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Thread: Conditioning strop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Spokane, Wa
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    Default Conditioning strop

    I bought a star shaving strop a while back, it came with some soap for conditioning. I sent out my blade to get honed and completely forgot about the strop. It is rather stiff, so I have been working it. I noticed in a lot of the videos that when strop there is a lot of give to them, almost reminds me of a jumprope. So my question is at what point do I know that the strop is properly conditioned? I mean i have oiled up baseball gloves and baked them but should my stop be very flexible or still a little rigid? Also any home conditioning remedies (aside from the palm of your hand, which i do) would be helpful. Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Contains ingredients Tack's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    SE Texas
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    I wouldn't suggest oiling a strop simply because it's really easy to use too much and gum things up. Simply doing the palm rub several times each day should loosen it up a bit over time. Also, the "give" that you mention is also easily overdone; too much can make it easier to roll an edge. We need to pull the strop tight but not so tight that it causes cramps. Some time ago a member here mentioned measuring the strop tension and I, naturally, had to check it myself. My fish scale showed me that I apply 12-14 ounces of tension to the strop. This bounces up to 20-22 ounces on the stroke. It's also important not to apply too much down pressure & that shows that I'm not applying much. Sooo.. I wouldn't worry about the stiffness of your strop; after all, many use a bench strop and they are plenty stiff.

    BTW, I have a Star strop in english bridle and it is pretty stiff as well. They seem to be made from a slightly thicker leather than the average strop which might account for it.

    I have great faith in fools - self confidence my friends call it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth Substance's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Gladstone QLD AUSTRALIA
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    as posted esle where on here about the Big Daddy
    For Best Results use water and soap on the leather, such as your shave brush with shave soap. Also use the palm of your hand to rub the leather strop occasionally to help keep the leather pliable. When the leather is not pliable use Neatsfoot oil and when the leather is dirty use Saddle soap.
    direct from the Star shaving site.
    I have done the lather & bottle rub to braek mine in helped a mile
    when the lether gets to polished like after stropping a few weeks can, I applied Vitemin E cream to my hands until not greasy & then rubbed the strop down it increased the draw alot
    to shave another day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2012
    Miami, FL
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    I've never done anything more than palm rubbing. I have a bottle of Neatsfoot but have never used it. The leather on my strops has never looked or felt like it needed any further conditioning. I also like a light draw and Neatsfoot will increase the draw

  5. #5
    Senior Member BanjoTom's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Fort Lauderdale
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    Neatsfoot oil will clog the pores in a leather strop. As a result the strop could dry rot. Hand grease is highly preferred to make the leather soft and flexible.

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    Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Kenrup's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
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    You can go a long way to conditioning a strop by rubbing in a few drops of Neatsfoot oil and then running it over a rounded edge of counter top as if you were buffing the edge. A strop should be supple but firm enough to remain flat when under tension. A cupped strop will not service well. Nor will one that will stretch. Strops are a lot more durable then you might think. I have some that are from the 1900's and they still work fine.

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