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Do you use a strop when sharpening hand plane blades?

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Forum topic by distrbd posted 11-20-2015 03:42 PM 1258 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


11-20-2015 03:42 PM

This question has been bugging me for a while and searching for the answer got me more confused:
Is it necessary to use a strop after you have gone through 600, 1200 grit DMT stones and finally the 8000 grit water stone? is a piece of hardwood or MDF loaded with some polishing compound good enough as a strop or do you prefer a thick piece of leather?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada


39 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4450 posts in 3423 days


#1 posted 11-20-2015 03:46 PM

Leather strop here. It gets used after final honing. Green compound.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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JayT

4773 posts in 1673 days


#2 posted 11-20-2015 03:47 PM

Leather strop with green compound for me, too.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 639 days


#3 posted 11-20-2015 03:47 PM

No, I tried it once and did not see an improvement in performance. So why spend the time?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1143 days


#4 posted 11-20-2015 03:50 PM

I’m not sure it’s completely necessary after 8000 grit to use a strop but I tend to just take a couple strokes after honing to polish the blade a bit. It is useful to extend the amount the time between having to go back to the stones. If the chisel/plane iron starts to feel a bit dull take it to the strop and clean it up rather than back to the stone. I can usually do this several times before I have to go back to the stones and it helps keep the edge very sharp longer.

I use a leather strop attached to a handle myself but I don’t know why MDF with very fine polishing compound wouldn’t work just as good if you prefer that method.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


#5 posted 11-20-2015 03:50 PM

If I want it that sharp, I use automotive rubbing and then polishing compound over brown paper stroking away from the edge toward me on both sides.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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Tedstor

1625 posts in 2095 days


#6 posted 11-20-2015 03:52 PM

3-4 strokes over the strop with green buffing compound.
I do this during sharpening AND once in a while while using the tool (to freshen up the edge).

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#7 posted 11-20-2015 03:59 PM

The strop I’m using for my chisels is an old leather belt stapled to a piece of wood, the problem is,the belt is only 1.5” wide so I could not use it for my hand plane blades (I don’t think), haven’t found a piece of leather wide enough for the blades yet.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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PtboJim

9 posts in 1562 days


#8 posted 11-20-2015 04:04 PM

What!!! Without reading too much into this, does mean your coming over to the dark side, going to unplug and start using hand planes Ken?

-- "Everything should be made as simple as possible...but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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mahdee

3551 posts in 1230 days


#9 posted 11-20-2015 04:10 PM

With the hunting season in full force, it would be nice to have a moose/elk or deer hide to make a strop.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#10 posted 11-20-2015 04:11 PM



What!!! Without reading too much into this, does mean your coming over to the dark side, going to unplug and start using hand planes Ken?

- PtboJim


Lol, to be honest I find it very challenging to hand plane anything and do it right but I’m willing to learn, I should have asked you for a few tips when I had a chance .

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#11 posted 11-20-2015 04:16 PM



With the hunting season in full force, it would be nice to have a moose/elk or deer hide to make a strop.

- mahdee


I thought it would be easier than it is to find a decent piece of leather,tried ebay but $30 for a small vegetable tan leather? that’s crazy, anyhow,I located a boot maker near the city of Peterborough that I might try.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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PtboJim

9 posts in 1562 days


#12 posted 11-20-2015 04:40 PM


What!!! Without reading too much into this, does mean your coming over to the dark side, going to unplug and start using hand planes Ken?

- PtboJim

Lol, to be honest I find it very challenging to hand plane anything and do it right but I m willing to learn, I should have asked you for a few tips when I had a chance .

- distrbd


I am still here….drop me a line if there is anything I can help with.

-- "Everything should be made as simple as possible...but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#13 posted 11-20-2015 04:50 PM

Thanks Jim, I will be in touch.
Mahdi, it’s good to know about automotive polishing compound /brown paper, I have tons of those.

Thank you all for your quick replies, it looks like using a strop especially for quick honing is the way to go.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Awlsome's profile

Awlsome

7 posts in 430 days


#14 posted 11-20-2015 04:51 PM

I do. My philosophy of stropping though is that I only want to take the wire edge off from the last step – not add curvature to the edge. Thusly, I only make one or two passes on the strop (green compound), being careful to not apply too much pressure on the back side of the plane (and keeping it FLAT). Strop too much and you’ll change the edge geometry. Whether this is relevant in practice for planes, I do not know. It is certainly relevant for chisels and knives.

View iminmyshop's profile

iminmyshop

258 posts in 1456 days


#15 posted 11-20-2015 05:01 PM

+1 on the strop. It takes the sharpening that extra little step. It takes VERY little time and is definitely noticeable. The safest and most effective tool is a very sharp tool.

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