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[BKARTS] Stropping and stuff

jgodsey <gods1216@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote, in part, "Once you have your little bits of leather
I have a little video to show you how to make a strop out of it."
--------------- reply follows ------------

Your site is
very impressive. I wish there were more like it in various fields.

I have read tons of books on knife sharpening and even have a patent on a knife sharpener

(See <<
>>) -- but to be truthful about it, I really know very little
about what happens at the microscopic cutting edge of the knife. Much is a mystery to me.

I always thought stropping was used to keep a fine edge, but that it
was necessary to go back and sharpen or hone the knife from time to
time. I now realize that it might not be necessary to go back and
"sharpen". From your video -- I gather that you rarely or never do
anything other than strop the knife. Is that true?

I invented my sharpener because I was never sure that I was holding a
knife at the proper angle when I was sharpening it. I was always afraid
that (a) if the sharpening angle was too steep, I was basically doing
nothing to the edge and (b) if the angle wasn't steep enough, I would
actually be removing material at the edge and making the knife dull. 

Because I thought others also had trouble sharpening, I once bought over $1,000 worth of knife steel and was going to manufacture and sell what I called a line of "toolbox knives" -- very much like the "handleless knife" on your website ( I still have dozens of them). I was going to have about 20 models -- each with a different shape. Some like chisels and some like knives -- straight and curved edges. Each model was going to come with a sharpener designed specifically for that edge. I never did follow up after making dozens of prototype knives that seemed to work fine.

I use the one prototype sharpener I made to sharpen a serrated knife (sharpening one side
only) that I use to cut corrugated cardboard when making boxes. It seems to me that it
works better than any knife or box-cutter than I have ever used. I sharpen about every 20th time or so that I use the knife -- when I "think" it needs it.

Maybe I shouldn't be "sharpening at all -- perhaps stropping would work better?

Did the old time barbers and shoemakers ever re-sharpen their razors -- or did they just strop them?

As far as I know, there is no generally accepted, reliable way to test (that is: precisely describe or specify) the sharpness of a cutting edge. Correct me if I am wrong.

All list members are invited to respond.

Marty Carbone

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