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Ski Tuning and Waxing

dlague

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Winter is getting ever closer - woo hoo! With that in mind it is time to start getting the gear ready right? Maybe I am jumping the gun but need to get things done before they sneak up!

Last season, we started buying some basic tools for waxing our skis on the fly so we didn't have to drop them off. We bought waxes for different temps/conditions, scrappers, brushes, basic edge sharpeners, etc. This worked out quite well and we got good results. We are looking into stepping it up this year and making more of a work shop out of it!

Do any of you have any experience doing this? If so, what are some tools that you would recommend? ie. edge sharpeners, roto brushes, base grinders, vices, etc.

Also do any of you have any best practices or links to good videos that talk about it?

Looking forward to the input!
 

dlague

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I just realized this should have been in the Gear Fourm! Sorry. Nick can this be moved over there?
 

tree_skier

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Roto brushes are great if racing not really necessary otherwise.

Basic necessities

A Good vice
Edge guide, 2 degrees would do it, I use 3 for SL, GS and 2 for SG, DH and my mid fats
Base Guide, 1 degree, again i use 1/2 for SL, GS and SG and 1 for DH and mid fats
1 inch spring clamp, to hold files to guides
a supply of files. I like the 10 inch, use it for both side and base also don't need to buy the expensive ones I buy them buy the dozen from Artech
Waxing iron
Wax, for non racing purposes a good all temperature non floro is all that is needed, I can discuse the floro, non-floro issues if you would like
plastic scrapers, invest in 2 a year or a scraper sharpener. nothing beats a sharp scraper
base tape. it is great for keeping those pesky filings out of your bases.
a good stone, I don't use a diamond stone, I know sacrilidge but have a collection of various grits of cutting and polishing stones and a rough stone for bigger damage. The stones clean easy and last a long time my current set is about 8 years old and still going strong.

what to get next
Brushes. Don't bother with hand brushes go straight to the roto brush with brass and horsehair being to to most important. The biggest benefit of brushing is cleaning the bases before waxing. Yes it does make a pretty finish post wax but after a run or two there is no difference.
Then if you want to get into it base repair stuff.
and lastly if you really want to spend money an edge grinder.
 
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Abubob

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Start by making your own bench!

http://www.epicski.com/t/107871/my-homemade-tuning-stand-and-ski-vise

or just a 10 or 12 inch mill bastard file. Lean the ski on something sturdy - base up. Hold the file with the pointy end at 2 o'clock, square end at 8. Press against the ski base near the tip and pull toward the tail in one motion. After you've sliced your hand open try not to bleed on your new Nike's. If you don't need stitches then bring your skis to the local ski shop and get a full tune for $50.

I go through this every year. :dontknow:
 

drjeff

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In all seriousness look online at places like Reliable Racing Supply or Tognar and get yourself a REAL ski wax iron - you can usually pick up the base model from Swix or Toko for $50 or less on sale.

A true ski wax iron makes a HUGE difference since 1st off there aren't any holes in the base, secondly the temp gauge coincides with suggested use temps on the packs of wax instead of types of fabrics (and too hot a temp will degrade the qualities of the wax and its glide!) and lastly the thicker heat plate of a true ski wax iron holds the temp better and makes it easier and quicker to wax the pair(s) of skis you're working on.

I'm also a big, decade plus fan of the Ski Visions Base Planer and their Ski Sharp edge sharpener. Those 2 products combined will QUICKLY (less than 2 minutes per ski) get you a consistently flat base and consistent base and side edge bevels with a few passes and with the edge sharpener you can get different inserts depending on if you need some heavy work (mill bastard file insert) some "average" work (diamond stone insert) or just some polishing (gummi stone insert). And all but the highest of level of racers (the kind of folks who can feel the difference between a 2* side bevel and a 2.5* side bevel :rolleyes: )will be VERY happy with the results.

I can go from start to fully tuned and waxed in less than 10 minutes (including a few swigs of the mandatory "tuning beer! :beer: ) in less than 10 minutes per pair with the tools I've mentioned!

As for base damage repair, unless you're an elite level racer OR can see core material, don't worry about it, it more than likely won't have any effect on your ski's performance. If you can see the core, best, most reliable bet is to take it to your reputable ski shop of choice and have them base weld and stone grind it. Getting a core shot to predictably stick and hold up over time takes a bunch of skill and a bunch of $$ equipment to do it right - much better to let "the pros" handle major stuff like that

Sent from my DROID RAZR using AlpineZone mobile app
 
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thetrailboss

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Winter is getting ever closer - woo hoo! With that in mind it is time to start getting the gear ready right? Maybe I am jumping the gun but need to get things done before they sneak up!

Last season, we started buying some basic tools for waxing our skis on the fly so we didn't have to drop them off. We bought waxes for different temps/conditions, scrappers, brushes, basic edge sharpeners, etc. This worked out quite well and we got good results. We are looking into stepping it up this year and making more of a work shop out of it!

Do any of you have any experience doing this? If so, what are some tools that you would recommend? ie. edge sharpeners, roto brushes, base grinders, vices, etc.

Also do any of you have any best practices or links to good videos that talk about it?

Looking forward to the input!

Tuning is a lot of fun and is pretty easy to do. The tools are a bit pricey, but they are worth the investment. I personally LOVE skiing on freshly tuned boards...once you do it you won't go back.

The two biggest things I've found you need are a good vice and a good iron. You can use an old clothes iron, but the temperature can vary and the holes in the bottom can be a PITA.

Next I'd say a good edger tool and a good set of brushes--one mixed and one nylon or horsehair.

Wax: I generally use a warm weather and a cold weather. I keep it simple. I also do have a base wax for new skis.

In terms of resources, you can find some good stuff on Google from Swix and others.

Here are some good tools I use:

Iron...an AWESOME one: http://www.tognar.com/toko-digital-wax-iron/ She is a beast! I ordered mine from a nice shop in Montana, Nordic Ski Source, but it looks like they are out of business. :(

My vice is no longer made by Swix, but the one I have is designed so that it is like a ski boot that fits in your binding and it holds the ski for waxing and sharpening. It is awesome. A typical vice will be about $100-150. You can improvise with a regular shop binding, but once you get a nice ski vice you won't go back. Here is a basic binding for skis under 100 mm: http://www.skicenter.com/Swix-World...7&zmap=13220&gclid=CKObhLqes7kCFZF7QgodoU0Ajg

For general wax and equipment, these guys are great: http://www.artechski.com/#gsc.tab=0

Mixed bronze brush: http://www.rei.com/product/793002/swix-medium-bronze-brush

Nylon brush: http://www.rei.com/product/793001/swix-nylon-brush

Edger....basic one: http://www.rei.com/product/842609/swix-6-way-tuner

And plenty of scrapers!
 
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snowmonster

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I was debating whether to sell my tuning set-up (bench, vises, iron, boxes of wax, side and base guides, diamond stones, a variety of stones, sandpaper, scrapers, Ptex, candles, 3 kinds of brushes and more). I decided against it in the hope that I will be back here someday to use it. I started putting together a basic set up with just an iron, wax and scrapers in 2007 and have not sent any of my skis to a shop since then.

My after ski day routine is to work on the edges (deburring stone and diamond stone) then I give the skis a wax after three days. I have a whole box of waxes and change waxes according tot he temps. I also work on the structure of the skis when snow conditions change.

It's a fun thing to do during the week when you're waiting to ski on the weekends. Nothing like skiing on a freshly tuned and waxed pair of skis!

I got all my equipment from Artechski.com. Good prices and variety of equipment. The owner, George, is very helpful. He'll answer any question you have.
 

snowmonster

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^ Looks like a good price to get you the bench, vise and iron. I find it odd that it comes with rub on wax because you don't need an iron for that at all. This set up will get you in the ground floor but you'll probably need to buy some good iron on waxes immediately to start playing with this set up. A good bar of universal CH wax will fill this need. As for the other tools, that scraper, side edge kit and brush will definitely come in handy.Regarding the side edge kit, this will only work if your skis have been beveled to a 2 degree side edge. If not, you may want to have your local ski shop a visit to get the edge bevel set then you can just maintain that angle. If you're confident in your own abilities, cut away. Personally, I limit filing my edges to once a season to set the edge then just maintain with a diamond stone but that's getting a little too technical for now.

If you decide to get a little more technical, you can add a brass and horsehair brush, a diamond stone and a base edge tool but save your money first and see how your tuning skills pan out. As for the rub on wax, just throw that in your ski backpack for on the hill touch ups like when your skis get grabby in spring snow.

All in all, it's a pretty good starter kit. If you bought that vise, bench and iron separately, you're already looking at $200. Welcome to the wonderful world of ski tuning. It's addictive.
 
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dlague

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I am in the process of getting stuff and that is a pretty good deal! I built my own bench and made custom vises and just the rest of the other stuff cost more than that! I am getting root brushes though and waxes for all temps - that alone adds up! Much of the stuff I found was from this thread and some videos.
 

El Bishop

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Decided to take it easy at first and just do some maintenance work rather than full-fledged tuning until I know better what I am doing. I picked up a base edge guide and a 400 grit diamond stone from Artech. before I start filing away, how do I ensure that I got the right degree file guide? I picked up a 2 degree guide after reading somewhere that it seemed to be most commonly used. Does that sound right or might I need somethign else depending on my skis? Right now I have Atomic Nomad Smokes.

Thanks
 

dlague

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Decided to take it easy at first and just do some maintenance work rather than full-fledged tuning until I know better what I am doing. I picked up a base edge guide and a 400 grit diamond stone from Artech. before I start filing away, how do I ensure that I got the right degree file guide? I picked up a 2 degree guide after reading somewhere that it seemed to be most commonly used. Does that sound right or might I need somethign else depending on my skis? Right now I have Atomic Nomad Smokes.

Thanks

There are many good videos on Youtube that talk about this. In fact I just bought just about everything I need for tuning our skis and I used youtube to plan my bench which I built! Pictures to follow!
 

El Bishop

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I've watched a good few Youtube videos but didn't find something that gets as specific as what degree base edge guide to use. Any chance you can point me to one in particular?
 
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