Hand Tools Archive

Probably because...
Response To:
Re: Contamination ()

David Weaver
..of things you don't do in your shop.

I do some metal work (by hand, but by had still creates filings) in the shop, some saw filing, sometimes repair of other things. My powered grinder is 20 feet away, so it's not the cause of any of this.

When it comes to razors, I learned long ago that the best way to avoid strop contamination is to hang the strop vertically. Whatever may be around in the basement (I'd never leave my razor strop in the shop), which is much less than my shop, not much can settle on something hanging vertically. This would probably be true sans wire edge particles ending up in strops in the shop, even with some metal work.

But I have to admit that I have zero interest in covering strops, putting them away or hanging them up every time I sharpen something.

This includes attempting to tease all of the wire edge off on the finish stone so that it doesn't get to the strop in any significant amount.

As i enter my mid 40s, my eyes and my brain's coordination with them are getting worse. My vision as checked when I was 40 was 20/12, but age-related fatigue is setting in (as I can see things close very clearly, but adjustment to close things isn't as fast as it used to be and the result is pain). I probably see more than the average person does. If strop contamination is something you've never seen, I would probably have seen it somewhere.

If you've never had any bit of a wire edge disappear into your strop and foul anything, I find that to be unlikely unless your work volume is very low. There is some missing data on that end, too. We don't know what kind of work you do because even verbal descriptions are missing. How many planes, chisels and carving tools are sharpened in an average week? What is the nature of the work (making furniture, carving, repair, sash, mouldings? What proportions, and what volume?). Is this work your sole or primary means of income over that period, and if not, what is?

Regardless of any of this, the buffer is tolerant without as much care (even living adjacent to and below a power grinder, unlike my strops), and it's faster, even if just using a clean edge to strop.

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.