Material for strop backing

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Mar 16, 2011
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I've got some leather I'd like to try to make a few strops out of. I've had this stuff for ages, and I just figured I'd eventually run into a material of some sort I could glue it on, and presto, I've got a strop. This hasn't seemed to work out. My trouble is I'm worried about getting something that's suitably flat and that will not warp. This has made me rule out the wood in my hardware store. Strops I've bought in the past have come with a flexible rubber backing that seems to work ok, but I haven't been able to find any of it around either.

Anyone have any ideas on a substance I could use, and better still where I could procure some?
1/2" acrylic 3x12" will be perfect.
Also thick wood will not warp
Medium density fiberboard will work well and is easily obtained at the Borg (Home Despot).
I ordered a few sheets of nylon from two sources - Amazon and a surplus-materials-dude on ebay. None of the sheets were actually flat, and it was a PITA to sand down the nylon. But it's great stuff, and you can get away with a really thin backing that won't warp, down to 1/4" even.
How about a magnet, like Ken's, available at craft stores for dirt cheap. I have been using them on balsa attached with gorilla glue.
All good suggestions, thanks.

I'm intrigued by this magnet suggestion. Is there a pic or something somewhere of Ken's magnet?

Otherwise I'll probably go with whichever of the other options I can find quickest. Or maybe I'll try them all and make a few, see which works best.
Sorry, I meant keith from Hand America. You can check out his stropping supplies at chef knives to go, although most are sold out. I don't have any of his leather, but the magnet on his felt pad works great.
contact cement to thick glass would make for the most flat & level. Note: not all leather makes for good Strops. Leather needs to not only be veg tanned but it must be flat & of & it has to be flat & of uniform thickness & consistency, most leather is not. Other things go into making a good strop, like compressing then exposing the cells of the leather.
The stuff I've got is veg tanned, so no worries there. Flat & uniform doesn't seem like a problem either. I'm pretty sure what I've got is a few lengths of top-grain leather designed for upholstering furniture, which means it's been machine thinned & flattened. The smooth side, designed to be the surface I'm sure, is useless to me, but the rougher back feels almost exactly like my old hand american strop. It might not work out, I worry mostly that it's a little thin. Most strops are I believe made from the same surface gotten at from the other (ie. inside) side of the leather, which produces thicker product. But really, this is just a pet project I'm undertaking because the leather was free and it's a little interesting. If it doesn't work out I'll just order a new one online, no biggie.

What's this about compressing and exposing the cells of the leather? Are we talking leaving it under a dictionary for a few hours, or something more complicated?
I finally found a solution to this dilemma. Went into the gf's parent's cottage's basement and found a stack of cherry wood cut up into neat little oh...3x4x14 or so blocks. There are maybe 30 of them left, so I liberated a couple. Apparently they've had the wood for 30 years or so dating back to a long-gone wood shop, sold off everything they could, and cut the rest up into blocks to use as firewood. Yes, they've been burning perfectly good blocks of cherry. Some other stuff like mahogany and walnut too, but I didn't see any of it lying around any more.
Glue a bunch of those together, get them cut into 2" thick slabs and then sanded and blamo, you have 6 cutting boards (assuming the 3x4 end is the end grain portion of those chunks). Give em as gifts or sell some to pay for the cuttings and sanding! Just need some titebond III and some clamps!
veg tanned furniture upholstery leather is what i use. i've tried both split and smooth, bare and with compound, and i've found that i get the best result with split leather that has a soft nap. i strop with .5 CrO on balsa, then .25 diamond on split grain, and then bare split grain. i have my leather attached to the same balsa blocks i use for the balsa strops.
That green strop(cromium oxide?) is loaded about as nice as I've ever seen. Did you spray it?