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To dye or not to dye.
Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:54 am
I am a total newbie to straight razors and I also happen to be a leathercrafter. I want to make my own strop as I have sides of leather in my possession. Should I dye the leather or not? Also what should I treat it with?
Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:24 pm
Well the dye is just cosmetic so suit yourself.
As for dressings or treatments, I think it takes experimentation to know for sure what to expect for your leather. Some of the strop makers hint that they do things to their leather, but they don't get specific.
The ideal leather will stay flat and not roll up at the edges as the humidity changes. It should have a nice, smooth surface and not dry up or crack with use. Also, it should feature a uniform draw pattern that is neither too slick nor too resistant. Sticky, rubbery, or gummy equals bad. Depending on the leather type, treating with neats foot oil, mink oil, saddle soap, or similar may help or perhaps hurt each of these characteristics.
My horse leather strop felt too slick at first but after a few months usage it developed a a pleasant draw. Conversely, my latigo strop was great at first, but became gummy some months later. In both cases I had not added any surface treatments.
Abrasive pastes can be used, but most folks agree that your daily use strop should not be treated with abrasives.
Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:24 pm
Dang Matt! Nice upgrade to the avatar, it's different!
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:59 am
Thanks Gary. It's fun to change your forum looks every so often right?
Re: To dye or not to dye.
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:16 am
Laney1566 wrote: I want to make my own strop as I have sides of leather in my possession. Should I dye the leather or not? Also what should I treat it with?
Several of the strop vendors in business these days are members on the various shaving forums. Ask enough questions in the right places and they may offer advice (or not). I always thought it woud be great to get to work with leather like that!
Re: To dye or not to dye.
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:27 am
Laney1566 wrote:I am a total newbie to straight razors and I also happen to be a leathercrafter. I want to make my own strop as I have sides of leather in my possession. Should I dye the leather or not? Also what should I treat it with?
Laney, I've wondered how they are made also. There are several guys that make strops, and who might be happy to discuss some of the fine points with you.
I'd recommend you contact Jose, who goes by the screen name of ambrose over at B&B. Ambrose is in south Texas. I'd also contact another Texan, Ken at "Ruprazor", and also Neil Miller. Neil has a webstore in the UK called "The Strop Shop". Those would be my starting point. Since you are a leathercrafter, they might be able to pick up some pointers from you too.
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:39 am
Speaking of leather, the absolute best is shell cordovan. Here is the Horween video that has been passed around on the forums for a while showing how it is made:
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:16 am
I ought to mention Tony Miller. He's a long time member on SMF, and knows a thing or two about making strops.
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:52 pm
brothers wrote:Dang Matt! Nice upgrade to the avatar, it's different!
OK, since the original topic has ended, here is the whole story behind the new avatar. I got the image in email as a novena (I had to look that up.) Here below is part of the text that came with the image. I'm pretty sure Mother Theresa had nothing to do with it. Now this thread has had almost 200 views so I figure I'm safe. Uhh, don't know about you guys though.
This is a Novena from Mother Theresa that started in 1952 .
It has never been broken . Within 48 hours send 20 copies (Or as many as you
can - God does know if you don't have 20 people to send it to .
It's the effort and intent that counts . ) to family and friends .
Do not send it back to the person who sent it to you.This is a powerful Novena.