A leather strop helps to remove any remaining traces of burr and adds a final razor finish. Strop the cutting edge by running it several times down a thick piece of leather which has been treated with fine abrasive paste such as Jeweller’s Rouge of Crocus powder.

Using a leather strop impregnated with crocus powder to polish the inside and outside of the cutting edge.

To strop the outside angle, the leather should be placed flat on the bench top, and for inside the blade, wrapped around a compatibly shaped item.

The only way to test the sharpness of the chisel is to carve with it. A sharp chisel should produce a polished cut when carving the grain in all directions, whereas a dull tool will leave drag lines. Use the techniques described in the ‘first cuts’ section to assess the quality of the cutting edge. If drag lines are evident, then the honing process should be repeated until a razor sharp edge is obtained.