First strop advice.

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by old-school shaver, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. old-school shaver

    old-school shaver Well-Known Member

    OK straight razor experts I'm in need of some help here . I recently became the owner of a couple straight razors. I sent them out to be professionally honed . I have shaved with one about 5 times now and it is getting about time to strop it . It is a J.A. Henckels razor if it's not a wedge it's close . I am looking for recommendations for a first strop . I have a vintage Gem leather strop but I'm thinking a new one will work much better . Any suggestions are greatly appreciated on what to buy and where to buy from . Thanks guys .

    Ken P.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  2. Mr. Freeze93

    Mr. Freeze93 Prefers the baby blue dress

  3. JR Reyes

    JR Reyes I scream for....chicken wings??

    I would highly recommend Adam's handywork. I think he has an etsy page and affordable options. I have one and it's been a pleasure.

  4. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    You will nick and cut your first strop so I do not recommend spending allot of money are your first strop.

    Stropping is easier with a 'bench strop' as opposed to a hanging strop... well at least in the beginning. You may want to discuss with @Drygulch as he sells both. Adam also has top of the line strops. Whipped Dog is also a good choice for a beginner strop.
  5. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    I second Keith's comments on the likelihood of nicking a strop during the learning process and thus acquiring a good beginner's strop. I learned on a whipped dog strop (and nicked it up fairly well ;)) and have since acquired many more made of a variety of materials. I also have a fine one made by Adam (DryGulch) and I'd get in contact with him on recommendations for you.
  6. ARGH

    ARGH Well-Known Member

    Suggestions for strops above are right on. You could also check out Tony Miller at the well shaved gentleman. You can get a practice strop with a very nice main strop.

    You should be stropping with every shave. Stropping does not hone an edge, it maintains it like a steel for a knife.
  7. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Then again, you might not nick and cut your first strop.
    I still have and use my first strop, Only one slight nick on the linen. Go slow and pay attention to what you're doing. Practice and get the muscle memory with a butter knife.
  8. Drygulch

    Drygulch Snowballs

    Supporting Vendor
    I started with a hanging strop, and did not start with a paddle strop. I still use mine daily and it has some nicks in it, but nothing that affects how it works. The key is to go slow when you start stropping and build muscle memory so you are doing it correctly from the get go. Speed will come later. The other thing you have to figure out is how much draw you want. That's the amount of resistance or stickiness of the leather as you pull your razor across it. I like a medium draw, but some people like a very light or a very heavy draw. Another benefit to a hanging strop over a paddle strop is that you can get a second element like poly webbing or linen. This cleans your razor and preps it for the leather, and can also dry the edge when you strop after shaving. I typically do 10 laps linen and 10 laps leather after my shave, and between 30 and 50 of each before my shave.
    Karl G, ob1page and old-school shaver like this.
  9. old-school shaver

    old-school shaver Well-Known Member

    The strop I have is a vintage Gem leather goods company out of Milwaukee. Its a number 1180 Shell horse hide strop . It has two leather sides with a d ring on the top, one side is dark brown and the other side is light brown so should I oil it up and use it ? It looks to be in pretty good shape just one little cut on the light brown strop up towards the top .
    Karl G likes this.
  10. TheFiveO

    TheFiveO Well-Known Member

    I completely recommend Adam @Drygulch for a strop. I have one and it's the best investment I ever made. If you are worried about nicking or damaging it then go with one of his less expensive 45 strops.

    I plan on getting one of those, even though I have one of his horsehide ones, after the completion of No Buy 2016
    Karl G and old-school shaver like this.
  11. Drygulch

    Drygulch Snowballs

    Supporting Vendor
    Shell is some of the best leather you can get for strops. Since you already have it, I couldn't hurt to try. I would wipe it off with a damp rag, and let the water dry overnight. Then do a very light coat of oil, and let that soak in for at least 24 hours. Its easy to put oil on a leather, but impossible to take it off. Do very light coats of oil, and give it time to be absorbed all the way into the leather. Most of the old strops with two pieces of leather had one side for pastes, and one side for every day use. Be sure you aren't using a piece that is impregnated with stropping paste for your every day use.
    Karl G, ob1page and old-school shaver like this.
  12. old-school shaver

    old-school shaver Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone for the help . Thank you @Drygulch I will clean up the one I have oil it up and give her a go . Thanks again everyone for your advice I greatly appreciate your input .
    Ken P.
    Karl G, Drygulch and ob1page like this.

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