I use Lee Valley water stones to sharpen my plane blades and chisels. 200x grit for basic grinding and shaping, 800x to smooth the blade after the coarse stone and a 4000x for the final edge. I usually use my Veritas sharpening jig to get the initial sharpening and honing done but then as I work I may go back to the 4000x stone and free hand the honed edge to bring it back. This works ok, but not as good as initially using the jig. Problem with using the jig to hone is that A) it takes too much time to set up when all I want is to touch up the edge and B) it never gets the exact same angle so I end up honing a new bevel everytime.
Is there another step Iím missing after honing with the jig and 4000x stone that I can use to help keep the edge going without needing the jig or should I be content with free handing on the 4000x stone as I work?