I would suggest you check out a Pro knife maker. Murray Carter is a manufacturer of high end knives that he recorded the term Scary Sharp with a copy write. If you go to email@example.com
. He will send you instructions over a 2 week period (8 emails) on how to clean, repair maintain and sharpen a knife to his scary sharp specs.
You can tell if a knife is scary sharp if you put your thumb on the back and the first 3 fingers on the edge. If when you slide your fingers up and down the edge front to back and the edge feels oily... even though it will shave, it is not scary sharp.
He will direct you to use waterstones (one 2000 grit and one 8000 grit) with his instructions doing the work over your kitchen sink with the stone in use having a slow flow of water to carry off the rerfuse from sharpening. A major part of using water stones is keeping the surface flat. He will discuss methodology to use to make flatening the stone to be as infrequent as possible.
When I started following him I had to reflatten after 50-60 strokes. Now it is around 250 strokes and then only minor to do. I use a purchased concrete yard block (12" x 12" x 2") as my flatener to work wet like a waterstone to get the wet water stone back flat. There are professional flatening tools which are back in the 3 diget range. I have found using the yard block meets my needs at an acceptable cost of maintenance. It will take a little time to learn from his directions, it did for me, but when you do learn, all blades are sharp, with most being scary sharp.
You asked about methology. Angle for the first layout grind/cut 20 degree and roughly 1/8+- wide. The finished edge at 22 degrees, BUT that edge is only +-1/128 inch! Just a few strokes over the stone to put it in place. Do that final work one stroke at a time per edge to keep all things centered.
One other thing I found most challenging was converting from pushing the edge of the blade into the stone... the cutting edge leading like cutting a 2x4. He will have the edge trail... like you do when strpping on a razor strap.
Those four things:
2 good stones (roughly $100 each),
the correct angles (20 degrees first cut, 22 degrees finish),
sharpening on the pull with the edge trailing (I learned how to hold the knife so my thumb was the guide to the angles... even on the rounded edge to the point)
WILL bring you to be place of having an edge you can be proud of.
Murray left Canada after HS and went to Japan where he was trained to become a Japanese rated bladesmith. His knives are high, kneck knives in the $150 range Kitchen knives in the 400 range and a Katura sword touching $1,200 but beautiful and custom made.
I keep a double sided diamond toolmakers hone if I am going out in the field and may work my edge down. This is my back up tool. I use the water stones for my set up work
If you can get to a Tandy's Leather... they have small scraps of thick leather and jeweler's rouge you can pick up as well. They do have that which you can buy. But if you do not have Tandy's near by call them for the smaller pieces to use as a pocket strop Get them to sort the scraps for you. A rough cost on scraps would be +-$3 per sf at 1/8 inch thick. Do not go thinner. Too dificult to keep from wrinkling. This will be an odd shape not square but something off if a leg skin, maybe 2 1/2 - 4 inches wide an 6-8" long. It will be random with few if any straight edges. You will trim it to shape.