Blade Guards : http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Supply...de+guard+12%22
+1 to everything Rick and China said. I've used and sharpened, but not owned, a Kohetsu AS and do currently own an Akifusa (can't comment on the Tojiro).
btw, what is the maximum temperature one can heat the knife to without ruining the HT? Is 100C (boiling water) hot enough?
I doubt very much that it is synchronous. 0.5mm is still kinda thick, take it down a bit more with the 100 belt then go for 0.2 using the 220 belt and