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  1. #1
    imported_Tony Miller
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    Default Illinois #827 Strop

    I was wondering if the Illinois #827 strop has a specialized use. I just got one today from Bowman Beauty at a bargain price. The leather is a somewhat coarse texture yet smooth finish on the business side and has ridges cut or embossed into the back which makes it very flexable. The linen side is pretty standard fare.
    In contrast my new Illinois #361 from Norva Barber Supply (another bargain) is a smoother finish, very thick and very stiff.

    Anyone familiar with this one?

    Tony Miller

    www.bowmanbeauty.com
    www.norvabarbersupply.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member uthed's Avatar
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    The only Illinois strop I have presently is an 835 which has an unfinished leather back. But I have other vintage strops that are bonded on the back of the leather with rubber, either a honey-comb pattern, or ridges & grooves .... I think they did that to keep the leather from curling as it dried out. Of course, if you use Fromm strop dressing periodically, the leather won't dry to that point.

  3. #3
    imported_Tony Miller
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    Uthed,
    I have seen the #835 and it is similar to my #361 except for the handles I think. The #361 has no handles. 2.5" x24". The #827 is odd though. 2.5" x 24" with handles but a different finish on ther front side of the leather and ridges cut into the back of the leather. It is one of the higher end Illinois strops so the rough finish does not seem to be a cost cutting factor so maybe it is just designed for a middle step in stropping process.
    Tony

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    I have an 827 and I admit it is an odd strop in my opinion. Not sure if I was supposed to or not but I "conditioned" mine per the files at yahoo with a pumice stone, shaving lather, and a glass jar. It isn't nearly so rough anymore, but is still rough.
    I don't know. Some of my razors seem to react well to it, getting to that hanging-hair sharp in a couple of strokes (which would have took at least 10 or 15 on a regular strop) and others do not like this strop at all.
    I wonder what the manufacturer says about this one, or if anyone knows for sure where it sits. I am contemplating getting a dovo strop. So far the best strops I've had were a Jemico red russian and a George Genevesos (sp) strop.
    John P

  5. #5
    imported_Tony Miller
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    John,
    I am always puzzled abou the pumice stone thing. I can understand that on a textured or rough strop as it basically sands the rough surface into a slightly smoother suede like finish. My #827 is still basically a smooth strop but no where near as smooth as any of the other common Illimnois or Dovo products like the #127, #206 and #361.

    I was very pleased with the #361. Nice, almost sticky surface with plenty of "draw" against the blade, extremely thick too so it is easy to keep flat when stropping. Measures 2.5" x 24" without handles.

    I just got a piece of the Hand American conditioned leather from David Uthe and made a strop from it. It has a much slicker surface, very hard, almost slippery. I think I will need to use the Fromm strop dressing on it to get any real effect from it.

    The Jemico strops look interesting. I saw some locally but didn't handle them to see the texture or how flexible they are. What were your impressions of them. Is the Jemco Red Russian their high end strop?

    Tony

  6. #6
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    Default Illnios Strops . . .

    Tony, I agree about the #361...it is a beautiful piece of work! Nice, thick, leather, well conditioned, and smooth. I did dress mine up a bit with Strop Dressing, as I wanted it more flexible, and with a tad more "draw" than it came with. I also worked it in with my palm, and used a round drinking glass to smooth it in a bit.

    I am in love with it now! This will probably be my "primary" strop for the foreseeable future ...and move my Dovo down to number 2, except for the linen. I have NO idea what the linen that comes with the #361 is made of, but I tried to soak it in hot water and clothing detergent to soften it up (thought that maybe there was "sizing" in it) to no avail! The thing is still very, very stiff! I have ordered some TI Sharpening paste, and this linen might be a good fit if conditioned with that.

  7. #7
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    Tony,
    Yes, I do believe the Jemico red russian is that company's high end strop. The leather is smooth, yet tacky, and thick. It seems to take no time at all to get great results with it. The one I have is of the loop type construction, with a handle at the bottom. The back side of the loop is linen, which seems much thinner and more flexible than most linen strops I've seen. I don't know if this is good or bad, I mostly used the leather. These are GREAT strops.
    That said, I am now intrigued and considering adding an Illinois 361 to my collection. My poor Jemico had the bad luck of being one of the earlier strops I bought, and as such, I have sliced it and diced it a little much.
    I also don't know what kindof fabric the Illinois "linen finish" strops are made of, I am leaning towards nylon. I doubt if it will ever "soften up"
    Of course, I've been wrong before....
    John P

  8. #8
    imported_Tony Miller
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    John,
    That sounds like the Jemico I saw. Nice, very red leather that even looked a little sticky for a good draw. The linen looked very lose weave as if it would be quite soft.
    I saw it in an expensive knife shop in the mall. One of those places that once you ask to se something and it's out of the case they are determined not to let you leave without buying it. I thought maybe I could simply throw a 5 spot on the counter and they might let me cop a feel without the sales pitch <g>.

    Tony

  9. #9
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    Tony,
    I bought mine from a knife shop before I knew much about the different forums, or what strop is good to have etc etc. I think it cost me around 70 bucks, but its probably a lot cheaper from places online. I didn't have a Norton when I bought it, but at the time I would go from a rougher stone, like a swaty, and then a fine stone (the itsapeech-which I have lost for the moment :P) followed by the Jemico. I was getting razors which passed the hanging hair test (and shaved decent) without using paste or anything. I even had a Paki razor (a Simco) that I defended for awhile on the yahoo group, simply because I could get an edge on it with that strop. Of course, the edge never lasted long on that one, but thats another story.
    John P

  10. #10
    Senior Member halwilson's Avatar
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    For your convenience, I'm reposting this helpful message (37386) made last year at the yahoo SRP forum. It contains a message directly from the manufacturer concerning the Illinois 827 strop.

    Hal

    -- In straightrazorplace@yahoogroups.com, "John" <jporkchop@h...>
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > Hi everybody, I was dying to know what the scoop on the 827 strop
    > was
    > > (it has sortof a rough finish leather) so I emailed the
    > manufacturer
    > > and asked a few questions about what order they recommended, as
    > well.
    > > For what its worth here is what the reply was:
    > > Dear John,
    > >
    > > No problem on the questions - I'm glad to help.
    > >
    > > 1) The manufacturing process for the fabric strop impregnates it
    > with
    > > the abrasive. No additional care is required, and it should
    retain
    > its
    > > abrasive properties for the life of the strop. Comparing a hone
    > and a
    > > fabric strop to grades of sandpaper, the hone would be coarse grit
    > > sandpaper and the fabric would be the fine grit.
    > >
    > > 2) A razor develops small metal burrs and teeth along its blade
    > when
    > > it
    > > is sharpened using either of the sharpening methods above. A
    > leather
    > > strop aligns and removes these small metal burrs and smoothes the
    > > cutting edge. The coarse strop does a quicker and rougher job of
    > this,
    > > while the top-grain strop does a slower but finer job.
    > >
    > > 3) For order of progression on a full sharpening, use your hone,
    > then
    > > the canvas strop, then the coarse leather strop, and finally the
    > > smooth
    > > leather strop. Either or both leather strops can be used in the
    > > process.
    > > When giving a shave, strop with the smooth leather both before
    and
    > > after
    > > the shave to keep the blade at it sharpest, and to keep it clear
    > of
    > > bits
    > > of hair and debris.
    > >
    > > Hope this clears things up.
    > >
    > > Thanks again,
    > >
    > > FROMM INTERNATIONAL
    > > 1919 Stanley Street
    > > Northbrook, IL 60062
    > > 800-323-4252 phone

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