I'm pretty new to sharpening (have been working at it for a couple months) and have been getting reasonably good results with my current setup of 3 water stones that I bought for sharpening woodworking tools several years ago, but never really used for that (2 labeled 'Splex Japanese water sharpening stone', 800 and 1200 grit, and one labeled 'Suehiro Ohka water finishing stone', 6000 grit). I have been working mostly on my older knives, a mix of Sabatier and Dexter carbon and Forschner and Henckels stainless, most of which have seen a lot of use since last being sharpened.
So, the end results have been decent, but it feels like it is taking me a looooong time to get there, sometimes 45 minutes or more per side on my coarsest stone to raise a burr. I use sharpie to check progress and it looks like I'm hitting the bevel pretty consistently. Once I raise a burr on each side using the coarsest stone, progression thru the remaining stones goes a lot faster.
So I guess my question is, can I speed up this process, and if so, how? Is this just a matter of putting in more time on the stones? Would upgrading one or more of my stones likely help (getting a coarser stone, maybe, or replacing with something that cuts faster)? recommendations?