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Thread: Kangaroo ideas

  1. #1
    Senior Member Legion's Avatar
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    Default Kangaroo ideas

    I'm a newbie and I need a strop.

    I received quite a few recommendations about what beginners strop to get but, since all of the good cheaper ones had to be imported from overseas, the postage was as much as the strop. All the ones available locally were either kinda expensive or rubbish...

    So I have decided to make my own. I am reasonably handy and have so far restored one blade and I have been restoring brushes for a while now, so a leather strop does not seem like too hard a task.

    Since Kangaroo leather is not much harder to get here than cow leather I thought I might go in that direction, so I ordered a small hide. It feels beautiful and I have used it for stropping a couple of times just by laying it out on a table and stropping on it that way. It seems to work really well even like that, at least to my newbie eye.

    The only problem is the leather is a lot thinner than cow or horse leather and I am worried it might be too stretchy to use as a conventional hanging strop. One idea was to make it double sided, either kangaroo/ cow or kangaroo/ kangaroo.

    Another idea was to make a paddle strop and glue it to that. My newbie question on that idea, is there a reason why paddle strops seem to be so small? All the ones I have seen pictures of, and for sale, seem to be a lot smaller than a hanging strop, which I think might make it harder for me to use, as I'm just learning.

    Is there any reason why I shouldn't make a paddle strop with a surface area as big as a hanging strop? Say 2.5" X 12" ? If it would work it would solve a lot of problems with getting and attaching fittings to hang the strop, and also the thinness of the leather wouldn't be an issue. Or would it? What do you guys think? I do have enough leather for a couple of ideas but I still don't want to waste kangaroo on something dumb that definitely wouldn't work.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth Kees's Avatar
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    All sorts of leathers have been used for strops, just try it.

    No reason not to have a large bench strop. Although I think a hanging strop allows for faster stropping.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr.

  3. #3
    Antisocialite HarleyFXST's Avatar
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    Talk to Jimbo. He is the 'roo strop expert. I have used one of his, once,and really liked the draw. The leather is very thin,but didn't seem stretchy.

    <disclaimer> I am relatively new to straight razors.

  4. #4
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    'Roo hide may be thinner than bovine but is far stronger, however I think the leathers strength will have little bearing in this case. You'll fine the leather is slightly thicker and less stretchy if you take it from straight down the spine. This isn't the optimal way to use a hide however, so you might have to satisfy yourself and make the most of your hide by taking it from the sides or perhaps across the shoulders.
    Avoid using the skirt area, that first inch or two from the edges inwards, the area on the inside of the leg near the hip, armpits, also will be pretty stretchy. Test for excess stretch by grabbing the hide and pulling on small sections and gauging the amount of stretch by eye.
    Cut your strap about half and inch wider than you want (more or less, depending on how much stretch you've detected) and a little longer just for erring on the safe side. Give the strap a liberal dose of dubbin, Jay-el, mutten fat and soap mixture with a dash of kero, whatever you have on hand, Tie, clamp, nail down one end grab a length of dowel a hefty screwdriver or similar take a turn of leather around the rod, grab the loose end of the leather then run the rod up and down the length of the strap rapidly a dozen or so times. This will take out any excess stretch in the leather. Wipe off the excess leather dressing and your ready to use it however you like.
    Hope this is of some use to you mate.

    Mick

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bazz's Avatar
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    roo skins ok I got a strop made from it yes its thin but tuffest leather goin as long as ya dont use junk cuts like flank it wont strech pulls tight as a board ...chrome or bark tanned both good ..I wouldnt treat in any other way apart from some lather on it now an then to create a bita drag , and yep it'l save ya some $$$ 4sure ..goodluck with it !

  6. #6
    Texas Guy from Missouri LarryAndro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legion View Post
    ... Is there any reason why I shouldn't make a paddle strop with a surface area as big as a hanging strop? Say 2.5" X 12" ? ..
    I measured the three strops hanging in my office... 16", 18" and 20" of strop space. (They are longer; that is the length of hide on which I can strop.) So, your 12" size is smaller than the typical hanging strop I believe.

    But, length isn't as important as you might think. When stropping on a hanging strop, without even thinking about it, I often use only a portion of the entire length. Once you are used to flipping the razor on its spine, I don't think a 10 inch vs say an 18 inch strop makes that much difference.

    So, you might as well make a strop that is more conveniently sized. But, experiment on the side of a table to find YOUR perfect size.

    By the way, get a large computer mouse pad to put under the kangaroo hide when it is on the side of a table. That should give it a better action.

  7. #7
    There is no charge for Awesomeness Jimbo's Avatar
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    There is really no need to "thicken" the roo leather at all. It just takes a little getting used to when you strop, that's all. It is super strong and the one I use on a daily basis has lasted for, I don't know, nearly two years now without incident (I am bad with time). I fully expect to be stropping with it in 20 years time.

    Personally I feel thickness of leather in a strop is a personal preference. And like all personal preferences, you can change them if you want to.

    James.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 06-28-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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  9. #8
    Know thyself holli4pirating's Avatar
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    Dear Aussies,

    Please stop hoarding all the roo.

    Kind regards,
    Dylan - USA

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  11. #9
    Senior Member Legion's Avatar
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    While we are on the subject of kangaroo skin, I found this case today that somebody had made, presumably for a pair of glasses. It fits a hone perfectly!


  12. #10
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    Roo-leather is *very* soft, to the point that I'd think it less effectual than beef-leather as a stropping surface. Think rabbit-skin for hide consistency.
    Perhaps the tail-skin would be the more appropriate cut (definitely be the right shape), as it's far thicker from all the b'doinging.



    ed

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