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Stropping Discussions

TOPIC: Stropping Angle

Stropping Angle 1 year 11 months ago #5682

  • TPeters
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When stropping what angle should be used?

If I sharpen a knife at 20 degrees should I strop at the same angle or should I strop at a lessor angle, say 19 degrees? The only strops I currently have are leather.

Or is this practice only used when you are trying to convex the bevel. Say you sharpen at 17 degrees, micro bevel at 20 degrees then should you strop at 19 degrees?

This knife sharpening sure can get involve ;) but I am having a blast! :woohoo:
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Re: Stropping Angle 1 year 11 months ago #5683

  • WayneNicklin
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All of that is valid. The real key is to strop lightly. It's ok to strop at the same angle lightly. By increasing to 19 your attempting to effect the angle only and not touch the edge. For touch ups it's ok to strop at the same angle.as the final bevel.only by trial and error to you figure out what's right for you. If this is your personal knife and it becomes maintenance it's one thing. If your doing some else's knife to hand off you might be using a different technique based on what you negotiate with the other person.
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Re: Stropping Angle 1 year 11 months ago #5685

  • cbwx34
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I think the short answer is, find what works for you. I've come to the conclusion that good stropping results depends on a lot of factors that "intertwine", so what works for one person, may not work for another. For example, one person can strop at the same angle with light pressure, another might lower the angle and increase the pressure. I actually get good results with light stropping at a higher angle, (which is why I was bummed that Clay's microscope pic doing this showed a lot of rounding... my results seem to differ). :blink: Add to that the variety in leather, compounds, etc., and it's easier to just experiment with a few variables, like the ones you mentioned, and "dial in" what works for you.

I'll add, in addition to angle, pressure, etc., another factor to work with is the amount you do. Try a few strokes, like 1/2 dozen, vs. doing a bunch (which is what a lot of sharpeners do to polish the bevel). Another factor to play with. B)
WayneNicklin wrote:
...only by trial and error to you figure out what's right for you.

After writing all the above... Wayne had it in his answer. :silly: :lol:
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by cbwx34.
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Re: Stropping Angle 1 year 11 months ago #5686

  • ApexGS
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I keep bouncing back and forth between -1 degree and keeping the same angle. Both work very well, but for some reason with my technique (which is very light pressure, after some practice) I seem to get a much sharper "feel" when keeping the same angle. I'm not sure why that is, because both cut equally well in my basic tests and normal use.

So I guess I can just add +1 to the trial and error advice!
Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith!
- Tom
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Re: Stropping Angle 1 year 11 months ago #5687

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The strops work mostly by drawing or smearing the metal across the surface of the bevel, burnishing it. If you're stropping on the same angle, it's conceivable that you're drawing the metal right to the edge and actually pulling it out to a finer apex. This is a topic I'm really curious about but will probably need access to a SEM to study it. Even at 2000x I can't get a good clear measurement of the edge thickness.
ApexGS wrote:
I keep bouncing back and forth between -1 degree and keeping the same angle. Both work very well, but for some reason with my technique (which is very light pressure, after some practice) I seem to get a much sharper "feel" when keeping the same angle. I'm not sure why that is, because both cut equally well in my basic tests and normal use.

So I guess I can just add +1 to the trial and error advice!
--Clay Allison
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Re: Stropping Angle 1 year 11 months ago #5688

  • wickededge
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Here are a nice pair of images at 2000x:

200-New-Sm.jpg

The image above is of the edge after being sharpened with relatively new 200# diamond plates.

200-New-and-40-Strokes-14um-Strops-Sm.jpg

The image above is of the edge after I completed 40 strokes with the 14 micron diamond and leather strops immediately after the 200# diamond plates. It's easy to see how the metal was both abraded by the stropping paste and moved around by the 'stiction' of the leather, pushing the peaks of the ridges into the valleys and rounding them out.
--Clay Allison
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