I am having difficulties finding some scrap piece of leather in order to make myself a strop in order to aid the sharpening process for my plane blades and chisels.

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I was thinking to use this kind of (hopefully) genuine leather and I am not sure if it is a good idea. I mean the oxide-loaded strop:

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Is it feasible?

  • Not the ideal material, no. Even thought the Q wasn't really about this I covered a lot of the relevant territory in a previous Answer, here.
    – Graphus
    Oct 21, 2019 at 6:43
  • Check the Good Will or Salvation Army for an old, wide belt. Oct 21, 2019 at 11:10
  • Or check your local craft or artisan meetups. Leather workers often have suitable scraps of heavy leather you can load up with your levels of compound.
    – user5572
    Oct 21, 2019 at 14:00
  • 2
    Just for reference this kind of leather is know as "chamois". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamois_leather . It is probably the softest kind of leather around, which is the exact opposite of what you want for a strop. "Horse butt" leather is widely regarded as the best leather for strops due to how hard it is. Oct 21, 2019 at 16:55
  • @SaSSafraS1232, horse butt or something similar is only really of importance for those intending to strop on the bare leather.
    – Graphus
    Oct 22, 2019 at 6:50

2 Answers 2


To answer the question at hand, no. This is not appropriate material for stropping tool edges.

Let's aggregate the answers that popped up in comments:

  • Check this Answer for hints
  • Look around for a local leatherworker to acquire scraps of heavier hide suitable for turning into a strop
  • Check charity shops for an old "full grain" leather belt (i.e., not compressed or bonded leather)
  • "Full Grain Leather" is what he needs. I think the compressed kind is called "Bonded Leather." Oct 21, 2019 at 19:27
  • 1
    @Ring, important take-home message from the previous Answer is that OP doesn't need leather at all if he's intending on using compound.
    – Graphus
    Oct 22, 2019 at 6:47

I agree with the prior answer and comments and thought I would add another suggestion to try. A very flat smooth piece of wood such as a finish grade plywood makes a great strop or base for a leather strop. I have piece of plywood that I applied stropping compound to and it works great. As a woodworker it easy to make a strop like this of any size or shape you like with or without a handle. And you are pretty much guaranteed to have the material laying in your scrap bin right now.

  • Good point. In fact, for some of my larger blades, a softer wood "strop" would make more sense. I'm going to try it when I get around to putting a new edge on my block plane and repairing an unfortunate paring chisel that got really rust damaged.
    – user5572
    Oct 23, 2019 at 19:47

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