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TOPIC: Strops are dry, hard, and slick

Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 1 week ago #14037

  • Buford T Justice
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I have read on the forums that the leather strops work best when sort of tacky, and that a little paste goes a long way. I know I've put plenty of paste on the strops. When I first put the paste on they are too wet and there is no friction. After a short time they start to fell right, but they quickly get dry and lose their sticktion. I've tried putting on the paste and letting it sit over night, but the next day the strops are dry, slick and hard. I've tried using a little alcohol as I have seen suggested, but that just seems to dry them out more.

Suggestions?


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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 1 week ago #14038

  • Barabus
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I had the same problem yesterday. Used some mineral oil. Seems to have worked. I will let you know more in a week or two.
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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 1 week ago #14039

  • EamonMcGowan
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Once you have applied paste. You might try keeping them in something sealed. I use zip lock baggies and mine stay fresh. One of the popular strop makers out there recommends using olive oil. I've used it on an old bench strop it worked pretty well.
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 1 week ago #14044

  • PhilipPasteur
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Buford T Justice wrote:
I have read on the forums that the leather strops work best when sort of tacky, and that a little paste goes a long way. I know I've put plenty of paste on the strops. When I first put the paste on they are too wet and there is no friction. After a short time they start to fell right, but they quickly get dry and lose their sticktion. I've tried putting on the paste and letting it sit over night, but the next day the strops are dry, slick and hard. I've tried using a little alcohol as I have seen suggested, but that just seems to dry them out more.

Suggestions?

How are your results? That is the important part!
At most you may have to adjust your technique as the leather gets harder. The work that is being done by the strops, when using pastes or sprays, is for the most part done by the abrasives. If you have a good coat of abrasives and your blades are getting sharp, you have nothing to worry about.

Clay has mentioned that he likes more friction between the strop and blade one a few occasions. This fits his technique, or at least what he was doing at that particular time. It does not mean that this is the only way that the strops can be used effectively.

If you need to get the strops back to feeling closer to new, the only way that I have found is to "lap" them with sand paper to remove the old abrasive and expose fresh leather. I would not use any vegetable oil on leather as any of them will oxidize over time, which you don't want to happen. A good leather treatment/preservative would be better. I would avoid anything with silicon in it, as this will likely make the strops slick.

I have been using this for years and like it:
www.obenaufs.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=18

I use it on many leather items, but tend to use Lexol for leather in cars because it has some cleaning ability.

For items like boots gloves and yes ... strops, I put the oil on and put the item in the oven at about 125 degrees until it is all absorbed, then do it again, until no more conditioner is absorbed into the leather.

For strops, it might worth trying the conditioning route, at least a few times, but at some point it will be better to just replace the leather. I have found that this Bark tanned leather from Handamerican sold by Woodcraft, works very well fro the WEPS strops:
www.woodcraft.com/catalog/productpage2.aspx?prodid=8620

It is a bit expensive when you think you can buy complete horse butts for $12, but it is nice and smooth and consistent so you don't have to mess with finishing it. One piece will make a bunch of WEPS strops.

Keep in mind the way I started this... if your strops are working for you ... you have learned how to use them the way they are, and you are getting good results, maybe you should not agonize over the situation!
Phil

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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 6 days ago #14050

  • LeoBarr
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ne of the best leather oils which penetrates is light & non greasy is Neatsfoot Oil used by leather workers and on chafe gear on classic yachts it is a beef oil .
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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 6 days ago #14054

  • FredHermann
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I tried alcohol, and it works for a while, assuming the strops are new.
Mine are old, chewed, and dry as a bone, so I used neatsfoot oil, then reapplied compound.
That was 3 months ago and they are still sticky and feel new.
So...just a thought.
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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 5 days ago #14069

  • PhilipPasteur
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www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=c...temid=271&view=topic

#10434

If Fred says it works, I am sure it does... at least short term.



BTW, I use both the Picards that I link to there and the Obenauf's oil.. for different applications. Both are good.
I decided to go with the latter when I actually tried it on some strops.
Phil

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Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 5 days ago #14070

  • FredHermann
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I don't know what I would have done if the strops weren't so chewed up, maybe more research.
Long term, it might not be a good idea, but they seem to be ok for now, but I don't use them more than once a week.
But if nothing else, I've learned a lot about strop care and use, so my next set will not look like my cat gnawed at them. Maybe he did and the drool made them dry....hmmm....
“On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jack*ss of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.”

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Re:Re: Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 4 days ago #14089

  • BobNash
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I'm with Phil's sentiment - if your results are good that is what is important. If you prefer the tacky feel against the blade though and its results I don't have a lot to offer cause I've used mine for years now with no cleaning etc - just apply more compound when they don't seem to give the edge any more bite or shine. I've started some new sets at shows when I've forgotten mine and for me I don't really notice a difference in performance after the first few knives - between sticky and smooth and between my old ones and the new. I don't care for the tacky feel and am happy when it goes away and they get smooth again after I have applied more compound. I guess I'd consider changing my technique if the tests on the sharpness tester from a lot of testers show more stiction produces significantly better results. I don't even worry about the nicks ( although chunks gone requires attention ---- eventually :p) I just reverse them on the rod if the nicks make it too bumpy. I do keep them in a zip lock to avoid contamination (finer grits always together so I can remember) and I imagine in our dry NM climate that helps keep them softer as I have never had them get really hard and have no give - I suppose if I had that problem I'd just change the leather.

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Last Edit: 10 months 4 days ago by BobNash.
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Re:Re: Strops are dry, hard, and slick 10 months 4 days ago #14090

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FredHermann wrote:
I don't know what I would have done if the strops weren't so chewed up, maybe more research.
Long term, it might not be a good idea, but they seem to be ok for now, but I don't use them more than once a week.
But if nothing else, I've learned a lot about strop care and use, so my next set will not look like my cat gnawed at them. Maybe he did and the drool made them dry....hmmm....

Warning taken to heart LOL. I don't know bout your cat Fred, but ours is so hungry if we give him kibble that if he didn't get a mouse or something else to supplement his diet, I wouldn't put it past him to go find my strops and gnaw on them, he even goes for the dog's dry food while she's eating.......so I guess I'll keep him off kibble and keep my strops locked away in their vaultz CD case

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