Phil, I just read your post above AFTER the question I just posted this morning about stropping that was linked to the post I just made on the Buck 450 recent sharpening...........I think you may have answered my question right here perfectly ! One question on this though......when you say to " increase the angle by a degree ", should I do that by sliding the arms out on the angle rod, or should I use the micro-fine adjustment screw on the arms, and if so, what would a degree be on that adjustment screw, a full 360 turn or what ? ( as it is hard to use the angle cube and measure a single degree.....at least in my rather limited experience ) Thanks for any help for this newb trying to learn all he can !
Do you have an angle cube? I use that device t set the angles. I guess it does not matter which method you use to change the angle. Of course the micro adjustments are easier to work with. Typically I start the setup with the micro adjustments centered in their travel so I have the max +/- adjustment available. I change angles of a degree or more using the adjustments made by moving the slider on the base bar. I don't think there would be anything wrong with leaving the slider in place and calibrating the amount or turns of the micro adjustments required to get your desired amount of angle change. I would have to check, but I don't think I get a full degree in either direction on the micro adjustments from their centered position.
The amount that you decrease the angle is really dependent on your stropping technique as well. If you, like Eamon, (and myself) use very light strokes, you may get away with a half degree decrease in angle. OTH, if you are stropping as Clay has described, with alcohol on the strops and lifting the base up with each stroke, you may want to decrease the angle by 2 degrees or more. The thing that you are trying to do is to finesse and refine the edge without rounding it. This becomes a balancing act of sorts. The key, after you understand the concept, is to try some different things and see what is working for you. My feather light is not likely identical to the pressure you would describe with the same term. As it is the interaction between the compliance of the stropping substrate, the amount of pressure used, and the angle, it would be difficult to set any sort of absolute rules for this.
Keep in mind the material compliance or give. The change in angle would be slightly different for leather versus balsa, or Kangaroo. Respectively they would require a descending amount of angle change. With nanocloth strops, I don't change the angle from my primary angle at all.
I hope that this helps!
Hoping there is that bridge!
I miss you Buddy!