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DIY Straight Razor Strop - Information Needed

Hello to all! :001_smile

I am about to start shaving with a straight razor, and while I was looking for a strop, a friend of mine offered me to make me one.
He and his father have a place and they have some experience in working with leather and making belts etc.

So, I would like to go for a two-sided strop; one side leather, the other canvas.

I would really appreciate some thoughts/input on:
1. The type of leather that I should tell him to source. Moreover, the treatment that the leather should have, and its dimensions.
2. The type of canvas that is needed.
3. Anything else that must be taken care of, if any.

Thank you in advance for your help. :001_smile
 
Canvas is not needed. It does exactly NOTHING that stropping on leather alone can't do. But if you insist, then genuine Irish linen canvas is the read deal. I don't use any fabric component. In strops that I have bought, I remove it and toss it. Strops that I make don't have it even though I have a lot of used firehose and one complete new 75' hose that I bought mostly just for making strops.

The hardest part to source is the D rings. A saddle shop can probably hook you up. You will spend hours and hours trying to find large enough D rings online for a decent price. Since you are making just one strop though, cost isn't really an issue. So two 3" D rings and 6 3/8" chicago screws, maybe 1/2" too, in case your leather is too thick. You want three at each end so you can later adjust the hole sizes to correct cupping.

For leather, veg tanned cowhide of good quality will work fine. Weight should be about 8oz for a looser and more supple strop, 10oz if you like a stiffer strop. Surface must be free of wrinkles, creases, or scars. Start with a piece 3" wide. You will lose a small amount trimming the edges straight. Just under 3" is the ideal width. Horse butt is better than cowhide, so many say. The finest strops are made from Cordovan horse shell. Shell is a very special type of leather and Cordovan shell is even more special, and very expensive. For length, you need a foot longer than what you want the stroppable length to be, for your bolster pieces, or end caps. Those are the pieces that are folded through the D ring and over the end of the strop body.

Good leather really doesn't need any treatment to make a basic strop. If you don't know how, if you are just guessing or just want to DO something, then skip it. Better to not do anything than do the wrong thing or too much of what would otherwise be a right thing. Most strop makers have their own secret private brew for preconditioning leather for a strop, and their own treatment process. If the leather is good, you can get by just fine with just lots of vigorous hand rubbing. Pull the finished strop tight and rub with the palm of your hand for a couple of minutes every day. The first time you do this, you could apply a few drops of Neatsfoot Oil to your hand, or just barely moisten your hand with some beef tallow. Until you know better, don't do this more than once or twice a year. If you never do it, you honestly probably won't know the difference. If you do it too much, it is very difficult to undo it. You can't over-rub your strop, but you definitely can over-oil it.

Generally for cowhide, veg tanning is superior. Don't bother with chrome tanned leather. Some shavers like Latigo, which is sort of a hybrid veg and oil tanning process. My own preferences run against Latigo but I have ran across Latigo strops that seemed quite agreeable to me, and leather that I couldn't help thinking would make a nice strop.
 
You mean the weight of the leather? As a general rule of thumb, 8oz leather is roughly 1/8" thick. Not sure how many sillymeters that is. All I know about metric is .223" is 5.56mm, .308" is 7.62mm, and .50" is 12.7mm. And that no toolbox ever contains the right size socket for a metric bolt. It is a basic law of physics. Anyway the thickness of leather is usually expressed in weight per sqare foot, so obviously if 8oz leather is about 1/8" thick then 12oz leather is about 3/16" thick and 10oz leather would be about 5/32" thick and 6oz leather would be about 3/32" thick. 4oz to 6oz leather makes a pretty good travel strop because usually you can roll it loosely with no ill effects.
 
My Horween is 1/16" and Kanayama is around 1/12".
If your leather is thin, you need canvas backing. Leather should be lying on a sturdy backing and not being pulled taut.
Thin and supple leather will allow full contact across the entire blade. You can do straight strokes.
Thick and stiff leather will have gaps, and you need to do a bit of x-stroke to get even coverage and so more room for nicks.
I preferred heavy-draw/feedback strop when I began like Latigo, but now mostly use glassy and speedy strops.
Don't think there's much difference in edge performance.
I wish I had friends who can make me a custom strop. *drool*
 
My Horween is 1/16" and Kanayama is around 1/12".
If your leather is thin, you need canvas backing. Leather should be lying on a sturdy backing and not being pulled taut.
Thin and supple leather will allow full contact across the entire blade. You can do straight strokes.
Thick and stiff leather will have gaps, and you need to do a bit of x-stroke to get even coverage and so more room for nicks.
I preferred heavy-draw/feedback strop when I began like Latigo, but now mostly use glassy and speedy strops.
Don't think there's much difference in edge performance.
I wish I had friends who can make me a custom strop. *drool*
That is one situation where a secondary component is very useful. I own one Kanayama and I have retained the linen just so I can pull that nice and tight without putting a lot of pull on the horse shell piece. I forgot about that.
 
Thank you both!
I think that I have identified the right leather type.

Regarding Irish linen canvas?
If I am not mistaken, this term can point to a family of different material properties.
What texture, density, and thickness should it have for the strop?

Let's say that I go with a 10oz vegetable tanned cowhide, and that I opt for a smaller and narrower strop, i.e. ~40cm(16") stroppable length and ~4.5cm(1.8") width.
 
I made a strop with a piece of veg-tanned cow hide 4mm thick, 3" wide, and 600mm long (two feet). It was advertised specifically for stropping.

Don't skimp on the length: one of the best things about making your own is the luxury of a nice long strop.
 
I made a strop with a piece of veg-tanned cow hide 4mm thick, 3" wide, and 600mm long (two feet). It was advertised specifically for stropping.

Don't skimp on the length: one of the best things about making your own is the luxury of a nice long strop.
Indeed. Nice to have so much real estate that you never even get close to the bolsters.
 
Ok, I will go for a greater length; something like 50cm-55cm stroppable.

About the canvas? Any info on texture, thickness, else?
 
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