Hand Tools

Re: Option 2
Response To:
Option 2 ()

Patrick Chase
One point that I know you know, but that may not be obvious:

Softer steels like those used in many cap irons have a nasty habit of "exfoliating" abrasives from media with weak binders. Your first suggestion of sandpaper on glass is a good solution because it has a very durable binder. If you must use a stone then a non-Crystolon oilstone of some sort as you suggested is probably the next best choice. Waterstones (even harder ones like Shapton) and Crystolons both tend to wear quickly when used on softer steels. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Obviously granite surface plates are a workable alternative glass (except when using thin lapping films, in which case the surface of the granite plate can telegraph). Everybody should have at least one such granite or untempered glass reference surface anyway IMO.

Rolls of PSA sandpaper are fairly cheap and have an incredibly broad range of uses. Don't bother with the expensive "gold" stuff, because the stearate anti-clog coating that differentiates those from cheaper rolls is useless with metals. Save the fancy paper for sanding back finishes. I use 3M "red" or Mirka "grey" rolls for metalwork.

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