How to Use Diamond Pasted Balsa Strops

Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Location
Cebu, Philippines
With over 30 SR's in my collection and many hundreds of SR shaves under my belt, I wanted to see if I could get closer to that atomic edge. I think that I got there with my diamond pasted balsa strops progression. Here are the details that I have written of how it is done (I do not know how or if I can upload pfd, so it is done in jpg):






 
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Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Location
Cebu, Philippines
I just checked and it looks like I omitted page one and doubled up on page 5. To late to edit so here is page 1.

MOD EDIT: While you may not be able to go back and edit, we can!

FTFY and thanks for the information!

 
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Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Location
Cebu, Philippines
Great info here-
Plus if you like pocket knives you can put a mirror edge in quick order with these pastes.
Yes, you could use it pocket knives however pocket knives rarely have a straight edge. If using them for anything else other than an SR, lap flat and re-paste before a SR next touches those diamond pasted balsa strops.

I think that this level of edge refinement would be wasted on anything other than a SR. If you insist upon using these for your knives, make a second set just for knives.
 

Ferret619

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Yes, you could use it pocket knives however pocket knives rarely have a straight edge. If using them for anything else other than an SR, lap flat and re-paste before a SR next touches those diamond pasted balsa strops.

I think that this level of edge refinement would be wasted on anything other than a SR. If you insist upon using these for your knives, make a second set just for knives.
TBH I’ve used pasted leather then very fine stuff on balsa.
Haven’t found a need to have two balsa strops in the house.
 
Joined
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Cebu, Philippines
TBH I’ve used pasted leather then very fine stuff on balsa.
Haven’t found a need to have two balsa strops in the house.
Then you haven't experience an SR shave like I regularly get. Each to their own. I just have a different standard than yours.

As the instructions state, the diamond pasted balsa strop method is not for everyone. It is only for those who strive for perfection in their SR edges.
 
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Ferret619

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Then you haven't experience an SR shave like I regularly get. Each to their own. I just have a different standard than yours.

As the instructions state, the diamond pasted balsa strop method is not for everyone. It is only for those who strive for perfection in their SR edges.
Indeed perhaps we are just on different levels but given that I have no issues with the edges I’m getting and it doesn’t require the pretence, I’m okay with that.
 
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Gargravarr

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Great info here-
Plus if you like pocket knives you can put a mirror edge in quick order with these pastes.
I find that with pocket knives (at least any that I use as a regular tool), the slightly rough edge left by a 1200-grit stone is more than sufficient, with occasional realignment on a kitchen steel. I don't use a pocket knife as a substitute razor, I use it for cutting anything from rope to small-gauge steel wire, so there's no point in being too precious about having a smooth edge. Wood chisels and gouges, however, are a different matter...
 

Ferret619

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I find that with pocket knives (at least any that I use as a regular tool), the slightly rough edge left by a 1200-grit stone is more than sufficient, with occasional realignment on a kitchen steel. I don't use a pocket knife as a substitute razor, I use it for cutting anything from rope to small-gauge steel wire, so there's no point in being too precious about having a smooth edge. Wood chisels and gouges, however, are a different matter...
my pocket knives tend to get babied a bit and really they are just overpriced box cutters-
my chisels are in substantially worse nick than my knives... should do something about that..The only time I’ll really take a knife through the pastes For a functional reason is if I’m using a high carbon steel in a wet n salty situation like a tackle box, Anecdotal but I think having the bevels polished slows oxidation.

For non functional reasons.. polished bevels look pretty.
 

Pbgoose

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Jun 1, 2017
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With over 30 SR's in my collection and many hundreds of SR shaves under my belt, I wanted to see if I could get closer to that atomic edge. I think that I got there with my diamond pasted balsa strops progression. Here are the details that I have written of how it is done (I do not know how or if I can upload pfd, so it is done in jpg):






Can you whack in a couple of pictures of the Balsa strops and diamond paste?
 

Gargravarr

Our resident snake charmer
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my pocket knives tend to get babied a bit and really they are just overpriced box cutters-
my chisels are in substantially worse nick than my knives... should do something about that..The only time I’ll really take a knife through the pastes For a functional reason is if I’m using a high carbon steel in a wet n salty situation like a tackle box, Anecdotal but I think having the bevels polished slows oxidation.

For non functional reasons.. polished bevels look pretty.
My main pocket knife is a Laguiole like this, but with rosewood scales: sturdy enough for casual use, and inexpensive enough for it not to be a real tragedy if I lose it. Easy to open the blade even with gloves on. Also not likely to be deemed an offensive weapon by officious policemen.
Your notion about oxidation is probably correct. A polished surface presents less surface area for oxygen and corrosive agents to attack.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Location
Cebu, Philippines
my pocket knives tend to get babied a bit and really they are just overpriced box cutters-
my chisels are in substantially worse nick than my knives... should do something about that..The only time I’ll really take a knife through the pastes For a functional reason is if I’m using a high carbon steel in a wet n salty situation like a tackle box, Anecdotal but I think having the bevels polished slows oxidation.

For non functional reasons.. polished bevels look pretty.
Polished high carbon steel shows lower oxidisation because polished steel present far less surface area for oxygen to react with. You might be surprised at the surface area increase between steel polished to say 3.0um compared to steel polished to say 1.0um. The latter has about half the surface area, and therefore about half the oxidisation - everything else being equal.
 

Ferret619

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My main pocket knife is a Laguiole like this, but with rosewood scales: sturdy enough for casual use, and inexpensive enough for it not to be a real tragedy if I lose it. Easy to open the blade even with gloves on. Also not likely to be deemed an offensive weapon by officious policemen.
Your notion about oxidation is probably correct. A polished surface presents less surface area for oxygen and corrosive agents to attack.
Nice, I had a lag for a while too actually but I think I sent it accidentally in a pallet to Melbourne..
 
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Can you whack in a couple of pictures of the Balsa strops and diamond paste?
Here is my balsa strop for 0.1um diamond paste. It is 300mm x 75mm x 35mm, of composite construction and pasted. Thast darker middle layer is the tile. Since the last lapping and pasting this balsa strop been used for about 2,000 laps. My other two balsa strops are similar

In fact I am using this balsa strop right now to maintain the "Monday" SR from me English M7DS after this morning's shave (and a great shave it was too).

Here is my syringe of 0.5um diamond paste that I purchased from Tech Diamond Tools. That 5g should last me about 10 to 20 years. My other two of 0.25um and 0.1um are similar, just different coloured caps.
 

Holiday

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Hi @rbscebu, great information and thanks for sharing. As someone new to straight shaving and remote I plan to hone my own razors but not achieving HHT with stones and have to finish on a strop to get a decent edge.
Luckily I have a few expertly sharpened razors from other members on the forum that only require stropping to maintain the edge.
Is your PDF published anywhere as a downloadable file and have you made any videos on stropping?
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Location
Cebu, Philippines
Hi @rbscebu, great information and thanks for sharing. As someone new to straight shaving and remote I plan to hone my own razors but not achieving HHT with stones and have to finish on a strop to get a decent edge.
Luckily I have a few expertly sharpened razors from other members on the forum that only require stropping to maintain the edge.
Is your PDF published anywhere as a downloadable file and have you made any videos on stropping?
You should be able to download the PDF copy here. I don't have any videos on stropping (either with hanging leather or diamond pasted balsa strops). With a bit of searching you should be able to find some on YouTube.
 
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