I have been a professional knife sharpener for years and also a chef in my
past. Strops were never as large as I wanted them for kitchen knives. While
this works for tools too, I made them with quality and looks in mind as well as
function. I won’t be making these again in the foreseeable future as the amount
of time put into them and cost of Maple and Top Grain Leather. I wanted one for
myself but had to buy enough leather I could make more, so I did.
I started with quality solid Maple, Top Grain, vegetable tanned thick belt
leather, non-skid feet and pre-loaded with green (chromium oxide) compound.
Sharpening your knives gets them sharp. Stropping them gets them scary sharp.
Which is actually safer as they don’t slip and cut with less pressure. You can
sharpen your knives less often too as this is a light abrasive.
Honing Steels do not sharpen knives. They re-align the edge.
Most strops are 1-2 inches wide and 4-6 inches long. They’re made of MDF or
other cheap particle board and low quality leather.
I sourced full grain, extra thick 9oz leather for these, used a special
adhesive and bonded the leather to precision cut Maple which I lightly sanded
all edges. I then treated the wood with 2 coats of boiled linseed oil and let
it cure for 48 hours. This not only brings out the beautiful maple wood but
protects it more from water damage and other harmful things.
I applied extreme non-slip feet to the bottom so they don’t slide around on a
smooth counter top and this keeps the wood off the surface where there may be
liquid or water.
After buying the strop, peel off the protective layer over the non stick feet.
After all this, I spent hours pre-charging the leather strop blocks with
chromium oxide compound that is a 7-5 microns thick abrasive thick and evenly
across the entire board.
The strop is 8 inches long by 3 inches wide and about an 1 inch in height. The
perfect size for small or large knives and it won’t look out of place in a nice
kitchen or a shop.
Strop compound is cheap and easily found on Amazon and it lasts forever. The
pre-loaded amount will last you a good bit.
Stropping actually sharpens your knives while the honing rod in most knife
blocks only re-aligns the edge.
Stropping is fast and easy to do. Far easier than full knife sharpening. After
knives are sharpened, a quick strop once or twice a month even, will keep your
knives far sharper. A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. Less slippage and
pressure needed to apply for a clean cut.
So... with that book written....
I probably won’t make any money off of these give the cost of materials for
the small quality made and the hours I’ve put into these... but you’ll be
supporting a small business and purchasing a quality made, custom product.
I’ll happily include links to instructions and info upon request. It’s truly
easy to do and won’t take more than a few minutes to learn how to strop. It
makes a large difference in the sharpness of your knives and tools.
I wrote this all at once at 2am. I will probably come back and bullet point
this... but hey, I’m not here on Etsy for a living. It’s for fun.