All in one lapping kit – Brian Berryman
SUMMARY: A very well thought out kit, with excellent instructions.
The good guys at Easypckits were nice enough to send over one of their Premium Heatsink Lapping Kits for us to take a look at. While this kit is something veterans and those new to building computers will find useful, it has one thing that the novice builder will find very handy.
An extremely well written set of instructions are included.
This was what impressed me most about this kit. The “Suggestions and Tips” sheet included is not only very comprehensive, but very understandable, as well. The kit itself includes a 5.5″ x 4.5″ piece of sheet glass, nine sheets of sandpaper of varying grits, a 2.7 gram tube of Arctic Silver Ceramique, and the aforementioned instruction sheet.
The nine sheets of sandpaper included are as follows; 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grits, and 40, 25, 20, 15, and 10 micron. The first four are standard auto body type “wet/dry” sandpaper, the five “micron” sheets are the finest I’ve ever encountered. Using these in the order outlined above (as described in the instructions) will yield a very fine mirror finish.
The only point of this kit I might take umbrage with is the size of the glass/sandpaper, but I understand the reasoning of why the size was chosen. The dimensions of the glass and papers is a standard
1/4 sheet size. Using a half or full sheet would have made the kit more difficult to package and ship….there’s less of a chance of glass breakage at the quarter sheet size. This size, as we’ll see on the following page, might be a bit difficult to use on some of the larger heatsinks commercially available.
Let’s look at a few pictures here, to get a reference for size;
Small sinks and waterblocks like these chipset pieces shown above are well suited for this kit.
Small to moderated sized heatsinks like these will also work well. (Thermalright SLK-600 and Millennium Glaciator II shown)
Waterblocks will work just fine also. (DangerDen P4 Maze 3-1 (left), and AMD Maze 2-1 shown)
You *might* run into some difficulty trying to lap very large sinks like these. (Alpha P3125 (left), and Swiftech MCX4000 shown)
The point I’m trying to make here is, the larger the item you’re working with, the less room on the sandpaper you have to work with. With everything today being socket based, this wouldn’t be a problem, but it might be tricky with an old Slot 1/A sink.
I’m not going to graphically go through the lapping procedure here, as to do so would make this article quite long. Just follow the included “Suggestions and tips” sheet as directed, and you’ll do fine. Those instructions, for the novice, are the highlight of this kit. Read through them first, and then take your time. You’ll wind up with results like a pro in no time.
Someone did their homework. The choices for sandpaper are quite good, the included Arctic Silver Ceramique is close to (if not) the best thermal compound available. The instructions sheet makes it stand out though. The only change/addition to them I might make, would be to add a line to #6:
“Rinsing the sandpaper fully after using, and allowing to air dry on a flat surface may also prolong the life of the sandpaper.”
I’ve been using a single full sheet of 3M auto grade 800 grit paper for a very long time now. It really does help. I’ve lost count of the number of heatsinks I’ve lapped with that one sheet.
This is a very nice kit, very well priced, especially when you factor in the retail price of a tube of Ceramique. I’d like to thank David Brown at
Easypckits for sending this our way.
I received an e-mail from David Brown shortly after this article got posted, and he mentions:
“I custom make kits all the time. For example, if someone wants a half sheet of glass and paper to match instead of quarter sheets, I can easily do this. All someone has to do is drop me an email with what they want and I can quote a price.”