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Thread: Strop conditioning

  1. #1
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    Default Strop conditioning

    How often shoud i put a paste or conditioner on my strop?

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    Senior Member Speedster's Avatar
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    Gssixgun taught me to “palm condition” my strop, that is to rub the strop vigorously with my palm before stropping. This is an old timer’s trick to keep the strop continually conditioned so a true strop conditioner becomes unnecessary. However, if you are restoring an old, crispy leather strop, then you will need to use a conditioner like neetsfoot oil. (From what I hear, a little goes a long way.)

    As for a “pasted strop,” that requires a second strop to be used occasionally to refresh the edge with say, Chromium Oxide (CrOx), as one example. This is what some shavers do to extend the life of a razor’s edge between honing. I find actual honing more enjoyable and so my use of pasted strops is limited to a Cerium Oxide treated board strop after honing.
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    Speedster is spot on.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    Don't need to condition a strop that is in good working order ever. Once in a while just wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth to clean it is all. C
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    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    I have gone thru lots of different leathers and applied all sorts of this and that and what works the best is a simple palm rub 10-15 times before stropping, there are some strops that need conditioning but be warned once it added you can't remove it.
    Last edited by Jnatcat; 11-10-2017 at 02:58 AM.
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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Great advise! A tiny bit at a time!

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    As usual, I do things ... differently. My goal is to have steel hit clean leather with nothing in between. I periodically clean my strops with a damp cloth, maybe once every year/18 months. I rarely palm rub any more (usually just to feel that the the strop surface is clean) and have never used conditioner on a strop that I bought new. One vendor recommends only using strop paste if the strop shows leather dust or 'strop dandruff' and I think that's good advice.

    When I palm rubbed, I found the strop cleaning cloth to be noticeably dirtier looking than if I did not. That's not surprising, I've bought old mikawa nagura that were caked with palm residue after extended use. Skin oil will have salt in it too. I no longer palm rub and after a couple of years I can't tell any difference except the strop stays noticeably cleaner. Since it appears to come off when cleaning, I assume that palm oil stays on the surface of the strop.

    You can remove oil and conditioner from strops. You can certainly wash them in soap and water, I've done that with old grungy ebay finds. Iwasaki in his book recommends soaking them in gasoline to remove oil/conditioner if you overdo it, then wash them in soapy water. Then dry them between two flat boards so they don't warp or wrinkle. I've never washed a strop in gasoline but apparently you can do it!

    When I do use strop conditioner, it's on old stiff strops that I've come across. I've used the Dovo strop paste and Ballistol (mineral oil in solvent) and both worked pretty well. I used the conditioner/Ballistol mostly on the back then worked/flexed the strop in my hands for a few minutes.

    All of my Kanoyamas look like the day I bought them. They're just as supple as new and the surface is even more polished from use.

    Cheers, Steve

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    One word, "BALLISTOL" It works!

    Slawman

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