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Leather Strop Question


I have a vintage leather strop (Alaska Seal) which I have used for years. It is comprised of two pieces of leather one stamped "Sharpen" and the other "Finish". I use the Sharpen in lieu of linen and finish on the Finish strop. The results are very good. My question, however, concerns a strop I recently acquired. It is stamped with the date 1915 and is also two pieces of leather (Horsehide, I think). This strop is in excellent condition and was obviously intended to be a high quality strop. My problem is that with my seal skin strop there is a very noticeable difference in the feel when a razor is stropped on the different sides. The new strop doesn't appear to feel different on the two pieces. I'm pretty sure they were meant to be different as they are of noticeably different thicknesses and look slightly different. Since I can't feel a real difference I have assumed the thicker piece to be the more aggressive and the thinner to be the finisher. Any observations?




Well-Known Member
I would do a few laps on one side and look at it with a loupe or microscope to see if there is abrasive on it. If not try the other. If it is old it is possible someone combined the better pieces of two old strops to make one good one. Trial and error will be your friend i'm afraid.