Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sharpening or stropping

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sharpening or stropping

    I'm not sure these are not pretty much the same thing. Some say that sharpening is using a stone and stropping is maintaining the edge. I say semantics! Whatever, I find that many of the people I assist with woodcarving are intimidated by maintaining a sharp blade. I put together a tutorial that I have found to be of assistance to newcomers to woodcarving.


    Sharpening
    Sharpening by Paul D. Guraedy

    There is no need to buy a carving strop when it is so easy to make your own. All that is required is an old belt, a piece of scrap wood, wood glue and some stropping compound. I like the yellowstone but there is a wide variety available.

    Carving Strops.jpgMaking a strop lable .jpg


    Most carving tools come presharpened and there is no need to put them to a stone unless they have been damaged. I have tools that are many years old and the only "sharpening" is done with my homemade strops.

    The greatest danger in stropping a tool is "rolling over" the sharp edge as it is leaves the strop. To avoid this I teach my students to lay the knife on one end of the strop with the sharp side facing the short end of the leather. Make sure the blade lies flat against the leather. I know that many prefer a bevel or double bevel. But, this has worked for me too long for this old mule to hunt another stall. Push or pull the knife to the other end of the strop and STOP with the blade still flat against the leather. Lift the blade straight up and away from the strop. Practice will reach the point where you will lift the knife up straight without stopping.

    I strop my tools with at least 3 swipes every time I pick it up to use. After 10-15 minutes with the same tool or if the tool seems to be getting a little dull ~ I repeat stropping the blade.

  • #2
    Semantics is right! Certainly depends on which school you went to! Excellent description.

    I have coarse abrasives that I use in sharpening.
    I have several different kinds of strops. They are carriers for honing compound.
    My final step is to hone the edges of my tools on the strops loaded with honing compound.

    Funny how that gets us all to exactly the same place!
    Brian T

    Comment


    • #3
      Good description and numerous ways to sharpen...probably as frequent as debating which knives to use.

      I wound up with file folders for a stropping technique and now add a tad of mineral oil on top of the Flexcut...someone on the forum mentioned it and I like it. Not sure if that is an idea for leather or not.

      I do use oil stones for rough sharpening because that is the way I learned from my Dad.
      Last edited by woodburner807; 05-05-2019, 06:48 PM. Reason: Spelling error
      Bill
      Living among knives and fire.

      http://www.westernwoodartist.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I use a piece of plexiglass with Folder board on top. I actually have a four-sided blox with the plexiglass on each side. I got stropping comb pound from Stropbros.com. They Sell four different grits described only as coarse, Med, fine & finer . I put a limited amount of baby oil on the folder-board, and each side I put 1 one of the grit on half of the board and other grit on the other side, roll the blox over 1/4 of the way and add the other two grits in the same matter. On the third side, I have some 1200, 2000 grit W&D sandpaper, on the 4th side and a smooth sided & a roughout suede leather.

        I use the stropping method that I read about=stop on side five times, flip the blade over and strop 5 times, flip the blade over and strop 4 times, flip it over and do it 4 times,∙∙∙∙until your down to stopping just once a side.

        I also have Flexcut's blox which has about 10 different shapes cut into it, I use the yellow compound.

        This kind of my stropping routine, but after carving a couple of projects I get out my TomZ and bring everything to real attack mode
        . . .JoeB

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, Joe, you were the person who mentioned the oil a while back and I'm now a believer.
          Bill
          Living among knives and fire.

          http://www.westernwoodartist.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I like your outline Paul. Rolling the edge was my biggest issues when I started. I with
            I had that’s then. It was a year or so before an older carvers saw what I was doing wrong and pointed out how to fix it. Like others I have found my chosen method over the years. I use automotive sandpaper with grits from 800 to 2000 on a glass surface for the final edge I use fo cardboard strips cut from cereal boxs and Tormek PA-70 tube paste. Stropping on a regular basis as paul suggested insurse a good working edge for good amount of time.I actually enjoy the time hand sharpping the tools it is a relaxing skill to me.
            Last edited by Randy; 05-06-2019, 07:47 AM.
            We live in the land of the free because of the brave!
            https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=joepaulbutler;n1156337] SNIP I put a limited amount of baby oil on the folder-board, SNIP

              Joe Paul, what purpose does the baby oil serve? Does it help the compound adhere to the surface or what?
              Arthur

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=Arthur C.;n1156361]
                Originally posted by joepaulbutler View Post
                SNIP I put a limited amount of baby oil on the folder-board, SNIP

                Joe Paul, what purpose does the baby oil serve? Does it help the compound adhere to the surface or what?
                I'll offer my theory -- I do it because the oil cuts the wax carrier a bit so you don't get that shiny waxy coat on the strop. That in turn gives me a feel of the blade interacting with the strop instead of sliding over it. Not sure if it helps or hurts, but it just feels right.
                HonketyHank toot toot

                Comment


                • #9
                  I use it to smooth out the compound & give the folder-board a more even coat
                  . . .JoeB

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joepaulbutler View Post
                    I use it to smooth out the compound & give the folder-board a more even coat
                    Yeah, that's what I meant to say.
                    HonketyHank toot toot

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see some of you use oil to cut the wax. That works, but I like to either use non waxy, drier compounds such as Herb's Yellowstone, Flexcut Gold, better yet, Tormek PA 70, Simichrome, Autosol or simply Aluminum oxide powder or silicon carbide powder. No carrier and your strop stays wax free.
                      Last edited by fiddlesticks; 06-01-2019, 10:11 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I thought Flexcut Gold did have wax?
                        Bill
                        Living among knives and fire.

                        http://www.westernwoodartist.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Watch the whole thing happening with a 10X or a 15X magnifier. No guessing allowed.
                          ALL honing compounds are fine abrasives. Period. Wax is big oil = fact.
                          You cannot see the fine scratch pattern with your eyes = fact.

                          Lumpy and uneven is OK. Vinegar is great for spreading aluminum oxide powder ( Thanks, Rick).
                          That's because you won't repeat any exact honing stroke, it gets a little random and you have got it done.

                          Cardboard and filing card is as flat or flatter than leather has ever been for many centuries.
                          Very economical to replace, Yes?

                          You can use the corner of a mill file to rake the black metal/wax.honing compound off a leather strop.
                          Just go gentle. Then you can recharge the strop with abrasive.
                          Brian T

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by woodburner807 View Post
                            I thought Flexcut Gold did have wax?
                            It may, but if you compare compounds you will find differences in how waxy they feel. Softer ones typically have more wax or are more prone to build up. A great compound that I will not use with leather is Notto's Gold. Works great for stropping and works great for gunking up a strop. Generally if you can rub a compound lightly over leather and it looks like a crayon streak, that is too waxy for me. Herb's you have to really work to get on leather.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How much wax? How hard is the wax? All of them soften with heat = easier to apply evenly if that's important.
                              I'll carry a chunk in my shirt pocket for a while to warm and soften it a little.
                              No wax at all, like straight aluminum oxide on denim cloth.

                              Think of the situation, back a few centuries, for shapening. The only flat thing that you can name, readily available back then, was leather.
                              Tradition says to keep using it. The techniques of sharpening and honing in this day and time can use any flat surface.

                              Filing cards, file folders, cereal box or potato chip box card is ideal for inexpensive strops that never need cleaning.
                              I need mandrels for sharpening curved carving edges. I use dowel, pipe and even a tennis ball. No leather.
                              Brian T

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X