Picture of Old Belt Knife Strop
If you've ever wondered how to make a knife sharp enough to shave with, here's the answer: you need to strop it. Using a wet/oil stone will only take the process so far, as would a honing steel. This instructable will show you how to make and use a leather strop out of conventional household items: an old leather belt and toothpaste.
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Step 1: Cut Belt / Wood Preparation

Picture of Cut Belt / Wood Preparation
01B - Cut.jpg
02A - Wood.jpg
02B - Length.jpg
02C - Card.jpg
02D - Bend.jpg
02E - Center.jpg
02F - Mark.jpg
02G - Draw.jpg
02H - Split.jpg
03A - Sand.jpg
03B - Result.jpg
To Cut the Belt, Consider:
  • Use a paper cutter, they make nice cuts and go through leather well.
  • Alternatively, a utility knife works well if used slowly.
To Prepare the Wood:
  1. Cut the wood so that it has about 1 cm margin (up to you really), I used a spare piece of softwood (not balsa!)
  2. If you need to cut the piece in half, use an index card to find the center, it's faster than measuring.
  3. Blunt all of the edges. An easy way is to rest a piece of sandpaper against one's leg or a couch cushion and to move the wood across it. I used my leg and 80 grit sandpaper.
The last picture shows the difference between an un-blunted piece of wood versus a blunted piece of wood.

Joe741 year ago
I was told years ago that the used girth of a horse saddle made the best strop.
One of those "why didn't I think of that" ideas, Thanks !!
EmcySquare1 year ago
A wet/oil stone and a honing steel serve two different purpouses. Stropping is needed to break the microscopic "saw tooths" that the grain of the stone leave on the edge and a excess steel that did not come off during the stone sharpening
nkapon1 year ago
great tutorial! try to use carborundum powder instead of the toothpaste. well done