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TOPIC: Reloading Used Strops

Reloading Used Strops 10 months 3 weeks ago #11317

  • Geocyclist
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I have some questions about how to reload strops (leather and balsa) after they have been used:

1. How often do you reload with paste? How do you tell they need reloading or cleaning?

2. Do you clean or refinish the surface before reloading? (i.e. clean with alcohol or sand with sandpaper, etc.?)

3. When they are solid black do you clean only or clean and reload?
Last Edit: 10 months 3 weeks ago by Geocyclist.
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 10 months 3 weeks ago #11327

  • PhilipPasteur
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1. Watch and feel to tell whether they are working to my expectations. Those expectations are based upon how they worked with a fresh coat of abrasive.

2. I clean with minimal alcohol and recoat. I only use the sandpaper when surface irregularities become an issue, or when an alcohol wipe just doesn't get it. I have had lots of my strops in use for well over two years and lots of knives.. I have lapped them once.

3. If they are solid black... well it probably means a bit of cleaning is in order. Of course, after cleaning you need to recoat them.

That is for leather. I don't use my balsa strops that much. When they need attention, I will likely follow the same protocol.
Phil

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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 2 weeks ago #13916

  • knives2survive
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PhilipPasteur wrote:
1. Watch and feel to tell whether they are working to my expectations. Those expectations are based upon how they worked with a fresh coat of abrasive.

2. I clean with minimal alcohol and recoat. I only use the sandpaper when surface irregularities become an issue, or when an alcohol wipe just doesn't get it. I have had lots of my strops in use for well over two years and lots of knives.. I have lapped them once.

3. If they are solid black... well it probably means a bit of cleaning is in order. Of course, after cleaning you need to recoat them.

That is for leather. I don't use my balsa strops that much. When they need attention, I will likely follow the same protocol.

I've just reloaded my strops, and it does make a huge difference. I wasn't able to get them completely clean though before reloading them. I just made sure that I put the same paste on each one. :P
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 2 weeks ago #13919

  • razoredgeknives
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PhilipPasteur wrote:
1. Watch and feel to tell whether they are working to my expectations. Those expectations are based upon how they worked with a fresh coat of abrasive.

2. I clean with minimal alcohol and recoat. I only use the sandpaper when surface irregularities become an issue, or when an alcohol wipe just doesn't get it. I have had lots of my strops in use for well over two years and lots of knives.. I have lapped them once.

3. If they are solid black... well it probably means a bit of cleaning is in order. Of course, after cleaning you need to recoat them.

That is for leather. I don't use my balsa strops that much. When they need attention, I will likely follow the same protocol.

Phil, you can lap the leather w/ sandpaper? I didn't know that...
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 2 weeks ago #13925

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PhilipPasteur wrote:
1. I don't use my balsa strops that much. When they need attention, I will likely follow the same protocol.

Phil, I highly value your opinion on this forum, so I am very curious as to why you don't use your Balsa strops that much ? For me personally, I prefer those over the leather one by a large margin..........just something about the feel of them on the blade for me, the sponginess of the wood, and the less drag with them as opposed to the leather ones ) I feel like, for me anyway, that they are more controllable ? :unsure:
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 2 weeks ago #13930

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Darrell,

You know, I am not sure that there is a real definitive answer to the question. It is more a situation where I use what I have that works. I only have two paddles with balsa mounted on them. So that is 4 grits. When I got them I loaded them with the abrasives that I had. I used 3M pastes on them, which I found I am not all that fond of. As my collection of strops grew I focused on leather, mostly because I had lots of different grades on hand from making bench strops over the years. Further along I learned about Kangaroo and nanocloth. Now I have all of my sub-micron pastes on these strops. So I have different strops with horse butt, and different grades of (and tanning methods) of leather for the coarse pastes and sprays and the finest stuff on the 'roo and nano. I guess that with all of that going I just don't reach for the balsa strops that much, if at all. I suppose I could clean them up and apply some better abrasives, but I haven't seen the need. I guess this kind of thing happens when you have far more tools than you really "need" for a given job.

I suppose another part of this is that I am a creature of habit. I get something that works for me and I tend to stay with that until something comes along that is just so much better that it forces me to change things up. The bulk of the sharpening that I have been doing lately fits the pattern nicely. With limited time these days to devote to experimentation ... I just do what I do well and call it good.
Not very adventuresome, but expeditious...
:ohmy: ;)

So, it is not that I find anything intrinsically "wrong" with the balsa strops... I simply don't use the ones that I have. As usual, if you find that they work well for you, I wouldn't want to say anything that would discourage you from using them. That being said, if you get a chance to try some Kangaroo or, especially nanocloth (I think I could use these for all grades of abrasives and never look back!), I think you would be very happy with the results!!
Phil

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I miss you Buddy!
Last Edit: 7 months 2 weeks ago by PhilipPasteur.
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 1 week ago #13935

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PhilipPasteur wrote:
Darrell, if you get a chance to try some Kangaroo or, especially nanocloth (I think I could use these for all grades of abrasives and never look back!), I think you would be very happy with the results!!

Thanks for replying Ken..OOOOPs, I meant Phil, sorry, had Ken on my brain I guess........I actually just got in yesterday some of the WEPS Nanocloth platens from Ken Schwartz and some of his 4 micron CBN spray.........can't wait to try them out. ;-)
Last Edit: 7 months 1 week ago by DARRELLALLEN. Reason: typed to wroing person, meant Phil, not Ken
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 1 week ago #13938

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Short update from me. I reloaded some leather strops the other week. I cleaned with alcohol first then loaded paste. I let them set 24 hours before using. I moistened with alcohol before use (I always do this). Results were good. I could feel "more grip" of stiction.

Lately I have used both stops and balsa. I have duplicate sets in the low grits (14 to 0.5 micron). I start with 14 m balsa, then 14 m leather, 10 m balsa, 10 m letaher..... I use the same angle on both which is the same angle used for sharpening. Doing this I don't go super hard on the leather. (when I want to go hard with leather I drop the angle 1 degree). The balsa flexes less and feel more like a stone. I don't have a microscope. I can say the edge is very well polished, but it may just because in total the edge gets so many stokes.

I believe Phil said this, that he sometime uses only 5 and 3.5 stops. I have done this on EDC's when I don't want to spend the time. I find I get good results with this. It also works for touch ups too. If I only had 1 set of strops it would be these in leather.
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Re: Reloading Used Strops 7 months 1 week ago #13941

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PhilipPasteur wrote:
Darrell,

You know, I am not sure that there is a real definitive answer to the question. It is more a situation where I use what I have that works. I only have two paddles with balsa mounted on them. So that is 4 grits. When I got them I loaded them with the abrasives that I had. I used 3M pastes on them, which I found I am not all that fond of. As my collection of strops grew I focused on leather, mostly because I had lots of different grades on hand from making bench strops over the years. Further along I learned about Kangaroo and nanocloth. Now I have all of my sub-micron pastes on these strops. So I have different strops with horse butt, and different grades of (and tanning methods) of leather for the coarse pastes and sprays and the finest stuff on the 'roo and nano. I guess that with all of that going I just don't reach for the balsa strops that much, if at all. I suppose I could clean them up and apply some better abrasives, but I haven't seen the need. I guess this kind of thing happens when you have far more tools than you really "need" for a given job.

I suppose another part of this is that I am a creature of habit. I get something that works for me and I tend to stay with that until something comes along that is just so much better that it forces me to change things up. The bulk of the sharpening that I have been doing lately fits the pattern nicely. With limited time these days to devote to experimentation ... I just do what I do well and call it good.
Not very adventuresome, but expeditious...
:ohmy: ;)

So, it is not that I find anything intrinsically "wrong" with the balsa strops... I simply don't use the ones that I have. As usual, if you find that they work well for you, I wouldn't want to say anything that would discourage you from using them. That being said, if you get a chance to try some Kangaroo or, especially nanocloth (I think I could use these for all grades of abrasives and never look back!), I think you would be very happy with the results!!

So what's your favorite strop (other than nano and roo)? i'm looking for a cheap but good alternative to re-do a few of mine... have been researching oil tanned, veg. tanned, etc. I want something that holds the compound well but is not rock hard either. some type of leather like is on my straight razor paddle strop.
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Reloading Used Strops 7 months 1 week ago #13953

  • EamonMcGowan
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Darrell, For what it is worth and that's not much? :lol: I really like the balsa strops as well. If you get some spare coin try the 14/10 balsa. I was amazed at what a difference they make before using other strops or by themselves? I also really like the way they feel. ;)
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
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