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Thread: My New Strops.

  1. #11
    Senior Member WILDMAN1's Avatar
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    I saw a picture of the cuts of leather on a horse and the rump strips are the shell strips. Thanks for the advice.

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    The shell is under the skin instead of on the surface. my understanding is that it's the membrane that the horse uses to twitch their rear when they're trying to get flies off.

    I could be wrong, though.

    I looked up the shells from the italian maker of shell cordovan and they are 165 euros, so if they are ultimately any cheaper than getting horween shells (you used to be able to get horween shells through their "tannery row" retail front end, maybe you can't anymore, I don't know).

    Maybe some of the other tanneries are cheaper, but the italian tannery leather also does not resemble the shell that's on old strops. The japanese strops are also different, less of a glaze on the leather and more of what looks like burnishing. Less hard/stiff strops, too, than the horween type.

    Biggest waste of money I've ever made in anything strop related was buying a no. 2 shell from horween and making a strop out of it, and then learning that it can't handle any spinework on a razor - not even something relatively plain like a dovo bismark. Net cost after selling off the outside parts of the shell was still about $140 to make a strop, and it's still in my closet almost unused.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member WILDMAN1's Avatar
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    Ok, The shell on old strops shouldn't resemble the new. Is stiff/hard undesirable? Don't understand. What was wrong with a "No.2" strop? The No. 1 is better? Can't handle spine work? What does that mean/matter? I think I will go ahead and drop some coin on a new shell cordovan from the guy on feebay. His are around $240. or so. I have an old one from Peter J. Michels, which is shell. I think, sometimes, that too much thought goes into buying a strop. I think that any shell or latigo is good enough to finish a straight before shaving. I had an Illinois strop that was new, that worked well. It was not pricey. It may have been made out of bridle leather or . . . ? Any how, I'll just keep watching this thread. I learn something new every day.

  4. #14
    Senior Member ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    WILDMAN-If you want a horse shell strop on a budget, go vintage. You can get some outstanding, near mint ones from Ebay, often for around $50. Jsut make sure they are reasonably straight with no wrinkles. I've got a rack full of them, and would put them up against anybody's new $300 cordovan shell strop (which I admit I would also like to have, but can't really justify to the wife). Lots of us on here use and love our old Kokens, Wagners, DublDucks, Red Imps, all the different Certifyd brands, etc.

    As to your question about stiffness/hardness on a strop, I think the Horween shell another poster tried is probably just cut and tanned too thin. I've got a couple of quite thin vintage ones, but most of mine are quite thick and substantial, but slick like a bowling ball (especially my Wagner!).
    Last edited by ScoutHikerDad; 09-22-2017 at 10:23 PM.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    The new shell is intended for shoes, watchbands, wallets, etc. It's thin and stiff, but with a top treatment that isn't very durable, and when it comes off, the shell below isn't nearly as slick, and the surface becomes less than uniform. I personally wouldn't want a strop made of it, even though I have one.

    Get a japanese made strop instead if you're going to buy something in that price range. The leather that they use is far better suited to the long run vs that which is produced by between.

    In terms of the number, that's the sizing convention that between used. A no 2 shell is one that's not as large as the largest size, it's a size or two smaller. The bigger the shell, the higher the cost. A no 2 shell was the smallest size that I could get close to two feet out of, and that was one of the long narrow ones as far as no 2 shell go. It was 225 with shipping, and someone on here bought the excess for watchbands.

    I'm not a fan of any of the cow leathers for razor strops. Broken in horse butt strip is far better. Almost no vintage strops used cow leather until the supply of horse leather dwindled with the phase out of horses used in agriculture. It's just not nearly as good on razors as horse leathers.
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  7. #16
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Between = horween

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    Puzzled by the comment the shell can't take spinework.

    I have a Raven Strop which is Black Horween Cordovan which is bonded to saddle leather and I have had no issues with the shell at all.

    As a matter of fact talk to someone who has a pair of Cordovan Shoes and they will tell you they are some of the longest lasting shoes you can buy. I know cause I have a pair I bought 30 years ago and they laugh at scuffs and things that would destroy regular leather. My shoes look better now than when I first got them.
    Last edited by thebigspendur; 09-23-2017 at 02:17 AM.
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  9. #18
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    My horween shell strop. About 25 razors stropped on it:

    Name:  20170922_221847.jpg
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    See all of the bumps? They're treatment removed by a dovo Bismarck.

    Jared at tss showed a much more drastically worn strop years ago and made the comment that once the surface comes off, they're not the same. I'd agree. Even with just those spots removed, the feel is significantly affected for the negative.

    Great for shoes, wallets and watch bands, subpar for strops, esp for the price. At the same time, I made a butt strip strop for about $10, and it has been far superior with probably close to 100x as many razors.
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  11. #19
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Better pictureName:  20170922_221840.jpg
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  12. #20
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    Super interesting thread this has turned into!

    With almost all of the above propositions the hardest bit is getting the martial, the actual leatherwork to run it into a strop after that is quite easy!

    that said provided material id be happy to give back a functional strop
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