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Cleaning (KME) Strops

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Sharperthansticks, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    I have a few KME strops I bought off of Reddit. (I experiment with lapping paper and strops.) How do you clean the (KME) strops? Do I even need to? The one I've been using is pretty black from a mixture of Tormec honing compound and steel. I've rubbed it on the edge of my workbench, which takes off some of the crap; just don't know how far I have to go to clean it.
     
  2. NORTHWEST_KNIFE_GUY

    NORTHWEST_KNIFE_GUY KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    343
    Jul 14, 2017
    Is it cow leather and is it grain or flesh side up (flesh being the fuzzy side). If you have a large pink eraser give that a go, normally works well overall.
     
  3. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    It's smooth leather of some kind. Just use an eraser?
     
  4. wade7575

    wade7575

    703
    Apr 3, 2013
    If you go them from KME or if they came with sharpener they will be Kangaroo leather most strop's for the KME are that leather unless your buying Nanocloth strop's.

    If the leather is not dried out just use the back side of a bank card and drag the edge across the strop if all your trying to do is remove the emulsion,there really is no need to treat the strop with anything.
    You could try Rubbing Alcohol I used it onetime on a strop to clean it off but I put diamond paste on it right away to get oil back into the strop because alcohol I would think it would dry the strop out.

    I have seen video's along time ago from people who sell strop's and they said to do the scraping method.
     
    Sharperthansticks likes this.
  5. NORTHWEST_KNIFE_GUY

    NORTHWEST_KNIFE_GUY KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    343
    Jul 14, 2017
    Yeah, normally works well unless really caked/dirty.
     
    Sharperthansticks likes this.
  6. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    674
    May 13, 2019
    The eraser is a really good method to clean them, and when they get too gunked up[ which may mean you are applying too much compound ] some leather/saddle soap is a good way to clean them, with a metal paint scraper too get all the thick gunk off. Then a small amount of leather conditioner, let dry overnight, then reapply compound.
     
    stitchawl and Sharperthansticks like this.
  7. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    This was my first time stropping, so I am pretty sure I put way too much compound on the strop. Between a metal scraper and a leather cleaner, I think I'll probably be good to go.

    Edit: stripping->stropping.

    Damned autocorrect!
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  8. cudgee

    cudgee Gold Member Gold Member

    674
    May 13, 2019
    Remember one thing about stropping compound "LESS IS MORE". You only need a light application, you can apply more if needed, but you cannot remove once applied. If i can make a suggestion, scrape off as much as you can with a metal scraper, give it a good clean with leather cleaner, let dry overnight, apply a small amount of leather conditioner, let it dry overnight, then apply new compound. Then keep up your maintenance with a eraser every few months, then you won't have a build up of compound and have to do a complete clean so often. If you need any help, just ask, only too keen to help.:thumbsup:
     
    stitchawl and Sharperthansticks like this.
  9. wade7575

    wade7575

    703
    Apr 3, 2013
    I a diamond paste I get from the Ukraine and you don't get the same build up as you do with the green stuff,I forgot to mention I used that because there is a big difference in how the one works from the other.
     
  10. Sharperthansticks

    Sharperthansticks Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2017
    By the way, with regard to the question of where I got the strops, they are not official KME strops; there's a guy on the knife_swap forum on Reddit who makes strops for the KME. His strops are already attached to an aluminum blank, and they are of the correct thickness, so you don't have to compensate for anything.
     
  11. kreisler

    kreisler

    315
    May 11, 2012
    on leather, i found that cleaning off compound (wax- or oil- based) with alcohol is the way to go. it doesn't dry out my leather. using oil for cleaning is worse because the oil builds up in the leather.

    you'll end up with a wet soft leather ready to bin.
     

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