Don't worry too much about it Hal. It requires practice and patience. Also some grades of steel just will not take an edge as well as other grades will, no matter how good you are at sharpening. Steel grade and type really matters. Of all the knives I've sharpened there is one that consistantly and effortlessly takes a hair shaving razor sharp edge and retains it pretty well too, no exaggeration. That is a blade on an older Marble's Woodcraft knife that still used the old ball-bearing grade of high carbon steel, before the company switched to a different steel about 7 years ago. I'm sure the blade cross-section grind has something to do with how well it cuts too, it's a convex grind.