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Thread: Which better strop treatment: Neatsfoot or Mink Oil?

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    Default Which better strop treatment: Neatsfoot or Mink Oil?

    For my home-made strop, a Tandy leather 3" wide chunk of heavy cow leather, which would be better surface treatment; Neatsfoot Oil or Mink Oil? The Neatsfoot smells like a rendering plant and the Mink Oil is waxy to the feel. Suggestions?
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    Senior Member jerrybyers's Avatar
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    I have used both. Mink Oil has Neatsfoot Oil in it.

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    ..mama I know we broke the rules... Maxi's Avatar
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    Before you treat it with any chemicals, I highly suggest you rub it every day with an oily hand....for at least a month. See if that works first. Chemicals don't come out.
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    Senior Member jerrybyers's Avatar
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    Just to be fair, neither one of those products contain or is made of chemicals. It is rendered oil from cattle (Neatsfoot) and mink. You could also use Saddle Soap to soften your leather.

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Use the neats foot, the mink oil does have waxes in it which will affect the draw.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    fair enough....neatsfoot oil and mink oil....still too much. I messed up a really nice strop because of neatsfoot oil. Just trying to help.

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    Senior Member basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrybyers View Post
    Just to be fair, neither one of those products contain or is made of chemicals. It is rendered oil from cattle (Neatsfoot) and mink. You could also use Saddle Soap to soften your leather.
    Actually nowadays most of these products contain some chemicals as they are not found in the pure form easily.

    That being said some searching will eventually lead you to the pure product.

    But I do agree with maxi most strops are at their best with just some palm rubbing.

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    Senior Member jerrybyers's Avatar
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    True, true.

    I just offered my opinion. For what it's worth, I also think we shouldn't overthink stropping. To get a good strop, you just need a good taunt, pliable piece of leather. I seriously doubt we could detect a mechanical advantage of leather treated with one product over another. You get a better strop based on the method of tanning (this is where I would worry about chemicals and type of leather being tanned).

    FWIW, my personal strop is latigo leather that was originally wiped down with Neatsfoot oil and now hangs in the garage. Right before I use it, it gets a good palm rubbing. Seems to work for me and has for 30+ years.

    Regardless, all this information is good.

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basil View Post

    That being said some searching will eventually lead you to the pure product.
    .

    I buy the real stuff by the quart @ Tandy leather. Of course you wont need that much, smaller bottles are available.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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    Hand rubbing and a lot of use are all that's normally required for new leather. Neatsfoot oil is easy to find in its pure form (avoid the 'prime' and 'compound' types - the compounded neatsfoot oils may have mineral oil additives that are harmful to leather over time), mink oil less so - when bought as a leather conditioner it can have beeswax in it, some types have silicones, some have lanolin, and some sorts aren't even made from mink - they are made from pigs. Go figure. There is even a liquid version (most of the others are waxy solids or pastes) that contains mink oil and neatsfoot oil. One type is even blended with the sap of pine trees (pine-pitch).

    Traditionally mink oil was rendered from the fat of minks that lies just under the skin - it has a fatty component in it that is compatible with human skin (around 17 per cent) but some vegetable sources can contain more (macadamia nut).

    If you don't know what the mink oil is compounded from, I would avoid it.

    Regards,
    Neil
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