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Re: [BKARTS] Stropping and stuff

On 6/30/07, Martin Carbone < [send email to martycarbone@xxxxxxxxx via
gmail] martycarbone@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

   jgodsey < [send email to gods1216@xxxxxxxxxxx via gmail]
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?

depends on the blade.. ones that i only use for cutting paper
never need a whetstone..
my pocket knife that gets abused gets sharpened from time to time as
do my kitchen blades.

once my large skiiving knives have a good edge on them,
just keeping a fine edge on it is about it, unless you use it a hell of a lot.
truth is i don't do leather work all that often, so i guess your
mileage may vary.

   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.

I have this lovely little book Jim Kingshott - Sharpening Pocket Reference Book: Techniques & Equipment. I think a lot of sharpening is feel- i can always tell when i have it at the wrong angle cause it feels wrong to me. the 2 knives I sell both come with nice long beveled presharpened blades and unless they get abused I don't think folks need to do more than strop them from time to time.

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.

my best corrugated cutter is a steak knife someone stole from a restaurant. a stiff blade with a wide tang works perfectly - especially for great for turning a refrigerator box into a puppet theater.

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

try it. can't hurt.

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

i doubt they would take the chance of corrupting the blade that would be used on a face. it would have been easier to just get new blades.

j godsey

Marty Carbone

The Bonefolder, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2007
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