Hello people. Posted an introduction into the "Welcome" sub-forum and now I'm here. I recently enrolled at Saint Paul College (a community and technical college) and I'm in a culinary program. I've got over a decade of home-cook experience. I experimented with vegetarianism for about two years, which didn't work out too good (blood-type O) and I am intolerant to gluten and have problems with dairy proteins and sugars. So I have a reactive immune system. I like foods from many parts of the world and often use spices and herbs common to Asian, middle-eastern and hispanic cuisine. I'm also experienced with knives. I own several, but have no stainables (high-carbon). I've been free-hand honing knives for about five years. I actually enjoy sharpening knives and exploring to see what kind of an edge they can take and how long they can keep it. I have a cheapo aluminum oxide (india) double-sided stone which I use for most of the cutlery, a 6"x2" extra-fine DMT tablet and two combination synthetic waterstones from Norton (220 to 8,000 grit) as well as the Spyderco synthetic sapphire whetstones (medium, fine and ultra-fine). In addition to that I have the Norton lapping stone (not truly flat, argh) made of silicon carbide, which I'd only use on axes/hatchets, machetes, swords, cleavers, etc. I had to purchase a DMT 8"x3" coarse tablet to lap my Norton waterstones. I have a smooth steel rod, two ceramic honing rods (fine & extra-fine) and a diamond honing rod (extra-fine) and I'm good enough using a honing rod to put an edge on a knife that makes it unsafe for cutting the skins of tomatoes. So I can hone/sharpen pretty good. Oh, and in case you haven't already guessed: I also hone and use straight-edge razors. It's fun. Nothing like getting a chipped and dulled, tarnished and/or rusting neglected and abused straight razor and cleaning it up and honing it into a great shaving implement. I can get close, smooth shaves off of them and enjoy it very much. So I don't just eat off the blade, I also shave my face with them. Got my books, knife roll, class schedule in order. Now just waiting for classes to start, which will be next week.