anyone using the Norton or dmt steel backed diamond plates

Hi
I've been looking at both the dmt and norton 11 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch steel diamond plates for lapping tools flat. don't want to buy all of them so i was wondering if the 600x would be fine for making my tools flat while leaving a fairly polished surface. Any comments on using polycrystaline vs monocrystaline diamond?
Mat
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no name given wrote:

Personally I'd get a coarser diamond plate. Diamond takes off material quickly, which makes it ideal for leveling, taking off rough spots, etc. Then I'd follow up with several grades of wet-or-dry sandpaper on plate glass (aka 'Scary Sharp') You'll be removing less material with the sandpaper after the initial work with the diamond and you can take it to any desired degree of smoothness.
--RC
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I've thought of that. The problem with using sandpaper on any flat surface is you will not have a perfectly flat lap on the tool after. The paper will curl up ever so slightly on the leading edge of the tool as its pushed along the paper. It may be only 0.001" but that will .001" will compound over what ever you are trying to flush trim. So I thought I'd ask if one diamond stone would work or will I have to caugh up for two.

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along
Not if you tack it down well with 3M77 or similar
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You may think I'm splitting hairs but I've thought of that too. I doubt you could creat a perfectly flat surface by glueing a imperfect sheet of paper on a imperfect surface of unevenly applied glue... To have a flush trimmer work well it has to be perfectly flat on the bottom and sand paper glued or unglued on a flat plate just ain't flat enough hence the need for a steel diamond plate

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    Greetings and Salutations...
On Sun, 10 Oct 2004 08:44:53 GMT, "no name given"

    While you have a point here, it is my feeling that you are falling into the trap of trying to achieve "Perfection". Got to remember that this is WOODWORKING we are talking about here. The basic material we use can change size and shape up to 10% just by changing the humidity in the air around it. Compared to steel, we are working with thin strips of rubber..so sweating a few thousands of an inch is not worth the effort (unless your hobby is really tuning tools to "perfection").     While on a microscopic level, there are huge distortions in the paper and surface when "scary sharpening" something, that really does not matter on OUR scale. Shucks...if you look at Bo Derek's right nipple at 400x magnification, it is not going to be a pretty sight!     The bottom line for me is that sandpaper on a sheet of glass CAN produce a very acceptable level of flatness and sharpness. If the paper is distorting when you are rubbing on it, I suspect it is because you are pressing TOO hard. Ease off the pressure a bit, and, let the tool glide over the sandpaper. Another thing that can bite a person on the butt is the attachment point for the sandpaper. When I am sharpening, I make it a point to always push the tool AWAY from the point that the sandpaper is attached. I tend to hold the sandpaper down with one thumb, and, while holding the blade with my other hand, push away from the thumb holding the paper. That way, the paper is stretched by the action of the tool, and is very unlikely to crumple or create a bow wave.     While it can be a fascinating hobby to try and produce a perfectly flat surface, I stick to the more mundane goal of getting the tools tuned to the point that I can work wood with minimal effort and maximimal safety.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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Yes, I use the DMT fine/coarse Duostones. They work well for lapping and are good for flattening your waterstones, too.
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