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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bobbo's Avatar
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    Default Custom made leather

    Hi Guys,

    I had the priviledge of looking round my local tannery today and to get some leather "custom made" for strop purposes.

    I chose some veg tan leather (great colour) of the desired thickness and quality and then got a custom finish put on the surface. By this I mean they buff up and work the surface to roughen it slightly or polish it to shine it give it the correct finish depening on its end use. You can thus control the amount of draw is applied to the razor by the way the leather is finished.

    The guy recommended a medium "temper" as he called it to give the correct draw. I will see how the new strop turns out but it was amazing to see how the leather is processed as I know nothing about it. The leather is weighed and the surface area worked out by scanning under a laser. The pricing is then worked out.

    I'm going to play around witha few different leathers and finishes I think as the guy is very helpful and th tannery is just down the road.

    I got my leather as part of a shoulder. I don't know if this is the best cut for strops either but will see how it goes.

    Anyone got any experience of leather?

  2. #2
    Senior Member superfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbo View Post
    I don't know if this is the best cut for strops either but will see how it goes.

    Anyone got any experience of leather?
    The best part is from horse's but (for real). You want Russian (process) leather for best strops...

    Nenad

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    Some suggest shoulders for strops but I find it is often riddled with fat creases (cellulite) in that area. While this won't hurt anything it does lessen the surface contact area and simply does not look as nice on the finished product. The shoulders and flank (bellies) is where I get most of what becomes seconds. Some times though the leather is crease free right up past the shoulder in which case it is a fine area to use. You just have to judge each piece for what it is, how it feels, etc.....

    I have two different natural veg tanned leathers here now. One if buffed with a flat, matt type finish, the other is a bit textured and polished feeling like a lighter version on my latigo. One never really know how each will perfom until you try them.

    Russian shell was the strop leather of choice but today is typically only found in the small cordovan ovals used to make very expensive shoes. My supplier has it in two grades, $90 an oval and $160 and oval.......an oval is only 16-18" long, not enough for a strop.

    Let us see your finished strop when your done.

    Tony

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bobbo's Avatar
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    Thanks Tony,

    I used belly on the last strop and the leather was smooth towards the top of the animal but had the cellulite you mentioned underneath. I could thus only make two strops from the peice. Also I think it was polished to much as the razor skids alomg it a bit too much.

    Will be interested to see what these shoulders look like now. The guy at the tannery is a leather expert and knew what I intended to use it for so hopefully he will supply me with a decent peice. Will be seeing him in the next day or so.

    Wilkl put up pictures of the strop when I get it made, although my last pictures didn't show a great deal of detail and didn't do the strop justice.

    Cheers

    Rob

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    <<< The guy at the tannery is a leather expert and knew what I intended to use it for so hopefully he will supply me with a decent peice. >>>

    You would be amazed at what some of these experts will send you <g>. I honestly think the only way I will get leather of the quality I want is to pick it out in person again like I used to do. I reject 50% of those sent to me and only get a 50% yield from those I do keep.

    Tony

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    I have bought from the same place tony, and am very pleased with that they sent.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    This wouldn't be Sedgewick would it? I know nthey make some very highly regarded bridle backs and sides.

    In my case it's not so much the tannery making bad leather it is a lack of understanding just what is needed. Every once in a while my leathwr is pulled by someone who does not know what I typically buy from them.

    I do know some very nice British leathers are imported by 2 of my suppliers.

    Tony

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bobbo's Avatar
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    OK so my leather arrived and it is everything I was hoping it would be - except the colour.

    The leather is awesome, no celulite, 100% of it is usable and it is a nice big flat sheet. The thickness is just right and the supplness is spot on. The finish should produce a lovely draw as it has a slightly buffed surface. If you run your hand over and look along the leather into a bright light you can just see where your hand has been due to the very subtle suede effect it has.

    The leather is a neutral veg tan and so is very pale. It is, well, skin coloured. It is a beuatiful peice so am reluctant to send it back and may make strops out of this but i am tempted to dye it a tan colour but don't want to ruin the leather.

    Hmmm, not sure what to do. I guess I will ring them and speak to them about it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    Sounds like nice stuff. I recently found a similar leather and oddly it was one grade down from the best which was buffed to a polish and had zero draw.

    If you look at one of the Jemico strops (not the red Russian) it is a natural tan and with that same buffed finish. You can just detect a suede like texture but not exactly feel it. I sent a sample of mine, though a bit thinner than I like to "Suzuki", a memeber here and described it as my "naked" strop because of it's skin color.

    Let us know how it works out.

    Tony

  10. #10
    Still hasn't shut up PuFFaH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbo View Post
    OK so my leather arrived and it is everything I was hoping it would be - except the colour.

    The leather is awesome, no celulite, 100% of it is usable and it is a nice big flat sheet. The thickness is just right and the supplness is spot on. The finish should produce a lovely draw as it has a slightly buffed surface. If you run your hand over and look along the leather into a bright light you can just see where your hand has been due to the very subtle suede effect it has.

    The leather is a neutral veg tan and so is very pale. It is, well, skin coloured. It is a beuatiful peice so am reluctant to send it back and may make strops out of this but i am tempted to dye it a tan colour but don't want to ruin the leather.

    Hmmm, not sure what to do. I guess I will ring them and speak to them about it.
    I have found that fresh tanned leather is not strtched enough for strops. Might pay you to soak a piece and restretch it and roller it out. Will make a fine stop that way

    PuFF

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