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Flattening naturals

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Nick112

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Hi
I read some ppl say there are little need or no need to flatten naturals, but at the same time, an absolute flat stone is important. So if I receieve a new natural, should I flatten it? I have an atoma 600 that I use on my 1000-8000 synths. Can a 600 grit atoma scratch a very very smooth natural with scratches or? Nakayama or ohira suita. Any valueable input what to think about when flattening naturals?

thanks
 

valgard

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Absolutely, flatten your stones!

You can prepare the surface after flattening with finer plates but for actually flattening I highly recommend you get an atoma 140.
I have all sorts of jnats, I flatten with an Atoma 140. For creating slurry I use either a worn atoma 140 or a small atoma 400. For harder stones I might use the atoma 1200 to prepare the surface. But for actual flattening (you need it more with softer stones) us the 140 always.
 

valgard

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When I want the finest possible result for a stone I simply polish the surface with progressively finer stones after flattening, finishing with a nagura, then rinse the stone and proceed to use it. But except for razors or trying to get an ultra fine polish this is hardly ever a concern. In fact, having a rougher surface helps with releasing abrasive, and thus, with speed.
 

Nick112

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When using diamond plates as atoma, there are no risk or issues with any (coarser) particles coming from the plate contaminating the natural stone and get stuck in the stone? that wont clean up by rinsing the stone
 

kayman67

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Only when new. Not that much later on.

Best and easiest way to keep them flat so far, was using SiC abrasive powders and a metal sheet (some cookie or pizza or whatever similar metal tray works fine and keeps everything under control). The Atoma would be just to keep them clean if necessary and making slurry.
 

Nick112

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How do you recommend making sure it is as flat as it can be? Since flatness is important. Do you use a pencil to draw lines and then use a large atoma plate to flatten ”away” all the marks? Or do any of you use a straightedge or something to measure or verify the degree of flatness?
 

ian

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Use the pencil trick, that’s all you’ll ever need. With a straight edge you’d have to remeasure every couple seconds while flattening. Not fun.
 

nutmeg

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How do you recommend making sure it is as flat as it can be? Since flatness is important. Do you use a pencil to draw lines and then use a large atoma plate to flatten ”away” all the marks? Or do any of you use a straightedge or something to measure or verify the degree of flatness?
you‘ll see when the stone becomes flat, no need to draw lines or anything.
But 600 is too fine. You must do it under running water but it will be a huge amount of water with 600! 100-200 is better for flattening.
I wouldn‘t care about scratches on 600, even on a very hard stone.
On a soft suita I don‘t care about any scratches, big holes or cracks on the stone surface.
 

ian

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you‘ll see when the stone us flat, no nee to draw lines or anything.
But 600 is too fine IMO. You must do it under running water but it will be a hige amount of water with 600!
I wouldn‘t care about scratches on 600, even on a very hard stone.
On a soft suita I don‘t care about any scratches, holes or cracks on the stone surface.

You’re definitely the master here, but on a soft stone with a lot of slurry it can be a little difficult to detect where the flattening plate is actually flattening, and where it’s pushing around slurry. For a master, I’m sure it’s easy to tell, but for the person asking the question the pencil trick takes all the guess work out of it. And then if you start to think you can do without it, more power to you.

Note also that even if the stone is already flat, you’re not going to abrade much off is testing for flatness with the pencil trick, since it’s come off immediately and uniformly.
 

nutmeg

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You’re definitely the master here, but on a soft stone with a lot of slurry it can be a little difficult to detect where the flattening plate is actually flattening, and where it’s pushing around slurry. For a master, I’m sure it’s easy to tell, but for the person asking the question the pencil trick takes all the guess work out of it. And then if you start to think you can do without it, more power to you.

Note also that even if the stone is already flat, you’re not going to abrade much off is testing for flatness with the pencil trick, since it’s come off immediately and uniformly.
thanks for the flowers..!

I always flatten stones under running water. This makes things go 2-5 times faster.
Under running water you don‘t have any slurry so you can see the surface clearly.
If you use your diamond plate only in one direction you‘ll see the scratch pattern and a brighter surface. Where there is no scratches, the diamond plate hasn‘t been there. Once the color is uniform, the stone is flatter than any knife ;-)
 

nutmeg

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But always use the diamond plate parallel to the length of the stone.
Perpendicular is much faster but the stone will never be flat.
And use PRESSURE. 20kg or so. The more you can. The stone won‘t never break.
 

Alder26

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Super useful information I had never considered most of these techniques!
 
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