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  • Making a strop

    What are some materials around the house that can be used for making a strop? Or were can I get the malerials for making one?

  • #2
    Re: Making a strop

    something we all have around the house, the thin cardboard from the back of a tablet. It does a wonderful job. I learned that from the Everett Ellenwood video on sharpening. Good for each and every tool. If you ever get the chance, watch that video. If you want to buy it, it is available here at WCI. That guy knows how th sharpen.
    Anthony
    Corryton, TN

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    • #3
      Re: Making a strop

      An old leather belt makes an excellent strop. Glue a strip of leather to one of the heavier paint stirrers (unfinished side out). If you don't have any old leather belts, take a look at your local thrift shops. If you have any local shoe repair shops, you might check to see if they have any scrap leather. My personal preference is top grain chrome leather if you can find it.

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      • #4
        Re: Making a strop

        I've been trying to find that out too cause the hardware stores I've checked don't have strops. BobT, can you explain a little more what you mean by "the thin cardboard from the back of a tablet" A tablet here means a pill which is obviously not what you meant?

        Checking out the video you recommended, as we speak ... so to speak.

        While looking through the local tool shop's supplies yesterday, I did see a set of flexcut knives with leather compound. (They didn't have that when I bought mine) and on the back was a picture of, what to me looked like, a belt on a piece of wood. The description said to glue a piece of leather to some wood and using the compound provided you can sharpen your knives. Sounds easy!! Ha! I'll have a go at that one of these fine days.

        Rooster.

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        • #5
          Re: Making a strop

          I think he means the back of a notepad.

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          • #6
            Re: Making a strop

            Aha, thanks Dwhitt1981. It was even hard to tell form the video sample.

            Hey Bill, it took me ages to finish my reply cause I was checkin other stuff as well. I wouldn't have bothered posting mine, had I read your post first.

            Is there anything I can use other than leather strop compound.

            Rooster.

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            • #7
              Re: Making a strop

              Check out some of the threads on stropping and sharpening on this forum. You'll find that people prefer a variety of compounds for various reasons, but most if not all will get the job done. You should be able to find some at your local hardware store, or big box lumber store. I'm pretty sure that Harbor Freight sells at least one type.

              Check out this thread:

              http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.co...compound-1983/

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              • #8
                Re: Making a strop

                Couple of suggestions for the strops:

                The thinner the leather, the better. If the leather is thick, it will compress when you make the stropping stroke, and immediately rise back up as the cutting edge passes - this will tend to round the edge on your knives, which is not a good thing.

                I used a small piece of scrap suede leather, glued to a scrap piece of shelving with contact cement. I rubbed a bit of the green chromium oxide compound on it. I also took a small flat piece of basswood, rubbed the Flexcut gold compound on it, and use this one for my Dockyard micro gouges and my detail knife, as it doesn't compress as much as the thin leather.

                You actually don't need any compound for a strop - but if you have it, the strop will work much better and LOTS faster. The compound is an extremely fine abrasive that polishes the metal of the knife or gouge. Both Rockler and Woodcraft sell several varieties of stropping compound, as do several of the specialty wood carving shops around the country. The green chromium oxide bar is 6 oz, and is enough to last 10 carvers 50 years each, in my opinion. Some people scrap off the "old" compound from their strop every so ofter; I don't bother, as mine continues to do a good job stropping. When it turns black, that's good - the black is the microscopic particles of metal that the compound has removed from the blade.
                My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
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                • #9
                  Re: Making a strop

                  Hi, sorry, didn't notice you were from Ireland. And I am jealous of that. What a beautiful country.

                  Yes, the back of a writing pad or such. Shirts, here, used to have the same cardboard in them.

                  The cardboard with some Yellowstone Compound, makes a wonderful strop. At first I was gluing it to wood but then tried a piece with no support as Everett did. Laying on a table top, it works great for knives. And the thin edge, as he shows in the video, works great for gouges and v tools. It is just my preference. You will find many people that have to have a leather strop, probably just because that is how it has always been done. I am willing to bet you get to a sharper edge faster with the cardboard than you do with leather.

                  And you have to be careful how thick the leather is. A thicker piece of leather has some give, compression, to it. Then it is easier to round an edge.

                  As I said, just my preference. After watching that video I changed the way I sharpened a lot of stuff. Everett knows what he is teaching.

                  Originally posted by Rooster View Post
                  I've been trying to find that out too cause the hardware stores I've checked don't have strops. BobT, can you explain a little more what you mean by "the thin cardboard from the back of a tablet" A tablet here means a pill which is obviously not what you meant?

                  Checking out the video you recommended, as we speak ... so to speak.

                  While looking through the local tool shop's supplies yesterday, I did see a set of flexcut knives with leather compound. (They didn't have that when I bought mine) and on the back was a picture of, what to me looked like, a belt on a piece of wood. The description said to glue a piece of leather to some wood and using the compound provided you can sharpen your knives. Sounds easy!! Ha! I'll have a go at that one of these fine days.

                  If you can't get what you need there, please let me know. Send me your address thru a PM and I can send you some cardboard. We use a lot of it where I work. We order large boxes of the stuff.

                  Rooster.
                  Anthony
                  Corryton, TN

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                  • #10
                    Re: Making a strop

                    Thanks for the offer Bob. I know there's a writing pad somewhere around this place. Just gonna have to go tidy up. Until I find it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Making a strop

                      If you have a Tandy leather near you they sell scrapes real cheap, sometimes they don't even charge. I glue mine to a thick sturdy piece of wood.

                      Dave

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                      • #12
                        Re: Making a strop

                        I made mine from an old belt,
                        Use 100% leather, not sure why, I just read it somewhere,
                        Stapled the belt to a block of wood.

                        Alex

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                        • #13
                          Re: Making a strop

                          Sometimes during demos, I just hit my leather apron on the thigh a few times. Sometimes I apply silicon carbide to the apron. Works like a charm and less items to keep up with.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Making a strop

                            As suggested I looked at fox chapel book site and found two dvds by Everett Ellenwood. One Beginning woodcarving is 210 minutes and includes sharpening. Does anyone know if the instructions in this one on sharpening is about the same as his sharpening dvd which is 110 mnutes.Also is it for non power carving?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Making a strop

                              Robert, I have the sharpening dvd, it is for non power carving. He sharpens knives with the sawing motion, it did not work well for me but the dvd itself is very good !

                              Dave

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