop-wise... glue an old hanging strop, minus the end pieces and hardware, to a wooden slat so you have a 3" wide extra-long paddle. I never understood why paddles seem to max out at about 2" wide. You could glue another on the back, if desired, for paste I suppose. Who doesn't have an old strop that is wearing through at the D ring?

I have a razor that I have owned for a couple of years that I honed on a stone ONCE, when I bought it. I have made it a point to not put it to a stone, but only occasionally hit it with green CrOx paste. So far, so good. Others who report that their razors need a little work on a stone after a few months MIGHT be using too much pressure. I don't have it with me, but when I am home it is in my regular rotation so it does get some use. I am thinking that POSSIBLY, with the right equipment and technique, one could go indefinitely without honing on a stone. BTW I have observed that over-stropping with paste gives an initially sharp edge that breaks down very quickly. Perhaps the pulling stroke creates sort of a wire edge, when over-used? I now limit myself to no more than about 40 laps on a pasted strop and it seems to generally be sufficient.

global_dev
10-24-2010, 11:20 AM
Well, it is a safe bet that even though it is an old thread, there is someone out there who can use the info and the opinions.

FWIW you can get an "S" hook in the chain, shackle, and related hardware section of home depot, hang the "S" hook on the door hinge, and hang the swivel or loop or D ring of the strop on that. Very sturdy setup. Just remember to take it down before closing the door!

Best of both worlds, strop-wise... glue an old hanging strop, minus the end pieces and hardware, to a wooden slat so you have a 3" wide extra-long paddle. I never understood why paddles seem to max out at about 2" wide. You could glue another on the back, if desired, for paste I suppose. Who doesn't have an old strop that is wearing through at the D ring?

I have a razor that I have owned for a couple of years that I honed on a stone ONCE, when I bought it. I have made it a point to not put it to a stone, but only occasionally hit it with green CrOx paste. So far, so good. Others who report that their razors need a little work on a stone after a few months MIGHT be using too much pressure. I don't have it with me, but when I am home it is in my regular rotation so it does get some use. I am thinking that POSSIBLY, with the right equipment and technique, one could go indefinitely without honing on a stone. BTW I have observed that over-stropping with paste gives an initially sharp edge that breaks down very quickly. Perhaps the pulling stroke creates sort of a wire edge, when over-used? I now limit myself to no more than about 40 laps on a pasted strop and it seems to generally be sufficient.

how often do you use that particular razor?

Slash McCoy
10-24-2010, 02:29 PM
how often do you use that particular razor?

About once a week, on average I guess. It is a 5/8 by Electric Cutlery and is a pretty good shaver.

Brownbear
10-24-2010, 07:27 PM
Thanks for resurrecting this thread, it is true that although it is old there are plenty of us new guys who appreciate the information here. I'm still learning the whole strop paste thing so any advice and experience is welcome.

rockviper
10-24-2010, 07:32 PM
I am awaiting delivery of my 1st straight, purchased with a beginner (i.e. cheap) hanging strop that I can butcher, so this thread is quite timely for me as I will probably need to buy a new strop before xmas :)

Brownbear
10-24-2010, 07:40 PM
I sanded my Whipped Dog strop today cause it was so scarred my stropping section was down to about 4 inches. I have a Screaming Pig custom on the way that I can hardly wait for, but I will be very nervous and slooooooow and deliberate when stropping on that.


I am awaiting delivery of my 1st straight, purchased with a beginner (i.e. cheap) hanging strop that I can butcher, so this thread is quite timely for me as I will probably need to buy a new strop before xmas :)

Slash McCoy
10-25-2010, 06:50 AM
I sanded my Whipped Dog strop today cause it was so scarred my stropping section was down to about 4 inches. I have a Screaming Pig custom on the way that I can hardly wait for, but I will be very nervous and slooooooow and deliberate when stropping on that.

Yeah by now you are ready for a nicer strop, but really, the one you got from Larry should be just fine with a bit of careful sanding and a rubdown with a dressing or lather. Be sure to hit the edges good. A slight chamfer would not be out of place.

Of course having "too many" strops is sort of like having "too many" razors!:lol: