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Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2011
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Ok so I'm looking to improve my edges beyond what I've been able to do thus far. I need to significantly improve my burr removal and get a better polish to my edge. Eventually, I will purchase all of the materials I am about to list but my finances are tight (line cook's curse) and I want to buy the materials that will best serve my purposes for the time being.

I currently have a 500 Beston, 1K Minosharp, and 5K Suehiro Rika. I am trying to decide if I can improve burr removal by adding both a Kitayama or Takenoko and a felt block (not strop but the block offered by Dave) OR go with option b: a leather stropping system with a felt pad and a felt block. So...for the line cook on a budget...which do you guys think would serve my purposes more effectively?
My suggestion is the felt pad with diamond spray...I strop on it between each stone, and just cut into one of the ends gently for burr removal. I've been doing this for 1.5 years on the same felt pad and it is still in great condition.

I could just have this and my Bester 1200 and still have really nice, sharp edges.
Something to strop on, ie. Diamond spray and a 1k type of stone will give you crazy edges!
I personally deburr on cork from wine bottles, but then again, I really like good wine :)
Forgot to mention that I got mine from Dave back are some pics so you can see what I'm talking about. I'm sure the felt block probably does a better job, but this has served me very well.

There are hundreds of these slices along one of the ends, and it doesn't effect stropping at all.
I use the stroping kit Dave sells and I'm partial to the leather pad. I find myself skipping the felt because it's so easy to get a bubble if you get it wet. At least that true of the thin felt that can be attached to the wooden base. That doesn't happen when I use the felt block. Anyway, I take the leather with me to BBQ competitions and use it before each category turn in. I assume the same could be done on the line. It's unbelieveable.
I too have tried lots of mediums, and prefer textured leather for compounds (whether diamond or other) and plain leather for a final few strops on certain blades. I have been finishing most of my blades at 6000grit then stropping on 1 micron and skipping the full mirror bevels and liking it for ease and time spent. I do like perfect mirror bevels however!

I'll add to the growing chorus - get a strop. Balsa is cheap, but a little too soft for my tastes. I feel the same way about rock felt too. IMO, really hard leather like horsebutt is the best. I like using the black 1 micron BC paste on horsebutt after the Rika, but I haven't tried many other compounds. In general though I think 1 micron is a good balance of refined with still enough bite.
If you aren't stropping, you really will be startled by the results. It's essential, IMO to strop on a medium with more give than a stone when you freehand. The natural convexity of a freehanded edge lends itself to stropping.

Plus those compounds cut FAST.
Thanks guys! I appreciate all the tips and I think I've got no choice but to invest in a stropping system--especially considering this multitude of learned counsels advising me to do so. I'm excited to see these startling results.