Stropping Knives And Tools
A lleather strop with compound is our favorite way to maintain the edges of our knives and tools between sharpenings.
A strop is a compressible strip of leather or other material that is used to sharpen and polish edges. It works by using the abrasive properties of the leather or a polishing compound to remove small amounts of metal from the edge of the blade, creating a sharper edge.
As the blade is drawn along the strop, it compresses the surface material. This causes the material to conform around the edge. So long as the blade is held at the correct angle and is not pressed into the strop too forcefully, this will create a micro convex bevel. Over time the edge can become too convex and will need to be flattened on stones.
Strops can be especially useful for wood carvers. Wood carving tools, such as gouges, can be difficult to sharpen. Only a small portion of the curved bevel can contact the abrasive surface of a stone. The fact that strops will conform around the bevel allows wood carvers to sharpen a larger area of their tool bevels with each pass.
Stropping is a great way to finish a sharpening session. Strops are great at removing burrs and giving a polished finish.
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