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[EDITED 8/15/14] Amazon's current price is up to $97.90 with free shipping. They still have not shipped mine.
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I noticed today that on Amazon, you can order the Grizzley G9652 12×18x3 (grade B) granite surface plate for $53 with FREE SHIPPING.

The same item on the Grizzly site has about $70 shipping.

Item Subtotal: $52.37
Shipping & Handling: $59.22
Promotion Applied: -$59.22 (FREE SHIPPING)
Total Before Tax: $52.37

Order Total: $52.37

This should be big enough for 2 full sheets of sandpaper.

Search for G9652.

-Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have seen some countertop remnants cheap on CL, but do not expect them to be as flat as a surface plate, which (even grade B) has a specified flatness tolerance of less than 0.0001" overall.

Are countertops really that flat?

I've never flattened the sole of a plane, but might try it on this thing.

-Paul
 

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I tried the ole scrap from the granite shop and it was so dished it wasn't funny. Doesn't even make a good paper weight. I got the Grizzly granite block and it is dead flat. If you are going to scary sharp, get the Grizzly granite slab.
 

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Called our granite installer and they wanted to chafe $25 for the privilege. Tried to find corian scraps for ZCIs, but had a hard time. Ended up buying then for 2.75 a piece off ebay.
 

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I've brought home thousands of pounds of cut-offs from granite shops. They pay to haul it to the dump, so don't conned into paying them to remove their trash.

More than not, the pieces will do fine for sharpening. If they weren't flat, the hard work put into counters would be for naught.

Sink cut outs are, for these purposes, huge. You can square pieces with a regular circular saw. You just need a diamond blade. Dribble water on the granite to keep the blade cool and you can cut huge pieces just using a piece of plywood for a guide.

You can always set up to check pieces for flatness. However, for most of us, being within a couple thousands is adequate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tips on snagging granite countertop scraps. I might want to make a granite-topped table sometime.

However, a surface plate is not just a countertop scrap, though I certainly agree that being with a few thousanths is for most things in woodworking plenty good enough - and the countertop scraps might be close enough.

For me, when I buy a square, I want it to be squarer than I ever need it to be. When I buy a straight-edge, I want it to be straighter than anything I'll ever try to make, and when I buy a flat thing (surface plate), I want it flatter than I can measure. But, I can certainly understand that for most purposes a piece of window glass is flat enough - and very cheap, light, small etc.

-Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Amazon's current price is up to $97.90 with free shipping. They still have not shipped mine, but I expect they will. It was backordered when I placed my order.

-Paul
 

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Sink cutouts from granite are find and will be flat enough for tool sharpening. Do not get marble, limestone, or travertine. They are too soft, and some will have a tendency to warp when wet. Most fabrication shops will be happy to give these away as stated above. If more weight is desired, 2 pieces can be glued together with Akemi (stone epoxy) to make a 1-1/2" thick piece.
 

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I called the folks who installed our grants for cut-offs, and they wanted to charge me for them. Ended up with a couple of pieces of safety glass. Works well.
 
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