Stropping after Honing

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by gssixgun, Dec 4, 2019.


Stropping after Honing, What do you think/do

  1. Strop only on Plain Leather

    1 vote(s)
  2. Strop first on Plain Linen then Plain Leather

    9 vote(s)
  3. Stropping is determined by the finisher I used

    4 vote(s)
  4. Strop first on a pasted strop then one of the above

    5 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. I agree! Stropping does something to make the edge smoother - it will improve an edge, but one mishap it will kill an edge also.
    Keithmax likes this.
  2. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    And your strop!
    DaltonGang likes this.
  3. Its a vintage shell strop that I bought from ebay - its the kind that has the red diamond embossing on the smooth side and I just removed/sanded the diamond embossing off and just dressed that side smooth It was in decent condition, I had to do some resurfacing, but it turned out to be an amazing strop and nice slick draw, but not to fast - somewhere in the middle- the linen is awesome, and it bumps up an hht.
    BTW I do have a Kanayama 60,000 that was my first strop. Lol she is still in the box, because when I was new i was afraid to ruin a nice strop. I need to break it out and put it into action. I tried the canvas on the Kanayama, buy i didn't care for it - i even did the whole breaking in routine in the washing machine. Lol - It shrunk about 1 1/2" still didn't care for it. I ordered the suede component - I will use it for post drying and removing soap residue before going to cordovan.
    Keithmax and Edison Carter like this.
  4. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    The canvas does shrink about an inch. I thought about ordering one for the 90000, it’s 2” longer so it would be close after washing it, and you could trim it.

    If you have a 400-600 Atoma handy, try lightly rubbing the canvas with it. The plate will raise a little nap and give it a softer feel. Don’t overdo it, 4-5 passes with light pressure will be fine.
  5. Yeah, the 60k and 80k - I think?? Is the only ones that are 26" long. I washed my canvas/hemp about 5 times - the glued leather tap came off the bottom, and it's now 24 1/2" long.
    Edison Carter and Keithmax like this.
  6. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    90000 and 60000 are 26”, the 80000 is 24”. The 80000 was my first good strop, bought it used probably 9-10 years ago from a mod on B&B. It’s my daily driver.

    Odd but true, I’ve never cut or nicked any razor strop, ever, even while learning. And I strop flipping edge down with the strop almost vertical, the hang point is a little above eye level. Now knife strops I cut fairly regularly getting the tip of a kitchen knife in order, but they’re just strips of leather laid on a bench.
    Edison Carter and Keithmax like this.
  7. Have you ever wiped down the strop with a wet rag yet? I was told the kanayama will never need strop conditioner - it had enough oils in it for the life of the strop, its only advised to wipe with a damp rag. It would be interested to know if anyone has had a well used kanayama 20-30+ years and it has never been oiled or conditioned and it has never cracked?
    Keithmax and Edison Carter like this.
  8. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    My oldest, the one mentioned above, is around 10 years old and has never had anything on it, just like my other Kanoyamas and a Tony Miller. They’re just like new.

    There are two reasons for not treating a strop. One is that I don’t want anything between the razor and the leather, I want steel hitting clean leather. Leather treatments are either oils or waxes. If you wax your strop, you’re stropping on wax, not leather, at least to some extent, until it wears off.

    Second, a strop does not have to be protected from anything (except us and our ’treatments’), it isn’t a shoe, a glove, a coat, or anything exposed to water and the elements. Using a strop will keep it supple.

    I don't wipe the strop with my hand before stropping. Skin oil contains salt, not a good thing for carbon steel. When I hand rubbed, I'd occasionally wipe the strop with a damp rag, as I do now. The rag was always filthy. I stopped hand rubbing and when I wiped the strop down, the cloth was much, much cleaner. All that hand oil and salt was just sitting on the surface.

    I do occasionally use oil or strop paste (fat) on a stiff, dry eBay strop, but I use that mostly on the back, then let it hang a couple of weeks and repeat until it’s limber again. If a strop is limber and not shedding leather dust when you strop, oil or fat isn’t needed.

    I also maybe once a year, wipe mine down with a damp rag to remove accumulated dust, etc. Wiping with a damp rag will raise a little nap too, and if you like that it’s fine and will wear down with use. You can also rub it with your nagura or jnat to polish the leather, but you’ll need to lap the jnat/nagura after each strop polishing.

    If you want a chuckle, Iwasaki, in his chapter for barbers, describes how to clean a strop that's had too much ’protection’. First, soak it in gasoline for a day or two to remove the ‘strop treatment’. Then wash it two or three times in warm soapy water to remove the gasoline. Then rinse it two or three times to remove the soapy water, working the leather. Lay it on a flat surface and roll a bottle over it a few times. Then dry it for a few days between two flat boards to keep it from curling. If needed, then sand it with ‘strop paper’, around 800-100 grit sandpaper.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  9. Lol - yeah I read that on how he recommended to clean treat a strop on a PDF.

    Makes sense we razor guys are to OCd to get our strops wet. Lol - at least I am.
    Yeah, my barber is 75 and he showed me his first leather strop and it's always hung on his chair for more that 55 years. He hasn't used it for 30 years because he uses Shavettes now to shave patients. It's cracked, but his chair is next to the door and window so it has been exposed to the elements for more than 50 years, and you got to take into consideration that barber's use lots of water around their chairs when shaving, cutting hair etc. So over 50 years of getting damp etc it would crack.
    Keithmax and Edison Carter like this.
  10. Deighaingeal

    Deighaingeal New Member

    I am shocked that nobody in the shaving community is or knows a bootblack who could offer some insight into leather care.
    I should pull a bunch of my vintage strops out, try different treatments along the length and see how they affect the feel. Any other measure would be just as objective, but could be fun.
    If I could ever find any of that "free time" that people talk about these days.
    Edison Carter likes this.
  11. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    What is the condition or problem that you would be treating your strops for?
  12. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    Williams mug soap: treating old dried leather strops. The only thing it’s good for, and yeah; I said it out loud;)
    Keithmax, Karl G, gssixgun and 2 others like this.

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