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Strops question

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  • #7446
    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1671

    So I got to play around with my new balsa Strops finally over the weekend with ken Schwartz’s, .125 cbn spray on it. I have been advised to use it while it is moist because it will be more effective that way. The problem I ran into was that it did not seem to do anything…. No polishing (at least, it did not seem so because there was no “blackening” of the strop. I also waited until it was dry and tried again to no avail. I also tried on the same spray on my kangaroo Strops… Same thing. I am kind of baffled as to what’s going on. I didn’t try any of my diamond spra …. I just remember my weps pasted Strops blackening right up after a short period of use.

    Anyway, I’m gonna have to play around with this more to figure out what’s going on. The edge wasn’t as “sharp” as I wanted it either, even though it would semi treetop hair.

    #7448
    Gary Crumb
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 119

    So I got to play around with my new balsa Strops finally over the weekend with ken Schwartz’s, .125 cbn spray on it. I have been advised to use it while it is moist because it will be more effective that way. The problem I ran into was that it did not seem to do anything…. No polishing (at least, it did not seem so because there was no “blackening” of the strop. I also waited until it was dry and tried again to no avail. I also tried on the same spray on my kangaroo Strops… Same thing. I am kind of baffled as to what’s going on. I didn’t try any of my diamond spra …. I just remember my weps pasted Strops blackening right up after a short period of use.

    Anyway, I’m gonna have to play around with this more to figure out what’s going on. The edge wasn’t as “sharp” as I wanted it either, even though it would semi treetop hair.

    This might be a really dumb question but I guess it can’t hurt…You are shaking the spray first before applying? Seems the diamonds settle out after sitting.:dry:

    #7449
    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1671

    yeah, sorry i forgot to add that…. yeah i shook it really well and turned it upside down before i sprayed just to check to see if everything was mixed in… =) thanks for the question tho!!

    #7451
    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    I have only used leather with medium grit pastes. I don’t claim to have experience here. I have read that people use the very fine diamond spray with nano cloth as the nano has the finest pores compared to leather or balsa. The question I have, but haven’t found an answer is what size are the pores of balsa? I.e. if the diamonds are a certain smallness will they sink into the pores and have no/little affect?

    The other question I have is what do people with both balsa and leather use the balsa for? Relative to the leather, do you use finer or coarser grits pastes?

    #7454
    Blunt Cut
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 35

    My first post and could be a dumb one. For a spray bottle, usually the first 1 to 3 sprays are blank – until particles in carrier are all the way at the top of the uptake tube. I usually open the sprayer, drain the clear-oil/water, put back then spray away. iirc – balsa grain gap is around 0.1-0.3um but there are plenty of non-gap surface, so the strop should be blacken with use (if abrasives are present).

    #7458
    Cory
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 31

    I have only used leather with medium grit pastes. I don’t claim to have experience here. I have read that people use the very fine diamond spray with nano cloth as the nano has the finest pores compared to leather or balsa. The question I have, but haven’t found an answer is what size are the pores of balsa? I.e. if the diamonds are a certain smallness will they sink into the pores and have no/little affect?

    The other question I have is what do people with both balsa and leather use the balsa for? Relative to the leather, do you use finer or coarser grits pastes?

    I don’t use balsa for my really small micron stuff but on a 5 and 3.5 I can tell you that I really like it. I used leather for a long time and it works but if you have a slightly rolled edge the balsa cuts your touch up time by a lot. Both of them polish differently also if you check out Clays posts on abrasion and burnishing you can see the difference in his magnified pictures. He bounces back and forth between multiple strops so it is pretty educational.

    #7459
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    When I bought some 0.25 micron spray from WEPS, Kay warned me not to use it on balsa, because the crevices in the balsa were about the same size. I’m not sure whether that is a really good argument: not all of the diamonds will end up in the crevices; many will be half-way, on top of “hills”, etc.

    But since Clay had such great results with this spray on roo leather, I started doing that as well. I can assure you it works. And Ken Schwartz stropping sprays are among the most highly regarded in the market, so that cannot be the cause.

    It’s pretty easy to see whether there are particles present in the water you spritz. My diamond stuff looks like mud :-).

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #7462
    Xbander
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 68

    This is confusing, as a new user of strops, and just a beginner in sharpening my own knifes
    to this level. I have concerns, I do not want to contaminate my strops, and not sure which
    compound works best on what material.
    While I do not have all of these to try, if I were to setup a list would be;
    Basic Leather strops in 5 and 3.5, 1. and .5 Diamond paste.
    Balsa strop 1 and .5 paste.
    Roo strops .25 and .125 and .1 spray
    Nano Cloth .05 and .025 spray.

    Am I way out in Left field on this list?
    Most of my strops are new so would like to get off to a good start.
    Also can you clean the leather and roo strops if you switch compounds?

    #7463
    Josh
    Participant
    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1671

    Thanks everyone for the input… I will experiment around and see if I can figure what’s going on. Maybe I didn’t get enough of the CBN particles on the balsa, or else it is as mark states below…

    When I bought some 0.25 micron spray from WEPS, Kay warned me not to use it on balsa, because the crevices in the balsa were about the same size. I’m not sure whether that is a really good argument: not all of the diamonds will end up in the crevices; many will be half-way, on top of “hills”, etc.

    But since Clay had such great results with this spray on roo leather, I started doing that as well. I can assure you it works. And Ken Schwartz stropping sprays are among the most highly regarded in the market, so that cannot be the cause.

    It’s pretty easy to see whether there are particles present in the water you spritz. My diamond stuff looks like mud :-).

    After reviewing some more images, it actually does appear that the CBN on the Kangaroo strops works quite effectively… will be looking into it more =)

    #7464
    cbwx34
    Participant
    • Topics: 57
    • Replies: 1505

    This is confusing, as a new user of strops, and just a beginner in sharpening my own knifes
    to this level. I have concerns, I do not want to contaminate my strops, and not sure which
    compound works best on what material.
    While I do not have all of these to try, if I were to setup a list would be;
    Basic Leather strops in 5 and 3.5, 1. and .5 Diamond paste.
    Balsa strop 1 and .5 paste.
    Roo strops .25 and .125 and .1 spray
    Nano Cloth .05 and .025 spray.

    Am I way out in Left field on this list?
    Most of my strops are new so would like to get off to a good start.
    Also can you clean the leather and roo strops if you switch compounds?

    I don’t have all these, but this sounds reasonable to me.

    I’ve had good luck cleaning other leather strops with no pumice waterless hand cleaner, but at the micron level of some of these compounds, I’m not sure I would switch compounds on the same strop, even after cleaning.

    #7465
    Cory
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 31
    #7466
    Xbander
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 68

    I’m not sure I would switch compounds on the same strop, even after cleaning.

    I would agree, good advise to not switch compounds.
    Thanks
    James

    #7475
    Mark76
    Participant
    • Topics: 179
    • Replies: 2760

    James, sounds good.

    I’ve never tried to clean my strops. I think there will always remain some particles which will screw up your intention. Clay wrote somewhere he used rubbing alcohol on his strops. Not to clean them, but to give them a touch up :-).

    That said, I don’t think there’d be a problem if you used a lower grit compound on a strop previously used for a higher grit compound (e.g., use some 1 micron spray on a strop previously used with a 0.5 micron spray). The other way around would surely create problems.

    And don’t clean your strops too soon, or reapply paste too soon: the wicked edge pastes get truely wicked when your strops have dried out a little and get almost as sticky as chewing gum…

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

    #34458
    Ardvaark
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    I’m glad I just read this. My 5 and 3.5 micron strops got gummy during the strokes so I stopped and re-applyed pastes with a layer of 99.9% MG chemicals alcohol afterwards. Next time I’ll just keep a strokin…

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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