The process gets started with the 400-paper which is evenly taped to the flat surface and some water is poured over the paper. The water is there to bond the copper dust coming from the IHS.
And on with the sanding. While sanding the IHS you want to do either X- or L-shaped motions and after a couple of moves, turn the CPU 90 degrees. This is done to get an even result. If you do the movement along only one axis/side, you easily end up with very deep scratches and un-even surface that leans to one side.
Getting some results
After getting rid of all the grey plating we can change from 400 grit to the finer 600 grit paper. Again tape the 600 paper in place, add some water and keep sanding like before.
While the 400 grit is good for making the IHS flat, it leaves too deep scratches that affect the cooling performance. 600 grit is used to remove the scratches produced by 400 grit. After this the 1200 grit paper is used to smooth out the scratches made by the 600 grit paper.
After the 1200-grit paper the IHS is flat and shiny.
If you aren't looking for a mirror finish then you can also save some time and sand using the 800 paper instead of 1200. At this stage the scratches are already shallow enough not to effect the cooling performance too much. But we want to go all the way...
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