Everyone else probably already know this math shortcut.
Turns out for 20' my estimation was way off on a chef knife, might explain poor results steeling as well. I seemed to be about right for the boning and paring knives.
Right now i'm using Norton india coarse/fine combo to an arkansas transluscent. BDL recommended going from norton india medium to a Halls Arkansas soft then hard, everybody like that four stone progression for Henckels?
Thanks mostly to info I've found on this board my old chef knife is sharper than its been in a long time. And for $34 I will add the Arkansas hard/soft combo and see how much that helps.
For now I just used a piece of cardboard to strop, have my eye out for a piece of leather or maybe balsa wood and charge it with chromium oxide, as Phaedrus mentioned.
Two low maintenance stones used with water, a strip of uncharged leather and a steel; that would make a pretty simple and clean sharpening kit and I can actually see myself keeping up with it.