A Lapping Plate for Discerning Sharpeners
You're particular about the grits of the water stones that you use for specific sharpening operations, so why would you be any less particular about the lapping plate that you flatten those stones with? If you demand a Lapping Plate that is thoughtfully planned, carefully executed, and definitely flat, then consider the Nano Hone NL-4. This Diamond Lapping Plate features innovative design for excellent performance and each is individually certified flat.
The NL-4 uses diamond abrasives, but with creative differences. The diamonds are coated onto raised structures arranged in a carefully planned pattern. The primary cutting action occurs on the edges of the raised, diamond-coated structures. The particular pattern used on the NL-4 has long, straight edges. The arrow-rake pattern of the raised structures cuts across a stone's full surface, removing larger amounts of material efficiently. The gaps between the raised areas allow waste material to be flushed away, keeping the stone from clogging.
For Flattening Coarse Water Stones
The pattern of the stone along with it's coarse grit makes it particularly suited to flattening coarse to medium grit stones, primarily water stones from 110μm to 10μm (120grit to 1500grit). It can be used for finer grits, but may be more aggressive than necessary and leave a coarser surface texture than desired. For flattening finer grit water stones, consider the Nano Hone NL-6 Flattening Stone.
Handheld or Mounted
The Nano-Hone NL-4 Lapping Plate is 9-7/16" (240mm) long x 2-3/8" (2-3/8") wide and is typically used by holding it in hand and moving it over the stationary water stone. It is possible to position the NL-4 stationary and hold and move the water stone over it, and indeed there are holes in the bottom of the NL-4 plate allowing it to be mounted on the Nano Hone Stone Stage. However the relatively narrow width of the NL-4 makes it easy to grasp, and finger grooves in the sides of the stone allow for a secure grip. This ability to be gripped securely makes the NL-4 particularly suited for in hand use.