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used strop?

The other day I purchased my first straight razor from a local antique store. Today, the lady who runs the place brings me this strop and said if I wanted it she would give it to me because I bought the razor. It's seen better days. There are a few nicks and scrapes on the leather and the canvas is pretty grungy. What's the best way to clean this puppy up a little?
 
The other day I purchased my first straight razor from a local antique store. Today, the lady who runs the place brings me this strop and said if I wanted it she would give it to me because I bought the razor. It's seen better days. There are a few nicks and scrapes on the leather and the canvas is pretty grungy. What's the best way to clean this puppy up a little?

Pics would really help. Until we lay eyes on it, it'll be hard to tell what it really needs :001_smile

Congrats on the score, though :w00t:
 
I would set about that with some very light grades of sandpaper ( I know the grit grades are diff from here in the UK to US), start somewhere around 800 and finish around 1200 then give a light coat of neatsfoot oil and see where you stand. As for the canvas back try wiping it down with a wet cloth to remove some of the dirt, you could always unpick the stitching, wash the canvas then re-stitch!
 
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I am not an expert, but... from my experience cleaning up my dd strop.

Tabac lather works really well. I used it on the leather to clean and condition it initially. Then did an application of neatsfoot.

The linen side... It took some work. I tried soaking it and various other items. What ended up working in the end was, after every shave I would rub in my remaining lather into the linen. After a few days of this it became softer and cleaner.



Hopefully some of the "Strop Experts" pop in soon.

Oh yeah...the cuts. Unfortunately i have experience repairing cut strops... I would glue down the flaps, then take a pumice stone and sand in the direction of the cut to smooth it out after words.

Rubbing your palm on the strop everyday is a good way to keep it conditioned, fyi.


Another Edit: Send that razor out for honing and work on the strop while it is in limbo :)
 
I'm also interested in this. I have an old A1 extra heavy selected shell strop with dirty fabric stop on reverse. strops can be removed from screw clamp/hanger. I'd like to rejuvenate the fabric. the leather seems well asked and answered in the forums, but not much on the fabric strops.

washing machine? scrubbing, soaking?
 
In the past I have soaked the linen in a solutions of Woolite and OxiClean for 4-5 hours and then Scrub and Rinse when done. It has worked surprisingly well
 
It doesn't look in too bad a condition to me - in fact it likes very good! If you have 'scrapes' rather than flaps and the scrapes are small, shallow and have no raised edges thats OK. If they have raised edges you can slice off the raised bit and finish off with a pumice stone (a natural one, not a man-made one - the natural ones don't leave any particles behind). If you have more of a flap, then the previous advice to use superglue to glue it back is sound, Use a pumice stone after that if you have to. If you feel tempted to use sandpaper - don't. It always sheds particles. Fine wet'n'dry paper is much better.

The surface of the strop can be cleaned by using a stiff lather - work the later well into the strop (some people use a bottle) and leve it for a while - an hour or so, or even overnight on a flat surface. A well wrung-out damp, fibre-free cloth (tee shirt) will reomove the lather if you have only left it for a short while, it will brush off if allowed to dry overnight. You can lather, pumice, and roll with a bottle if you have a mind too. The pumice and bottle are pretty much optional.

If you have used a tallow-rich soap it will also condition the leather. If it needs more conditioning, neatsfoot oil will do it - ball up a bit of tee shirt and apply the oil sparingly to the tee shirt, not the strop. Then quickly rub the strop all over with the tee shirt to get an even coverage. It helps if the strop is a bit damp - it repels the oil and gives you a chance of getting a nice even coat. Only use oil sparingly and only if you have to - its easy to use too much and create so much draw that the strop is virtually unusable - then try getting the oil out!

If you can't find a tallow rich soap just use saddle soap - it has glycerin and neatsfoot oil in it and will condition the leather at the same time as it cleans it.

The canvas side looks fine to me. Even if you get it back to nice bright white it is going to blacken again. You could lather it or use it as it is. Some people soak them, but the leather at the end is going to get discoloured if the linen cannot be removed entirely. Does your strop have one or two handles? If it only has one think twice about soaking the linen side. You dont want to risk it dramatically shrinking. Altenatively you could rub bar soap into it dry and leave it. Or use white strop paste (chalk). Both fill in the gaps in the weave.

Regards,
Neil
 
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Thanks. The strop is a two piece double sided leather double sided canvas made by lakeside. Thanks a ton for the great advice!
 
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