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Stropping.

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Jacob

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To polish up the edge a bit. That's where there is most friction when you are driving in a chisel or a plane blade and polishing reduces this and you get an easier cleaner cut. It can actually feel sharper. It only needs a quick few passes over your leather. Actual polish (Autosol etc) helps but isn't essential.
A slow turning mdf disc plus Autosol, on the back end of a lathe is good flat or can be shaped to polish inside gouges etc.
Modern sharpeners go mad with diamond dust, jewellers rouge, etc. but you don't have to unless you are a surgeon or anatomist!
 

Sgian Dubh

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Jacob":1tj6zw6o said:
It only needs a quick few passes over your leather.
Just the palm of my hand for me, Jacob. All those other bits you mention - leather, Autosol, MDF discs, lathe, etc are all a bit too high tech for my stropping efforts, ha, ha. Slainte.
 

MikeG.

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I used to be a stropping cynic, but many's the edge that I've thought was fine straight from the stone/ paper/ plate, only to test it quickly across a bit of end grain and find it wasn't. A few seconds on the strop and it works a treat. Conversely, stropping as a blade dulls can gain you a few minutes more use before it needs a proper honing. How it works? God knows, and I don't particularly care......but it does, and that's what counts.
 

woodbloke66

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Yep, agree with all the comments. I just use a bit of thick leather glued to a lump of mdf, some of the green Veritas Honing Compound and a good dollop of Vaseline rubbed into the leather for a bit of lubrication. Works a treat - Rob
 

ED65

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basssound":wrga1reb said:
Where is everyone buying the thick leather from?
Choosing a suitable leather is only really of importance if you want to use a bare strop.

But if you're intending to use compound, a metal polish or anything in that realm you don't need to use leather at all. Some people have strops that are just pieces of well-planed hardwood or the natural surface of MDF. I've tried both of these and while I still have one made from beech that I use periodically, for day-to-day use I much prefer a surface with a little give. My main strop is just a scrap of denim stuck down with PVA, which is more durable than you'd expect.
 

Jacob

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old hand bags, briefcases - charity shops. Or saddlers (etc) suppliers. You only need one piece it'll last you for life.
 

Bm101

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Personally I get mine from Saville Row old chap. (hammer)
Not kidding about Saville Row. I work along there most days. I just asked at the tailors. They looked at me a bit funny. Realised I wasn't taking the Pish and went 'Oh, ok.'
3 months later I go back and they go 'ahh the mad windowcleaner who does woodwork as a hobby.' Nice people.
Ebay is your friend. look for leather tooling, natural vegetable hides. offcuts etc.
Mdf works. Lots of stuff works. As others will say
Try free stuff first.
 

Jacob

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School satchels a good source when ar worra lad. We'd polish up our flick knives and machetes before battle commenced. :shock:
 

Cheshirechappie

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Stropping - why?

When your joints end up a tad loose, or you realise that you've under-ordered timber by about a cubic foot, or when you realise that your carefully worked-out bench design is a dud (don't ask), then a good strop may not rectify the situation, but it can make you feel a bit better. Briefly.
 

woodbloke66

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Jacob":3100i6hh said:
old hand bags, briefcases - charity shops. Or saddlers (etc) suppliers. You only need one piece it'll last you for life.
Shoe repair shops are good as well; ask for an oddment of thick sole leather - Rob
 

Trevanion

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I think everyone can agree stropping is good...


But which side of the leather is best? (Popcorn at the ready)
 

Jacob

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Er - dunno!
One thing I was told about stropping is that what barbers do with cut-throat razors is also to straighten up a very thin sharp edge - they get kinked by tough old stubble and can break off in bits. That's what i was told anyway!
 

doctor Bob

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I wonder if a few people on the forum have found stropping effective on the tongue just to get that final sharpen for the verbal lashing?
 

Garno

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Cheshirechappie":jrcfaiow said:
Stropping - why?

When your joints end up a tad loose, or you realise that you've under-ordered timber by about a cubic foot, or when you realise that your carefully worked-out bench design is a dud (don't ask), then a good strop may not rectify the situation, but it can make you feel a bit better. Briefly.
Well it made me chuckle :D
 

ED65

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Trevanion":3rcmpxxk said:
I think everyone can agree stropping is good...
No actually. Some sharpening guys (aficionados of very fine grit stones usually) think stropping is bad, a poor substitute for a stone of fine enough grit. Or it's a crutch for those with weak technique, which is ironic because many of them are users of honing guides.

You'll find the occasional die-hard who thinks they're very very bad; they'll use words like blunter and ruined. This of course flies in the face of the results people actually get but that's zealots for you.

Trevanion":3rcmpxxk said:
But which side of the leather is best? (Popcorn at the ready)
Both! :D

If you've carefully picked a harder leather that you intend to use bare you want to use the hair side (the smooth side). If the strop is made from some random leather and you're using compound it doesn't matter, but flesh side is generally preferable as it holds on to the compound better.
 

AJB Temple

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A very good source of stropping leather is your belt drawer. It is an inexplicable fact that as some men age, their belts become shorter. Recycling as a strop is wise. Wisdom also comes with age.
 
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