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Thread: Honing with a strop.

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    Question Honing with a strop.

    Hey guys!

    So today I am in an experimental mood. Pastes have been done, so I was wondering about making the stropping surface more abrasive by changing the physical landscape. Taking a piece of tanned leather, and using different grits of abrasive sheeting on the leather, to change the way the leather interacts with the steel? Any ideas on the matter? Does anybody think it could be a winner, a loser, any ideas of how to make this easier?

    This is purely experiment, so all ideas are welcomed. I will take microscopic images of the edges when I actually do this too, and just push as much data as possible onto this thread.

    Thanks

    Carl.

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    Senior Member Proinsias's Avatar
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    confused...are you meaning sticking lapping film or wet/dry to a leather strop? Placing abrasive sheeting on a leather strop would to me be changing the way the leather interacts with the steel to the point that it doesn't.

    I've taken a few razors from dull to shave ready using a progression of diamond pastes on leather from about 3k to 30k. I'm sure Tony Miller mentioned a while back that he used to sell shave ready blades that had seen nothing but diamond progression on leather and got nothing but compliments without touching a stone.
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    Senior Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    I think the OP is wondering about leaving different surfaces left on the leather and how that effects honing.

    My thought on this is that the particular leather is going to do whatever it will regardless, but the feeling of the draw and feedback will change and that may effect how you use the strop. Strops to me work best when they are clean and broken in.

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    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    You would need a different strop for each "grit" of paste/powder or the particular strop would always be the "grit" of the coarsest "grit" as the particles embed in the leather. I've never heard of this being done...so if you are going to give it a whirl and buy up several strops...I'm all ears.

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    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    I don't think we have discussed this much around here but a few years back over at B&B they discussed this topic and there were a few guys who claimed they could do bevel resets and take chips out of a blade using pastes. They were talking about diamond paste. As I recall they used some pretty coarse stuff. Of course you need an arsenal of dedicated strops and really bench strops are what you need.

    I kind of likened this to taking a Yugo and try turning it into a BMW with add-ons. probably easier to just buy a few hones and do it the old fashioned way. It's probably easier too.
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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    Of course you need an arsenal of dedicated strops and really bench strops are what you need.
    + 1. What you end up with is a flatbed hone. To do something like this the SRD modular paddle would be cool or just buy some leather and glue it on to something flat. No new thing under the sun.
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    Emmerson (1800's-1900's)made a paddle strop that had emery on one side and leather on the other, clearly marked "Sharpen" and "Finish". So with all our new knowledge I'm sure it could be done. But it should be noted that it's not so much a new idea, as a better way to do an old thing. The emery side of the Emmerson was more coarse to my fingers than even a 1k waterstone. And it was significantly harder. I'm not even sure there was anything under the emery except wood actually. So I'm not sure it's fair to compare one to the other. You did spine leading strokes on both sides, and was advertised as the only thing you'd need. Anyhow, I think you could do it. I'll read your thread if you decide to tell us about it.

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    Eagle-eyed Zephyr's Avatar
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    A while ago I asked a vendor if the razor I had ordered would be delivered shave ready, the answer I got was that only the bevel was set and their procedure to get it to a shave ready state was as follows:
    On a usual razor, we proceed the following way:
    400 passes on a paddle with green stroping paste
    400 passes on a paddle with red stroping paste
    400 passes on a paddle with DioDiam 1 micron
    400 passes on a paddle with DioDiam 0.25 micron
    400 passes on a hanging leather strop

    We proceed this way during 4 to 5 days and on historic blades, it works fine.
    I have read somewhere that this have been a relatively common procedure in Europe, but whether that is a fact or not I don't know.

    I suppose it could be done, but why anyone would want to spend 5 days and 10.000 passes on a strop to get a razor shave ready is beyond me.....
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    Pasted Man Castel33's Avatar
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    First for the original op if what you are talking about is trying to alter the leather it self to create different grits I don't think you will end up with the results you are looking for. If you go back a ways and read old post it has been mentioned multiple times that different texture leathers have been used before in-between a linen strop and a finish leather. I think it was an Afdavis post I read where he was trying to figure out why old barbers would use the different leathers and was using 4 or 5 strops a shave. I would really suggest going back and reading post on strops by Afdavis and neil miller some really good reads there.

    As to pasted strops I have some really low grit diamond past that I have experimented with and have never been able to set a bevel on them. Microns I have tried 40, 28, 20, 18 and 9. So have always set bevels on a stone.

    Now I have used dove green, red, and black to take a razor with a bevel to shave ready and have great results. Some of my sharpest and smoothest edges have come from these. I have also found the 9 micron diamond paste helps speed the process between bevel setting stone and dovo green. Can do this in a 1/2 hr most times if bevel is set if not add about 5 to 10 min more.

    I have found four side paddle strops make a good way to use these with out taking up a boat load of room to store and having a consistent flat surface.

    Here are my two main ones. they are both 11/2 in wide and 15 in long with about 11 in stropping surface. And we're made with scrap wood and old leather belt.
    Last edited by Castel33; 08-08-2012 at 09:47 PM.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
    I suppose it could be done, but why anyone would want to spend 5 days and 10.000 passes on a strop to get a razor shave ready is beyond me.....
    That fellow must have forearms like Popeye the sailor man.
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