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Vermont Ski Shops See Brisk Business and High Demand for Shop Services

boston_e

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I do a full tune at the beginning and then wax myself as the season progresses. If I need I quick sharpen I drop into the shop at my local mountain. I need to learn how to do edges and get those tools. Doesn't seem like rocket science... Any suggestions?
It is really pretty easy if you have the right stuff (at least waxing and quick sharpen touch ups are pretty easy. I admit i've never gotten involved in deeper stuff like base grinding and repair etc).
Do some searching on youtube for swix tuninig / waxing videos and there is a ton on there.
A lot of times shops will have the swix rep in for tuning clinics etc.
 

deadheadskier

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Regarding automation, the people I see upset about self check outs aren't upset about doing the work themselves as much as they don't like the idea of a machine "taking" a job. Same goes for electric tolls on the highways. Though with the latter, some think it's an invasion of privacy and they somehow avoid being watched by "big brother" if they use the cash lanes.

The reality is we have constantly been looking at ways to automate jobs for 100+ years. And most of the time throughout history, if you want a job in this country, you can have one despite this push for automation. It just may not be where you prefer to live or doing exactly what you want to do to earn a living.
 

mister moose

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I do a full tune at the beginning and then wax myself as the season progresses. If I need I quick sharpen I drop into the shop at my local mountain. I need to learn how to do edges and get those tools. Doesn't seem like rocket science... Any suggestions?

Here's a few suggestions. I'm sure there's different methods and opinions...

Tools needed:

Some kind of bench/stand/vise. I used to get away with improvising, which is doable. I saw a good sale on a pair of Swix stands and mounted them on a work bench made from old cabinets and laminate countertop from the kitchen upgrade, so now I have a dedicated set-up..

Files and diamond stones. The internet is a great place, I'd recommend at least one file, stones hone an edge, files create the edge. Hardware store files can work, but the ski specific files have the different cut rates and are sized better. The finer diamond stone grits are more for racing, you don't need every grit otherwise.

Wax. Lots of choices. I use both a wide temp range wax for general purpose, and temp specific wax for mid winter days when it stays cold.

Iron. You can buy a pricey thermostat controlled ski specific iron, another pricey item. I use some grandmother iron from my parent's basement that has no thermostat, no steam holes, and weighs 10 times normal. When it gets too hot I unplug it. The amount of metal in it holds the heat for quite a while, so I'm the thermostat. A modern clothes iron is both too wide and the holes will pick up wax. Might work, dunno, but once used for wax, never go back to clothes.

Texture tools Brushes, cork, Scotch Brite, etc, all used to finish and texture the wax. Scotch Brite is my new favorite.

Edge Guides You need both base guides and side guides. I use the Beast 1 degree base guide, and have a set of 89, 88 and 87 side guides. If you are going to use a ski shop for occasional tunes, find out what side bevel they are using and match that. It's a fight you frequently lose if you try to get custom side bevels frequently at a high volume shop. (1&1 is common, 1 on the side is an 89 guide) Videos will show a spring clamp to hold the file on the guide. I apply some pressure and like to hold the file to the guide with my fingers, no clamp. If you have a frontside carving specific ski, you'll want an 87 guide, 3 degree bevel.

Scraper. Metal if you do any Ptex repair, plastic for scraping wax.

BIG rubber bands. To hold the brakes up.

Rags, paper towels, solvents. For base cleaning prior to wax.

Dust pan and brush. For sweeping up al the wax you scrape off.

Lots of videos out there on tune technique, and pictures are better anyway. You can get obsessive and make it an ordeal, but for most mortals it really can take 10 minutes or so to wax and 10 minutes or so to dress the edges. You don't always need to sharpen, just do a fresh hot wax. If you do sharpen, do it before waxing. I use only enough wax to spread and glisten the base. I see a lot of too much wax, and then it just gets scraped off. Makes a mess and costs$$. You want a thin coat that gets melted in - anything more is wasted.

If you diamond stone and your edges don't feel "like new" sharp, you need to create a new edge with a file.

The feel of a good fresh tune is great. You get glide skating or in sticky snow. The skis pivot and flow. The flats to the lift are easier. The edges perform. It can be addictive.
 
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Kingslug20

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Waxing every week helps. If she only goes to a tuner once in a while...then her skis are not exactly in shape very much. When I told her I was getting a new tuning bench..her repsonse..mine don't need anything yet...um..they've been sitting in the garage since April. Oh well.
 

Smellytele

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Waxing every week helps. If she only goes to a tuner once in a while...then her skis are not exactly in shape very much. When I told her I was getting a new tuning bench..her repsonse..mine don't need anything yet...um..they've been sitting in the garage since April. Oh well.
I tune mine at the end of the season and leave the wax without scrapping until my first day out the next season.
 

jimmywilson69

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Thanks All. I already have a bench, vise, different waxes, and an Iron. I need to do a little research on sharpening tools and techniques.

Thanks for the sharpening tool recommendations Mr. Slug!
 

Dickc

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Waxing every week helps. If she only goes to a tuner once in a while...then her skis are not exactly in shape very much. When I told her I was getting a new tuning bench..her repsonse..mine don't need anything yet...um..they've been sitting in the garage since April. Oh well.
I tune my before storing for the summer to wax protect the edges from rusting in the humid summer. I also stone hone and wax them every 2-3 days of use. I glide better than most on the hill, 270# also helps.....
 

eatskisleep

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I'll take the UNDER on that bet. The quicker minimum wage goes universally to $15/hour the quicker the robots come. Even sooner to places that go > $15 = Economics 101.

Exactly. True minimum wage is $0 when they cut your job and give it to a robot made in China.
 

abc

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Exactly. True minimum wage is $0 when they cut your job and give it to a robot made in China.
If your job can be done by a robot, it WILL.

Just a matter of how soon. And if it takes longer due to low minimum wage, they will simply gone to other countries with more robust minimum wages. Once the robots starts working, it will beat ANY wages, however low.
 

Kingslug20

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I bet Amazon will have the first fully automated warehouse. At some point you will place the order..warehouse packs it,ships it to you by autonomous vehicle ..no human intervention.
 

abc

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There had been “fully automated warehouses”: self-driving forklift trucks with scanners to pick up pallets and deliver to trucks waiting at loading docks, robotic “pickers” to put multiple small items into boxes ready to ship.

My first industry job was programming the routes of those trucks and pickers. We’re talking 25 years ago! Fingerhuts, Sony, and a few lessor known companies.

The low wage workers who are willing to work harder than robots made it appealing for some companies to continue to use human to do those tedious mindless jobs for the past 20 years. The wages those workers got paid were not a living wage. They had to work extra hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Now that the supplies of those willing workers has dried up, robots will make inroads. With it, better paying jobs of robot maintenance and repair technician will become available!

Heck, if we hadn’t been so resistant to “robots taking jobs from people”, we might have had a thriving robot manufacturing industry and be exporting robots to China by now!
 
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cdskier

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I bet Amazon will have the first fully automated warehouse. At some point you will place the order..warehouse packs it,ships it to you by autonomous vehicle ..no human intervention.
They're honestly not too far off from that. Have you ever seen the video they have showing how their warehouses actually work? It was pretty fascinating.
 

jimmywilson69

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There is a fully robotic warehouse near me, that has been there since the early 2000s. It is not amazon, but I bet they have something similar somewhere.
 

Bandit2941

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Just stopping by to agree with mister moose’s last two posts…

I get bases ground at the beginning of the season, or every other depending on how many days I skied that particular ski, and keep up with edges and waxing through the season. You can tell when they’re ready for a stone grind, the base edge gets less grippy, they are easier to flat ski slide sideways. I use moonflex stones, mostly yellow but I have black red and white too. Usually a couple passes with yellow on base edge with 1 deg base beast and then a 2 or 3 depending on the ski for the side edge. Like mr moose I don’t use a spring clip, just hold the stone or file to the guide. If I keep up with the stones I usually don’t even need to use the file through the season. And it is nice having fresh edges.

To me, fresh edges are more important than fresh wax. Sometimes I’ll give a pair a couple passes with the moonflex and not even wax. Waxing is a pain in the ass and it’s messy. Usually I use the smallest amount of wax that I can and I don’t even bother scraping, I brush it and call it good. First few turns polishes them :D

Artechski is a good place to buy stuff from. They have some good sales at the end of the season or at least used to. 50% off everything I believe.
 

abc

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There is a fully robotic warehouse near me, that has been there since the early 2000s. It is not amazon, but I bet they have something similar somewhere.
Yep, it was the mid-90's that I worked on the programming of such "fully automated warehouses". One was near JFK airport. Packages comes in (from planes) then got picked apart for delivery. That was definitely pre-Amazon.

I'd say Amazon becomes possible thanks to the automation of distribution center. But then, Amazon further the technology by integrating the ordering process and link it to delivery ("fulfillment" in industry talk)
 
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