Lime /baswood and oak strop

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tombear

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Jul 9, 2004
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Rossendale, Lancashire
Having heard about these things on the interweb ~I decided to try a lime wood strop in stead of the leather or MDF ones I've used so far. I decided to skip the Balsa ones as to a long term aeromodeller that feels like sacrilege and I'd read that like leather it compresses to much to stay perfectly flat. Anyroad, I acquired ( read was reamed for ) a strip of 2 x 1/4 x 24 inch basswood from Hobbycraft and glued it to a 2 x 1 x 8 inch block of scrap oak I'd flattened a surface on the belt sander. Wastefully I used Superphatic glue when normal alphatic glue would have been as suitable and a lot cheaper as I clamped it up over night to cure.

Today I shaped it up on the belt sander, chamfered the edge pf the oak block and rounded off all the edges with fine sandpaper for a comfortable hold.

a0DQCvG.jpg


Total cost to make £2.50 and only because I didn't have and lime to use and had to buy it in. Time to make less waiting for the glue to dry, about 20 mins, it would have been less except I do life to faff about!

The question what to dress it with? ( and I don't mean a pretty floral bonnet ) I have the various dressings in the pic as well as white, black green and red/brown blocks for the buffing wheel and suitable solvents to turn them into pastes if required. No two people or websites seam to agree on this and the US ones refer to products i've never heard of.

Your input would be most gratefully received. I want to use it for the very final polish on things I want realy sharp.

ATB

Tom
 
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Robson Valley

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The green honing compound is principally Chromium Oxide with a nominal particle size of approx 0.5 micron. In this day and time, a lot of the CrOx blocks are mixed with a slightly finer snow-white Aluminum Oxide abrasive at 0.25 micron nominal particle size. I use some AlOx straight on a strop of denim cloth glued to Baltic Birch plywood. The reds and the browns will be oxides of iron (rust) and the blacks likely copper oxide.

My final step for "carving sharp" wood carving edges is the CrOx/AlOx, scrubbed into some sort of a strop. To finish both elbow and D adzes. I scrub that honing compound into a tennis ball for a strop. I need mandrels of various diameters to finish all the crooked knives with their various sweeps
 
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tombear

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Decided to try the Tormek PA-70 first, it seams to have rubbed in OK. Just touched up the Mora Eldris necker and its back to shaving sharp. I've run out of hair on my left arm so I now have a bald patch on my belly...

Atb

Tom

Posted this before I saw the above. The green compound i have says its just Aluminium Oxide, it was cheap stuff. I'll have to get some better off ebay.
 
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Robson Valley

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Aluminium Oxide is inherently white. Fact. They are shovelling BS at you.
Chromium Oxide is a dull green, it's even used as a specific artist's paint shade.

Lee Valley/Veritas sells a mixed bar that looks green. I have one, it is good for honing. Lots of greasy carrier (petroleum wax?). So I buy a harder (less carrier) bar from an industrial supply house. I do not trust the internet with my expensive wood carving edges.

Caution: This stuff is an abrasive. Do NOT attempt to cut pieces off the stock bar with any hand saw that you care about.
 

C_Claycomb

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Oct 6, 2003
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Bedfordshire
I have a balsa strop, made pretty much the same way, only wider and longer, also sourced from Hobby Craft. I use it for my wood planes and chisels and it stays flat enough, by which I mean, having used soft leather, and barber's leather (hard) strops, it is flatter than all and I have not needed to flatten it.

I use Tormek or Autosol. I would suggest not using any of the wax based stick materials since they have body and there is the risk of build up, which will impact flatness. In the case of the balsa, you have to move the sticks fast enough to get friction before they lay down any useful deposit, and that risks denting the balsa surface, and lastly, same as with leather, the wax compound tends to glaze over, removal of which could be annoying.
 
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Robson Valley

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I like to use 4" x 6" office filing cards as strops. I scribble CrOx/AlOx all over that.
The random scribbles ensure even function. Inexpensive and disposable, rapid to replace.

To clean off a leather strop, all you need is a 6" mill file. Use the serrated corner edge as a rake to gently scrape the leather surface. Then recharge the strop.
Leather might have been the only smooth and flat surface available two centuries ago. Float glass with 1,200 grit silicon carbide sandpaper attached with dabs of masking tape is far more useful.
 

tombear

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Cheers folks, that's tbesort of stuff I need to know.

From poking around the web it seams the suspiciously cheap silverline green compound i have is just dyed green to denote grit size/use. Their own website says all their compounds are Aluminium oxide plus colored wax. Must be more cost effective or somesuch.

I've plenty of pastes so i'll stick with them further moment.

Atb

Tom
 
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C_Claycomb

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Bedfordshire
interesting idea -- now i've to "hunt" for some balsa (which shouldn't be too difficult considering it grows around here :cool: )
finding CrOx/ AlOx is more challenging as i've no clue what uses it has (apart from stropping) and where it would be available in this country :-(
What you are really looking for is metal polish. Autosol was initially used to polish chrome bits on cars
 
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hhmm... i know someone close-by who has a Harley, so metal polish should be available even in this corner of the earth disk :) might have to wait a while to get some, though as last week's rains took out a bridge (which will take some time to sort) so our area is currently somewhat cut off from the outside world...

in the meantime i'll search for some cut-offs of some nice tropical hardwood and balsa :cool:
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Chromium Oxide is a green colored chemical compound. The pigment for Chrome Green artist's paint, as well.

This is a common industrial polishing compound. For fine metal edges, it is often mixed with Aluminum Oxide which is snow-white in color. The waxy carrier serves a useful purpose in reducing obvious abrasive scratching.

Nominal particle sizes are 0.5 micron for CrOx and 0.25 micron for AlOx. Of course, these are abrasives. The scratch patterns are too fine for the human eye to resolve so the surface looks very shiny. With a magnifier, you will see how scratched it is.
 
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