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  1. #1
    Member BigMallard's Avatar
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    Default Freshly Cleaned Strop

    So, I've just finished cleaning the leather and cloth side of my strop with Goop and Borax. I plan on treating the leather with mineral oil, because I get it for cheap at work. The question is, do I need to treat the cloth side of the strop, or leave it be.

    As for the strop it is a vintage 24" Russian Shell that was extremely dirty when I received it.


    Oh, and as a second question, the backside of the leather has a checkered/diamond pattern. When I cleaned it there was a brighter almost red residue that came off. Was this possibly rouge, and what is the diamond/checkered side used for.

    Thanks for the help in advance.

  2. #2
    Life is short, filled with Stuff joke1176's Avatar
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    Default

    I bet the red is/was abrasive. I had an old strop with the exact same desc. Checkered backside with red paste.

    Unfortunately it didn't survive the restoration process: dry rot was worse than I thought. Live and learn.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    The red coloring is most likely dye and/or the tanning product in the leather. The diamond pattern on the back is typical of Russia strops and is not meant to be used as a stropping surface. Some Russia type strops have parallel lines impressed into the leather, instead of diamond shapes, and some are without a pattern. Depends on the manufacturer.

    Some treat the linen/ cloth side with white paste (chalk), some are waxed at the factory and need no further preparation. Some barber books recommend rubbing soap into the linen strop followed by a bottle rubbing. Illinois Razor Strop Co linen strops seem to be untreated and work fine that way.

    Probably the only thing you don't want to put on the linen is anything oily. And keep the linen as dry as possible. Don't soak it in water.



    Scott

  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honedright View Post
    The diamond pattern on the back is typical of Russia strops and is not meant to be used as a stropping surface. Some Russia type strops have parallel lines impressed into the leather, instead of diamond shapes, and some are without a pattern. Depends on the manufacturer.

    Scott
    I've seen photos of Russian leather strops in very good condition with the gilded stampings intact that indicate that the diamond pattern side was to be used for "sharpening" while the smooth side was labeled as the finishing side.

    Hand American's new Old Dog Cordovan strops with a Russian style diamond pattern, from what I recall are suggested to strop on the diamond side for setting an edge.

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  5. #5
    Life is short, filled with Stuff joke1176's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisl View Post
    I've seen photos of Russian leather strops in very good condition with the gilded stampings intact that indicate that the diamond pattern side was to be used for "sharpening" while the smooth side was labeled as the finishing side.
    Chris L

    That's what mine said as well. It wasn't stamped on, just printed but it was there.

  6. #6
    Member FLYBYU44's Avatar
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    How do you guys go about reconditioning a strop. I have an old one that I would like to clean up and use but really don't know how to go about doing it.

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