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Seraphim
02-25-2009, 02:38 PM
In an ongoing quest to screw around with pretty much every shaving thing I use, here's my latest abomination:

The Lithuanian finish strop!

I have never seen first hand a Russian finish strop, but I know it uis made form the rough side of the leather. So. I took my TM Apprentice strop (a fantastic piece of leather, let me tell you!) and gave it my own treatmnet, and I call it what I darn well like!

I first sanded it down using 220 to get rid of any dingle-dangles (that's a leather working term), and then proceded to rub in some neatsfoot oil and some beeswax. I laid the strop down on a clean countertop and rubbed the dickens out of it with a glass bottle (my Lucido aftershave balm bottle, to be exact...). Lots of brown debris and detrius readily came off. Eventually it got to have a rather nice looking finish.

How's she work?

Well, I'm partial to heavy grind razors....1/4 hollow and up. On most strops it seems that you are just marking time as the heavy chunk o steel glides up and down the leather...well, not so with the Lithuanian finished strop! No sir...this strop now has more draw than Hanna Montana at a teeny-bopper convention. It probably isn't fully broken in yet, but the few times I've used it on my vintage Tally Ho, it felt like the blade was magnetized to the strop surface. The rough side now has a definite suede like finish to it.

Finished it off on the plain latigo side (I had previousy also buffed that with 400 or 600 grit), and it shaved like a dream.Can't say as the Lithuanian finish side had anything to do with it or not, as heavy Sheffield steel always feels nice and smooth to me but the stropping felt good, so I'm not complaining.

I'm contemplating adding a touch of cigar ash to the rough side as a mild abrasive, but as I currently have the flu, I'm in no shape to create any cigar ash at the moment.... But I do have a nice Punch here at my desk for when I recuperate....

Not that it really needs it, as it seems to me that wedgey razors keep their edges for ages as it is, so it may be overkill.

mdunn
02-25-2009, 04:00 PM
cool.

Ive heard of using cigar ash before - how abrasive is it though?

Seraphim
02-25-2009, 05:57 PM
cool.

Ive heard of using cigar ash before - how abrasive is it though?

Not very....which is good for an everyday use strop. Like canvas white paste, a very mild abrasive to tune things up a touch.

Or so I hope!:001_rolle

Bruce
02-27-2009, 06:41 AM
Sera,

Will cheap cigar ash work OK or do I need the high buck stuff? I find myself returning to MunieMakers with alarming frequency so I have ashtrays overflowing with the cheap stuff. Unless I sneeze, that is.:eek:

Seraphim
02-27-2009, 10:29 AM
I don't know, as I've never used the stuff myself.

I'm not even sure I'm going to try it, as I'm liking the shaves I'm, getting off of the strop as-is right now.

Tony Miller
02-27-2009, 06:56 PM
Seraphim,

Nicely done ! Are you free early evenings during the week? If so I have room at the workbench for you :biggrin:


Tony

Seraphim
02-27-2009, 09:45 PM
Seraphim,

Nicely done ! Are you free early evenings during the week? If so I have room at the workbench for you :biggrin:


Tony

I'd actually quite enjoy that!!!:w00t:

Deftim13
02-27-2009, 10:00 PM
Very nice.

mparker762
02-28-2009, 07:48 AM
I'm contemplating adding a touch of cigar ash to the rough side as a mild abrasive, but as I currently have the flu, I'm in no shape to create any cigar ash at the moment.... But I do have a nice Punch here at my desk for when I recuperate....

I tried cigar ash once and didn't like it at all. It was a Punch too... But it may be that the ash needs to break in a bit - it's likely that the ash would work deeper into the leather, and the particles would break down from the pressure and impact of the blade, and get finer over time. Though it's also possible that only certain types of ash really work well. One of the members here that has used fireplace ash has discovered that it matters who he gets his fireplace ash from, possibly because of the different woods that produced the ash produces different grit ash.

I've also had good success with the white abrasive stick from the hardware store (the one for a high gloss on stainless steel). I believe they're a mixture of wax and linde polish, which is a submicron polish, and they're consistent unlike ash. The sticks are only a few bucks and one will last you a lifetime. They're very hard so very little abrasive gets on the strop, which is the real reason it's suitable for a daily strop. I've used the stick from Harbor Freight and the one made by Brownells and they were the same except for the label.

tpoof
02-28-2009, 12:22 PM
Those strops sure do look awesomely drawey :)
Interesting about the ash.. as a wood stove guy and access to lots of different wood species it may be interesting to see how different ash differs..
although I have no idea just how one would go about comparing such media..
interesting though..

Sullybob
07-30-2009, 06:00 AM
I have a couple of questions.

How much beeswax did you put on your strop? Did you heat up at all first?

Did you buff off the excess?

Do you also put beeswax on the smooth side or only on the rough side?

Could you use the rough side as a finishing strop?

I know that, this is probably a fairly difficult question to answer but I'll ask anyway. How supple is your strop? My strop is fairly stiff.

How did buffing the smooth side with 400 or 600 grit sandpaper change the stropping characteristics?

My wife has a beeswax candle........

Seraphim
07-30-2009, 06:36 AM
I have a couple of questions.

How much beeswax did you put on your strop? Did you heat up at all first?

Did you buff off the excess?

Do you also put beeswax on the smooth side or only on the rough side?

Could you use the rough side as a finishing strop?

I know that, this is probably a fairly difficult question to answer but I'll ask anyway. How supple is your strop? My strop is fairly stiff.

How did buffing the smooth side with 400 or 600 grit sandpaper change the stropping characteristics?

My wife has a beeswax candle........

Rub off/in the excess with a smooth bottle.

I used the beeswax on both sides, as I like to use both sides.

My strop is very supple. That is from the oil I have often used with it (neatsfoot and camella). You should use both oil and beeswax to condition it.

4-600 on the smooth side will give you much more draw, but it will eventually smooth out again.

Give it a shot!

Fnord5
07-30-2009, 08:18 AM
I wish I had re-read this thread a few days ago.
But, since I make my own strops with$5 strips of leather, I am never out much if I mess up.

I took mine, on the finished side, and rubbed the snot out of it with a beeswax tealight candle. Thick coating of wax, didn't really remember how to get it back smooth again.
So, I turned on my stovetop(electric coil) and ran the strop over the hot burner about 3-4 inches above. Wax melted into the leather, the draw right now is like glass, but it puts a great finished edge on my razors.

After todays shave, I am going to go at it again, but this time use neetsfoot, beeswax, and just rub it in with a bottle like you suggested.:wink:

sapito318
07-30-2009, 10:53 AM
Great thread! You dont hear much about strop customization... I like! I need to either purchase or make some new strops. Anybody have a good link to information on the topic?

Sullybob
07-30-2009, 11:35 AM
Rub off/in the excess with a smooth bottle.

I used the beeswax on both sides, as I like to use both sides.

My strop is very supple. That is from the oil I have often used with it (neatsfoot and camella). You should use both oil and beeswax to condition it.

4-600 on the smooth side will give you much more draw, but it will eventually smooth out again.

Give it a shot!

I think I will give it a shot. Not until this weekend, though.

Seraphim
05-04-2012, 07:43 AM
Why do I sell off my stuff?

I'm looking at that strop with fond remembrances....


I always regret selling stuff. I need to hoard more.

ouch
05-04-2012, 07:46 AM
It was the world's first Heirlithuanioom strop.

Woodash
05-04-2012, 07:58 AM
Sera,

Will cheap cigar ash work OK or do I need the high buck stuff? I find myself returning to MunieMakers with alarming frequency so I have ashtrays overflowing with the cheap stuff. Unless I sneeze, that is.:eek:
I understand that Swisher Sweets are particularly high in coarser abrasives......:wacko:

Kentos
05-04-2012, 10:23 AM
:Lol:

Didn't even notice the dates...although it did seem weird posting you preferred wedges...

Seraphim
05-04-2012, 12:41 PM
I can't believe I've been screwing around with this stuff for 3+ years....

jpakstis
05-04-2012, 01:10 PM
Complete non-technical question: why call it the Lithuanian strop? I'm half-Lithuanian (all the dingle-dangles are gone though).

Seraphim
05-04-2012, 02:28 PM
Complete non-technical question: why call it the Lithuanian strop? I'm half-Lithuanian (all the dingle-dangles are gone though).

The reason is two-fold:

Number one- I call it a Lithuanian finish for the same reason someone decided to call a certain style of strop "Russian", Pretty much completely arbitrary, so I followed suit.

Number two- Like yourself I have some Lithuanian heritage as well. I'm pretty much a total mutt: Lithuanian, Scottish, Czechoslovakian, English, etc....so I wanted to pay homage to my Lithuanian roots.

ouch
05-04-2012, 03:14 PM
I'll have to create a homage to my Welsh/Hungarian roots with a custom strop.