Cheap and cheerful Valet Autostrop replacement strop
I just got my first two Valet Autostrops via BST. One of them is a present for my nephew who has expressed interest in ’steampunk’ razors. Modern Feather blades don’t need stropping, but I’d like to be able to demonstrate the stropping mechanism.
I’ve had a rubbish Chinese strop cluttering my shaving cabinet. (Search for 'Canvas Leather Strop’ on ebay — it’s one of those that cost less than £2 with free shipping from China or Hong Kong). The leather is quite thin, but just about right for the Autostrop. Remember, I don't want to use it for stropping anything, just to demonstrate the mechanism.
I cut off the canvas strop (it was blue as can be seen in the picture) and the handle on the leather strop. Then I used the width of a Valet blade as a guide to mark the leather strop and cut it lengthwise. — a modern Feather FHS blade will work as well. Finally I bent the metal hook to fit the new width and used a pair of scissors to taper the strop at the other side to ease inserting into the razor. The result is not pretty, but cheap and I can demonstrate how the Autostrop feature used to work.
Here are some pictures showing how I did it: