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Thread: Lapping a stone
12-22-2008, 05:31 AM #1
Lapping a stone
I shaved with a straight razor for about 20 years but quit when the company that used to sharpen my razors stopped doing it and I failed to successfully do it myself. On this forum I have found many mistakes I have made and primarily it was my methodology but also I may have a problem with the stones themselves. I think my stones need work and probably lapping is what needs to be done.
I have done searches and still find most everyone is talking about when and how often lapping is done but not what exactly lapping is and how it is done.
I have two stones and one has a couple of rough spots on it I can't see but can feel. Is lapping the procedure for flattening a stone? Or is there some other method of making sure it is precisely flat?
The three stones I have are a soft Arkansas, hard Arkansas and a black Arkansas. I have no idea of the grit because they are natural stones. They were sold to me by a barber supply around 1970 as what I needed to use for sharpening. I hope to be able to get them in shape to use without having to purchase something else. Any help would be appreciated.
12-22-2008, 05:44 AM #2
Yes, lapping is flattening.
I've never used Arkansas hones for my razors. There's a lot of hone choices available. Here are a couple of links to help out.
There are several members here that would be willing to sharpen your razors, if you dont prefer to sharpen them yourself.
Index to Faqs.
A partial list of honing services.
Last edited by Sticky; 12-22-2008 at 06:00 AM. Reason: sharpening & link
12-22-2008, 05:47 AM #3
I dont think I know of anybody(off the top of my head) on this forum who uses the Arkansas stones to do their razors. The easiest way to lap/flatten a stone without buying specialized tools is to get some wet/dry sandpaper of a lower grit(320-1000) and rub the stone on it until the stone is flat, using a pen
ciled grid on the stone to see how well its flattening. Be sure to search the forums for threads on lapping, or check the wiki. I hope this helps.It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain
12-22-2008, 10:39 AM #4
Welcome to SRP. You are going to be frustrated trying to get a razor sharp with the Arkansas stones. Check the wiki pages and honing threads on honing and lapping to decide what you need for sharpening your razors. Learning to hone takes longer to learn than learning to shave but it can be done with a little patience. It is worth it in the long run and a very satisfying endeavor.
bjDon't go to the light. bj
12-26-2008, 05:13 AM #5
The honing stones folks here use are waterstones. They are either artificially manufactured (Norton, Shapton, others) or natural (coticule, Escher, others). Both are composed of very fine grains of abrasive medium glued/held together into a stone that when wet and sharpened with will slowly break down into a fast cutting slurry/paste of whatever the abrasive substance is. This slurry can be purposefully brought up in a few minutes, and the cutting action of the abrasive is greatly accelerated as it rolls around between the blade and the stone. The stone can become uneven in fairly short order, but it is definitely a sacrifice with a distinct purpose. People lap their honing stones to restore a flattened surface. This can be as simple as grinding the stone on sand paper sitting on an absolutely flat surface such as glass or a flat tile. I flatten mine with DMT diamond plate because I happened to own the diamond stones before I got hooked on razors. Alas, this does nothing to answer the “purchase nothing else” part of the equation.
12-26-2008, 07:15 AM #6
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