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Stropping for dummies

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Forum topic by woodworker59 posted 03-16-2013 01:26 AM 931 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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woodworker59

560 posts in 897 days


03-16-2013 01:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question strop use missuse compound

Just picked up a nice older strop, now the hard part… What is the best way to use a strop and which compound would you recommend for it?? I have never used one before, but from what I have read they are great for keeping a nice edge on tools without having to hit the stones every time.. SO Lumberjock’s, you guys are a fountain for knowledge and I need a good long drink.. so whats the deal fill me in… thanks.. Papa

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com


18 replies so far

View Deycart's profile

Deycart

391 posts in 954 days


#1 posted 03-16-2013 01:51 AM

I use green chromium oxide. The darker the compound the more chromium oxide. I just stroke my blades on it until I can shave with it.

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woodworker59

560 posts in 897 days


#2 posted 03-16-2013 01:53 AM

DO you push the blade of the chisel against the edge or with the edge? you know like a knife, you work the knife edge on a wheel against the edge, is the strop the same?? thanks.. Papa

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com

View jjw5858's profile

jjw5858

1117 posts in 1298 days


#3 posted 03-16-2013 02:17 AM

Hey papa. Strops are awesome and will reduce hitting the stones all the time. Take A chisel, knife, etc. and pull the edge away from the leather, towards yourself. The green compound works terrific for adding a good shine and helping with the edge. Barbers used these all the time on a straight razor before shaving their clients. It will put a nice edge on your blade. Way back many woodworkers would literally use the side of their leather work boots to use as a strop for a quick fix. Hope this helped.

All the best,

Joe

-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 880 days


#4 posted 03-16-2013 02:24 AM

Papa: yeah, you pull the edge against the strop. Exactly opposite of how your push a knife or chisel against a stone. And I’ll add a “me too” to Deycart’s use of green chromium oxide. I use it on my manual strop, and on my Worksharp’s leather stropping wheel.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1271 posts in 769 days


#5 posted 03-16-2013 02:36 AM

boot’s work good, but how ‘bout the edge of your apron, if ya wear one.

-- Who is John Galt?

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

5378 posts in 678 days


#6 posted 03-16-2013 03:01 AM

Here’s a good write-up on strops:
http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/26468

I have two. A bare leather one I use as the last step after my Arkansas stone. And the other is loaded with honing compound (I have white jewelers rouge) that works well to get a new edge without going back to the stones. Supposedly, the honing compounds are more coarse than your Arkansas stone, so using the a loaded strop right after the stones would be working backwards.

And yes, pull firmly back with the bevel against the leather several times. Similar to the pull stroke if it were in a jig. You will see it start to polish. If you push forward, or swipe sideways, you’ll slice the leather for sure. Hope that helps.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

1854 posts in 887 days


#7 posted 03-16-2013 12:44 PM

Hey Papa,

I don’t know much about strops, but I bought a Flexcut chip carving knife for a project and it came with instructions on strop sharpening. I believe you can find your answers on the Flexcut web site, the instructions & Q and A pages:

http://www.flexcut.com/

Happy sharpening.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Don W's profile

Don W

15283 posts in 1264 days


#8 posted 03-16-2013 12:48 PM

Brown packing paper works as well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View ernie's profile

ernie

13 posts in 703 days


#9 posted 03-16-2013 01:04 PM

If you do a double edge blade, like knife or razor, at the end of the stroke always roll the blade on its back to start the return stroke. Roll on the cutting edge will cut your strop. No strop or leather, use the inside of your forearm.
An old machinest taught me that years ago. It works. And you will remember which way to stroke and roll.

-- Ernie, Etna, WA

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1271 posts in 769 days


#10 posted 03-16-2013 01:08 PM

Oldtool good info there here is a link directly to the sharpening page, also check out the q & a page on sharpening alone.

-- Who is John Galt?

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 880 days


#11 posted 03-16-2013 04:48 PM

I’ve stropped small knives on my palm before, but I don’t think I’m brave enough to use my forearm.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View woodworker59's profile

woodworker59

560 posts in 897 days


#12 posted 03-16-2013 10:28 PM

I knew you guys would come through for me.. as usual this place is a vast sea of knowledge.. thanks. to all.. will let you know how I make out.. one question.. the strop I purchased comes from a barber college and it is two piece.. one is leather the other is canvas.. what is the canvas one for?? the same thing..??// thanks..
Papa

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com

View ernie's profile

ernie

13 posts in 703 days


#13 posted 03-16-2013 10:48 PM

Should have a brass eye or clip on top. That fastens the strop at about waist level to a solid something. Timber, cabinet, workbench leg. Then grab the handle on the bottom of the strop and pull toward you. Leather up and canvas on the bottom. The canvas gives backing and helps stiffin the leather. Thats used when sharping blades or knives. Chisels and irons, I would lay the leather on a flat surface to get a full stroke and maintain angle.

-- Ernie, Etna, WA

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1149 posts in 1459 days


#14 posted 03-17-2013 05:39 PM

It can also be used as a deterrent, in case of unwanted attention in the shop area by undesirables.

-- *Arachnoleptic Fit*: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidently walked through a spider web.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5116 posts in 1273 days


#15 posted 03-17-2013 06:28 PM

Adhere some leather to a piece of Baltic Birch,
charge it with some green honing compound and you’re good to go.

Some folks like the smooth side, while others using the opposite side.
Maybe I’ll adhere the opposite one day and see if there’s a difference.

Once in a while I use Autosol on the leather as well.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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