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View Full Version : Lay a little leather on me.


Mo-Dave
07-18-2012, 12:07 AM
My knives are starting to need a good sharpening and I have been meaning to take a few down stairs for a good tune up. went down stairs for something else yesterday and saw one of my leather strops on the workbench so I loaded it up with some compound and took it back to the kitchen.

I have forgotten how effective a leather strop is, after a few swipes on a steel and a few more on the strop, they are almost as good as new and much better than if I had only used a steel.

I have 4 different kinds of compounds but mostly use a green block. I had a couple old real leather belts I cut up and made into strops after attaching them to a strip of wood. These are working great but I know they sell leather strops and some are not even leather, all pre made but these seem to do the job.

For those that have not used a strop you really must try it. You will need some kind of compound, Amazon has some but many other sources are out there and they are not very expensive. Before I cut up a leather belt, I used the back of a leather welding glove.

Years ago, I saw people use them all the time but now a days you don't see them much. I also never really thought they could really make a difference but they do. I see that some of today's high end knife sharpening systems are starting to include some kind of leather strops.

I find it to be kind of relaxing process, a little like sharpening stones but even more so and you don't run the risk of removing hardly any metal.

Give it a try I think you will like it.
Dave

Q-Dat
07-18-2012, 01:13 AM
I bought some leather scraps a while back to make strops out of, but just haven't gotten around to it.

Which side of the leather do you use? I have read examples of people doing either.

Mo-Dave
07-18-2012, 01:54 AM
I bought some leather scraps a while back to make strops out of, but just haven't gotten around to it.

Which side of the leather do you use? I have read examples of people doing either.

I just use the untreated side and on a couple I took a palm sander with a fine grit, to the rough side, making them smoother. Make sure you get some compound of some kind. There are paste, blocks and sprays. I use the green block most of the time and unless you are doing sharpening for a business it should last a lifetime almost. The different colors are ued for different results.
Dave

Bluesman
07-18-2012, 08:27 AM
Leather work is another one of my hobbies. And a strop is essential to keeping my knives and tools sharp. You can make one, but just buying it is way easier. To make one you want a peice of hardwood and a thin stiff peice of leather. Use and oak board 4" x 12" x 3/4" and a peice of 4/5 oz leather. Use ocntact cement to adhere the leather to the wood. Glue the flesh side to the board. This leaves the hair or smooth side for the strop. The best rouge to use for this is green. Rub the rouge on the strop and there you have it. The strop polishes the knives edge and removes the burr from stone and or steel sharpening. Onece you use them, they work great. Oh, you want the strop to be stiff so the blade doesnt depress the leather. If this happens you will have a beautiful round edge.

jacksedona
07-18-2012, 08:34 AM
thank you for this post. I have always had problems keeping the knifes hear sharp ,they are all full except for the knifes i have with surgical steel. I never heard of a stroup until this post,all i knew was metal sharpening systems . thank you for educating me.

Is there a stroup you recommend that you mentioned was on Amazon,and please explain what compound is?

http://thebarbecuemaster.net

Bluesman
07-18-2012, 08:41 AM
thank you for this post. I have always had problems keeping the knifes hear sharp ,they are all full except for the knifes i have with surgical steel. I never heard of a stroup until this post,all i knew was metal sharpening systems . thank you for educating me.

Is there a stroup you recommend that you mentioned was on Amazon,and please explain what compound is?

http://thebarbecuemaster.net

Here's were I got my last one. Pick a size that will fit your knives. You don't want it to short. Also pick the "smooth" option. The green compound is on the same page.
http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Strops-C11.aspx?UserID=24698703&SessionID=SL5zapAQZEB{ELoWj2TW

Smoking Westy
07-18-2012, 08:53 AM
Leather strop is about the only thing I use on my knives. Works great!

Mine's two sided, the black side is used to bring the edge back up (and really is all that is needed) and the green further polishes the edge. I had a kydex protector made for mine as I often take it with me camping and hunting.

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s290/mjweste/Bark%20River/IMG_3648.jpg

Mo-Dave
07-18-2012, 09:34 AM
thank you for this post. I have always had problems keeping the knifes hear sharp ,they are all full except for the knifes i have with surgical steel. I never heard of a stroup until this post,all i knew was metal sharpening systems . thank you for educating me.

Is there a stroup you recommend that you mentioned was on Amazon,and please explain what compound is?

http://thebarbecuemaster.net

Bluesman advice is very good and the site he has posted is a good place to start. I am no way an expert on the subject, I just know that as much talk on the subject of knives and knife sharpening I can't recall anything said about leather strops. After rediscovering them I just felt it necessary to give them a mention for those like yourself that may not have considered them.

I really need to not be so cheap sometimes and go and get some strops that are already made, they will probably do a better job them my re-purposed leather belts.

I have 4 blocks of compound, black for very rough edges, green the most common used and two white block or stick as they are sometimes called, one for polishing and one for a mirror finish, I suggest the green and maybe one of the white not sure there is that much difference in the two white ones. I don't even see anything but the green compound on the site Bluesman posted and there is a reason for that.

If you use a strop I think your knives will not see a sharpening system for a long time and save the metal on your knives.
Dave

Mo-Dave
07-19-2012, 03:24 PM
(Shameless Bump here).

I am going to order the double sided strop and noticed the balsa wood. They are cheap. I still want to get the leather strop but thinking about the balsa wood and just thought I would ask if anyone here has used them and what they think about them