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Need stop setup for both straight razor and knives

Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:45 pm

I'm looking for some guidance on a strop regimen for my newly acquired Wade & Butcher straight razor and my kitchen knives. Kitchen knives consist of a variety of Japanese blades ranging from SuperBlue to AEB-L and from 240mm - 150mm. I also have a couple Germans in the mix as well.
I use an edge pro up to 8k Shapton GS.

Off the top of my head the questions that come to mind are: Do I need a separate setup for the straights and my kitchen knives? Even if I can combine, the reality of it is, where I shave and where I cook are not conveniently located to each other. I strop after each shave as someone recommended to me, I'm willing to consider having a day-to-day strop to keep in the master bath.

As for the kitchen knife strop setup, I've kind of blown off the idea in the past of the strop kits Mark has setup that come with a stone holder since I'm an EP guy. The unknown for me now is, what will a fine grit hone look like for my razor. Can I do that on the EP or will I eventually (shortly) end up with a regular high grit stone where a stone holder may be of value.

Lot's of questions in my mind, but if I can develop a strategy on how to tackle both workloads that will go along way at this point.


Re: Need stop setup for both straight razor and knives

Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:48 pm

Well, you should be sharpening a straight on a benchstone, sharpening a straight on a EP seems kinda silly. A straight razor has it own angle guide so you just put it on the stone and push... its very easy.

When I sharpen razors I finish with some Chromium oxide on a balsa strop then use a Illinois hanging strop to get that little extra from the edge. IMO, nothing beats a good hanging strop to finalize the edge of a razor.

I can't speak for nano cloth and various compounds but kangaroo leather is some great stuff, don't diss it before you try it. Personally I would love to have a hanging strop made of Roo leather.

For knives a bare strop or a balsa strop with 1 Micron diamond is the way to go.

Re: Need stop setup for both straight razor and knives

Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:44 pm

I have the HA 11x3 kit and love it. I use bare horse butt to finish all my knives and occasionally use it for my straights as well. I also use balsa and .5 micron CrOx and even hard felt and 1 micron diamond on occasion. I mainly use a star shaving 'big daddy' hanging strop for the day to day stropping (pre and post shave). However, when I have all the stones out and I'm honing straights, I generally go from 10k nubatama to 1 micron on felt to a Zulu grey. I haven't been stropping after the ZG for the first shave because it gives a really smooth comfortable edge. After the first shave its back to pre and post shave on the hanging strop. Like everything else related to straights though...what works for me may not be the best for everyone.


Re: Need stop setup for both straight razor and knives

Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:54 am

You've got to love enthusiast forums and the sharing of information. Thank you, the responses are most helpful. My two big takeaways that I've been struggling with are 1) a hanging strop near where I shave for day to day maintenance is the way to go and 2) I'll most likely be investing in a couple good finishing stones for the razor as opposed to using the EP. I now have a direction to work towards. Thanks again.

Re: Need stop setup for both straight razor and knives

Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:48 pm

Snipes, I recently took up shaving with a straight razor and honing it as well. I'm still too new to the field of honing but I'm getting better quickly. I did reprofile a straight with my EP. I was concerned about the stones taking away too much steel from the spine so I set the angle as close as I could to the spine but not touching it. I did this because the edge needed significant work and I was worried about the removal of too much spine steel. Then when I switched to the bench stones I used the razor spine and lowered the angle in just a little time. I'm playing with different things to hone a razor. The roo is REALLY great as a strop material. I just got a 3x8" horse butt strop but haven't used it on the razor yet. Using it bare is nice as a final step on knives as someone else said. I like the setup Mark put together using the holder and the 140 grit diamond stone. I already had the holder and stone so I got a balsa and horse strop. I think there is a leather one also. I may end up getting one or two of each and use different micron sprays on them. Don't really know about that yet. I did get a hanging strop and it does a good job. I put a bit of linseed oil on it to preserve the leather but nothing else. The linseed oil came with the strop kit as did a balsa with .3 chromium oxide and .1 micron iron oxide. The idea here is to use the balsa for once in a while honing and use the hanging strop daily. I'm getting a 8k Shapton glass stone because of honing a razor. I've wanted one but I have a set for the EP so I've put off getting the bench stones. The straight razor honing just gave me the justification to get the 8k bench stone. The Shapton glass stones leave a really smooth edge.
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