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Knife sharpening & Maintenance

Lapping stones: to flatten your sharpening stones

Lapping stones were specifically designed to flatten sharpening stones. As you use them sharpening stones gradually become hollow in the middle. Sharpening your knife on a hollow stone using a fixed angle is nearly impossible. High time to sharpen it! After flattening it your stone will be as new again!

There are multiple ways to flatten your sharpening stone. Some recommend sandpaper, but it is faster to use another sharpening stone or a lapping stone. It is important to use material that is coarser than the sharpening stone you wish to flatten. This means: use a stone with a lower grain size than the stone you want to flatten. A lapping plate with special lapping powder will also do the trick. We will tell you how to use these different means.

Lapping stone

Lapping stones were specifically designed to flatten sharpening stones. These are usually made from carbide or diamond (the top layer that is). They are often enhanced with bevelled grooves in the sharpening surface. As such the sharpening particles that are removed as you flatten your stone cannot accumulate.

You use both stones in the same way. You place the sharpening stone you wish to flatten on its back on a flat surface, the sharpening side facing up. To make sure you can check that the stone is flattened properly you mark the surface you wish to sharpen with horizontal and vertical lines. It is possible that the sharpening stone, after being used for some time, has become hollow in the middle. As such the lines on the outsides will disappear faster as you flatten your stone.

Diamond-coated sharpening stone/lapping plate

A diamond-coated sharpening stone is perfect when flattening whetstones (made from another material than diamond). Diamond is namely harder than any other abrasive. As such a diamond-coated sharpening won't wear out if you use it as a lapping stone. If you use a non-diamond-coated stone, you will notice that it will lose grains as well as you use it. As such it will be like sticking plaster on a wooden leg.

How-to

How do you maintain sharpening stones?

Sharpening stones need to be lapped in time, you cannot escape this fact. For it you can use diamond-coated sharpening stones, flattening stones or a levelling kit. Keep your sharpening stones in great shape!