Pasted Strops/ Strop Paste

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Willk, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. Willk

    Willk Active Member

    How many of you use paste on your strops? What's your routine? (How often do you use the pasted strops?) At what point will a pasted strop not help anymore and you have to hone your blade?
    Keithmax likes this.
  2. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I do 5-10 laps on FeO3, then linen then leather before each shave. If the edge feels a little off then either CrOX or Dovo red/black. If more than a little off or the razor has been on CrOx or Dovo red/black twice then to the finishing stones.
  3. Slash McCoy

    Slash McCoy Well-Known Member

    Supporting Vendor
    I never paste a leather strop. I do use a lapped and pasted balsa strop charged with .1u diamond paste. I never have to re-hone my razors. After honing on film or stone, I run through a progression of these balsa strops, .5u, .25u, and finally .1u and the resulting edge is terribly sharp but shaves comfortably.
  4. Willk

    Willk Active Member

    How often do you re-apply the paste to your balsa strops? And why don't you paste a leather strop?
    Slash McCoy likes this.
  5. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I use linen strops for my pastes.
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  6. Slash McCoy

    Slash McCoy Well-Known Member

    Supporting Vendor
    I usually refresh the .1u balsa with about a bb size lump of paste once a month. More if I am honing a lot of razors but if it is just normal maintenance, once a month or so will gitter done. I always wipe down the balsa to make absolutely certain that there is no excess to set up a slurry effect. that is one of the main reasons for meh results from pastes.

    After about 6 months the balsa will be loaded up with swarf and needs to be lapped and pasted again.

    Very important to glue the balsa to a base that does not flex, does not warp, is light enough to hold in the hand, and is thick enough to keep the fingertips out of the path of the razor's edge. 3/4" or 1" thick acrylic is the best thing I have found. I glue 1/4" balsa to it and then lap it and paste it. 3" wide, 12" long. Same size as the plates I use for lapping film.

    I don't paste a hanging strop ever, because I do not want to remove steel with a medium that sags or curves. The resilience of the balsa is just right. The normal sag of a hanging strop would be too much. I have tried it. I have tried almost everything. The Method works best by far. Extremely light pressure, edge trailing, LAPPED balsa, diamond paste applied sparingly and rubbed in well, and the excess cleaned off with a nice soft tshirt. Progression, .5u, .25u, and .1u. For daily maintenance only the .1u.

    Guys have been pasting leather strops for a hundred years and getting meh so-so results. I don't believe in following a tradition of failure. Balsa is cheap. Acrylic is cheap. Diamond paste is cheap because of the tiny amount used. If you think you have enough you probably have 10x too much.

    There is a thread I started some time ago on pasted balsa strops on B&B. I may do a tutorial over here on the topic if there is any demand. There is also an article on one of my websites, the one.
    lindyhopper66, Leclec13 and Keithmax like this.
  7. Robert1955

    Robert1955 Well-Known Member

    I use diamond SPRAY on a felt strop, then crox on a felt strop, I tried leather and balsa all before but defo prefer felt now, it helps " soften" the dia spray which can be quite harsh if you use too much.
    I use a 3mm felt glued onto a 3 inch board...balsa would be fine, you can also get sticky back felt which is very easy to apply to your substrate, I paid about £2.50 for plenty to do two strops, I think it was 1sq foot so you could do three, one dia one crox and one plain to clean up.
  8. RezDog

    RezDog Well-Known Member

    It is not part of my current routine, but I did use a felt strop with cerium oxide on it for quite some time. Basically I used it daily. I never needed to hone my razors and they were always shaving well. At that time I had two razors and shaved exclusively with those two. Then I fell down a rabbit hole. Currently I use each razor for about a week. I also have too many to keep track of how they were honed and how many shaves they have on them. I have however settled into a honing routine and most of them have had exactly the same honing progression, but none of them get a pasted strop as part of that.
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  9. Leclec13

    Leclec13 Well-Known Member

    i use this system also!!!
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  10. Willk

    Willk Active Member

    If you use a paste (or pastes) on balsa, do you ever use the regular strop (without paste or anything) as part of your routine, or is there no need?
    Edison Carter likes this.
  11. Slash McCoy

    Slash McCoy Well-Known Member

    Supporting Vendor
    Absolutely. They have two completely different functions. The hanging leather strop is not for removing steel. It does not hone. It burnishes and aligns. The pasted balsa actually removes steel, though the amount is almost comically small at the grits we are talking about. So technically, the use of the balsa strop is more honing than stropping. But the name sticks and I don't have time to convince everyone that it is a balsa hone and not a balsa strop. Especially since the balsa is used with the razor traveling with the spine leading, just like how you strop.

    Yes, I use the balsa after the shave. Before the next shave, usually right after I lather up, I strop on the clean hanging leather strop. Of course you can shave without hitting the leather, but the shave is so much better, if you do strop. So yes, the leather strop is still needed. What is NOT needed is repeat honing. The balsa, properly set up and used, replaces refreshing the edge on stone or film. The edge that ordinarily will be taken to the finisher when it gets dull through normal use, simply no longer gets dull at all. Yeah, you can shave right off the balsa, sure. Well, you could shave right off the film, or stone, too, but between the two choices, shaving right off the balsa is kinder to your face, and shaving right off the leather strop is best of all.
  12. DrStrange

    DrStrange Active Member

    I have a Straight Razors Design latigo strop with an attached hard felt strop.
    That's the strop I use the most.
    I have 0.3 micron crox paste on the felt.

    I only use the crox strop for any of various special occasions,
    such as when I am not getting what I want off my finishing stone and shell strop,
    or when I have identified a razor that is never going to be swapped out of my
    regular rotation and that edge is starting to fade.
    Keithmax likes this.
  13. Willk

    Willk Active Member

    I find that I use the Crox strop after every shave to keep the edge reasonably sharp. If I don't, I notice a slight difference. BTW, what kind of shave do yo get out of your SR? I usually do a 1 or 2 passes with my SR and a 3rd pass with my DE, and get a DFS out of it. If I used 3 passes just with my SR (WTG, XTG both ways), I would get a Socially acceptable shave (SAS - a 5:00 shadow and a bit of a rough feel),
  14. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    I use CrOx on balsa and use when things feel aa bit dull, maybe 10 or so uses of that particular blade. Once that doesn't help I try 12,000 grit hone and if that doesn't help I go with a pyramid of the 8K and 12K with my 20K thrown in.
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  15. jtface

    jtface Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to maintain a razors edge with crox on linen and a clean linen & leather strop?
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  16. RezDog

    RezDog Well-Known Member

    If you have a fine grade and pure paste, absolutely. I would be more likely to use FeOx or CrOx. However that is a point of person preference.
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  17. jtface

    jtface Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the reply!

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