Stropping - Cape Forge

To maintain any of our tools, all you will ever need to do is strop the edge. The only time your tools should ever need to touch a stone is in the case of repair or a damaged edge. Keep in mind we are happy to sharpen and repair any of our tools at no cost to you. ( well- you pay shipping)

click on any photo to enlarge for viewing


strop-a strop-b strop-c strop-d strop-e

Hard leather strop and 600 grit Silicon Carbide compound is what we recommend for all our tools.

When your strop is new you will want to add a fair amount to charge or butter the strop (the size of a lima bean). Use your knife or finger to apply. (paper towels are handy)

Once your strop is established (two or three uses) you will only need to add a small amount (the size of a pea) occasionally to keep it charged when it starts to dry out.

To establish the proper angle for stropping- pull the knife away from the edge with a light pressure. You want to tilt the knife until you feel the edge bite in. You can see a line form on the strop.

 At which point you will want to lower the back of the knife a few degrees, so that you are working the area behind the edge. Once your angle is established using two or three passes on both sides with about 5 lbs of pressure is all it should take.
strop-f strop-g strop-h strop-i strop-j

 To make sure you are honing the blade properly. you can run the following test. You will need to add a bit of fresh compound and strop as you think you should.

 If your angle is correct, you will produce a thin (1 /32") line free of compound at the edge of the blade. This tells you that you are honing the area behind the edge correctly. That is perfect.

 If your angle is too steep, you will pile the compound along the edge.


 If your angle is too low, you will smear the compound right off the blade.

Also bad!

 A few basic things to think about while stropping. Maintain the angle the entire length of the stroke by locking your wrist and elbow.
 A common mistake is to let your hand sweep up at the end of the stroke. This takes your edge right back off. Defeating the purpose.