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How do I make a Leather Strop?


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#16 dirtclod

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

What size grit powder did you get ?
I'm old enough to know that i don't know everything.

#17 Colt Hammerless

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:43 PM

This is a very interesting subject. This is the first thread on this site that I've seen on the subject of razor strops. I've been wanting to start shaving with a straight for a while, and have been very interested in making strops. I've been shaving with old Gillete safety razors for a few years now. I've been lurking on "Badger and Blade", and "Straight Razor Place" for a bit. Are any of you members on either of those sites?

"Are you doing any king of surfacing, or grain correction (sanding, boneing, carding, combing ext) to the leather?"

Chef, when you talk about "grain correction," specifically sanding on the grain side, what grit of sandpaper are you using? I would imaging it would have to be very fine. Also the other methods are unknown to me. Are any of them similar to slicking with a glass slicker?

In regards to horsehide for a hanging straight razor strop, I remember reading somewhere that soft rolled is better than hard rolled. What are your opinions on this?

Have any of you used bridle leather? I would imagine it's draw being lighter than latigo, and heavier than horsehide.

Paul

#18 Chef niloc

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:59 PM

1333129381[/url]' post='241691']
This is a very interesting subject. This is the first thread on this site that I've seen on the subject of razor strops. I've been wanting to start shaving with a straight for a while, and have been very interested in making strops. I've been shaving with old Gillete safety razors for a few years now. I've been lurking on "Badger and Blade", and "Straight Razor Place" for a bit. Are any of you members on either of those sites?

"Are you doing any king of surfacing, or grain correction (sanding, boneing, carding, combing ext) to the leather?"

Chef, when you talk about "grain correction," specifically sanding on the grain side, what grit of sandpaper are you using? I would imaging it would have to be very fine. Also the other methods are unknown to me. Are any of them similar to slicking with a glass slicker?

In regards to horsehide for a hanging straight razor strop, I remember reading somewhere that soft rolled is better than hard rolled. What are your opinions on this?

Have any of you used bridle leather? I would imagine it's draw being lighter than latigo, and heavier than horsehide.

Paul


I haven't perfected it yet but here are some of the things I have learned both from reading very old leather working text and a lot if trial and error.Start with as thick and even piece as you can.
Give yourself extra inches on all sides so you can trim to the right size when done. I have been working with 8x30" pieces, then trim to two 3x28" strops
I case/quick 5 min soak in very warm water about 120-140 F Then I slick it to a piece of plate glass, grain side down bathroom shelf I bought at hardware store for $20.
So far I have had the best luck with a random orbital sander, I have beef thinking a drum sander may be better but I don't have one.
I start with 80 then , 120,220,400,600, 800, 1000Then I hot soak it again (note I have not let the leather dry all the way yet since the 1st soak) and slick it grin side up. Sad to 120 to get velvet texture.
Now I have a French top stove that when off states about 140F so I put the leather on the glass grain (velvet Side) up and work 1 micron diamond mixed with Blick #3 considerer. I work it in with a 1" hard wood stick " bottle necking" the rubbing on a hot surface helps work the compound into the cells as well as giving the flush side a glass like look and finish. I then hit grain side ( still a little damp) with a brass brush to lift the cell back up. Then back to the sander with a 220 grit. It should be almost dry by nowLet it sit over night then "beam" it over something, back of chair, broom stick. This softens the strap up.Now trim to size


#19 Colt Hammerless

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for the reply Chef niloc. So if I understand it right, your doing the progressive sanding on the flesh side, then 120 grit on the grain side? This would remove the grain and leave it a velvety texture? I haven't had a razor strop before, and thought that it was glass smooth on the grain side, with the grain intact, but it sounds like I was wrong. I assume this is the procedure you use on regular veg-tan cowhide, not latigo or bridle.

#20 Chef niloc

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:34 PM

1334000362[/url]' post='243056']
Thanks for the reply Chef niloc. So if I understand it right, your doing the progressive sanding on the flesh side, then 120 grit on the grain side? This would remove the grain and leave it a velvety texture? I haven't had a razor strop before, and thought that it was glass smooth on the grain side, with the grain intact, but it sounds like I was wrong. I assume this is the procedure you use on regular veg-tan cowhide, not latigo or bridle.



Yes the flesh side is the side I make glass smooth. The only razor strop I have an thus used as reference is a kanayama strops, but from what I have been told they are high let regarded as being top quality? I use horse but straps but made one out of shell cordovan as well. Knowing that shell is the polished flesh side I only thought it logical to polish that side. To get leather glass smooth takes a lot of sanding to working the "rougher" side can only result in a more finished looking strop as the grain side is much much easer to get a nap like texture to. I like the draw of the velvet side too. If you only wanted a one sided glass like strop it would be easer to just polish the grain side, but I found it hard to get a truly flat uniform strop without finishing both sides. The way I did the above give you a strop that looks and feels like it was made from shell cordovan.
I love horse hide and use it almost exclusively for all my leather work. I have not tried or worked with latigo leather at all, for anything, never had a pice p, been wanting to get some. I have herd that it makes for a great strop.

#21 Colt Hammerless

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the reply Chef niloc!

#22 newfiebackflip

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:17 PM

Ya I am a member on that site. Just joined it a few weeks back, lots of good info and lots of good members.

From what I gather is that .25 micro's is all around a perfect paste for stropping straights.

This is a very interesting subject. This is the first thread on this site that I've seen on the subject of razor strops. I've been wanting to start shaving with a straight for a while, and have been very interested in making strops. I've been shaving with old Gillete safety razors for a few years now. I've been lurking on "Badger and Blade", and "Straight Razor Place" for a bit. Are any of you members on either of those sites?

"Are you doing any king of surfacing, or grain correction (sanding, boneing, carding, combing ext) to the leather?"

Chef, when you talk about "grain correction," specifically sanding on the grain side, what grit of sandpaper are you using? I would imaging it would have to be very fine. Also the other methods are unknown to me. Are any of them similar to slicking with a glass slicker?

In regards to horsehide for a hanging straight razor strop, I remember reading somewhere that soft rolled is better than hard rolled. What are your opinions on this?

Have any of you used bridle leather? I would imagine it's draw being lighter than latigo, and heavier than horsehide.

Paul



#23 Valleee

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:21 PM

This is an old thread, but I'm wondering what grid for diamond paste works best for stropping?

#24 Chef niloc

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:28 PM

This is an old thread, but I'm wondering what grid for diamond paste works best for stropping?


This would depend on what you are stropping. General stropping for every day knives I'd go with anything from a 3-7 micron. 7 micron is bout 2800 grit, this would remove burs and "fix up" a edge pretty quickly. I might get flamed for suggesting such a course compound but if you think about it not many people take their knives 2 a 3000 grit stone. If the knifes you strop are the use a finer grit/ micron. I use kitchen knives the most (Hence Chef in the title of my name) And I keep them scary sharp, taking them to at least a 8000 stone if not 50,000+, After trying many (all?) different mesh/ micron sizes I found that I like the 3 micron (8000 grit) the most. However I do know from experience that most users like there diamond compound in the 0-.05 range (60,000-100,000 grit). While I can see this fine a compound being useful to finish a freshly sharpened blade if you don't have stones that go over 10k in grit size. I don't see it of much use for edge maintenance, Let's face it by the time you refresh your edge with your strop your 50,000+ micro bevel is long gone. So unless where talking about strops for straight razors I'd say somewhere between 3 to 7 micron would be best.

#25 Valleee

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:39 PM

thank you very much for clarifying this for me :D





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