Go Back   Hardware Canucks > PC BUILDERS & TWEAKERS CORNER > Guides & How-to's

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 21, 2007, 12:53 PM
Top Prospect
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 83
Default Basics on Lapping

I made this video for a friend of mine and well here it is.

Its not the best video but its a good nudge into the right direction.

These instructions will NOT get you a mirror polish look. To get it extremely polished u'll need polishing compound which is done differently.


1. Sandpaper ranging from 200 grit to about 1200 grit or more. (the lower grit gets the surface flat while the higher grits get it smooth)
2. Sheet of glass or very flat surface to lap on.
3. The thing you're going to lap.
4. Metal ruler or Razor Blade
5. Some isopropyl alcohol or similar cleaner.
6. Weak tape (make sure its not too strong like painter's tape or scotch tape)
7. (Optional) some water or soap water.


1. Before you even start lapping you want to test the base to see if its flat. If its pretty much flat then you might not even need to lap the heat sink. To test this use your razor blade and touch it to the surface you're going to lap. Hold it up to the light to see if any light is creeping from beneath the blade. Do this all over the base in different directions.

2. Depending on what you're lapping u'll want to tape over the sensitive areas so you don't get them dirty. For example the base of the CPU. (Strong tape might peel the pads off the base of cpu so make sure its not too strong)

3. So u'll want to put the lowest grit sand paper over the sheet of glass or flat surface. Tape it down if its easier for you.

4. Hold whatever you're lapping close to the base and slide it in one direction over the sand paper. You do not need to push extremely hard, just enough to feel it scratching the surface. While doing this you can use a little bit of water if you have wet use sand paper but make sure you dry it of quick because it will oxidize fast. Dab a bit more water every so often to keep it wet and clean.

5. Lift up the heat sink and sand it again in the same direction. You do not want to change directions yet. This ensures that you will be sanding the surface evenly.

6. When pretty much the whole base has scratches facing the same direction you can now turn the base 90 degrees and start sanding it again.

7. After you have done 360 degrees check your base to see if its flat. By now it should be easy to see by the naked eye because if its not flat there will be scratches facing directions other than the direction you've last sanded. You can use the razor blade method for more accuracy. If the base is not flat yet then repeat steps 4-7 with the lowest grit sand paper.

8. By now your base should be completely flat and you want to move up to the next grit level to begin smoothing out the surface. Just do the same steps as 4-7 and work your way up the grit range now.

9. When you are done with your highest grit sand paper all you have to do now is clean the base. Use the isopropyl alcohol and wipe the base down with a lint free cloth. Make sure at this point you DO NOT TOUCH the base or let anything else touch it for that matter.

Now that you're done if you want that mirror polish you can try using polishing compound and you're base might look like this:

Last edited by ineedaname; October 21, 2007 at 01:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 7, 2008, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Qualicum Beach
Posts: 37

very nice.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old March 8, 2008, 05:19 AM
Babrbarossa's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Brunswick
Posts: 3,728

My System Specs


Thanks for posting this!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old March 8, 2008, 07:35 AM
SKYMTL's Avatar
HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 13,638

Great post but can you also post in the original post the locations where you can get the higher-grit sandpaper?
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old March 8, 2008, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: mississauga
Posts: 42

the have all the paper you need in the Canadian Tire automotive section
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old March 8, 2008, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 26

Thanks for posting the guide. How many different grades of sandpaper should you use?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old March 8, 2008, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: mississauga
Posts: 42

I used

and some rouge (comes in many rotary tool kits)
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lapping my E6600 CanadaRox Case Mods, Worklog & Gallery 19 March 10, 2008 09:03 AM
First try at Lapping! zlojack CPU's and Motherboards 13 February 3, 2008 12:07 AM
Sound Card basics? chibi_man Audio 22 November 26, 2007 01:36 PM
Lapping C2D? JayDee Overclocking, Tweaking and Benchmarking 8 June 30, 2007 03:05 PM