The house sale closed, we did in fact manage to move everything out in time, and I'm back down to only one mortgage. Hallelujah, praise Jesus, pass the bacon. *exhausted* /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif After the other threads, I have in fact ordered my upcoming darlings, a 240mm Konosuke HD wa gyuto and an 8" K-Sabatier au carbone. (Plus, a 10" Idahone fine honing rod for good measure. Needed to upgrade from the Chicago Cutlery that came with my first knife set 15 years ago.) I've also been reading up like a madman on freehand water stone sharpening. Currently, I own a DMT DuoSharp diamond stone (red/green - F/EF, I believe, or 600/1200 on whatever scale they use). It's been good for the knives I own, and it's given me something to rub steel against for practice. I'm betting that it's time to switch out for a set of water stones for sharpening. Diamond plates don't seem to be getting much love from the cutlerati, and while I'm not sure I understand why, I'm happy to acknowledge that there are plenty of people who know more than me. I figure that the new Sab is rugged and durable, and won't be harmed by whatever I sharpen it with. On the other hand, I'm fully expecting the HD to be a prima donna and really require better stones (or at the very least a higher grit stone for polishing). I'm trying to sift through the threads and keep up with who uses what, why, and how, and it's starting to sink in. Still, I wanted to open (yet another) thread to ask about stone schemes for sharpening in particular the HD. Whatever I use for that, I can use for everything else. I'm not as interested in some of the rigs out there - I can hold an angle of a knife well enough, as long as I slow down and be careful, so it really is freehand. Help me, Obi-wan.