I recently bought a Kikuichi Elite Carbon chef knife. I know it's not the best knife for the money or made of the best steel but...
I got some Henkels for Xmas (a 3 knife set) and didn't need them so a mom and pop shop was nice enough to let me return them for a $100 credit towards a knife. I wanted a carbon knife and the only knife they had that fit the bill was the Kikuichi. Unfortunately, the only one they had left was the display model. It was already a little rusted and not very sharp.
Since it's my first carbon knife my plan is to use it to learn to care for carbon knives so I can one day get a much nicer one. Really, it only cost me $48 so I'm not too worried about using it as a learning knife.
1)I would really like to polish it so it's nice and shiny again. I'm not sure about the process to go about this though. Do I just need progressively higher grits of sandpaper?
2)After polishing the rust off it, I'd really like to force a patina with blood. I already tried blood from chicken livers but it did nothing except slightly stain the knife; it mostly looks like water marks. I've stalked the "my favorite color is blue" thread an that's exactly what I'm looking for
3)I've sharpened it on a king 800/6000 stone I bought. It will cut through paper now but I'm not sure if this is as sharp as it will get or if I can do better. I've never sharpened a knife before. How do you know you're done?