Dan your sword is beautiful. Your saya and ito look great. Did you make your own Damascus or did you buy Damascus blanks? I have been finding it hard to buy a manufactured blade to turn into a katana. Do you know of a place to buy blade blanks or do you have to buy the Damascus and cut and grind it to shape and then polish it?
I've taken a tired sword blade and re-polished it by hand. I know how much work that is now. My refurbished sword now has a mirror finish on it and cuts paper readily. It took me all of two months to do the sword. I learned the hard way that you can't take a grinder or a file to a blade unless you want to make a ton of more work for yourself! There is only one way to polish a fine sword, and that's the right way. No short cuts.
I kept finding that when I thought I was through with one stone and went to the next, I would see all of the scratches that I still had that weren't taken care of the first time. They just seem to come from nowhere.
I am getting long winded so I will close for now. Again great job on your wakizashi.
I make my own damascus, if your looking for a blade to build a sword around I believe Patrick Hastings sells beautiful blades at a great price. As for polishing I would suggest reading "The Art of Japanese Sword Polishing". Between using layout fluid to highlight scratches and changing the direction of the polish between stones you will be able to remove all previous scratches before moving onto the next stone.