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mindbender
10-30-2011, 05:40 PM
Just picked up a dual-sided stopping paddle with Tormex stropping paste. Although I've searched this forum lightly, does anyone have any helpful tips for stropping?

(note: Tormex paste has already been applied to one side of the strop)

After stropping *away* from a knife edge, I noticed a minimal improvement in sharpness. Is this par for the course?

Stones that I normally use:
King or Mino 1000 stone
Norton 4000/8000 stone

Ceramic rods:
MAC white ceramic rod (smoother)
Kyocera ceramic rod (more abrasive than the MAC)

I'll be sharpening a DTITK and DT CS petty, along with a MAC 8" gyuto and a CS deba. And some others...

So without ridicule, can anyone offer up basic tips w/ a paddle strop?

Thanks!

Pensacola Tiger
10-30-2011, 10:25 PM
I'm unfamiliar with a Tormex paddle strop, and a Google search doesn't help much. From what you've said, it's a double sided strop, but what size is the stropping surface and what material is it made from?

I think you've got the general idea of stropping, in that it's always edge trailing, or as you put it "away from the knife edge". It is used to further polish and refine the edge, and, as you note, not a rapid process.

The knife should be held at the same angle as it was sharpened. Don't use a lot of pressure, just enough to maintain edge contact. Too much pressure may roll the edge you are trying to refine. Strop one side, turn the knife over and strop the other, making one "pass". Generally, ten passes is sufficient.

As the knife is drawn across the strop move it so the entire edge is stropped. I start with the tip and end at the heel, but there's no reason not to start at the heel - whatever you're comfortable with.

Be sure to clean off the knife when you're finished so the paste/spray doesn't contaminate what you're cutting.

In another thread, several people recommended using a spray or paste of a 1 micron size, others recommended 0.25 micron. What micron size is the paste that's already applied to your strop?

Finally, stropping can extend the useful life of your edge, but eventually you'll have to hit the stones.

tk59
10-30-2011, 10:29 PM
I'd recommend trying the following:
1. Put some Sharpie on your edge bevel to see if you're hitting the edge consistently. Listen for the sound of the edge just touching the strop. Remember that sound.
2. Lighten up the pressure.
3. Strop more or add more compound.
Good luck!

kalaeb
10-30-2011, 10:33 PM
These other guys can get their knives much sharper than I can, but the advice I can give is use light pressure and watch how you come off the end of your edge trailing swipe so you don't lift up to far or roll the edge to aggressively.

The Edge
10-30-2011, 11:25 PM
The single biggest improvement I made to how I strop is, like others have already mentioned, to use very light pressure. After that, it was to not swipe off of the strop, but when getting to the end, stopping and lifting up the knife before flipping over.

mindbender
10-31-2011, 12:34 AM
I'm unfamiliar with a Tormex paddle strop, and a Google search doesn't help much. From what you've said, it's a double sided strop, but what size is the stropping surface and what material is it made from?

Sorry for not being clear about the strop, but I'm using a paddle strop with leather (don't know what kind) on both sides. The Tormex brand of compound is a paste that I purchased with the strop, and I believe it's considered a "green" or abrasive type of compound. I don't know what micron size it is.

I should ask more questions next time, but I did purchase it at my local Woodcraft store.

I'm having to learn how not to roll the edge which is what I suspect I've been doing all along.

Thanks for the help!

macmiddlebrooks
10-31-2011, 02:54 AM
I also find that just like I sharpen on the stones, I get better results if I strop the edge in sections instead of trying to do the whole edge in one pass. When I attempt to strop the entire length in one pass, I tend to wobble more. Your mileage may vary.