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10-24-2008, 02:44 AM #1
Sanding My Strops
So I've come across several references to sanding a leather strop to give it a little more draw...and I figured I'd try it out! So I made an excursion to the hardward store today to buy some sandpaper, and I ended up getting some 220 and 320 grit paper. The two strops I was going to try to touch up are an Illinois #127 and a paddle strop from Lee Valley.
I started with the Illinois #127 strop, and I tried sanding it VERY lighty with the 220, and was quickly pleased with the results! After I sanded it a bit with the 220, then the 320, the leather had a very velvety smooth feel to it. Exactly what I wanted, since the feel prior to the sanding was very hard and stiff. I worked in a bit of Fromm leather conditioning, and put a very heavy atlas on top of it to keep in flat.
Since I had such great success with my hanging strop, I decided to try the same with my paddle strop. My paddle strop was COVERED (I mean 1mm thick on the whole strop) with green chromium oxide that I bought in a brick form that I rubbed on. It was not very even, and I soon learned that this was NOT what it was supposed to look like! So I found some very rough sandpaper, and began sanding off this insanely thick green layer, not knowing what the leather would look like afterwards.... It took a while, but I was eventually able to get ALL of the green stuff off the leather, and besides looking a little pale, felt very smooth and even. I then sanded with the 220 then the 320 grit, and was very pleased with the outcome!!! THe leather had a very fine nap to it, and it felt like suede. I applied a little Fromm to it, and it got a very rich colour to it.
All in all, I'm very happy with the risk that I took, since I was initially worried I would screw up my strops! My piece of advice for anyone willing to try sanding your strop is to be VERY gentle, since you don't know how the leather will respond to the sandpaper.
Just thought I would share my positive experience with everyone, especially for those who are thinking of touching up their strop.
Thanks for reading,
The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to StraightRazorDave For This Useful Post:
10-24-2008, 03:19 AM #2
Thank you for sharing, David.
The information you have provided is very much appreciated, by me!
10-24-2008, 03:54 AM #3
Good job, Dave. You gave your strops a "nubuck" finish. Finer than suede. Silky. I prefer my strops that way as well, both horse and cowhide.
10-24-2008, 03:58 AM #4
Today I watched my barber sand out a cut on his strop with one of those abrasive brick-like rust remover/polishers sold at gun shows. There are several makes of them. Knife people also use them to clean up old rusty blades. It did a good job on the strop. It was comforting to see that even experienced strop users make a slip from time to time. At least I now know how to take care of such misfortunes. He had used it on some of his razors to remove rust and stains. I would be careful using it on an etched blade, although it is claimed not to scratch the metal. I dunno.
10-24-2008, 02:18 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
I think I may try this. I have always wanted a little more drag from my strop. Thanks for the instructions!
10-24-2008, 02:20 PM #6
i typically give my strops a once-over with 240 grit wet/dry about every six months... keeps 'em flat and pulling right.
10-24-2008, 02:35 PM #7
As always when sanding strops, just be sure to rub your hand vigorously when you're done to get out ALL the sanding particles, or you could end up with a nasty surprise to your razor!
10-24-2008, 03:04 PM #8
10-24-2008, 03:07 PM #9
Or use a saddle soap/spray on leather cleaner. Belvoir works great for me.
10-24-2008, 04:03 PM #10
Good points about the sandpaper debris.... I was really careful too after sanding. I didn't want any little pieces or debris from the sandpaper left on the strop, I can just imagine the damage it could do to a razor's edge. I just rubbed mine a lot with my hands then with a rag quite hard to make sure everything was rubbed off the strop.