I've been having really good success keeping my razor shaving great. Every couple of weeks I give it several passes on the 1 micron diamond pasted paddle. I've recently had a week where no matter how many passes on the diamond paste I did, the razor just wasn't sharp enough. So, I thought it time to go back to the Norton. I started with a 1/5 pyramid on the 4k/8k norton (after lapping the stone). It didn't seem sharp enough so I did several more passes on the 8k with maybe 15 strokes on the 1 micron diamond paste. I still can't cut the hairs on my arm easily. I'm not sure how it will shave but prior experience tells me this won't shave well or hold an edge very long. I don't understand why I am successful sometimes and then other times, it seems like I'm causing more trouble for myself. Whether diamond paste or Norton hone, I use an X-pattern with very, very light pressure and I keep the blade and spine flat on the hone. When stropping, I go straight up and down about 30 times. I've had good success both using and not using the linen first, making the first 10 strokes on the strop a little firmer in pressure to establish a draw, then using no pressure on the remaining 20. Now, though, nothing is working and I don't understand what I've done to cause a change. I go through this about every few months. Good results, bad results, repeat. I'd like suggestions on both stropping and honing technique that I might try in order to obtain consistently good results.