A strop is basically a piece of leather. After a knife is sharpened, it can be taken to a strop, which aligns the edge, and helps the knife cut. If the strop is loaded, with a compound, then it can polish the blade, and hone the edge to a higher level. For example, after I sharpen off a Fine Spyderco ceramic, I can usually shaving sharp. However, if I strop, I can get it to hair popping sharp. 

I'll add a how to strop in the last step, just in case.

Anyways, this instructable is mainly on how to load a strop, or to apply the compound. There are many different types of compound, such as diamond paste from DMT. I just use a green, chromium oxide compound from sears. Costed around $3. It's basically a block of craftsman polishing compound. 

What you need:
Strop (piece of leather works best, although I have heard of jeans. And some people prefer balsa wood.)
Stove (really hope you have one... or just a campfire in the middle of the woods)
Compound (I got the one from sears. "Craftsman Green buffing compound")
Knives (If you don't, erm.. move on to another instructable. Or check out my other instructables to make a knife first!) 
Paper Towel/Toilet Paper (Go to a fast food restaurant and borrow some if you have to) 

Step 1: Clean the strop

If you have a clean piece of leather, skip this step. 

To clean the strop, I use ispropyl alcohol, and just rub down the strop and try to remove most of the things. Then, I use a 320 grit piece of sandpaper to both clean the strop, and also give the compound something to adhere to. 
<p>Good stuff mate! The sharpening system I own comes with a leather strop and compound as well. Thanks for sharing your tips!</p>
<p>Kind of new to strops. Just got the Lansky diamond system for Christmas and I want to get a leather strop. Is there a leather strop you can recommend to me? Is it just any piece of leather? </p>
<p>You can make one yourself. I just use a old leather belt. Rough up the back side or front with sand paper. I glued mine down to a piece of wood with apoxy</p>
I just used any piece of leather. Some people are picky, but then again, some people use old belts too. I just searched for leather strop on ebay and got a cheap one.
<p>Okay thank you!! </p>
Can I use a piece of cowleather?
<p>I also heard that when your strop gets gray from age from the knives edge, its a good thing. Microscopic particles of metal to help sharpening. What is your opinion?</p>
<p>I like your method of melting the compound. A friend of mine came over last weekend and he brought his strop. The next day I ordered one. A two sided. of course one is rougher (more course) and the other smoother. Stropping really does make a difference in your edge. Great Post</p>
<p>Thank you :)</p>
<p>Thanks. I picked up a couple of ideas from your post.</p>
<p>Many thanks for this informative description on loading a strop.</p>
<p>hi I am about to make a strop from an old leather belt I no longer use to stop the jeans from falling down. Which side of the leather do I use for the strop ping side? ie the smooth treated side or the rougher inside. Thanks in advance for any reply.</p>
<p>I use the smooth side for stropping. </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Please visit my blog for more EDC and knife related things!
More by Batryn:How to Make a set of Lockpicks! How to load a strop (Knife Sharpening) How to make a liner lock folding knife 
Add instructable to: