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Looking for linen/canvas suggestions

Just an update on the strop. I found rubbing a tomo slurry stone to smooth out the surface greatly. I have been using it has my post shave stropping to lean edge.

I also picked up a Tony miller Number 2 strop with flax linen (3"). I enjoy this linen the most so far and use it to strop before the shave. (Got the veg tanned horween strop for leather component).

Been really busy so haven't had time for crazy test and what not. Have just been doing my every other shaves with my helje mk 4 and coti edge while things have been busy.
 
You can try out different slurry on a strop for a variety of “finished/pasted" edges.

I routinely experiment and keep a set of bowls and ceramic sauce trays on the honing bench, to hold nagura, (prevent grit contamination).

I keep a small rice bowl with clean water and another clean bowl, where I dump scooped up slurry when thinning. When I thin, I add a squirt of water, do a few laps to blend the slurry, then scoop up half the slurry with the razor and dump into the clean bowl.

Once finished with the stone I dump the slurry into a plastic lidded sauce cup and mark the lid which stone and nagura the slurry came from.

Sprinkle dried slurry onto a clean hanging Pellon/paper strop, you can do the same with a piece of cardboard, inside of a cereal box, rubber cemented to a piece of wood. Mark the strop with a pen to identify the slurry/paste.

You can get some unique fine edges using this method, (you don’t need much) without contaminating your linen or leather, I wipe with a damp microfiber prior to clean linen or leather.
 
Congrats- that is a really nice strop IMO. I have one in 2 1/2" but the same components.

I prefer D rings on strops although I have a couple Kanoyama strops with barber's ends. Just to try it out, I grabbed one of Tony's strops with leather handles. Absolutely beautiful workmanship and materials but I end up putting two fingertips in the metal frame that mounts the handles and using it like a D ring stop. Habits..... :)
I also picked up a Tony miller Number 2 strop with flax linen (3"). I enjoy this linen the most so far and use it to strop before the shave. (Got the veg tanned horween strop for leather component).
 
my favorite strop is my kanayama 30k. I absolutely love the barbers end! Comparing the kanayama to the tony miller I prefer the leather on the kanayama (have not really broken in the tony miller and they are different price points/pieces of leather). Linen wise I prefer the tony miller but don't mind the suede some on the kanayama. Might just get the kanayama linen/canvas so I can have it all strop wise ha.
 
Yes, they are different materials; Mr. Miller is using horse butt I believe, which is true leather. Mr. Naomi uses shell which is a membrane under the hide of a horse located on the crump of the animal. I believe this material is unique to a horse (and the close relatives) and is not really leather but a membrane apparently there to allow the horse's hide to ride over its rump muscles smoothly. Horween also produces this material although it is different than the material used in a Kayomaya strop (same material but cured differently). There is not much of it on a horse so it is often in short supply and commands a premium as it is also used for shoes, wallets and several other products of very high quality.

All of that said, I really like a vegetable tanned horse hide (horse butt) that is left in its original state. Tony Miller uses a horse hide that has a roughened surface, and while I like a stop in that finish, I do have a soft- spot for a hard leather horse butt strop. The leather is very fast with almost no draw, kinda' like a piece of waxed paper and the surface is very hard yielding a fantastic edge IMO and IME.
 

Tony Miller

Speaking of horse butts…
All of that said, I really like a vegetable tanned horse hide (horse butt) that is left in its original state. Tony Miller uses a horse hide that has a roughened surface, and while I like a stop in that finish, I do have a soft- spot for a hard leather horse butt strop. The leather is very fast with almost no draw, kinda' like a piece of waxed paper and the surface is very hard yielding a fantastic edge IMO and IME.

The horse butt that comes from Horween can vary quite a bit from shipment to shipment and no matter how much one asks there seems to be little control over the surface. Much comes with a velvety finish and a bit of softness, other times some will be a slick, almost polished surface and much firmer. I update my storefront to give choices if I have choices in finish.

They do also offer a hard rolled horse butt with a really firm, slick surface but it comes nearly as still as masonite and mostly unusable for my strops. Short of doing most of the hide processing in house as Mr. Kanayama does, ordering leather is pretty hit and miss. I used to source everything in person but Horween is halfway across the country so at least on horse butt I get what they send and decide what can be used and what gets tossed or given away.

I do wish they were more receptive and could deliver to spec.
 
Yep, that Masonite stuff is what I like :) Though it does need some work to flatten it enough to be useful as a strop. The stuff tends to curl edges- up, exactly the way we do not want a strop to be shaped. But if a person is willing to put the time in, I find them great strops, very effective, and faster than a newspaper strop which is really saying something.

The horse butt I got from you with the short nap is also an excellent, having a light draw but more than the slick horse butt. I think it also has much, much better feedback, probably the best feedback of any strop I have used. The bare, shiny horse butt strops have almost no feedback and it is really quite easy to damage a razor's edge on that extremely hard and unforgiving material.

Now that I have said all of that, I will finish by also saying I have liked almost every strop type and finish I have tried with the exception of Latigo or anything that was oiled; I guess I am just not a fan of heavy draw strops.

The horse butt that comes from Horween can vary quite a bit from shipment to shipment and no matter how much one asks there seems to be little control over the surface. Much comes with a velvety finish and a bit of softness, other times some will be a slick, almost polished surface and much firmer. I update my storefront to give choices if I have choices in finish.

They do also offer a hard rolled horse butt with a really firm, slick surface but it comes nearly as still as masonite and mostly unusable for my strops. Short of doing most of the hide processing in house as Mr. Kanayama does, ordering leather is pretty hit and miss. I used to source everything in person but Horween is halfway across the country so at least on horse butt I get what they send and decide what can be used and what gets tossed or given away.

I do wish they were more receptive and could deliver to spec.
 

Tony Miller

Speaking of horse butts…
Yep, that Masonite stuff is what I like :) Though it does need some work to flatten it enough to be useful as a strop. The stuff tends to curl edges- up, exactly the way we do not want a strop to be shaped. But if a person is willing to put the time in, I find them great strops, very effective, and faster than a newspaper strop which is really saying something.

The horse butt I got from you with the short nap is also an excellent, having a light draw but more than the slick horse butt. I think it also has much, much better feedback, probably the best feedback of any strop I have used. The bare, shiny horse butt strops have almost no feedback and it is really quite easy to damage a razor's edge on that extremely hard and unforgiving material.

Now that I have said all of that, I will finish by also saying I have liked almost every strop type and finish I have tried with the exception of Latigo or anything that was oiled; I guess I am just not a fan of heavy draw strops.

Yep, that slick firm surface can be nice but the extra work is what makes the issue for a maker/seller. If I spend an hour or two working it over the extra costs start really going up beyond what one that does not need that extra work costs. While that super fast surface appeals to some many seem to want some feedback. It is a great material for the DIY guy where the added time can be an enjoyable process.

As for the Latigo, the old oiled/waxed stuff got so sticky and slow I stopped using it as the draw just got too heavy. More recently I found a Latigo with a smooth, burnished finish and that is what I use on my black handles and cap and occasionally for strop bodies if it looks good enough.

Leather, and cloth vary quite a bit so it gets harder to categorize any "type" or name as each manufacturer/mill/tannery has their own unique spin on a material, also each batch or run will vary depending on how tightly the manufacturer controls their recipe and even the names we as users call things causes confusion and difference in materials. Linen/cotton/canvas/etc...all describe a cloth component but if used loosely really do not define or identify what that material actually is. Linen has become the generic name for the cloth component now days no matter what fiber is used. Lots of "Cotton Linen" components mentioned out there where cotton is the fiber and "linen" is simply describing that it is a cloth component.

This makes it difficult when asked what leather should I try or what cloth should try as the replies will often refer to either a generic name or one single manufacturer/tanneries product which can be vastly different from another. A good example would be "shell cordovan", the superior Kanayama shell is different from much of the vintage shell and quite a bit different than the Horween shell with the first two created mainly with good stropping characteristics, the later more towards quality shoes and accessory items (now days anyway).
 
Yes, the raw material can and does vary quite a bit. I have several plain ole' English Bridle strops, which I actually very much like even though it is a fairly inexpensive piece of leather, and each one is different from the next.

The one thing that cost does seem to reflect, at least IME, is the build quality. All the way from the cut and stamping of the leather to the hardware and accoutrements. And even then, there is a range of quality at the same price point. That said, I have not yet seen a high quality strop for a bargain basement price. A customer can readily overpay for a product but easily underpaying is generally not much of a worry.

Back to the hard horse butt: even after it is worked very well to make a strop, it tends to again twist and curl so that it needs more attention every couple of years or so. Or at least mine need that attention. My favorite horse butt, a 3" Walkin' Horse, is again cupping so the edges are starting to get in the way of stropping. Correcting this has always been quite a chore because it is the stiffest piece of leather I have, as well as being fairly thick so just pushing it around by hand is not sufficient. I end up using an adjustable wrench to force the edges 'down' and away from the stropping surface plane. Surely not many users would find that an enjoyable part of straight shaving, myself included! Still, I do like that piece of 'masonite' level leather and would like to find another one in 2 1/2" width :)

<snip>

Leather, and cloth vary quite a bit so it gets harder to categorize any "type" or name as each manufacturer/mill/tannery has their own unique spin on a material, also each batch or run will vary depending on how tightly the manufacturer controls their recipe and even the names we as users call things causes confusion and difference in materials. Linen/cotton/canvas/etc...all describe a cloth component but if used loosely really do not define or identify what that material actually is. Linen has become the generic name for the cloth component now days no matter what fiber is used. Lots of "Cotton Linen" components mentioned out there where cotton is the fiber and "linen" is simply describing that it is a cloth component.

This makes it difficult when asked what leather should I try or what cloth should try as the replies will often refer to either a generic name or one single manufacturer/tanneries product which can be vastly different from another. A good example would be "shell cordovan", the superior Kanayama shell is different from much of the vintage shell and quite a bit different than the Horween shell with the first two created mainly with good stropping characteristics, the later more towards quality shoes and accessory items (now days anyway).
 
My wife got me a firehose linen strop for Christmas (vendor is a member here) and while I haven't spent much time on it, it seems to do really nice things for my natural edges. I also did a few laps before my 3rd pass on one of my pasted balsa edges (followed by a few on leather) and it bumped the sharpness right back up, while subtly changing the face feel. Much different than leather alone. I think I'm going to really like this tool.
 
thought i would revive this thread to share some observations. I have a Kanayama with the canvas and have been experimenting with light and slow vs. pretty fast with a bit of pressure on the canvas. Fast as in it's really audible. The canvas is seveal years old and sort of "loaded" with swarf; it's darkened with swarf here and there a bit.

Anyways on a number of edges from JNAT testing, I am really pushing the limits of the stone in my hands with very dilute slurry or plain water . Getting noticeable foil edges in spots. After light canvas and then light leather I get some hht . Then I tried the hard fast 25-50 passes on canvas then light leather and the hht bumps way up to like 4 or 5.

Seems the foil edge is removed after the vigorous canvas treatment better than light stropping with no negative effects on the final edge. Not shocking, but I figured the hard fast canvas passes would ruin the edge.

A full shave from this blade was a 9 out of 10, I never give a 10 out of principle.
 
Interesting! I have a kanayama canvas coming in to try out. Have not done a lot if testing but the firehouse strop I have would often give a foil edge but I would do normal stropping. I have been enjoying a tony miller strop a bunch.
 
Had a little bit of testing with the kanayama canvas today. I love the size and did not break it in. I had a usergrade mk 31 that had some rust on the bevel so perfect test candidate. 1k chosera, 6k shapton HC with 1 layer of tape. Stropping on the kanayama canvas felt like it was slightly harsh on the edge but using leather after got things nice again. Then went to the 8k and same results. Loving the strop so far but feel as if I need to break it in just a hair bit. Don't think I need to do anything crazy but maybe using a wooden spoon and giving it a good rub down.

My tony miller strop I have been loving the more I use it. Have been loving the linen the whole ride. The leather I did not initially love but as I break it in I like it more. If someone was choosing between these strops I would say get both.

Will update on Kanayama canvas after I break it in a tad and use it some more.

(Currently, the Kanayama has not been broken in at all but the stropping of a few razors.)
 
Hi everybody,

(first post @ B&B)

the neighbour's son visited a couple of months ago and as I arrived back from work my strop was unusable - he had fun though... I looked at nice new ones from Dovo and the like and was really underwhelmed with their price/performance ratio. Sorry, but in the range of Euro 150 for a three inch wide strop, quite short and no canvass back, I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much, even for such a good brand. I also had a look at the product in a shop here in Hamburg, and was also less than impressed with the leather and fittings for the price.

A number of posts indicated that some of you decided to make modular strops, i.e. screwed together and stable so that you can replace the stropping surfaces at wont in order to try different things. I've quite a bit of brass in my draws from other projects and decided to do the same. I've just about started with the main fittings (s. first image), and have asked a shoe maker friend to make a couple of stuffed leather handles for below. I found a nice piece of 4mm veg. tanned hide (60 x 30 cm with no bemishes - yes cost me a bit, but at almost 60 years old I think that will last me the rest of my life). I also wanted a wide strop, because I'm lazy (all of my stones are also wider than my widest blade, because I'm too lazy to do X-honing...).

I also decided to separate the cloth and leather into two separate strops, so that I didn't have to wory about differential stretching of the materials. The bottom of the strop will have strips of brass heavy enough to keep the cloth under a little tension while hanging, the leather is between 3 and 4 mm thick, so I doubt that a little brass will keep it stretched in the same way. We shall see.

Now to the reason for this post (no, it isn't to blow my own horn about making a strop, I'm sure that most of you can make a better piece of gear than I can).

The only problem I really had was finding high quality, stable webbing 3 inches wide. I found jute webbing, but I think that the fibres are far too hard and I think they would damage my blades. After a few weeks of searching I ended up here: Hempiness Organic Hemp Webbing 3inch/7.5cm - https://www.thehempshop.co.uk/hempiness-organic-hemp-webbing-3inch-7-5cm.html and ordered a couple of meters to test. The material is much finer than jute, and much more stable and harder than cotton, but still a bit rough for the strop as delivered. I had a look around the web and, next to suggestions here and in other forums, found these instructions for preparing such materials: KANOYAMA Kanayama Cordovan #80000 Razor Strop 600mmX65mm - https://www.aframestokyo.com/kanoyama-kanayama-cordovan-80000-razor-strop-600800006006545.html

After soaking, scrubbing, rubbing with a 1000 grit stone, hammering with a rounded wooden mallet, & washing and, at the end of it I've chalked it a little (the process repeated three times), the material is comparable to the canvass of professional strops I've seen, if not better, s. image 2. I disected my deceased Jemico strop and the "canvass" was plastic underneath the gunk they had applied, so I am especting great things from this stuff.

Just wanted to share what would seem a very nice source of strop material and my experience with the product up to now. The strops are not yet finished as other things keep me busy, but the resulting hemp is very, very promising. I'll post a short experience report when I get them working.

BTW: Since loosing my strop I've been shaving with a safety razor and trying out different blades - also an interesting experience seeing just how huge the variation between brands is.

Sorry if the images are a bit large - at least with the webbing I wanted to show the texture before and after treatment.

Best regards
Les
 

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I have been doing more and more fast stropping with a bit of pressure on the Kanayama canvas with excellent results. 50 ripping loud strokes on taut canvas (enough pressure on the blade to make the canvas sing) then 50 light on the shell. Again, this is a pretty well broken in canvas with lots of swarf in it. Definitely improves my edges by a noticeable degree. YMMV.
 
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