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Thread: Chrome-tanned or Veg-tanned leather?

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    Question Chrome-tanned or Veg-tanned leather?

    Hello !

    I'm making a strop that I'm gluing to redwood and I have a couple questions

    Which is preferable...
    1) Veg-tanned leather
    2) Chrome-tanned leather

    or Chrome Veg Retanned?

    Do you think a black latigo leather might be best? Any favorites suppliers?

    Also, how much of a difference does it make whether I use chromium oxide or diamond-based abrasives? Should I use both? Is one SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER than the other?

    I've also heard that with a high quality leather, it is better to not use a compound. What are your thoughts? I'd rather use the highest quality leather possible... but will it be water-resistant?
    Last edited by KnivesFanatic; 05-06-2014 at 07:49 AM.

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    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    Default Since you want the best...

    The best leather you can get for a strop is shell cordovan.
    The best compound to put on your strop depends on what you want to do to your razor and the razor itself.

    As advised previously I think you should consult Procter and Gamble which would be the best compound for stropping their Mach III cartridges. After all only they know what is the proprietary coating they use on their edges, and which compound would be best suitable for them.

    On the other hand, we on this forum, tend to not use those razors you want to strop, so there is very very little expertise here on the subject that interests you.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I would suggest sending a PM to Neil Miller with a link to this thread. He makes some fantastic strops and knows leather inside and out .... no pun.
    rolodave and Druid like this.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Senior Member JSmith1983's Avatar
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    I was looking for some leather to try and make a strop and was looking for the same info also. What I found was that the chrome tanned leather will have trace particles from the tanning process where the veg tanned stuff won't, but who knows if that is accurate. Lets hope someone with leather working experience chimes in because I would like to know also.

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    Senior Member Druid's Avatar
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    Good advice above.. talk to Neil.

    Any advice I could give would be worthless compared to what Neil knows about leather ..

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    Thanks !!

    So right now I'm thinking about getting Shell cordovan from Shell Cordovan « Horween Leather Company and not using any compounds. What are your thoughts?

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnivesFanatic View Post
    Thanks !!

    So right now I'm thinking about getting Shell cordovan from Shell Cordovan « Horween Leather Company and not using any compounds. What are your thoughts?
    AFAIK Horween is the best, if not the only, source for shell cordovan in the USA. From what I've read it is hard to get pieces of a size that would make a good strop because the high end shoe companies buy so much and Horween gives them 'pick of the litter.' I could be wrong though, I was wrong once before.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    I have Shell Cordovan strops, I have plenty of abrasive compounds and I am pretty sure I have few packs of Mach-3 cartridges somewhere around, but I'm not putting those anywhere near the strops.
    Sorry, can't help you with that, but if you try it do let us know how it works out for you.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Here is a bit more reading on Horween Leathers and Chrome vs Vegetable tanned

    Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan vs. Chromexcel: What€™s the difference?


    I figured posting it here rather then by PM would be best

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    BTW, IIRC you expressed interest in stropping cartridge razor blades ? If that is your intent you don't need to buy a piece of leather/cordovan large enough to make a full size razor strop. You could get by with a piece of scrap maybe 12" long or less IMO. Like gugi says, it is not something that has been posted on, so whether it is even doable remains to be seen. You could also check with SRD (Straight Razor Designs) and buy one or more of the 12" strips for their modular paddle in horsehide, felt, scrub leather, and the diamond spray or the chrom-ox to apply. Not the whole paddle, just the replacement pad/pads would be all you'd need. OTOH, if we're talking for a straight razor, that is another story, go for the full size strop, hand made by you , or store bought.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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