Tom King

Great 60 buck sharpening finishing system

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I use this to finish an edge or back polish, but it could be used by someone in place of a big investment in stones.  I bought the 9x12 surface plate from Woodcraft when they had them on sale for 26 dollars (normally 36), and the Diamond Lapping Film from Lee Valley for something around 25 bucks for the four pieces from 15 microns down to .1 micron.

 

It cuts so fast that it only takes a very few strokes.   You can only back up on the two finest grits, or the edge gets so sharp, so quickly, that it will slice right through the film.

 

This particular surface plate is flat to .001 mm.  I started with one this size, and ended up getting another larger one for large plane soles.  When they put these on sale, I bought one for this specific purpose.

 

You can stick the film to a piece of glass, but I like the weight and raised profile of the surface plate.

 

Lee Valley says the Film works best with oil, but I didn't want the mess, so use water, and it works just fine.

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I've been wanting one of those slabs for awhile. Settled for a couple of granite tiles from Home Depot and they have worked well up until this point.

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I don't know how long it lasts yet.  I can't remember when I bought these, and I've been using them since whenever Woodcraft had these plates on sale, and this one came.  I have another set of the Film that I use on shapes for sharpening molding plane irons.  The biggest problem is remembering to only go backwards on the two finest Films.  It takes 5 or 6 strokes, and you're done with that grit.  I wouldn't use them for taking a lot off, but once something is flattened, it will put a polish on it in a hurry.

 

If I have to replace the whole set twice a year it will be well worth it.  LV also sells the sheets individually.  I'll probably include some any time I order something from LV, just so shipping cost will be nothing.

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I've been wanting one of those slabs for awhile. Settled for a couple of granite tiles from Home Depot and they have worked well up until this point.

We have so many granite tiles left over from jobs i'm thinking about wrapping them up in bows and giving as gifts for sharpening plates. 12x24 gets me a decent surface area to flatten plane soles and bigger tools. I put some rubber feet on them and i can sharpen anywhere. The diamond film is an attractive option for me. I never know when the sandpaper loses its cutting power so i just blow through it because i was a sharp edge fast.

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