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Thread: Can I use a newspaper to strop until I get a real one?

  1. #1
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    Default Can I use a newspaper to strop until I get a real one?

    I am thinking of starting straight shaving and am wondering if I can use a newspaper until I can afford a nice strop. Right now I can only afford the razor and to have it professionally honed.So it would be nice if I can get by with a newspaper for now.
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  2. #2
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    I thought it was possible to use a newspaper to strop with. I have read something somewhere about that subject. maybe I was wrong?
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  3. #3
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    I just read a leather belt could work. That might be better for now.
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  4. #4
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    A nice flat leather belt works fine for stropping until you get your Tony Miller Apprentice strop.

    Newspaper stropping is nice for finish polishing an edge, but it doesn't do the same thing as plain leather.

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    Default

    Joel also mentioned a yellow legal pad in one of his "how to" segments.

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    You could even strop on denim, just to get you started.

    What ever you strop on make sure it's flat.

  7. #7
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    I guess that is the tricky part making sure you surface is flat. How can you be sure your surface is completely flat though?
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  8. #8
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    I started with a leather belt and did the trick until I got my TM starter. If you hang the belt and pull it taut that should work as far as a flat surface is concerned.

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    Yes you can use newspaper. You can lay it on a flat table, or you can make a hanging strop by folding it into a 3" wide strip, glue a strip of wood to each end, then drill a hole in the center of one of the strips of wood and loop a shoelace through the hole and around a doorknob. Stropping on a legal pad is a great idea though, and you can put pastes on the inner pages to use for touch-up honing (keep a few blank pages between the pasted pages to prevent cross-contamination) .

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    The method I've heard is to fold up the newsprint and shut one end in a drawer to keep it in place.

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    Yeah but if the drawer pulls open (easy to do if you're pulling the strop taut) then you've got a good chance of dulling the razor.

  12. #12
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    So it is critical to keep it taut. I am going to try this. I hope I don't dull my razor by messing up.
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  13. #13
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    I just checked to see if I could get a 29 dollar latigo and tony's site is closed right now. Does anyone know where I can get one of these? The other sites he has listed are all sold out and are for the 70 dollar models. I have a dovo tortoise 6/8 on its way too.It looks like I may be going the newspaper route after all.
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

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    You can either wait, and use the newspaper (won't give you the same effect).

    The first few weeks when I first started with a straight I didn't use a strop at all. There's plenty of other stuff to pay attention to, so if you don't get one for a week or so, it'll probably be fine. You won't know what you are misssing I guess I'm saying...

    Or spring for the higher end model like at Vintage . The starter is a great deal, and has the same leather as the higher models. But for $65 you will get cool handles, and a canvas strop to play around with too.

    I bought the starter, and love it. However, it works so well, I am having a hard time justifying buying the nicer model (I will eventually, I know...). So, you can view this as an opportunity to get the nicer model to begin with! "Gee, I really tried to get the economy model, but they weren't available..."

  15. #15
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    I think I am going to wait a week or so. I probably won't get my dovo until thrusday this week anyway. Tony is supposed to open again mid june so I can wait.
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  16. #16
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    Apprentice strops will be the first order of business when I open again. I'm finishing stock now (well, not today, it's Sunday) for Shaving Shop and Vintage Blades then will open as soon as these two orders are complete.

    I'm planning on Apprentice strops and 4 side paddles first.

    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Miller View Post
    Apprentice strops will be the first order of business when I open again. I'm finishing stock now (well, not today, it's Sunday) for Shaving Shop and Vintage Blades then will open as soon as these two orders are complete.

    I'm planning on Apprentice strops and 4 side paddles first.

    Tony
    Thank you.

  18. #18
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    Thanks tony. I will definitely want an apprentice strop.
    Razor: Merkur 38c, Merkur Slant,Merkur 39c Slant
    Straights: Feather non-folding RG,DOVO "special" 6/8 tortoise,B&B LeGrelot LE
    Blades: Derby Extra,Letterk pack,Feathers
    Brush: Taylor Imitation badger
    Shaving Soap: woodspritesoap.com organic "sand and fog" and "forest" soap, Miessence shaving gel
    After shave: MIessence organic after shave balm
    Used to own: Merkur HD razor,Merkur FUTUR,Muhle-Pinsel synthetic brush

  19. #19
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    Newspaper will certainly work in you don't have a good leather stop at hand.

    I woudln't recommend stropping on newspaper every day however as it does have very mild abrasive properties and you could potentially over hone the blade.

    Once I get my razors at the sharpness I like, I give them about 50 - 100 passes over the newspaper every couple weeks and it seems to keep them at peak shave readiness.

    -80s
    I wear kilts because crushed nuts are for sundaes. Lilac Vegetarian and SABRE.

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