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Flattening Your 12k Shapton

Needed to do a fix on a French Peroux Cognet that had mysteriously got a few chips on the edge and this of course necessitated going back to the 1k Shapton to hone them out (they were very tiny) and then my usual progress of Norton 4k/8k and a Shapton 12k.

I have an Atoma 6000 which I use to flatten my stones before a honing session and I duly flattened the 1k and the Norton combo. However, I hesitated when I picked up the 12k Shapton. I don't find it a particularly good finishing stone. In fact I have never got a shave off it - and have a cheap Chinese strop with the Dovo green and black paste which seems to finish the razors off quite nicely and gives me good shaves. I know a lot of people reading this will wonder why I can't shave of my 12k Shapton and I have been wondering this also. I have tried to get natural stones for a finisher but this is virtually impossible living in Australia. Nobody wants to ship anything here, or good old AusPost, our postal service won't let certain stuff in from overseas.

I have been wondering that flattening the 12k Shapton with the Atoma is the problem. Is the surface too rough for getting a good edge? This time I managed to find some 1200 wet and dry paper (this is the really fine stuff here in Australia) and a stone slab which I knew to be flat and true and with a bit of water, used that the flatten the Shapton.

The honing went OK and when I got to the 12k I was able to get it to tree top without much effort. I haven't been able to achieve this before. I did the usual finishing on the pasted strops and ended up with a really good edge and the resulting shave was excellent. The Peroux Cognet has always been a good blade but this was really good. Finally feeling like I am starting to get somewhere with this honing malarky.

Was the Atoma the cause of my problems with finishing? Who knows. Please feel free to comment. I would love to know if this is the case.



Staff member
Possible, but I'm going to say probably not. An Atoma shouldn't cause issues to a water stone that is that noticeable.

For fun, rather than finishing it on the sandpaper, try rubbing it together with the 1k under running water and see if that works for you. When I used water stones I would finish each session by rubbing them together under running water. Mainly to keep them flatter, but also to refresh the surface.

What part of OZ are you in? Natural finishing stones are around, if you hunt. Especially vintage/antique ones.
There is no Atoma 6000
You probably mean Atoma 600
I flatten my stones with an Atoma 400, including my 12k, 16k, 30k, Jnats, etc.

Unless your Atoma is leaving very deep gouges in your 12k, which I doubt, you're probably fine there. Waterstones, by nature of design, sorta self-heal after lapping. It is super rare to find a gouge that you can actually feel after honing a few passes. If your Atoma was leaving you with a problem, you would be able to see and feel it. Otherwise, nah.

Sometimes synths have to be lapped a lot before you get to the 'good stuff' - Shaps, Nanis, Nubatamas, etc - all can be occasionally plagued with a dried out surface.
Or maybe it wasn't really flat until now. Or both and some other variable.
I lap my Shapton 12K with my Atoma 600 and have gotten plenty of good shaves off of finshing with it. It may not be the combination but something else outside of it.
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