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Blowtorching ski boots to fix bent plastic...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Alright, so in the midst of about 10 punch and grind rounds in my boots, my fitter at some point excessively clamped apart my ski boot cuff flaps and left large chunks of the plastic bent and stretched out... this makes buckling messed up at times.

 

I'm thinking a way to fix it would be to blow-torch the plastic in those areas and smooth it out.

 

Does anybody have experience blowtorching polyether?  I wish I had a chemical composition of the polymer in my boots... any presence of isocyanates (or some other monomers), and the blow-torching is a no-go.

post #2 of 23

Ok. I'll be the first to say it.  With all the problems you've had with those boots, I'd torch them.

post #3 of 23

When are you going to give in to the fact that you aren't meant to be in that boot?

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

I hate the boot.  I went to two shops today to try on new boots, but they were out of my size in all high-performance boots.

 

On the one hand I'd like to buy online to get a better boot; on the other hand it could be just as bad or worse fit if I buy online.

 

 

 

Boot guys here are hesitant to make shell recommendations, and even they note that trying on a shell is the only way to know.  The other stuff a couple of the boot guys frequently talk about (forward lean, ramp, etc) are things that can't be adjusted and may be terrible in a lower-shell that is perfect.  What is one to do?  There's not a shell out there for everyone, and the bottom of my legs is skinny as they come... but calf is beefy.  Feet are meaty, with big navicular region.  This combination makes buying a good shell impossible.

 

Maybe one day boot manufacturers will understand that the tibialis anterior muscle adds curvature the the anterior leg surface, making both current liner and shell choices incompatible with human legs.

post #5 of 23

vitamin you sure post some ridiculous threads. This is the second one i've seen.

 

Take it back to the bootfitter who fuxored them up and have them fix it. If not get you new boots with all your adjustments. A bootfitter almost stretched my forefoot through because he didnt heat it enough.  If it went straight through the plastifc i would want new boots.

 

 

Why not an incinerator or a food processor why you're at it?

post #6 of 23
A blowtorch sounds like a 98-lb-weakling solution. If it were me, I'd use a suitcase nuke.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

I hate the boot.  I went to two shops today to try on new boots, but they were out of my size in all high-performance boots.

 

On the one hand I'd like to buy online to get a better boot; on the other hand it could be just as bad or worse fit if I buy online.

 

 

 

Boot guys here are hesitant to make shell recommendations, and even they note that trying on a shell is the only way to know.  The other stuff a couple of the boot guys frequently talk about (forward lean, ramp, etc) are things that can't be adjusted and may be terrible in a lower-shell that is perfect.  What is one to do?  There's not a shell out there for everyone, and the bottom of my legs is skinny as they come... but calf is beefy.  Feet are meaty, with big navicular region.  This combination makes buying a good shell impossible.

 

Maybe one day boot manufacturers will understand that the tibialis anterior muscle adds curvature the the anterior leg surface, making both current liner and shell choices incompatible with human legs.


Go see Billy Kaplan.  You can PM him here, he's Cantman.  He WILL recommend a shell to fit your foot and make it work.  He doesn't sell boots (other than Dodge, I believe).  He's outside of Philly.  With all the time you have spent working on these or asking questions about them, you could have driven there.  Your in PA, right?
 

 

post #8 of 23
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

 

I'm thinking a way to fix it would be to blow-torch the plastic in those areas and smooth it out.

 

Does anybody have experience blowtorching polyether?


I'm not sure about a blow torch, but I'll bet they'll blend... http://willitblend.com/
 

 

post #9 of 23

Please, oh PLEASE take video of this process  roflmao.gif  popcorn.gif

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Actually the polyether appears to be "polyurethane polyether," meaning it would have isocyanates in it.  

 

I guess torching is out.


Edited by Vitamin Ski - 2/13/12 at 6:55am
post #11 of 23

two words: Heat. Gun.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

two words: Heat. Gun.


I'm willing to buy one, or borrow one.  But do they get the plastic hot enough?

 

One time I was in a boot-fitting store where all the hardware/tools were in plain view of the customer waiting area... I witnessed my boots getting stretched, and it looked like this guy was really putting some elbow grease into the process... it also looked like the machine he was using was very powerful.

 

Point being can a heat gun get plastic to a temp where it is super-easy to bend?

 

post #13 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

Point being can a heat gun get plastic to a temp where it is super-easy to bend?

 


 

Yes. I punched my own boots with a heat gun last season. I'm no bootfitter, so the end result wasn't pretty, but it works.

post #14 of 23

If you heat the bent areas with a heat gun, the plastic will likely return to it's former shape, as it has a degree of memory for the original shape. heat and buckle. done.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post

I hate the boot.  I went to two shops today to try on new boots, but they were out of my size in all high-performance boots.

 

On the one hand I'd like to buy online to get a better boot; on the other hand it could be just as bad or worse fit if I buy online.

 

 

 

Boot guys here are hesitant to make shell recommendations, and even they note that trying on a shell is the only way to know.  The other stuff a couple of the boot guys frequently talk about (forward lean, ramp, etc) are things that can't be adjusted and may be terrible in a lower-shell that is perfect.  What is one to do?  There's not a shell out there for everyone, and the bottom of my legs is skinny as they come... but calf is beefy.  Feet are meaty, with big navicular region.  This combination makes buying a good shell impossible.

 

Maybe one day boot manufacturers will understand that the tibialis anterior muscle adds curvature the the anterior leg surface, making both current liner and shell choices incompatible with human legs.

Good call, I currently experience soreness on my right lower leg right on the muscle you mention.

 

BTW, no flame heat, you will undoubtedly sear the surface long before the plastic  gets uniformly heated.   Use a heat gun, and carefully.   You can also boil the whole boot in a large pot with water, strap yourself in when its like putty and let it form/harden around your foot
 

 

post #16 of 23

Turn your heat up, put your boots over the vent,  when they get warm enough clamp the buckles down and the bent parts of the plastic should go back to their original shape.  All bootfitters use a heat gun to warm to plastic when punching.  Yes they definitely get hot enough.  You can melt the crap out of a boot with a heat gun. 

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post


I'm willing to buy one, or borrow one.  But do they get the plastic hot enough?



If you leave it in place long enough, you'll turn your boot into a pile of goo.

post #18 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Please, oh PLEASE take video of this process  roflmao.gif  popcorn.gif

 

On that note Rossi Smash, I'll share something I thought I'd never make public. In my defense, note I have 2 (yes, TWO) plugs in the boot!

 

 

IMG_0148.JPGIMG_0150.JPG

 

I set the oven (electric) to 200F and planned to leave the shells in there during the day while at work. Before I put them in I had a great idea - the racks will got too hot so I'll wrap the shells in an old towel. I went about getting dressed and when I was getting my coat and boots on is when i realized the element heats to full then shuts down to maintain the 200F temperature - it does not turn on at a low rate!

 

I saw an orange flicker from the oven - that one lucky last glance around my apartment before I left for a 9 hour workday. A part of the towel had fallen onto the element and of course caught fire. Another 5 minutes and the whole apartment would have been engulfed. In an older building with lots of nice, dry seasoned wood.

 

No, no video unfortunately and these have now been retired to backup duty. I did get some great looks and comments at Whistler that year! My wiseacre riposte - that's how fast I'm skiing!

 

Vitamin Ski, You've been warned - but if you do go the blowtorch route PLEASE, PLEASE take video of the ENTIRE process! And keep your fire extinguisher handy - trust me on this one.

 

 

post #19 of 23

I've mindlessly left my boots too near a gas fireplace "helping" them dry for the next day.  The tongue top is a nice drippy look was it literally started to melt at the top.    Lucky it kept my wife's boots further off.

 

They'll melt if not too careful.  (don't get your bare fingers stuck to the plastic!)

post #20 of 23

Screw the blow torch.  Why not try a flame thrower?

post #21 of 23

Pssst, if your boots don't hurt like a bitch when you first put them on and aren't actually skiing in them they are too big.  Proper fitting boots are always a bit uncomfortable when you aren't actually skiing down the mountain in them. You've been to at least one professional boot fitter.  Are you sure you're not just being a bit OCD about it?th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #22 of 23

I've got to get white boots and exchange my heat gun for a blowtorch. The duct tape and silicone seal over the holes in my boots from overzealous heat molding would compliment the blowtorch charring. I love Canuck1w1's boot look!

 

Eric

post #23 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

I've got to get white boots and exchange my heat gun for a blowtorch. The duct tape and silicone seal over the holes in my boots from overzealous heat molding would compliment the blowtorch charring. I love Canuck1w1's boot look!

 

Eric

 

Thanks mate! 

 

I think I'll take a propane torch to them again - I like the idea of duct tape for a rococo touch ;-)

 

I'll be well set for gaper day at the Big Sky gathering next year eek.gif!

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