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Leather Strop & Polish Stropboard (4 inches wide - one side smooth, the other side rough ) for sharpening woodwork & leatherworking tools, bushcraft knives and straight razors
This is really chunky double-sided tool or razor strop hand-made in Bromyard, UK from 3-3.5mm thick full grain leather - One side is smooth for initial stropping and the other 'hairy' for final polishing and finishing.
Smooth - The smooth leather side is made from a good firm piece of leather. This leather is selected specifically for the task. If the leather is too hard, it simply doesn't doesn't polish well and doesn't accept compound well either. If the leather is too soft, it doesn't produce as fine an edge and won't stand up to heavy usage.
Hairy - The hairy or sueded side uses the opposite side of the leather (it is technically called the flesh side of the leather). This 'hairy' leather accepts compound very readily.I always suggest Jeweller's Rouge because it is easy to use and makes an excellent job of polishing the cutting edge of a blade to give ultimate sharpness. It comes in handy little blocks too!
This extra large size strop board measures approx: 4" wide x 10" long (the length does not include the handle). I like the extra width for plane blades and sharpening wider bladed knives. It speeds up the process slightly and you know what they say about boys and toys... Well, it is true. Bigger is definitely better!
Now, you won't want to buy a new strop every day so this strop is made to last with a solid 1/2" oak board with integral handle which has been given an oil finish for good looks and longevity.
This really is a nicely made and extremely solid job ready for hard work. I use several of these boards, there is one near every cutting surface, in my own workshop so I know they work!
Brief explanation of my personal 'stropping technique'
I coat one side (I use the hairy side for rouge) of the strop with jeweller's rouge. The other side is left alone.
I take the strop in my left hand and the knife in my right (I am right handed...)
I start with the rouge side and wipe the cutting edge of the blade across the rouged surface of the strop at the same angle as the 'grind'. Left to right.
I then wipe the cutting edge, right to left, with the 'back of the knife coming towards my hand.
I repeat this many times (say twenty to thirty) to 'polish' away the scratches on the cutting surface. These scratches cause friction which slows the blade as it enters the material - hence it feels 'dull' and won't cut properly.
I then spin the strop so the smooth side is uppermost and repeat the process. Left to right and right to left.
If the knife is sharp enough then yipee! - if not then do it again, and again, and again!
If you have a magnifying glass take a look at the cutting edge of your blade and see how the scratches are removed by stropping.
To clarify: NO you don't get two strop boards. Just one, but it is double sided. One side is smooth and the other side is hairy.
P.S. Some people like to use a polishing compound on their strop. I suggest Jeweller's Rouge because I use it myself. In my opinion it is the best compound to use and does a proper job of polishing the cutting edges of all my blades. I also use it to polish silver and precious metals because it is not too abrasive. Very useful stuff!
Please check out my other listings for blocks of Jeweller's Rouge.