Yesterday marked a milestone for me. I have been having some success at razor sharpening, but I wasn't quite there. I have been using my straight off and on for quite awhile, but it just didn't cut it (no pun intended). Yesterday I came across a stone (Washita?) that I bought maybe 30 years ago and seldom used. I have been using the Norton 4/8 and a pasted strop. the thing is that I guess I wasn't quite ready for the pasted strop. Anyway; after using the Washita I stropped the razor (Sears "Queen") that had belonged to my father who passed away 9 years ago. The razor didn't cut the whiskers, it melted through them. I think I am catching on finally. The thing about the Washita is that it is only about 1 3/4 inches wide. Today I ordered a 12 K Chinese water-stone from Woodcraft as suggested by I think Joel. I truly believe I am over the hump, and on my way to smooth shaving.
Time will tell.