sharpening a strait razor

Jul 20, 1999
I need some advise. (and please don't tell me to go buy a saftey razor!) I have a burrell "top flight" strait razor that belonged to my father. He quit using it in 1953 or so, when the army made him ship back home to his parents. I would like to sharpen it up and use it on special occasions, or just when the mood strikes. It will easily shave hair off my arm, but is to dull for my face. Can anyone tell me how to properly sharpen it? I have an old "razor hone" I found at a flea market, but am not even sure if, or when you would decide if it needed a stone, or just a stropping. And by the way, I am not familiar with the procedure to use, and or make a strop anyway. Thanks for any advise you can give.
The link that Longden gave is the best one I know. I recently got a Dovo razor plus a razor strop at a garage sale for $1.00. Naturally it was dull. The strop was not adequate to restore the edge. I used my combination 1000/4000 grit water stone (bought at Woodcraft)as the primary means to restore the edge. I also took a few careful strokes on a hard leather strop with green chromium-oxide buffing compound. This got me up to the level where leather stropping would finish the job.
I just posted Arthur Boon's incredible Straight Razor FAQ on rec.knives. If you want to know about straight razors, you gotta read that first.

Thanks for the information guys. I am anxious to bring it out of retirement, and put it back in action.
I haven't read the FAQ but have maintained and used a straight razor for decades. Hone it (and it needs this about twice a year if used daily) on a fine stone maintaining the existent angles and strop it after use on a combined linen and leather strop.

Desert Rat

You know, the 204 Sharpmaker has a whole page of instructions on sharpening straight razors.....just fyi
thanks djo62, didn't know that. And thanks to all who have responded. Glad to hear someone besides me wants to use one desert rat.