Eliot Mason wrote:Yes, the leather is a very gentle way to remove little metal hanger-ons that you don't want there. Personally I don't strop the axe (just diamond file) because I'm about to beat the crap out of the edge and I think that beautifully stropped edge will give me a benefit on two, maybe three strokes. I might be wrong, or I might not be sharpening the edge sufficiently for it to matter.
Regardless, the shaving world has vegan strops for making your straight razor wicked sharp. The place I first bumped into them :https://www.portlandrazorco.com/strops/deluxe-green-vegan-felt-straight-razor-strop. That's a 3" wide strop so it should be able to handle an axe head!
Skandi Rogers wrote:If you wish to be all natural then the Birch polypore Fomitopsis betulina is also known as Razor strop fungus and can be used in place of leather.
John F Dean wrote:I am with Eliot on this. I never use leather on an ax. The burrs dont impact the performance after the first swing ... and probably not then. Now a knife, that is a little different.