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Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:04 pm

I'm sharpening some razors today. Before I started, I went through to flatten all my stones. I finished them with 400 grit wet dry sand paper to remove any scratches and to get them as perfect as possible. I thought I'd share how I do this. I know to many of you this is elementary, but I thought it might be useful info for some.

This is the Snow White stone. First I draw hash marks in a diamond pattern on the face of the stone.
Then I start flattening the stone. After a few laps, I check the progress to see how I am doing.
You can see by the lines where the low spots remain. Keep checking your work and if you need to redraw your lines and clean off the surface a bit to check it is ok. In the last pic you can see it is almost there. Only a few small places near the edges of the stone remain.
This stone was already fairly flat and didn't take much to get it. That is why you don't see the normal wear pattern in the pictures. As it gets flatter, the water wants to wash off the marks as well. That's why I usually dry off the stone and draw the marks a second time to finish up just to make sure I got it. Anyway, that's how I do it. If there's something else you do, by all means post it up. I might learn something else too.

Re: Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:47 pm

Good show, I still mark my stones with pencil prior to flattening.....just so much easier.

One can clearly see when it's done properly.


Re: Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:27 pm

P.S. don't use a marker since it will weep into the stone.

Re: Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:32 pm

I've always used a #2 pencil...

Re: Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:37 pm

I agree a lead pencil works better. Couldn't find one so I used one of the kids colored pencils. I should have taken a picture of my latte. It was dished with the typical pattern.

Re: Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:23 pm

Looks like what I do.

Re: Flattening tips

Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:58 pm

I think that's kind of the norm for most people.

Re: Flattening tips

Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:39 pm

Good tips about no marker. That would be unfortunate.

I use a single long X across the stone usually, I flatten most times I sharpen so I don't get much deep dish action.

Re: Flattening tips

Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:26 am

Okay I went ahead and doodled on my stones with the #2 pencil...The ones that I used to get low SAT scores with :)

I notice the stones do have a few peaks and valleys but it's certainly not too concave. I tried what Jeff B suggested and sharpen some shorter knives and balance the high and low spots.

I think the Murray Carter video made a pretty good point about using the knife to keep the stone as flat as possible. I've been following the Carter video advice and recently took my Shun pairing and Utlity knife to the stones to flatten them as I sharpen.

Do I really need a diamond plate for flattening stones? Probably...but as a relative newbie to sharpening I am enjoying the technique of using all the stone before taking away more than is necessary to keep flat.

Re: Flattening tips

Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:42 am

Do I really need a diamond plate for flattening stones?[/quote]

Yes. PM me if need be. I'm pretty close to you.
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