I decided to try my hand at making a leather strop after visiting a couple of strop discussion sites [!!!] on the Internet and watching a bunch of YouTube videos about making and using strops.
This is what I came up with. It's made of a leather belt that I picked up at a discount clothing shop, some pieces of wood, and four screw-on rubber feet. I finished it with a couple of coats of clear stain.
Since I've never stropped a knife in my life, I put some little strips of wood on the side that are set at exactly 16 degrees to serve as a visual (and tactile) guide for setting the right angle for stopping my Japanese knives. You could put them at 20 degrees for European knives, or leave them off entirely if you think they are lame.
Total cost was probably about $25 because I bought everything new, but you could probably make one for almost nothing if you used an old belt and some scrap wood.
The many knowledgeable folks here at Chowhound got me interested in sharpening my knives with Japanese waterstones, and I feel that I'm starting to make some progress on the sharpening front. I hope the knife experts here can also share some pointers on how to use a leather strop.
I bought a little green brick of chrome oxide, but I haven't applied any yet. It seems you just rub it on like a crayon. How much should I use? Should I rough up the belt a little first? TIA!
PS. Here's a picture:
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