Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Tools and Tool Maintenance/Restoration longevity of coarse EZE lap diamond plate


Viewing 14 posts - 31 through 44 (of 44 total)
  • Author
  • #124822
    Paul Sellers

    “This is an interesting thread. I have had the same problem with both my EZE Lap coarse stone and paddle I bought only last year. I have already replaced the paddle with a DMT but not the stone because of the cost. I raised this directly with Paul on a course last year and he claims his stones last for years. I will ask him to comment directly on this thread”
    It’s hard to comment differently than my experiences over the last decade. I have replaced my coarse plate four times in ten years but’s it’s not just my personal plate but one we use for every student attending too. We have two sets going at any given time. I have read what everyone is saying about erasers and vinegar and such and feel these things seem all the more to complicate what’s very simple for me. I use only auto-glass cleaner of the cheap kind. The stones never clog as long as I keep them wet, which I never neglect.
    The stones do lose their aggression but I have never worn through the surfaces of the plates we have. I do move the coarse up a step when I feel it is less aggressive than I want so the coarse becomes medium and medium superfine and then superfine super-superfine.
    I also figure into my new regimen using 120-grit abrasive paper spring-clipped to my granite block. I find that this gets me down faster than diamonds. Of course this is not as sustainable as the diamonds but it’s very fast.


    Thank you for response Paul. The conclusion I am coming to on diamond sones is that they are excellent for MAINTAINING a keen edge once you have one, but not to get a flat back and correct angle in the first place. You must use them frequently and there is a definite skill to keeping the same angle. I have found there is a temptation to raise the blade and steepen the angle to get a quick burr, which can be avoided with practice and frequent re sharpening.


    Maybe another point to figure in is that the companies would effectively get out of business pretty fast if they did produce plates that stay sharp forever. Assuming that is possible in the first place.

    A diamond is quite brittle, especially the man made ones. With all the hardened steels and someone putting his self into it hoping to grind down a little quicker they do get a fair beating.


    Philip Adams

    We do regularly use the plates for flattening chisels and plane blades, but as far as establishing a bevel, it it is very far off I would consider using the grinder to get it close before going to the diamond stones. It does take some time to correct the edge angle when people have been lifting to reach the edge and I have often done this fully on the diamond stones, although I often use a hand grinding wheel to get the heel down now.

    Once you have got the hang of sharpening by hand on the diamond stones it is very quick, but I think you have to put in the time to develop a consistent technique and angle. Then the only time I go to the grinder or coarser paper is to establish the bevel on an old abused chisel or plane blade I am restoring.

    Hope that helps someone,
    Phil Adams

    I work alongside Paul to plan and produce the videos for Woodworking Masterclasses


    As a follow-up, I bought my Eze-Lap stones from ToolventureUK on eBay (UK), so I contacted them about the problem and pointed them to this thread.

    The guy at ToolventureUK called me and apologized and said he’d be in contact with Eze-Lap in the States but it may take a while. To cut to the chase, I got another call from him yesterday to say that Eze-Lap have admitted a fault and I now have a refund in my PayPal account.


    Hey guys,
    Remember that the coarse diamonds in these plates are only held in place by a softer substrate and they would protrude quite a way out of the Nickel substrate/binder. Diamonds, whilst being the hardest known crystal, are not tough – they are brittle. Thus you would get extensive fracturing of diamond material above the line of the Nickel bringing the average crystal size of the diamond down substantially after short use. This would be a normal bedding in time for the plate – and is one that I would expect in the coarse plates (diamonds in finer plates would fracture too, but to a much smaller degree and it would not be so noticeable). However, no-one has reported the failure of the Nickel and the resultant peeling away of the coating holding the diamond in place – so the plates have not really failed.
    I would have to agree with the guys who have recommended using grinders to establish a bevel – not the plates. Also for the restoration and flattening of plane bases I start by using 8o grit on float glass and work to finer grits from that. Cheers. Mark H


    I want to add my experience with DMT. I purchased the coarse one first, and I also found that it lost all its aggressive cut within a few months.
    I then purchased the lapping plate, with the same experience. I have not contacted the company yet about this, but after reading this, I think I will complain. I was just blaming myself- I thought maybe I had been using too much pressure or something. I was careful on how much pressure I was using when I got my second coarse plate. Both of my plates lost their aggressive cutting action within a few months, and it did not seem to make any difference when I used a more gentle technique with the second plate I purchased. From my experience, which seems to agree with others on this question, it may be that these plates will always re-fracture the diamond edges after a short period of use. They still cut, but they are not effective for rapid reshaping operations anymore. Although Paul’s advice and experience has typically always been rock solid, our experience with these coarse plates seems to differ from his. Either company (DMT or EZ Lap) seems to have the same issues, so either both have changed their manufacturing techniques (unlikely) or PS is using a lighter touch or something to get his stones to work well for years. For people that just want to flatten some soles, they maybe should consider using some coarse automotive wet/dry papers on a flat surface to get to where they want to be without this expense. Like others have found, the medium to superfine diamond plates work exceptionally well, and I have personally not found the rapid deterioration of performance in those grits (most of mine are DMT, though, so maybe others could report on their experience with other brands). I have also purchased the cone shaped and round honing sets from DMT, and these have been wonderful for gouges and lathe tools with no significant deterioration of performance with use.
    In summary, the coarse and extra coarse plates do not seem to maintain their aggressive cutting action for more than a few months, (but it may be that I have been using them incorrectly) . I would be interested in hearing about the experiences of others.
    Many thanks for all the info here!


    I’m not convinced there is a problem with the stone vs. a problem with expectations. Some see the initial behavior of the stone as its “correct” state, while others view the as-shipped state as a hyper-aggressive initial state that goes away, after which the stone cuts reliably, albeit less aggressively. I find the “ruined” coarse stone to still be more aggressive than the fine and superfine and find it useful for regular sharpening. I suspect that if the coarse were to stay in its initial state, you’d be making deep scratches that you really don’t want. Is the settled-in EZE lap good for hogging out big chips, making big corrections, or flattening things? Not as far as I can tell. But its good for sharpening.

    The DMT instructions say, “Initially, the diamond surface will seem aggressive in nature; the diamond sharpener will smooth after initial sharpening with no impact to long term performance.”

    I suspect that the “spoiled” stone is behaving as it should, but just isn’t the right tool for some jobs.

    Chris Bunney

    I recently attended one of Paul’s masterclasses at Penryn and used some of his diamond plates for sharpening.

    The first thing I noticed is that his coarse diamond stone cut pretty much the same as mine does. I think it is like others have said on this thread, and as Ed says above: the initial very aggressive cut is quickly lost, but the plate still cuts ok and lasts for a long time (Paul’s stones were much older than mine, I think).

    I think there needs to be a bit of expectation management about what you can do with these stones. Yes – when the stone is brand new it will cut a lot of metal and could be used to flatten a plane sole, but this is very quickly going to become hard work when the initial aggressive cut is lost.

    I think that I need to think of the coarse diamond stone less of a “bulk removal” stone and more of the first stage of honing an edge (i.e. in conjuction with the fine and super-fine stones).

    For flattening plane soles or removing a chip from a chisel, I think I will use sand paper on a granite slab to do the majority of the cutting then hone with the stones.

    I conclusion, I think my coarse plate should be fine and will likely last many years, but more as a edge honing system rathen than for reshaping or regrinding bevels.

    Chris - Exeter, UK


    I think the Coarse diamond stones still come out to about 300 grit, which is pretty fine honestly. My understanding is that Coarse/Fine/Extra Fine stones are like, 300/600/1200 grit approximately.

    Actually a quick look at the DMT website (the brand of diamond stones I use) says that the Coarse stone is 325 “mesh”, Fine is 600 mesh, and Extra Fine is 1200 mesh. They have an Extra Extra Fine stone at 8000 mesh, plus Extra Coarse and Extra Extra Coarse at 220 and 120 mesh respectively. So if you wanted a coarser stone, you could probably get one, but I’d say it’s a good bet to stick to that core 300/600/1200 set and use sandpaper or a grinder/sharpening stone for anything else.

    Michael Ross

    Does anyone have experience with CBN plates?


    I bought a double-sided Axminster 400 / 1200 Grit diamond stone (and the strop) to keep me going until I had the resources to buy EXE-Lap stones. It’s been a good few months now, and the edges of the stone feel coarser than the middle (which I suppose is to be expected).

    My chisels/planes seem to cut ok but then I’ve nothing to compare the Axminster stone against. I can only hope the EZE-Lap stones will make a difference when then arrive.

    "Sawdust? I think you'll find that's man-glitter."

    Flemming Aaberg

    I have Ezelaps and I mostly use the fine plate and occasionally the medium – rarely use the coarse so it is lasting well. When I do use the coarse it’s usually after I have done remedial bevel adjustment using coarse paper.


    I am using DMT course/fine/extra fine. I find I rarely need to use the course. If I’m honing/reshaping a tool, which isn’t very often, I’ll typically do it on sandpaper, then move to the fine/superfine plates for final sharpening. In the course of maintenance sharpening, I’ll often skip plates altogether and just strop.

    I have a plate holder like Paul Sellers’, with all 3 plates. If I ever redo it, I’ll probably leave off the course plate.

Viewing 14 posts - 31 through 44 (of 44 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.