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Thread: Strop conditioning questions...

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    Loudmouth FiReSTaRT's Avatar
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    Default Strop conditioning questions...

    I am trying to go really old-school with my shaving. Some people recommended using olive oil to condition the strop. However, I HATE olives. Since I want to use something that was available like a century ago, I was thinking of using either lard or petroleum jelly. What do you guys think about those two?

    P.S. I even have some home-made, unscented lard soap lol.

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    Senior Member uthed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strop conditioning questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by FiReSTaRT
    I am trying to go really old-school with my shaving. Some people recommended using olive oil to condition the strop. However, I HATE olives. Since I want to use something that was available like a century ago, I was thinking of using either lard or petroleum jelly. What do you guys think about those two?

    P.S. I even have some home-made, unscented lard soap lol.
    Lard is made from animal fat, I believe ..... I'm not to keen on vegetable shortening either for all the added stuff in it. There are OTHER sorts of oils. Walnut oil, sesame oil, or how about "Bag Balm"? Bag Balm is a lanolin rich cream dairy farmers used to apply to chapped teats on a cow's udder. It makes great hand cream too. Strop conditioners like Fromm also have lanolin in them.

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    Loudmouth FiReSTaRT's Avatar
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    So animal fat is a no-no? How about petroleum jelly (vaseline)? It's used to condition skin, so I believe it would be good for leather and it's been around for a while.

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    Senior Member uthed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiReSTaRT
    So animal fat is a no-no? How about petroleum jelly (vaseline)? It's used to condition skin, so I believe it would be good for leather and it's been around for a while.
    It's not that animal fat is a no-no. After-all, leather also is from (duh) an animal. Neatsfoot oil, for instance, is a slaughterhouse byproduct that has been used for over a hundred years as a leather "waterproofing" application for shoes and hunting boots, and as a general, non-waxy conditioner.

    Some animal, even some vegetable fats, can go rancid in some climats. If you live someplace like St. Louis or south Florida where summer brings high humidity and heat, and don't have air-conditioning, that can be a problem. If you hang your strop on the back porch and flies are drawn to it, you probably want to switch conditioners. :roll:

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    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    I have used heavy mineral oil, neatsfoot oil, mink oil, Goop and a couple of others.
    The main question you want to ask yourself is, what am I going to do if I use the wrong stuff or to much of it?. To much and the strop feels like a sticky mess. Then you have to clean it off and start over.

    I now use Neatsfoot oil, very sparingly. A couple of drops, worked in very well with the heel of my palm. Rub the strop with a glass bottle, wait a day or two and repeat if necessary.If I had to do it over again I would purchase the strop conditioner from classicshaving.com
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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    Loudmouth FiReSTaRT's Avatar
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    That is why I am asking now before actually doing it. My angle on this whole issue is that before the invention of the "safety" razor, people used straight razors as a regular shaving implement. It was not a novelty. They did not have to order shaving products from halfway across the continent. Hones are a different story, as it's almost impossible to get a naturally-occuring decent product, but logic tells me that they must have used something readily available to condition their strops, whether it was here in Canada or in Florida. I am just trying to find out what it/they was/were.

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    I have actually tried using a cream moisturizer that I use for my face, "Cetaphil". I keep mentioning that here, because it is cheap, and dematologist (mine) recommended.

    I figured that if it worked on my facial skin, it should work on the strop. I used it on my Illinois 361, and it seems to soften it even moreso that the Fromm Strop conditioner. It has lanolin and aloe, doesn't smell, and I know my face can handle it.

    A thought, anyway.

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    Junior Member smonet's Avatar
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    Default Bag Balm

    Hey David,
    To use bag balm on a strop, how much is used ?
    I just got a red leather / linen strop from George, and I'm wondering how to condition it, if I even need to ?

    Thanks, Steve

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    Super Shaver xman's Avatar
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    I used olive oil, but it didn't seem to do too much. On Lynn's advice I put Mink Oil on my 361 strop which had some unevenness issues and it has softened up and evened out nicely. He recommended Baseball Glove Oil first. I suspect any leather conditioner or boot oil would work.

    X

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    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    You probably do not need to condition the strop from George. If you decide to then start by using 3 pea sized drops and rubbing them in . Then let it set a day and see if it needs just a little more. You are looking for a uniform color on the strop after it has set a day or so. Be sure to condition the back of the strop. It dries out from that side also.

    Hope this helps,
    Pedigree likes this.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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