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Thread: Save grandfather's old strop

  1. #1
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    Default Save grandfather's old strop

    I got this small strop from my dad. It was his dad's. He doesn't use a straight so now I have it. Problem is, it probably hasn't been used in 40 years. I don't know much about this stuff since I just started with straight shaving. I think it's leather/wood and about 8 inches long. There was a small lift in the edge of the leather on one side. I tried to push it to see if it would give, but it just cracked

    So the question is, can I give this thing enough TLC to save it? Or could I rip off the old leather and glue a new strip on? Also, any details on make/manufacturer/materials would be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    Well, I'm no strop restoration expert, but I see two choices;
    1. Keep as is for history purposes, there is a lot of history on that strop,, the wear & tear over the years. I'm not sure the leather can be brought back to a usable condition.

    2. Do as you said & replace the leather.

    If it was mine, I'd keep as is for a display of history. I would use it as a template though, to create a new one just like it.

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  4. #3
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    I have my Grandfathers Shapleigh strop from the 1920's. It's ratty and worn completely out. It's in my display case next to his hone worn Henckels (that I use once a year n his birthday). I wouldn't touch it. The memory of watching him use it when I was a kid and knowing that the last hand that used it was his out weighs restoring it.

    My $0.02

  5. #4
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    These are some really good points. I think I'll stash it away and think on it. Restore and use the same piece of hardware, or leave it alone as memorabilia.

  6. #5
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    My grandfather was a wet shaver and I have nothing of his and really wish I had. So if I were you I would keep it.

    When I say I have nothing, I have strong memories of the smell of sandalwood on a Sunday afternoon when he shaved before going out on a Sunday night. Every now and then I will grab some sandalwood shaving cream just to bring those memories back.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Is the leather dry or wet? If it's dry, you can sand it, then scrape the surface (to remove any stray abrasive) with a knife with the edge just trailing or perpendicular to the leather, and then re-oil it.

    If it's wet, you could probably hand plane it (and then scrape it). I've never tried that, but it would just be a variant of skiving. (Of course, 95% of the people on here probably don't have a hand plane, so maybe that's not such great advice!).

    I'm going to try planing, as I have a paddle strop that's a bit chewed up, but the leather is still soft and has a lot of thickness.

  8. #7
    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    This thread by mainaman shows making and sanding a paddle strop. Making a paddle strop- Tutorial I referred to it when making my paddle strop and few months ago. Sanding works well if done right and can also be used to clean and refresh the surface. After sanding I rubbed it with a scrap piece of leather just to further polish and refine the surface.
    "Go easy"

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    Get some Ballistol to treat & clean the leather. A little goes a long way. I treat all my strops with Ballistol. It just works.

    Slawman
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  10. #9
    32t
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    If it was grandpa's old car would you not rebuild the engine and possibly repaint it? Put new tires on it?

    How about restoring one side for use and leaving one for display?

    Only to you and your family does an old worn out piece have history. To most other people it is an old piece of junk.

    I would replace the leather as many times as I needed in my lifetime. {I have been known to cut a strop....} And think of him every time I grab the handle and use it.
    "Let fear push you. Not slow you down."

    Tim

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