1.14.2013

How to Strop Using Hanging English Bridle and Linen

Overview
Stropping is a necessary activity in order to preserve the health and sharpness of your straight razor and ensure you receive the best possible shave experience. Like shaving with a straight, stropping is also a skill that is perfected experience.

The goal of stropping is to maintain the shape of the razor's edge so that it is a keen cutting instrument. Many strops are two-sided: canvas and leather. The canvas surface is used to heat up and agitate the razor before stropping on the leather. Note that the direction of the razor in stropping is the opposite of the direction in honing.

Walkin' Horse 3" English Bridle with Linen Hanging Strop




What You’ll Need
  1. Strop
  2. Straight Razor
  3. Tissue


What You’ll Do
  1.  Attach the hanging strop to a secure and stable point between waist to sternum height.
  2. Pull the strop taught by grabbing the strop handle or D-ring with your non-dominant hand.
  3. Open the straight razor so that the blade is 180 degrees from the straight razor handle. 
  4. Using your dominant hand, strop the straight razor against the linen for 25 laps.
  5. Rub the palm of your hand over the leather size of the strop a few times.
  6. Using your dominant hand, strop the straight razor against the English bridle for 50 laps.
  7. Wipe the straight razor blade with a dry tissue to remove an excess debris.


 Tips
  1. One lap = back and forth one time.
  2. Hold the straight razor like you would a pencil (thumb, index, middle finger).
  3. During the stropping motion, lead with the spine (opposite end of the razor edge).
  4. Once you reach the end of the strop, rotate the straight razor about the axis of the spine and continue the stropping motion in the opposite direction (the razor edge should always be trailing the direction of motion).
  5. If you have a strop that less than three inches wide, you will need to strop on both the linen and the leather surface using an X-stroke pattern.
  6. Ensure the strop is pulled taught throughout the stropping process to create an even and flat surface.
  7. Keep the straight razor flat against the strop but do not apply pressure.
  8. The oils from the palm of your hand should be sufficient to maintain the English bridle leather. 
  9. The stropping routine should be performed before every shave. 

 Photos

Image Credit: Straight Razor Place


Image Credit: Straight Razor Place


Image Credit: Straight Razor Place


Videos


Video Credit: The Superior Shave


Video Credit: Geofatboy



Sources

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