Flattening Shapton stones: Shapton DRLP vs. DMT Diamond Plates


Hi,
I'm want to buy Shapton professional stones and am thinking about how to keep them flat. I watched a video clip on their website
http://www.shaptonstones.com/stones/diamondlapping/dmdmovie.html
The video shows Harrelson use the Shapton DRLP to keep the stones flat and also to reference the blade bevel (That's how he words it. Really I think he means he is giving the blade it's general shape and making it very flat to speed sharpening.) The DRLP looks great but I do not think I can afford it now. I am not keen on using sandpaper and glass to keep the stones flat. It seems wasteful and takes up more space. I do not want to use the Shapton compact lapping system because keeping the powders in stock seems like a pain.
For keeping stones flat, how do the DMT duosharp plates compare to the DRLP? Which grade duosharp matches the DRLP? Which grade DMT stones do you like for flattening stones?
I have read old posts here that say using a DMT plate to keep waterstones flat is a bad idea because the way the diamonds are attached to the substrate is destroyed by the waterstone. However the Shapton stones are ceramic so maybe that will make a difference. How durable is the DRLP when used with stones?
How durable is the DRLP when used with steel? I have read old posts here (some by Steve Knight) that say diamonds and steel are a very bad match and the diamond stones will wear out quickly when used with steel. Does this apply to the DRLP?
How much flatter will the DRLP keep the stones and will it really affect sharpening time or quality? The DRLP is flat to 0.0004" on the stone side and the DMT diamond stones are flat within 0.003" or according to Lee Valley 0.005".
The shapton professional stones are 8-1/4" x 2-3/4". Duosharps plates are 10" x 4". The Shapton site does not say how large the surface is on the DRLP.
The DRLP costs $489 and a Duosharp plate costs $119.
Part of the problem is during my phone conversation with Harrelson he hyped the DRLP so much he made me think I cannot do without it. Maybe it is that much better but maybe he is stalling a sale by trying to sell me such an expensive system.
Any info or experiences appreciated.
Thanks!
Peter
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Don't believe the hype about "flatness". I've had 5 DMT 6" "stones". They weren't all even close to specs on flatness. A couple were within specs. I've had one blue stone wear out and it was replaced by DMT. It took forever, but they did make it good.
I started to flatten an oilstone with my coarse DMT, but stopped when I found it was ruining the DMT on the ends where the oilstone was making first contact with the DMT. I know they recommend using them for that, but I won't use mine to flatten other stones.
Dave
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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I use a diasharp to flatten my shaptons. My diasharp is about the same size, but with a starrett straight edge a .001 feeler will not pass and there is no light straight into the sun. So it's flat.
I put pencil lines on my shapton, wet the diasharp, scrub around in circles, back and forth etc. Wet em again, watch for the lines to mostly disappear. Then mark em again, and flatten till they all go away. It's flat again till I really grind away an iron.
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Oops. Missed the one. The DRLP is flat within 0.00014"
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They also have a cast flattening plate for less. It's what I've used for over a year now. Works great.
Mike

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Hi Mike,
How quickly do you go through the lapping powder?
Thanks Peter
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Hi Peter,
I still have the original containers. I would say I'm half way through the powder for the 2000 stone and have most of the container for the 8000.
I'm not anal about flattening the stones. I use the entire surfaces in the sharpening process. They stay pretty flat. It doesn't take much powder. The 2000 stone I probably flatten every dozen or so sessions. The 8000 less often.
Mike

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On 29 Apr 2005 22:16:30 -0700, the inscrutable snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake:

Stone vs. diamond, to me, is like the difference between heavy duty AA batteries and alkalines. Alkalines last so much longer that heavy duty batteries never even come to mind. (Especially if the heavy duties were half again more costly.)
Spending both your precious time and money on supplies and sharpeners for your sharpeners seems like a waste to me. My DMT diamond plate will outlast me and it was a one-time $10 cost (from a fellow Wrecker.) That and a few bucks a year on superfine grit paper keeps everything I own sharp. I also bought a diamond cone hone which works on the curved profiles of my carving gouges.
P.S: If I were to bend every crowbar within 1,000 yards of me on a sharpening system, I'd go with diamond plates on a Veritas Mk-II machine. (Chances against that happening: gazillions to one.)
--== May The Angst Be With You! ==-- -Yoda, on a bad day -- http://diversify.com Ending Your Web Page Angst.
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On 29 Apr 2005 22:16:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I used up my first bottle of medium (all I use last year so I got about 2 years out of it (G) but I bought 10 pounds of it on ebay or a store for 5.00 and shipping (G)
--
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
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Hi Steve,
What is the stuff that you bought called? Is it the same stuff you can buy for rock tumblers?
Thanks, Peter
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On 30 Apr 2005 18:52:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

yep just rock powder mine was a mix of 220 and finer I think. I don't remember where I got it but I thin kit was the same as this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryH43&iteme28616926&rd=1
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Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
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Steve,
Does the Shapton lapping plate ever wear out or go unflat as a result of the lapping powder rubbing on the plate?
- Daniel
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It would have to.

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CW wrote:

result
You're right, I think, if you use it about as much as Steve does. But then if I remember right, Steve goes through whole sets of stones and likes the Shaptons because they take the longest to wear out.
It takes me an awful long time to even get a Shapton to the point where it needs flattening. Had this set over a year and had to flatten 'em three times. The 8000 I haven't flattened at all. I haven't even gone through half the powder. The lapping plate still shows flat on every straightedge I check it with. Haven't run a dial indicator over it. Suppose I ought to try that. :-)
But for me, while I guess that plate WILL go out of flat sometime, I think I got a few years left before it happens. Then we'll see what fancy toys are out there to replace it by then.
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