Messing With the Stones:

After this morning's shave, I decided to mess around a little bit with the stones and try a friend's technique and under the glass, it looks like it worked. I won't really know how well it worked until tomorrow's shave. The technique is really simple. What you do is take some cheap black electrical tape and put it on the spine of the razor while you hone. Now you will have to change the tape but it creates a micro edge that I saw in my jeweler's loupe:

My Norton 4/8K combo stone was soaked for 15 minutes which is what I normally do:

The plastic case that the Norton water stones come in doubles as a stone holder which is awesome because I still have a few stones to get before my set up is complete:

The slurry that developed while I was honing came up a little quicker than normal and I did have to stop a few times and reinstall the tape:

After I finished with 4K side of the stone, I went ahead and drew a grid on the stone for flattening later on. This ensures that your stone will perfectly flat for your next honing session. I performed the same procedure on all 3 of my razors:

Next I tried the same technique with the 8K side of the stone and the slurry came up a little bit quicker as well on this stone:

Now this is where my technique changed as compared to the last time I performed a touch up on this stone. I didn't go back to the 4K side of the stone, like I did the last time. The reason for this is because I want to see if this makes a difference or not and I also felt that these razors really didn't need a full touch up like they did the last time:

Here is the flattening results for the 4K and this time around, I used the kitchen sink instead of the bathroom sink and it made flattening these stones almost effortless. It's still NOT as good as the sic powder method which is effortless:

Here's the 8K side results:

And here's where a dish drying rack comes in handy when it comes to letting your stones air dry:

The experiment didn't end with the stones. I found my .5 micron diamond spray that came with my modular paddle stropping system. So I decided to try BOTH of the diamond spray and green chromium oxide paste on my 3 inch by 8 inch balsa wood strop. With just the green chromium oxide paste, it was equal to using a 30K stone. I performed 10 round trips with all 3 razors:

After that, I performed my usual stropping routine which includes 10 round trips on lightly pasted linen (green chromium oxide paste only) which was done before I used my hanging strop for the first time. Next I performed 15 round trips on the clean linen side. Then I performed 25 round trips on the rough leather side and then I performed 50 round trips on the smooth leather side. Basically I don't do "X" strokes. What I do is half of the razor counting every other stroke and then I repeat with the other half of the razor:

Tomorrow's shave should tell me at how well I did with this method of touch up. If I don't like it, I'll go back to the first method I used and lose the electrical tape. That's what I love about using a honing stone. I will NEVER have to buy another razor blade ever again and I do NOT have to worry about getting a bad blade either which has happened before. These water stones pretty much eliminate that and my shaving costs are now virtually free at this point if I don't buy anymore razors or soaps.

Retiring The Track 2:

This will be breaking a lot of people's hearts, but I'm retiring my 1970 Gillette Track 2  to my collection and will no longer be u...