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Some are made to be mounted on a tapered spindle for use on a low speed electric motor. Jewelry findings supliers.
I've nothing against buffs, tapered or otherwise, and in fact I have have two powered sharpening systems which I personally don't use much (no reason - just they are on the other end of the warehouse) but for this particular operation - stropping an already sharpish tool, I do this all the time as I carve and it only takes about a minute by hand.
My V-gouge is the hardest to sharpen evenly all around. I'll just keep practicing and hope that eventually it'll take less time to get it right every time.
suggests using various wood strops that have been lightly rubbed with honing compound. Does not dub edges as leather can but, more important, you can easily make the exact shape any gouge or chisel needs - simply use your tool to make a straightish ( not that important)concave cut in a piece of scrap, rub this hollow with honing compound and you have a "custom " strop for that tool.Opposite for the inside of the gouge - or just use a piece of dowel. Cheap, takes no time. Book explains well.
I know of the system you describe and lots of people like it (yourself included). I've never had a problem with a leather strop dubbing anything and I would much rather a single strop where one size fits all. In my current setup - a flat strop for the outside and a thick edge of leather for the inside (horse butt is about 3/16" thick) and it works brilliantly.
As a custom knifemaker my "Hand Shapened" edges have quite a following. I use mainly large Eze-Lap Diamond stones for the "setting up" of the edge. My Diamonds go from 220 grit to 1200 grit. If the steel in the blade will take it, and most any I work with will, I use the strops to "Refine" the edge to whatever level will work best for that particular steel, it's temper, and it's grind, to name just a few variables.
I've used strops for many a year and keep a few close by when I am relaxing doing a Relief or Abstract woodcarving. Depending on the wood I am working with, I may have to strop every couple of dozen cuts. I find that by keeping my tools, both working knives and my Ashley Iles woodcarving tools "Stropped up" I get much more cutting time between sharpenings.
I do not purchase any commercial strops perfering to make my own as they tend to work much better and fit my particular need much better.
I started out using cut lengths of 2"x4" that worked very well particular on long knives and custom machetes. I attach the cowhide to the wood using a good grade of glue that can be found on this website or in a hardware store. I have also used Joel's "Horse Butt" leather strop to very good advantage!
Hope this helps.
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