Well I probably just got one of the best birthday gifts in a very long time from my sister and brother-in-law. And what could that gift have been…..why none other then a professional 12″ deli slicer. OH YES, you read that right! This is one of those things that I’ve wanted to get for the longest time. Because it doesn’t matter how thin you want then to cut your cold cuts at the deli counter, they just never cut it thin enough. Lets face it, people are lazy and the thinner you cut it, the more effort you have to exert for the same finished weight.
So after I received the deli slicer, I basically left it in the middle of my dinner table, just so I could look at and marvel at now having such a piece of machinery. But with all upside, always comes a little bit of downside. And the downside with this slicer was that it needed a little bit of a tune-up.
But first a little bit of background on this deli slicer. This isn’t a new slicer, as much as a 2nd/3rd hand slicer. To quote Chairman Kaga “If memory serves me right”, the slicer was purchased used, so that it could be put into service at my sister/brother-in-laws restaurant. After a number of years of heavy use at the restaurant, they finally decided it was time to upgrade to a new Hobart or Berkel deli slicer. So after the upgrade, the old slicer was removed from service and just gathering dust in their garage. Hence where I stepped into the picture, and took this “burden” off their hands.
With that little back story out of the way, let’s get back to the tune-up. The easy part of the tune-up was just re-greasing the carriage slides. The real work came down to three items: the blade cover, the blade itself, and the on-board sharpener.
Project 1: Blade cover.
With the slicer my sister included an extra blade cover. Since the current cover was slightly damaged, in that the threads at the center attachment post were stripped. But the problem with the new cover was that the center post was 5mm taller then the original cover. Turns out that there is a double threaded steel insert in the center post of the cover, so all I had to do was remove the new threaded insert from the new cover (very easy) and swap it for the rusted threaded insert on the old cover (very hard, since I had to use WD-40 and the biggest Vise Grips I own to remove the rusted insert). So with one project done, it was on to the second tune-up project.
Project 2: Sharpen the blade.
Now to the blade, the stones on the on-board sharpener were broken, so I tried to sharpen the blade free hand, which was very hard to do. So I finally bit the bullet and found a professional sharpening company in town, and one of there specialties is sharpening meat processing blade. The price was totally reasonable ($26.20 and done the same day), and holy mackerel is the blade sharp. When I saw the orange sticker on the transport package that said “sharp” in bold black letters I thought to myself “We’ll see how sharp this is, when I start slicing some meat.”
Well, I was cleaning off some oil on the blade with a wadded up piece of paper towel, and for some reason my hand slipped a little bit off the blade face and caught the cutting edge of the blade. And it sliced through all five layers of the wadded up piece of paper towel and nicked off a little bit of my right index finger like it was nothing. Now I keep some sharp knives in the house since I subscribe to the maximum that a “A sharp knife is a safe knife”, but this has to be hands down the sharpest blade in the house. Period.
Project 3: On-board sharpener.
I’ve already emailed Eurodibs (the manufacturer of the slicer) and I still haven’t gotten a reply back from the parts department to get some new sharpening stones. So I guess that I’ll have to give them a call to get the parts. I’ve already been to a couple of local food supply service shops, and they don’t carry, nor can they order parts for Eurodibs slicers. So now I’m basically stuck with having to deal with the manufacturer to get the parts that I need. Boo to that!