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How To Use a Pasted Balsa Strop

Yes, you need to use an acrylic plate as backing. Write each grit size on the side of the balsa that you are going to glue to the balsa. Then you can read which one is which, through the transparent acrylic. Use spray adhesive.

No need to shape it into the handle shape of a paddle strop. A rectangular 12x3 shape will feel fine in your hand.

Personally I would trim the 4 inch width down to 3 inches. Unless you have huge hands, 3 inches is more comfortable.

Trimming balsa is easy though. An exacto knife to create a deep cut, and then you can snap it over the edge of a bench.
Where can I find acrylic plates? The ones on eBay aren’t super thick.

 
what concentration diamond do you use? 10%, 25% or 50%?
Use 25% (preferred) or 50%. The 25% is a bit easier to spread.

When buying your diamond paste, I suggest that you get one each of 0.5um and 0.25um and two of 0.1um. Five grams should last you a few years however you will go through about twice as much 0.1um compared to the others as you are (should be) using the 0.1um strop after every shave.
 
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@ceriano somehow I get the feeling that you have not read the thread yet. The problem with asking all these questions piecemeal is that you don't yet know all the questions that you had ought to ask. Read the thread, and then see if there is a single question you could ask that is not already asked. Not trying to be mean or stingy with knowledge or anything, just trying to help you and others. This thread is THE place to find the answers to your questions and they are already here, along with the answers to the questions you haven't thought to ask yet. If all you know is just the answers to the questions you ask, you won't know enough to be able to make or use a balsa progression successfully. Read. Absorb. Then, do.
 
Found some! I saw on your YouTube video you suggested holding up the strop block flat. Wouldn’t be better to shape this into something like a paddle strop?
No. But if you want to, be my guest.

Also does 0.25 thick need backing?
Yes. Read the thread.

Can I use the whole piece as a strop and not cutting it?
So you want a balsa strop that is 36" long? No. Anyway you need three pieces, one for each grit. Read the thread.
 
@ceriano somehow I get the feeling that you have not read the thread yet. The problem with asking all these questions piecemeal is that you don't yet know all the questions that you had ought to ask. Read the thread, and then see if there is a single question you could ask that is not already asked. Not trying to be mean or stingy with knowledge or anything, just trying to help you and others. This thread is THE place to find the answers to your questions and they are already here, along with the answers to the questions you haven't thought to ask yet. If all you know is just the answers to the questions you ask, you won't know enough to be able to make or use a balsa progression successfully. Read. Absorb. Then, do.
I’m on page 26, Getting there.
 
Use 25% (preferred) or 50%. The 25% is a bit easier to spread.

When buying your diamond paste, I suggest that you get one each of 0.5um and 0.25um and two of 0.1um. Five grams should last you a few years however you will go through about twice as much 0.1um compared to the others as you are (should be) using the 0.1um strop after every shave.
I got the 50%.
After spreading it and wiping it,
I got the feeling that maybe the 25% might have been a better choice.

When the 50% is spread as thinly as possible,
it is still pretty thick,
which would be ok if wiping would spread it further,
but it doesn't, not to any meaningful degree.
 
I’m on page 26, Getting there.
I first read the whole thread once. I then read it again but concentrated more on just @Slash McCoy's posts. During this second reading, I took notes and modified those notes accordingly as I progressed through the thread.

Like most things, it takes time to learn and understand a new skill. Trust me (I'm an engineer), it is well worth the time and effort.
 
Where can I find acrylic plates? The ones on eBay aren’t super thick.
It depends where in the world you are. I know there are suppliers in the EU and also Britain. I have heard they are also available in the US.

You want 20 or 25mm (¾ to 1") thick. Most suppliers will cut to size if they have the correct thickness.
 
I got the 50%.
After spreading it and wiping it,
I got the feeling that maybe the 25% might have been a better choice.

When the 50% is spread as thinly as possible,
it is still pretty thick,
which would be ok if wiping would spread it further,
but it doesn't, not to any meaningful degree.
When you say spread thinly, I don't think you are quite getting the idea. You do not need complete universal coverage. you MUST NOT have a layer of paste. Just sort of dot it around, and rub it in. Then wipe with an old tshirt to clean off your excess. The 50% paste works fine. Dot dot dot dot dot dot dot, then rub it in good. Always do the fine grit balsa first, to avoid contaminating the fine balsa with coarser diamond. Hand rub, firmly.

The most common causes of mediocre performance are not assembling and lapping the balsa properly, using too much pressure, and having too much paste.
 

haggis

Contributor
Honestly when I'm done adding the paste I feel sort of cheated because after all that lapping and rubbing and wiping it looks like there's not a dang thing on there.

Yet the gradual swarf or whatever that builds up over time (mostly I see it with the 0.5) suggests that the pixie dust is indeed present and working its magic. (Plus the shaving results.)
 
When you say spread thinly, I don't think you are quite getting the idea. You do not need complete universal coverage. you MUST NOT have a layer of paste. Just sort of dot it around, and rub it in. Then wipe with an old tshirt to clean off your excess. The 50% paste works fine. Dot dot dot dot dot dot dot, then rub it in good. Always do the fine grit balsa first, to avoid contaminating the fine balsa with coarser diamond. Hand rub, firmly.

The most common causes of mediocre performance are not assembling and lapping the balsa properly, using too much pressure, and having too much paste.
I put one dot on, I spread that around as far as it will go.
From that, I judge how to place the other dots,
so that the covered area from each dot almost reaches the surrounding areas.
When the dots are spread as far as they will go, the covered areas are grey.
When I'm done cloth wiping, the grey is barely perceptible and
the areas from each dot are indistinct from each other.
 
I put one dot on, I spread that around as far as it will go.
From that, I judge how to place the other dots,
so that the covered area from each dot almost reaches the surrounding areas.
When the dots are spread as far as they will go, the covered areas are grey.
When I'm done cloth wiping, the grey is barely perceptible and
the areas from each dot are indistinct from each other.
Yeah it sounds like you are applying a bit too much. That's okay, not a dealbreaker as long as you wipe it down thoroughly with an old tshirt. You could in theory have about 10% of "enough" and it still be enough. But having 10% extra would be just about as bad as having 10X the proper amount. The idea is to have ZERO coating, only embedded particles. I know that probably sounds like it can't possibly work but you can ask all of the successful Method users and they will back me up on this. If it looks like enough, it is way too much, and it will hold you back, due to slurry effect.
 
It's counterintuitive. What works is tiny dots and a complete failure to cover the entire surface. You will feel a profound urge to cover the entire surface. I still do. Our feelings are wrong.

Because this is all happening at the microscopic level. Below our levels of sensory perception. So you have to let go of what your intuition tells you.

Check in with what your feelings tell you and use half of that.
 
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