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Stropping Discussions

TOPIC: Leather vs Balsa strops

Leather vs Balsa strops 2 years 2 months ago #4091

  • WayneNicklin
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Can some one explain to me when one material is more appropriate than the other in terms of stropping? So far been only using leather with various micro grits and seeing some amazing results.
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Re: Leather vs Balsa strops 2 years 2 months ago #4092

  • cbwx34
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Good question... on a related note, has there been any microscope pics of balsa finished edges? I've seen lots of leather, but can't recall any balsa. This might add some insight.
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Re: Leather vs Balsa strops 2 years 2 months ago #4094

  • wickededge
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I'll try to get some micrographs of balsa finished edges soon.
--Clay Allison
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Re: Leather vs Balsa strops 2 years 2 months ago #4096

  • KenBuzbee
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Photos would be great but I'd like a more philosophical discussion of this as well. Never tried balsa myself.

Ken
玉鋼
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Re: Leather vs Balsa strops 2 years 2 months ago #4097

  • PhilipPasteur
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Interesting, Clay posted a question about how much paste people use. I have been thinking about that a bit and doing some playing. I am still not quite ready to form an answer.
The balsa versus leather question is another that is similar. My approach has been to use the balsa strops with my finest compounds. The theory here was that the balsa would contribute less abrassiveness of its own to the process.
Check out this thread:

www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=c...=2399&Itemid=63#2431

Clay took a whole bunch of pictures of the results from using numerous different abrasives. There are lots of photos, but if you look you will find some that compare balsa and leather with the same abrasives. It seems that perhaps my theory wasn't all that accurate. Or perhaps better stated, the visual differences did not show a huge difference between the materials.

Lately I have been using 6, 3, 1, and 0.05 micron sprays on leather. I use the 0.125 and 0.1 on Kangaroo and the 0.05 and 0.025 spays on Nano Cloth.

Is this better? I am sure that it is better for shaving, but food prep or rope cutting is affected little that I can detect. Do I feel my knives are getting sharp and are mirror like, sure. Did I feel the same when using balsa, again, sure.

If someone just had to have an answer from me on what to use where, I would still tend to recommend that they use the balsa for their finer compounds. I don't think that would be bad advice, but I tend to think that they would likely not be able to detect a huge difference in their blade either way.

I do like the way that the balsa feels running over the blade better. It is very smooth, but as Clay points out, more stiction might actually be better if one is hoping to get some part of their results from burnishing. Of course this is something that I can't quite understand...

As with most things in the sharpening field, I would suggest that you try various combinations of compounds, leather and balsa to see what works in your system. Of course, the only way to objectively analyze your results would be to take some photmicrographs and to devise a method of testing sharpness.
OTH you might just sharpen up a few blades using the different materials and go out and use them..
:)

Phil
Phil

MAX 2001-2013
Hoping there is that bridge!
I miss you Buddy!
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Re: Leather vs Balsa strops 2 years 2 months ago #4099

  • StevenPinson
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OK, I will jump in ... hold my nose.

I have been using balsa strops exclusivly and I really like them. They allow the paste to be dampened again and again. I posted in another thread about using a toothbrush to keep the strops in order. Here is a ZT0300 that I used the old ceramics (1200/1600) and a progression of paste (.5, 1.0 micron), and spray (.125 micron) with the balsa. YMMV

i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m599/SPIN1963/DSCN0115.jpg

i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m599/SPIN1963/DSCN0110.jpg

i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m599/SPIN1963/ZT0300_1-1.jpg
Last Edit: 2 years 2 months ago by StevenPinson.
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