one thing i did for my hatchet to remove alot of mettle fast is i took a drill and drilled alot of small holes close together then used a hammer and chisel on the anvil and removed a rather large hunk of mettle then i got to grinding and filing to profile the mettleIf it was a crappy steel kitchen knife (read china) it will most likely stay crappy steel. If it was good steel and you are careful it could stay good steel. When grinding do not get the steel hotter than you can hold bare handed. A bucket of water to plunge the blade in works good. Try and use the whole surface of the grinding stone, don't make a deep grove in the center. Wear eye protection. The buffing wheel will yank blades out of your hands, throw them at the floor or table only to have them bounce back at try to stab you.
This a good book to start with. http://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Goddards-Knife-Shop-Revised/dp/0896892956
I take exception for "not great for slicing". I have used a modified OH butcher knife for years and have had no problem with anything I wanted it to do.For many in the past there wasn't a difference between their kitchen knives and their field knives other than they'd make a sheath when going camping or going to war. Full tang, thick steel, not great for slicing, but good for general work. There are some kitchen knives with great blade designs.