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Thread: What the proper way to apply neatsfoot oil?

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    Senior Member ziggy925's Avatar
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    Default What the proper way to apply neatsfoot oil?

    What's the proper way to apply neatsfoot oil to a strop? How long after the applicaton can you use it?

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I lay mine on a piece of newspaper (on a table) and apply the oil to a soft cloth and then rub it on the strop. A little goes a long way and you don't want too much of a good thing. I would wait overnight before using it but I'm not sure that is necessary. It will increase draw and darken the leather.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Um, depends on what you mean by "proper".

    To me, proper application would be only as needed and sparingly. General practice is to rub it in with the palm of your hand. A few drops are all that you really need. Allow to dry overnight if possible.

    Also, you will probably not need to apply neatsfoot oil to a new strap for some time. Simply rubbing the strap with the palm of your hand will be enough, as the hands have lots of oils that can be rubbed right into the leather. How long between neatsfoot oil applications is hard to say, and depends a great deal on how heavily used the strap is, as well as weather and storage conditions.

    Hope that helps
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    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    Too much oil will not do it much good, use very sparingly. When I use oil which is rarely put a few drops into the palm of the hand, runb your hands together then rub into the strop. This will get about the same results as using a rag as already described. I'd rather work a little in at a time as needed rather than over do it.

    If you go through the archives here you may likely find more threads asking how to remove products that were applied to strops than those telling you to apply something. You can get great results with Neat's Foot Oil and you can also wind up wishing you had not done it.....it's a fine line.

    Tony
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    Senior Member ziggy925's Avatar
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    Well, at least I've got a better idea than I had before. Sounds like rubbing a litte on your hands and doing it that way is just one step above using the oils from your hands, which I was already doing from time to time.

    I'm also aware it's a lot easier to put more on than to take off too much. Thanks for the info.

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    Hmm... If you have a feedstore, or a western wear shop nearby, mebbe. IDK if your average superstore carries it... Wouldnt hurt to check tho!

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    I found mine @ the stand that sell the shoe polish, it is used for water proofing I think.
    I used just a few drops on my palms rubbed it nicely on the strop and I got the best results. Before I used baby oil and lather, but the neats foot oil definitely beats them.
    Stefan

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    Normally I will only apply neatsfoot oil when a strop is starting to stiffen up or if I have a new strop that is very slick like the thicker Latigo's or the newer Horsehides. I find the key to really breaking in a strop is to try to rub your palm back and forth on the strop daily until your palm is warm. I feel that if you are going to apply neatsfoot oil (mink oil works nicely too), that putting a small amount on a rag and rubbing it in is the best way. A couple drops on the palm to me is simply not enough, but on the other hand as stated, you do not want to put a thick coat on as too much oil will actually make the strop seem greasy. The oil should not feel slick on the strop. That is a sure sign of too much. A thin layer should actually start soaking in or disappear as you apply it. Once on, I usually rub the strop with my palm until the palm is warm several times and then let it sit over night and repeat the rubbing in the morning. Some strops may require two or three of these very light treatments. In most cases, you will be able to feel more draw after the first application.

    Some people actually apply the neatsfoot oil to the back of the strop and let it soak in from there. Once the strop is more supple and broken in, the draw will increase from this type of application as well.

    Have fun,

    Lynn

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    I got my neatsfoot oil from SRD. Wasn't expensive, and after following the advice here it did a nice job. I applied it with my hand.

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    SRD carries it, if you are looking local try a boot shop or a cobbler (shoe repair guy). I have only had to oil my strop a couple of times over the years. It is an antique Master Barber shell horse. I put it on the buffed back side of the strop. It soaks into the leather much faster. After a day I run my hand up and down the strop letting it bow around the bottom of my palm. I do not hold it taunt like I was stropping. You want to work the leather to promote the oil into the deep fibers of the leather and limber them up. I will do that now and then even when I am not oiling it. It helps to keep the leather soft.

    You could also rub a smooth glass bottle like a wine bottle or my personal favourite, an empty single malt bottle while holding the strop loose so the leather bows around a quarter of the bottle to get the same effect. I usually only do that on a new strop that needs a little breaking in or when restoreing an antique strop that has hardened over time.

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