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Portland Cutlery Slamander 555 strop

Found a pretty cool looking strop at the antique mall. This guy keeps bringing me more and more shaving supplies into his booth for me.
Just looking for information and opinion on this strop hes offering me. He posted it for $40 but said he'd give it to me cheaper than that.

Thanks in advance!

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I would try to get the other - smooth side of the leather up and running.
I have never used the textured side of a leather strop. It was traditionally used to sharpen then the smooth side was used.
Nice looking other wise. Can you post a pic of the leather's smooth side?
Well, I picked it up from him for $30. Whether that's a good price or not doesn't matter much to me. He has been very kind and helpful.
I discovered that I can potentially unscrew the clamp and flip the leather piece, as well as probably turn the canvas inside out for a brand new surface.

Anything I need to do in order to condition the letter at all?


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Its hard to determine the actual condition of the leather from a picture but if it is smooth and supple I would just give it a rub with a paper towel with shaving soap on it, circles or back and forth to get some grime off. Wipe off with a damp paper towel to clean and let dry for at least 24 hours.
If it needs a bit of softening you can add a few drops of Neatsfoot oil to your palm - spread it out on your hand then rub into the surface. Less is more.
Wait a while (24 hours or so) rub whenever you feel like it with your hand during that time to warm and gently flex the leather. Have it hanging for this.
After some time if you think it needs more oil, repeat in the same fashion. Do NOT over oil.

If it is not very smooth after cleaning then let it dry thoroughly then take some W/D 400 or 600 grit sand paper (use dry) and sand gently from one end to the other. Its best to use a block of wood or something similar and wrap the paper around it to keep it flat.
After sanding to a smooth surface (do as little sanding as necessary) use a damp paper towel to wipe off sanding dust and grit then let dry and follow the oiling instructions from there.
Thanks! I have 9 sheets of different grits of lapping film and a block of marble countertop I scored from lowes to use as a honing system. My thought was to clean up the surface a little bit, so I'm happy to hear it's a pretty plausible option.

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Nice looking strop. I’ve all but stopped buying vintage strops unless I can see/feel them first as you did. People for some reason think old strops are worth a lot of money. You can get a Kanoyama for sub-$100 with any kind of a sale, and that’s for a new strop that doesn't need to be cleaned or sanded, with workable hardware, and new, clean fabric.
Nice strop! Seems like a very fair price to me. As a long time Portlander I’m jealous! I hope you post your results after you tune it up.

I bought my Merkur 36 slant from Portland Cutlery back in the 70s. They were then located right downtown on Broadway, here in Portland. I never saw a straight razor (or strop) in there, but they may have still had some in the back. They were still located in the Broadway shop in the early 90s. I’m not sure when they closed.

I would be extremely jealous, but coincidentally, I picked up a vintage Portland-made strop today. The clamp/hanger is in sad shape, but the leather seems quite good. It also has a textured side, but it is mounted with the texture inside. I will clean it carefully with a little saddle soap. I have strop dressing and neatsfoot oil (as well as some baseball glove dressing) but I will hold off on that for the time being.

Here are some pictures:
Wow, Tanuki! That leather looks to be in great shape already. Unfortunately the untextured side seems like very unfinished leather. I am having a hard time just using the saddle soap to get it back into a good condition. It cleaned well, but it's so thick I just cant quite get the edge curviture out of it yet.

I'll try some of the other products folks like yourself mentioned and see if I can get it more pliable.

Thanks for the info and the photos!


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