Lapping Like A Pro, Not An Average Schmo
    Lapping is simple, and hard to screw up.
Therefore, you WILL screw up. just face the facts, and buy two or three practice pieces, right from the get go. If it's cpu's, buy some dead ones from your local Ma &Pa PC store. If you're in it for the ultimate heatsink finish, just get 3-4. You can always cut them up, and use them elsewhere, after RE-lapping them, to the correct finish :-)
    In the quest for better cooling, Lapping is the great grey area of improvement. Even a poorly finished heatsink works moderately well, with some thermal paste, and a big fan. If you're in that catagory of modder, looking for 10-20% improvement, spend a bir of cash on a bigger fan, some rounded sleves, and call it even. If you're like me, and want that inner glow that comes from knowing frag tape is a sin then read on!

    I have a background in the following fields related to computermodding and lapping
           Blacksmithing (Fire + Metal + Hammer = FUN, but not too flat)
           Jewelry (Shiney, and LOOKS flat, but isn't)
           Machining (What do you mean on tenthousandth of an inch isn't close enough!)
           ComputerGuru (My Atari runs at 32Mhz and has a harddrive. Microsoft OS's fear my name. My
                      best pc troubleshooting tool is a screwdriver. it scares the the computers into shape. My
                      friends refer to me as a technomancer.)

    Hopefully that list put you at ease as to my qualifications for this task. After all, all we're really going to do is sand a piece of metal till it's flat. Prescision flat, but still just flat.
Part One is Tools.

You don't neeed many.
They're cheap.

List for Class :

Sand Paper - You'll want different grits here. Everything from around
     180 through 1200. Make sure to get the wet/dry stuff as it is just
      works better for this. 1200 grit is where most Telescope Mirror
      polishers stop polishing glass. This is also about where two lapped
      surfaces will cling together, all by themselves. If you can find it,
      finishing with some 2000 grit will be fine for even the most picky.
      At that grit, you are getting close to the sub-micron scratch depth.
      If you want to go any finer, well, good luck. Unless you're an
      android named Data, you hands are not steady enough and your eyes
      not good enough to notice ANY improvment on your work thus far.

A smooth, flat surface to  work on - A Piece of plate glass, on a wood
      table will do. If you have to. Probably. Spend some cash here. It will
      pay off. Go Get yourself a Granite Surface Plate. The cheap grade B
      plates from Enco will do just fine. (shameless plug of CHEAP tools.
      Granite is hard to screw up, so it's all good. plus I stole their image)

A Spray bottle with some clean water in it - Old mustard bottles(cleaned
     in side of course), plant misting spray bottles, coffee cups. Just
     about anything that'll hold water will do in a pinch.

Patience - A Huge whopping supply of it. Get all you can muster, put it
     in a pile, then multiply by 4. You MAY have enough left over, to order
     dinner, without strangling the poor waitress/waiter/Tacobell menu
     order board thingie. and yes, Thingie is a technical term ;-)

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All images shamelessly stolen from google, or other websites. I must have lapped my digital Camera lens too far. all I get is pictures of snow.