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@smokin52, I already answered you in another post but I'll add a bit more since foody brought up some things. The Sigma power 1000 (toolsfromjapan/TFJ) and Watanabe 1000 are excellent stones and reasonably priced, though the shipping form Watanabe may be a deal breaker. TFJ has an inexpensive starter set that is excellent. For thinning you probably don't want to go below 400 for know as the courser stones can get a beginner in trouble, but if you just want to practice on your Germans then the Sigma 120 is great. More manageable is the "Pink Brick" that lots of folks sell in either soft (Geshin), medium (most everyone else) and hard (Watanabe) densities. Soft cuts faster, hard dishes slower. Millions has waxed eloquent on the Sigma dual-density 300, soft on one side, and hard on the other to maintain a flat surface for evening things out, not a bad idea.
 

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Whatever worked for your German knives will work for any knives.  As has been said here before, sharpening is just rubbing steel on rocks, you don't have to overthink it.  The only difference in the end it between sharp and crazy-sharp, most folks never experiencing the latter, nor caring to, but it's what most here like.
 

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If not mentioned already, Jon Broida's videos on youtube.  He owns Japanese Knife Imports and the Geshin line, his is the most comprehensive series on sharpening Japanese knives.  The deburring video should be of particular interest.
 
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