Veritas MK.II Power Sharpener mini-Review

Hi everyone,
A few weeks ago I went ahead and ordered the MK.II power sharpener from Lee Valley. I have been debating whether I should look for a more consistent way to sharpen my chisels and hand plane irons and this looked like a great solution. A few recent reviews and discussions pushed me over the edge. I'm not disappointed.
I haven't had it very long and thus far I've only sharpened 5 chisels and one plane iron, but I can already see that the system more than lives up to my expectations. The way I set mine up was with 5 platters - 2 of the thicker ones (4 mm) and 3 of the thinner ones (3 mm). I have 80/120 (zirconia) and 150/220 (aluminum oxide) on the thicker platters and 320/500 (alum. ox), 1200 (alum. ox)/5 micron (silicone carbide), and 0.5 micron chromium oxide. The 150x = 100 micron, 220 = 60 micron, 320 = 40 micron, 500 = 20 micron and 1200 = 9 micron. For the 0.5 micron chromium oxide step, I used the green honing compound that LV sells to charge the paper.
Anyway, the system does everything well. I was easily able to flatten the backs of the chisels, and I even did this with the plane iron (it was for my Veritas low-angle block plane). I'm undecided if I'll try this with my larger plane irons, or even do it again with the block plane iron. It really isn't possible to flatten the entire back of the iron, so it could lead to poor bedding if too much material is removed.
I am a total sharpening newbie and so this system made a lot of sense for me. In the past I've tried mostly scary sharp on plate glass with moderate success. I had trouble consistently getting my edges square and other stupid things. Recently I purchased a big black granite plate for flattening plane soles, as well as other sharpening tasks. I've also tried water stones, but very few times.
As I said, I haven't sharpened much with this system (or any other one, really), but in about 5 minutes I took my block plane iron from having several minor edge fractures (I've used it for about a year without ever modifying the as-shipped iron) and was able to tune it up for approx. 0.001" thick shavings. I posted a pic of the result on ABPW for kicks.
Hope this info is helpful to anyone considering the system. If I can get results this good this fast, anyone can, I'm sure.
Mike
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Hiya Mike, I too bought one of these a few weeks ago although I didn't purchase any additional platters...yet. I have found, as you have, that it seems to work very well. I typically sharpened with scary sharp and water stones. I still finish up with a bit of hand work but overall, I can't be happier. I took a beat to hell plane blade and had it beautifully sharpened in about 5 minutes. I found that trying to flatten the backs takes a real fine touch. Still not sure I'm overly comfortable with that just yet. I haven't tried turning tools yet but see no reason why it wouldn't work just as well on them. Now I just have to build a station for it! :) Cheers, cc

Lee
great
to
320/500
my
moderate
tried
0.001"
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