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