Lets talk stropping

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Wolfy916
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Lets talk stropping

Postby Wolfy916 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:44 am

I just got a paddle style strop for my b-day. Rough on one side, smoother on the other. There is no abrasive included or on the leather.

My current sharpening is done with the sharp maker standard stones +ultra fine stones following the standard recommended guidelines in the manual and video. I had a very small leather strop on the back of a work sharp field sharpener that I would run the knives across a few times after using the sharp maker, it seemed to really give the edge little extra pop and really gave them a nice polish.

Questions I have:
Do I need or want abrasives for the strop, if so what? I have seen the green/white/red ones you rub in

What is your stropping routine? between sharpening? after a sharpening? Never? and why.

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Pelagic
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Pelagic » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:15 am

Firstly, stropping isn't necessary. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

I strop for EASE of guaranteed burr removal, not out of necessity. I also strop (on wood) because it's cheaper than buying lots of stones (when a fine edge is desired).

The abrasive you want depends on the steel, the hardness of the steel, what you're cutting, and what you want out of the knife. I end most of my sharpening on 3 or 1 micron, but occasionally take it to 0.1 for woodworking (and partially just for fun).

I strop on wood for burr removal, and remain on wood until the last strop, which is leather. Wood is better for keeping a perfect "V" shaped bevel. Leather gives, and targets the apex slightly better. But using the wrong angle or too much pressure can round your apex off. Using wood over leather (for me) is just like stropping itself; it's a thing of convenience, not necessity.

What steels are you sharpening?
Last edited by Pelagic on Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FK
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby FK » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:26 am

I much prefer to deburr on the sharpening stones, after each stone from coarse to fine.
Lighter pressure to deburr, some will use a stroke at 90 degrees to edge, others recommend changing sides after each stroke.
If you deburr on wood, leather, cork etc. you have a tendency to tear away the burr and leave a rough edge.

Stropping on leather if done correctly with abrasives will not round the apex, most use way too much pressure and recommend no abrasive to remove the burr. If you use very light pressure or just the weight of the knife blade on leather or balsa or hard felt with diamond / CBN, the edge will be polished and improve the sharpening stone finish.

It is more about technique not the actual substrate used for stropping.

Regards,
FK

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Larry_Mott
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Larry_Mott » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:55 am

Pelagic wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:15 am
Firstly, stropping isn't necessary. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

I strop for EASE of guaranteed burr removal, not out of necessity. I also strop (on wood) because it's cheaper than buying lots of stones (when a fine edge is desired).

The abrasive you want depends on the steel, the hardness of the steel, what you're cutting, and what you want out of the knife. I end most of my sharpening on 3 or 1 micron, but occasionally take it to 0.1 for woodworking (and partially just for fun).

I strop on wood for burr removal, and remain on wood until the last strop, which is leather. Wood is better for keeping a perfect "V" shaped bevel. Leather gives, and targets the apex slightly better. But using the wrong angle or too much pressure can round your apex off.

What steels are you sharpening?
I believe it is the "micro convex" edge that is beneficial when stropping. My edges seem to hold for longer after stropping on leather. I might be wrong, i really don't know, but my first Buck110 had "appleseed" grind and stayed sharp forever.
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Pelagic
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Pelagic » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:01 pm

Larry_Mott wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:55 am
Pelagic wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:15 am
Firstly, stropping isn't necessary. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

I strop for EASE of guaranteed burr removal, not out of necessity. I also strop (on wood) because it's cheaper than buying lots of stones (when a fine edge is desired).

The abrasive you want depends on the steel, the hardness of the steel, what you're cutting, and what you want out of the knife. I end most of my sharpening on 3 or 1 micron, but occasionally take it to 0.1 for woodworking (and partially just for fun).

I strop on wood for burr removal, and remain on wood until the last strop, which is leather. Wood is better for keeping a perfect "V" shaped bevel. Leather gives, and targets the apex slightly better. But using the wrong angle or too much pressure can round your apex off.

What steels are you sharpening?
I believe it is the "micro convex" edge that is beneficial when stropping. My edges seem to hold for longer after stropping on leather. I might be wrong, i really don't know, but my first Buck110 had "appleseed" grind and stayed sharp forever.
The heavier the stuff is you're cutting, the better a slight convex (or microbevel for that matter) becomes.
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Zatx
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Zatx » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:28 pm

What works best for me is 1.0 or .5 µm diamond on the hardest balsa wood I can find or a large paint stir stick. But, I don’t do this every time I sharpen, it’s mainly when I can see or feel a burr. While I have many leather strops, I find that it is much too easy to round off your Apex with them.

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Pelagic
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Pelagic » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:31 pm

Image

Lately I've been cleaning, reconditioning, and re-loading some of my strops. With wood, it's as easy as sanding away all the steel and dirty compound. Here is a pic of my first strop from knivesplus. It comes pre-loaded with green compound, which has since been used up and is now my 3 micron finishing strop. The yellow tube is Tormek PA-70 and that vial is 3 micron diamond powder, which increases the cutting aggression immensely.
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Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:17 pm
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vivi
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby vivi » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:59 pm

I used to strop with green buffing compound on leather. I also experimented with diamond paste on wood and cardboard.

I find stropped edges lose some slicing aggression and overall crispness compared to finishing off a stone.

I've compared edges finished fresh off a stone, edges finished off a stone then lightly stropped, and edges maintained on nothing but a strop for weeks. I prefer the former at all times.

To me strops have two main uses.

1. They're a convenient way to touch up a lightly used knife between full sharpenings.

2. They're very good at telling you if you still have a burr.

One trap many people fall into is relying on strops to remove burrs. You only want to strop after removing the burr. You'll get much cleaner edges that way.
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Zatx
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Zatx » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:15 pm

Vivi wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:59 pm
I used to strop with green buffing compound on leather. I also experimented with diamond paste on wood and cardboard.

I find stropped edges lose some slicing aggression and overall crispness compared to finishing off a stone.

I've compared edges finished fresh off a stone, edges finished off a stone then lightly stropped, and edges maintained on nothing but a strop for weeks. I prefer the former at all times.

To me strops have two main uses.

1. They're a convenient way to touch up a lightly used knife between full sharpenings.

2. They're very good at telling you if you still have a burr.

One trap many people fall into is relying on strops to remove burrs. You only want to strop after removing the burr. You'll get much cleaner edges that way.

I fully agree with all of this. ;)

Conan
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Conan » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:24 pm

I always strop after and between sharpening. I use the double sided leather strop from DLT and the Bark River black and green compound.

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Pelagic
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Pelagic » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:19 pm

I strop whenever I sharpen for woodworking. Cruwear gets sharpened with a series of strops.

With s110v I preferred a 325-400grit edge straight off the stone. But I'd occasionally briefly strop on 30 micron diamond powder if the burr was an issue.
Pancake wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:20 pm
Are you a magician? :eek:
Nate wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:32 pm
You're the lone wolf of truth howling into the winds of ignorance
Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:17 pm
You are a nobody got it?

VashHash
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby VashHash » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:00 pm

I just strop on bare leather. I use the split side after I come off the coarse stone for a working edge. I use the smooth side after the split side for my more refined edges.

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Bloke
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Bloke » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:18 pm

Zatx wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:15 pm
Vivi wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:59 pm
I used to strop with green buffing compound on leather. I also experimented with diamond paste on wood and cardboard.

I find stropped edges lose some slicing aggression and overall crispness compared to finishing off a stone.

I've compared edges finished fresh off a stone, edges finished off a stone then lightly stropped, and edges maintained on nothing but a strop for weeks. I prefer the former at all times.

To me strops have two main uses.

1. They're a convenient way to touch up a lightly used knife between full sharpenings.

2. They're very good at telling you if you still have a burr.

One trap many people fall into is relying on strops to remove burrs. You only want to strop after removing the burr. You'll get much cleaner edges that way.

I fully agree with all of this. ;)
I also fully agree and feel we sometimes use a strop like a crutch to support our poor sharpening technique. :)
Last edited by Bloke on Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bloke
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Bloke » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:19 pm

Whoops! :o
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby ZrowsN1s » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:38 am

I'm a fan of stropping. A crutch? Perhaps. Took me a long time, but now I can get shaving edges off of just the sharpmaker brown and diamond/cbn stones if I want. Still I find that I can always make an edge a little better with a strop.

Just like with stones, it takes practice to get good with a strop. Just like with the stones there is a learning curve, trial and error, and a ton of different techniques. The substrate you use ( leather, wood, cardboard, denim), the polish (no polish, green, red, white compounds, metal polish, chrome polish, diamond paste), how much pressure you use, what angle you use in relation to that pressure....

I think it's easier to learn good strop technique than stone technique, but everyone is different.

Here's a fun video
https://youtu.be/kczaGXwqi0Y
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Bloke
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Bloke » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:25 am

ZrowsN1s wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:38 am
I'm a fan of stropping. A crutch? Perhaps. Took me a long time, but now I can get shaving edges off of just the sharpmaker brown and diamond/cbn stones if I want. Still I find that I can always make an edge a little better with a strop.

Just like with stones, it takes practice to get good with a strop. Just like with the stones there is a learning curve, trial and error, and a ton of different techniques. The substrate you use ( leather, wood, cardboard, denim), the polish (no polish, green, red, white compounds, metal polish, chrome polish, diamond paste), how much pressure you use, what angle you use in relation to that pressure....

I think it's easier to learn good strop technique than stone technique, but everyone is different.

Here's a fun video
https://youtu.be/kczaGXwqi0Y
Hey Matt, maybe crutch wasn’t the best word to use and I hope my words don’t imply that everyone who strops does so because they lack sharpening skill :o , because that’s simply not true mate. I speak of my own experience and I can say with certainty that I’ve lent on a strop more than once in the past and I stropped right up until a couple of years ago.

Micro bevels are a fairly new thing to me. Surfingringo finally persuaded me to give it a go which ultimately challenged my stone skills. Vivi showed me not to hold the SharpMaker when finishing further challenging my stone skills, and “Here I am, Sheriff”. :D

Old habits die hard so a freshly sharpened blade finished say, above 600grit still gets 1-3 ultralight swipes on a simple loaded leather strop but I don’t strop after that. I maintained with a simple micro bevel.

Anyhow, I reckon we all have the same goal, everyone wants the sharpest knife in the shortest possible time and the quickest, easiest and most efficient way I’ve personally found to get sharp enough to do anything I need, then some is by using stones alone. :)
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

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ZrowsN1s
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby ZrowsN1s » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:35 am

Bloke wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:25 am
...
Hey Matt, maybe crutch wasn’t the best word to use and I hope my words don’t imply that everyone who strops does so because they lack sharpening skill :o , because that’s simply not true mate. I speak of my own experience and I can say with certainty that I’ve lent on a strop more than once in the past and I stropped right up until a couple of years ago.
....
It's all good Alex, no offense taken. I was agreeing with you mostly. I used a strop for a long time to over come some of my shortcomings with stones. Although even after I've gotten better with the stones, I still like strops. Especially for finishing, maintenance and touch ups. I usually don't hit the stones unless I see edge damage, or can't bring the edge back with the strop.
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freebird610
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby freebird610 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:01 am

I use a knivesplus strop block to finish my edges after sharpening. I also use it to touch up the edge between sharpenings. Works pretty well for me. I will agree though that a stropped edge has far less bite than a non stropped one.

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Woodpuppy
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby Woodpuppy » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:10 pm

I made my own strop, it’s about 11”x2.5”. The suede side is loaded with green compound, the smooth side has no compound. I use it after sharpmaker, and to touch up. It does amazing things with CTS-BD1!

I also use it on the kitchen knives, which I maintain on a long fat white ceramic rod, then finish on the strop.
:spyder: My other blade is a Kelly Perfect :spyder:

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ejames13
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Re: Lets talk stropping

Postby ejames13 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:40 am

Vivi wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:59 pm
I used to strop with green buffing compound on leather. I also experimented with diamond paste on wood and cardboard.

I find stropped edges lose some slicing aggression and overall crispness compared to finishing off a stone.

I've compared edges finished fresh off a stone, edges finished off a stone then lightly stropped, and edges maintained on nothing but a strop for weeks. I prefer the former at all times.

To me strops have two main uses.

1. They're a convenient way to touch up a lightly used knife between full sharpenings.

2. They're very good at telling you if you still have a burr.

One trap many people fall into is relying on strops to remove burrs. You only want to strop after removing the burr. You'll get much cleaner edges that way.
I agree with all of this. I notice a huge difference in the aggressiveness of my edges coming straight off the edge pro 400 grit stock stone vs coming off the same stone then stropping just 4 or 5 passes per side using 3 micron diamond on balsa. Using the three finger sharpness test the edge really seems to lose its bite after stropping. Now granted it sails through newsprint and shaves more easily, but at the expense of slicing aggression.


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