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cardboard

I recently went into a leather craftsman shop to ask if me made any strops. He didn't -- but he did use all kinds of ultra-sharp knives for his leather work all the time. And, by extension, he also stropped all his knives very frequently. And he showed me how all he used was a wooden board, with a thin piece of cardboard glued on to it (not smooth, but `fuzzy' side up). I have actually heard to people using card board before, but now I am thinking of changing to use that method on a more regular basis.
My question is, do anyone here have good experiences with card board strops, and any particular recommendations..?
 

Seveneighth

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Back in my student days I used newspaper strops a lot. You can get a good edge from newspaper. I guess it is the same principle with cardboard. I am sure someone told me to use newspaper because of the ink in the newsprint - my uncle probably who worked as a printsetter for one of the big nationals.

Interesting that the guy you spoke to uses the rough side. I wonder about experimenting with different paper surfaces. Worth researching. Would a cotton rag paper would be more effective than a wood pulp? Presumable the fibres would work like a cotton strop.
 
Cardboard or newspaper works great for stropping knives. I think newspaper is a better choice for razors. A very firm, thin piece of cardboard might work. But most cardboard is too rough and too soft. I think you would tear up the edge from abrasion at the micro level while simultaneously rounding the apex from the compression. Newspaper works great because you can use a layer or two and wrap it taut around something firm. This will help keep your apex crisp. The ink from the newspaper also acts like a polish. The particles in the paper are much finer than the particles in cardboard.
 
i could be wrong but im assuming that an ultra sharp knife for leather working is not the same edge as an ultra sharp razor used for a smooth shave. maybe it is. however to be 100 % sure you must strop a razor on cardboard/newspaper and leather, side by side, and do various tests.
 
I used a cardboard strop when I first started. My impression was that it was contaminated with some large abrasive particles that might be OK for knives, but tore up razor edges.

Keep in mind this was a sample size of one, by a newbie with little razor experience at the time.
 
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