What works for strops?

mitchshrader

Well-Known Member
Fifteen years ago I made myself a pair of belts, one to use and one for a spare when it wore out. I cut them from right down the backbone on a full hide of 10-12 oz red latigo, extra heavy and the two densest straps on the hide.

I'm still wearing the first one, and the other is still hanging in my closet.

Could a 2" red latigo strap serve for a strop? Effectively? It's a solid quarter inch thick and well oiled with neatsfoot, and I've got other leather that'd possibly work better (oak tanned 12oz saddle leather)..I'm mostly curious if the width is sufficient.
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
I believe 2" (50mm) wide is the standard width for razor strops, it is only recently did 3" strops become the rage... Wider is better?
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
I believe 2" (50mm) wide is the standard width for razor strops, it is only recently did 3" strops become the rage... Wider is better?
Wider is easier, because it accommodates the full length of the razor's blade. Less wide strop require a diagonal, or "figure 8" stroke, to cover all of the blade. But wide strop have a tendency to cup (more). When they do, good stropping contact is compromised at parts of the blade, all the more because the user doesn't rely on a stropping stroke that shifts the contact.
On a good, supple and non-cupped wide strop, all this doesn't matter.
I personally prefer 2" or 2.5".
 

towliff

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
Smythe said:
I believe 2" (50mm) wide is the standard width for razor strops, it is only recently did 3" strops become the rage... Wider is better?
Wider is easier, because it accommodates the full length of the razor's blade. Less wide strop require a diagonal, or "figure 8" stroke, to cover all of the blade. But wide strop have a tendency to cup (more). When they do, good stropping contact is compromised at parts of the blade, all the more because the user doesn't rely on a stropping stroke that shifts the contact.
On a good, supple and non-cupped wide strop, all this doesn't matter.
I personally prefer 2" or 2.5".
What do you mean by cupped Bart? Is it if the strop develops a bow/curve from one side to the other (across the width)?

I have recently accquired a 1.75" strop and I much prefer this size to my 3" strop. I also have a 2.5" strop. Allthough I havent used a 2" strop, I believe this could be the perfect size. :rolleyes:
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
towliff said:
What do you mean by cupped Bart? Is it if the strop develops a bow/curve from one side to the other (across the width)?
Indeed. I've seen strops that had it in either condition: curved up and curved down. Even saw one that was twisted enough to have both conditions. That one genuinely sucked. I'm glad it was not mine. :)
 

Smythe

Well-Known Member
Well... I'll be the first to admit I am no leather expert, but I believe nothing is perfectly flat or perfectly consistent, or, if it is to begin with it will not stay that way forever. Most strops will cup at some point, so the practice of stropping diagonal negates the issue a cupped strop, or the need for a wide strop. It’s the same reason we do the “X” stroke on the hone even if the stone is wide enough for the length if the blade.

I have always used a 2 inch strop, but some time ago I bought a 3 inch wide strop to replace it, then found myself using only ½ if the width (maybe because I was so accustomed to the diagonal stroke on a narrower strop). Ended up cutting the strop down the length to get it narrow and never looked back… lolol.
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Smythe said:
Well... I'll be the first to admit I am no leather expert, but I believe nothing is perfectly flat or perfectly consistent, or, if it is to begin with it will not stay that way forever. Most strops will cup at some point, so the practice of stropping diagonal negates the issue a cupped strop, or the need for a wide strop. It’s the same reason we do the “X” stroke on the hone even if the stone is wide enough for the length if the blade.

I have always used a 2 inch strop, but some time ago I bought a 3 inch wide strop to replace it, then found myself using only ½ if the width (maybe because I was so accustomed to the diagonal stroke on a narrower strop). Ended up cutting the strop down the length to get it narrow and never looked back… lolol.
Yeah, anything wider than 2" is useless. My new strop is like 2.5 or something, and I find myself using an x-stroke like on a 2 incher. I still find the extra .5" to be an added luxury, but 3" is overkill (just like a 3" stone :lol: no offense). You don't really have to worry about warping so much with a 2".
 

mitchshrader

Well-Known Member
well, that was my very last excuse. I've got the tools and the time and my beard keeps growing..so it appears I should learn to hone a razor.

Suppose anyone around here knows how? ;)
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
mitchshrader said:
well, that was my very last excuse. I've got the tools and the time and my beard keeps growing..so it appears I should learn to hone a razor.

Suppose anyone around here knows how? ;)
Beats me! hahaha
 

mitchshrader

Well-Known Member
I actually took my first baby step today, but havn't worked up the nerve to start on a BBW yet, much less a coticule. I must have just wanted to see if I could touch a razor without cutting my fingers off.

I think I'll play with this big arkansas benchstone a little more, try some diluted soap for lube and see how much it matters. I'd like to at least have the honing and stropping motions a little practiced for waterstones with slurry, and get where I feel the edge a little better.
 
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