Let’s talk about woodcarving

Let’s talk about woodcarving 2017-06-26T23:59:57+00:00
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stropping tool

I'm new to wood carving.  Can anyone tell me if this gizmo is worth purchasing?  https://www.woodcraft.com/products/flexcut-slipstrop-sharpening-kit.

 

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Jeff, that was the first stropping device I bought when I started. It does the job well enough, tho as you progress and buy larger gouges, you will need something bigger.

I made some stropping blocks with scrap pine and oak. I bought a bag of leather scrap at michaels and made these...

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Thanks for your input Matthew.  Looks like a way to go.  Do you have the leather with the smooth side facing out?  Or does it not matter.  What kind of glue did you use to attach the leather to the wood?

A co-worker also mentioned buying scrap leather at Michaels.

I generally use the leather rough side up, but I have seen it used with the smooth side up. So my guess is that either work fine. You may want to purchase the pre-made shaped strop while you are first starting. Then once you get to where you know exactly what your particular set of tools require for shape, you can customize your own.

I simply attached the leather to the curved wood surface with standard wood glue - nothing fancy. Then put a sharpening compound on the leather (anything that is used on a buffing wheel will do the trick).

Matthew, that's a nice set-up you made. Ever thought of marketing it and making it so I can sell it on my store as part of my "kits"?  🙂

I also bought my leather from Michaels for 4.99 and use the smooth side out...works like a champ. As for the glue, just regular wood glue.

There are a lot of different stropping tools and devices. I'm trying to keep it simple but admire some of Lee Valley's many devices. A couple are really interesting. Their sharpening slips http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=69439&cat=43072 and their Flex cut carver's strop http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=75189&cat=43072,43079&ap=1

Ian

 

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Ian

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Hi Jeff,

Like so many things in woodworking, much is written about subjects that are basically simple but become complicated due to personal preferences. A strop is simply any device and/or material that can hold a fine abrasive compound that will conform to the shape being polished. There really is no reason that the contour has to be a perfect match since you are moving the tool, or strop to reach all of the surface being polished. You must make sure though that the radius for concave polishing is smaller than the tool otherwise you will only be polishing the corners . I don't have one of the Flexcut devices but I should think that the shapes milled into it were designed for their tools, even though it can be used for many other tools. Some folks use various devices and materials for the process and they all work. Strops can consist of wood, leather, MDF, even cardboard. Some folks prefer leather attached to any flat board, lose leather, specific types of leather. Some folks prefer holding the strop in one hand while others want to be able to attach the strop to a work surface so that the tool can be held with both hands. Under shop conditions, I normally just use a charged four inch cotton wheel in a drill press even though I have other systems available. It might round the edge a little bit more than other systems but I have not had any problem with it. When I am out of the shop I simply use shop made MDF strops. You do have to be careful when power stropping to prevent overheating but I have had no issues. All of the methods and devices will work and it just gets down to what you like. Just be sure that you do strop to maintain that highly desired super sharp edge. Those that have used truly sharp tools know the thrill of tools that almost slice through the wood almost as by thought alone and leaves a polished surface. Truly a joy. Have fun.

I am new to the forum , I purchased a barber strop and its a little dry . Would someone recomend a lubricant to apply to the strop

A barber strop is not really useful for carving tools given that it is loose.  I actually shave with a cut throat razor and I do not treat it with anything, just the leather..  My tool strops are solid with the leather glued to a wood backer and have jewelers rouge/green rouge on them.