Getting a mirror finish on the contoured profiles of carving gouges can be a real hassle. The curved surfaces don’t lend themselves to polishing on a flat stone or strop. Making a custom strop is easy. Use the chisel to cut its own contour in a piece of poplar or basswood. Rub honing compound in the contour and you have a custom-made strop.
Further Reading: Q & A: Bowl-Gouge Sharpening Jigs