Honing Paste, Strops


To properly hone carving gouges I needed an array of strops charged with abrasive paste.

First order of business was to select an abrasive paste. Watched Chris Pye's video on making your own abrasive paste and decided to mix up a batch similar to his...



The first ingredient for this mixture is a substance that provides the paste part of the mixture...it should be tallow or you could substitue suet.

I got a couple of tins of mutton tallow...this used to be a standard too lubricant in the old days...McQueen's has been making it since 1895.

I put an ounce in the mixture.

The ratio of paste to abrasives is 1:2.


Pye recommended a number of types of abrasives as possibilities...I settled on four...starting with a squeezable polish...Happich Simichrome is a metal polish...I put in about 1/2 ounce.

Veritas lapping grit is a fine abrasive silicon carbide (SiC) grit.

I put in a little more than 1/2 ounce of 600x.

Veritas honing compound is a blend of chromium and aluminum oxide. It comes in a cake for use in charging honing slip strops, bench strops or felt wheels, etc.

I chiseled off some pieces and put in 1/2 ounce.

Final ingredient is jeweler's rouge...I got a bar of Dico JR1 at Montgomery's Hardware...chiseled off a chunk and put in 1/2 ounce.

The tallow and abrasives were heated in a stainless steel melting pot.

This pot rests on the rim of a large pot, the bottom of the melting pot is submerged in the heated water in the larger pot, a double boiler setup.


The tallow and the soft Hamich polish were put in first...

...then the SiC powder was added...
Pieces of the two compound cakes were chiseled off and weighed...then placed in a bag and pounded into smaller pieces...all of the materials were then heated in the melting pot...liquefied...
...and then poured into a small plastic tray where the abrasive paste will set up...
A range of leather strops were charged with the Pye Paste...large bench strop, small bench strop, flexible leather strop, Flexcut slip strops, bench slip strops.





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