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Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:35 pm

Hi,
I recently purchased a very nice leather strop, the brand is Illinois, it's a razor strop but I don't use it for that.
I cut it in half, removed the handles and glued the halves to glass plates (old 500 shapton glass). I was left with two strops, one for loading up and one clean....so I have those.

My question concerns using a high grit stone such as a Shapton Glass 16k (0.92 microns), why not use it as a Strop, I know a lot of folks use trailing strokes on their finishing stones to finish the job but can this stone, the 16K be used as a substitute for a leather or balsa strop?

It doesn't feel the same to me, sort of goes against the grain so to speak, feels too hard but I'm curious and what about the 30k Shapton Glass, same thing, why would I want that stone?........I do want that stone by the way, I will have it :)

I have this beautiful 16k glass stone that is mostly untouched, now I have used it in my sharpening progession many times but as I said, it is not used often, could I use it daily as a strop. I guess I can give it a shot and see if there is any improvement in the edge and compare it to the leather stropped edge.

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:12 pm

A lot of people do strop on stones instead of leather, balsa, felt, MDF, nano-cloth, or whatever medium they could instead be stropping on. The finishing trailing strokes that people do on their stone is stropping essentially. Barely any pressure and trailing strokes to refine the edge and polish off any burrs. Really trailing strokes don't matter as much as the light pressure, but some people seem to be more comfortable with it.

So no, there is no reason you can't use your 16k stone to strop with. It should do the job quite well. Just remember, light pressure. ;)

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:12 pm

Peter - you sharpen a lot more than I (a LOT more :-)), but I would think that using 1 micron diamond spray or CBN on a strop would tend to put a more toothy edge on a knife than using a 16k Shapton GS, due to the nature of diamond abrasives. Please let us know your findings.

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:34 pm

Thanks a lot folks and yes light pressure. Steve I think that is just the case and I'll do some testing, I have both the 1 micron and CBN, that toothy edge can be elusive. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again.....oh, I need to say that even though I sharpen lot more than you perhaps, I don't and will never consider myself a more competent sharpener than anyone here, gees all it could mean is that I make more mistakes than others do, in fact, I'm pretty sure that is the case. Some folks who have been doing the same thing for years and years are reluctant to accept change, they don't look to others to learn because they've elevated themselves to a higher level but in fact, some young keen fast learner is equally or more knowledgeable and more skilled. I'm not one of those guys though, I'm a sponge when it comes to sharpening, learning new things daily...................gees I've gone off the rails here eh :)

I'll be back :)

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:57 pm

I love your attitude :-). I'm just really starting to get a feel for freehand sharpening. It's weird, but thus far, I can get a better edge from my Shapton GS 1K than the Nubatama Ume 1K. I like how quiet the Shapton is when I'm right on the bevel. I can actually hear the difference when flipping and grind off the burr. I guess that helps me keep my angle more consistent. I'm using the Rika 5K as well, but I'm thinking about trying the Shapton GS 4K for a finisher.

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:50 pm

[quoteI guess that helps me keep my angle more consistent.][/quote]

It also builds confidence which has a ripple effect in every aspect of the process. I love my SG stones, besides they're mounted on glass, how cool is that :)

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:57 pm

One of the biggest lessons I have learned so far when it comes to sharpening is pressure. After I forced myself to use lighter pressure I saw a great improvement in my edges.
I lightly strop on an a dry 8k now and then and it seems to work pretty well.

Re: Stone Stropping

Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:09 pm

Excellent, thanks Jeff.
Yes Pressure was an issue for me, probably still is, it's something I focus on with every knife, I probably have wasted a lot of stone by using too much pressure too.
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