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Thread: Kanayama Strop Care

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqzbxr View Post
    I just use an ordinary barber towel slightly dampened.
    Well don't have any barber towels so I tossed the microfiber/terri type that was wrapped around the sponge and got a white cotton sock from my sock drawer and will use it, I rinsed it in warm water then rung it almost dry then just wiped in one direction and then wet it more and repeated the process wiping in the opposite direction until the leather was damp and now have it laying flat drying, the spongy thing I was useing felt soft enough and was brand new but I read the Kanayama Care and it says in bold cap letters not to use a terri towel, i showed the car wax applicator to the Mrs and she said it's a terri/micro fiber material, i have no idea why it's not recommended as it feels soft enough but maybe it's what is causing the scratches.

    It's also possible i am overthiking this but i am also the guy that turns that screw one more turn , below are what Kanayama recommends

    Lay the strop face-up on a flat surface.
    Get a smooth, soft cloth, like an old clean t-shirt. Do NOT use terrycloth.
    Wet the cloth in luke-warm water and wring it out well--the cloth should only be damp.
    Gently wipe the surface of the strop in one smooth motion. Don't scrub or press! Be careful not to get any water on the sides
    or back of the leather, as this can lead to hardening.
    Allow the strop to dry thoroughly. If the surface still feels like it's not quite right, repeat.

    Please note: DO NOT use any commercial leather care products on these strops. Cordovan leather itself is not the same as most
    other leathers, and Kanayama leather even moreso due to the treatment developed by Naomi-san. Using products like saddle
    soap, lexol or others can destroy your strop.
    "A Honer's adage "Hone-Shave-Repeat"

    ~William~

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You might want to look at your razors. Do you use tape to hone?

    If not, you may have a sharp corner on the spine and are scraping the strop with the corner of the spine.

    You will feel the sharp corner, it can be smoothed with some 1-2K wet and dry.

    4-5 drops of Ballistol or Neatsfoot oil on a damp strop worked in on a piece of tissue, (2 squares of toilet tissue works well) and will hydrate the leather. Do not use more that 4-5 drops at a time. Oil rubbed into damp leather will penetrate deep, oil put on dry leather will sit on top and rot the leather eventually.

    With the tissue, you will feel & hear any dry spots, you can blot those spots and let the leather wick oil from the tissue pad. It may look blotchy if you leather is dry, but will even out in a couple days.

    You will be tempted to add more, but donít.
    Wait a week or two and add more if needed.

    I use a damp microfiber towel to wipe my strops.

    Here is a good post from a leather worker/strop maker, on hydrating and oiling leather. (Leather 101.)

    Post 37 he gives his advice.

    I have re-hydrated old vintage Kanayama strops, using this technique, it can take several months.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    You might want to look at your razors. Do you use tape to hone?

    If not, you may have a sharp corner on the spine and are scraping the strop with the corner of the spine.

    You will feel the sharp corner, it can be smoothed with some 1-2K wet and dry.

    4-5 drops of Ballistol or Neatsfoot oil on a damp strop worked in on a piece of tissue, (2 squares of toilet tissue works well) and will hydrate the leather. Do not use more that 4-5 drops at a time. Oil rubbed into damp leather will penetrate deep, oil put on dry leather will sit on top and rot the leather eventually.

    With the tissue, you will feel & hear any dry spots, you can blot those spots and let the leather wick oil from the tissue pad. It may look blotchy if you leather is dry, but will even out in a couple days.

    You will be tempted to add more, but don’t.
    Wait a week or two and add more if needed.

    I use a damp microfiber towel to wipe my strops.

    Here is a good post from a leather worker/strop maker, on hydrating and oiling leather. (Leather 101.)

    Post 37 he gives his advice.

    I have re-hydrated old vintage Kanayama strops, using this technique, it can take several months.
    I currently have about 12-16 razors in rotation and I am fairly sure none have any burrs but who knows for sure ( I will check ), it could also just be my stropping technique as I am slightly heavy handed and have a tendency to torque the edge in to ensure I have good contact with the leather but the super light scratches don't show up on other strops, I appreciate the suggestion of adding say Neatsfoot oil or Ballistol to the strop but at this time I think I am going to pass on that treatment for now and lighten my pressure to see if that cures the problem but if it does not I may try just a few drops applied to a damp strop and call it good but not in a hurry to add something the maker advises against, I would be more inclined to do this if it were a vintage old strop but this one is only about a year old and was purchased new and only get's used maybe once a week as I have several other strops.
    "A Honer's adage "Hone-Shave-Repeat"

    ~William~

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    “So looking to you strop masters for suggestions”


    Ok, well, good luck with that…

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    Ok I've kinda stayed away from this response, but, I have the sane experience with my strop, and it's typically 1-2 different razors that do it, and I believe it's just my nature to have the toe of the razor, leave these marks. It doesn't hurt my strop as its not a deep scratch just a rub mark. Plus it's on my spike tip or French tip razor which I feel adds to the slight dragging in that area of the strop.

    And my strop,isn't dry, and after I wipe it with a damp microfiber cloth, the disappear, So maybe it's just nothing to worry about, I've seen many an old barbers strop that wasn't that pretty, and I think those guys who did it for a living knew what they were doing. Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

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    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Well coming home this evening I prepared my shaving gear for tomorrow as I rise at 03:00 hrs and hit the road at 04:00 so have to be somwhat organized, I always strop my razor the night before, i know it does not take much to strop but one less thing to do in the early a.m.

    Anyway i reduced my heavy handed pressure and no scratches/scuffs so i thought i would grab a few more that may be the culprits and it seems I have a few that are square tipped and French tipped ones that with heavier pressure do seem to leave some scuffs/light scratch like lines that you can see but not feel but only when i apply heavy pressure but after I was done i gave it a few brisk rubs with my palm and they seemed to have disappeared.

    I did look at the razors in question and there are no burrs I just am going to have to believe it's the pressure i am using along with the design of the tip, thanks to all you fine Gents for all the helpful info !!!
    Last edited by Jnatcat; 07-11-2017 at 12:53 AM.
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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Any strop that I use much gets scuffs, maybe a scratch. Goes with the territory AFAIK, if you're going to use the strop. That is one reason I almost always use my Tony Miller horsehide, and leave my Kanayama 80,000 hanging for 'atmosphere'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    Any strop that I use much gets scuffs, maybe a scratch. Goes with the territory AFAIK, if you're going to use the strop. That is one reason I almost always use my Tony Miller horsehide, and leave my Kanayama 80,000 hanging for 'atmosphere'.
    You know the old saying Jimmy, "use it or lose it". If you don't use that strop it just starts to atrophy and shrinks and before you know it, it's just a shell of it's former self and can't perform right.

    If you know what I mean.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  10. #19
    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Well even though I stropped last evening I went ahead and stropped again before my morning shave and used a lighter pressure and had excellent results in regard to no scratches, or should I say light abrasions, there were some scuffs but after I was done and applied my WH and splash and put all my gear up I gave the strop a brisk rub and all the scuffs magically disappeared or seemed to appear that way with my tired old eyes.

    I have like six strops and try to use a different one everyday but there are some like the Kanayama that I reach for more, not sure if its the feedback/feel or what but it's very pleasant to strop on, my second fav is my TM Spanish Bridle and then third is my oil tanned Scrupleworks, the rest like my fast bridle, paddle and other oil tanned just fall last, they still get used but just don't have that appeal that draws me to use them more.
    "A Honer's adage "Hone-Shave-Repeat"

    ~William~

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    See now that is what I was saying,, just strop away, I know just about any strop that has a good surface does the job, but if you like slick that Kanayama is the ticket and I believe if you like it better you will be more confident and consistent with your stropping, my Kanayama is my favorite, right ahead of a NM shell. Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

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