Lately I have been finishing with either 400 grit EP stock stone or 500 grit Shapton Glass and then 3 passes per side on rough side up cowhide strop loaded with 3 micron diamond. The edge coming off the stone can shave and push cut newsprint with the grain (more cleanly with the EP400 stone than the SG500), but after the stropping there is noticeable improvement. Yes, it loses some slicing aggression, but still has some bite and generally seems to cut smoother. Any idea how this can be the case if the apex is being rounded? I wish I had a microscope to see for myself. When you finish on the veg tanned cowhide, is that bare leather with no compound?