OK. I watched the Spyderco video & got inspired.
Dug out my Sharpmaker, grabbed my Native Stainless Steel. It sharpened up nicely with about 80 strokes on the grey stones (edge & flat). It now shaves paper fairly well. Another turn on the gray stones should do it. I am impressed. With both the knife and the sharpener.
I also gave my Cold Steel Counter Point a quick touch up on the grey stones. I'm not going to spend any more time on that, there's no point with a Native Shaman on the way! *coff coff* Sadly I had to settle for S30V. Oh well.
I also gave that Chicago Cutlery knife 80 licks on the grey stones. It was a blunt object when I started, now it's thinking about shaving paper. I'll work on it some more when my CBN rods arrive.
One thing, though, and I'll bet Sal can shed some light on this: I think I may have a Sharpmaker v0.5. The base has only one set of holes for the rods, it doesn't have a place on the bottom to accommodate two rods for flat sharpening and it doesn't have a cover.
Now, I do have a Sharpmaker that does have all that (cover, two sets of holes for rods, etc.) Somewhere.
The reason I have two SharpMakers is that I couldn't find my first SM, so I ordered a new one. I think the one with the plain base might be the second one I ordered online in 1999 (was there an on-line back then?), but I'm not sure. It is labelled "Spyderco".
Sal, someone mentioned a Sharpmaker they bought at a show that came in a bag, no case. Is there a "budget" version of the Sharpmaker available? Could that be what I am working with?
The second one I bought was purchased in 1999 for $55 from Golden Promotions. Is Golden Promotions Spyderco?
I'm thinking I bought my Sharpmaker with 2 sets of holes for rods, cover, etc at the Del Mar Fair back in the 80's. Were they available then?
Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, how do you sharpen the front tip on a tanto blade? I always hated sharpening the tip on my Cold Steel Tanto. I really liked the look of the blade, though, and eventually I want to get a Spyderco Tanto (Bob Lum?) Anyway, do you sharpen a Tanto Tip by setting the rods flat in the case and sharpening it like a chisel?
EDIT: OK, it looks like I'm using a SharpMaker 203 and would like to be using a 204 base. Sal, can I order a 204 base to use with my 203 rods?