Stropping


I have been thinking about expanding my sharpening. I currently have a waterstone with what I think is a 1200 grit side and 6000 grit side (It was so long ago that I bought the thing). I'm pretty happy with the results. I can shave hairs and all. Am I missing anything by never having tried stropping as a final step?
If so, whts best for basic chisel, iron and lathe tools? Flat, powerstrop? Does a powerstrop have to be leather or felt? Why not just turn a disk of MDF and charge that with compound?
Thanks,
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes!
(in mdf blocks). but I wouldn't trust it for flattening a back, considering the possibility of running the blade into the mdf. I think a steel Kanaban is the right idea for flattening, all around.
But... I do use a leather strop of horse butt hide, just rests on a piece of plywood and charged with Lee Valley green (0.5 micron) on one half and cheap blue emery on the other half, as a starter. I use rendered beef fat boiled from chopped up tallow, rubbed into the leather as a media for holding the grits, you only need a very small amount at a time.
I think horse is not the best idea, too thin and soft. I would recommend thick strapping hide from the beef industry as long as it is smooth with no niks, very tough. Think "saddlery".
It works incredibly well, and if you use a micro bevel the strop will round it to a safe degree. I cought myself with that one, and I pivot every joint from shoulder to wrist to keep that bevel flat as possible on the leather. It will take it way beyond 6000 grit quite well, and you will find a micro hard bur there, not the kind that builds up and breaks off, but like a razor. But takes a bit of "work", in which case, you can make your own "wheel strop" for the drill press, and on that you can use both the sides and the flat top. Lowest speed!
http://www.handamerican.com/ has some interesting things I havn't tried yet.
...hope this helps,
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A hand strop is all you need to finish up an edge. Mine is a 12" scrap of saddle leather glued to a 3/4" X 2" scrap of wood. A few strokes puts a mirror finish on chisels, planes, knives, etc. Charge it with any iron or Aluminum oxide buffing compound. I mix a little chunk with mineral oil and rub the mess into the leather. Charging only needs to be done occasionally when it slows down the cutting action. Bugs
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's understandable, but the "mirror shine" is not what we're looking for. It's the actual sharpness, and it does take longer than a few strokes, many more than.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leather itself is a very fine abrasive. Adding any further abrasive to it just brings it closer to a stone. Fine, if you are sharpening as you would with a carving knife. For things like plane blades (and the finish on carving knives), plain leather is plenty. Stone to sharpen with a few (and yes, it only takes a few) passes on plain leather to give the finest finish.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use a Smith's Crock stick on my Case pocket knives then do a few strokes on an old barber shop strop. My knives probably equal a surgeons scalpels, so much as touch the edge and you are bleeding. I hate it when someone wants to use my knife, I know what's fixing to happen, even when I warn them they have to see for them selves by testing the edge with a finger. RM~
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you have a Case that will take an edge like that, you got real lucky. I quite buying them some years ago as the quality of their steel has gone way down hill. Worth it to the company i'm sure. Probably saved them a whole $.03 per knife to go to crap steel.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Haven't bought a new knife since 61, didn't realize they had a problem. I have several Schrades and Case knives from the 50's and early 60's and they all take a real nice edge. The Case (3 1/2 " blade) that I carry mostly I purchased new in 61. I lost it once and found it a year or so latter laying in a flower bed in the back yard. After a light buffing on the bone handle it looked like new again and I still carry it daily. RM~
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Rob Mills" wrote in message

Since the first one about 57 years ago, the only pocket knife I've not been able to lose is one I wouldn't of been caught dead with for most of that time ... a *&$#*&% 'Swiss army' knife that keeps turning up in my pocket no matter where I leave it.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/13/05
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For the above, largely unnecessary. Stropping is a technique best reserved for touching up the edges of carving gouges and cut-throat razors.
Jeff G, being dogmatic.
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.