... on chisels, plane irons,
drawknives, spokeshaves, and even axes. I made this one for a
coffin making toolkit I will be using in a National Park Service
demonstration at Cumberland Gap.
The toolkit will appear to date
circa 1800. This leather strop was made on a piece of a rived
red oak board and has its original split surface on the back.
Today I mounted leather on the
wooden stock that I made yesterday. I took plenty of photos so
if you want to make one like mine you have enough information to
I have never had trouble finding
the main ingredient for leather strops... leather.
I didn't have to go to my stash for
leather because I purchased all you see in the photo for $5.00
at an outdoor flea market. New leather from a supplier is
expensive but fortunately I have always been able to buy scraps
I selected an area of half a hide
that had a rectangular piece cut out of it. For a good strop the
leather should have a smooth but porous surface.
I used dividers to determine the
length and width of the piece of leather to attach to the wood.
Cut the leather at least 1/8th inch oversize on both sides
because the excess will be trimmed off once it is mounted on the
Next I marked the outline of the
piece of leather I was going to harvest from the hide.
Using scissors I cut out the piece
of leather. You don't have to be precise in this task since the
leather will be trimmed later.