Edge maintenance

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by madmedic, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. madmedic

    madmedic Resistance Is Futile

    At the moment I use felt and balsa bench strops with Diamond andCrOx slurrys to touch up the edges of my straights. I probably do this after 4 shaves, and it seems to work quite well. I have however spent a reasonable sum of money on Naniwa Superstones with the highest grits of 8K and 12k. Could I achieve the same results using these or would I be better sticking with the strops?
    SevenEighth likes this.
  2. Jamie Mahoney

    Jamie Mahoney Well-Known Member

    Hi Brian, I certainly think you could freshen up the edge on the Naniwa 12000, then take it back to the strop, I have King and Naniwa stones, the Naniwa 12000 is my finishing stone, I then use two home made paddle strops, first strop as a light cover of Chromium oxide mixed with neatsfoot oil, second strop with nothing on, even though i have heard say a pasted paddle strop with chromium oxide is the equivilent of a 12000 stone, I personally think it's slightly more edge refining than that myself. PS i'm a paddle strop man myself, i'm not a fan of hanging strops personally, i just prefer the control i have using the paddle compared to a hanging strop.

  3. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    +1 for the paddle. I see more posts on forums from straight newbies that have continually screwed up their edge by insisting on having a hanging strop.

    As far as the OP's question, I can't be of any help. The only tools I have for maintaining my razor are a CrOx pasted balsa, and a 3 line Swaty barber's hone.
  4. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    Brian, try it both ways and see which works better. I'm not going to say I don't use pasted strops but I don't use them much. Eventually, we all develop a method that works best for "us". It sounds like what your doing is working good for you, continue. Keep an open mind and experiment a little and see where it leads you. Good luck. And of course, I'm a hanging strop fan, lol.
  5. Griz

    Griz Member

    If you are having to touch up after only 4 shaves, something else is going on. I always give my razors 20 strokes on linen and 40 on leather before and after a shave and I don't have to go to anything more for a couple of months.

    I am sure some more people will chime in, but either you have a really really tough beard, your razor is marginally sharp to begin with or you feel that you just have to do more.

    Just my opinion.

    Will N.
  6. madmedic

    madmedic Resistance Is Futile

    And taken on board..... I could go longer........but don't forget...I am comparing the edge to my Feather AC which is incredibly sharp. Even a professionally honed shave ready razor doesnt cut the way a feather does. I will admit that at the start my stropping skills may not have been what I would have wished....but they are improving and I hope to see an increase in the life of the edge.
  7. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    Good to see you around Will, haven't seen you around in a while.
    battle.munky likes this.
  8. Griz

    Griz Member

    Thanks Keith. I poke around, but haven't posted much lately, just too busy staying employed. Good to be here!

    Brian - You keep practicing and you will improve. Likely you will have an epiphany about stropping / touching up on a stone and get more time and shaves out of your razor.

    Will N.
  9. madmedic

    madmedic Resistance Is Futile

    Thanks Will. I realise that expertise with honing can take a life time....but it is my target for this year. I want to produce ....from scratch......something that is shave worthy.
  10. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

  11. Griz

    Griz Member

    Yes, I do believe that epiphany is on the way. I have the faith that you will make it happen!

    Honing for me resulted in that epiphany. I could sharpen from an early age...........but honing...........nothing like it. It will happen if you seek it.

    Will N.
  12. Griz

    Griz Member

    Thank you, Sir,

    Nice to know that people noticed.

    Will N.
    battle.munky likes this.
  13. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    This is a very question I asked myself a few months ago. I think that you hold a good edge on a razor for a long time just on a pasted strop. Here is my story:

    About 8 or 9 months ago I purchased a Westor Bros Full Hollow straight razor from a local antique shop for a very low price. The blade itself had tarnish but no rust. I brought it home cleaned it up and proceeded to my norton 4k/8k as I saw the edge was in ok shape. I decided before I started to try a few passes on my pasted crox strop. After about 20 or so it passed the hht. I was in shock that the bevel was set in this old vintage which had been in someone's closet for over 50 years.

    This is my everyday razor. I have yet to hone it. I have maintained an edge that is supieror I might add for all these months and well over the 150 shave mark without honing on stones. Just a few passes on my strop every month and passes the hht with flying colors and provides a great shave. I also have a brand new Dovo forestra that I recieved for Christmas that has yet to be honed. Through all the stories of having to send out a new Dovo to be pro- honed ect. I am still using the factory edge.

    Not all razors are the same. I have tried this on only two razorss. Hope this helps.
  14. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    Joe, that's great. It's not a method I've pursued but I'm glad it works for you. I think T.I. is big on pastes for maintaining their razors. When I started, I maintained a razor with a razor (barber's) hone and a strop for a long time (a couple of years). The important thing is you found something that works good for you. Are you using anything else besides crox? I use a mix of crox and .5 diamond slurry on mine (pasted leather) but only do about 10 to 20 laps coming off the stones before going to clean leather.
  15. JoeB

    JoeB Well-Known Member

    I haven't tried the diamond sprays yet but I will soon. I just use the crox and a white paste that works really well.
  16. Howard

    Howard Active Member

    You should do just fine with finishing on a Naniwa 12k and then a stroke or two on the balsa with CrO. I'd leave it at that and try a shave. I'm not a fan of using leather strops as finishing hones as I've seen too much damage to the bevel and heard too many stories that started with "I stropped about 100 strokes on a pasted strop and it still won't shave". Looking at edges that have been treated like that under magnification (60x) reveals a mess. I take it back to establishing a bevel and then polish the bevel with successively finer grit hones. I'm sure other folks get fine results with pasted strops but I'm not one of them.
  17. Howard

    Howard Active Member

    Do you have a very fine beard? I have a medium beard and maintain my edge with a few licks on a coticule combo stone every week usually on Saturday to keep the edge keen. If I don't the blade starts to drag.
  18. Griz

    Griz Member

    I have a medium to heavy beard. Personally I would use a pasted strop for a few passes rather than use a stone and then onto my linen and leather. I can go quite a while without touching a stone. I have a bench strop with CeOx on it that I mixed up with Kiwi mink oil that I will use for a touch up, no pressure at all just the weight of the razor. Works great for me.

    While I don't normally use one a barber's hone with some lather on it will refresh an edge and it should only take about 4 or 5 strokes.

    In the end, you have to make yourself happy.

    Will N.
    madmedic likes this.
  19. madmedic

    madmedic Resistance Is Futile

    Thanks for that. I am a long way off using a hone at the moment.......so for the foreseeable future....I think I will carry on with the strops. They are more forgiving!
    Griz likes this.
  20. Howard

    Howard Active Member

    I hear that! For me, a great shave is happiness!

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