1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

  2. Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Kizer 1034A1 Gingrich Bush Knife & Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter, , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!

    Be sure to read the rules before entering, then help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread! Entries close at midnight, Saturday Sept 7!

    Once the entries close, we'll live stream the drawing on Sunday, Sept 8 at 5PM Eastern. Tune in to our YouTube channel TheRealBladeForums for a chance to win bonus prizes!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

New strop

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Kai Winters, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    Hi all,
    Got a bit of 6u Dia Paste from Blade HQ yesterday and with a piece of 3/16 balsa from a local craft shop and a piece of leather pillaged from an old couch a neighbor was tossing I made a nice little strop.
    It works quite nicely.

  2. tshows


    Apr 26, 2015
    Looks Good. Enjoy.
  3. mycough


    May 20, 2007
    How do you know it works nicely? Did you case the leather? 6mic is close to a 3000 grit shapton if memory serves, What is your desired result when stropping with this paste? Just curious why you picked 6mic?

  4. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    It works nicely? Because the edge has a higher polish than when I started.
    Desired result? A bit more polish.
    Why 6u? It is a bit higher than the Lansky "Blue Sapphire" I usually use prior to stropping with black then green compounds. I'm using Bark River brand compounds. I've used compounds sold at big boxes...Sears, etc. and find the BK compound to be better...perhaps a higher percentage of grit to wax compared to the others I've tried.
    I notice some metal residue on the diamond paste strop so I guess it is working as the residue means it is removing some surface material as it polishes.

    I use a Lansky system with a combination of diamond, Arkansas and ceramic hones to sharpen followed by stropping for the final edge.
    I wanted to "try" diamond paste and considered the 6u a reasonable step after the green compound.
    I don't feel the need or desire, thus far hehehe, to go any farther...the edge on my ZT770cf has a nice polish. To test the cutting edge I use paper from telephone books...if the edge cuts cleanly and smoothly without any "grabs" I consider it sharp...I use a microscope, at work, to inspect my work...honestly not a great idea in general because I never remove every micro marks???...need a more accurate word...but the edge tops arm hair and slices through telly book paper at all points I use without grabs...sharp and shiny enough for me.
  5. mycough


    May 20, 2007
    Fair enough, glad it is working for you. The paste will cut the higher alloy steels that the bark river black and green will only burnish.
    When you get the itch, try some 1mic or .5mic, I think you will not the result. Try lightly sanding some balsa and skip the leather, apply the paste to the balsa itself. Less chance of rounding an edge when stropping.
    Have fun, sharp is where it's at.

  6. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    While riding my bike today and thinking about this strop and thread I came to these thoughts: Balsa is very soft and I'm thinking not the best for a strop because if I apply to much pressure I may wind up rounding the edge a bit...so thinking a harder surface would work better.

    The leather is just a cosmetic touch...not being used as a stropping surface, merely a backing and handle wrap...as it was lying around in my shop I thought "why not?".

    I prepped the surface by sanding it with 400 grit, then 800 followed by 1000 grit wet/dry paper to smooth out the surface before applying the paste.

    I'm doing this just for the fun of it and to see what happens.
    Thanks for the tips...
  7. TravisH

    TravisH Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 22, 2014
    Go to your local big box store and get some 'finished lumber' in a hardwood like Poplar or Maple. It's about $2/ft. No need for flattening or smoothing.

    Try your paste on bare wood, printer paper, denim, etc.
  8. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    I have a lot of bits and pieces of varied woods in my shop and grabbed a piece of 1x2 pine in a 10" length.
    Sanded it up to 2500 grit for the hell of it...nice and smooth...added paste and tried it out...worked better than the balsa, much better in fact...
    I should have time tomorrow before work to hit Home Depot and grab a piece of maple...
  9. bucketstove


    Sep 23, 2014
    What do you mean by "much better" exactly?
    update: higher polish than the balsa? Did you also sand the balsa ?
    update: so balsa only sanded to 1000 grit, I wonder what happens if you sand it up to 2500 as well :)
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  10. HeavyHanded


    Jun 4, 2010
    Keep playing around, its a real complex topic in some respects but very fascinating and fun.

    The harder the backing the more prone to burring and the faster it tends to load up. Surface texturing will certainly have an effect. At some point you're more knifeboard than strop, but there's a lot of overlap.

    If you can do samples and look under your microscope would be helpful - often the only cues at low magnification are a slight change in how hazy the scratch, how soft the shoulder transition becomes etc, while a much closer look reveals all kinds of stuff that can be more predictive of cutting character, verified of course with cut tests.
  11. Chris "Anagarika"

    Chris "Anagarika"

    Mar 7, 2001
    Try HeavyHanded's washboard. A strop that won't round the apex with 1-2 layers of paper.
  12. Kai Winters

    Kai Winters

    Mar 16, 2012
    I think what I mean by "much better" is the feel of the edge's contact with the pine opposed to the edge's contact with the balsa...I suspect it is the feel of the pressure as I move the edge across the surface...with the balsa I feel I have to be so much more careful? to prevent rolling the edge while the pine, being a bit harder, is more forgiving...I need to improve my stroke pressure in either case.

    At this point I don't want a burr as I want to polish but looking at the residue I must be removing some material...I'd guess it is because I'm reducing the scratch patterns???

    Looking at an edge under a mic is not a good idea for "anal" people. An edge that will easily shave hair and slice through telly paper will look gnarly under magnification using a mic. My mic is nothing to brag about...a 2x and 4x mag selection. Using the 2x gets me to smile a bit while the 4x makes me cringe lol.
    I had a chance to go over my ZT770 yesterday evening and started with the Lansky fine diamond hone followed by an Arkansas medium and hard/black with the yellow and blue ceramic hones to finish...I paid close attention to strokes and stroke pressure with the goal to reduce "scratch" lines. I followed up with the strop...black/green compounds on veggie tanned leather...finished with the diamond paste on the pine.
    Using my loupe I could see that the scratch line pattern was much more even and fine. The cut test with telly paper sliced through the paper cleanly and smoothly at all points along the edge.
    When I go to work this afternoon, 3-11 this week, I'll check under the mic. I'm hoping to see a very even and small? scratch line pattern with a very clean edge with no "rounding"...almost a secondary bevel I suspect I make when increasing the stropping angle opposed to maintaining the same angle.

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions...My aim is to learn, improve ad increase my skill while enjoying myself.
  13. cap'njake


    Aug 15, 2016
    I love balsa strops. I use the dialux green compound on balsa and it leaves a beautiful mirror edge that push cuts newspaper and shaves on my opinel #10. I switched from leather to balsa, and gotta say I definitely prefer the balsa.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

Share This Page