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Leather vs Kangaroo vs Balsa Confusion?

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  • #53491
    NorCalQ
    Participant
    • Topics: 42
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    I’m looking at adding 1/0.5 micron diamond emulsion strops and I’m not sure which way to go for the base material.  My thoughts are that balsa has the least “give” in the surface flatness when pressure is applied, then leather, then kangaroo.  I’m also sure that there are other factors which should be considered, that I’m not aware of.  I currently use leather 5/3.5 strops to get to the “hair splitting” stage.

    I’d like to know if there is a general preference here.  Thanks for the help.

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by NorCalQ.
    #53494
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2020

    (Least compressible) balsa>>kangaroo>>cow leather (most compressible)

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #53503
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
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    I believe that cow and kangaroo leather both have an inherent grit to them because of the silicates used to treat the leather.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #53505
    NorCalQ
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    • Topics: 42
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    So, which best suits you and your progressions?  I do like the idea of the balsa, however do you still get hair-splitting results with it?  I wondered why Balsa and Emulsions aren’t offered as packs?  I thought maybe emulsions worked best with leather, so they are offered as a pack.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by NorCalQ.
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    #53510
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 59
    • Replies: 2020

    I didn’t find balsa as forgiving as leather.  For me it dented and gouged and split off layers and became an uneven surface.  The leather even though it can and does become gouged with use it still can continue to be used. I found the leather holds the strop compound better then the balsa wood.  Also the leather cleans fairly easily and can see continued used with reapplication of fresh stropping compounds.  Last it’s easier to replace the leather strips then to cut and size balsa wood to replace the balsa strops.  Balsa is very soft and less forgiving to work with then the leather is.

    I always use 4µ/2µ as a minimum.  Then I may also use 1µ/0.5µ to follow.  I do have the finer diamond spray and nano-cloth strops but have not yet tried them.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #53511
    NorCalQ
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    • Topics: 42
    • Replies: 113

    Thanks MarcH.  Just what I need to hear.

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