Veritas MKII Power Sharpener ?


I'm getting ready to go ahead and finally get one, but I had a few questions. I haven't been able to find much discussion on this unit, surprisingly. The most recent postings are May 2004 from Mike in Mystic. Mike, if you're out there, I'd value your latest thoughts on the unit.
1. I usually do Not put a micro bevel on my blades, so I guess I will get a few extra 4mm platters and put all my different abrasive discs on this thickness of platter. Will this work?
2. Each of the various grit discs must have a slightly different thickness. I'd guess that the difference in thickness between the coarsest (80x) and finest (1200x) discs is on the order of 0.020". Not much, but enough so that the grinding geometry is different and if you did Not want a multi-faceted edge or micro bevel, you would have to re-grind the entire bevel at each grit. (As stated, I usually do Not want a micro bevel.) Is it possible to maintain a constant bevel angle as you progress through the grits ?
3. What are the best options for final honing ? Can anyone recommend suppliers of superfine grit 8" PSA discs ? The latest FineWoodworking (review on power sharpeners) recommends a felt disc charged with compound. Anyone use this method? Or is it really still best done by hand on a stone?
4. This is a dry system. Any tendency for burning the very edge?
As always, Thanks, Ken
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Bet you'd get an honest and accurate answer if you asked customerservice@leevalley.
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It sure would.

I have not found that changing grits creates a microbevel. Changing the platters, yes but not the abrasive. I suppose it's there but to be honest, it must be so small a change that I don't notice it.

My final step after using this system is a leather strop charged with the green honing compound.

I haven't seen any burnt edges. It's pretty benign in terms of heat. Overall, I've been very happy with my system and it really does do a great job of sharpening. I've used it on chisels, plane blades, and turning tools with great success. Cheers, cc
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I have had the MK II for a year or more.
1 & 2. IMHO, the micro-bevel is key to having this system work well. The fine grits wear out faster than the coarse, so it reduces the amount of metal removed by the fine grits. It also minimizes the need to have all the geometry exactly the same between the disks. That said, the blue, coarse paper is much thicker that the 9 micron paper, so you will probably get some degree of micro-bevel just from that switch. If you want to finish by hand, then I would use the second-coarsest paper and stop there with the machine.
3. I use 0.5 micron PSA paper that I got from http://www.antiquetools.com /. They probably sell it at Lee Valley, also. You can just stick it on and then cut around it. The sharpener even has a built-in punch to make the hole in the middle. My intuition is that the 0.5 micron paper polishes the edge, but doesn't really make it any sharper. I have considered trying the felt disk, myself. The instructions to the machine suggest using an old men's dress shirt glued to the disk with spray adhesive. Then you charge the shirt with honing compound. I'll probably try that before spending $25 on a felt wheel.
4. You can't just leave the blade on there forever, but I haven't had a big problem with heat.
Mark
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It occurred to me the other day as I was building a shroud for my belt sander sharpening rig that turntable sharpeners could make a real mess flinging swarf off all over the place. I saw the LV demoed at a woodworking show and the guy wasn't using any sort of screen. Is that an issue? Also, I suppose it could be too tweaky to make a leather disc and get it to be the correct thickness.
--
My spelling is really atrocious.

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Gordon Airporte wrote:

It turns at 650RPM. Probably not fast enough to fling stuff around.
Chris
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After using it in the same place for a long time, there will be a little metal a couple of inches out from the machine. The turntable turns away from the operator, so it's mostly toward the back of the machine, which in my case is a wall. It's really not very messy.
Mark
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Ken,
I can't say anything about the Veritas MKII "Power" sharpener, but I can tell you that the non-powered Veritas MKII honing guide is foolproof, maybe not damn fool proof, bur certainly fool proof.
The MKII honing guide was on just about everybody's 2005 top ten tools of the year list and for good reason.
I use the guide with a 200 grit Norton water stone if the blade needs to have the bevel set, otherwise I start with a DMT 600 and then 1200 diamond stone, then finish it off with a 4000 grit water stone. With the MKII guide you can put the micro bevel on in about 10 seconds if you want to, or not if you don't.
I get my chisels and plane blades sharp as razors with a perfectly squared edge.....every single time.
Unless you have a shop full of handtools that require sharpening, or plan to sharpen professionally, I would recomend getting the guide for about 50 bucks and pocketing the difference. Get some water stones up to 4000 girt, 8000 if you want a mirror finish.
Paul
getting ready to go ahead and finally<BR>get one, but I had a few questions.&nbsp; I<BR>haven't been able to find much discussion<BR>on this unit, surprisingly.&nbsp; The most recent<BR>postings are May 2004 from Mike in Mystic.<BR>Mike, if you're out there, I'd value your latest<BR>thoughts on the unit.<BR><BR>1. I usually do Not put a micro bevel on my<BR>blades, so I guess I will get a few extra 4mm<BR>platters and put all my different abrasive<BR>discs on this thickness of platter.<BR>Will this work?<BR><BR>2. Each of the various grit discs must<BR>have a slightly different thickness.<BR>I'd guess that the difference in thickness<BR>between the coarsest (80x) and finest<BR>(1200x) discs is on the order of 0.020".<BR>Not much, but enough so that the grinding<BR>geometry is different and if you did Not<BR>want a multi-faceted edge or micro bevel,<BR>you would have to re-grind the entire<BR>bevel at each grit.&nbsp; (As stated, I usually<BR>do Not want a micro bevel.)<BR>Is it possible to maintain a constant bevel<BR>angle as you progress through the grits ?<BR><BR>3. What are the best options for final<BR>honing ?&nbsp; Can anyone recommend<BR>suppliers of superfine grit 8" PSA<BR>discs ?&nbsp; The latest FineWoodworking<BR>(review on power sharpeners) recommends<BR>a felt disc charged with compound.<BR>Anyone use this method?&nbsp; Or is it really<BR>still best done by hand on a stone?<BR><BR>4. This is a dry system.<BR>Any tendency for burning the very edge?<BR><BR>As always, Thanks,<BR>Ken<BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

you that the non-powered Veritas MKII honing guide is foolproof, maybe not damn fool proof, bur certainly fool proof.

the bevel set, otherwise I start with a DMT 600 and then 1200 diamond stone, then finish it off with a 4000 grit water stone. With the MKII guide you can put the micro bevel on in about 10 seconds if you want to, or not if you don't.

sharpen professionally, I would recomend getting the guide for about 50 bucks and pocketing the difference. Get some water stones up to 4000 girt, 8000 if you want a mirror finish.

(snip)
Paul, if I may please slip in a question here, maybe a dumb one. I have the latest iteration of the guide and the old one as well, and I think it's great too. But I do have one problem with narrow chisels: the tool wanders from square even when I guard against the repetitiveness and tighten the jig evenly. (My $14 Eclipse, in contrast, never budges.) Again, it's likely me, but on the chance you have a suggestion. TIA, Larry
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LDR wrote:

you that the non-powered Veritas MKII honing guide is foolproof, maybe not damn fool proof, bur certainly fool proof.

the bevel set, otherwise I start with a DMT 600 and then 1200 diamond stone, then finish it off with a 4000 grit water stone. With the MKII guide you can put the micro bevel on in about 10 seconds if you want to, or not if you don't.

sharpen professionally, I would recomend getting the guide for about 50 bucks and pocketing the difference. Get some water stones up to 4000 girt, 8000 if you want a mirror finish.

couldn't duplicate the problem. yeah, right. And their burnisher is as hard as it should be. Right...
Dave
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LDR wrote:

By it's very nature, the vertical clamping design will not handle narrow items as well as a side-clamp like the Eclipse.
If you want to get the repeatable-angle benefits of the Veritas, you might try the following:
Cut a shallow dado (shallower than the thickness of the chisel) the width of the chisel in a small piece of wood.
Put the chisel in the jig bevel-down as usual, then put the wood over the top of the chisel such that the jig hits the wood on top and the chisel on the bottom.
That way the wood will tend to keep the chisel from going out of square.
Chris
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says...

that there isn't enough room for both the wood and my chisels, which apart from the mortise ones, have a high profile. Anyway, thank you, and thank you Dave for your post which didn't make me feel like an idiot.
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Larry,
I've used my MKII on 1/4 " bench chisels, didn't notice any wandering off from square with that small of a chisel.
Dumb question here too, but is the stone perfectly flat? I use a piece of plate glass and some silicon carbide powder to flatten my stones every time I use them, when I do it every time it never takes more than a minute or so to flatten the stones. I flatten the 200 stone on the glass, I flatten my 4000 grit water stone on my DMT 600 grit diamond stone.
That's all I can think of that might help,
Paul

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Ranger Paul wrote:

problematic of anything I've used with the MKII yet. The shank of the iron is narrower than the blade itself so even when using an ultra flat DMT stone, the iron tends to move around unless you get it DEAD center on the MKII, tighten the bolts EVER so carefully and very tight, to the point that it's hard to release them with mortal fingers, and then stroke the blade with extra care that need not be given to other sharpening tasks. Doable, but fussy.
Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

(snip)
Maybe, Paul; I do flatten my stones, although not as devotedly as you do. I think your advice is good and will follow your example. However, I do also own a diamond plate and have had the same problem. I think the hone should have been designed better in this regard. There is a UK hone which is twice as expensive as the Veritas and promises to stay put. But I'm tapped out on hones and will make the MKII work. Like you, I think, I'm beginning to feel like a mark for the industry hyping new tools and gadgets. But that's the subject of another thread :-) Larry
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