10 thoughts on “How to strop a wood carving knife”

  1. The compound does all the work, so it's more or less pointless to use anything other than leather on your strop. Leather is the only material that has both the hardness and the softness, depending on ho which you want the leather, which depends on the grind of your knife.

    Thinner, harder leather works best for knives with a straight bevel, such as a Scandi, flat grind, or sabre grind, and thick, soft leather does a better job on a convex grind.
    Firehose does not work as well as leather because the way it holds the compound, and the way it gives, is just not as consistent, or as controllable, as leather.

  2. Hi Jamie, the two smaller ones were purchased from carving shops (the woodcraft shop, in Iowa)  and the two long ones for knives, I made myself from a 1 by 2 and two heavy pieces of leather, one side rough the other side smooth. The compound is the Flexcut gold and it came with my strop for the Flexcut gouges.   

  3. Stropping compound is not absolutely, necessary, but why spend time stropping when compound gets you back to carving quicker?

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial!

    My hubby just started getting interested in wood carving (and I have, too!) but we are so clueless about how to get good knives. We bought an exacto set through a craft store, but have broken the blades. What are some good knives, and where can we buy them, for beginners? I'll definitely be making the hubby a stropping tool like yours for Christmas!

  5. Good job. Thank you.

    @Hey All; It will still work without the compound. The compound is a very fine abrasive, and it's used to make stopping go a little faster than it does without it.  In the Westerns of 50 years ago, I saw a lot of straight razor stropping, but never sharpening, and they didn't use a compound. That said, it's not expensive. A small stick of compound will run about $6 which may even include shipping. Some believe that a sharp knife needs only frequent stropping to keep it sharp.

  6. If you just use a belt and non of that yellow stuff that you smear on will it still work half decent?

  7. A buffing wheel will also work. If you are just starting out or traveling, a strop is ideal. I try to show less expensive ways to keep your knifes sharp.

    After all, there is more than one way to skin a cat.!

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