I inherited two Arkansas stones, a hard, surgical black Russels and a soft Norton (I know mine/manufacturer has a lot to do with quality and apparent grit, but don't know if those are good). They were dished, as my father used them for chisels since he was a sculptor. I have flattened them again on a diamond wheel at my lab, and polished the hard to 1200 grit. They have done a decent job on my softer Calphalon and Sabatier blades. I have little sharpening experience, so I can't say they're objectively great, but they're better than what I'm used to.
I know people are hot for water stones, especially Japanese ones. Since I am a poor grad student, do you think I can get away with these Arky stones for now? I have mostly soft steel, but my family just got me a Konosuke HD gyuto, which I'm psyched about, but I'm worried I'm too much a grasshopper to wield it responsibly. I mean, I have been maintaining my sanity by cooking for years, and I'm a materials scientist, so blades are way up my alley. I just don't want to make any irreversible mistakes. Do you suppose I could use Arky stones on a Jknife?
Thanks in advance for your overwhelming experience and advice