Leather is used to align the edges with a leather strop. Although leather is not recommended for sharpening, it can be used to re-align, refine, polish, hone, and re-honing blades, allowing them to work more smoothly and sharply than before.
Leather gives a mirror finish to the blades. Leather is used to remove any burr from the edge and polish the metals that make it sharp too.
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A leather strop is used to sharpen the metal with a buffing compound. So, what is the buffing compound? Buffing compounds are called honing compounds (stropping compounds), which are little hard particles of an abrasive solvent that are used to sharpen metal, blades, razors, and knives. Honing compounds mostly come in the form of wax bars, sprays, and paste.
Commonly, the stropping compound that is used is a chromium oxide wax bar. But the diamond paste compound is known as the best compound. You just load the compound on the leather surface and rub it in, then start sharpening the blades.
Method of sharpening the blades using leather strops
There are four steps to sharpen the blades using leather:
- Clean the strop.
- Use buffing compounds.
- Test the sharpness of the blade
- Leather strop
- Buffing compounds
- The paper towel
Step No. 1: Clean the leather strop
Clean the leather strop by using isopropyl alcohol. Next, clean it with sandpaper of 320 grit.
Step No. 2: Use buffing compounds
Spread the buffing compound on the entire surface of the leather
Step No. 3: Sharpening
Start sharpening by simply rubbing the blade on a leather strop on both sides with the precautions that are discussed in this article.
Step No. 04: Test the sharpness of the blade
Wipe the blade with a paper towel and test the blade on a piece of paper. If you are still not satisfied, you should re-sharpen the blade.
Following guidelines must be Keep in mind when you are sharpening the blades:
- Before sharpening, understand the role and effectiveness of leather and the structure of your blades.
- If more sharpening is required, use the smoother leather.
- More than sharpening, leather works well for re-alignment, refinement, and honing. Sharpening will be possible if you have used the stropping compounds on the leather surface.
- If you have an old piece of leather at home, it can be used to sharpen the blades.
- Before sharpening, you can wet the leather with ordinary water. It helps to keep the blades steady over the leather.
- Hold the leather strap firmly for good sharpening of your blades.
- Maintain a 25 to 45-degree angle when you are sharpening the blades with leather.
- If you have no experience, then go slowly to avoid injuring yourself and cutting through the leather.
- You must maintain the angle of the blade when you are sharpening the blades.
- Make sure that the shaving side of the blade is away from you.
- Cover the entire surface of the blade when you are dragging the blade on the surface of the leather.
- Avoid serious amounts of pressure, using nice, even strokes.
- Your blades should face down at the time of sharpening. That can not harm you.
- Do not take long strides when you are using leather for sharpening blades.