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How do i clean a leather strop

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 09-03-2012 09:10 PM 3522 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


09-03-2012 09:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: strop leather cleaning

Hey gang, as always im looking to have some questions answered. I was able to quickly run out this morning and hit a tag sale where i picked up this cool old leather strop with brass hardware. The leather still feels pretty good, not stiff at all, but i would like to clean it a bit before i get to using it. Any tips or instructions out there for cleaning leather?

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk


12 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2034 days


#1 posted 09-03-2012 09:39 PM

just use soap and water on a cloth. Not to wet, just damp.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#2 posted 09-03-2012 10:08 PM

Sounds good Don. It looks like theres quite a build up of compound on it. Should i scrape it off first?

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Don W

17971 posts in 2034 days


#3 posted 09-03-2012 10:09 PM

if you’re asking what I would do, I’d just start using it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#4 posted 09-03-2012 11:10 PM

roger that.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Sodabowski

2308 posts in 2299 days


#5 posted 09-03-2012 11:24 PM

+1

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

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OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1843 days


#6 posted 09-04-2012 12:12 AM

Could use saddle soap on the back side of it to clean the dirt off and keep it from cracking but i wouldn’t worry about the compound side. just reload with a bit of new compound and use.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

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rance

4245 posts in 2627 days


#7 posted 09-04-2012 12:24 AM

So did barbers use the same compound that us woodworkers do? Their blades are much different.

Any Barbers on the list?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#8 posted 09-04-2012 01:06 AM

Im thinkin this was a barbers but i have no idea. Theres actually 2 pieces of leather. I can faintly make out a circular badge reading finish this side. One seems a little more coarse than the other. Its loaded with compound appearing to be red and green.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View MisterInquisitive's profile

MisterInquisitive

32 posts in 1563 days


#9 posted 09-04-2012 01:10 AM

If you’re going to use it to strop razors, you can use regular chromium oxide crayons, such as those from Lee Valley, or CrO2 powders, available from straight razor supply vendors online, such as Star Shaving Supplies. Saddle soap is a good idea to clean it, but be advised that used strops may have old pathogens in them. But what’s a little hepatitis among friends? If it was in good shape I might use some hydrogen peroxide and give it a go. Probably better if they haven’t been used for a long time, to give any bugs time to dry up and die. You can also use it for chisels and plane blades, but if you do don’t subsequently use it on a razor. Burrs and bits of swarf from plane blades and chisels tend to embed in the strop, and sharp corners dig deep scores in the strop, which makes the strop unsuitable for straight edge razors; any nasty little junk like that can degrade a straight razor blade. Not a barber BTW, just a cutthroat razor shaver who has learned much of the above from an acquaintance who is a straight razor aficionado.

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chrisstef

15676 posts in 2473 days


#10 posted 09-04-2012 01:29 AM

Great info and insight Mr I. I plan on charging it with green honing compound for my plane irons and chisels. I think a little cleaning with a wet rag will do fine. Im gonna leave the straight razor shave to Tony my barber. I almost chopped up a belt a few days ago for just this purpose so im glad i found it.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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waho6o9

7179 posts in 2043 days


#11 posted 09-04-2012 01:36 AM

Great advice.

+1 for saddle soap.

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1715 days


#12 posted 09-04-2012 01:44 PM

I have never used any compounds on strop, and I use mine a lot. The only time I take a chisel to the sharpener is when I need to rework the bevel or if the edge is damaged in any way. Otherwise a good stropping makes it as good as new (when you start with a good edge to begin with). Should I be using some sort of compound? Neither my dad or grandfather ever did (and I am using the same strop btw).

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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