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Buffing Compound & Leather Strop

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by John Noon, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Did a little experiment with the buffing compound I picked up at princess auto it did not work all that well and was more brick like making it basically unusable.

    A couple days ago when reaching the nub proportions on the Lee Valley bar I had I figured one more try for PA compound, and it still sucked so off to the mad scientist laboratory (Kitchen)

    Double boiler and Pyrex measuring cup that still had a half cup of leather conditioning & water proofing compound. A 50/50 mix of Beeswax and 100% Pure Neatsfoot oil.

    Everything onto the stove and dropped in the PA compound, basically 3/4's of a bar. Once everything was heated and thoroughly melted and mixed it all got poured into a Tin I use on sheaths and molding pouches.

    Well happy surprise is the compound was now softer and usable. Beeswax is sticky even on the leather belt so there is a bit more drag but it cuts and polishes.

    For use on a buffing wheel that does not need Neatsfoot oil I would go with a 60/40 blend of beeswax and mineral oil.

    If you happen to own a leather stropping belt that is floppy and very dry then mix the Beeswax & Neatsfoot oil anywhere from 50/50 to 40/60 the first is very stiff and good for strop application the second will work on the powered strop and on sheaths, belts and other vegetable tanned items.

    Side Note:
    If hand sanding past 400 or 600 grit is your nemesis then the leather belt with green compound is your friend. It will smooth and polish nice and flat surfaces with less fear of launching a blade.
    Use a edge beveler to round off the edges, case the edges (dampen) then burnish. This helps cut and polish small radius on the knife.

    I will be testing out a concept no-stretch leather belt on my 2x72 and if it handles the work then I will make more as needed.
    Anything from the little 1x30 up to the 2x72, plus a bonus feature I am keeping under wraps for now but is a little icing on the cake.
    So far the leather strop for 2" drum sanders makes stropping a swivel knife and other leather working tools a pleasure. Maybe I should be selling them?
     
  2. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    If it means less hand sanding, i think it may be popular. I know I'd buy one.
     
  3. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    Very interesting, John. Most of my sharpening is done by hand with sandpaper through 2500 grit if trying to be real particular but then a finish polish with the green compound, jewelers rouge, etc. I have been using mineral oil on the boards upon which leather with compound added has been attached and I have not tried the Neets' Foot oil. I find that the strops do get dry periodically. Would the Neets' foot oil do a better job?
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    The 100% pure Neatsfoot oil is rendered from cows and the ph level matches the hide so it does not hurt the leather plus it conditions the leather.
    I was going to say puts some life back in the leather, zombie cow thing going on
     
  5. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    What I like most is the cut and polish is on a flat surface.
    Once I get the knife I am working on polished and buffed I will post pictures. Until then the surface at mirror shine looks flatter or more true than a buffing wheel
     
  6. Wishalot

    Wishalot New Member

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    Thanks, John - makes a lot of sense and will be using that oil. The mineral oil tends to leave everything a little sticky/gummy.
     
  7. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes being lazy is beneficial and after power stropping a few edges the light bulb came on and just do the whole knife. Even if it takes time it saves the old fingers from abuse.

    Instead of Beeswax I am thinking good old candle wax from grocery store might be less resistance when buffing. That will be the next batch I mix up when I run out
     
  8. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    John, do you sell leather 2" x 72" belts?
     
  9. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    I can get them in, but in near future I will be making all sizes in house. I was planning on a order for wet & dry paper to see how well the Phoenix brand stands in comparison to the Indasa brand

    I have set up a temporary product page with a link to the contact form for anyone interested in a leather belt.

    Some poor sucker (product tester) will need to run one hard over several knives then they will be available for purchase.
    https://canadian-artisan.com/2x72-leather-strop-belt/
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019

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