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Introduction, and new Viel user
#21
Bruin,

Noting your photo of the Viel belt and square, in a perfect world, everything would be plumb, square and level. With belt grinders, if the belt can be adjusted to track correctly (and stay that way) and the platen can be adjusted so that table is square to it, in my opinion, we are OK.

Ken
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#22
That's a wealth of information for me to digest, Mark. Again I can only say thank you to you, grepper, and Ken for generously sharing your experience. I hope this thread will benefit many more people who find it.

I will order some CBN compound directly from Ken ask you suggested. Ordener's Viel mod seems like just the ticket for tracking adjustment. And that digital angle gauge is the first I've seen of the kind, thanks for the heads-up.

I kinda understand your desire to get the best edge with the least steel removal. For my wife's Japanese kitchen knives, the thought of using a belt grinder just doesn't seem right. (As an aside, I was really into cleavers several years ago. I got my wife a custom Takeda with a Super Blue core, but she actually prefers her stainless Misono gyuto. I still have a couple of CCKs and a Takeda petty. Shapton pros for all of them). The typical stainless kitchen knives will get a 150 grit edge and deburring, and maybe that's it. A major reason why I got the Viel was to do these quickly. In a strange way, belt sharpening might get me to sharpen more on stones, and hopefully I'll get better at both.

Like Ken, I'm also curious why you prefer stones to sharpening over belt grinders. Clearly you have the experience, time, and luxury to choose whatever you want. Out of curiosity, do you sharpen the knives you make on stones also?

Ken, thanks for keeping an eye out for a pyroceram. I'll try to visit some local glass shops in the coming weekends.
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#23
One thing I have found is that when sharpening with a belt grinder only extremely light pressure is necessary.  When I do it, I see very little if any belt deflection even on an open area of the belt.  I let the abrasive do the work and spend little time in any one place.  This generates little if any detectable heat and keeps burr to a minimum. 
 
Using extremely light pressure may take an extra pass or two, but the results are very different than what happens if you jam the knife into the belt.  Considering how much abrasive is passing the edge when using a grinder, there is no need to use much pressure.  The belt will do the work.
 
Try just “tickling” the edge of the blade and then adjust from there depending on your results
 
I use a belt grinder because it’s fast, and because I have a belt grinder it’s no problem to do a quick touch-up when needed.  Knives will get dull, and for those of us who can sharpen understand that it’s really no problem to keep them sharp.
 
You mention that magic 150 edge number.  For me at least, anything sharper for a kitchen knife is really not necessary, unless you have some special purpose use in mind.  150 is easy to obtain with a belt grinder and super fast too.   I like super fast.  That’s the advantage of powered sharpening. 
 
I guess my point is to start out with as little pressure as possible.  Super light pressure.  And then adjust from there. Some blades take more pressure, some less, but always use as little pressure as possible. For me that was the secret of sharpening with a belt.  Less is more in this case.  Less pressure deforms the edge less, keeps burr formation, heat, plastic deformation and metal removal to a minimum whilst getting the job done quickly. 
 
Grinding the edge is easy and fast with a belt grinder.  For me at least, deburring while not removing tooth is far more challenging and time consuming.
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