Bawww... don't give up so easily. I think many of the people who actively participate in polishing threads do it for the journey and not the destination. A highly polished knife (be it mirror or kasumi) places a large maintenance burden on the user... so it is more of an ornamental finish than a practical one. Part of the fun (and frustration) is overcoming obstacles like yours... I don't think you have actually said anything about the knife or the KU? My apologies if I missed it. Who is the blacksmith... or what is the brand? I don't have a particularly big dictionary of knife experiences but I am sure if your knife is a recognised smith/brand, someone out there in the KKF-verse will be able to relate their experience with you. But also... why don't you try to determine how stable the KU is? Find an out the way corner and test how stable/rugged it is? There is no shame in using a barrier to protect the KU and guide the finish... with the plastic or cardboard suggestion, I was encouraging you to try a poor-mans version of this.