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Thread: A History And Justification For My Diamond Plates

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    Default A History And Justification For My Diamond Plates

    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    Ah the joy of non- sticky Atomas
    I started to respond to this statement in another thread and decided to make it into an entirely new thread.

    Diamond plates are an unnecessary overkill for the very casual honer who can get by with a few sheets of wet/dry sandpaper. They are a great convenience for the honer who feels they want an easier way to lap and, more often, refresh their hones, especially if their number of hones are more than just a few. They are an absolute necessity for the honer who uses a lot of hones on a regular basis.

    My first diamond plate was the ubiquitous DMT8C 325 grit. I put that thing through the wringer lapping well over a hundred hones ranging from a nasty hard Chinese hone that took over 20 hours to lap to way too many barber hones before I realized that I was better off not lapping barber hones--especially the extremely hard Carborundums. I managed to avoid stripping the diamonds out of it and it still works after about 7 years. It is slower, but it still works.

    Then, since I was doing a lot of lapping I got the DMT8XX 120 grit. It certainly did a much faster job of flattening hones in comparison to the DMT8C, but after a few years it became way less aggressive. It is still faster than my worn DMT8C, but it is much slower than it used to be. The problem was that neither of these HONES were designed by the company to be hone lapping plates. They were designed to be hones and we of the razor forums usurped their purpose and starting using them for hone lapping. We cannot blame the company for our misuse of their product and over the years DMT has been very good about replacing diamond plates that were grossly misused.

    Because I fell in love with the Naniwa SuperStones, and had to have every one of them, I wanted the best lapping plate for them. Lynn told me that the Shapton DGLP worked great for them and that I would not regret getting one. He was right. I regretted the price, which was way less than it is now, but I baby that thing and only use it for the refreshing, not lapping, of synthetic water hones above 1k and it shows no sign of wearing out after at least 5 years of use.

    Then, DMT came out with a bona fide hone lapping plate and of course I had to have one. The DMT Dia Flat specifically is designed by the company to be a hone lapping plate. It is a 10"x4" 160 grit hone eating monster that will very quickly flatten ANY hone, including the hardest of naturals, and will not be in any peril of losing its diamonds. This is the beast that gets the job done, but it definitely is overkill for the casual hone lapper who is not severely afflicted with a desire for way too many hones.

    Next, I had been reading about the Atomas for a couple of years and was intrigued, but was concerned about the way they were designed as a thin diamond plate on the thicker plate. Is seemed like a crappy cheap cop-out design to me but they also seemed to be universally praised. It took me a while, but given the ridiculous number of hones that I have, I finally broke down and got the Atomas a couple of years ago. They are awesome. I like them so much though that I hardly ever actually use them for lapping--only for honing.

    The 140 grit is for machetes and heavy knives. Seriously, I currently have two more machetes waiting to be honed!!! I own 5 machetes but neither these two are mine. You know word has gotten out that you like to make things sharp when people are asking you to sharpen their machetes.
    The 400 grit is for major razor restoration work and is fantastic at removing steel fast without damage.
    The 1200 grit is for minor razor restoration and for follow-up after the 400 atoma.

    I do occasionally use the Atomas to very light touch up a hone and they work very well for it. Unlike the DMTs, which have a continuous layer of diamonds, the Atomas have punctate clusters that prevent stiction to the hones. They work very well both for lapping and honing and I use them all the time.

    The most recent diamond plate that I bought was at the Ashville meetup a year and a half ago. The Trend diamond plate is a two sided joy with a 300 grit diamond shaped distribution pattern of diamonds on one side and a 1000 grit continuous layer of diamonds on the other side. Because of the distribution pattern of the 300 grit side, it is very efficient at lapping hones without building up swarf that would interfere with lapping in the way that a continuous distribution would. This workhorse plate is the one that I use the most frequently for finish lapping and refreshing of natural hones and for synthetic hones at or below 1k.

    In summary, I do admit that I have a problem with hones, but my diamond plates all serve to allow me to make the best use of those hones. If you are going to do much honing, one or two well chosen diamond plates can make your honing a lot easier.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Thug's Avatar
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    A good read, thanks for sharing.

    I'll be in the former category, the casual wet/dry man but if I ever become serious, I know what to get.
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    https://mobro.co/tonyhuglin?mc=1

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    Senior Member UKRob's Avatar
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    Very informative post - thanks. It prompted me to order the Atoma 400 - which I can get from Germany at the best price but it's probably far more than you pay in USA.
    My service is good, fast and cheap. Select any two and discount the third.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth rolodave's Avatar
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    "Then, DMT came out with a bona fide hone lapping plate and of course I had to have one. The DMT Dia Flat specifically is designed by the company to be a hone lapping plate. It is a 10"x4" 160 grit hone eating monster that will very quickly flatten ANY hone"


    I used Ron's DMT Dia Flat to lap the bottom (the side that was not already lapped) natural finisher. It ate the stone. Five minutes and I had a new surface for honing. Absolutely amazing.
    Geezer likes this.
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    Another praise for the DiaFlat. I've had mine close to a year and a half and have lapped every stone I can think of, except for a carbo. I even lapped out deep chips from a 00 with no ill effect.
    The only sign of wear on mine is on one edge where the diamonds have let go, but this has no effect on its function and admittedly I've used way more pressure than I should have several times. If mine died today, I'd buy another one before the sun set.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth eddy79's Avatar
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    I have both the atoma 400 and 1200 and the dmt d8c. I would buy the atoma over the d8c. The atoma you can buy just the foil fot the back of the plate to make a double sided hone and it is so light. The d8c really does need a stone holder being so heavy but the atoma has so issues like this with no stiction and as Ron said great for getting chips etc out. Would love the Dia flat but can't justify the price for the couple hones I would use it on and now there flat it will be some time before it would see use.
    My wife calls me......... Can you just use Ed

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    In the last few years, there have been a lot of good Diamond Plates on the market. I have several, Atoma, DMT, Ezlap, I Wood and lots of no name… they all work.

    A couple years ago, I met a guy who was using a worn Harbor Freight diamond plate cube to bevel set and finishing with a barber hone. He had been honing razors for many years and the edge he put on the two Sheffield razors I bought from him were very nice.

    Now, I don’t recommend the HF plates for honing, but there are inexpensive diamond plates available, that work very well.
    I recently bought a 2.75 x 8 in IWood, 300 diamond plate that has a diamond pattern grit and works very well, I have been abusing it since the first of the year with no stiction…

    Chef Knives to Go has a heavy, 2.75 x 8 in, 140 grit, $30 plate, that I have also grossly abused for, over a year now and lapped countless stones with, it is still going strong.

    Recently I bought a $35, 400/1000 dual grit Diamond Plate from CNTG, this weekend it lapped several new stones very well and quickly. It has the same diamond patterns the IWood plate and looks just like it. The 1k side is great for high grit stones.
    There is also a guy on EBay (Diamondtools30) selling 8X3 in diamond plates that work very well for as little as $12-15.

    So for Diamond Plates there are a lot of options and they all work well. I do agree, we/I do abuse most plates (and it’s not just stones that will ruin plates, some steels will grab and rip out diamonds, as well).

    If you use common sense most plates will last a long time. Loose Silicone Carbide makes quick work of the hardest stones, and is very inexpensive. I collect and lap a lot of stones, most naturals, repair and shape steel and admittedly I do abuse and have ruined some.

    But for the average guy who is maintaining, 4-5 stones a $35 dollar plate is a lifetime purchase that will give stellar performance.

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    This detailed history will be useful at your intervention.

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    What? Another one?
    I'm going to have to do some prioritizing on that amends list.

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    Senior Member Mephisto's Avatar
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    I have been on the fence about purchasing the Shapton lapping plate. I have also been looking at the Trend plate. I do not hone a lot, but I want a good solution for lapping/cleaning off hones. I have the Shapton glass system so I am leaning towards the Shapton lapping plate, but the price is still a major deterrent. I have a the ubiquitous DMT hone (doesn't everyone have one?) but seems like there are better options out there.
    From their stillness came their non-action...Doing-nothing was accompanied by the feeling of satisfaction, anxieties and troubles find no place

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