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>> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:34 pm

So a consistent problem I've had with my balsas is they never come true. I think I have 5, and maybe 2 of them I feel is flat. All the others have visible waves in varying degrees; one has a knot that is harmless but offers no emulsion retention.

Question is: how do you guys flatten your plates?

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:18 pm

The ones I have seem pretty flat. But if I had one that needed flattening, either from an original problem or warpage, I would think that I would use a coarse diamond lapping plate to do the deed rather than using sandpaper and risking embedding sandpaper particles. A well broken in plate preferably so you have essentially eliminated the risk of diamond grit contamination too. To smooth it out a scraper dragged along the surface should leave you with a nice texture. Now if you have mad skills with a wood plane (way beyond my skills) that might be an option too.

Of course, a nanocloth strop backed with a glass plate completely eliminates this issue :)

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Ken

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:41 am

KEN <> I would never anticipate having planer skills to accomplish this, and the sand from sandpaper is the obvious hurdle of which leaves me w/o an idea. I have full size Atomas in 140 & 1200, but I reckon the diamond is the same issue.

There's gotta be a way. :|

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:09 am

I think once the diamond plate is broken in that the diamonds in a metal plate would be held much tighter in the nickel substrate than diamonds or other grits are held with resin type bonds or glue in various sandpapers.

OK time to test this theory out ... I'll be back.

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Ken

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:26 am

OK. I tried a 2x3" new Atoma 1200 grit plate backed with granite. I use it on a fresh piece of balsa. In no time it was SIGNIFICANTLY smoother than the other side. You can rub your hand on the surface of the 'sanded' side and on the original finish side and you can HEAR the difference in smoothness. No evidence of embedded grit.

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Ken

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:55 pm

I only have a 600 1/4 plate. I have a full size 140 & 1200. They all are "used". :lol:

I remember my 140 noticeably releasing particle in its first sharpenings; not so much on the higher grits. I guess I'll try the 1200 Atoma. Thank you for testing...

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:26 pm

IMHO, every serious knife nut should have this:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/9-x-12- ... edge/G9649

I have this:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/18-x-24 ... edge/G9654

Use with sandpaper to flatten things very flat.

The little one ships with normal shipping charge though....$7.95, so it's only $33 to your door. I picked up my giant one from the Grizzly store in Springfield, MO though.

I use these, I have both, ALL the time for knife things and for non-knife things.

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:55 pm

That's a killer price on a toolroom-grade, 9"x12" surface plate!

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:16 pm

ADAM <> You say, "use with sandpaper."

Do you mean wrap the paper around the plate like a sanding block, and then sand the balsa? And what is your opinion on particulate from the sandpaper contaminating the balsa? I reckon, I would be able to feel it, but I haven't done it so I don't know.

Re: >> How do you true Balsa Strops <<

Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:23 pm

No, the plate would be far too heavy. The plate stays in place.

I typically either use double stick tape at the edges to secure the paper to the surface. The 9" x 12" plate is the perfect size for such an application.

As to particulate contamination, that is certainly a concern. Buy good quality sandpaper first, and then sand something with it first.....get any loose grit off. Blow it off with compressed air and you SHOULD be okay.
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