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Strop Repair Unusual Strop

I purchased a reciprocal stropping device ( Clauss “Never-Fail”) that includes a strop with a crack in the leather (see attached photo). I haven’t tried to treat the damage yet because I’m a bit puzzled by the nature of this particular strop. I believe this is original pre 1920’s. I thought that I should treat as usual with strop dressing, but the included instructions advise that no dressing is required and that nothing should be added to the strop. The strop is black in color, and still fairly supple for a 100+ year old piece of leather. It feels somewhat oily. Not wet, but not like any strop material I’ve seen. I’m guessing it’s been impregnated with something but I’m not sure what.

All that said, I’m thinking that the crack should be glued or somehow reinforced to prevent further cracking. I’m just not sure, given the nature of this leather, what’s best to use. I could try various glues, but which? Barges contact cement comes to mind, or even AC glue. I just don’t want to cause further damage by experimenting.

Of course I could have a new strop made, and I may at some point, but for now I’d like to see if I can fix the original.

Any ideas?

It occurred to me that the leather reminds me of soft tar paper. If that helps.


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