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Honing with green compound, tips needed...

5652 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  shampeon
I recently bought some Veritas green honing compound but I'm having trouble using it effectively. It's advertised as 0.5 microns, so I think it should be effective after my 8k waterstone. Yet applying it on an old leather belth glued to MDF, I feel like it's making it duller, and from light reflection, slightly rounding the edge.

I've also tried putting the compound straight on MDF, but the result I think makes for a very course and patchy surface.

The best result, which isn't much, is puting a blue painters tape on a plate of glass, and rubbing some compound on it. Then polishing the bevel and back of the blade on it.

Any advice?


Brown Wood Fluid Liquid Cosmetics

Leather & MDF:

Brown Door mat Rectangle Wood Road surface

Tape & Glass:

Brown Rectangle Wood Stairs Ingredient


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I cut circles of MDF then charge the edges with green, makes a shiny razor's edge in about 2 seconds. I spin the circles with the lathe or drill press.
It's very easy to remove your 8K edge with a strop (or other stuff) if you don't do it right. Takes a little practice.

I didn't use a belt, picked up some tooling leather, rubbed the green all over, got a hair dryer and warmed it up, smeared it all in, wiped off the excess - done. You don't want a ton on there. Some people use mineral oil or olive oil instead of heat. You want the stuff really in the leather although it's not going to absorb it. Make sure it's not caked on, not flaky.

Paul Sellers stropping
I find it interesting that you are hitting the strop after the 8000 stone. I made my strop and started using green compound to escape all of my waterstones and make sharpening go faster. I go straight from 1200 diamond stone to my strop and love my edges. I think Colonel travis is probably right about a strop possibly being counterproductive after an 8k stone if it isn't done right. I would challenge you to stop at 1k and go to the green compound just to see what it does, pretty much exactly as paul sellers does in his video posted above. Honestly, I have heard plenty of people say that 8k is better than a strop, so you might actually be doing more harm than good, but don't quote me on that. If you are going to go thru the trouble to go all the way to 8k, why use a strop?

A strop sort of inherently does the rounding over thing. I wouldn't be worried about that.

Never heard the hair dryer trick, thanks for that tip Colonel Travis.
I second oyster's statement about going to the strop after the 8k stone. I was lucky enough to have BigRedKnothead send me a strop he made, and I use it quite often. I put mineral oil on the leather, and rubbed the compound over it, and rubbed it into the leather with my fingers, then wiped off the excess. I use it after sharpening (I go to 2500-grit with scary sharp), but use it a lot during the course of my work to just touch up an edge here or there. The way I see it is that I use it more for keeping me going between sharpening sessions.
Stropping is just to polish an edge. Just a few strokes, lightly.
8k waterstone? Sounds ridiculously sharp to me.
I get all the edge I need at 2k paper then buff on a hard felt wheel with white or green rouge.
2000 grit sandpaper = about 3000 waterstone. Green compound is roughly equal to a 12-15,000 waterstone.
I use a leather strop that I made with a piece of leather that I bought after watching Paul Sellers
Thanks for the hair dryer tip Colonel Travis! Have always considered myself pretty good at honing but after following your procedure and all I can saw is Wow!

Now just have to come up with a reason for the 3/4" bald stripes on my forearm!
I use that stuff on a buffing wheel. It's easy to overbuff it and round
the edge.
I'm kinda too dumb to come up with the hair dryer tip on my own. There's a company in Texas called Knives Plus that makes strops and I've read knife people say they're incredible because of the leather. They cost $20 and to me that's not worth it since you can make them on your own for cheap. I don't know, maybe their leather is unique. But that's where I got the heat idea. They also take a few more steps:

Next, we melt down a high chrome rouge in olive oil until it is the consistency of thick vasoline. We smear and work this preparation into the leather surface with a hard rolled shop rag until the surface of the strop is thoroughly saturated and coated. Then we let the polish sink in and set for two days under low heat.

Finally, we rescrape the surface of the strop to remove excess polish and reset the nap. We run the edges of the base on a Burr King grinder to smooth and round the sides for comfortable use, and remove the green polish that gets on everything.

Green Rectangle Grass Magenta Pattern


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Thanks everyone, especially @ColonelTravis. Will try the hair dryer trick tonight!
Man. Knives Plus is blazing new trails in the strop laboratory. Sounds like a procedure to get Waterlox to cure correctly…
Yeah, seriously. I mostly strop with a leather wheel on my WorkSharp 3000, but it's been pretty simple. Apply a thin layer, and an occasional drop of mineral oil to even it out with my finger as it spins. I like keeping the strop wheel on and frequently restrop as I work.
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