Realise that Japanese chisels need to be sharpened freehand. If you are not up to this, then begin with less advanced chisel designs. This set, and expensive chisels like this, are not for a beginner. I am sorry if this is going to come across as condescending. Get yourself something useable - read much cheaper - and learn on them. You will thank us later. This is not a time to purchase the best you can afford so that you "buy once". It does not work that way. I am not saying buy rubbish. I am saying get something modest to learn on. Narex chisels are superb for those starting out. You may even decide not to purchase others.
Regards from Perth
Thanks everyone for the really great advice. It's a good deal, but it's not an epic deal on the chisels. A lot of you are saying I don't necessarily need the number of chisels in this set right now and I agree with that. I'm going to purchase about four high quality chisels for now and use the rest of the money on some planes.
I know there are lots of threads on this already, and I will also search, but could someone chime in with a good high-end chisel manufacture I should look at purchasing?
Thanks everyone, especially for the warm welcome.
wtnhighlander is on to something. You had a preconceived idea of how the floor "should" look. It looks different. If you were walking through a model home and it had this floor would you stop in your tracks and say "dear god, what happened here!?!" or would it just be another flavor of flooring? Enough maple to make a floor is going to result in boards that look different from each other. Maple itself will look different throughout a board. I think you will be happier a year from now if you make lemonade out of this lemon by looking at it with fresh eyes versus the unexpected result of what you were after.
All the above is true. If you REALLY can't stand the appearance, a lot of sanding might get you back to square one. Which leaves you with a choice - leave the maple natural, or take another chance on coloring. Maybe the blotch control products help, maybe not. A possible alternative is chemical coloration, essentially speeding up the natural darkening process, without adding pigments that result in blotch. But that method has its downsides as well. Aside from the potentially toxic chemicals, the process depends on tannins that already exist in the wood, and which vary from tree to tree. Unless you somehow obtained flooring from a single tree, you are likely to still have drastic variations from board to board, even if the color of any given board is smooth and even.
My advise would be to stop now, and get on with the rest of your life.
I have had issues with the roller jamming on my Mk2 guide. I use it for oddball blades, but prefer my L-N side clamping guide for normal sharpening. It is faster and I haven't had any issues with it.
Like OakStBeachBum, i made a set of stops on my sharpening board to set the angle. Very fast and repeatable.