THIS IS ABOUT HONING AND MAINTAINING A STRAIGHT RAZOR.
I've been straight razor shaving for almost one year as well as maintaining my own razor edges. From reading and watching videos I've seen 3 different things to do to maintain the edge.
1. Stropping using a leather strop between shaves.
2. Refurbish the edge using a linen strop with chromium oxide then a leather strop.
3. Honing the edge using stones.
All stropping was done using a hanging strop in videos.
My primary concern right now is continuing to use flat strops or getting a hanging strop with linen and leather and learning to use that.
So far what I've been using to maintain my razors has been my knife tools. Shapton glass stones in 4k, 8k, 16k grits and normally two leather strops mounted on glass and/or wood. They are treated with .5 CBN on a leather strop and .1 micron CBN on a kangaroo strop. I have intended to get a good quality hanging strop. I did get a cheap one which is just one piece of leather. I'm sure it does a good job within it's limitations (no linen strop for example) but I haven't gotten the hang of using it. All I've managed to do so far is ruin every edge I use the strop on. That's why I ended up using my flat strops. However, most people seem to use the hanging strops and as a newbe I doubt I'll figure out some better method so I think it's time I invest in a good quality hanging strop and get the hang of it. Before I do that however I'd like to know if my understanding of maintaining the edge is accurate. I'll explain what I'm thinking and would appreciate any info on if I'm right or wrong. If wrong, how am I wrong? Any help is appreciated.
Honing on stones will create two flat bevels that meet at the apex. Stropping will smooth and refine the edge. Using a hanging strop the strop will always have a very slight concave shape which will create a slightly convex shape on the razor edge apex. I'm thinking about extremely small amounts of steel removed with each stropping. Each time you strop you will be very slightly creating a slightly more convex bevel on the edge. The benefit of this is that every stropping will have a more dramatic effect on the edge apex than if using a flat strop. A flat strop will be applying the same amount of pressure on the entire bevel which will result in less steel being removed per stroke. That statement is based on knife sharpening thinking. I try to keep any knowledge on knife sharpening out of the razor honing/maintaining because the technique is so much different. However some of the edge basics are the same it seems.
So using a hanging (flexible) strop puts the shave ready edge back on the edge more rapidly than using a flat strop. Using a hanging strop will also convex the edge bevel faster. After a while (many shaves) the edge will need a more serious touch-up than stropping with the leather strop.
Refurbishing the edge has been explained as using a linen strop treated with .5 micron chromium oxide paste then the leather strop. The linen strop will remove more steel than the leather strop and flatten the bevel some. This will mean the edge will be easy to touch-up using the leather strop again between shaves. This refurbishing can be done a few times but sooner or later a complete honing using stones will be needed bring the edge back to the starting point of a razor's edge.
Then you start over using stones creating new flat bevels with stones.
Does my understanding make sense and is it accurate? I want to know as much as I can before investing $75 or more on a hanging strop. It seems that is a good estimate on the cost of the better or best quality and performing strops for complete maintenance. I have wondered if getting one strop which has one leather and one linen strop combined necessary? Maybe they come seperate as two different strops but I don't remember seeing them sold this way. They seem to come attached at the "hook" end of the strop.
Any help and info is appreciated.