Hi all, Been lurking here for a while and I'm amazed at the knowledge and help here. I have a couple easy questions for you and am hoping you could steer me down the right path. Quick history of me. Old line cook. Prep, Sous, yadda, yadda. Outdoorsman who loves a nice blade. Can't sharpen for crap. Pretty decent knife skills, but nothing to brag about. Haven't worked on a line in ages though.Just a happy home cook now. I'm just starting to buy some better kitchen knives as many have done here. I am replacing some old Henckels. Just some crappy lower end versions that I really don't like. Internationals. Bolstered. Well....I do like the boning knife. I'm keeping that one. I do have an old 4 star I bought almost 15 years ago that is as dull as it gets. Convex edge. Hard as nails and won't take an edge on the steel anymore. I have settled on MAC pro knives and just picked my 1st one from CKTG. 8" Chef knife. Love it. Can't say enough good things about it in fact. Wife loves it too. It's become HER knife in fact. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif The issue is going to be sharpening for me. I have watched all the videos on CKTG and I picked up a 1000 grit stone to practice on with some no-name Japanese Santoku I have. I'm "getting" there, but I need a lot more time on the stone. I know I need a higher grit too, but I thought a start is a start. Here's the issue. I love knives too much and I KNOW I am going to end up buying another Convex blade at some point. So....since I have decided to be all over the place and not own one knife of any kind, I will not only need stones, but also strops correct? I am having trouble getting solid info on what kind of strop would be a good start. Paddle or Bench? Bench would require me putting it in the garage, which can be really cold or really hot at time since I live in Massachusetts. Do you guys think it's even worth going with those Convex edges? I'm assuming on the JCK site, the knives that read 50/50 are Convex? Could I be wrong on that? I plan on buying a few knives. Some will be more MAC Pro's for my wife and I and everyday use, but some will be just for fun. Maybe a cool Petty, or another Chef type knife I want. Depends. I do need a strop regardless for a Trailmaster camp knife I own that has a Convex edge, but again...I have no idea what strop may work best. Wow....look at all that text up there, lol. I'll leave it. Ramblings of a new poster. Knives. So fun. To re-cap.... 1) Convex edges? Yay or Nay? 2) Bench or Paddle Strop? 3) I am far too poor for this addiction.