Diamond Lapping

izafireman

Well-Known Member
Had a pal of mine over yesterday and he was watching me handing finish an Elmax knife using papers.

He asked why I was using paper for the Lion's share of the work and suggested using diamond lapping stones for the bulk of the work to save on papers and due to the fact they would be far faster on Elmax that Oxide papers , he said he uses them on Samurai swords he has renovated which had deep pitting.

Has anyone tried lapping diamond stones in combination with paper on the harder alloy steels?

Thanks in advance.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I've used diamond lapping stones, but not a lot..... I have used the ceramic versions extensively for finishing...... Biggest issue for me was initial cost of setup for either (if you buy the cheap ones, then you get crap lapping devices, the "good" diamond laps, such as DMT are in the $200 each range, good ceramics are about half of what the diamond laps cost).

That was the first strike for me. Using them, the grits of the stones & diamond versions listed are not even close the equivalent of the same designation on sandpapers. Both ceramic and diamond laps created much deeper scratches/scratch patterns then sandpaper, which required adding grits to remove the previous scratches. Then there was the fact that the ceramic lapping stones chipped and/or broke very easily.....creating further issues (likely not an issue with diamond laps). I still keep a few of the ceramic lapping stones around for special purposes..... but went back to sandpaper for finishing the lion's share of everything..... considering the initial cost of the lapping stones, the fact that it takes so much longer using them, and the breakage...... sandpaper was just an overall better way to go for me.
 

izafireman

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ed

After I posted my pal came over with his diamond stones, tried them as you say they really dig deep into the steel, bit of a pain getting the scratches out after.

I see what you mean about papers being more consistent for sure.
 

oldknife

Well-Known Member
I use tool and die maker stones down to 600 grit, thay are some what the same grit as paper, good ones last a long time compared to paper, much cheaper to use than paper, yes I use diamond plates on samurai swords if nothing else will cut them. Like Ed said good diamond plates are high doller and chinese are I don't know what and are not flat. Deane
 

izafireman

Well-Known Member
I use tool and die maker stones down to 600 grit, thay are some what the same grit as paper, good ones last a long time compared to paper, much cheaper to use than paper, yes I use diamond plates on samurai swords if nothing else will cut them. Like Ed said good diamond plates are high doller and chinese are I don't know what and are not flat. Deane
I thought I would try a few different experiments this week to see how cheap diamond stones and also cheap stones cut Elmax at 61 HRC.

Initially using WD40 and then Clean Green not much occurred but I then changed to this lapping and what a difference. The stones cut very well and seemed to be flattening well. So I think I will be looking out for some decent plates in the future.

 
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