Hand Tools Archive

Re: Contamination

Steve Voigt
I have a real aversion to something that maybe others aren't bothered by - the tiny defects that happen in an edge if there are any contaminants on the surface of a strop or a hard stone.

You definitely aren't the only one--this is a constant issue for me (and we've talked about it before).
I've mostly neutralized stone contamination by removing India stones from my normal honing routine, and only using them when necessary. The Washita and trans Ark are hard enough that bits of steel rarely get stuck in the surface, so assiduous wiping with oil and occasional resurfacing with a diamond stone keeps my oil stones pretty clean.
Stropping is a whole 'nother story. I've never found a good way to avoid burr remnants that will quickly foul the edge and make stropping a harmful rather than helpful process. A virgin or newly resurfaced strop is great, but things can go down hill quickly, and resurfacing a strop is a time consuming pain.
I kind of figured this is where you were going with the buffing wheel--that contaminants aren't as much of an issue. As much as I like the idea of manual stropping I can see why the buffing wheel would be attractive.

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