1. Yes. We included them because Ben Dale asked us to so people could try a couple of his stones.
2. No I left it out because I don't think it's necessary.
3. Going forward and backward is ok. Backward is less aggressive and that is what do to finish my edges on strops just like Murray. He taught me to sharpen.
4. That is way too much pressure. If you use a rod you should use a little more than the weight of the knife. I actually use a strop instead of a rod and I use light pressure.
I am glad that Bob borrowed my scale idea/technique. You can see it on my videos from 3 years ago.