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By Jacob
#678162
St.J wrote:...........

I don't strop my carving tools because it makes them sharper (it might, but after a couple of minutes use who can tell?). I do it because it polishes the bevel and makes them less grippy, easier to push through the wood. And because Chris Pye tells me to :wink:

In short - stropping makes my paring tools seem sharper because they're polished. And it removes the wire edge. I think.

St.John

I think St. J's comment above is the most interesting thing in this thread. Polishing (stropping) the edge actually reduces friction in the vicinity of the edge where it is being forced against the material. This is why it helps and gives the impression of increased sharpness, whatever the actual effect on the edge itself.
It's obvious with hindsight! Well done St J!

In other words all the emphasis in earlier posts on the effect on the edge has entirely missed the point (no pun intended) - it's the surface immediately behind the edge which needs the strop.

You may not agree with this but stick with it: It follows that a perfect polished surface is not required - but merely that the relatively rough surface (not the edge) left by the previous medium (stone etc) , should have it's sharpness taken off to reduce friction. So even a little strop is effective.

So carry on stropping, we knew it worked, we now know why it works.

I'm really pleased with that conclusion as I've often felt a bit unsure of stropping, and left it out. I won't in future.

PS I expect the usual sequence of feeble sarcasm and mild abuse to follow this post - but chaps, don't waste you time, I really could not care less! :lol: :lol:
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By DTR
#678201
custard wrote:Or a 20 degree back bevel...


20 degree? I thought the "usual" back bevel was at 10 degrees? I was just thinking about this today as I am having some difficulty with a hardwood of unknown origin (ID thread to come later). Apologies for going off topic, if the current discussion can be considered on topic.
By Corneel
#678528
It's a good theory. Of course we don't really KNOW if that is the only advantage. When you use a somewhat coarser stone for your final honing, like an Arkansas, then the extra sharpness of the edge coulde be an advantage too.

I am meaning to get a strop for eons now, but never get round to it. My 8000 waterstone seems fine enough.


Jacob wrote:
St.J wrote:...........

I don't strop my carving tools because it makes them sharper (it might, but after a couple of minutes use who can tell?). I do it because it polishes the bevel and makes them less grippy, easier to push through the wood. And because Chris Pye tells me to :wink:

In short - stropping makes my paring tools seem sharper because they're polished. And it removes the wire edge. I think.

St.John

I think St. J's comment above is the most interesting thing in this thread. Polishing (stropping) the edge actually reduces friction in the vicinity of the edge where it is being forced against the material. This is why it helps and gives the impression of increased sharpness, whatever the actual effect on the edge itself.
It's obvious with hindsight! Well done St J!

In other words all the emphasis in earlier posts on the effect on the edge has entirely missed the point (no pun intended) - it's the surface immediately behind the edge which needs the strop.

You may not agree with this but stick with it: It follows that a perfect polished surface is not required - but merely that the relatively rough surface (not the edge) left by the previous medium (stone etc) , should have it's sharpness taken off to reduce friction. So even a little strop is effective.

So carry on stropping, we knew it worked, we now know why it works.

I'm really pleased with that conclusion as I've often felt a bit unsure of stropping, and left it out. I won't in future.

PS I expect the usual sequence of feeble sarcasm and mild abuse to follow this post - but chaps, don't waste you time, I really could not care less! :lol: :lol:
User avatar
By Derek Cohen (Perth, Oz)
#678543
I am meaning to get a strop for eons now, but never get round to it. My 8000 waterstone seems fine enough.


The point is made that you do not need to strop if you have an 8000 waterstone.

Regards from Perth

Derek
User avatar
By bugbear
#678786
Derek Cohen (Perth, Oz) wrote:
I am meaning to get a strop for eons now, but never get round to it. My 8000 waterstone seems fine enough.


The point is made that you do not need to strop if you have an 8000 waterstone.

Regards from Perth

Derek


Historical/contextual question: does anyone (happen to) know if the Japanese tradition used strops for any purpose? I've never heard of it, but my reference material is primarily UK, North European and American.

BugBear
User avatar
By custard
#678876
Jacob wrote:
St.J wrote:...........

I don't strop my carving tools because it makes them sharper (it might, but after a couple of minutes use who can tell?). I do it because it polishes the bevel and makes them less grippy, easier to push through the wood. And because Chris Pye tells me to :wink:

In short - stropping makes my paring tools seem sharper because they're polished. And it removes the wire edge. I think.

St.John

I think St. J's comment above is the most interesting thing in this thread. Polishing (stropping) the edge actually reduces friction in the vicinity of the edge where it is being forced against the material. This is why it helps and gives the impression of increased sharpness, whatever the actual effect on the edge itself.
It's obvious with hindsight! Well done St J!

In other words all the emphasis in earlier posts on the effect on the edge has entirely missed the point (no pun intended) - it's the surface immediately behind the edge which needs the strop.

You may not agree with this but stick with it: It follows that a perfect polished surface is not required - but merely that the relatively rough surface (not the edge) left by the previous medium (stone etc) , should have it's sharpness taken off to reduce friction. So even a little strop is effective.

So carry on stropping, we knew it worked, we now know why it works.

I'm really pleased with that conclusion as I've often felt a bit unsure of stropping, and left it out. I won't in future.

PS I expect the usual sequence of feeble sarcasm and mild abuse to follow this post - but chaps, don't waste you time, I really could not care less! :lol: :lol:


Very interesting point.

Also the Chris Pye style of stropping (and sharpening) is to rotate the carving gouge sideways along the oil stone or strop. He also strops inside the arc of the gouge using a really thick piece of leather folded over, which means it's an automatic fit to the internal radius of the gouge.
User avatar
By Jacob
#679380
Jacob wrote:
St.J wrote:...........

I don't strop my carving tools because it makes them sharper (it might, but after a couple of minutes use who can tell?). I do it because it polishes the bevel and makes them less grippy, easier to push through the wood. And because Chris Pye tells me to :wink:

In short - stropping makes my paring tools seem sharper because they're polished. And it removes the wire edge. I think.

St.John

I think St. J's comment above is the most interesting thing in this thread. Polishing (stropping) the edge actually reduces friction in the vicinity of the edge where it is being forced against the material. This is why it helps and gives the impression of increased sharpness, whatever the actual effect on the edge itself.
It's obvious with hindsight! Well done St J!

In other words all the emphasis in earlier posts on the effect on the edge has entirely missed the point (no pun intended) - it's the surface immediately behind the edge which needs the strop.

You may not agree with this but stick with it: It follows that a perfect polished surface is not required - but merely that the relatively rough surface (not the edge) left by the previous medium (stone etc) , should have it's sharpness taken off to reduce friction. So even a little strop is effective.

So carry on stropping, we knew it worked, we now know why it works.

I'm really pleased with that conclusion as I've often felt a bit unsure of stropping, and left it out. I won't in future.

.....................................
I've changed my mind about the bit in bold - pressure around a chisel or plane blade edge is going to be a lot higher than on a plane sole, so although "taking the sharpness off" a freshly ground plane sole is undoubtedly effective maybe the cutting edges really do need more polishing - just a few mm up the bevel and the face where the timber or the shavings are going to be pressing hard (i.e. not the whole face!).

Back to the OP and Brent Beach: BB starts his investigation with the observation "Overview. People often report better results after stropping their tools."
Fair enough, this is true, we do.
But BB then goes on to completely ignore this - at no point does he actually apply a stropped or un-stropped chisel to a piece of wood and compare/contrast the outcome. His conclusions are completely meaningless.

But anyway we now know why to strop - it's to polish the vicinity of the edge to make the cutting action easier. Incidentally this is quite different from the barber's strop of a razor - chisels and plane blades are very crude 25/30º wedges compared to the fine edge of a razor.
It also makes sense that carvers know this - they use chisels/gouges to a much greater extent than other woodworkers.
By Corneel
#679501
Like I said, good theory. Now, of course, in a good scientific environment like an internet forum, we need to test the theory. How would you test your theory?

My advice: Hone some plane irons on a fine India stone. Then do your regular stropping. Finally hone again a tiny microbevel with the India stone. Then proceed to planning and measure resistance, watch the shavings, look at the planed surface, test the longevity of the edge etc etc. And compare to the same irons stropped without the extra hone.

Personally I think it is not a black and white thing. I think stropping does something for the edge AND the bevel and face surface. Of course I don't really know because I haven't yet ever stropped anything other then swiping the iron a bit on my jeans.
By Cheshirechappie
#679510
Corneel wrote:Like I said, good theory. Now, of course, in a good scientific environment like an internet forum, we need to test the theory. How would you test your theory?

My advice: Hone some plane irons on a fine India stone. Then do your regular stropping. Finally hone again a tiny microbevel with the India stone. Then proceed to planning and measure resistance, watch the shavings, look at the planed surface, test the longevity of the edge etc etc. And compare to the same irons stropped without the extra hone.

Personally I think it is not a black and white thing. I think stropping does something for the edge AND the bevel and face surface. Of course I don't really know because I haven't yet ever stropped anything other then swiping the iron a bit on my jeans.


Careful, Corneel! We could end up with a long and involved discussion about which brand of jeans is best for stropping, and whether or not the jeans should be impregnated with jeweller's rouge, diamond dust or workshop floor-sweepings!