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
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.
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.
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
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.
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