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Changing Strop Leather

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  • #54437
    keith
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 13

    I just changed the leather on my stropping paddles. I didn’t see much written about it on the forum, so I thought I’d submit a few lines to help take the mystery out of a simple task.

    Place a paddle end against an  immovable object. At the paddle end nearest to you, place the edge of a gasket scraper (any similar tool will work) at the leather’s edge. Tap firmly on the gasket scraper to start the leather peeling. Now grab the loose end  with pliers and pull off the leather strip. Use a firm, strong pull; it will not harm the plastic paddle.

    Use a razor scraper to remove the old adhesive from the paddle. Be patient; using multiple short strokes will prevent  the razor from  cutting  into the plastic. Make sure the paddle surface is clean and flat. Brush  your new leather free of loose debris. Notice one side of it is finished and smooth; this side will hold the stropping compound. Test fit the leather in its countersunk seat.

    Apply fresh hot glue to the paddle in a pattern similar to the old adhesive. Immediately install the leather strip  finish side up. Be sure the leather is properly seated. Press and hold firmly in place until the glue sets.

    Repeat the procedure for  the rest of the old stropping leather.

    Leather replacement is so  easy and affordable that one shouldn’t worry about nicking his strops during use. Strops do well despite having multiple nicks. I finally replaced mine because  large cuts made  flapping “ears” that kept snagging on the knife edge.  Even the most skilled hands will nick the leather; it’s tantamount to the mechanic getting grease on his  wrench.   I keep  leather refills   on hand in case I accidentally gouge a nasty chasm in one. I can quickly make the repair and finish my knife edge polishing.

    Keith.

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    #54438
    airscapes
    Participant
    • Topics: 13
    • Replies: 287

    Double faced carpet tape works well and provides a 100% flat strop.  I would assume double sided duct tape would be just as effective.  Hot glue works but you end up with a flatter surface using tape, at least that is how I did mine some time ago.. here is the post, half way down the page

    https://knife.wickededgeusa.com/forums/topic/is-strop-repair-possible/page/2/

     

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    #54439
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2193

    To help avoid gouging/slashing strops, start your up and off motion, first, before making contact between the strop leather with the knife steel.  Don’t stop the strop motion when in contact with the knife.  Follow through.  With your “edge trailing” stroke motion, up, and off the edge, lift the strop off and away from contact with the knife, once your strop stroke is above the knife edge.

    Don’t ever employ upper stone stops when stropping.  The sudden abrupt stoppage in the stropping motion is almost guaranteed to slash your strop leather.

    Lastly, even slashed or gouged strop leather will continue to work well unless it is really terribly damaged.

    I too slashed my strop leather when I first got started.  After learning and putting into practice good stropping technique I seldom cut the leather any longer.  Now I generally only need to replace the leather when it’s old and blackened, saturated with steel, and won’t clean up any longer.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #54440
    keith
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 13

    To help avoid gouging/slashing strops, start your up and off motion, first, before making contact between the strop leather with the knife steel. Don’t stop the strop motion when in contact with the knife. Follow through. With your “edge trailing” stroke motion, up, and off the edge, lift the strop off and away from contact with the knife, once your strop stroke is above the knife edge. Don’t ever employ upper stone stops when stropping. The sudden abrupt stoppage in the stropping motion is almost guaranteed to slash your strop leather. Lastly, even slashed or gouged strop leather will continue to work well unless it is really terribly damaged. I too slashed my strop leather when I first got started. After learning and putting into practice good stropping technique I seldom cut the leather any longer. Now I generally only need to replace the leather when it’s old and blackened, saturated with steel, and won’t clean up any longer.

    Thanks for the tip, Marc. It’s my left hand that will give me problems with cut leather. My cutting problems come and go. I think I need to slow down and concentrate on making a better stroke like yours. I think it’s my pull away at the end of the stroke that needs improving.

    Keth

    #54441
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2193

    Another tip I forgot to say:

    Don’t try to strop the entire length of the knife edge in one continuous stropping stroke.  Even for a short bladed folding knife.  Break the knife edge length up into portions and stroke a shorter portion at a time.  Do overlapping strop strokes, blending one short strop stroke over the other.

    Do the tip portion separately.  Often when we try to follow the entire knife edge with one continuous up and off strop stroke, the tip curves down as the knife is clamped in our Wicked Edge vise.  This fools us into a backing-up strop stroke as we try to follow the downward curving edge at the tip.  Do the curving tip portions separately.  Concentrate on doing a strop stroke that is always perpendicular to the curved knife edge profile, of the tip.  This means, in reality your stroke direction maybe almost horizontal, or even parallel to the sharpener’s base in order to be perpendicular to the curved knife edge at the knife tip, at some point, in the knife tip’s stropping stroke.  The actual direction of your strop stroke doesn’t really matter.  As long as the strop stroke is “edge trailing”, that is, up and off, while also being perpendicular to the knife edge.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #54442
    keith
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 13

    I think my strop stroke is very much like yours, Marc. My Forschner blade  is 12″ long, so I have to break up the stropping procedure into three smaller segments.  I start at the heal of the blade and work toward the tip. I made a test polish to double check myself. I think, therefore, that my left hand gets lazy, and the away movement isn’t quite up to par.  I  need more vigilance and concentration in that spot. This happens somewhere in the forward half of the blade, as the leather shavings  collect forward of the clamp.

    It’s a very subtle thing. The blade is so sharp that I can’t even feel it shaving the leather. It gives me new found respect for ballet dancers and competition swimmers who must master every muscle to  craft refined movement.

    Thanks for the tips, Keith.

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