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Stropping Discussions

TOPIC: Functional Difference in Strop Media

Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 1 week ago #10335

  • JacobWilson
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Hey all, long time lurker/first time poster here.

I was wondering about stropping. I have a a Pro Pack 1 en route with the 1200/1600 stones.

I switched the regular leather strops for Kangaroo leather and upgraded to 1/.5 micron paste. Eventually, I'd like to have a set of Balsa and Nano cloth with different pastes and sprays per each.

Originally I had planned the 1/.5 on the Roo, .25/.125 on the Balsa, and .05/.025 on the Nano.

My question is along these lines: I figured the Nano cloth is best for the finest micron mixture because it has almost no traceable micron level while blank. Would the paste and sprays work as I have them listed, or should they be switched?
Last Edit: 1 year 1 week ago by JacobWilson.
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 1 week ago #10342

  • JacobWilson
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I guess the real question I'm trying to get at is the functional difference between certain media.

It's seems obvious that Nano Cloth is good for sub micron grits because the media has no grit quality--unlike another media which might have an inherent grit quality very close to the minuscule micron sprays. But Nano Cloth, for the same reasons, would work GREAT with larger grit sizes. Why would one choose Roo over Nano? Why would I choose basic leather over Roo?

There is the small difference in toughness of the media resulting in convexing edges. But other than that, what's the logic behind not buying all Nano-Cloth or all Roo and loading the different compounds on the same media?

The only other explanation I can think of is the progression of technology resulting in new products that stand beside existing products. Basic leather is trumped by balsa which is trumped by Roo which is trumped by Nano--but all are still sold together.

Thoughts?
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 1 week ago #10343

  • SamuelGabriel
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It's just a personal thing, but I'd prefer to finish with leather strops with no diamonds on it, just neatsfoot oil rubbed in, as the barbers used to use to strop their straight razors. The burnishing effect that leather has on a metal bevel is not replicated by any man-made synthetic substance. But I'm not necessarily suggesting that for you, as I haven't used the nano cloth myself.
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 1 week ago #10346

  • JacobWilson
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SamuelGabriel wrote:
It's just a personal thing, but I'd prefer to finish with leather strops with no diamonds on it, just neatsfoot oil rubbed in, as the barbers used to use to strop their straight razors. The burnishing effect that leather has on a metal bevel is not replicated by any man-made synthetic substance. But I'm not necessarily suggesting that for you, as I haven't used the nano cloth myself.
Right! That's a good point. Forgot about burnishing. With just the Nano, all you'd get is a grit scratch pattern, whereas with Leather you'll get the pattern plus the smearing of molecules. That probably explains why Clay's microscope pictures of balsa vs leather favored the leather much more. Thanks!
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 1 week ago #10354

  • cbwx34
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You've asked some great questions. I'm sure some of the answer is cost... the regular leather is not as expensive. Plus, there's a question of whether you'd benefit from using "coarser" abrasives on the nano cloth or 'Roo strops. One advantage you would have though is consistency. The 'Roo and nano cloths are thinner too, which means less chance of "rounding" the edge.

Don't know what your goals are, but one thing to consider is going "too fine too soon". You'll improve the edge going to the 1/.5 pastes, but you probably won't polish out the marks of the coarser stones or ceramics. Just thought I'd mention it.... again, it depends on what you want.

Hope others chime in on some of this.
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 1 week ago #10355

  • JacobWilson
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cbwx34 wrote:
You've asked some great questions. I'm sure some of the answer is cost... the regular leather is not as expensive. Plus, there's a question of whether you'd benefit from using "coarser" abrasives on the nano cloth or 'Roo strops. One advantage you would have though is consistency. The 'Roo and nano cloths are thinner too, which means less chance of "rounding" the edge.

Don't know what your goals are, but one thing to consider is going "too fine too soon". You'll improve the edge going to the 1/.5 pastes, but you probably won't polish out the marks of the coarser stones or ceramics. Just thought I'd mention it.... again, it depends on what you want.

Hope others chime in on some of this.

Thanks! I'm not too worried about cost. I'm going to take my time acquiring things.

My plan is to add Micro Ceramics and Chosera later on before I go all the way with the strops--I just want to get things straight in my head. I want to maintain as much of a V-edge as I can, so I'll probably stick with Roo and Nano. Roo for the coarser stuff where the natural grit won't have an affect and Nano for the crazy sprays.
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 4 days ago #10391

  • PhilipPasteur
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Hello Jacob and Samuel,
I just wanted to point something out. Burnishing is using a tool of a harder material to smooth the surface of a softer material. It is really caused whe the harder material applies enough force to overcome the yeild strenght of the softer material thus enabling a plastic flow of the softer material. This cannot really happen when rubbing hardened steel with leather. Leather would certainly not smear molecules of steel.
Leahther has abrasives in it that do affect steel, but you are abrading at a fine level and polishing...because of those abrasives. You are definitely refining the edge, but certainly not by burnishing.

To comment on the different media, I think that they all have a place in a progression depending on what your gola is. The leather has its own intrinsic abrasive, but it is typically swamped by sprays or pastes applied in quantity down to around one micron (just my experience, not an exact measurement). It also, depending on the type of leather and pressure used is very effective at getting some convexing at the edge of the edge. Leahter is plentiful and cheap. This adds to its value as a medium

Bals has less abrasives of its own and is stiffer. This makes it suitable for finer grits than the leather. Because it is stiff, it does not contribute as much to convexing.It is also relatively inexpensive.

The Kangaroo, as described here recently by Ken Schwartz is an improvement on the previous two in that it is smoother than the leather, has less abrasive of its own, and when mounted directly on aluminum, has very little give. It will hardly convex an edge, like balsa and can be used with finer abrasives because it does not contribute its own.

Nano cloth is just the next in the progression thank to Ken. You con use the finest spryas down to 0.050 and 0.025 microns diiamonds without being concerned about the medai contributing anything.

Now I would not say that balsa trumped leather...etc. I would say that the different media have a place in progressions used to accmplish different goals. If you want to conves your edge a bit, easiuly, you would use leather. If you want to go nuts with a progression, you would go to the nanocloth with fractional micron abrasives.

I have all of the mentioned strops. For 98% of the blades that I sharpen, I finish with the 1 and 0.5 micron sprays on leather.

I wouldn't bother putting 13 micron spray on nanocloth, because I can use leather which is cheaper and the results will be very close. The same would be said about Kangaroo. I really think that above one micron, you could use balsa and be OK and get pretty similar results.

The right tool for the right job... Try them all and I think you will agree that each media has its place in your tool kit.
Phil

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I miss you Buddy!
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 3 days ago #10405

  • cbwx34
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I don't disagree with anything you (Phil) said, but I've thought about this thread (a lot) since Jacob first posted the question. There is something to be said for consistency... plus having reread some of the old threads where Clay was testing some of the various strops and abrasives and looking under the 'scope (and there was a few surprises)... I too am curious what an entire progression of all 'roo or nanocloth would do. Maybe we'd get a better result out of 14m sprayed on nanocloth... never know without trying?

Surprised actually that noone's done it (or maybe they just haven't posted on it).
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 3 days ago #10406

  • Mikedoh
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Wow CB
You've got five 7's under your moniker.
Time to go to Vegas
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Re: Functional Difference in Strop Media 1 year 3 days ago #10408

  • wickededge
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Mikedoh wrote:
Wow CB
You've got five 7's under your moniker.
Time to go to Vegas

I'm tempted to wreck it by adding more Karma, but it's too cool looking :)
--Clay Allison
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