One evening after a nice long honing session on coticules and shapton hones, Mike suggested filming a simple video in HD to show how to sharpen a straight razor on the most common and affordable beginner hones out there – the Norton 1K, 4K, 8K and the Chinese 12K hones. We began with a dull razor that we were actually using to cut electrical tape to cover the spines of the custom straight razors we were honing. This nearly 10-minute video is unedited other than added music and subtitles.
In the video, I show a rolling x-stroke, but in an exaggerated way so a viewer can see it on video. The rolling stroke helps get areas of the blade that do not lay flat on the hone with a normal x-stroke. This is typical with vintage Sheffield blades that have a smiling edge. You still need to keep the spine touching the hone, but use a slight rolling motion with the length of the blade. Also, beginners should keep the spine on the hone and flip the blade while the spine is still touching the hone. I have a bad habit of lifting, but I have been doing this a while and it works for me. This blade became very sharp rather quickly. After stropping this blade, it passed the hanging hair test easily and passed the shave test later the next day.