Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Strop Thickness

  1. #1
    Trying to Stay Sharp 300WSM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Billings, MT
    Posts
    58
    Thanked: 9

    Default Strop Thickness

    I have read a number of threads that discuss the merits of certain strop widths. For newbies it seems to be 3 inches, for the old timers 2 inches and the best all around width 2-1/2 inches, etc. But is there a certain thickness to the strop that works best and why? I have a Medal of Award Shell horsehide strop that I have been using and it measures .128 to .135 thickness across the surface on my Mitutoyo digital micrometer. This is just a hair above 1/8 inches. What do the TM and SRD strops measure and do they vary according to widths and why? Just curious about whether that factor has anything to do with strop effectiveness.
    Denny
    300WSM

  2. #2
    They call me Mr Bear. Stubear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Alton, UK
    Posts
    5,716
    Thanked: 1683
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    I know people have various preferences to the width of their strop, but I guess the thickness really comes down to a mix of durability and usability.

    You dont want a really thin piece of leather thats going to stretch and bow when you use it, or thats going to tear apart as soon as you put a tiny nick it. But by the same token, you dont want a strop thats so thick its heavy and unwieldy to use or doesnt flex enough or sags under its own weight.

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32,563
    Thanked: 11021

    Default

    Eyeballing the current stuff, SRD, Tony Miller, Kanayama they are about an eighth of an inch, perhaps a hair more, and nice and flexible. I have some vintage strops that are the same, some a bit more and some a bit less. Some are rather stiff by design but most are pliable. The current HandAmerican strops are two leather components glued back to back and measure 1/4" and are very stiff. All of these work well and it just depends on personal preference and I suppose what you get used to using. Myself I like pliable better than stiff.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  4. #4
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    27,686
    Thanked: 4402
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    It's that surface that does the work so I would think the thickness doesn't really matter. Afterall, you can buy a leather covered bench strop which is basically a block of wood and it works fine being totally rigid.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  5. #5
    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Maleny, Australia
    Posts
    7,910
    Thanked: 1565
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    At the other extreme, kangaroo leather is very thin - I've not actually measured it but it must be around the 1mm thickness mark, perhaps slightly thicker. But, despite the thickness it seems to do a good job. I personally feel that if the leather does the job the thickness doesn't really matter all that much, beyond personal preference.

    James.
    <This signature intentionally left blank>

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Nottingham, Maryland
    Posts
    2,494
    Thanked: 334

    Default

    I choose my leather thickness based on what will give the required body.....not too stiff, not too flexy. depending on the temper of the hide this can vary. I have had thin stiff sides and thick soft sides. Whatever gives the desired feel is what I will use.

    Inherently thickness means nothing, surface quality/feel and overall body (suppleness) is everything

    Tony

  7. #7
    Trying to Stay Sharp 300WSM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Billings, MT
    Posts
    58
    Thanked: 9

    Default Thanks for the info...

    Tony,
    Your assessment of picking correct thickness according to stiffness to maintain proper flex sounds spot on. I work in a machine shop manufacturing parts for various applications. Metal can be tempered to perform in different ways. It is not always the thickness of a part that gives it strength but the temper and form at critical junctures. I have seen parts fail in the strangest ways because hardness was too much or too little in the wrong spot. Like everything else it pays to know what you are doing.

    Thanks to all of you for your input on this subject.
    Denny
    300WSM

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to 300WSM For This Useful Post:

    Tony Miller (03-25-2010)

  9. #8
    50 year str. shaver mrsell63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Pothole County, PA
    Posts
    2,258
    Thanked: 522
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Thickness does not necessarily equate to feel but I like the feel of bridle leather. It has a certain softness and flexibility that promotes a nice drag factor for me. I have an SRD English Bridle strop that has a quite nice feel to it. And I have an American tanned bridle strop that gives me much the same feel. There is a certain softness to bridle leather that is desirable.

    You won't know until you try it.
    JERRY
    OOOPS! Pass the styptic please.

  10. #9
    Administrator Lynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, United States
    Posts
    8,450
    Thanked: 4931
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Usually, I find that thicker leathers tend to be stiffer and not the best from a result standpoint for making strops. Even the bridle untreated, is a little stiffer, but once treated, provides excellent results and definite draw with feedback. I find there is a more pliability with a little thinner leather, but the key is in the leather itself. I like to look for leathers that have grain qualities that will produce as good or better results than the old vintage strops. Even with all the oil and wax on a latigo, it really seems that a thinner piece will break in faster and produce better draw quicker than with a thicker stiffer piece that can remain slick for a while. Thinner horsehide to me, also breaks in quicker and is more effective. I have seen some thick almost belt leather like strops out there and even tried a couple which have taken months to start getting unslick and still will almost stand up by themselves. I have not found the best results with these.

    Draw or feedback with a strop is s very personal thing. Slick feeling stropping to me is really not as effective and materials that will give you some draw to a heavy draw with a short break in period, seem to work the best. This may not always equate to just thick or thin.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Lynn For This Useful Post:

    PLanzaSr1957 (04-06-2010)

  12. #10
    Senior Member PLanzaSr1957's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Central Valley of California
    Posts
    153
    Thanked: 23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    Usually, I find that thicker leathers tend to be stiffer and not the best from a result standpoint for making strops. Even the bridle untreated, is a little stiffer, but once treated, provides excellent results and definite draw with feedback. I find there is a more pliability with a little thinner leather, but the key is in the leather itself. I like to look for leathers that have grain qualities that will produce as good or better results than the old vintage strops. Even with all the oil and wax on a latigo, it really seems that a thinner piece will break in faster and produce better draw quicker than with a thicker stiffer piece that can remain slick for a while. Thinner horsehide to me, also breaks in quicker and is more effective. I have seen some thick almost belt leather like strops out there and even tried a couple which have taken months to start getting unslick and still will almost stand up by themselves. I have not found the best results with these.

    Draw or feedback with a strop is s very personal thing. Slick feeling stropping to me is really not as effective and materials that will give you some draw to a heavy draw with a short break in period, seem to work the best. This may not always equate to just thick or thin.
    ------
    Thanks Lynn. I was just wondering about "draw" myself. My Premium III Buffalo Strop that I got from you guys at SRD has nice draw I think. I read another thread a few moments ago and the theme was for your SRD Premium II. They were not very positive on the III due to it's draw. They seemed to agree that they liked the Premium I and Premium IV best. I must be part cowboy because I like "the draw", pardener!

    I, being a NEWB don't really have any experiences to compare to like they do though. But that said, I think I am one that "catches on" quick, at least I'd like to think so. I personally find the Premium III Buffalo a very nice strop. So far I am very impressed at how easily it brought my late grandfathers SHUMATE back to "shave ready". I think I can take it a bit further, but compared to what it was when I first received it - whoa - what a difference!!!

    After I just did a paste-n-strop on my SHUMATE, I found the edge very clean under microscope. Clean, as in NOT burred. I was VERY surprised after I was done. When I first got the razor the blade was mediocre at best. Kind of rough and didn't shave well at all. But after a few rounds with the "Pyramid method" on the NORTON 4000/8000, and after a few passes (approx 10-20) on the fabric side of the strop - pasted with .5 micron Chr Ox and your suggested 30-50 laps on the leather side, she sharpened up nicely. RRrreal nicely!

    This new knowledge I am gaining for honing and stropping is kewl. I really like the straight razor hobby for it's attention to detail with respect to sharpening, as well as the end result, a superior, close shave.

    Like you say, there's just something about working your razor up to it's optimum potential that gives one a feeling of satisfaction that just can't be beat. Cannot thank you enough for your guidance. Thank you, sir!!

    Cordially,

    ~Phil
    Last edited by PLanzaSr1957; 04-06-2010 at 08:11 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •