I thought I'd buy some tuning equipment, but when I saw the prices for commercial tuning stands and ski vises, I was like....
O MY GAWD!!! @#$%%#$#**!! GAG ME WITH A SPOON!!! LIKE HELLO!!! :-)
So I thought I'd try making my own out of junk that I had lying around. It cost me exactly nothing (but then, I do have a lot of junk :-) As for the economics of it, I did waste most of a day, and had I worked my day job for those hours, I could have more than bought the commercial versions, but hey....I *like* fooling around and making stuff. So in that sense, I came out ahead. (This probably isn't a good idea if you either 1) hate making stuff; or 2) have to buy the parts; or 3) are really bad at making stuff....not that I'm all that good -- I can be good, but I'm much too lazy :-)
Anyway, here are some pics in case anyone else is ill-advised enough to follow in my footsteps. (Apologies if this sort of thing has been posted ad nauseum, I'm afraid I didn't do a lot of research before posting :-)
Here it is with a ski in position to work on the edge (sorry about the cluttered background -- now you see why I had enough junk to build this without buying anything :-) I used an old sawhorse and screwed a wooden plank to the top to make a narrow table. It's a little too high for me right now -- I think I'm going to take 4 or 5 inches off the legs. For scale, the ski is 186cm long.
Here's a view of a ski clamped in the vise so as to work on the base.
Here's a closeup of the vise. The sheet metal for the "hinge" came from a heating duct that I lobotomized with tin snips. The C clamp at the top right holds the vise to the table. The rubber bands (from bunches of broccoli) seem to grip the ski sidewalls okay, but I'll replace them with a better piece of rubber once I find one. (I know I have something suitable in my parents' house. Believe it or not, their basement is still full of junk that I accumulated before I moved into my own house, the outbuilding and basement of which are now also full of junk :-)
The tip/tail supports look like this. They're 6" high, cut from a 2x4, with red felt glued on. To make the clamp that holds the ski, I took a C clamp, sawed off the "C" part, leaving the part where the threaded rod goes through, and rounded that with a file. Then I cut off the little ball on the end of the handle so I could remove it, and pushed the contraption into the hole in the 2x4 (the hole goes all the way through under the felt. Part of the hole is a slightly larger diameter so that the "nut" can go in only so far). Then I put the handle back and blobbed some solder on the end to take the place of the ball I sawed off.
The large hole in the front allows a C clamp to go in to hold it to the table. This design isn't as convenient as the commercial ones, but you can adjust the height if necessary by putting shims in under the 2x4. I'm lucky that, so far, I only have 3 pairs of skis, and they all work with the existing height. I think I might replace the top red felt with rubber since the skis slide around a bit on the felt when mounted base-up for brushing.
Side view without ski mounted.
I haven't tried to do any serious work on it yet, except to fool around with a junked pair of straight skis for practice. I'll try to post more as I progress through my "tuning adventure".