Art

How To Make A Strop For Knives

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I was about to make a new post, but I figured here was as good as anywhere.. I just made a paste compound out of the green buffing bar stuff from sears. Heated it on medium heat in a double boiler setup until it melted, then mixed it with around 6 tablespoons of olive oil (only because that's what I had convenient, and it was an experiment)

at first, I tried rubbing the compound on while still warm, and it worked ok, but didn't seem to be getting enough of the actual green rouge onto the leather, so I randomly remembered about how you can boil leather in wax to impregnate it with the stuff, and after figuring the bar was some sort of waxy compound, proceeded to just take a piece of 3 or 4oz scrap cowhide and soak it in the heated mixture. after about a minute or two, I pulled it out, and there was a fair amount of excess on it that I rubbed off with a paper towel. What was left was what I think is a fairly good surface for stropping and polishing. I tried polishing a few stone marks out of a tandy tool that I had ground the texture out of for a cheap crowner, and it polished it to a near mirror finish. I would call that a success in my book. Might try mixing it with bee's wax instead of oil, or switching oil types.

Anyone have any suggestions for improvement? After pouring the mixture into a bottle, it cooled off and turned into almost a saddle soap consistency. I'm wondering if I can just rub that into something, or even rub it on and heat with a hair dryer to get it to soak in more.

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IIRC , lots of old skool razor strops were grain leather on one side and a very dense felt on the other . What was the felt used for ?

I'm a big fan of stropping , and have tried a variety of abrassives , and a couple of metal polishes - haven't settled on anything yet . Anybody tried any of the new diamond pastes ?

Chris

I use straight razors, and a couple of my strops have canvas or linen secondary strops. You can use them bare, as it's a little faster a strop than the leather, but I prefer to put micron diamond spray on it to make it even faster before taking it to the hide for the final stropping.

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I would imagine horse would make good strop material

I usually just grab up a thick stiff piece of veg tan leather out of the scrap box at my local tandy store then rub jewlers rouge all over it , serves its purpose well. I find that making a nice strop usually gets worn and cut so I dont put too much energy in making a strop strap.

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I quit using horse hide altogether. A few years ago I made a holster from a piece I had here. It was excellent leather, great strength, and was tough as nails but every time I walked in the yard I had this strange magnetic pulling feeling as I was being dragged toward the hay barn.

Bud

Art,

Nice one....THANK YOU for a great tutorial. I have never tried horse hide. I'll have to give it a try.

Edited by Matchlock

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I make strops from Home Depot paint stirrers, both the large and the small. I glue a piece of veg tan on either side then a light sanding on the belt sander and green on one side and white on the other. The drill a hole to hang it and I'm done. If the leather gets heavly beat up or soiled I sand off the top layer and re-apply rouge and back in business.

Minutes of work involved and the price of scrap leather and paint paddles (free) .

Cya!

Bob

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I have made a strop, and for the polishing compound I'm using Autosol chrome polish, which I saw recommended in a leathercraft book

After a while the Autosol dries out, and falls off when the strop is next used. Is this normal? Or should I add some leather oil to the dried Autosol to make a stickier paste?

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I'm new to this craft, so maybe I'm missing something, but is there another name for the hide that I should search for besides horse butt? Besides passing a mirror a couple times a day, I haven't been able to find a horse's ass to save my life.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thanks

David

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Call Springfield Leather (they have a website too). They'll know exactly what you want.

Art

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Will do, thanks, Art!

appreciate it.

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Great idea! I have one of those weaver edger strops and this is definitely a "why didn't I think of that?" item! :cowboy:

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Art, Good Afternoon.

What is hard jacked horse hide?

What is difference between Horse hide and Conveyor Belting?

What color is the Conveyor Belting?

I am going to call Bob Beard tomorrow and have him send me some Conveyer belting?

Thank You and Happy Easter.

 

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Actually, you want horse butt.  It is a leftover after they take the cordovan shells off the backend of the horsehide.  Hard jacking is putting the hide between two plates and pressing (or jacking) the leather.  Springfield leather will know exactly what you want.

 

Art

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Art, I called Springfield Leather the lady there told me she never heard of it, Horse Butt.

I asked her to check, she did so reluctantly.   She said they do not carry it or maybe they do not sell it anymore.

Then she said maybe there out of it.

Is their another supplier.?  Thanks

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If you can't get them to understand, talk to Kevin.  Just get a piece of horse or cow the size you need to make a strop.  Any relatively thin piece of hide will do, they can find it for you in the scrap bin.  You can also get it at Sheridan Leather.

Art

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I got a couple of 3-4oz sides from the Tandy Black Friday sale, are they thin enough for a strop?  I was talking to another person on here, and they told me to go with a thick piece of leather.  I have an 8-9oz side if that'll work.  

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3-4 oz is marginally better because it deflects less, but the difference is pretty much negligible.

Art

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Which side of the leather is glued? I have been away from leather work for a long time, but I thought the strops we had in school were scrap leather with jewlers ruge rubbed into the rough side. That is what I have been using lately. Maybe that is why my swivel knife seems to drag.

It really doesn't matter that much. Although I think I would recommend smooth side up. I've seen both approaches recommended and I have strops of both types.  I tend to use rough side up as a coarse strop with courser compound and the smooth side up as a finer finishing strop -  but it's not really necessary to have both, either will do the job.  In use, stropping and compound tend to smooth the rough side and use tends to roughen the smooth side.

I still sometimes use my oldest strops, pieces of an old, suede from a worn-out old welders gauntlet (used as gardening gloves).  The smooth side is glued to flat pieces of scrap wood with room left for a handle.  I wasn't sure it suede would work but it worked fine.  I later started using metal polish (autosol) as "compound" on it.  That and use have made the strops quite smooth now & I sometimes use them for final strop/polish.

Edited by Tannin

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BTW My preferred final strop currently is often a power strop: I made a leather stropping wheel from 3x 4" circles of thick saddle leather fixed onto the  drill arbor from a cheap metal polishing kit, which I fit into an knackered old Bosch drill with a seized-up chuck (just enough movement to fit & tighten the drill arbor), which I clamp into my woodworking bench vice.  The drill has a speed control, which I set quite low.  I have the wheel spin away from me. I treated the new leather wheel with a little soap (soap or beeswax was recommended - probably to reduce unnecessary waste of compound?) & then green compound. It works very well.  Best of all, it cost me nothing, as I had all the parts before I thought about making it.

I am also currently experimenting with MDF.  I cut a large paddle from an off-cut that I had laying around, I strengthened the handle with a piece of scrap hardwood - it looks like a short cricket bat!  I put green compound on the rough side & white compound on the smooth side - no leather, just MDF.  The rough side seems a bit too rough but it does seem to work quite well, also both side are getting smooth, glazed even.  You could probably make a pretty good power stropping wheel out of MDF.

I also like the huge, long strop by a Scottish saddler on youtube (a forum member here too).  It looked like a length of wall stud with a long leather strap glued to it, covered in the saddler's own "compound": beef tallow & carborundum power (coarse compared to green or white compound).

Edited by Tannin

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Pretty basic questions on the rogue put on the Strop: Does one just apply more rogue on top of the rogue what was being used? and of course it doesn't take long for the rogue to turn black from the blade, Is the paste still pretty effective after it has turned black? And after I am done for the day do I just leave the old rogue on it, and add more on top of it the next time I start working again? 

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On 2017-01-12 at 3:36 PM, BEARable said:

Pretty basic questions on the rogue put on the Strop: Does one just apply more rogue on top of the rogue what was being used? and of course it doesn't take long for the rogue to turn black from the blade, Is the paste still pretty effective after it has turned black? And after I am done for the day do I just leave the old rogue on it, and add more on top of it the next time I start working again? 

Personally, I would use rouge.  I think it works better, even though rogues are everywhere and are less than a dime a dozen. :yeah:

Tom

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I just thought I would put a pic of my 2 strops on here, easy to make, white rouge, one strop has a soft rubber back, ( old mouse pad ) .  This for convex knife blades, and what I call a soft strop.  The knife is a custom made Stek knife.

resiz strop 1.jpg

resiz 2 strop 2.jpg

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