Tag Archives: strop


16 Nov


I’m carrying on with woodcuts for a while, hacking away at lumps of plywood all day at the studio. It’s important to keep my cutting tools sharp; if I keep hacking when they get blunt, it hurts my wrist. I use a leather slipstrop and a bar of waxy abrasive to keep them sharp. I rub the abrasive wax onto the surface of the strop and then stroke the tools across it a few times to keep them sharp. I generally do it after a dozen or so cuts on plywood, more often for PVC board and less for lino.

There’s a way of stroking the blade across the strop; the gouges have to be rotated across the surface of the strop to make sure that the sharpening is even. The V and flat blades are pulled straight across. It’s much easier to do this instead of having to re-sharpen blunt tools, which needs to be done with a sharpening wheel.

It’s quite a big piece so it’s taking me ages to hack it. I’ve got this far. I’m giving my wrist the weekend off.

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