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Thread: I think I wrecked a vintage strop

  1. #1
    Tumbling down the rabbit hole... Atchbo's Avatar
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    Default I think I wrecked a vintage strop

    Hi guys. I don't post much but have been reading a ton. Thanks to everyone right off the top.

    I have been shaving with a Wade & Butcher Spanish/Irish point (I think that's what it's called; a bit oblique and rounded toe). I love the thick, heavy blade. It's got some geometry issues that I'll post in another folder.

    Anyway, I was using a vintage Illinois strop (not sure which one, as the writing is worn). It seemed to be leaving scratches on the blade that weren't present post-honing (Norton 4/8), but I couldn't feel any bits of grit. A local shop suggested I clean it with my shaving soap and brush. I did, and it stripped the oil completely from the surface and left the strop a bit rougher. It was basically glazed before, which was either great (smooth) or less effective than ideal, I couldn't tell which.

    Following the cleaning, I have oiled it heavily with neetsfoot oil several times so it is not dry. I have used the back of the blade to try to settle the surface back to normal, but it's clearly less 'glazed'. I think the scratching is reduced, but it's only been a few days and one honing.

    Can anyone tell me whether cleaning a vintage strop like this should ever be done? I won't repeat anytime soon, and am assuming that leather likes to be used so it will be ok in the long run, but like you all, I am looking for a clean, sharp edge that is good to my face and doesn't get wrecked by my abuse.

  2. #2
    Pasted Man Castel33's Avatar
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    You should be alright that is a very common and old way of cleaning a strop. The leather will take time to get re broken in but will be fine over the long haul.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I don't think you ruined the strop at all. Never cleaned one with shaving soap and shave brush but saddle soap and damp sponge did the trick. You don't have to heavily oil the strop with Neats Foot oil several times. A few drops rubbed in by hand should be enough and then let dry. Repeat a few times till it is supple again. None of the 3 stops I have feel oily to the touch.

    Bob
    After listening to someone talk ever wonder who ties their shoe laces?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Cleaning a strop with shaving soap works very well,BUT,it needs to be tallow based or it will dry the leather out.
    When you get it lathered up take a heavy glass bottle and run it with some force and the strop back and forth on a flat surface for maybe 5 mins or so

  5. #5
    Tumbling down the rabbit hole... Atchbo's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. I'll keep working it and try to keep my growing paraphernelia acquisition disorder in check for the time being.

    If it wasn't for that grit, I wish I hadn't messed with the strop in the first place.
    Chevhead likes this.

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