What's new
  • Welcome back Guest!
    If you have been away from our site you may have to request a new password. Simply click on the link for "lost" password in the log in page.
    Thank you.
  • Guest
    The BST is now open, please note the changes in our guidelines to address the recent fraudulent activity. Ensure you read the guidelines prior to creating a sale thread in the Buy-Sell-Trade forum with special attention to the new photo and payment requirements.
    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Pasted Strop How Much?

I have been experimenting with 6" long pieces.
I am happy with my recent 10" strops, but also with the 16" 0.1u/200k strop they enabled. And I refreshed my 12" strops and use those. Variety!

Also, I had not heard about the straight edge / feeler gauge technique. I doubt I'll invest, but it would be fun to test balsa flatness over time and atmospheric conditions that way. It doesn't take much to get me to invest in test/measurement gear. I have at least three feeler gauge sets already, left over from a time when I would touch an engine myself.

If I test a machinist level with three feeler gauges against my granite surface plate that is five standards in play for the one test that relies on my sensitive touch and judgement. I'm glad I never knew about all this stuff when I was adjusting my motorcycles' valves and points back in the day!

If I get a high spec straight edge, am I seeking truth or just indulging my tendency to overpay for backing up my 2¢ opinions?
 
I actually meant using three feeler gauges and a straightedge to check the lapping plate for flatness. It might be difficult to use that check with the balsa but it would be interesting to try. If in doubt i just re-lap the balsa but of course the lapping plate needs to be flat.

<EDIT> Proobably not much use trying to check your surface plate by that method as it is likely more accurate than the straightedge will be.
 
I'm using tile and 1/3" balsa right now. I have to grab more because the clamps slid and ruined the bonding last night, but it's probably good enough for my area.
1/3" is about 8mm. That should be ok. I have used that in 3 of my 4 balsa strops without any problems. My pictured 0.25μm balsa strop above is of 8mm thick balsa. Personally I wouldn't use balsa over 8mm thick.

If using your 0.1μm balsa strop for every-shave maintenance (and you should), I recommend that you make a second 0.1μm balsa strop just for that maintenance as the 0.1μm strop gets the most lapping and re-pasting in my routine.
 
Proobably not much use trying to check your surface plate by that method as it is likely more accurate than the straightedge will be.
True, but it would give me a baseline 'feel' for the gauges. And raise my confidence (raise, I hope) in the gauges and straight edge.

I finally bought an inexpensive General brand digital caliper a week or so ago. First thing I did was measure a bunch of feeler guages from my various sets. Now I'm quite happy with both my new caliper and my 50 year old feeler gauges.
 
No schedule, here. Usually after two or three reapplications of paste, or when it just looks or feels like it needs it. You can lap every time you need to reapply, if you like. Only harm is wearing the balsa down quicker. And balsa is pretty cheap; it's not made out of gold.
$5 for 36"x4"x1/3" I think my bank account will survive lol!
 
1/3" is about 8mm. That should be ok. I have used that in 3 of my 4 balsa strops without any problems. My pictured 0.25μm balsa strop above is of 8mm thick balsa. Personally I wouldn't use balsa over 8mm thick.

If using your 0.1μm balsa strop for every-shave maintenance (and you should), I recommend that you make a second 0.1μm balsa strop just for that maintenance as the 0.1μm strop gets the most lapping and re-pasting in my routine.
That's great advice.
 
Here's my latest attempt, looks much better and using the 50% diamond paste from Tech Diamond Tools. It's already building up a bit of swarf.

IMG_5214.JPEG
 
Here's my latest attempt, looks much better and using the 50% diamond paste from Tech Diamond Tools. It's already building up a bit of swarf.

View attachment 1300693
That's getting better although next time try a little less paste and/or try to rub more off.

Not sure what the length of the balsa is. If the width is 76mm (3"), the length loos about 7" to 8". If that is the length, you will need to double the number of normally required laps to get the same effect as a 12" piece of balsa.
 
I have a balsa block I bought at hobby lobby. It's 3"x3"x12" long. I use it for knives. You can sand any side if you decide to change your medium. You can glue leather to it also if thats what you want to do. I think I paid about 10 bucks for it. Will last several lifetimes.
 
I have a balsa block I bought at hobby lobby. It's 3"x3"x12" long. I use it for knives. You can sand any side if you decide to change your medium. You can glue leather to it also if thats what you want to do. I think I paid about 10 bucks for it. Will last several lifetimes.
Yes, probably great for knives, not really suitable for SR's.
 
Just curious as to why? Its balsa and it's flat.
A few reasons. Being so thick and not supported on a hard stiff substrate, the balsa will readily change shape (loose flatness) with even just slight changes in humidity and/or temperature. This can be overcome by lapping and re-pasting before each and every use. Also, using multiple sides is a great way to suffer from cross contamination with the different grits used.

You may not be aware of the lengths that some SR honers go to to get the edge that edge they lust after. Knives and SR's are two entirely separate objectives when it comes to honing.
 
That's getting better although next time try a little less paste and/or try to rub more off.

Not sure what the length of the balsa is. If the width is 76mm (3"), the length loos about 7" to 8". If that is the length, you will need to double the number of normally required laps to get the same effect as a 12" piece of balsa.
I've gone with 8" for this strop. I'll try less paste next time, I added a bit more than I should because I wasn't seeing the coverage but I guess I should have just gone with my initial application.
 
A few reasons. Being so thick and not supported on a hard stiff substrate, the balsa will readily change shape (loose flatness) with even just slight changes in humidity and/or temperature. This can be overcome by lapping and re-pasting before each and every use. Also, using multiple sides is a great way to suffer from cross contamination with the different grits used.

You may not be aware of the lengths that some SR honers go to to get the edge that edge they lust after. Knives and SR's are two entirely separate objectives when it comes to honing.
Oh, he is aware. Bill has been over the mountain and seen the critter. He just has a little different philosophy than we Methodeers.
 
I guess the next logical question is what is the best way to apply the acetone to thin down the paste?
I just grab my usual lather bowl, a 4oz stainless prep bowl from a kitchen supply place. Shoot some diamonds (as detailed above) in from the syringe, add about a teaspoon or so (eyeballed) of acetone, and mix with my medical gloved finger. Comes out pretty watery and easily applied in a thin coat.

Your photo looked pretty good to me. If you think you have too much diamond, I would just brush lightly with my hand. The main thing is not to be collecting excess diamond paste on the blade while stropping, then transferring it to other finer grit strops, especially not to clean leather or fabric strops.

You may not be aware of the lengths that some SR honers go to to get the edge that edge they lust after.
Disorders and lusts - the journey of a devoted SR shaver. Keeps it interesting!

I like to think I'm shaving like my great granddad, with his secret bench in the back of his harness-making shop, covered with Japanese rocks and synthetics, backed up by an array of engineered diamonds and CBN bonded to high spec flat substrates. I know I'm not shaving like grand dad anymore, since I gave his Old Type to his great-grandson. Remind me, how did King C Gillette get rich?
 
The main thing is not to be collecting excess diamond paste on the blade while stropping, then transferring it to other finer grit strops, especially not to clean leather or fabric strops.
Always wipe blade carefully between stages. Drawing it between a folded clump of TP works good. Keep your hand across the spine and not the edge.
 
I guess the next logical question is what is the best way to apply the acetone to thin down the paste?
I realize you have the 50% paste. I ended up getting the 10% pastes directly from Tech Diamond's website, so no dilution necessary. I used the "two BBs worth" or tried to, assuming a BB being about 3/16" across. It's hard not to get too much out of the syringe. Dabbed it around the strop evenly and rubbed it in well, then wiped down with a tshirt. I probably got a little too much on the first strop, the .5, because I could actually almost see some discoloration. But I wiped it very well. The proof is in the pudding though. My blades made immediate progress through each strop.
 
I just grab my usual lather bowl, a 4oz stainless prep bowl from a kitchen supply place. Shoot some diamonds (as detailed above) in from the syringe, add about a teaspoon or so (eyeballed) of acetone, and mix with my medical gloved finger. Comes out pretty watery and easily applied in a thin coat.

Your photo looked pretty good to me. If you think you have too much diamond, I would just brush lightly with my hand. The main thing is not to be collecting excess diamond paste on the blade while stropping, then transferring it to other finer grit strops, especially not to clean leather or fabric strops.



Disorders and lusts - the journey of a devoted SR shaver. Keeps it interesting!

I like to think I'm shaving like my great granddad, with his secret bench in the back of his harness-making shop, covered with Japanese rocks and synthetics, backed up by an array of engineered diamonds and CBN bonded to high spec flat substrates. I know I'm not shaving like grand dad anymore, since I gave his Old Type to his great-grandson. Remind me, how did King C Gillette get rich?
Sounds good, I always make sure I wipe my blade, I generally strop it on clean linen over wood to clean the edge.
 
Top Bottom