Take your sharpening to the next level with this excellent method for flattening the backs of all Japanese blades!
Flat to within 0.02mm
A flat back is essential to extract the maximum edge qualities and useablility of any Japanese tool. The solution we are providing our customers is the same as that promoted by our Japanese teachers. - take a flat steel surface, add abrasive, and get to work.
This lapping plate is manufactured from mild steel by a specialist engineering company a short drive from our Sydney HQ to our exact requirements.
We have specified its flatness to 0.02mm (two hundredths of a millimetre) across its span, and verified the first batch's tolerance ourselves. Both sides of the plate are ground to this flatness, giving you two surfaces to work on.
The plate is sized to match our large Suehiro stones, meaning it won't pose storage or transport issues by not fitting in a box or drawer, which is something that has annoyed us about other lapping solutions we've tried.
We haven't altered the side finish, as we want to be able to offer this essential piece of equipment at a reasonable price. If you'd like to refine yours, it can be done with a belt linisher or similar abrasive equipment.
Wear on lapping plates is a constant problem - though it may start flat, whatever abrasive is used will also eventually wear the plate to a point where it is beyond acceptable tolerance. Our wayt of monitoring this is to leave the grinding marks. The tolerance of the grinding marks is similar to that of the plate itself - measureable to hundredths of a millimetre. As such, they are a great way to monitor wear on the plate. If a plate is used beyond its tolerance, the machining marks begin to disappear, and it's time to flip it over to use the other side.