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  1. I have been hunting deli style commercial meat slicers with at least a 12 in blade for some time now - focusing on Berkel slicers. Most of the used slicers in ads and auctions look like they are in horrible condition and/or they just want way too much money for them. Finally hit upon one at a used food equipment on-line auction site that was within a reasonable driving distance. Better yet I was able to win the bid and stay within my willingness to pay zone. One reason I wanted a main-line commercial model like the Berkel is that is will go down to paper thin see through slices which I will need in the future for my long duration home cured & dried charcuterie. Here is the new family member all spiffed up to factory new and ready to rumble. A Berkel 827A 12 inch knife commercial slicing machine. It will handle 10 3/4 by 7 5/8 product dimensions and slice thicknesses from see thru paper thin to 9/16 inch thick. It is an older machine and it is in very good condition overall - which is why I took a chance and bid on it sight unseen other than the auction listing photos and knowing it "worked" . The meat slices are my homemade cotto salami at various dial settings. I figured if it sliced that particular sausage type meat OK paper thin then everything is good to go. And it did. This commercial machine is so easy to clean. A full cleaning after use is 10-15 minutes max.. Only requires removing a single knob to take off the product tray to sink wash it and loosening the rear tie rod knob to take off the knife center plate cover. No other disassembly needed to access and clean. Plenty of clearance behind the blade. After cleaning finish with a sanitize spray using Star San and let it air dry and you are done. Some idiot had reversed the on-board sharpening stones (the sharpening wheels were installed with the bevel on the stones again the knife instead of the flat on the stones against the knife - the axle angle of the stone is what sets the sharpening profile) in the sharpener and had effectively profiled the blade (bevel vs flat) on the wrong sides of the blade. It would slice but not as well as it should especially on paper thin slices. But the blade is in excellent shape otherwise. A new set of sharpening stones and some serious but smart use of them on the blade and he is now re-profiled the the way it should be. One other nit was, that like so many of these used Berkel slicers, the easily removable lift off "slice deflector" on the rear of the machine was missing - my view is that many places just take them off and don't bother with them. The parts suppliers want $70 for a deflector. What??? The machine does fine without one but having it helps the meat slices stack up in the collection area rather than potentially going elsewhere. I scoured the internet for photos of the deflectors from many angles, printed the photos and knowing the actual real world dimension of the mounting bolt spacing for the deflector plate on the machine, I was able to upscale all the dimensions and determine the angles by measuring the printed photos with my digital calipers. Using that data, I made, from the various photos, a template from stiff file-folder cardboard. Using that template, I cut a prototype slice deflector out of aluminum roof flashing and with just a little fine tuning made it work like factory. Bingo. I was going to make one out of heavier gauge aluminum but the prototype works so well why bother. Maybe later.....or not. I have learned a lot about these slicers in cleaning and adjusting this one. There are not any service manuals posted on the web, just various parts diagrams with no real guidance as to what changed over time in the same model number slicer. Had I looked at one on these without having used it and gone through the cleaning and tuning it to "factory new", I would not have know what was good or bad, right or wrong other than for big obvious issues. Hands-on experience counts. Here are some photos of my Berkel. Now onward to the homemade bacon, cold cuts, jerky, roast beef, and other charcuterie.
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