Strop - a quick and dirty make

Randall

John McDouall Stuart
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I'm home for a few days, and have left what was my one and only strop where I've been staying and working. It's just a cheap paddle strop with green wax compound bought off ebay from hong kong (I try to buy from Hong Kong before China). It's a great strop and is also small and light enough to take with me whenever I go somewhere for more than a day or two.

So, I ordered a 2nd strop off ebay (only $4.00), but it'll take ages to get here. So I've made one. I really like it because it is nice and high which means I can easily use it with on a bench (on non slip mat). It is high enough for my hand to be next to it while I'm stropping a knife. And it's long. I have a favoured long kitchen knife that is thicker and heavier at the heal of the blade. Now I can give more time during the stroke on the heal of the blade. For smaller knives I'm tending to use just half the length of the strop.

Manufacture: I had an old belt. I removed the dye from the dressed side with steel wool. On the rough side the leather was dark and kind of shiny. I'd used dubbin on it over the years. I cleaned out the dark shiny stuff with steel wool. The undressed side looked the better side for stropping.

I just grabbed a piece of timber that I'd been using for various things (wooden mallet, propping up slasher or mower for blade removal, keeping one side of mtb handlebar off ground while it is upside down to protect a protruding lever etc). I didn't sand or plane it - it's just rough sawn. There's even a crack down part of the length of it, but not on the surface I was concerned with.

I used ks bond contact cement (big cheap tube) on one surface of the timber and one surface of the leather. It was cold and wet here last night, so I left it for about 30mins to get tack free. Starting from one end I rolled the leather onto the timber and pressed it down. Then gently hammered the whole surface of the leather into the wood. Clamped it overnight.

This morning I rubbed some green compound into it and went to work on some knives that have been neglected, and at the mercy of my partner, for the last two weeks. Although I have taught her some good things (use the back of the blade for scraping the board, wipe down and dry the blade after use and put it back in the knife block (they don't get done with the dishes). And (this could be turning into a rant) I used to catch her cutting on the sink or a plate or the bench. I watch her like a hawk now :devilish:. Because of this, I haven't seen chips or folds in the blades for a few years šŸ˜‚.

Just found this video now - these guys go over some of my phobias.

Note, the 2nd knife down is the one I'm carrying today; cheap chinese d2 ganzo. I've had it for over a year, sharpened it once (corrected edge angle etc) and have only ever stropped it since. I always test it with a wet shave - like all my knives. The finger nail test only really shows you where the really bad spots are.

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You can see the crack starting at the right hand end about half way down



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Some glue over run on the surface - bugger! Tried to remove it with steel wool but gave up because I don't want to create a divot.


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Strop on non slip mat and green wax compound applied. Knives have been stropped after 2 weeks of use / abuse by my partner. Probably about 20 strokes each side and they're all good. My favorite kitchen knife - top. My carry for the day- 2nd from top - my partner isn't allowed into my knife drawer, so it was safe :).
 
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Wave Man

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may I suggest one thing mate, while I get that you are recycling materials but kangaroo tail leather has been proven to be the best leather for strops (it can be bought off Ebay) its unique texture increases its effectiveness and you quite often find you don't have to use compounds.
 

Randall

John McDouall Stuart
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Thanks wave man. I had read that. I will order some. This strop was kind of an emergency :D. I have another one coming, but needed something in the meantime. The good thing is I really like this design - high, long and skinny. I'll use a good piece of the same size timber.

I don't get too carried away with sharpening. Mirror edges look awesome, but for everyday use...
 

Markie D

Les Stroud
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Why did you look for a strop from HK over china?
Does Hong Kong produce better quality products then China?

(I'm only interested cause i buy heaps of bits and bobs on Ebay) :)
 

Randall

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Why did you look for a strop from HK over china?
Does Hong Kong produce better quality products then China?

(I'm only interested cause i buy heaps of bits and bobs on Ebay) :)
I'd rather support hk than china - I don't like what china is doing to hk. China does make a lot of good stuff, esp knives, which I still buy.
 

Markie D

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I'd rather support hk than china - I don't like what china is doing to hk. China does make a lot of good stuff, esp knives, which I still buy.
ah..... Thats fair enough... I don't really know too much about all that tbh... I'm a bit out of touch with all that china v HK stuff....hahaha.
 

Randall

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