Ok, so I spent about three hours on my Croma 10 inch chef's knife last Saturday. I had only a 600 grit medium Smith's 2 inch stone to work with. I got it very sharp, but not enough to drop a tomato on it and watch it split in half. It did take a slice off of the side when my aim was poor.
Today, I took the same knife, and the same wet stone and applied very light strokes to the edge. I then lightly steeled the knife. On Saturday, when I dropped the tomato and my aim was true, the tomato didn't cut, not even through the skin a little bit. After today's effort, the same tomato drop test made me smile. Teh tomato cut 3/4 way through when dropped from about 6 inches above the knife edge. I just purchased some cow hide from which I will make a strop. I then saturate the strop with jeweler's rouge (red for the initial trial) and see where that gets me. And yes, I've worked hard to create that convex edge with just a Smith's stone. It takes a lot of careful strokes, and practiced hand movements.
I will have a scary sharp knife. It's now a personal quest. And I'll do it by hand, with minimalist tools, just to show that it can be done. The knife is up to the task. The question is, how skillful am I? We shall see.
So, GB, I hope to hear how and when you get your knife super sharp. And no, I'm not competing against you. I'm on the same quest, just with a different knife.
As far as you two sharpening maniacs, and you know who you are, I'll probably never get a knife as sharp as either of you. I don't have the tools or desire, or at this time, the technique or skill. You guys are amazing at dressing your knives.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North