Shapton stone flatness

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Kicked Back

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Another new tool, another disappointment with out-of-the-box flatness. I'm starting wonder if people who write reviews and say things like "dead flat" are blind, or whether I'm just unlucky.

Anyway, I just received a 16000 grit Shapton stone. My understanding is they're meant to be among the best, and I certainly paid enough for that. Imagine my surprise when I could easily rock a ruler on it.

Obviously these things are meant to be flattened regularly by the user, and I have an actually flat 300 grit Trend diamond plate for that purpose, but how am I meant to remove a hump? My understanding is that if that were the case with a chisel back, you'd refund it or throw it in the bin, since it's a lost cause.

Obvious replacement jobby or is it worth trying to do something in the meantime?

Thanks
 

Jacob

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You aren't under any obligation to obey the tedious rules of the modern sharpeners and it's quite possible to sharpen without ever flattening a stone.
I've never bothered myself - such a waste of time and expensive stone!
Non flat stones don't work too well with jigs, so just do it the normal freehand way.
16000 grit sounds a bit fine, are you into brain surgery or something? :unsure:
Are they really £200 plus? Amazing.
 
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Ttrees

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I intentionally glued some cheapie diamond hones onto a granite offcut with that profile.

It gives very reliable results if wanting the smallest gradual profile which is symmetrical,
easy to do with a few rubs either side of the stone,
and if wanting to produce a flat profile, then skewing the iron in the centre makes for a flat profile.

No damage of rounding the edge, should one have lapped tools which are flat,
as the edge is always pointing upwards and not into a dip,
compared to the opposite with proud edges.

Just saying you could make use of the hone like that, and not have to use a stone flattening tool for removal of that profile,
which to me always looks like that is what the end result will end up like anyway.

Unless you intentionally hollow the entire hone, but leave the edges proud or
untouched somehow, that is.


Tom
 

paulrbarnard

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Shapton are very soft. It will flatten on the 300 diamond in a few passes so removing the hump is absolutely no problem. Just keep even preasure on the diamond stone (Put the Shapton in the appropriate holder or on a flat surface) and do a figure 8 pattern for a few passes.
Personally I find 300 a bit aggressive for flattening Shaptons. Something like a 1000 is more than enough for a 16000.

It should have come completely flat so you could send it back but it is easily fixed.
 

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Shapton are very soft. It will flatten on the 300 diamond in a few passes so removing the hump is absolutely no problem. Just keep even preasure on the diamond stone (Put the Shapton in the appropriate holder or on a flat surface) and do a figure 8 pattern for a few passes.
Personally I find 300 a bit aggressive for flattening Shaptons. Something like a 1000 is more than enough for a 16000.

It should have come completely flat so you could send it back but it is easily fixed.

Thanks. The thing I was worried about is not being able to focus on the hump while leaving the edges alone.

I've got the 300/1000 Trend.
 

paulrbarnard

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Thanks. The thing I was worried about is not being able to focus on the hump while leaving the edges alone.

I've got the 300/1000 Trend.
I tend to sharpen on 1000 diamond and micro bevel on a 16000 Shapton as per a Rob Cosman suggestion from a number of years ago. It's fast and gets a good lasting edge. The 1000 can be used to give the 16000 a rub to flatten it if needed, not that it is needed very often if your technique uses the full surface of the stone. That's another argument for not using jigs which tend to dig tram lines.

I actual have a pretty large collection of Shaptons which get a full work out when flattening the back of a new iron or chisel, I'm a flat earther in that respect. I find the quickest results in that department come from doubling the grit at each stone step.

Those of a cost sensitive nature should stop reading here

tempImagee23nwF.jpg

120, 240, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 and 32000. If someone breaks in to my workshop they would probably over look these as having no value but there is a very substantial amount of money in these. I used to be a sharpening geek :) I've been using these for about 20 years now and they will see me out.
 

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120, 240, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 and 32000. If someone breaks in to my workshop they would probably over look these as having no value but there is a very substantial amount of money in these. I used to be a sharpening geek :) I've been using these for about 20 years now and they will see me out.

:eek:


I just had a go at flattening and you're right, it was quick and straight forward...

I ended up just going perpendicular to address the hump first, then the whole surface. Nice and flat now. I was just scared of making it worse and voiding a warranty somehow, so thanks for the confidence boost!
 

pgrbff

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I bought a Nanohone stone, their strapline is "our world is flat", I think it's even written on the box.
I could get a 0.1mm feeler gauge under a straight edge.
 

D_W

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I've had several hundred stones. I have to admit that the ability of shapton (which was HS) and now Nanohone (which I would assume HS had to set up because something went awry with shapton - which to me is a good thing as the cost of stones through HS in the united states was about double the street price in japan, and there's no excuse for that when you're doing nothing other than taking a product out of one box and putting it in another).

At any rate, I'm amazed at the ability HS and others to get people to believe that they need this level of flatness for anything (and that it's not available on a cheap surface with PSA paper or a piece of steel, iron or even lexan or corian with loose abrasive) aside from toolmaking.

One of the things you deserve to give yourself in the shop is:
1) the leeway to make mistakes and not worry so much
2) the permission to test something (like how much flatness matters, what changes results - perceivable, and useful) and believe what you see and feel

I don't think the people going in the opposite direction telling users that they don't need something is any better, though, either. Not talking about flatness, but anything in general. And there's plenty of that here, and it rarely comes from anyone doing fine work.
 

pgrbff

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I've had several hundred stones. I have to admit that the ability of shapton (which was HS) and now Nanohone (which I would assume HS had to set up because something went awry with shapton - which to me is a good thing as the cost of stones through HS in the united states was about double the street price in japan, and there's no excuse for that when you're doing nothing other than taking a product out of one box and putting it in another).

At any rate, I'm amazed at the ability HS and others to get people to believe that they need this level of flatness for anything (and that it's not available on a cheap surface with PSA paper or a piece of steel, iron or even lexan or corian with loose abrasive) aside from toolmaking.

One of the things you deserve to give yourself in the shop is:
1) the leeway to make mistakes and not worry so much
2) the permission to test something (like how much flatness matters, what changes results - perceivable, and useful) and believe what you see and feel

I don't think the people going in the opposite direction telling users that they don't need something is any better, though, either. Not talking about flatness, but anything in general. And there's plenty of that here, and it rarely comes from anyone doing fine work.
I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure that HS is heavily involved in making the Nanohone stones, I don't think he is just re-boxing them. I have no preference, Nano hone was suggested, it was available in Germany at a reasonable cost compared to other Japanese stones, so I tried it. I do not have enough experience to say if it is in any way better or different to Shapton. I have never owned a Shapton, most of my stones are Naniwa.
 

Adam W.

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I tend to sharpen on 1000 diamond and micro bevel on a 16000 Shapton as per a Rob Cosman suggestion from a number of years ago. It's fast and gets a good lasting edge. The 1000 can be used to give the 16000 a rub to flatten it if needed, not that it is needed very often if your technique uses the full surface of the stone. That's another argument for not using jigs which tend to dig tram lines.

I actual have a pretty large collection of Shaptons which get a full work out when flattening the back of a new iron or chisel, I'm a flat earther in that respect. I find the quickest results in that department come from doubling the grit at each stone step.

Those of a cost sensitive nature should stop reading here

View attachment 129628
120, 240, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 and 32000. If someone breaks in to my workshop they would probably over look these as having no value but there is a very substantial amount of money in these. I used to be a sharpening geek :) I've been using these for about 20 years now and they will see me out.

That's a comprehensive set of sharpening stones.

Are you trying to split the atom?
 

D_W

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Sorry, that was a comment about the shaptons. He may have provided advice on some of the shapton stones (though the pro line and M lines were not remotely new stones - just sold as being something unusual and more valuable than they are in the US).

I would have assumed that he's involved in the nanohone more deeply. It's also a complete waste for any practical purpose, but it's kind of like selling beyond organic food with bug holes in leaves to prove to people that no pesticides were used at all. That's just my opinion.

I'm not against spending money, but have gone way ...waaaayyy deep in the sharpening stuff and examined the results. There is no practical purpose to any of the stuff, and quite often, you can find lapidary supply materials that will outperform the stones.

Anything in the japanese natural stone market above about $200 for an old nice bench stone (picked by an antique picker in japan) is also the same way - but that's a little different as there's nobody with any principles selling a good $200 stone to people who speak english.
 

paulrbarnard

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That's a comprehensive set of sharpening stones.

Are you trying to split the atom?
Back in the good old days, when I had large disposable income and a serious plane habit, I would spend more time sharpening than cutting wood. At the time I had to move slowly when carrying a blade to ensure I didn’t accidentally split an atom and cause a catastrophic explosion.
 

pgrbff

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Sorry, that was a comment about the shaptons. He may have provided advice on some of the shapton stones (though the pro line and M lines were not remotely new stones - just sold as being something unusual and more valuable than they are in the US).

I would have assumed that he's involved in the nanohone more deeply. It's also a complete waste for any practical purpose, but it's kind of like selling beyond organic food with bug holes in leaves to prove to people that no pesticides were used at all. That's just my opinion.

I'm not against spending money, but have gone way ...waaaayyy deep in the sharpening stuff and examined the results. There is no practical purpose to any of the stuff, and quite often, you can find lapidary supply materials that will outperform the stones.

Anything in the japanese natural stone market above about $200 for an old nice bench stone (picked by an antique picker in japan) is also the same way - but that's a little different as there's nobody with any principles selling a good $200 stone to people who speak english.
It's OK. My finest stone is a King 6000. I paid less than £20 20 years ago.
I hate sharpening. All I want is a "magic" stone that allows me to flatten the back of a chisel or plane iron when I don't look after it and end up with dendritic rust marking, preferably in less than 5 minutes.
 

Jacob

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Luckily I never could quite afford the habit. I did struggle with cheaper varieties of honing jig and once lashed out about £200 on 3 Ezelap plates - more than I'd spent on sharpening in the whole of the previous 40 odd years!
Luckily I managed to sell them on and now just have about £30 worth of second hand Norton combination and other oddities, plus one brand new IB8 for reference, which I didn't really need.
Nice to be back in the world of cheap, easy, fast, efficient and very sharp sharpening!
PS my only extravagance is three 3M diamond diapads which I bought for another purpose (glazing, and cleaning up a marble fireplace) but are good for surface freshening up other stones (not "flattening" - non of them are particularly flat)
 
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D_W

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It's OK. My finest stone is a King 6000. I paid less than £20 20 years ago.
I hate sharpening. All I want is a "magic" stone that allows me to flatten the back of a chisel or plane iron when I don't look after it and end up with dendritic rust marking, preferably in less than 5 minutes.

Any. If vanadium carbides aren't involved, anything that can't be solved by a stone is sorted out quickly with a lap and good quality (cheap) aluminum oxide paper, then back to the stones.

If vanadium carbides are involved. Diamonds.

There's no great reason to use vanadium carbides in hand tools, though.

I went through everything when I was younger out of curiosity. I'm sure there's more now that I didn't go through, but I'm kind of lost for interest in it - if you want blistering keen, $10 of diamond powder and a really well done piece of blanchard ground cast will make sharper than anything. I don't know why, but the look of the edge (no tumbling abrasive that gets between the edge and cast) is like laser cut.

It's also beyond reasonable needs, but it is what it is.

Autosol on hardwood is *really* good, or just a buffing bar on same with some kind of oil lubricant. Once you flatten the back of something with a medium grit paper, it should finish itself in the cycle of regular work and nothing but fine stone should be needed on the back of a tool. At that point, the flatness is important, but not at the level of the initial step. re-chasing flatness other than just working the back during routine sharpening is a pointless activity, though - there is no gain and nothing observable will occur with an edge under the microscope. If it doesn't occur on the visible spectrum, then ..well, that's well past the limit of practical for woodwork.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Another new tool, another disappointment with out-of-the-box flatness. I'm starting wonder if people who write reviews and say things like "dead flat" are blind, or whether I'm just unlucky.

Anyway, I just received a 16000 grit Shapton stone. My understanding is they're meant to be among the best, and I certainly paid enough for that. Imagine my surprise when I could easily rock a ruler on it.

Obviously these things are meant to be flattened regularly by the user, and I have an actually flat 300 grit Trend diamond plate for that purpose, but how am I meant to remove a hump? My understanding is that if that were the case with a chisel back, you'd refund it or throw it in the bin, since it's a lost cause.

Obvious replacement jobby or is it worth trying to do something in the meantime?

Thanks

I understand that you have now sorted the stone, however it is relevant for future purchases to recognise that new stones likely never come along flat. Most tools, including most premium ones, can be a kit insofar as there is something left for the new owner to do. Stones (with the exception of diamond stones) all are going to require that you spend time flattening them, if only to remove a "dead" layer between sharpening sessions. If you expect "flat", then never purchase Spyderco! :) These required 15 minutes each with a coarse diamond stone.

I feel that it is like expecting chisel and plane blades to arrive with a polished edge ready for fine work. Part of learning to use your tools is learning to tune them to your specific needs. This is not a dig at the OP, but a note for all those starting out.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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Adam W.

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Luckily I never could quite afford the habit. I did struggle with cheaper varieties of honing jig and once lashed out about £200 on 3 Ezelap plates - more than I'd spent on sharpening in the whole of the previous 40 odd years!
Luckily I managed to sell them on and now just have about £30 worth of second hand Norton combination and other oddities, plus one brand new IB8 for reference, which I didn't really need.
Nice to be back in the world of cheap, easy, fast, efficient and very sharp sharpening!
PS my only extravagance is three 3M diamond diapads which I bought for another purpose (glazing, and cleaning up a marble fireplace) but are good for surface freshening up other stones (not "flattening" - non of them are particularly flat)
I bought a new 8" DMT coarse diamond stone in a box for £41 including postage the other day, which I thought was an OK price and I've taken to giving my stones a swish over with that.

It tidies them up a treat, especially the slate and the other natural stones that I found in that box.
 

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