Totally agree! An RichardA's advice about keeping it simple is spot-on. Find something that works for you.
I can only relay my experience - I started with wet-dry sandpaper on pieces of plate glass (I seem to recall I went all the way up to 2000 grit, but don't hold me to that). This is also known as the "scary sharp" method (look it up, there are a lot of videos on this). This was a good way for me to get going, somewhat inexpensively, and allow me to work with sharp edges and know what it meant to have a sharp tool. The knock against scary sharp is that long-term the cost of the paper can add up. True, but like anything it depends on how much work you get to do and how much sharpening you need to do. Using the sandpaper/glass method let me decide when to get into some waterstones and the associated intricacies of using them - how to store them, how to keep them flat, etc. But using the SS method let me become accustomed to waterstones on my own terms and timeline. Now, I use waterstones pretty much exclusively - and if I decide to get new or different stones, I have a baseline of what to expect of what works for me.
One recommendation I'll make is to get a decent honing guide (I use the Veritas MKII and I like it, but there are a lot of good options out there). You'll be able to make use of it with pretty much any sharpening medium you choose.
Good luck, and let us know what you decide to use.
I know using the lathe with a chuck makes a lot of these operations possible but finding the center of something always seems tricky. I'm not sure if anyone has seen this before but Andy Klien mentioned it in one of his videos and the guide with the centering vise is really appealing and interesting.
Any one have any thoughts on this product?
Not expecting to move tools around much on them, but with my movement, I don’t want to risk tripping going from concrete to tile or vice versa. I noticed in Mark’s most recent shop tour that he has them everywhere except for under the tools. Would that make a big difference?
I agree with all the above, but a further design consideration is where are your shins going to go when you inevitably stretch your legs?
If the back panel (the non-sitting side) is full length then you won't have any edge to bang your shins against.
If, as I believe krtwood is suggesting, you end up with a 6 or 8 inch wide transverse brace poitioned at the base of the back, then you can comfortably rest your feet on top of this panel.
If the partial panel is at the top, but doesn't extend below your knee, then you're also pretty bang free. But lower than that gets into shin territory.