I had the great pleasure of a visit to my shop yesterday by the two top engineers from Norton Abrasives engineered belts division. My cousin happens to be one of them and he has graciously sent me various belts several times over the years for testing. For those that don't know, Norton and 3M are the two major manufacturers for the belts that knifemakers use on their grinders. Although 3M is the big player in the industry, Norton offers some outstanding products as well that often equal and in some cases exceed the high quality of the 3M belts.
Anyway, Norton would like to stay competitive and they are working on ideas for improvements and on ways to better reach the knifemaking market. So they asked if they could come out for a field trip and see how their products are being used by knifemakers. We had a great chat and I demonstrated most of my techniques and operating procedures. They were extremely helpful and gave me all kinds of info on the best uses and proper belt speeds for best results. I learned alot and hopefully I gave them a few ideas and insights into my needs.
We also discussed the needs of other makers who are doing different things than I am and what their requirements are and how they differ. I am optimistic that the mirror polish guys will also benefit from the meeting yesterday.
A good time was had by all and I'm looking forward to their next generation of high tech products.