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View Full Version : School me on strops.



Chefdog
12-25-2012, 07:42 AM
Merry Christmas guys. I had to get up at 5 to get my rib roast in the oven and make sure Santa set up the train set correctly and just couldn't get back to sleep. So, naturally my mind started thinkng about all the different combinations of strop materials, compounds etc. :dontknow:

I've been using a boron carbide loaded balsa strop for almost a year, trying to figure out if its something that I want to stick with for the long haul. I feel like it definitely gives me a keener and more useful edge following a 4K stone, although its not the most intuitive or quick way to refresh an edge for me. I feel like its more forgiving and quick to strop on a stone than the balsa. The BC charged balsa seems to me like an alternative to a high grit finishing stone more than a steeling alternative.

What I'm looking for are your thoughts on the best use for each type of strop. For example, "Hard felt works best with diamond spray as a deburring tool," or "Balsa loaded with CrO2 works best to finish your sharpening session," or "naked horsehide works best as an alternative to steeling a knife."

I look forward to hearing what combinations you guys are using for what purposes.
Have a great day with your families, and enjoy the food!!

Lefty
12-25-2012, 10:00 AM
It depends, really. For me, kitchen knives get stropped on newsprint, and deburred on the edge of my stone holder, or cutting board. I'm weird like that.

For razors, I use flesh side leather, loaded flesh side, and then bare veg tanned skin side leather.

turbochef422
12-25-2012, 10:20 AM
I know people might say its a no no but at the restaurant I strop on a dry king 6000 and it works effectively and fast. Ever since I started to touch up my knives like that that's all I go with.

jgraeff
12-25-2012, 10:25 AM
I quite like felt with diamond 1 micron, it adds bite and brings the edge right back in no time.

I like it because it doesn't refine it too much I always go to it after sharpening because I like having a super sharp edge with lots of bite and that tends to help give what I need.

K-Fed
12-25-2012, 12:08 PM
I know people might say its a no no but at the restaurant I strop on a dry king 6000 and it works effectively and fast. Ever since I started to touch up my knives like that that's all I go with.
I do the same thing with the same stone. Works great for me too. Did it this morning with my 270 tkc and the edge came right back.

Chefdog
12-25-2012, 12:15 PM
I quite like felt with diamond 1 micron, it adds bite and brings the edge right back in no time.

I like it because it doesn't refine it too much I always go to it after sharpening because I like having a super sharp edge with lots of bite and that tends to help give what I need.

This is interesting to me because I was considering trying a piece of felt. Is it less "springy" feeling than balsa? And do you think BC paste would work on the felt, or do you need spray to apply a compound to the felt to be able to distribute it evenly?

Notaskinnychef
12-25-2012, 01:20 PM
so to strop is to deburr after sharpening? or used to bring back an edge in between sharpenings? Sorry I am new at this, so school me too, i have a 1k/4k king stone and a JCK Carbonext 240 gyuto

Chefdog
12-27-2012, 08:57 AM
so to strop is to deburr after sharpening? or used to bring back an edge in between sharpenings? Sorry I am new at this, so school me too, i have a 1k/4k king stone and a JCK Carbonext 240 gyuto

Skinny,
A strop can be used for both of these jobs. It can also be used like a finishing stone to polish your edge or add a little refinement/tooth after your last stone. Which type of strop is best suited for each task is what I'm trying to get more information about.
Stick around, I know there are lots of people using lots of different strops who'll be by to explain their experiences and opinions on the matter.

Has anyone used BC or CrO2 paste on felt? Or tried a "split leather" strop?

RoanRoks29
12-27-2012, 10:58 AM
Jayhay and I have been using a dowel rod loaded with the 1m BC and for just refreshing an edge it seems to work really well and it is easy enough to carry around and to use. We also have a leather strop flesh and skin loaded flesh with bc and the skin .125 diamond that will tear up and edge, when we have it set up it is my favorite way to go!!

Cadillac J
12-27-2012, 11:11 AM
I used to use 1 micron diamond on felt to strop on between each stone, and then use 0.5 micron with leather to finish an edge....

...but that was a while ago, and I now have eliminated both of these from my arsenal. Stropping with compounds on a surface didn't seem to improve my edges, and actually removed some bite/tooth.

Now to deburr, I just cut into some soft wood or cork at the very end, and then finish with some edge trailing strokes (stropping) on my final stone -- usually a 5K.

My personal opinion and experience shows that my edges are better and more crisp this way, but I know a lot of people swear by strops.

Chefdog
12-27-2012, 03:12 PM
I remember being a little surprised while reading about Marko Tsourkan's knives that people were having quite good results stropping his blades on felt to bring back and maintain the edge to close to 100% sharpness.
I guess I was under the impression that the general consensus was that felt is best used as a deburring tool, and leather or balsa is better for refining or polishing your edge? Or are their too many variables to make such generalizations? Maybe you just have to experiment a lot to match a particular blade/steel to a particular type of strop/compound until you find what works depending on what you're trying to accomplish.

ChiliPepper
12-28-2012, 07:02 AM
When doing a full stone session I end up stropping on newspaper "a la Carter". When inbetween sessions I strop on a dry king 6k. When the 6k becomes "glassy" as a result, I just recondition the surface by flattening it.

stevenStefano
12-28-2012, 07:50 AM
I deburr on 5 micron diamond on leather and when I sharpen I finish on 0.5 cro on felt, in work I use a leather strop. I like felt a lot, I'd take my felt strop into work but it's too big

Chefdog
12-28-2012, 08:37 AM
I deburr on 5 micron diamond on leather and when I sharpen I finish on 0.5 cro on felt, in work I use a leather strop. I like felt a lot, I'd take my felt strop into work but it's too big

What qualities do you feel the felt brings to your edge that you prefer over the leather?

stevenStefano
12-28-2012, 01:09 PM
I think the felt takes compounds a little better than leather. The felt seems to stay level and flat more than the leather I use

Chefdog
12-29-2012, 09:40 PM
I think the felt takes compounds a little better than leather. The felt seems to stay level and flat more than the leather I use

Thanks for the info.

keithsaltydog
12-30-2012, 12:26 AM
For yrs. I deburred on the stone wt. lite touch,had never used a strop.Even J-Yanagi's a very lite draw stroke across the stone is how I was taught by Japanese Sushi Chefs.I feel that some of the sharpest edges come fr.quality carbon steel on a polishing stone.

Now I have a homemade 16"x3.5" cowhide strop,Hand American felt pad & Horsehide leather.I almost always use the cowhide to polish up the edges when I sharpen others knives.

If you get edges meeting to molecular infinity on a polishing stone,you want to use good tech going to a strop, pressing too hard into the leather can slightly round you sharp edge,also rolling the blade off the strop at end of stroke.

You can strop on a polishing stone too like Murry Carter:knife: