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Waxing your own skis, alternatives to $50 "ski iron" etc... - Page 2

post #31 of 114

I use a crappy clothes iron I bought at Walmart for $6. I set it between synthetics and silk, and it melts the wax. I'm quite sure that $40 irons would work even better, just like a brand new Subaru would drive better than my 20 year old one, but I find no difficulty in the use of the iron I have, just as I find no difficulty driving to the mountain in my old beater car.

 

If one desires luxury, one can have it by paying for it, but for many, it adds little for the amount it costs.

 

I find little advantage waxing skis until temps are approaching melting temps. Base material slides well on snow, if it didn't, ski manufacturers wouldn't use it. Yes, waxing will make skis faster, but really only by about 1%, structure does more to decrease glide reducing friction.

 

 

post #32 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Hall View Post

Since they stopped including free waxing with my seasons pass, it's time to learn to do it myself. I looked up 5 or 6 "how to wax your own skis" videos and see that it is really fairly easy. How to wax your skis Video – 5min.com & How to remove wax from your skis Video – 5min.com seemed to be some of the better videos. 

 

I know a $2 iron from Goodwill is fine, but what about the other components. Do I need a special "ski brush" or will a $1.99 utility brush do the same? Also some videos say just wax and strip hot to clean, others say use a special wax for that process, any consensus there? (others don't mention cleaning at all). Scrappers seem to be fairly generic and cheap, I am just going to look for one with a corner notch for the edges. A recommendation for a good, all around wax would be helpful also.

 

I don't need the best of everything for this, just good quality.

 

I ski in the North West, generally not to cold (almost never ski in below 10 degree weather). I have Volkl 5 stars for when I am stuck on the groomers, and Atomic Sugar Daddy's for every thing else. My son just got a pair of Line Sir Francis Bacons, 2012, 178s that he is beside himself waiting to ski.

 

Thanks,

Brad 


Brad, I just completed an eight part series that I believe will answer most of what you seek.  It's long, and comprehensive, but if you want to know, here you go!  Best to you, and good luck!

 

Here you go! :   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNqXz9jTNg8&feature=BFa&list=SPADABC267A2F54961&lf=list_related
 

 

post #33 of 114

I never really got why people skimped on an iron.  People spend good money on their skis and they are going to risk ruining them for $40?  Get a dedicated iron so you don't burn your base.  You can go cheap on the wax and brushes but not the iron.

post #34 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283 View Post

I never really got why people skimped on an iron.  People spend good money on their skis and they are going to risk ruining them for $40?  Get a dedicated iron so you don't burn your base.  You can go cheap on the wax and brushes but not the iron.

I never got why anyone would feel the need to buy an expensive iron, when any iron will melt wax and smear it on skis (well, I guess that's not true, I do get it, some folks are just anxious, fearful, and don't trust their ability to make intelligent decisions, so they compensate with money).

 

The only way I can imagine burning bases, is to either set the iron way hotter than necessary, or to be so foolish as to leave the iron sitting on the ski without moving it. Your contention, that these mistakes are difficult to avoid, is ignorant and misleading.

 


 

 

 

post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

I never got why anyone would feel the need to buy an expensive iron, when any iron will melt wax and smear it on skis (well, I guess that's not true, I do get it, some folks are just anxious, fearful, and don't trust their ability to make intelligent decisions, so they compensate with money).

 

The only way I can imagine burning bases, is to either set the iron way hotter than necessary, or to be so foolish as to leave the iron sitting on the ski without moving it. Your contention, that these mistakes are difficult to avoid, is ignorant and misleading.

 


 

 

 

 

 

When you compare the price of a wax iron to a pair of skis, how is $40 expensive? You can spend $40 on a ski iron and know what temperature the iron is on (and set it to the recommended setting for the chosen wax) or you can use an old clothes iron that doesn't have temperature settings and just set it to where it doesn't smoke?  You said yourself you don't really wax your skis so then why are you even chiming in here?

 

I'll admit I'm a bit over the top when it comes to waxing my skis, but I guess you become that when you've worked as a former shop rat and have waxed hundreds of pairs of skis.

 

You should choose your words more carefully, seeing how you inferred incorrectly what I was saying. I merely stated that when investing in something rather expensive, it is ignorant and misguided to try to skimp on something as important as routine maintenance that can go a long way in protecting one's initial investment.
 

 

post #36 of 114

My father always told me to get the right tool for the job and let the tool do the work.  I understand that most people don't want to be frivolous with their hard earned dollars.  But if you are taking the time to take care of your skis, I can't see why you'd make the job more difficult by using half-assed thrift shops tools to do the job.  The job gets done better, faster, and safer when you've got the right tools and the right set up.  If you call yourself a skier, investing in the right tools and work space to take care of your gear comes with the territory.  As a disclaimer, I confess that I have used every jury rigged, ski waxing, tuning arrangement known to man over the years, so I have plenty of experience at being half-assed.

post #37 of 114

I must really be a moron.wink.gif

 

I use this   http://www.tognar.com/toko-digital-wax-iron/

 

Most wax has a published max temperature and you don't want to be smoking Flouro.

 

Man you guyz are some cheap bastards!ROTF.gif

post #38 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283 View Post



 

 

When you compare the price of a wax iron to a pair of skis, how is $40 expensive? ........

 

You should choose your words more carefully, seeing how you inferred incorrectly what I was saying. I merely stated that when investing in something rather expensive, it is ignorant and misguided to try to skimp on something as important as routine maintenance that can go a long way in protecting one's initial investment.
 

 


Why on earth would I compare the price of an iron to skis? That would be ridiculous. It is just such nonsense that prompts me to post in such threads. You ski on skis, not on a waxing iron. You can ski on skis without waxing them.

 

$40 for many, can be the difference between being able to get to the mountain or not, or have food in the house or not. Not everyone has money to throw into every tuning gadget under the sun, but the snooty tuning snobs of epicski consistently provide novices with a view of tuning that makes them believe it is too expensive for them to get the tools to be able to take care of their own gear.

 

I know that there are many who come here to find out how they can save money by tuning their family's skis, and they get a relentless barrage of "buy the best, because I did and I'm very proud of my wealth and the toys I buy, you should be ashamed if it is way outside your budget, you'll destroy your skis if you don't." It sickens me, so I voice  my disgust.

 

I choose my words very carefully, and I know from my experience that routine maintenance doesn't require a $40 waxing iron. You guys act like waxing skis is some very difficult chore that only becomes possible if someone shells out for a ski waxing specific iron. The truth is that one can get excellent results with just about any iron as long as one has a lick of reason to guide one's actions. I'll say it again, to suggest that it is difficult to avoid base damage, using a cheap clothes iron, instead of a ski wax specific iron, is ignorant and misleading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #39 of 114

Tuning Kit:

Steam_Iron.jpg

 

If the wax is smoking, turn it down.  If the wax isn't melting turn it uprolleyes.gif

 

032447.jpg

 

00002128.jpg

220px-100_Yen_lighter.JPG

 

ptx_02.jpg

 

plastic_scraper_ski-go.jpg

f4-cork-rub-view.jpg

 

 

Fancy tuning kit accessories..

 

12-a-ac-dk-pock-bk.jpg

 

swix-side-edge-file-guide-TA290.jpg

swix_tool-scraper-metal-T0080-170.jpg

 

 

 

Disclosure.. I have a ski wax iron but it was given to me.  If it broke tomorrow I would not pay $40.00 to replace it.  I'd use a cheap $15.00 iron again..

 

post #40 of 114



I  repeat........................ Cheap Bastardz! ROTF.gif

 

 

 

 

Disclosure.. I have a ski wax iron but it was given to me.  If it broke tomorrow I would not pay $40.00 to replace it.  I'd use a cheap $15.00 iron again..

 



 

post #41 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Hall View Post

Since they stopped including free waxing with my seasons pass, it's time to learn to do it myself. I looked up 5 or 6 "how to wax your own skis" videos and see that it is really fairly easy. How to wax your skis Video – 5min.com & How to remove wax from your skis Video – 5min.com seemed to be some of the better videos. 

 

I know a $2 iron from Goodwill is fine, but what about the other components. Do I need a special "ski brush" or will a $1.99 utility brush do the same? Also some videos say just wax and strip hot to clean, others say use a special wax for that process, any consensus there? (others don't mention cleaning at all). Scrappers seem to be fairly generic and cheap, I am just going to look for one with a corner notch for the edges. A recommendation for a good, all around wax would be helpful also.

 

I don't need the best of everything for this, just good quality.

 

I ski in the North West, generally not to cold (almost never ski in below 10 degree weather). I have Volkl 5 stars for when I am stuck on the groomers, and Atomic Sugar Daddy's for every thing else. My son just got a pair of Line Sir Francis Bacons, 2012, 178s that he is beside himself waiting to ski.

 

Thanks,

Brad 


You can use a magnifying glass on a sunny day if you want.  The key is to be able to control the heat so as to not burn the wax or apply too much heat to cause the skis to delaminate.   I do think that the highlighted sentence is causing confusion (at least for me).  I wouldn't consider most things in the $2 dollar range that normally cost $20 good quality unless you're lucky in a find.  Sometimes you can get lucky.

 

I spent my first year tuning using the cheapest ski iron I could find (SAC for $20-30 - I had to buy one anyway since my wife wouldn't let me use the clothes one), a grill (brass) brush from home depot for $8, a nylon brush from a tack shop for $9 and a few other trinkets I picked up here and there for dirt cheap or used a tool I already had.  I even made vises out of 2x6's to hold them.  I know those will work well because when a a racing friend of mine borrowed my ski for a run, he couldn't believe how fast they were.  We've been skiing together for a few years now and that was one of the few compliments he's ever given me.  So yes it will work.

 

However, when you adapt a tool to a job you might need to adapt technique.  Since I bought a cheap iron it didn't have a temperature control and I had to be careful with the grill brush.  The nice part about using tools that are designed for the job is you don't have to do those things.  Do I think paying $36 for a brass brush is ridiculous - more like outrageous so I kept waiting for an opportune time and used my home cheapot stuff until great sales came by (Thank you Terry!).

 

Have I spent too much money on tuning tools - you betcha, but for me, tuning is another part of this crazy hobby that consumes me year round.  I also tune quite a bit too.  My daughter has 3 pair, I have 4 pair my grandson has a pair and my two oldest each have snowboards (I tell people they're adopted  biggrin.gif ).

 

Now I have rotobrushes, a dedicated bench and a few other ski specialty tools like ski vises.  Doesn't make me a bad person.  Was my first kit good enough - yes.  Am I happier with my current kit - yes.  It would have been cheaper to go straight to more expensive items but I probably wouldn't appreciate them as much, and I lend my old stuff out to people that are just starting out in tuning and also have stuff I can take on the road too.

 

Have fun,

Ken

 


 

 

 

post #42 of 114

any iron works, but the waxing irons work best. whatever you do, don't use your wife's iron.

post #43 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post


" It sickens me,

 

 


oh jeez dont have a coronary or nothin. A 40 dollar iron, a tool designed for the job as discussed above, is better than a 15 dollar iron that is not. Amortize this over the 3 to 7 years of likely use and the difference is beyond negligible. How appreciating a good tool is snooty or snobby is beyond me.

post #44 of 114

I've kind of gone the same way as Spindrift - after years of spending tons of time hot waxing my skis I realized that there must be a better way that still achieves 95% of what I wanted out of a hot wax job with out all the hassle and expense.

 

So last season I started out with a good deep hot waxing for each of my skis just once at the start of the season.  For the rest of the season I stopped using the iron and dealing with all the scraping (and the cleaning up of the wax shavings) and went to just crayoning in a normal universal wax (Zoom Dominator), buffing it in a bit with a cork, and then brushing with either brass or horsehair depending on the conditions.  This saves a good bit of wax (pretty much all of it gets used instead of hitting the floor) and a ton of time.  I can do a ski in about 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

 

I've come to the conclusion that the most important aspect of the hot wax job isn't so much the wax, but more the structure and the brushing to keep that structure open.  Obviously this is just for a recreational skier and I'm not looking to improve my time through the gates, but structure seems to be the critical piece that keeps a ski gliding smoothly through all snow conditions.  Get your structure right (and take care of it with good brushes) and you can dispense with most of the fuss of hot waxing.

 

 

post #45 of 114

 

I find it amazingly ironic how much time and money people will spend to own skis and go skiing and rationalize saving pennies and minutes by comparison on simple maintenance that affects where the tire meets the road......while others will make it far more complicated and time consuming than needed to go recreational skiing.

One clown even suggested maintenance was a waste and simply purchasing new skis was the way to go. irony.gif

 

Creating and maintaining (keeping it free) reasonably good structure is critical. Combining correct structure with a decent universal waxing program is not hard to do WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS & SUPPLIES and truly affects your recreational endeavor more than throwing tons of money at the other contributing factors (time on forums, general lifestyle choices, gear, gas, vehicles, travel, food, condos, tickets/passes, etc, etc).

 

I can get by up to six days combining (as Noodler said) a good early season, deep waxing on new , freshly ground or structured skis with a durable wax in 10 to 15 minutes (not including cooling time). Think cheap wax = more waxings and time and loss of glide sooner.

 

With minor variations, here's how I bang 'em out fast from "Efficient Hot Waxing, Scraping and Brushing":

Quote:
Following, are two videos, a few minutes long, showing various hot waxing techniques, along with minimal scraping and roto-brushing to bang out waxing tasks in little time and with little mess. Not including cooling and hardening time (20 minutes, minimum) the total time involved could be easily under 15 minutes and possibly 10 per pair or snowboard. Using liquid wax, the time could be 5 minutes:
(Note select the ‘HQ’ icon for Higher Quality video.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #46 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

 

I find it amazingly ironic how much time and money people will spend to own skis and go skiing and rationalize saving pennies and minutes by comparison on simple maintenance that affects where the tire meets the road......while others will make it far more complicated and time consuming than needed to go recreational skiing.


 



Good point!  I don't own a pair of skis that cost me more than $250.00 INCLUDING BINDINGS.  The file guide I bought straight from your tool box is for that pair, SL ski.  I don't bat an eye doing any of the rest of them by hand because I only paid around a hundred bucks per pair for the rest of the quiver.  th_dunno-1[1].gif  But, even when I was living in the land and working on the hill riding new gear thanks to ProForm I still did my own stuff by hand.  The Instructors and Patrol shared a locker room with a nice tuning bench and tools, but at home I still used just the basics..

 

Cheap bastard I am indeed.. Cheap bastard that uses cheap bastard files roflmao.gif

 

I think about how much more gas and lift tickets I can buy saving a few bucks on tuning gear.  I have plenty of time at home do the actual work so having a tool that saves me 2 minutes of total tune time or several that make a 15 minute job take 10 really aren't worth it to me..  especially if I can get two days skiing out of the cost saved on better tools..

 

Here's a dilemma for those with thousand dollar skis.  If you invest that much in them would you prefer to have a professional tune them or do it yourself?  I've seen some pretty crappy shop work and I've seen some very good work. usually very good.  But, I suspect many here would rather do it themselves with the proper tools simply because it makes odds of damage much lower.  I would agree that if you're new to this you should probably work with the best tools available.  Less room for error with guides indeed.  Otherwise pay attention and take your time because if you are not sometimes bad things do happen.   They happen  in ski shops too, just look at all the horror stories we see here. 

post #47 of 114


Ya know how I am about tuning, It pains me to think of Cheap Bastard Files touching even your ski C-Dart!eek.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post



Good point!  I don't own a pair of skis that cost me more than $250.00 INCLUDING BINDINGS.  The file guide I bought straight from your tool box is for that pair, SL ski.  I don't bat an eye doing any of the rest of them by hand because I only paid around a hundred bucks per pair for the rest of the quiver.  th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif  But, even when I was living in the land and working on the hill riding new gear thanks to ProForm I still did my own stuff by hand.  The Instructors and Patrol shared a locker room with a nice tuning bench and tools, but at home I still used just the basics..

 

Cheap bastard I am indeed.. Cheap bastard that uses cheap bastard files roflmao.gif

 

I think about how much more gas and lift tickets I can buy saving a few bucks on tuning gear.  I have plenty of time at home do the actual work so having a tool that saves me 2 minutes of total tune time or several that make a 15 minute job take 10 really aren't worth it to me..  especially if I can get two days skiing out of the cost saved on better tools..

 

Here's a dilemma for those with thousand dollar skis.  If you invest that much in them would you prefer to have a professional tune them or do it yourself?  I've seen some pretty crappy shop work and I've seen some very good work. usually very good.  But, I suspect many here would rather do it themselves with the proper tools simply because it makes odds of damage much lower.  I would agree that if you're new to this you should probably work with the best tools available.  Less room for error with guides indeed.  Otherwise pay attention and take your time because if you are not sometimes bad things do happen.   They happen  in ski shops too, just look at all the horror stories we see here. 



 

post #48 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post


Ya know how I am about tuning, It pains me to think of Cheap Bastard Files touching even your ski C-Dart!eek.gif



 



I actually do own one very old Holmenkol, but you can get decent files for 10 bucks that will get you through several brutal neglected garage kept swap meet purchase ski rust removing tunes if you keep them clean..

 

 

post #49 of 114



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

I must really be a moron.wink.gif

 

I use this   http://www.tognar.com/toko-digital-wax-iron/

 

Most wax has a published max temperature and you don't want to be smoking Flouro.

 

Man you guyz are some cheap bastards!ROTF.gif



yeah but you are missing the boat if you didn't get one of these things to go with it for another $119    eek.gif

 

SVT-WIP-sun-valley-ski-tools-waxing-iron-platform__29333_zoom.jpg

 

 

 

post #50 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by natrat View Post


oh jeez dont have a coronary or nothin. A 40 dollar iron, a tool designed for the job as discussed above, is better than a 15 dollar iron that is not. Amortize this over the 3 to 7 years of likely use and the difference is beyond negligible. How appreciating a good tool is snooty or snobby is beyond me.



Apparently deriving meaning from written words is beyond you too. No one ever said that appreciating a good tool is snooty or snobby.

 

This thread was started by someone who was looking for alternatives to buying a waxing specific iron. Snooty snobs cannot even admit that there is any alternative to buying one, and instead of taking into consideration the request of the thread starter, they push the idea that there is no other functional course besides shelling out money like they did. When someone gives a suggestion of how to get results with much less expense, they are  reviled by snobs for being cheap. nonono2.gif

 

Heh, if 3-7 years  is all you get out of one of those fancy irons (I really doubt they die that fast), then they are a real rip off; I've been using my bottom of the line clothes iron for eight years (well, last year probably only a dozen or so times, but I've done hundreds of wax jobs with no problems).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #51 of 114

I use a crumpled up news paper for final buffing, actually works awesome.  Don't know if anyone already mentioned that.  

post #52 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

I use a crumpled up news paper for final buffing, actually works awesome.  Don't know if anyone already mentioned that.  


Cheap bastard! Why would you destroy your skis with news paper, when you could be buying these paper towels for only $9.95?

 

 

TOG-KREW-shop-towels-paper-heavy-duty-krew__87136_zoom.jpg

 

 

 

 

After all, they are made for the job, and if you use something else you are a very bad person who wants your skis to burst into flames and leave nothing but a smoking crater where your tuning shop used to be. Stop using less expensive alternatives! Your skis will never slide again and your entire life will unravel! 

 

 

 

 

 

anguish.jpg

 

 

 

You're welcome for my advice on how best to spend your money. wink.gif

 

 

post #53 of 114


Nope, I have one of these only 30 bones!, Don't need the Temp. gauge the Iron has a digital built in!yDX7dShLL6L3ZkAFpU999iqIqiWd3i8ttYu-ZdukdBkou7-P-Y-jyz0kqicYG_FPU4vdUxiEx--WyHIhH_5GyDcWF6enmBWB5S_g1SBPudJqec78tH5M1-OzvByip_ae7NY3_XdU7Uj5SN-pR5mmO2iEqz7JMbdziIJZj5IjKITk9g
Really snotty snobby wire it's made of!rolleyes.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by bplatt03443 View Post



 



yeah but you are missing the boat if you didn't get one of these things to go with it for another $119    eek.gif

 

SVT-WIP-sun-valley-ski-tools-waxing-iron-platform__29333_zoom.jpg

 

 

 



 

post #54 of 114

If I was skiing Volants, I'd have the same attitude.

 

Clean the top skins with Windex don't ya?

 

Hell $15.00 would be too much for an iron Afterall Voalnts have never had a delam problem.  Wouldn't want to disturb that high zoot adhesive!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post


Cheap bastard! Why would you destroy your skis with news paper, when you could be buying these paper towels for only $9.95?

 

 

TOG-KREW-shop-towels-paper-heavy-duty-krew__87136_zoom.jpg

 

 

 

 

After all, they are made for the job, and if you use something else you are a very bad person who wants your skis to burst into flames and leave nothing but a smoking crater where your tuning shop used to be. Stop using less expensive alternatives! Your skis will never slide again and your entire life will unravel! 

 

 

 

 

 

anguish.jpg

 

 

 

You're welcome for my advice on how best to spend your money. wink.gif

 

 



 


Edited by Atomicman - 11/4/11 at 10:55am
post #55 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

If I was skiing Volants, I'd have the same attitude.

 

Clean the top skins with Windex don't ya?

 

Hell $15.00 would be too much for an iron Afterall voalnts have never had a delam problem.  Wouldn't want to disturb that high zoot adhesive!
 


Why would I clean the topsheets? They're tools not museum pieces.

 

I agree, $15 is too much for an iron, only people who like to brag about their high tech tuning gear would trumpet the fallacy that one needs to spend more. jk.gif

 

 

 

 

post #56 of 114

 

How about an engineering approach?

 

It really doesn't matter where you bought it or what it's called; hat matters is what it is.

 

Does it have a nice thick base?  Is it massive?  Fairly easy to tell; pick it up.

 

Is the temperature adjustable?  It makes no difference if the scale says Rayon, Silk, Cotton, Wool.." or degrees F or degrees C; you are going to want to turn it up just enough to melt wax, and if that doesn't match the number written on the scale and your wax package, you will adjust it anyway.  Put a fiducial reference mark on the iron setting for your standard wax.

 

Is the temperature controlled to a narrow enough temperature range?  The iron may shut off get too cold, turn on and get too hot before turning off again.  It's not easy to tell how well the temperature cycle will work without trying it, but you can compensate by moving the iron faster when it's hotter and slower when it's colder.  Don't smoke the wax!, feel your skis top sheets with your hands.

 

 

post #57 of 114

I'm sure by now the OP is in a ski shop handing over his skis to let them tune them. roflmao.gif

post #58 of 114

Check out this oneyahoo.gif

 

220px-Charcoal_iron.jpg

 

It runs on charcoal!  Tough to tell if the wax is smoking eh?

 

IMG_7026.JPG

post #59 of 114



Uh, that was a jokeROTF.gif, Stainless Steel Appliances, A Delorean? U clean 'em with Windex!

 

Ski the Steel, Steal the Thunder!words.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post


Why would I clean the topsheets? They're tools not museum pieces.

 

I agree, $15 is too much for an iron, only people who like to brag about their high tech tuning gear would trumpet the fallacy that one needs to spend more. jk.gif

 

 

 

 



 

post #60 of 114
I would recommend going to racewax.com and getting proper iron, brushes, scraper. I use a brass brush to clean out the structure prior to applying wax. Ibthan wax, scrape, nylon brush, scotchbrite to buff, than a final buff with the fiberlene paper. I've used raceway.cons general purpose all temp hydrocarbon wax. It's inexpensive and works well. Last year I switched to Hertel wax, but either works fine. If you buy decent stuff to begin with, it will make the job easier, take less time, do a better job and last a long time.

I just got my delivery of new diamond edge tuning stones and new brushes from raceway.com - good prices.
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