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Thread: Strop restorations

  1. #1
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    Default Strop restorations

    Evening chaps,

    I picked up some old strops in a box of old stuff from a long-gone barber's shop. Before I go in heavy-handed, I'm wondering what the thinking on restoration in the forum is.

    Here is the haul:
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    The hanging strop is some sort of napped leather, with fabric on the back. Both sides are in pretty poor shape and dirty. On the plus side, the leather is amazingly not too dried out and looks salvageable. However, there are a few loose threads in the cotton/linen on the back, and some serious nicks in the leather: Name:  IMG_20180705_212309.jpg
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Size:  18.5 KB I'm thinking first glue up the nicks with leather cement, then clean the leather with saddle soap, then start the process of moisturising. Is that a reasonable order of service?

    Then there is the paddle strop. It is an interesting one, it has a leather side and a sprung wooden side:
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    With this one, maybe just clean and condition the leather, but what about the wooden side? It is designed to be used simply as plain wood? Luckily, the wood still has a surprising amount of spring in it.

    Finally, the loom strop:
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    This one is in the worst shape of all, there are some big nicks in the leather, the leather feels very dry and hard, and the fabric is dirty and worn. Would I be looking at taking them both off and re-tensioning them?

    Thanks!

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    www.edge-dynamics.com JOB15's Avatar
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    Don't ask me , ive been restoring one for over a year now..
    Probably should check on it :/
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOB15 View Post
    Don't ask me , ive been restoring one for over a year now..
    Probably should check on it :/
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm in no rush!

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    www.edge-dynamics.com JOB15's Avatar
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    I used leatherique cleaning solutions (for car seats) and sanded out the slices/nic's with 400 grit glass paper which was a mistake because the little glass particles embed on the surface of the strop.

    Mine is hanging in a cupboard on a coat hanger and it has a lot of draw, too much I'd say.

    There was a period when I would strop on it daily to try and condition it back to life.

    Hope this helps
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    Montgomery (07-06-2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOB15 View Post
    Hope this helps
    Yes it does!

    I've read as much as I can on the forums here. And I'm no stranger to leather. But for example, I'm still a bit unsure about how to wash the linen on the hanging strop without getting the leather wet, or how to re-tension the loom strop. And how should that sprung paddle strop be used? Can replacement linen be bought for strops?

    Let's see if anyone feels like chipping in.

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    Senior Member Diboll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montgomery View Post
    Yes it does!

    I've read as much as I can on the forums here. And I'm no stranger to leather. But for example, I'm still a bit unsure about how to wash the linen on the hanging strop without getting the leather wet, or how to re-tension the loom strop. And how should that sprung paddle strop be used? Can replacement linen be bought for strops?

    Let's see if anyone feels like chipping in.
    Not in your area, but here's a couple of chips:
     
     
    Strop Replacement Parts
    Last edited by Diboll; 07-06-2018 at 01:20 PM.
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    Montgomery (07-06-2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diboll View Post
    Not in your area, but here's a couple of chips:
     
     
    Strop Replacement Parts
    Thank you! Very useful, but by the time I've bought those bits I could have bought the new version of this strop. Also, this one is 45mm wide, and the parts here are wider. Next post shows where we are up to...

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    Default Restoration update...

    So, this is where we are up to with the hanging strop. Of course, this is an exercise, this isn't a valuable or particularly good strop, but the idea is to get the feel of things in case a really valuable old strop comes my way at some point.

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    Not much done, washed the fabric side with laundry soap, and cleaned the leather side with saddle soap. Also glued the cuts with leather cement:

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    ... and started moisturising the leather by putting leather conditioner on the reverse side. Gluing the cuts was particularly successful.

    It is in surprisingly good shape, I guess it wasn't used for 30, 40, maybe 50 years, but it seems that the compound that was used on it was quite greasy which protected the leather all those years in storage. It still needs a bit more moisturising, which will be done gradually. One question, the leather has some sort of strop paste on it, with the loupe, I can make out shiny silver or white particles. What kind of compound might have been used? I guess that with a strop which has been pasted, all that can be done is to play safe and assume it has been used with the coarsest compound.

    The fabric side has some damage:

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    I've been thinking about whether and how to repair it; options seem to be:
    i) replace the fabric
    ii) repair the hole with a needle and thread
    iii) somehow patch the fabric
    iv) leave it as is and use it until it disintegrates
    v) leave it as is and not use it

    In terms of repair, i) and ii) would be best, but lots of work. iii) is difficult to execute while maintaining the consistency of the fabric, though not impossible. iv) is possible, but I'll probably go for v).
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    Get some Ballistol! It is the best leather restorer I have found and it is good for so many other projects in your shop. Check it out at ballistol.com .
    I use it on my vintage shell horse hide strops and all my leather goods. It just works.

    Slawman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slawman View Post
    Get some Ballistol! It is the best leather restorer I have found and it is good for so many other projects in your shop
    Mmmm... I'll have a look at that, thanks.

    Won't help with the fabric problem though...

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