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The Benefits Of Plain Stropping

Posted by jasonstone20 
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 02:37AM
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 02:40AM
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"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
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cKc
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 03:42AM
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jasonstone20
Ok, the KWB M390, KWB AEB-L Tanto, and Spyderco S30V PM2 are all stropped to tree-topping arm hair sharp, and I used a thin coat of baby oil to each knife. Each knife was cleaned with alcohol before stropping. I didn't treat the leather part of the strop with oil, I am just going to rub my hands down it, as that has been suggested on straight razor forums, because the oils in your hands should be enough to protect the leather. I am going to check on the sharpness tomorrow morning, and again at around this time (3:00 PM PST) my time. I am going to log this all in my journal, and keep track of it, along with taking a picture once a week of the strop, to see the progression of the loading.

as long as you check the leather for dryness and cracking and it doesn't have any then it doesn't need work.
it will be interesting to see what happens. but as the strop is not brand new. I'm not sure how easy it is going to be to notice additional stuff going into it unless you get a lot of build up

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 05:12AM
cKc,
Well, I had almost %100 coverage of the leather, and about %5-10 of the canvas/linen. About %50 of the leather is clear now, and nearly %100 of the canvas/linen is clear. I might try and scrub it with a pencil eraser, and see if I can get down into the pores of the leather and the weave of the canvas/linen, and get some more of the gunk out. When I am talking about the surface being clear, I am talking the high points. I don't think there is any contact with the blade in the pores and weave, just gunk accumulates there, like a DMT polka dot stone.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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cKc
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 07:07AM
so if you were to summarize a basic sharpening of a knife now. say 3-4" folding knife size..

how much time do you think you invest in a standard sharpening if you take the edge off on a stone..

i mean, how many stones, stages, strops etc before you reach the point you want to reach?

once you reach that point, how long before the knife is substandard to what you want and you need to touch it up.
then, what stages and effort do you do at this point, to restore it to the standard you set

and then how many times or days or weeks between each of these stages before a new resharpen is occurring?


I'm a heavy promoter of stripping, but not in the way many are, and only done in a certain way.
I've had many private conversations with Cliff about why I strop.

the irony is in the last year I've had no strop and just used stones or steels.. because I'm a whatever works person

but the highlights of why I strop are simple.

i do not like to invest huge amounts of money in sharpening gear.
strops and compounds are ridiculously cheap compared to buying high end fine stones.
in real life, my knives are not going to have perfectly even straight edges without small recurves here and there from repairs and resharpens and I'm typically not wasting the life of the knife to "flatten" my apexes unless they get unusable. a strop used carefully is better at conforming to shape and not just skate over areas from a high point of either bevel, or apex.
stripping is only done once a knife is sharp, and then its done to take it to the next level.. so direct from 200-1000grit stones/paper to 3k strop compound.
strops are lighter than stone to carry, and roll up for quick touch ups.
I'm not interested in plain strops because I can get a piece of paper for that, or plain cardboard, or just have a small cobalt drill bit for burnishing and alignment.
strops are fast and easy and forgiving for a quick touch up for oxidation, less hassle than a stone.

a high powered magnet and a toothbrush might help rip out some fine particles.. but I find that if I'm only using compound and a reasonable amount of it, then scraping it all off will scrap off the gunk.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 01:36PM
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ckc
so if you were to summarize a basic sharpening of a knife now. say 3-4" folding knife size..

Usually a three or four stone set up. I sharpen on a coarse stone until I get a burr on each side, then flip the burr with a medium stone, then extra fine stone. I might apex/micro-bevel/deburr the blade with an ultra fine stone.

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how much time do you think you invest in a standard sharpening if you take the edge off on a stone..

5 to 10 minutes max

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i mean, how many stones, stages, strops etc before you reach the point you want to reach?

I usually reach the point of what I want off the stones. I don't need to strop usually.
When I do strop, I strop on a plain, hanging strop, like I was stropping a straight razor. I do 40-60 PPS on the canvas/linen, then 40-60 PPS on leather. Usually if I strop I am either going for the sharpest push cutting edge I can get (relying on a lower angle for slicing agression), or I am having an issue with a burr, either a hard to get rid of burr or I have a micro burr.

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once you reach that point, how long before the knife is substandard to what you want and you need to touch it up.
then, what stages and effort do you do at this point, to restore it to the standard you set

If the knife is not used, the high sharpness degrades in 2-3 days. If I am using the knife daily, the high sharpness edge lasts a week. By high sharpness, I am talking about the ability to whittle a head hair.

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and then how many times or days or weeks between each of these stages before a new resharpen is occurring?

That depends on how successful the touch up sharpening or stropping restored the edge. If I can't get the knife to be sharp to my satisfaction, I re-sharpen fully. I have noticed a limit of 4-5 touch up sharpenings or stroppings before the edge doesn't react well. I have documented that here: [www.cliffstamp.com]

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i do not like to invest huge amounts of money in sharpening gear.

I collect vintage sharpening stones, and I can't get enough sharpening equipment. It is a sickness.

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strops and compounds are ridiculously cheap compared to buying high end fine stones.

Yes, they are. I use both. I am trying to put a straight razor edge on my EDC knives.

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in real life, my knives are not going to have perfectly even straight edges without small recurves here and there from repairs and resharpens and I'm typically not wasting the life of the knife to "flatten" my apexes unless they get unusable. a strop used carefully is better at conforming to shape and not just skate over areas from a high point of either bevel, or apex.

I don't mind. I enjoy sharpening, and it helps to keep my sharpening skills up.

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stripping is only done once a knife is sharp, and then its done to take it to the next level.. so direct from 200-1000grit stones/paper to 3k strop compound.

Yes, stropping doesn't do much unless the blade is already super sharp.

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strops are lighter than stone to carry, and roll up for quick touch ups.

I use my palm or pants. I have a pocket sharpener that has a strop also, so I will use that too.

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I'm not interested in plain strops because I can get a piece of paper for that, or plain cardboard, or just have a small cobalt drill bit for burnishing and alignment.

Yes, this vintage strop was a gift. I noticed an improved edge with stropping on newsprint from a Murray Carter technique.

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strops are fast and easy and forgiving for a quick touch up for oxidation, less hassle than a stone.

This is what I am trying now. The only reason I am hesitant about is I am concerned about fatiguing the edge apex and losing slicing aggression.

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a high powered magnet and a toothbrush might help rip out some fine particles.. but I find that if I'm only using compound and a reasonable amount of it, then scraping it all off will scrap off the gunk.

I might try that, good idea.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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cKc
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 03:31PM
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If the knife is not used, the high sharpness degrades in 2-3 days. If I am using the knife daily, the high sharpness edge lasts a week. By high sharpness, I am talking about the ability to whittle a head hair.

That sounds a little odd unless I am missing something.

if it degrades 2-3 days without use, how is it lasting longer if you use it. when using it, its still oxidizing when not in use over night etc.

when you say using daily. you are cutting down boxes etc and maintaining whittling sharpness?

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This is what I am trying now. The only reason I am hesitant about is I am concerned about fatiguing the edge apex and losing slicing aggression.
without compound, that may be happening. with compound is just a soft stone abraiding the steel.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 04:13PM
Quote
cKc
That sounds a little odd unless I am missing something.

if it degrades 2-3 days without use, how is it lasting longer if you use it. when using it, its still oxidizing when not in use over night etc.

It is odd, that is why I am looking into it and trying to figure out what is going on.

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if it degrades 2-3 days without use, how is it lasting longer if you use it. when using it, its still oxidizing when not in use over night etc.

I don't know. I have done this:

[www.cliffstamp.com]

This is why I am working on this.

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without compound, that may be happening. with compound is just a soft stone abraiding the steel.

Yes, when I talked to Roman Landes he was against stropping, as it reduced slicing aggression. Roman Landes told me that even with his straight razor sharpening, he barely strops on plain leather at the end, very fast passes, and only a few of them.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 04:17PM
cKc,
Also, keep in mind that the sharpness level range I am looking at is a HHT 3-4 sharpness (maybe with the hair a little closer to the point of hold):

[www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]

as the top and what I am trying to maintain the knife at, like a straight razor, and the bottom (dull) is not being able to shave arm hair.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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cKc
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 04:31PM
Quote
jasonstone20
Yes, when I talked to Roman Landes he was against stropping, as it reduced slicing aggression. Roman Landes told me that even with his straight razor sharpening, he barely strops on plain leather at the end, very fast passes, and only a few of them.

it will reduce aggression because most people just are not doing it well and don't have the fine control to resist rounding the apex. pushing too hard, lifting too high, flipping the edge coming off the strop etc etc.

i agree.. stropping is best done only in very small amounts.. if you need more, you probably screwed something up down the line..

burr resolution etc should have already been dealt with imo. the strop is just an alternative to a fine stone.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 05:07PM
cKc,
That is what I was thinking. If the sharpening was done correctly, and the steel is in good shape from the manufacturer, I have been able to strop a ton, plain and with a compound, and not lose slicing aggression. To be honest, I also like the edges shiny. I think a mirror edge is looks good on a knife.

I try and only strop a little, but then I see RS-Travis push cut free standing cigarette paper, and lots of stropping looks like an attractive level of sharpness.

Yes, I only go to the strop when I am having issues with not being able to remove the burr on the stones. Also, a plain strop is needed for some high grit natural stones. Not sure why that is either, but it is necessary.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 05:37PM
Well, the M390 blade was duller this morning. I did 60 PPS on the linen and 60 PPS on the leather, and the sharpness was back to arm-hair tree-topping.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 05:41PM
The AEB-L was still tree-topping sharp. The S30V PM2 was not. I did 20 PPS on the linen and then on the leather. The PM2 edge came back to tree-topping sharp.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 06:25PM
Well, I cleaned the strop with an eraser and ran the strongest magnet I had across it. BIG difference:




"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 06:52PM
Here is the FlexCut Strop cleaned of the FlexCut Gold compound, with a metal ruler and eraser:





"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 08:10PM
It sounds like it could be oxidization. A simple experiment :

-carry the knife in your pocket (control)
-carry the knife in your pocket and clean it occasionally with a dry rag/tissue

See what happens.
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 08:15PM
Cliff,
I will give it a shot. Why a dry rag or tissue and not a lightly oiled one? When I EDC non-stainless steels, or steels where I am getting rust or discoloration, I carry a lightly oiled paper towel in a sandwich bag, and oil it until the blade stops rusting or discoloring.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 10:09PM
I was wondering if the cutting itself was just cleaning the blade.

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If the knife is not used, the high sharpness degrades in 2-3 days. If I am using the knife daily, the high sharpness edge lasts a week. By high sharpness, I am talking about the ability to whittle a head hair.

If you are oiling the used blade and not the unused one, I would suspect it is just corrosion and that is more of a heavy stress than the cutting. A simple check for this would be to just clean/oil the unused blade with the same frequency as the used one.
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 18, 2020 10:30PM
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Cliff Stamp
I was wondering if the cutting itself was just cleaning the blade.
I was also wondering about that, I just didn't know what you were getting at with the dry wiping of the blade.

I will try the dry wiping first, see how that goes for a few weeks, and then compare it to the oiled wiping.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 19, 2020 04:35PM
This morning, I checked the blades for tree-topping sharpness. The Tanto AEB-L was still good, like a razor blade. The PM2 still would catch hairs, but there was a noticeable loss in sharpness that was returned with 10 PPS each on linen and leather. The M390 blade would shave with skin contact, but would catch hairs above the skin. I wiped it down 3-4 times yesterday, and before I went to bed. I did 20 PPS each with the linen and leather, and the blade would catch hairs again.



Another thing that might be interesting is where these knives are being worn, i.e. how close the the body they are worn, for humidity and sweat factor. The AEB-L knife is around my neck, in a sheath, worn directly on the skin (Also worn 24/7/365). Often, there will be moisture on the blade when it is extracted from the sheath. The PM2 is worn inside the waist ban, against my base layer of clothing. The M390 is worn cross draw on my belt, with a shirt hanging over it. The PM2 is also worn when I sleep, the M390 stay on my pants.

Out of the three knives, the AEB-L Tanto is thinner BTE and has a lower edge angle. Maybe the lower edge angle offers more surface area to the apex, vs the thicker BTE grind and larger angles, so the corrosion doesn't have as much of a degree of negative influence. M390 and S30V are, on paper, supposed to be more corrosion resistant than AEB-L, and the AEB-L is in harsher conditions. The AEB-L blade also has a super polished edge, I spent 15-20 minutes (a long time for a blade that is already sharp and thin) with my Japanese waterstones to give the whole blade and edge apex a 8k JIS and 1u/0.5 u strop mirror finish.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 05:37AM
cKc,
Thinking about using a hanging strop more, my technique, and how not to mangle the edge got me thinking how to describe when you are doing it right. You can kill even a straight razor edge, even with the built in guide. But here is the critical thing. The same way you don't kill a straight razor edge is the same way you don't kill a knife edge. Now, what I do for knives, is the same technique I use for straight razors. I lay the knife flat on the the strop. Then I adjust the tension of the strop until I feel it touching the apex of the knife. Then I pull back. There will be a slight hissing sound, and a feeling in your hand holding the knife, along with the hand holding the strop, and that tells you that you are doing it right. Changes in the pitch will tell you if you are hitting high or low on the apex. This is similar to the feeling or feedback you get on sharpening stones. Another thing I think is important is the right number of passes. You can kill and edge with too many passes. For straight razors, this really isn't an issue, since you don't care about slicing aggression being diminished or outright destroyed, the only thing you are facing is diminishing returns with more passes. With a knife, you actually care if you have slicing aggression or not, so don't do too many passes. I usually max out at 60 PPS per component of the strop, but I usually can get away with 20 or 40 PPS.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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cKc
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 09:59AM
yeah. once you add compound to the strop, and put it on the suede side to hold more compound and better cut, then it becomes much easier for a bad technique to cut and round it.

its going to happen more for people with steel angles, because they are lifting the blade higher. more risk ration to accidental lifing.
low angle knives you are almost laying the knife flat to the strop anyway.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 03:49PM
Ok, this is getting to be like 'Groundhog Day'. Even though I stropped the PM2 and the M390 before going to bed last night, I got the same results this morning. The AEB-L knife is still like a straight razor, shaving hair above the skin. The PM2 is barely catching hairs above the skin, and the M390 can't catch a cold.

Cliff,
Is it too soon to resharpen the PM2 and M390 to the same grit level and polish of the AEB-L and see if that changes anything?

Kyle,
What grit finish did you sharpen the M390 blade I got from you? How did you sharpen the blade?

I got the edges back up to were I like them with 40 PPS on leather and linen for the PM2 and M390.
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 03:52PM
Cliff,
I am not sure if the dry wiping is doing anything. I am wiping the blades after every use.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 05:26PM
The M390 blade has been getting the lions share of cutting, I wonder if I should spread the cutting around evenly.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 06:03PM
Jason,

Can you summarize the experiment :

-what is being done with each knife each day
-the results
cKc
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 06:14PM
if you really want to find out.. this will take effort as I think you need to consider the following.



3 knives or 1, makes no difference but..

i refer to 1 knife

1) sharpen knife, ensure apex is clean of debris and let sit for 2 days. test perceived edge degradation.

2) resharpen knife in same fashion. carry knife on person in different locations that subject it to different humidity (DO NOT USE THE KNIFE) and then next day, same 24hr time frame. check this against the baseline of the sitting knife.

3) same as 2, but take out and wipe down the knife apex with a dry cloth of some kind every few hours (do not otherwise use the knife)

reason.
1) sitting knife could be in a dry area and have best resistance to oxidation, OR, could be subjected to high levels of humidity causing rapid oxidation off the edge
2) carrying the knife in pocket, neck, may be increasing or decreasing oxidation for the same reasons as above
3), could be reducing oxidation compared to the above, or balancing it out by counteracting humidity with the drying action.


but introducing cutting of cardboard or anything, you are placing unexpected wear that could dull, but the cutting could also be stripping moisture from the apex cause by condensation etc.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
It's not Cliff, its Dr Stamp
#kebabstickcut, it's a thing - make it happen
Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 06:51PM
Cliff,
I am just EDC's the three blades: the M390, S30V, and AEB-L. I am trying to figure out why I am losing high sharpness (tree-topping arm hair) with the blades not being used, or with light use. I check the sharpness each morning and night, and I am refreshing the blade it has lost tree-topping ability, with a plain strop, both linen and leather. I would like the blades to maintain that high sharpness, and not have it dissipate with not being used. Some of my knifes stay sharp at a high sharpness, whether used or not, others go dull whether used or not. I am only opening mail, food boxes, and breaking down those food boxes, a few (2-5) a week. Not heavy use at all.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 06:52PM
cKc,
Thank you. I will give that a try.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: The Benefits Of Plain Stropping
June 20, 2020 06:59PM
Yes, it just isn't clear to me :

-are all blades being used for the same work
-are some blades being not used at all
-which ones are cleaned
-are they used and cleaned
-are some not used and cleaned
-are any not used or not cleaned

etc. .