Well I just got through watching a friend's YouTube video on setting a bevel, which in my opinion along with other people's is the "meat and potatoes" of honing. If that bevel is not set which I've experienced first hand from someone "who claimed they could hone" and really couldn't, that razor will not hold an edge no matter what you do to it. That person who made that claim, hasn't been active since March of this year:
Step one, Flattening: this is all that I have at the moment but I will be investing in a much better and cheaper set up which is an Upside down floor tile from either a Home Depot or Lowe's hardware store and some 220 grit silicone carbide (also known as SIC powder) made into a paste. The Norton Flattening stone that you see below is pretty good if you flatten your stones before soaking them. I also got lucky because mine laid perfectly flat on the table when I first opened it:
Step 2 Bevel set and refinement: This is where it all begins. I don't have the correct stone for setting a bevel at the moment which I am planning on correcting the first chance I get. But the best stone to start with in my opinion is Naniwa's Chosera/Professional Series 600 grit stone. Now you can set a bevel with a 1K stone, but it will take a little bit longer. And for the 600 grit stone I do approximately 40 back and forth strokes which is known as half circles on each side. Basically I just work the razor back and forth and count to 40. Then I flip the razor over and repeat this process only this time I do 20 half circles on each side. Then I repeat again doing 10 half circles, then 5 more half circles on each side. The next step is what I call clean up strokes which is 5 round trips back and forth or full circles on the stone. Once that is done, I use my jeweler's loupe and then I wet my thumb nail and using only the weight of the blade I gently run it across my thumb nail and look to see if it's trying to dig into my thumb nail which it should be. If it's not, then I'll do around 10 more half circles or back and forth strokes on each side until that bevel starts to grab.
Step 4 Edge Refinement: Once again I don't have the right stone for this at the moment, but the next stone should be a 1K grit stone. What kind you use is really up to you and your budget and what stones you like. The ONLY difference from the process listed above is that I only do 20 back and forth strokes on each side using the weight of the blade ONLY then I do 10 half circles on each side followed by 5 half circles on each side then I do my clean up strokes which is 5 round trips. Next I then switch to the stone you see below which is the Norton 4/8K combo stone and repeat the same process that's listed above. Once I'm done with that, I would recommend using a finishing stone. What kind you choose will be up to you and what you like, and what you're willing to spend:
Step 5: Green pasted Balsa Wood strop: Now this is what I've been doing for quite a while now and has yielded fabulous results. I do 15 round trips and I use a green Chromium Oxide crayon:
Final step: Stropping routine: This strop has been great but it's time to upgrade my hanging strop. I'm getting a 3 inch black latigo strop with D rings. And if you've read my previous blog posts, then you'll know what my stropping routine is:
So far I plan on getting a Naniwa Chosera 600 grit stone and a Norton 1K stone. I'm still looking at various Jnats for a finishing stone.