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I'm So Glad I Bought a Leather Slicker

So I really don't like sharp, square corners on belts, sheaths, holsters or strops. I never even knew what this tool was until I got interested in restoring vintage strops. I didn't know what a burnished edge was and thought it was only voodoo performed by an artisan or factory.

I get 2 of these weird looking wood things to roll the edge after I used a chamfering tool. A little youtube study and I picked it up pretty quick. I loved the results. I kept asking myself what the pointy end was good for. It's got to be pointy and tapered for some reason? It's a long taper, almost flat, and they call this thing a slicker...... Being slow on the uptake, I determined that maybe it could be used to uhh..Slick! That's it!

I use a 6 inch 3/8" hard tool steel rod as a burnishing tool but it has no tight area control and only produces limited pressure. I see the different burnish levels between where I've resurfaced the strop and where I didn't due to labels. The pointy end allows me to shine up those areas so that they blend in more with the rest of the surface while being very mindful of the gold embosses. I'm impressed. Hmmm...Slicker. A light bulb went off again.

I'd been working on the nice back side of a shell strop, sanding it flat and smooth. It's turning out great but I was having trouble getting it glossy. A light work over with the slicker gave it a nice finish and revealed any places that need more attention. It's a natural color shell which, became lighter with all the sanding but as an added bonus, at least to me, it darkened the surface to a much more pleasing mellow light brown. But there's more...

Scored a strop and razor off the bay for cheap. It's almost new, 3 inch well made I'd say, cowhide. Looks like my old Illinois 127 on the surface. A coworker expressed interest in straights and I was going to set him up with free equipment to get him going. The razor was for me the strop for him. Unfortunately he's about to go under the bow of the plastered on the job rules....sorry dude. Since I have a slicker, I quickly disassembled the whole thing and chamfered all the edges I could get to. Rolled them if I could. The real magic happened on the surface of this thing. Stiff, cheap but nicely done, but the surface is weird, glossy, almost artificial. No draw at all and impossibly rough at the same time. By using neatsfoot in appropriate amounts I've gotten it quite flexible but this strop had no hope until....I used the slicker on it. Now it's surface is much more uniform and smoother also. Still no draw at all, I kinda' like that. If I can get it a little smoother in a couple spots, I'll try I out.

I think I may try to conjure something a little more ergonomic and suitable for flat surfaces.
 

Tony Miller

Speaking of horse butts…
So I really don't like sharp, square corners on belts, sheaths, holsters or strops. I never even knew what this tool was until I got interested in restoring vintage strops. I didn't know what a burnished edge was and thought it was only voodoo performed by an artisan or factory.

I get 2 of these weird looking wood things to roll the edge after I used a chamfering tool. A little youtube study and I picked it up pretty quick. I loved the results. I kept asking myself what the pointy end was good for. It's got to be pointy and tapered for some reason? It's a long taper, almost flat, and they call this thing a slicker...... Being slow on the uptake, I determined that maybe it could be used to uhh..Slick! That's it!

I use a 6 inch 3/8" hard tool steel rod as a burnishing tool but it has no tight area control and only produces limited pressure. I see the different burnish levels between where I've resurfaced the strop and where I didn't due to labels. The pointy end allows me to shine up those areas so that they blend in more with the rest of the surface while being very mindful of the gold embosses. I'm impressed. Hmmm...Slicker. A light bulb went off again.

I'd been working on the nice back side of a shell strop, sanding it flat and smooth. It's turning out great but I was having trouble getting it glossy. A light work over with the slicker gave it a nice finish and revealed any places that need more attention. It's a natural color shell which, became lighter with all the sanding but as an added bonus, at least to me, it darkened the surface to a much more pleasing mellow light brown. But there's more...

Scored a strop and razor off the bay for cheap. It's almost new, 3 inch well made I'd say, cowhide. Looks like my old Illinois 127 on the surface. A coworker expressed interest in straights and I was going to set him up with free equipment to get him going. The razor was for me the strop for him. Unfortunately he's about to go under the bow of the plastered on the job rules....sorry dude. Since I have a slicker, I quickly disassembled the whole thing and chamfered all the edges I could get to. Rolled them if I could. The real magic happened on the surface of this thing. Stiff, cheap but nicely done, but the surface is weird, glossy, almost artificial. No draw at all and impossibly rough at the same time. By using neatsfoot in appropriate amounts I've gotten it quite flexible but this strop had no hope until....I used the slicker on it. Now it's surface is much more uniform and smoother also. Still no draw at all, I kinda' like that. If I can get it a little smoother in a couple spots, I'll try I out.

I think I may try to conjure something a little more ergonomic and suitable for flat surfaces.
Tandy Leather has a small, 3/8" thick, tempered glass plate with rounded edges that works really nice on flat surfaces. You use the edges against the strop, holding it by the flats. About 3" x 5" x 3/8" thick. Burnishes a flat surface really well. No idea what they actually call it and I had a hard time finding it in their store as none of the employees knew what it was. I just remembered seeing it in a catalog once.
 
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