Hey Wartstein, my friend:
I always like reading your posts, and let me just say that with your earnest and open minded approach to knowledge seeking, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be sittin’ whittlin’ hair with a REX121 blade with the grizzled forumite edge junkies.
But seriously, we’re all students here, mate.
I’d say don’t get too hung up on technical nomenclature - there’s many ways to get a stubborn steel razor sharp.
In terms of the Sharpmaker, it’s a superb, versatile tool for maintaining edges, but you’re going to need some patience if you want to do serious thinning out or reprofiling on the higher carbide, higher Rockwell hardness steels.
If you have the time and patience it can certainly be done, but investing in a good coarse benchstone will just make the process a whole lot easier.
I personally use the Japanese Atoma series of stones for removing material on my initial resharpening of new knives. Then I refine with the Venev bonded diamond stones from Gritomatic, and finish on a variety of different stones I’ve accumulated over the years.
If you’re set on just using the Sharpmaker, you should start with either the the diamond or CBN rods and use a constant up and down motion, as opposed to doing distinct singular passes.
Be careful you don’t run the tip off the rods.
A good loupe is your best friend. I think I recall you already have one?
If not, I use and recommend the bombproof 10x Belomo with Zeiss glass.
A few of the forum old hands have detailed the technique, but I’ll just reference Surfingringo’s excellent how-to:
Apart from that, my only other advice is to maybe pass up one or two knife purchases and buy stones instead. Then it’s just practice, practice, practice and you’ll be there in no time.
This obviously applies to ZDP-189 just as it does to any steel which may be giving difficulties in sharpening.