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How To Use a Pasted Balsa Strop

@Slash McCoy, good demo video. My main concern is that your 0.25um balsa could have been contaminated with the dust (and associated diamond particles) from sanding the 0.5um balsa. You left the sanded 0.25um balsa rather close to your lapping plate while sanding the 0.5um balsa.

When I am lapping/repasting my balsa strops, I start with lapping the 0.1um balsa, paste it and then put it away in its "sock". Then and only then do I start working on the 0.25um balsa, doing the same. Then I will move on to the 0.5um balsa.

As for lapping plate and sandpaper, I use a 450mm (15") long plate and buy my sandpaper in a roll so that I can cut 450mm lengths of sandpaper. This helps a lot in preventing over-runs.

P.S. Your accent sounds like a true Southerner. Many years ago I had a Southerner girlfriend (my Louisiana bell) and she told me that to be a true Southerner, you must come from south of the I10.
 
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Do you throw out the sandpaper sheet after use, to avoid cross contamination next time, or is brushing it clean enough?
Because you are going from 0.1um to 0.25um to 0.5um, there is no need to throw the sandpaper between each of those lappings. You would however need to throw the sandpaper after you have lapped all three.

What I do is use three separate sets of sandpaper; one for 0.1um, one for 0.25um and one for 0.5um. Each sheet is marked to prevent confusion and each is stored separately to prevent cross contamination. This way my sandpaper sheets can be used for multiple balsa lapping sessions. Mind you, I only lap/repaste about 3 or 4 times per year, so one set of sandpaper lasts me a few years.
 
@Slash McCoy, good demo video. My main concern is that your 0.25um balsa could have been contaminated with the dust (and associated diamond particles) from sanding the 0.5um balsa. You left the sanded 0.25um balsa rather close to your lapping plate while sanding the 0.5um balsa.

When I am lapping/repasting my balsa strops, I start with lapping the 0.1um balsa, paste it and then put it away in its "sock". Then and only then do I start working on the 0.25um balsa, doing the same. Then I will move on to the 0.5um balsa.

As for lapping plate and sandpaper, I use a 450mm (15") long plate and buy my sandpaper in a roll so that I can cut 450mm lengths of sandpaper. This helps a lot in preventing over-runs.

P.S. Your accent sounds like a true Southerner. Many years ago I had a Southerner girlfriend (my Louisiana bell) and she told me that to be a true Southerner, you must come from south of the I10.
Yeah we live a half mile north of I-10 and I can hardly understand these people up here. Their yankee accent is atroshus. They got no cultcha, no manners, and can't cook.

The roll sandpaper is pure genius! I even HAVE some, in 3" wide, that I got for setting bevels on! I have no idea how long 450 sillymeters is... oh I see you did the translation into English. Yeah 15" to 18" would be perfect for lapping balsa or for lapping stones, either one.

Yeah you are right about the possible contamination. I am gonna have to do them over again. But NOT outside on the welding table. We have a perfectly good lapping table in the honing-- er, DINING room.
 
Great video and advise. That process looks very familiar.

A nice 50mm (2”) thick granite surface plate won’t slide around on you like that flimsy piece of plastic does. I cut mine down to the size of a standard sandpaper sheet to allow swarf and saw dust to run off rather than puddle on the plate. It still weighs over 10kg (22 lbs) after my modification. I set it on three rubber pads and there is no wobble even if the table is warped. The pads make it a lot easier to pick the slab up again too because you can get your fingers under it.

In a pinch, a piece of non slip rug underlay works well on Plate Glass or Acrylic plates.

I tried the sandpaper rolls too but never got on with them. I found that the saw dust never got a chance to clear properly from under the balsa strop on the narrow sheets. My rolls always come stapled too and this left little bumps were the staple was removed. I’ve stuck with the full sheet and generally finish with circles keeping the whole strop on the paper.

15DA6F1D-70DE-4B11-8026-6DD5A1B0C41E.jpeg
 

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haggis

Contributor
I have that plate, or one just like it. If I move it to another room I consider my exercise checked off for the day. Putting some rubber feet is genius because it is indeed hard to get fingers under it to lift it back off another flat surface. Off to google some options :p
 
I am totally adding the rubber feet idea.

amazon has them, all types, super cheap

And hey Haggis, I just had a breakfast of Marag, some white and black "puddings" shipped over from Scotland.
 
@Slash McCoy I read your posts and you quite rightly state ‘don’t deviate in any way from the method as it’s written and you’ll be fine’.
Ready to try it my diamond pastes and balsa pieces arrived today and the balsa is 8x3inches rather than the 12x3 I thought I’d ordered.
Do I need to throw these in the bin and order the right size or would you just use the stuff and add more laps?
My strops would be 25% shorter than yours so would I need to do 25% more laps for the same result?
 
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@Slash McCoy I read your posts and you quite rightly state ‘don’t deviate in any way from the method as it’s written and you’ll be fine’.
Ready to try it my diamond pastes and balsa pieces arrived today and the balsa is 8x3inches rather than the 12x3 I thought I’d ordered.
Do I need to throw these in the bin and order the right size or would you just use the stuff and add more laps?
My strops would be 25% shorter than yours so would I need to do 25% more laps for the same result?
While never forgetting that you are making a compromise and therefore adding a weak link to your use of The Method, you would in all likelyhood create a good edge with the short balsa if your local hobby shop is already closed for the day. Of course I would seriously not recommend setting a precedent of compromise, even though the undersize balsa will certainly have a beneficial effect on the edge. More laps? Yeah probably. The thing is, the 12" length is the KNOWN FACTOR. The 8" is a departure from the dogma and you will be wondering if you are getting EXACTLY the same results as the 12" length. You could also ask if 11" is long enough. Or if 13" is too long. Yes, 12" is an arbitrary length, chosen for convenience and economy. It is not in and of itself a magic measurement. The biggest advantage of The Method is that all the decisions are made already, and you only need to color inside the lines, so to speak. Follow the dogma and your results are predictable. Slip once and you will slip again. And again. And again. Once you give in, you are on a slippery slope leading to honing anarchy. I would go out tomorrow and buy a nice 36" plank of balsa from the local Hobby Lobby or independant hobby shop. As for tonight, if you can't resist the urge to go small right now because that's what you got right now, nobody will find out if you don't tell anybody, and it will certainly give you a taste of Method finishing. Would you notice the difference between the 12" and the heretically short balsa? I don't know and I never will know and I honestly don't want to know. The Method uses 12" balsa and 12" acrylic plate for the balsa and for film and for sandpaper for bevel setting if you go that route.

But you are just yanking my chain, right?
 
While never forgetting that you are making a compromise and therefore adding a weak link to your use of The Method, you would in all likelyhood create a good edge with the short balsa if your local hobby shop is already closed for the day. Of course I would seriously not recommend setting a precedent of compromise, even though the undersize balsa will certainly have a beneficial effect on the edge. More laps? Yeah probably. The thing is, the 12" length is the KNOWN FACTOR. The 8" is a departure from the dogma and you will be wondering if you are getting EXACTLY the same results as the 12" length. You could also ask if 11" is long enough. Or if 13" is too long. Yes, 12" is an arbitrary length, chosen for convenience and economy. It is not in and of itself a magic measurement. The biggest advantage of The Method is that all the decisions are made already, and you only need to color inside the lines, so to speak. Follow the dogma and your results are predictable. Slip once and you will slip again. And again. And again. Once you give in, you are on a slippery slope leading to honing anarchy. I would go out tomorrow and buy a nice 36" plank of balsa from the local Hobby Lobby or independant hobby shop. As for tonight, if you can't resist the urge to go small right now because that's what you got right now, nobody will find out if you don't tell anybody, and it will certainly give you a taste of Method finishing. Would you notice the difference between the 12" and the heretically short balsa? I don't know and I never will know and I honestly don't want to know. The Method uses 12" balsa and 12" acrylic plate for the balsa and for film and for sandpaper for bevel setting if you go that route.

But you are just yanking my chain, right?
Hahah I promise I’m not yanking your chain, thanks a lot for the advice I’m sure you’re sick of saying it for the millionth time that the method is the method but I wanted to ask. I’ll take your sage advice and re-order the right size.
 
Hahah I promise I’m not yanking your chain, thanks a lot for the advice I’m sure you’re sick of saying it for the millionth time that the method is the method but I wanted to ask. I’ll take your sage advice and re-order the right size.
Is there a brick and mortar near you that has balsa? It is nice to actually examine the piece you are buying, and online prices for balsa usually suck.
 
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