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Thread: Strop "draw". What's it doing to the edge?

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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Default Strop "draw". What's it doing to the edge?

    I recently finished reviving an old leather/linen strop. The leather felt hard through the feedback of the razor with little to no "draw". The shave felt fine (just once on this strop so far) but it's making me wonder about, or possibly over-think, a couple things. What, if any, effect does more or less draw have on an edge? Can steps be taken to increase or decrease a strop's draw if needed?

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Draw is resistance, or friction, to the motion of the blade relative to the strop. As far as I can tell, the degree of draw has no apparent correlation with any altered effect on the blade.

    Added neatsfoot oil can increase the draw of some strops, but it is easy to overdo it so it should be added in very small increments.
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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    A little neatsfoot oil will increase draw. A little goes a very long way. An old barber friend said that stropping 'straightens the edge.' Realigns it maybe ...... edge if a razor us mighty fine.

    I don't know if heavier draw will necessarily do more. Seems like it would, but I couldn't say for sure. I like a light draw myself. When I first started in the sport I felt like a razor might be pulled out of my hand with a heavy draw latigo. Went to horsehide instead and tried the latigo again a couple of years later. I had learned to strop well enough that it wasn't a problem but I still prefer the horsehide.

    Edit ........... Ron beat me too the punch .......... great minds think alike.
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    OK, thanks. I had initially added a very small amount of neatsfoot oil when cleaning up the strop but was leery of adding too much. It still feels hard and rather dry (although flexible enough) so I will go ahead and add a small amount more.

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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    Like Jimmy says, easy on the neetsfoot, if at all. I have always heard that it makes no difference, yet I use my heavy draws on wedges and lighter ones on hollows. All about the shave, for me.

    I will add that I have a black bridle panel from Neil Miller which I over-oiled several years ago.
    Awesome, yet messy still. Works a treat. Getting less messy as we go.
    Last edited by sharptonn; 08-04-2016 at 03:07 AM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    There are 2 kinds of neetsfoot oil also. 1 has petroleum additives and will eat the leather up. Read the label.

    I cringe when I hear saddle soap because most of that has wax in it. If you use the kind that doesn't your better off.

    A better way to clean and add life to any leather is liquid glycerin. Once again look for pure and watch for additives like wax. You don't have to worry about over doing it. It wipes off and takes the dirt with it. Makes leather supple again.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10Pups View Post
    A better way to clean and add life to any leather is liquid glycerin. Once again look for pure and watch for additives like wax. You don't have to worry about over doing it. It wipes off and takes the dirt with it. Makes leather supple again.
    Great tip on the glycerin. I used to buy it at the pharmacy for home made fog machine juice back when the kids were small. Was cheap and pure. Made awesome clingy fog at Halloween.
    Think I kept some, but well worth buying more for strop maintenance or restoration.
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    Water is essential for leather too. An occasional wipe with a barely damp cloth will keep your leather properly hydrated. If you overdo the oil, the water cannot permeate the leather.

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    The problem is everyone is concerned about maintaining the leather and leather requires very little to begin with. It's a product that has been processed. A leather jacket will last forever with no treatment as long as it has not been abused and it is subject to way more wear than any strop. Unless it seems to be drying has some other obvious malady I wouldn't do anything to it.

    Water will dry it out and saddle soap will destroy it (a strop I'm talking about). Really top of the line leather care products designed for top flight auto leather contain a variety of natural products and no oil.

    The old tried and true oil from your hands, a damp cloth to remove surface dirt or a very tiny drop of neatsfoot is all you ever need.

    You know the old saying "less is more".
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    What to do with an overoiled strop?

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