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Wood Carving for Beginners

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:08 PM
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Default Do I clean the Strop?

I have Rick's Beginner's kit strope and its getting grubby black. Do I need to clean it and if so, how do I? I dont want to be that beginner that cleans a strop only to be told that was exactly the effect I was suppose to get!!

Mischief being good.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

I have had my kit from Rick for about 3-4 years now and the strop's black as coal--in fact all my strops are. I just keep rubbing more compound on top--just like taking a crayon and rubbing it back and forth until it's a white-gray color. Some say you can use the back edge of the knife to scrape off the black stuff (which is miniscule metal filings from the tool's edge that come off when you strop) . But I don't--I just keep on doing what I've been doing and my tools are sharper than sharp!

Bob L
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

don't think it matters one way or the other, but if you do scrape off the black, you lose whatever compound is there...........which isn't probably much left anyway
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

I do clean my leather strop when the black crude gets visually thick and pasty. I will either use a dull (not serrated) kitchen knife or palette knife to flake off the old.

You can clean the leather with soap and water afterwords but try not to totally saturate the leather. Once it is dry it's ready to start a new layer of rouge.

My will use a green scrubbie on my synthetic strop which takes all of the rouge or powder off quickly.

The main reason I clean a leather strop is not because of the metal filings that Bob mentioned. It's because layer upon layer of rouge eventually means that the strop surface becomes uneven, sort of like an old country hard pack dirt road. I, personally, want a smooth surface for that final honing instead of those lumpy waxy clumpy thingies.

It might make no difference at all, just my habit and way of doing things.

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Old 01-29-2008, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

I had asked the same question a while back, some said to leave it, some said scrape with the back of your knife, some thought I was crazy for wanting to clean it off. What I found is that if I did not clean it off every so often then the surface is not flat, in which case when you hone you miss areas on the knife. Try both ways and see what works best for you.

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Old 01-29-2008, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

Sounds like we need to flip a coin on this one!
"I never met a carver that I didn't like... a knife that I didn't want... a chisel or gouge that I didn't need... or a piece of wood that I didn't have to have!"
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

I like to clean my strop occasionally to keep it from getting too loaded with metal particles. You can go to any hardware store or maybe paint area of a car parts store and get some Scotchbrite pads that will remove the crud without harming the leather!
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

Most of the black crud is small metal particles, these do not help in the metal removal process. I clean mine off frequently and the strop works much faster when clean and fresh compound is available.

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Old 02-06-2008, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

Fk Hit The Nail On The Head.


Last edited by hobo; 02-06-2008 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Do I clean the Strop?

You can get a pad of Scotchbrite at the hardware or paint store that will let you clean your strop without cutting or scratching up the smooth leather surface. I have always used it to clean my strops when they get black. I then recoat the strop with red jewlers rouge.
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