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  • stropping compounds

    what is the grit or microns for : white gold, Formax green product #12680, and Flexcut yellow. thank you.

  • #2
    From what I’ve gleaned about compounds the color has more to do with the type of abrasive than size. While there are manufacturers who provide that information I have never found information of an industry standard for abrasive size based on color. I do know we have guys here who take sharpening to a technology. My opinion is most popular compounds will keep your tools sharp enough to carve and create. I use white or green.

    Perhaps this chart will help.

    8785673A-20B3-4901-9832-CD0C126B279A.jpeg
    Last edited by Nebraska; 09-17-2020, 09:33 AM.

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    • #3
      thanks for the info and chart. I didn't realize green is finer then white. thanks again.

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      • #4
        The grit size of green vs white in that chart is the opposite of other published information such as from Lee Valley.

        Green is the color of chromium oxide. Same dull green as you see in chrome green artist's paints.
        Nominal particle size for honing compound is 0.5 micrometer. That implies that there's larger and smaller particles as well. Concentration in a waxy carrier and particle size control will change the price somewhat.

        White is the color of aluminum oxide. Dyes may be added to change attractiveness or simply for color coding purposes. AlOx for honing is usually 0.25 micrometer nominal particle size.

        I have bought both over the years. Judging by the cutting action (aka surface polish), I'm inclined to believe those particle size ranges. Simply, I'm getting the results I expect.
        Over the past 20 years or so, I see mixes of the two ( looks green) being sold for honing wood carving tools. Veritas as an example. Not mixed any too well, I find "blobs" of white AlOx in the bar.

        There are copper oxides (blackish color) and iron oxides ( oranges through reds to browns <rust>).
        which are hard enough to use as honing compounds. Ferromagnetic properties for reels of audio and video tapes and old computer disks become apparent below maybe 100 nanometers particle size.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Brian, thanks for the input on the compounds. i'm using white for my knives and green for my large gouges. they are getting sharp so i guess i may be overthinking things.
          DenMaine

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          • #6
            You're fine. Carve on!
            I'm using mixes of CrOx with AlOx which work very well for
            my Pacific Northwest style adzes and crooked knives.

            I do have some straight AlOx spread on denim which was glued to Baltic birch plywood.
            Wonderful hard strop for flat knife edges. Rick Wiebe's "White Lightning."
            Brian T

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            • #7
              There are some compounds that are mixes of abrasives. Many green have stuff besides Chromium Oxide. I've played with most. I keep coming back to things like Tormek PA-70, Simichrome, Autosol, loose AlOx powder and loose SiC powder. I don't like waxy gunk on my strops is the reason I tend to avoid the crayons. Haven't used White Lightning but I do have loose AlOx. I like SiC better than AlOx though, but it's a bit messier, it's also faster and works better in my opinion.

              Of the crayons I liked the really dry, hard to get enough on your strop more than the easy to apply - again because I don't like wax. If you don't mind waxy buildup - Nottos White Gold is one of the best.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by fiddlesticks View Post
                There are some compounds that are mixes of abrasives. Many green have stuff besides Chromium Oxide. I've played with most. I keep coming back to things like Tormek PA-70, Simichrome, Autosol, loose AlOx powder and loose SiC powder. I don't like waxy gunk on my strops is the reason I tend to avoid the crayons. Haven't used White Lightning but I do have loose AlOx. I like SiC better than AlOx though, but it's a bit messier, it's also faster and works better in my opinion.

                Of the crayons I liked the really dry, hard to get enough on your strop more than the easy to apply - again because I don't like wax. If you don't mind waxy buildup - Nottos White Gold is one of the best.
                Nottos WG in my opinion Is one of the best!

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