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Stropping w/vegetarian strop and general sharpening woes.

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Forum topic by BigNorseWolf posted 12-30-2016 02:49 PM 3163 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigNorseWolf

5 posts in 352 days


12-30-2016 02:49 PM

Hi, I’m bignorsewolf, I think i’m terrible at sharpening

(Hi bignorsewolf)

I got a https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Large-Synthetic-Strop-P34C11.aspx vegetarian stop and the aluminum oxide compound.

Is there any way to tell if it’s working, i’m doing it right, i’m doing it wrong, or if my knives are really as sharp as they’re going to get? just look or just feel don’t really help if you’ve never seen or felt what its supposed to feel like or look like in person.


24 replies so far

View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 365 days


#1 posted 12-30-2016 03:12 PM

Cows are vegetarian.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1792 posts in 487 days


#2 posted 12-30-2016 03:23 PM

Is the strop and aluminum oxide compound your ONLY method of sharpening? In reality it should be the final step!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1769 posts in 2156 days


#3 posted 12-30-2016 03:24 PM



Cows are vegetarian.

- OSB

Not mad cows.


Is there any way to tell if it s working, i m doing it right, i m doing it wrong, or if my knives are really as sharp as they re going to get? just look or just feel don t really help if you ve never seen or felt what its supposed to feel like or look like in person.

- BigNorseWolf

First, make sure you’ve got a proper edge before trying to strop. You can strop a blunted edge all day and accomplish nothing. After using the stones, you should have a very fine and fragile burr on the edge. Stropping gets rid of that burr and leaves a razor sharp edge.

As far as how it should feel, a properly sharpened knife should be able to shave hairs.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5068 posts in 2105 days


#4 posted 12-30-2016 03:26 PM

I made my strop from a piece of scrap leather and a piece of scrap oak. Way cheaper than $22 + shipping.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9638 posts in 3487 days


#5 posted 12-30-2016 03:36 PM

Can you shave, or better yet “scare” the hair
off you arm? That’s a good way to tell when
a knife is sharp.

I have one of those same model strops. I don’t
use it a lot but it works. I have green rouge
I use on it that works fine.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1792 posts in 487 days


#6 posted 12-30-2016 03:46 PM


You can strop a blunted edge all day and accomplish nothing.

- JAAune

Well … you could achieve a very shiny blunted edge … but yes, I agree with JAAune … you must have a proper edge first!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Planeman41's profile

Planeman41

21 posts in 363 days


#7 posted 12-30-2016 04:47 PM

Please tell us your procedure of sharpening, what stones, etc. Then we can show you where you are going wrong.

-- Always remember that that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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BigNorseWolf

5 posts in 352 days


#8 posted 12-30-2016 06:21 PM

Smiths diamond stone (yellow plastic) coarse

Smiths diamond stone fine (orange plastic)

A smaller very fine sharpening stone. A few drops of oil, scrape along it like im trying to shave off a little bit.

Just got the strop.

The flexcut carving knives i’ve had for a bit compared to the Mora knife i just got are like using butterknives. Even the chip carving knife i was doing a lot of work with seems to have a dull edge compared tot hat.

I can usually get the blade on my leatherman or a K bar sharp enough to shave a few hairs , no luck on the flexcut.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9638 posts in 3487 days


#9 posted 12-30-2016 08:09 PM

Flexcuts can be tricky. They often have a
polished, rounded bevel so when you sharpen
and strop it you have to make sure you’re getting
to the edge itself.

I use green rouge on a buffing wheel for my
Flexcut carving tools. I don’t carve much and
buffing has been adequate to keep them sharp.

Mora knives are really great and easy to sharpen.

View Planeman41's profile

Planeman41

21 posts in 363 days


#10 posted 12-30-2016 09:41 PM

I believe Loren above has the answer. I have never used a Flexcut product so I am not familiar with their edge, however I have encountered “rounded” taper blade shapes before and these gave me these same problems. Try sharpening and stropping by holding the blade angled higher to the strop or stone. Also, I recommend using magnification (I use a 2X Harbor Freight magnifying visor which works well) when examining the edge. Look head-on at the edge using a strong light. If you can see the edge as a thin stripe of light under a 2X magnification, your blade still isn’t sharp enough. You shouldn’t be able to see the actual edge this way if it is very sharp. Rounded shaped blade tapers are supposed to be stronger which is fine for heavy use, however I prefer a straight taper and a shallow one at that. The edge may be weaker, but it stays sharper and is easier to sharpen. The type of carving I do is not of the “hammer” type, but the “light tap” method. Actually I rarely even use a mallet. I just push by hand. You may try re-shaping the blade to a shallower taper using your coarse stone and re-sharpening. Extra work, but worth it in the end.

-- Always remember that that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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BigNorseWolf

5 posts in 352 days


#11 posted 12-30-2016 09:52 PM

Thanks!

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

521 posts in 1547 days


#12 posted 12-30-2016 10:07 PM

In my opinion, labeling a strop as “vegetarian” is a sales gimmick… If you are a vegetarian and don’t want to use leather, a great option is to take a strip of cardboard from a cereal box, and glue it to a scrap board with rubber cement. Rub with any 0.5 micron stropping compound, and it’s a great strop. Key point is the strop has to be very thin so it won’t compress and then raise up just as the knife edge passes and rounds the edge. I use both Flexcut Gold compound and the green chromium oxide waxy one. The wax in the green one helps it adhere to the strop and not blow around the room…

I’m surprised at your Flexcut knives – they arrive carving sharp right out of the box. Proper stropping will keep them that way for literally years of use without having to use a stone or sandpaper on them (unless you drop them on a concrete floor…).

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View TravisH's profile (online now)

TravisH

551 posts in 1775 days


#13 posted 12-30-2016 10:21 PM



In my opinion, labeling a strop as “vegetarian” is a sales gimmick… If you are a vegetarian and don t want to use leather, a great option is to take a strip of cardboard from a cereal box, and glue it to a scrap board with rubber cement. Rub with any 0.5 micron stropping compound, and it s a great strop. Key point is the strop has to be very thin so it won t compress and then raise up just as the knife edge passes and rounds the edge. I use both Flexcut Gold compound and the green chromium oxide waxy one. The wax in the green one helps it adhere to the strop and not blow around the room…

I m surprised at your Flexcut knives – they arrive carving sharp right out of the box. Proper stropping will keep them that way for literally years of use without having to use a stone or sandpaper on them (unless you drop them on a concrete floor…).

- ClaudeF

That don’t market it as vegetarian just the OP decided to describe it that way. I also have never had any trouble getting a sharp edge on a flex cut knife either. I have sharpened them with diamond stones a few times over the years but strop freqquently.

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Planeman41

21 posts in 363 days


#14 posted 12-30-2016 10:54 PM

I should add that I have never seen a diamond “stone” that was fine enough for me. I use diamond “stones”, but afterwards I always go to a fine semi-transparent white Arkansas stone for the final sharpening before stropping. Good ones are not cheap, but they do the job and don’t easily get misshapened by wear. I even bit the bullet and paid nearly $80 for a 12” x 4” white hard Arkansas stone for my hand plane irons. Obviously I’m a fan of Arkansas stones.

-- Always remember that that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Karda's profile

Karda

828 posts in 393 days


#15 posted 12-30-2016 11:27 PM

do you use oil or water with your Arkansas stones.

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