Scary Sharp Strop

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I've ordered Silicon Carbide paper to 2000 grit and have a flat slab of granite.
I have some left-over questions concerning "Scary Sharp". Is using a leather "strop" an important part of the "scary sharp" sharpening technique? Will the inside of old wide leather belt (resting on the granite) work for this? Any other compound suggested/required? I can "roughen-up" the leather if that may help.
Thank you, Bill
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On 2/11/2010 3:07 PM, Bill wrote:

I don't use the "scary sharp" (sandpaper) method (I use a Makita water grinder with 1000 grit stone for shaping, and a Norton 1000/4000 water stone for honing), but I definitely get my tools FRIGHTENLY sharp and a leather stop is a must-have in the process. Yes, the back side of an old leather belt would work great, and you are correct in thinking a polishing compound should be used in conjunction with the stop; I suggest this:
http://www.woodcarvers.com/yellowstone.htm
In fact, once you get your tools initially sharp, periodically re-polishing them on the strop is generally all that's needed unless you damage the cutting edge.
--
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On 2/11/2010 4:03 PM, Steve Turner wrote:

(I knew "frightenly" didn't look right; that should have been FRIGHTENINGLY)
Also, I forgot to mention that when I use the Norton water stone (I rarely use the 1000 side) it's all done by hand with no jigs. I can't count the number of fancy sharpening jigs I've used over the years, but once you get the knack of honing by hand you don't need any of 'em. I also have a couple of diamond stones I use for various things, but not really to sharpen my chisels or plane blades (card scrapers, mostly); I mention them here because they are what I use to re-flatten my water stones, and they work great for that.
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Yellowstone was made and sold by the late Herb Dunkle. He lived for a long time in Great Fall, VA, and made and sold some of the best wood carving knives ever. Apparently his Yellowstone compound was being imitated, so he changed the color to peach.
I hone with a leather strip, suede side up, glued onto a board that's been coated with Yellowstone powder. I scrape the powder onto the strop with a short piece of a bandsaw blade. Works like a charm.
If the blade is well honed frequently, you rarely have to sharpen it with a stone or sandpaper.
Joel
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wrote:

I use a wide leather belt (once used in a bowling alley to lift bowling balls up onto a ramp). Stropping will produce a razor-sharp edge.
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On 2/11/10 4:16 PM, Phisherman wrote:

Doesn't stropping simply remove the wire edge?
--

-MIKE-

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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 18:11:09 -0600, -MIKE-

No, it polishes.
Steven
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On 2/11/2010 6:37 PM, Steven Wayne wrote:

And it makes the blade sharp as hell. There's nothing quite so beautiful as getting a mortise and tenon joint to fit perfectly by shaving just the right amount of end grain off the shoulder with a freshly honed and stropped chisel. Cuts like a hot knife through butta.
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Think straight razor and the barber strop. And then a sharp shave...
Martin
Steve Turner wrote:

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No.
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-MIKE- wrote:

Yes. And shape the edge.
Steel is hard, leather is soft and isn't going to do diddly squat to remove steel unless the strop has been charged with an abrasive paste, of which there are numerous. Personally, I charge the canvas strop, leave the leather pristine. I say that after having used straight razors for most of my 76 years - those after puberty at least. These folks agree with me...
http://www.eknifework.com/knifecenter/sharpen/instrazor.html
--

dadiOH
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For more than you would think possible to write or describe, for more than you could possibly want to know, search this site:
http://www.bladeforums.com /
Many there are professional knife/blade makers, and some have been doing it for years.
Without fail, they will tell you a couple of things. One being that while certain men's belts are OK for stropping, most are a waste of time. They recommend a compressed or pressure rolled leather strip from someone like Hand America.
Last, the guys that make their knives out of the really high performance steels have found that NO compound is the way to go when finishing an edge. There is apparently enough silica in a good piece of tough shoulder hide to cut even the high performance steels these guys are turning out at 60+ pts. Rockwell.
Some will use fine compounds to start the honing process, but none finish with any of them. Some can literally shave their faces (arm/ leg hair is the defacto standard for a proper pocket knife edge there) with their large hunting knives.
A little too much for me. For my smaller pocket knives I can do a rudimentary strop on a piece of heavy brown cardboard that suits me just fine.
Refining the edge is much more than just removing the wire edge or "burr" from sharpening. You can do that with a chef's steel. A honed and polished edge reduces the friction of the cut as well as creating a convex edge which provides better fine edge geometry/strength for use.
That's a fun site. I have been participating there for a while now and it has really rekindled my age old interest in pocket knives, especially the old fashioned patterns.
The irony I noticed is just how far behind woodworking tools are in regards to what materials are being used. Probably the most common steel used for a very fine forged chisel for a woodworker is 1095, but more likely it is 1084, etc.
Yet those steels are considered the low end work horses of the blade and cutting edge community. There are a lot of fine knives being made from those steels, but it is not considered anything special.
I would love to see a set of high performance stainless chisels made from some of the Swedish steels - no doubt they would be wonderful. Unaffordable to be sure, but it would be great to have one super chisel that was your prized bull.
Robert
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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 18:11:09 -0600, the infamous -MIKE-

Yes, as a first step, but then it sharpens the area under the wire edge.
-- In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it. -- John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism, 1850
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On Thu, 11 Feb 2010 16:07:04 -0500, the infamous Bill

Remember that how you apply the glue will determine the actual flatness of the surface for your ScarySharp(tm) setup. The only spray glue I found which wouldn't leave lumps in my NoteSHADES(tm) was 3M's Super 77. All others hardened and lumped horribly. Super 77 stayed liquid until the fabric was laid and pressed.

Not if you go to super-fine stones (4000, 8000.) I found a strop much more satisfying and a whole lot cheaper. I've used it for resharpening my razor blades, too. I could make another one for my exactos, but the 1200 diamond paddle works well enough.

Lee Valley green compound is my favorite. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2984&cat=1,43072

I used the -smooth- side of a strip of thick, chrome-tanned leather I got. I made a strop out of a stick of plywood and the leather, glued together. The leather is about 1-1/2" x 12". http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&cat=1,43072&p2999
-- In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it. -- John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism, 1850
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scrawled the following:

Is leather somehow an important component of a strop, or could wood or even glass be used as the holder for the compound?
--
Nonny

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Compound may help, but leather alone does a fine polishing job. Try it for yourself.
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On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 11:35:14 -0800, the infamous "Nonny"

I think it's used primarily because it's tough, textured to hold compound, and has some silica in it in the first place.
On glass, you'd simply push the abrasive around, abrading it nearly as much as you did the metal.
Semi-soft, open-pored wood could probably be used fairly well. AAMOF, for curved gouges, wood works extremely well. Cut a curl in the wood (without removing the chip), rub compound into the gap, and you can hone both sides of the gouge at once.
I've seen grainy rubber compound holders for gouges, too.
-- It's a great life...once you weaken. --author James Hogan
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I think you are right. That seems to be the consensus.

I hadn't thought of that until you posted, but one of the wood carvers I know and one of the wood turners I know have made their own wheels out of dense MDF to fit on their Tormek knock off machines.
The turned the wheel round, but a "one fits all" groove in it, and they charge it with the Tormek stuff and polish away at a slow speed.
The guy that was telling me about it said he got the idea from one of his carving buddies that has thick pieces of MDF with the shape of the carving tool (groove, "V", round, etc.) cut into the MDF by the tool itself. To sharpen, he simply puts a bit of compound into the correct groove and polishes on the MDF strop.
Some pretty smart guys out there....
Robert
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On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 21:49:41 -0800 (PST), the infamous
following:

Here's the static version of that. http://www.carvingpatterns.com/sharpening-2.htm

Ayup, and "cheap" begets "innovation", Naily. ;)
-- It's a great life...once you weaken. --author James Hogan
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Gotcha covered on that!
*chuckle*
Robert
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