Stropsanity: Compounds, Substrates, and the Godstones

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Beansandcarrots, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Baron Mind

    Baron Mind

    124
    Mar 30, 2018
    Soooo what are you saying? You do not subscribe to deburring with edge leading strokes on a stone, instead of you advocate for a few light pressure edge leading strokes to weaken the burr, the edge trailing strokes on a fine stone, followed by high angle passes on a hard strip? Finishing with a few passes on a strop at the same angle as your edge bevel?

    Ok. I don't see anything groundbreaking here, but seems like a valid technique.
     
  2. Barmaley

    Barmaley

    167
    Dec 31, 2016
    I read on another forum that cheap compounds have more wax than abrasive. Is wax good for a strop and how much wax is too much?
     
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  3. kreisler

    kreisler

    595
    May 11, 2012
    I've combusted:D the 3yr old one, and the replacement 4$ CN strop has been shipped yet; the lowest grit sandpaper i have around is 360grit MATADOR. Today i tried the sanding of a leather strop, i had to build a test unit first with rubbing alcohol, carpet tape, black plastic RUIXIN base, some thick leather, steel ruler, MILWAUKEE cutter, MATADOR sandpaper. I have two different kinds of leather and noticed that the thickness of the smooth side layer varies greatly between the two:
    [​IMG]

    Naturally i picked the leather with the thicker smooth side layer because we were going to sand it down by a bit. The cuttting was fun and fast:
    [​IMG]

    I have enough spares of leather stripes and some balsa stripes for future RUIXIN-compatible builds:
    [​IMG]

    From the time stamps of the photos i could tell that this mini build took 2.0h, most of which consumed by the sanding efforts (2x #360, 2x #400):
    [​IMG]

    Leather powder, yumm. Here the two leather surfaces before and after the sanding. After the sanding, the hair(?) pores are gone and the surface is flat and super smooth. And dry:
    [​IMG]

    The dry leather soaks in/absorbs my liquid SiC stropping paste instantaneously. I like it:
    [​IMG]

    Sanding the leather is a great method for mean-flattening the leather AND making it smoother and more absorbing for liquid compounds (diamond emulsions, sprays, SiC pastes), highly recommended:thumbsup: to those who do leather stropping.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  4. NORTHWEST_KNIFE_GUY

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

    456
    Jul 14, 2017
    Nice write up kreisler! :thumbsup:
     
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  5. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    Feb 28, 2015
    I don't understand the metaphor; why do you prefer the wood strops to leather?
     
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  6. kreisler

    kreisler

    595
    May 11, 2012
    techniqueA: i hold the knife still in my left hand and, with the staff in my right hand, strike the knife's edge with the staff. the striking movement makes my right arm/elbow move a lot, similar to operating a violion's bow. that's the physical analogy. and typically your right wrist is locked, you adjust the stropping angle by lifting\lowering your arm\elbow.
    techniqueB: with a leather strop, you do the opposite; holding the strop still in your left hand and, with the knife in your right hand, strike the knife along the leather. typically your right wrist is loose, and most stropping movement is generated from the wrist.

    often i prefer techniqueA because i find it physically/visually easier to maintain the exact stropping angle ymmv. apart from that, since the wood is hard and my stropping angle matches the bevel angle, the wood doesn't micro-convex the apex, and i can exert more pressure when needed/wanted. techniqueA becomes the natural choice if your "knife" is big/massive/long/heavy, think of sword. even if your leather strop were 2ft long, you wouldn't use techniqueB for stropping a sword. you would set the (tip of the) sword down on the ground and then strike a piece of wood along the sword's edge, i.e. strike the sword's edge with a piece of wood. the sword doesn't move, the wood moves. that's techniqueA, voila.

    for very small knives, techniqueA can be cumbersome, and techniqueB would be more energy-efficient, more effortless. sure, then i'd choose techniqueB, if i feel like it.

    but here is another great counter example: the mini blade of the Vinox MiniChamp! even though it is a super small blade, techniqueA would still be my preference. With techniqueB you'd have to maintain the stropping angle with your right hand's fingers but that's super difficult because of the small shape/size of the MiniChamp's handle. imho it's easier to hold the MiniChamp still in my left hand and proceed with techniqueA.

    IMHO any knife lover should be familiar with techniqueA and make a conscious choice between the two whenever a particular knife/blade requires some stropping. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  7. kreisler

    kreisler

    595
    May 11, 2012
    just had another thought why techniqueA is so 2140 advantageous.

    with techniqueB, you could, but you probably DON'T, use a black Sharpie marker on the blade's bevel and then check after each stroke on the leather(!), if you've hit the bevel at the perfect stropping angle. (And on leather, what is the perfect stropping angle anyway??) And even if you used the Sharpie trick, that would be "useless" because you can check only after you're done with the stroke; you turn the blade, look at the stropped bevel side, assess the needed angle adjustment, turn the blade back towards the leather, do the angle adjustment in your wrist (How good is your wrist muscle memory?), and continue with the leather stropping .. not knowing if your stropping angle is perfect by now (is it really?), until you check again once you feel like checking again. the softer the leather, the more forgiving is techniqueB, if you don't strop at the perfect angle (which imho should match the bevel angle); but a softer leather also rounds off shoulders and apex more and more with every added stropping session, from nano-convexing to micro-convexing. the harder the stropping surface (extreme: 302UF, or a 3000grit+ whetstone), the more difficult/impossible it becomes to get the stropping angle right .. especially if you do the conventional 'balancing strokes', i.e. 1 single sweeping stroke to cover the entire length of the bevel. To circumvent this physical coordinative difficulty, sharpening pro's like @Michael_Christy don't do balancing strokes but strop the blade in 1cm-sections, always checking/adjusting the perfect angle before proceeding to the next 1cm-section (@NORTHWEST_KNIFE_GUY does a similar wood stropping technique, i.e. with no balancing strokes on wood). i like that, i sometimes strop like the too two.

    with techniqueA, you get to use the black Sharpie marker (because who cares if your wood staff gets blacker), which allows you to see and adjust in real-time the stropping angle to the perfect stropping angle (matching the bevel angle) because the bevel side is facing upwards: as you strike the bevel with the wood staff, you immediately see whether the Sharpie marking gets taken away or not, and can adjust your right arm/elbow height during the stroke, and then fix that right arm/elbow height. interestingly, even after the black marker is gone, it is still possible to see if you keep stropping at the perfectly adjusted angle: my wood staff is slightly(!) overloaded with compound, and stropping at a steeper than the bevel angle would leave compound residues in the middle of the bevel height. Clearly, if i strike the bevel with my wood staff and the bevel isn't shiny clean after the one stroke, then it means that i didn't hit the perfect angle (and that i should re-strike the bevel at an on-the-fly adjusted stropping angle, until the bevel is shiny clean, free from compound residues). similarly to @Michael_Christy's approach, the best way to apply techniqueA is by proceeding in 1cm sections: start at the heel area, do 1-2 straight strokes (seeing that your stroke matched the bevel angle and wiped the bevel section clean), then move 1cm further to the next blade section, do 1-2 straight strokes there, move another 1cm, do 1-2 strokes, etc, until you've reached the tip area. each stroke works only 1inch of the blade length at a time. why 1inch? Because that's the width of the wood staff, and your strokes are straight (i.e. in direction of the wood staff's longitudinal axis). you shouldn't try sweeping 'balancing strokes' which cover the entire blade length with a single stroke; well, you could try!, and then learn how difficult a balancing stroke with techniqueA is, and you don't gain anything with it.

    I hope i could get the point across in this post. In summary, techniqueB is blind (because the bevel is down, facing the leather), whereas techniqueA is visual: the bevel is up, What You See Is What You Get. Instant visual feedback allowing for instant arm/elbow/manual correction :cool:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  8. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    Feb 28, 2015
    This is an advantage of an Edge Pro as well. I do a kind of freehanding on the Edge Pro where I tilt the blade as needed to hit what I want, using this instant feedback as I go.
     
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  9. kreisler

    kreisler

    595
    May 11, 2012
    ah yes, true. basically the techniqueA is like an Edge Pro, just all without the Edge Pro parts :D
     
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  10. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    Feb 28, 2015
    Training wheels. :)
     
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  11. Whitou

    Whitou

    11
    May 13, 2020
    (Still new to all this, forgive me if my point is stupid, just searching for enlightenment here...)
    Kreisler, why don't you use this technique with your ruixin ? Chopping your Action stirring staff to the required size & glue them to the support ? Would it be a viable option ?
     
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  12. kreisler

    kreisler

    595
    May 11, 2012
    hi @Whitou , thanks for your interest in my unorthodox stuffz presented on this forum :D
    when i feel like guided stropping, i.e. stropping with my ruixin, then i use "techniqueA" on the ruixin, yes. I call it the PTS method (paper tape stropping method, using paper tape on balsa wood on the black plastic base) and it works great. I tried wood strops (your question) and leather strops on the ruixin, but came to the conclusion that PT-strops are what works best for me as strops for the ruixin; it's a matter of experience. Now you could ask, why doht i use use PT-strops for techniqueA (not your question)? The main difference between techniqueA and the PTS method is that the former is freehand, the latter is guided. In theory, or in principle, one could use a PT-strop for techniqueA, or a wood staff for ruixin stropping. But in practice, the stropping results differ and i dunno why (and i don't mind the reasons). What matters is the conclusion and ultimate recommendation, what works best in practice:
    • You enjoy guided stropping, like on an Edge Pro, Ruixin, Lansky, etc? Then a sequence of (DIY or commercial grade) PT-strops works best, i.e. better than compatible leather strops or compatible wood strops. That's just my experience, what i have found.
    • You prefer freehanded stropping? Then, for a particular knife, make a conscious choice between techniqueB (using a leather or balsa strop, loaded with diamond spray) and techniqueA (using a hard wood staff, loaded with compound).
    Ah in practice, there is one essential difference: Freehanded or guided doesn't matter, with PT-strops and leather strops you strop with light pressure because the soft-ish material would roll around the apex otherwise (nano-convexing or even dulling effect); a guided wood strop (your question) isn't very effective with such light pressure that one uses for operating a ruixin. A guided PT-strop is the improved version of a guided wood strop, so to speak. On the other hand, with techniqueA i use notable pressure with no ill effect; no ill effect because the stropping angle matches 100% the bevel angle and the hard-ish wood material cannot roll around the apex. If i used a PT-strop or leather strop with techniqueA, i could match 100% the bevel angle too but the natural pressure involved in this technique would eventually dull the apex. That's why techniqueA should be done with a wood staff, and not with a PT-strop or a leather strop (not your question).

    ((yee i guess it would be more efficient if i produced a youtube clip demonstrating the techniqueA and chatting about it instead of writing all these 2221 lengthy posts which make you scratch your heads;) .. but i am more of a writer guy than a talking dude and engrish isn't my native tongue. you never hear me talking in my vids :poop:))
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
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  13. Whitou

    Whitou

    11
    May 13, 2020
    You're welcome ! Your posts are the main reason I signed up on this forum ;)

    Thank you for your (once again :p) detailed answer. Starting to be more clear to me... BTW, I went to my local Action shop & bought paint stirring staff, thx for the tip !
     
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  14. kreisler

    kreisler

    595
    May 11, 2012
    Congrats to the original purchase! you must be located in EU then, oic ;)

    maybe i forgot to mention.. holding the knife fixed/still in your left hand can feel awkward, depending on which blade side is facing up. as a righty, i hold the staff always in my right hand (with a firm grip and a pretty stiff wrist, as i please). usually i start with stropping the 'right blade side', because holding the knife firm/fixed in your left hand with the 'right' blade side facing up feels most natural. once i am done "playing the violin" on that side, i need to turn the knife "by 180°" somehow so that the 'left blade side' would be facing up. When you now try to "play the violin" on this 'left' blade side (more accurately: the 'left' bevel side), the knife's tip will point toward your body (chest, heart, breast, cleavage :p). so make sure that you hold the knife really fixed in your left hand to avoid accidental self-stabbing! at this very point you might think that techniqueA feels awkward or costs efforts/energy and is less elegant. sure, agreed! but learn and do it anyway, depending on the particular knife/blade/tool/sword at hand, because the main advantages of techniqueA are convincing:
    • immediate visual feedback allowing for on-the-fly correction of stropping angle; no more blind stropping!
    • physically easy to maintain (or control) the perfect stropping angle
    • stropping at the exact bevel angle, stropping with no give, stropping with pressure => effective abrasion/deburring, with no nano-convexing of apex
    the other advantages (easy preparation, simple maintenance, inexpensive replacement, ..) are secondary.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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  15. Whitou

    Whitou

    11
    May 13, 2020
    Well I’m in France so yup we’re basically neighbors!
    Maybe you should do a short violin video ? :D
     
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  16. wade7575

    wade7575

    Apr 3, 2013
  17. UncleBoots

    UncleBoots Gold Member Gold Member

    94
    May 27, 2020
    Incredible post. Loved it, very informative. But I'm having trouble following the part where you said your incredible honing stone collection was a waste of money, then you seemed to praise these stones a lot. Did I miss some sarcasm?

    Edit: OK, I finally got it on the third read-through. You weren't saying the 16K Shapton etc were a waste of money, I think you were saying the Spyderco, India etc were a waste of money, as strops.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  18. UncleBoots

    UncleBoots Gold Member Gold Member

    94
    May 27, 2020
    In a moment of weakness, and completely as a result of your post, I ordered the insane Shapton 30K stone. I love my Shapton glass stones, and have used them for decades, but always had derisive thoughts about that stone. Ha ha, what are you trying to do, float a Kleenex onto your Samurai sword, and have it part in the middle? What do you need a stone like that for? But the thought that it might be the ultimate deburring tool gave me pause.

    It arrived yesterday, and I've deburred 7 knives with it (actually asked a neighbor whether he had any knives that needed sharpening, guess I'm addicted). Wow. It worked so well that I am glaring at my strops and diamond pastes, and saying "what would you say...you do here?" Thanks for the recommendation, never would have guessed this.
     
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  19. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    451
    Apr 15, 2014
    Yes, exactly. The, sort of, initial collection of the “hard deburring stones” were massively outperformed by the “godstone” Shapton 16k, 30k and Gokumyo 20k

    Expensive stones, but I absolutely love them for deburring. I’m glad you feel the same way!
     
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  20. Mr.Wizard

    Mr.Wizard

    Feb 28, 2015
    @UncleBoots @Beansandcarrots Would you please describe the deburring method(s) you are using with these stones? How fine are you taking the edge before deburring? Are there any signs that you are scratching the superfine stone?
     

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