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View Full Version : Strop Survey - Post Your Favorite Progression



JohnnyChance
05-24-2011, 12:59 AM
There are tons of options when stropping. Several different materials substrates, then a few different compounds in a bunch of different grit ratings. Add it all up and there are literally thousands of progression combinations. Most people do not have the funds to try every single option, so I figured I would ask people what they like to use. Should give those just getting into strops what to get, and those who already strop some new combinations to try.

So, please include:

Steel: What steel your knife or knives are that you use this progression on. If you like using different progressions for different steels, feel free to suggest multipe progressions.
Finishing Stone: What stone you finish on.
Strop 1: Substrate (balsa, split leather, smooth leather, etc) and compound (Micron rating and type of compound).
Strop 2: Repeat as many times as necessary.
Strop 3:
Final Edge: Describe the edge you achieve with this progression if you can. Toothy, smooth, delicate, etc.

If you try a new progression, good or bad, feel free to add it to the list and some feedback. Thanks!

JohnnyChance
05-24-2011, 01:03 AM
I will start:

Steels: AEB-L, VG-10, SG2 and some other stainless steels.
Finishing stone: Rika 5k or Naniwa Snow White 8k
Strop 1: Balsa loaded with 0.75 Micron CBN
Strop 2: Smooth Leather
Final Edge: Still has some tooth. Bevel is shiny, polished some. Used in pro kitchens, not too "slippery". Feels pretty good on poly boards.

These are the only strops and compounds I currently have, but I have some more compounds on the way and a nifty substrate setup.

tk59
05-24-2011, 01:15 AM
For all purpose kitchen work, I finish on Gesshin 5k followed by maybe a dozen strokes on 0.5 micron diamond on JKS leather strop. I use this regardless of steel characteristics with very good results. The edge is fairly toothy.

JBroida
05-24-2011, 01:19 AM
stone + newspaper for me ;)

I figure if the guys i train with can get better edges than me with this setup, i still have room to grow

fwiw, they got better edges that me using that setup while i used better stones, strops, felt, compounds, leather, wood, etc. ;)

JohnnyChance
05-24-2011, 01:29 AM
stone + newspaper for me ;)

I figure if the guys i train with can get better edges than me with this setup, i still have room to grow

fwiw, they got better edges that me using that setup while i used better stones, strops, felt, compounds, leather, wood, etc. ;)

You sound like Murray Carter! But what do you guys know about sharp? It's not like you guys placed 1-2 in some sort of "sharpening olympics" or anything...

JBroida
05-24-2011, 01:39 AM
You sound like Murray Carter! But what do you guys know about sharp? It's not like you guys placed 1-2 in some sort of "sharpening olympics" or anything...

hey... i still use the expensive stones though ;)

MadMel
05-24-2011, 01:55 AM
Erm I use newspaper or cardboard too after my 6k arashiyama

bieniek
05-24-2011, 05:32 AM
Well, in stock i have now MoVa 18/10 Exxent Stainless [6 years old], aji of white #1 and yanagi of blue 2

The exxent for me in the same league as Global while 4xcheaper. I would jump from 6k suehiro to 3k naniwa and again 6k to 8k SS.
Then i stropp with newspaper - around 10 layers using bit higher angle and no pressure.
Then i strop with felt loaded with ChO.
The finish is completely shiny and feels smooth to the skin but in kitchen cuts like a freak. I do tough things like swede with it also, altough it feels smooth, it will stil cut it effortlessly.
Maybe we should write about some standarized items we cut with the different finish to see whats the feeling and share that knowledge? For me the swede is tricky :)

Aji i finish on 3k SS but before do 6k suehiro.
Only newspaper to finish.
Finish is shaving easily but will have completely other feeling to the skin than stainless. More tooth and somehow scary. With this i would do Eel or mackerel only but checked on salmon side goes through like a dream.

Yanagi
I play with it and i finish with 8k but then i raise angle and do hair-style microbevel with 6k.
Felt first.
Next newspaper. Why? I dont know, to keep tradition :P For me it is improving the edge but its personal. Propably placebo.
Finish: shiny all the way up hagane. Completely smooth to the touch. To describe how it cuts, it will go just under its own weight through side of salmon with skin on. And that is only fish i have a chance to test it with at the moment. Very very clean cut, blade dont have to much of agression in it but cuts very well

Seb
05-24-2011, 06:22 AM
I like the HA boron carbide black paste on either felt or balsa.

Cadillac J
05-24-2011, 08:28 AM
I still want to try the wet newspaper thing one day. Jon, you just spray with water and lay on your counter top?

Most my knives are done after Naniwa 5K SS (but will go to 10K or only 1200 depending), but I always strop on smooth leather w/ 0.5 chromium oxide to finish.

I've never met a steel that didn't work well with my stones/strop.

Cadillac J
05-24-2011, 08:30 AM
Oh, forgot to add: the 5K + strop leaves a pretty refined edge, but with perfect bite.

JBroida
05-24-2011, 02:20 PM
I still want to try the wet newspaper thing one day. Jon, you just spray with water and lay on your counter top?

Most my knives are done after Naniwa 5K SS (but will go to 10K or only 1200 depending), but I always strop on smooth leather w/ 0.5 chromium oxide to finish.

I've never met a steel that didn't work well with my stones/strop.

i have heard of people using wet newspaper, but that is not how i was taught in japan. Single sheet of newspaper on a hard and flat surface. With very light pressure and a higher angle than you sharpened at, use edge trailing strokes across it. The angle used is usually much higher than people expect.

tk59
05-24-2011, 04:55 PM
...The angle used is usually much higher than people expect. Yeah. I was shocked and I still don't like thinking about it.

JohnnyChance
06-06-2011, 11:16 PM
Used this tonight (iirc, did it while at work) on my Aritsugu A-Type 270mm Gyuto. Came out nice.

Finished on Rika 5k.
Deburred on felt strop.
Stropped on smooth leather.
Stropped on textured leather loaded with 2 micron silicon carbide.
Stropped on plain balsa.

Need to make another couple strop substrates for more balsa strops, that way I can have balsa loaded with all the different compounds I currently have. And I need some diamond spray still. Probably go with mono 1 micron.

Eamon Burke
06-07-2011, 12:27 AM
I have a textured leather strop with 3 micron paste for very grabby edges(in theory), but I'm finding out that the 2 micron past on bare balsa does as good or better. If I want my edge to be a real ripper for bite, I'll take it off my 2k stone and right on to the .5 CrO on smooth leather--a deceptively easy edge. I actually got a Tojiro DP to pass a HHT by doing just that.

The reason I bought pastes and don't strop on newspaper or something else is because I like how fast the pastes cut. I used to strop on a piece of cardboard ever since I did it at work long ago, and my knife went from sharp-ish to shaving sharp in a few minutes. I really use the pastes instead of paying for fine stones, I just make "stones" out of balsa. Only drawback is that I can't really do single bevels as easily. Plus since I freehand, the cutting speed helps to blend the bevels together into a narrow convex--just how I likes em!

tk59
06-07-2011, 12:42 AM
I sharpened a handful of knives over the last couple days made of various carbon steels in the low 60's hrc. Took them to the 8k ish Belgian coticule and stropped a couple times on Dave's leather with 0.25 micron diamond. I like my edges a little finer than the 5k Gesshin for the most part but I definitely prefer the coticule to SS8k or Kit 8k.

JohnnyChance
06-07-2011, 02:24 AM
I sharpened a handful of knives over the last couple days made of various carbon steels in the low 60's hrc. Took them to the 8k ish Belgian coticule and stropped a couple times on Dave's leather with 0.25 micron diamond. I like my edges a little finer than the 5k Gesshin for the most part but I definitely prefer the coticule to SS8k or Kit 8k.

Have you used the Awasedo that Jon sells?

Tinh, when are you gonna bite the bullet and try some balsa?

mainaman
06-07-2011, 07:28 AM
I finish on naturals and do not use strops no need.

Jay
06-07-2011, 10:30 AM
Strop? What's a strop?

743744745746

99Limited
06-07-2011, 10:53 AM
Strop? What's a strop? ...

They look just like the strops my dad used when he took me to the woodshed, and no we didn't bring any wood back to the house. :crying:

Jay
06-07-2011, 02:29 PM
They look just like the strops my dad used when he took me to the woodshed, and no we didn't bring any wood back to the house. :crying:

If your dad was Tony Miller. :razz:

tk59
06-07-2011, 04:31 PM
Have you used the Awasedo that Jon sells?

Tinh, when are you gonna bite the bullet and try some balsa?

I have used the Awasedo but I haven't used it a heck of a lot and I don't have much experience with naturals so I don't want to say anything either way about it other than it works nicely on the few carbon steel blades I've tried it on. The finish is a bit scratchy, the edge has a fair bit of bite to it and it and it gives a decent amount of contrast on iron-clad blades. What I love most about it is the nostalgia I feel from the smell of wet earth but I suspect that's not unique to this stone. Sorry.

As for the balsa, I'm definitely going to check out a hobby shop in town and do a bit of experimenting. I'm going into it with some pessimism, though. I'm more than happy with my current set-up and I'm more curious about Japanese naturals after getting my first fix from Jon. There is no doubt in my mind that he is evil.

cowboyardee
06-07-2011, 09:44 PM
I usually finish on an 8k naniwa superstone, followed by dry newspaper laid across an unused waterstone. Used to finish on chrome ox loaded leather, and sometimes I still go there after newspaper just for the heck of it, but I don't notice any significant improvement for kitchen use. Obviously YMMV.

Haven't tried diamond spray or paste, balsa wood or split leather or even felt, so I guess I just might not know what I'm missing. Newspaper seems to work pretty well though.

JohnnyChance
06-07-2011, 11:42 PM
I have used the Awasedo but I haven't used it a heck of a lot and I don't have much experience with naturals so I don't want to say anything either way about it other than it works nicely on the few carbon steel blades I've tried it on. The finish is a bit scratchy, the edge has a fair bit of bite to it and it and it gives a decent amount of contrast on iron-clad blades. What I love most about it is the nostalgia I feel from the smell of wet earth but I suspect that's not unique to this stone. Sorry.

As for the balsa, I'm definitely going to check out a hobby shop in town and do a bit of experimenting. I'm going into it with some pessimism, though. I'm more than happy with my current set-up and I'm more curious about Japanese naturals after getting my first fix from Jon. There is no doubt in my mind that he is evil.

Yeah, I would like a natural to finish on for work knives, so some bite is perfect, a nice polish is not really that important. All my knives are scratched and marked up anyway.

jwpark
06-08-2011, 04:36 PM
What does stropping on a plain balsa plank do to the edge?

Jay
06-08-2011, 05:29 PM
What does stropping on a plain balsa plank do to the edge?

I don't know about plain balsa, but it's good for pastes, and particularly the diamond sprays.

bieniek
06-08-2011, 06:09 PM
Yeah, I guess its the gizmo that is a carrier of some other gizmo.

I must admit, felt works, felt loaded with something works. But when the madness ends?

I admire the traditional craftsman that they used some rocks that some other folks stolen from mother earth and made samurai swords bloody sharp.

I wait when only 100-years-old-oak-barrel will be sufficient to strop...
Maybe it just doesnt matter what you strop or sharpen at, maybe its in the skill and love and understanding?

SpikeC
06-08-2011, 06:28 PM
I wonder how old teak would work for a strop, given it's inherent abrasive quality. Not too esoteric but not exactally plebeian either!