This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
(1) Mix fine emery intimately with fat and wax until the proper consistency is obtained in the paste, and then rub it well into the leather strap. Prepare the emery by pounding thoroughly in a mortar the coarse kind, throwing it into a large jug of water and stirring well. Immediately the large particles have sunk, pour off into a shallow plate or basin, and let the water evaporate. This emery is better for engraving and other purposes than that prepared at the emery mills.
(2) The grit from a fine grindstone is very efficient for a razor paste.
(3) Levigated oxide of tin (prepared putty powder), 1 oz.; powdered oxalic acid, 1/4 oz.; powdered gum, 20 gr.; make into a stiff paste with water, and evenly and thinly spread it over the strop. With very little friction, this paste gives a fine edge to the razor, and its efficiency is still further increased by moistening it.
(4) Emery reduced to an impalpable powder, 2 parts; spermaceti ointment, 1 part; mix together, and rub it over the strop.
(5) Jewellers' rouge, black-lead, and suet, equal parts; mix.