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Thread: Certified deep cut diamond Russian back - 323

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    Junior Member freedom1966's Avatar
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    Question Certified deep cut diamond Russian back - 323

    This is my strop. I've had it for years as a keepsake. I got it from my Uncle who's been gone some 22 years now. He was an excellent knife sharpener but I never saw him using, or working on, any straight razors.

    My Uncle was also a trader at heart and I believe he must have picked up the strop as part of his dealings. It hung by the mantle in the kitchen for years. I took it as a remembrance and have held onto it all this time by hanging it in my office.

    It has some scratches on the working side of the leather, not cuts, but it did leave the surface with indentations you can feel so I will need to work those out.

    I really want to take good care of this strop and have been reading a lot of post to the point I feel I'm probably confusing myself.

    Now that I've taken interest in learning to become a proficient straight razor shaver I feel my Uncle would get a kick out of me using his strop as a vital cornerstone to my shaving journey.

    I'm a noob to this so I would like to ask two questions to help me see understand more clearly. -

    (1) "Is the canvas side used first to align the shave razors edge indentations between shaves and then the leather side used last to finish prepping the razors edge making the razor shave ready?" - Found a great answer here also... Why Strop On Fabric Before Leather? Post #11 MARTIN103 and JimmyHAD. Thanks Gentlemen!

    (2) "Is it wise to have a second (separate) strop to apply paste too or would it be better just to paste the backside of the original strop that has the diamond embossed pattern?" - Great advice taken from JimmHAD below. Thanks Sir!

    I appreciate all feedback and direction.
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    Last edited by freedom1966; 03-09-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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    Stay with it....

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    Senior Member Tarkus's Avatar
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    Seriously brilliant strop Freedom.
    You are a furtunate man to have such a fine strop and the fact that it belonged to a family member makes it even cooler.
    Enjoy it!!

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    freedom1966 (03-09-2013)

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    That is a nice strop. From what I've read and been told the diamond pattern on the back of the leather side is known as a Russian finish. That company, Certifyd, made some seriously good strops, and that is a professional barber strop. Most guys use linen and then leather. Most, me included , don't use paste or spray on their daily strop. A dedicated flatbed or bench strop is a better solution because using paste or spray too often can be too much of a good thing.

    I'm not an expert on restoring strops but if it was me I wouldn't sand down the scratched side on the front. I'd maybe just put a very small bit of neatsfoot on the strop , a little goes a very long way, and after a day or two of drying try a razor on it. As long as those scratches can't be felt with the razor I don't think they will hurt anything. If I could feel any of them I would knock them down with a bit of pumice stone or very fine sand paper individually. Leaving the top grain finish on the majority of the strop. Just IMHO.

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    freedom1966 (03-09-2013)

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    Junior Member freedom1966's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info and advice JimmyHAD. Your advice on using the pumice or very fine sand paper is what I will do this afternoon.
    Stay with it....

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    That company, Certifyd, made some seriously good strops, and that is a professional barber strop.
    Was "Certifyd" an independent strop manufacturer? Some of the features (swivel and model number) are very reminiscent of features used by IRS, and still used by them today. Wonder if this is another IRS re-branded strop?

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    Freedom, how did sanding down the strop go? I ask because I have a Certifyd strop that is in need of some rejuvenation, but I've been hesitant to take sandpaper to it the way I do with my Tandy leather homemade strops. I found mine in an antique store right after starting to learn how to shave with a straight razor, and I've grown quite attached to it. I'd love to use it again, but on the same note, I'd hate to ruin it.

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    Junior Member freedom1966's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myersn024 View Post
    Freedom, how did sanding down the strop go? I ask because I have a Certifyd strop that is in need of some rejuvenation, but I've been hesitant to take sandpaper to it the way I do with my Tandy leather homemade strops. I found mine in an antique store right after starting to learn how to shave with a straight razor, and I've grown quite attached to it. I'd love to use it again, but on the same note, I'd hate to ruin it.
    myersn024 I actually took the advice above and wen to Walgreens and purchased a piece of pumice. It was in the ladies nail polish area. I gently rubbed it on the areas and it smoothed out really nicely without damaging the grain. Then I applied a little neatsfoot oil and waited two days and then applied another bit of neatsfoot oil. I've been stroping with it and it appears to be just fine. I was hesitant to use sandpaper for the same reasons you have. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
    Stay with it....

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    Could you post some pics of the finished product? I tried mine with a pumice stone, and I don't think it helped much. I'm probably going to have to sand mine, but I'd like to see how your's looks first.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Pumice is soft and friable,sand paper also scares me as to leaving grit particles,A DMT 325 works wonders on leather,JMO

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    Freedom,
    I have that same strop but with a rough horsehide backer. My dad bought it for me , along with a Red Imp razor, for my 16th B-day,..which was 42 years ago. I still use it to this day...rubbing in a small amount of oil and some stoning now and then ( when I goofed! ), is all it's every needed....great strop, and I'm pleased to hear that it stayed in the family.

    Best regards,

    Randy...( turning 58 tomorrow )
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