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What is Stropping to you
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Thread: What is Stropping to you

  1. #1
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    What is Stropping to you

    From thought started by the poll, what does stropping mean to folks around here.

    To me stropping is polishing/finishing an edge on some other medium besides the stones, and not just edge trailing strokes

    Perhaps I'm too rigid in my definition here, but whether it is horse butt, some other leather, balsa, felt, newspaper, and whatever compounds are involved Stropping is something other than the stone.

    Personally I don't strop. I did once upon a time but stopped in an effort to improve my sharpening, as I felt that stropping covered up some of my flaws with the stones. I also don't think stropping at sub micron grits helps much and from what I've experienced just isn't for me as far as food goes. Now if I was shaving or cutting paper for a living I'd strop for sure but I don't like it for food.

    Maybe I wasn't all that great at stropping but I think it is more that I prefer more bite and tooth than I've gotten from stropping at that high of grit. For my uses and purposes I think finishing on the Kitayama makes very excellent edges for food.

    But again I think stropping is something done off the stones on some other medium. I'd love to hear what other people think.

  2. #2
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    I thought the definition of stropping was to make edge-trailing strokes regardless of the substrate. I started out with chromium oxide on horse and then switched to finish stropping on stones (I like the 8k SS but Kit is nice, too.). Since then, I've tried out the full line of HA substrates and Dave's set-up, as well. My favorite set-up is currently stropping on Dave's old leather charged with 1 micron diamond. I'm still fiddling around with some other compounds and balsa, as a substrate. I definitely agree that the sub-1 micron compounds are not as nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I thought the definition of stropping was to make edge-trailing strokes regardless of the substrate. I started out with chromium oxide on horse and then switched to finish stropping on stones (I like the 8k SS but Kit is nice, too.). Since then, I've tried out the full line of HA substrates and Dave's set-up, as well. My favorite set-up is currently stropping on Dave's old leather charged with 1 micron diamond. I'm still fiddling around with some other compounds and balsa, as a substrate. I definitely agree that the sub-1 micron compounds are not as nice.
    strop (strp)
    n.
    1. A strap, especially a short rope whose ends are spliced together to make a ring.
    2. A flexible strip of leather or canvas used for sharpening a razor.
    tr.v. stropped, strop·ping, strops
    To sharpen (a razor) on a strop.

    Like I said I'm probably too rigid in defining it.

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    Yeah, I've definitely seen the dictionary definition and I'm okay with that. My "working" definition literally comes from my collective experience on knife forums and videos from various knife related sources (professional knifemakers and sharpeners). I've definitely modified my terminology to keep in line with the way things have been described here over the years. Probably the finest example of this sort of thing is the "primary vs secondary bevel" question. Don't ask.

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    Using 'stropping' as a term for edge-trailing strokes on a stone is confusing and redundant. Confusing because that means that sharpening normally is both sharpening and stropping at the same time, and redundant because we already have the term "edge-trailing". Stropping refers to "using a strop" and a strop can be many things, even for razors, but no strop can be used edge-leading.

    I always finish on every stone by deburring, edge trailing strokes, deburr again. It's my little ritual.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    I always finish on every stone by deburring, edge trailing strokes, deburr again. It's my little ritual.

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    Redundant, sure. Confusing? I wasn't confused back when I first saw Murray Carter talking about finishing edges by stropping on a stone, were you?

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    The point is to not confuse OTHER people.

    And yes, it was confusing as hell learning to sharpen on the internet. Everyone talks in acronyms, and uses the same words to mean very different or opposing things. I would read posts, read tutorials, watch videos, and 99% of it was "whatever works for you" or "watch me and do this" kind of information. It is good for specialized terminology to be logically consistent, some people actually learn by understanding the words that are spoken/written, not just by watching and doing.

    I grew up with my father's razor strops hanging on his bedroom closet door, and when people were talking about stropping on stones, it didn't make any sense.

    *edit* FWIW, I thought Murray Carter was a total quack for about a year and a half. Mostly because of his loose use of language and the way that he presents cutlery in such a ritualistic, "do this and then you get this" approach to everything without transferable knowledge. It's like getting landmark-based directions. Works for locals, but that's about it. I have crazy respect for Carter now, because he is right about almost everything.

  10. #10

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    A strop can be a thing or an action, I have no problem and no confusion with referring to edge trailing finishing strokes on a stone be referred to as stropping.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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