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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:29 am 
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Certainly nothing groundbreaking, just me doin' a quick show-and-tell upon request of how I use a strop, and a quick rundown of why. If anyone more experienced has something to add, please do. I apologize for the audio, I'm fighting an old computer and a lack of any decent equipment.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:48 am 
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I can never get the angle right on stropping.

For free hand sharpening on a stone I can use the two or three stacked up coin trick to determine if I'm at the right angle, but this is all but impossible with a strop. It's cool as hell when others can get it right, but I've all but given up on trying to strop my knives.

By the way, I have to ask...WTF is with that hat? :)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:00 am 
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I haven't used a guide since I learned how to use a sharpener. That old Schrade won't shave (thick ass bevel) but the Mora, benchmade, and one of my Cold Steel Bushman bowies will.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:16 am 
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That's a nice, simple video. I use the same trick with an old leather belt. I wear a rigger's belt as my ED(W?) now, which is far too rough for a strop, but a section of leather belt is in my BOB for stropping purposes.

Not as good as a leather strop, but I've heard that you can use the jeans you are wearing, or even bare skin (living leather) as a strop as well. Obviously would need to exercise more caution while using those as strops, but those may be some alternatives. I think it really just needs to be some sort of relatively smooth, continuous surface that has enough friction to wear down the steel on a fine level, and some "give" to let it conform to the blade shape as you pull it past. I've used the jeans on my leg before, but I can't think of too many situations where in a pinch I need to strop a blade...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:46 am 
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I found an old leather strop hanging from a nail in my basement when we first moved in, maybe I'll dig that thing out and give it a try!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:11 pm 
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Browning 35 wrote:
By the way, I have to ask...WTF is with that hat? :)


It's what makes him Fabulous. Without the hat he's just Doctorr.

On topic, are you stropping dry? Somewhere along the way I got the idea that I was supposed to be using oil and grit when I strop. I'm sure someone will sell me a jar of "Uncle Jake's Olde-Thyme Stropping Compoundye" for fifty bucks an ounce, but I just use the oil + grit left on my stone after each sharpening session. So what I do is, I start with honing oil + coarse stone, and when I'm done, I wipe the oil and grit on my strop (old belt, but I've been using the smooth side!). Then I repeat with the fine stone, and wipe again. Then I tension the belt (I put it around something and through the buckle, then pull tight and step on the end). Took me a few times and a nicked up strop before I decided that pulling away from the edge (rather than "shaving" the strop) was the way to go. :oops:

Anyway, I keep using this old belt and I feel like it's building up oil + grit in the leather (it's certainly stained gray where I use it), so it's becoming more and more of a strop, if that makes sense. But I'm using the smooth (hair?) side, not the rough/grain/flesh/suede looking side. Suggestions?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:20 pm 
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I use Jeriah method of the old oil and grit off the stones placed on what was once a leather workboot i butchered into a small strop. Seems to work for me as well as my jeans. When im in a rush i just use my left thigh like a strop, it also seems to polish the edge for a shaper edge then a stone alone.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Stropping with very fine abrasive embedded in the strop should help speed up the process. I think most compounds that are used to impregnate strops like the green jeweler's rouge have particle sizes on the order of half a micrometre or even less. Very, very fine, indeed. I don't know the average particle size of the swarf from rough or fine grinding, but my guess is it may be quite a bit a little larger than that. Shouldn't really hurt in any major way, but the surface finish achievable could be microscopically rougher than by just leather on its own or using another rouging compound.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:50 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:53 pm 
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JayceSlayn wrote:
Stropping with very fine abrasive embedded in the strop should help speed up the process. I think most compounds that are used to impregnate strops like the green jeweler's rouge have particle sizes on the order of half a micrometre or even less. Very, very fine, indeed. I don't know the average particle size of the swarf from rough or fine grinding, but my guess is it may be quite a bit a little larger than that. Shouldn't really hurt in any major way, but the surface finish achievable could be microscopically rougher than by just leather on its own or using another rouging compound.


Not sure on particle size, but I use this to "finish" my blades after sharpening. Essentially it's a leather strop that you add a compound too like you suggested. Works quite well.

http://www.knivesshipfree.com/index.php?cPath=526

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Maverick299 wrote:
JayceSlayn wrote:
Stropping with very fine abrasive embedded in the strop should help speed up the process. I think most compounds that are used to impregnate strops like the green jeweler's rouge have particle sizes on the order of half a micrometre or even less. Very, very fine, indeed. I don't know the average particle size of the swarf from rough or fine grinding, but my guess is it may be quite a bit a little larger than that. Shouldn't really hurt in any major way, but the surface finish achievable could be microscopically rougher than by just leather on its own or using another rouging compound.


Not sure on particle size, but I use this to "finish" my blades after sharpening. Essentially it's a leather strop that you add a compound too like you suggested. Works quite well.

http://www.knivesshipfree.com/index.php?cPath=526

Yeah. As long as the compounds are not artificially dyed a different color, iron (III) oxide is the original jeweler's rouge, and is red, and chromium (III) oxide should be green.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:27 pm 
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With or without an abrassive compound, stropping polishes the edge. Obviously leather alone won't polish hardened knife steel very quickly, so if you're in a hurry, adding fine grit(like the swarf from your stone) will speed things along. Lapping compound is another option, and should be quite a bit cheaper than some other compounds(it's frakkin industrial), with the benefit that many lapping compounds will be designed for use on hardened steel. A few ounces doesn't sound like a lot, but it goes a long way.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:06 pm 
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DarkGhost wrote:


No one's seen this??!!?? :clownshoes:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:58 am 
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I use Simichrome brand metal polish on my strop. A single tube lasts forever.

Some folks use a newsprint or watercolor paper strop.

Browning 35 - It's the same angle as with the stone. Just be sure to pull backwards rather than push forwards or all you'll do is cut your strop. You need the blade to be already cutting hair before you take it to the strop to really see a difference. It'll go from cutting hair to shaving it smoothly.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:08 am 
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Storm Crow wrote:
I use Simichrome brand metal polish on my strop. A single tube lasts forever.

Some folks use a newsprint or watercolor paper strop.

Browning 35 - It's the same angle as with the stone. Just be sure to pull backwards rather than push forwards or all you'll do is cut your strop. You need the blade to be already cutting hair before you take it to the strop to really see a difference. It'll go from cutting hair to shaving it smoothly.

I don't use a polish. Usually, I just take the blade from the stone and go to the strop (didn't for the video) which i guess means I'm using some of the whatsit off the stone.

IMO, the strop is much more forgiving of angle than a stone. Like I said, I've found that too obtuse means no sound/feel, and too acute an angle means it's fingernails on a chalkboard. It's hard to fuck up, IMO, but like I said I don't use a guide with a stone either.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:30 am 
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I use a fine stone, then white jeweler's rouge on leather. I started out using it for leather knives, but then immediately started doing it on all of my other knives.

I haven't used an angle guide in years, so far all of my knives are in good shape. I find it helpful to have the tips of my fingers just grazing the sharpening media, it helps with angle reference (for me anyway).

In the field I routinely pass my knives several times over my pant leg after each use. My pants have taken some wear and tear from this, but until then day I stab myself in the thigh/groin, I will continue to do this.

Edit:

In fact, my new knife, Cold Steel Voyager/Vaquero Large, has only been maintained* with the "pass it over the pant leg" technique so far. I need to go buy a round rod for the concave edge!


*I did scratch out the O, Y, and A in "Voyager" on the blade minutes after receiving it using my fine stone, as well as working the spine with a round file a bit.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:23 pm 
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I find keeping the same angle is a bit more forgiving when stropping but try my best to do it. Also mostly pull backwards when sharpening because I often use sandpaper. If anyone has not stropped they're missing out on the full sharpness potential IMO.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:02 pm 
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KentsOkay wrote:
In fact, my new knife, Cold Steel Voyager/Vaquero Large, has only been maintained* with the "pass it over the pant leg" technique so far. I need to go buy a round rod for the concave edge! *I did scratch out the O, Y, and A in "Voyager" on the blade minutes after receiving it using my fine stone, as well as working the spine with a round file a bit.


Oh...oh you...you're good...you're GOOD. I haven't had any interest in that knife, but now I want one so I can do this very thing to it. And then give it to a friend of mine, who would appreciate it.

And also get "FRONT TOWARD ENEMY" etched on my Scottish Basket-Hilt Broadsword.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Jeriah wrote:
KentsOkay wrote:
In fact, my new knife, Cold Steel Voyager/Vaquero Large, has only been maintained* with the "pass it over the pant leg" technique so far. I need to go buy a round rod for the concave edge! *I did scratch out the O, Y, and A in "Voyager" on the blade minutes after receiving it using my fine stone, as well as working the spine with a round file a bit.


Oh...oh you...you're good...you're GOOD. I haven't had any interest in that knife, but now I want one so I can do this very thing to it. And then give it to a friend of mine, who would appreciate it.

And also get "FRONT TOWARD ENEMY" etched on my Scottish Basket-Hilt Broadsword.


I slapped some mustard on it too, for a bit of tarnish. Looks good, I'll upload a picture at some point.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:50 pm 
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TA-DA, picture doesn't do it justice but w/e

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:18 pm 
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I can strop... but my polishing wheel takes 30 seconds to do the same thing, so I am out of practice :lol:

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