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Thread: The Suede Side

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    Default The Suede Side

    I have been stropping with a vintage horsehide and sometimes not getting very good results. I accidentally cut the top side of my Buckingham strop and on a lark I turned it around and tried stropping on the suede side. The results are much better and I always pass the HHT after twenty or so strops on the suede side. I think the suede gives a better grip on the razor and there is less likelihood of bending the edge over onto itself. It also helps that I use a quality chromium oxide paste that I bought on ebay from a guy in England.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    Well that's good that you think this, if it's helping then go for it, there aren't really any rules. But if our not getting good results from your horsehide strop there really is only 2 things can be wrong, 1. The strop is damaged or has bad stuff on it, 2. Your stropping ain't good, and this would be the one I'd bet on. And if your using crox every stropping and your stropping is not good your not helping your edge.

    Work on your stropping cause leather does what it's supposed to. The rough side of the leather does a decent job of cleaning the edge, and getting it ready for a good stropping. Tc
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    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Any quality leather should keep an edge going, heck even folded news print will work in a pinch ( Yes I have used this for about a week ) the smooth finished side is what you want to end up on, the suede or rough side is ok to use prior to the smooth finished leather but I personally would not think it would maintain an edge in the long run but if it works as stated there are no rules, I currently have 6 strops in rotation and they vary from oil tanned to cordovan and to be honest they all work fine, the real difference for me is the draw and then the looks that the maker decides he wants it to look like but as far as maintaining an edge they all see to do the same thing and my face can't tell the difference.
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    Senior Member Gasman's Avatar
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    I too like the feel of a suede strop. My Kanayama came with one and I do enjoy using it. But its used between the cloth and the leather. Mainly for cleaning of the edge before going to the leather. As far as it helping, Who knows, but I do like the fast feel of it. I have a canvas with CR0X, a clean Canvas, the suede and the leather. I dont use the CR0x really but I got it jusr encase I need to fine tune an edge after a shave. Think I've used it less than 10 times in almost a year.
    Jerry...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasman View Post
    I too like the feel of a suede strop. My Kanayama came with one and I do enjoy using it. But its used between the cloth and the leather. Mainly for cleaning of the edge before going to the leather. As far as it helping, Who knows, but I do like the fast feel of it. I have a canvas with CR0X, a clean Canvas, the suede and the leather. I dont use the CR0x really but I got it jusr encase I need to fine tune an edge after a shave. Think I've used it less than 10 times in almost a year.
    Thanks for your advice. It might be possible to go from suede to smooth and never rely on CrOX. It might be my technique.

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    Thanks for your advice. When my horsehide strop arrived in the mail I put some shoe polish on it and then some pomade. It turns out this was not a good idea. I washed the shoe polish and whatever else was in it out with a washcloth and some shaving cream. After it dried I rubbed in a little olive oil. Today I stropped 60 x stroke laps. It popped the hair on the HHT and the shave was like right off the hones. I think the shoe polish was gumming my strop up. When I think about it I wouldn't rub wax into 8000 grit sandpaper.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    The olive oil ain't good for it either, stay away from putting anything on your strop, unless it's dryed out, then use neatsfoot oil or even better ballistrol, and if your stropping is good ( take that HHT and don't use it ) it should be a little smoother after the stone, unless your really good with a stone, but leather burnishes your edge and lines it up. I have no idea of where you got the idea of shoe polish, but I wouldn't listen to them again. Tc
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    ‘It might be possible to go from suede to smooth and never rely on CrOX. It might be my technique.”


    No, not really. .50um Chrome Oxide is about 20-30K grit. Plain leather is 0 grit…

    Is it Suede leather or rough leather?

    The edge is a very fragile thing, and should not be stropped on rough leather. The actual edge of a razor is too thin to see without 1000X plus magnification. The goal of stropping is to align the super thin edge and polish it, anything but a smooth substrate, will damage the edge.

    When you are learning to strop, the substrate, leather, smooth/rough Fabric or paper, does not matter much, until your technique improves, which is why you feel it is working. Take a look at your edge with magnification, to check for straightness.

    Woven nylon strapping, seatbelt type is great to learn on, almost impossible to cut, and will produce an edge equal to leather, for a novice stropper.
    Last edited by Euclid440; 07-06-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    I started with a paddle strop that was suede on both sides. I felt that it really didn't do much at all, I went for it because I read that a paddle strop was easier to learn on and it was less expensive.

    I very quickly moved on to a hanging leather strop and have never looked back. Maybe with yours being vintage, there could be some contaminant on the leather or perhaps it has dried out.

    I have to say that I nicked my strop a few times at first. Luckily they were all at the top or bottom and could easily be avoided. Also I rubbed them smooth with some sandpaper (just the nick). It's all part of the learning curve I guess. The thing is that I never cut my strop now and the results are far better than I can get on the suede. Now that my technique has improved I have been back to the suede, just to check and it doesn't get me the edge that I get from leather.

    Keep at it you will get there. Also I echo the advice about not using CrOx every time.

    Have fun and take your time.
    Fact: Opinions are not the same as facts... Well, that's my opinion anyway

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    I know lots preach treating a strop but I am one who rarely puts anything on a strop, for example my Kanayama 70 and other strops only get the occasional wipe down with a warm damp microfiber cloth, not soaking wet just lightly damp and I keep rinsing it often and keep lightly wiping until the strop is damp and then keep it flat until it dries then I just rub with my palm before use, I never add any oils, I do have some Fromm strop treatment and have used it on my beater strop but not the ones I baby, have thought about rubbing a small amount in my palm and just lightly rubbing my strops to add just a bit of oils but am afraid I will ruin the natural quality of the treatment during the making of the strop especially the Kanayama
    Last edited by Jnatcat; 07-06-2017 at 08:27 AM.
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