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Restoring Chisels, Turning Gouges and Other Edge Tools


Make a Honing Strop by James D. Thompson


Making a strop or hone for your knives and carving tools is simple. You can order a piece of leather from the internet, or just find a leather belt and cut a piece off that is about a foot long. Glue the leather to a piece of wood.

If the leather overhangs the wood, you just trim off the excess with a knife.

After the leather is trimmed, I like to make the wood look a little better by rounding the end and drilling a hole in it.

Now it is time to put some compound on the leather.  There are many kinds and grits of compound to choose from. I like the green chrome oxide and red jewelers rouge.

I rub the compound into the leather. In this case I have put the soft side of the belt up. I find that it holds compound better than the hard side, but that is a matter of opinion.

If the leather does not take compound readily, I apply a coating of oil to the leather. It will then stay on.

Now the strop is ready to be used. The knife needs to be held almost flat while stropping, and the pressure used should be only enough to hone the edge. Excessive pressure will round over the edge.

You can make as many of these strops as you need, and you are not limited to any particular shape. I made one with a turned handle and it has 2 strips of leather on it.

When my knife strop is not being used it is kept in the case that holds my knives. That keeps it from collecting dirt and grit.

Any old leather belt can be used on a strop. It is easy to make one, and you will be glad you did.

James D. Thompson
April, 2007


Winsted Tools




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