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Old 02-28-2011, 01:23 PM
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Default A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

In the spirit of speeding sharpening or rather the fine honing or maintenance honing part of it, I thought I would post a few photos of a stropping system I have been developing for the last year. It is called the 'Bench Strop'. It is a stropping system that fixtures quickly and easily to the bench and has interchangeable Horse Butt or Cowhide Split Suede Strop Tops.

The cool thing is, it's clean. Any iron or chisel hones up quickly. If you use a chipbreaker, you won't need to remove it to hone your iron, decreasing the time it takes to get back to work.





I have written an article that fleshes out the details about it at the
Woodworks Blog.

I hope you guys check it out and see if it can be a good fit for your sharpening regime. Keeping tools sharp as you work with them is the key to finer woodworking and avoiding long, hard sharpening sessions where you regrind all the chisels and irons.

While you are over reading up on the new sharpening system, Have a look at the new Bench End Planing Stop, which will really help you control the work and give you higher accuracy when truing boards with twist or wind. It even works better that most anything I have tried when planing thin stock!



Don't forget to look at our other new products for 2011 because there are a lot of tools and jigs there, for both hand and power tools that will greatly help work wood and save time. They are all tools targeted at helping us do our best work.



Thanks again and bests,
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

I'll show my ignorance here. Don't understand what a strop really does. Considering the huge difference in the hardness between the tool metal and leather I don't know what the strop would accomplish. Is it like a steel for knives that does not sharpen but 'fixes' the edge that is starting to turn/bend over. Not even sure if that is correct.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

Hi Tom,

MDF would be the substrate for hard and flat. Leather is a carrier for polishing compound, which are the abrasives that do the honing.

Horse Butt is a very hard leather, but has a slight give. Cowhide Split Suede is a rough but soft surface that can contain more abrasives.

The steel is never pushed on a strop, but I'd advocate that pushing while fine honing is never good. Always pull. The object after coming off stones it to remove the wire by sharpening it off. If you push you can break the wire off and that is equivalent to dubbing the edge.

For maintenance honing, condider that steel dulls as you work with it, and you also have to work to sharpen it. If the edges are allowed to dull, then you have to return to the grinding process, (read coarse abrasives) to restore the edge. If you hone while woodworking with fine abrasives, the the dullness never creeps up and edges do not have to be reground.

The advantage our strop is that it is a dry and compact system. There is no water, or slurry, just a dry strop. It slips over a bench dog, It's easy to fixture. It is far enough above the bench so as to be ergonomic. This strop enables you to strop both sides of the iron or tool.

If fixing the edge is keeping it maintained as a sharp edge, then this is what a stop is capable of, this is not like steeling a knife, particularly if the strop is charged with an abrasive.

You could put microfine abrasive sandpaper on a piece of glass or granite, or you could put the abrasives into leather. If you are trying to maintain tools as you work, and I advocate this is a good idea, then the strop makes more sense. It is very direct, and makes little to no mess, both of which are obstacles to sharpening in many peoples minds. This helps people want to keep their tools sharp, by making it easier to keep them sharp.

I hope that helps answer your questions.

Bests,
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobHanson View Post
Hi Tom,

MDF would be the substrate for hard and flat. Leather is a carrier for polishing compound, which are the abrasives that do the honing.

Horse Butt is a very hard leather, but has a slight give. Cowhide Split Suede is a rough but soft surface that can contain more abrasives.

The steel is never pushed on a strop, but I'd advocate that pushing while fine honing is never good. Always pull. The object after coming off stones it to remove the wire by sharpening it off. If you push you can break the wire off and that is equivalent to dubbing the edge.

For maintenance honing, condider that steel dulls as you work with it, and you also have to work to sharpen it. If the edges are allowed to dull, then you have to return to the grinding process, (read coarse abrasives) to restore the edge. If you hone while woodworking with fine abrasives, the the dullness never creeps up and edges do not have to be reground.

The advantage our strop is that it is a dry and compact system. There is no water, or slurry, just a dry strop. It slips over a bench dog, It's easy to fixture. It is far enough above the bench so as to be ergonomic. This strop enables you to strop both sides of the iron or tool.

If fixing the edge is keeping it maintained as a sharp edge, then this is what a stop is capable of, this is not like steeling a knife, particularly if the strop is charged with an abrasive.

You could put microfine abrasive sandpaper on a piece of glass or granite, or you could put the abrasives into leather. If you are trying to maintain tools as you work, and I advocate this is a good idea, then the strop makes more sense. It is very direct, and makes little to no mess, both of which are obstacles to sharpening in many peoples minds. This helps people want to keep their tools sharp, by making it easier to keep them sharp.

I hope that helps answer your questions.

Bests,
Rob,

I read your blog on this last night and think that this is a really nice product. Do you have have any recommendations as to which fine abrasives should be used and why? I see people say use green, no use red, no use yellow, etc.

Fred
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

Hi Fred,

Thank you for the kind words! I am glad you like it!

I like the Green Chrome Oxide and Recommend it. I also like using Simichrome polish that comes in the tube as well.

Autosol would likely work well, there are likely others. I have pretty much settled on the fine abrasives I mentioned above.

I do know that it has helped me reduce the use of my stones a great deal. Stropping while I work has become routine and easy, I hardly notice it. It sure isn't like the big sharpening sessions at all.

Bests,
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobHanson View Post
Hi Fred,

Thank you for the kind words! I am glad you like it!

I like the Green Chrome Oxide and Recommend it. I also like using Simichrome polish that comes in the tube as well.

Autosol would likely work well, there are likely others. I have pretty much settled on the fine abrasives I mentioned above.

I do know that it has helped me reduce the use of my stones a great deal. Stropping while I work has become routine and easy, I hardly notice it. It sure isn't like the big sharpening sessions at all.

Bests,
Rob,

You are quite welcome and thank you for the information on the fine abrasives. I have seen Autosol for metal polishing but which product of Autosol would you use on the strop?

Fred
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

This looks great! Adding it to my "must purchase" list right now.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: A New Strop for maintaining your Edge Tools

Lots of useful new jigs there on your website. I had forgotten about your "speed lathe" jig from many years ago -- sort of a trip down memory lane...
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