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Edge Sharpening

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty new to tuning my own skis. I'm looking for input on the stone progression once the edge and base levels have already been set. What I have in mind is a tune for recreational skiing - not racing.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 25

200 then a 400, followed by removing the hanging burr with a hard stone, then a gummi at 45-degree angle lightly down the edge.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That's basically what I thought. I have a 200 diamond stone which I'll follow with a 400 diamond stone. I'll follow that with a fine ceramic stone and finish up with a gummi. Fortunately this is stuff I have already.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surly Bob View Post

Thanks. That's basically what I thought. I have a 200 diamond stone which I'll follow with a 400 diamond stone. I'll follow that with a fine ceramic stone and finish up with a gummi. Fortunately this is stuff I have already.

Then you better delete the thread before you get a hundred more opinions, all using stuff you don't have.

post #5 of 25

You don't say much about your skis, goals, type of snow, style, location, etc.

 

Do you want your edges sharp?  If so, forget the 45-degree pass.  If not, why bother?

 

Personally, I just use a black DMT and that's it.  Getting the ultimate mirror polish doesn't improve my recreational skiing.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

You don't say much about your skis, goals, type of snow, style, location, etc.

 

Do you want your edges sharp?  If so, forget the 45-degree pass.  If not, why bother?

 

Personally, I just use a black DMT and that's it.  Getting the ultimate mirror polish doesn't improve my recreational skiing.

This is dead ass WRONG! Do the 45 with a very hard (Blue) gummi stone with absolutley non pressure as you last step.

 

Yes if you press on the gummi and/or use a soft gummi with pressure you will dull the edge. If you use no pressure, it removes the fianl burr and makes the edges super smooth.

post #7 of 25

A-man, how do you check your edge? the old peel off some fingernail method? what are you feeling for when you check the edge, how do you determine sharpness, smoothness, burr still there, not filed enough, etc? thanks. (considering for most of us, this is not tuning for racing)

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

A-man, how do you check your edge? the old peel off some fingernail method? what are you feeling for when you check the edge, how do you determine sharpness, smoothness, burr still there, not filed enough, etc? thanks. (considering for most of us, this is not tuning for racing)

 

I don't race much. Never ran gates at all last season, due to an October tennis injury and we had so much Powder here that running gates was damn near a excercxise in futility.

 

Fingernail test is good. Once poslished and deburred, you can feel the smoothness.

 

My side edge progression is Panzer file, bastard file, usually 200, 400, 600 diamond stones, hone with hard surgical stone, remove hanging burr with arkansas stoen, the hard gummi at 45 degrees no pressure.

 

Some of the check is sound but most is feel. If you feel the edge before each step and then after you can feel the diffeence. i also use a cotton rag between each progression to dry the edge and remove any material/debris from the previous step before I check the edge. If the edge is at all wet, you cannot feel the sharpness.  

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

This is dead ass WRONG! Do the 45 with a very hard (Blue) gummi stone with absolutley non pressure as you last step.

 

Yes if you press on the gummi and/or use a soft gummi with pressure you will dull the edge. If you use no pressure, it removes the fianl burr and makes the edges super smooth.

This is from Scott Holmer, the inventor of The Beast tuning gear. I have had the pleasure on numerous occasions to talk to Scott. His son and daughter have been at many races my sons raced in at Mt. Bachelor. Also been to his shop numerous times when we were in Bend racing.

 

Here is the entire page.

 

http://www.the-raceplace.com/Ski-and-Snowboard-Edge-Tuning-Info-s/95.htm

 

Below I have placed RED BOLD the very important part!

 

Side Edge Tuning

Side edges need daily maintenance for max performance. Hold ski in vise with side edge up and base away so you can easily work on side edge. This position allows you to pull Side of BEAST toward you giving better control than if you were pushing the tool.

Ski Side Edge Tuning

Sharpen with 8" mill file in Side of BEAST until edge is very sharp. Use Plane BEAST to reduce sidewall above edge so it will not interfere with edge filing. Follow with a medium diamond stone to polish edge or use finer stones for "speed" events.

  • Deburring

    Lightly run gummi stone along edge at 45° to remove burrs after polishing. DO NOT DULL or "DETUNE"!

  • Machine Tuning

    Visit a good service shop when bases are gouged or not flat. Machines will renew skis to a "block" shape, but generally don't do a precise job of edge angles. Always establish and maintain proper edge angles with BEAST tools.

post #10 of 25

I know what you mean by sound when removing burrs with a file. It "howls" when the burr is on the edge. working only in the burr area, when that sound is gone, usually the burr is gone, . then I keep filing the whole edge until my fingernail tip slid along the edge doesn't "jump" at catches, gouges, etc. at that point I guess the damage is gone, but the tune needs to be renewed. thanks. so what many people think is a really sharp ski is the sharpness of the residual hanging burr. can you feel the difference between a sharp edge and a burred edge? I guess it would feel different from the base edge or the side edge if it  was burred, the base edge seeming catchy sharp.

post #11 of 25
Yes a sharp edge is "glassy" smooth feeling, burred edge feels more rough. You can feel a hanging burr by doing the fingernail drag test the other direction, in other words flat across the base edge.
post #12 of 25

OK, I'll bite.  What is the purpose of the 45-degree pass if, as TallSkinnyGuy states, the hanging burr has already been removed with a hard stone?

 

We're talking about recreational skiing here.  Even if there's a bit of a burr left, it'll probably be gone after a couple of runs, and the micro-serrations may actually provide additional bite in harder snow while they last.  If the problem is that the skis grab the snow too well, why not either take some carving lessons or give up on such sharp edges?

 

A 45-degree pass can take off a surprising amount of metal with very little pressure because there is so little metal in contact.  This makes subsequent sharpening that much more difficult.  Comparatively more material would need to be removed from the side edge to get back to sharpness.  If not, the effective base bevel starts to creep up.  I wouldn't recommend this to someone starting out, nor would I want to spend the extra time and remove the extra metal 10-20 times per season.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

OK, I'll bite.  What is the purpose of the 45-degree pass if, as TallSkinnyGuy states, the hanging burr has already been removed with a hard stone?

 

For the record, I was just regurgitating what I learned doing my own research on how to tune skis. It seemed like a lot of respected ski tuners recommended doing this at the very end, but I don't even remember why. Maybe something to do with smoothing the edge just a little to reduce the tendency of that super sharp edge to "break" in the first turns? I don't know. Regardless, I have found it to provide a nice sense of finality to a tuning session on an edge.

post #14 of 25

Xela, A gummi stone takes off no metal.  We are not talking about an arkansas or surgical stne here, a gummi. this has actually been standard practice for years and years, even long before shape skis!

 

No problem carving here.................Good lord man...........................sheesh!rolleyes.gif

 

The 45 degree gummi stione final pass makes for a very smooth clean edge! 

 

Look dude, do what you want. I don't think anyone here really cares!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

OK, I'll bite.  What is the purpose of the 45-degree pass if, as TallSkinnyGuy states, the hanging burr has already been removed with a hard stone?

 

We're talking about recreational skiing here.  Even if there's a bit of a burr left, it'll probably be gone after a couple of runs, and the micro-serrations may actually provide additional bite in harder snow while they last.  If the problem is that the skis grab the snow too well, why not either take some carving lessons or give up on such sharp edges?

 

A 45-degree pass can take off a surprising amount of metal with very little pressure because there is so little metal in contact.  This makes subsequent sharpening that much more difficult.  Comparatively more material would need to be removed from the side edge to get back to sharpness.  If not, the effective base bevel starts to creep up.  I wouldn't recommend this to someone starting out, nor would I want to spend the extra time and remove the extra metal 10-20 times per season.

post #15 of 25

I do the whole progression thing - 100, 400, 600, clearish surgical stone.  Must say that I really question the need.  With a file you can clearly see metal coming off the edge.  Even with a 100 diamond stone, I never see metal coming off the edge.  I'm sure it does but in very small amounts.  I've gone as far as looking at my edges with a magnifying glass and I can't tell a thing.  Do whatever you want but if you're short on time and just use one stone I wouldn't worry too much.

post #16 of 25

Xela,

 

   The idea behind  removing the "hanger" or burr left over from filing is not only a matter of TRUE sharpness and ski predictability, it is also necessary in regards to the durability of the tune you just put on your skis. If the burr is not removed in a precise, controlled manner (in your shop), and is instead skied off, it breaks/tears away in uncontrolled amounts at different points along the ski, leaving  a rough (albeit micro) imperfection on the" point" (where the base & side edge meet) along the entire length of the ski. These continue to grow as you ski and as a result the edge will dull very quickly.

   I used to use the 45 degree gummi pass, but now instead I remove it as I polish the base and side edge as follows:

1)  starting with a FLAT ski (0&90), sharpen the base edge with a fine file to your desired angle, then use your 200 grit diamond along the same base edge to begin the polishing. Repeat  for the remaining 3 base edges.

 2) Next, put your ski on its side and set your side edge angle using a 3 file progression (this is assuming you've trimmed tour sidewalls!!) And then apply the same 200 grit diamond to the side edge. Repeat for the other 3 side edges.

 3)once this is done, you will now have a large, sharp burr pushed over the base edge. To remove it, simply continue using your diamond file progression. put the ski base up and work the base edge with the 400 grit diamond, this will gently cut off and push any remaining burr over the side edge--it will now be much smaller. Repeat for the other 3 base edges.

 4)Flip the ski on its side and 400 grit the side edge, pushing an increasingly microscopic burr back over the base edge. Repeat for the other 3 side edges.

 5)"Rinse and repeat" all the way down to a 1200 grit or surgical stone; all 4 base edges, then all 4 side edges...it definitely takes longer, but when you are finished you will have an incredibly sharp, extremely durable, mirror polished edge:))

 

 

  P.s.  I am an ex racer who still runs sl&gs from time to time...I also tune for many local athletes. Many of the things I have learned about tuning are not my original ideas. I think I heard this one from Willy Wiltz, Bode's former service man.

post #17 of 25
zentune, welcome to epic, great to have you and your knowledge here!

A question for you. Many of us, myself included, do not file our base edges after they have been initially set, just maintaining the side edge sharpness. The reason for this is to avoid the base bevel becoming too large and thus requiring a stone grind to bring the base material back to restore the .5 or 1 degree desired base bevel.

Therefore how would you suggest removing the burr after only filing the side edges?

What I do is I think the same as Atomicman said above, run a fine stone along the base edge a couple of times holding it at slightly more than the base bevel.

As to the gummi I still do it, but Mike Desantis (former WC tuner) told me that it basically does nothing. What do you think of that zentune?

(Hang in here please, there are some very strong opinions on epic, some people with lack of diplomacy, and some open minds. Focus your posts on the latter and you'll be fine. Focus on the former and you may get quite frustrated!) tongue.gif
post #18 of 25

Dear skimango, glad to be here!!

 

  I do feel the gummi is a less effective means of removing the burr. Additionally, running ANYTHING along the edge at a 45 degree angle makes my soul bleed:)). Having said that, you are correct in regards to only filing the base edge once, so make sure you polish it to a high sheen as it will be far more resistant to wear than if you dont.

  Filing the side is of course necessary sometimes (maintain for as long as possible with a diamond stone progression after each weekend of recreational skiing or after each day in the course). I recommend either lightly using an alternating stone progression as in my earlier post using only finer diamond grits along the base edge or ,should you choose, a light pass or two with a fine ceramic stone, freehand, but not at a slightly greater angle than the base edge-instead try to match it. Hold the stone at a 30 or so degree angle to the base of the ski so only the end of it contacts the base edge (make sure you use a cutting solution). This works pretty well and if you use a white or light colored stone you can actually see microscopic bits of the burr coming off! I am actually employing the former technique now (well, not now) on my volkl mantras. Hope this helps!

post #19 of 25

zentune, thanks for the clarification vis-a-vis the fracturing of the burr.  Makes sense.

 

I also have arrived at the practice of alternating between base and side during the progression to finer grits.  I don't think I read this anywhere; it just makes sense.  The thing is, I don't normally bother to go very far up the grits for my non-race skiing.

 

I wonder, is it legitimate to make a distinction between sharpening and polishing?  While files and abrasives differ in their mode of action, they both remove material, ranging in action from coarse to fine.  I think of this with respect to oft-stated recommendations to leave base edges alone.

post #20 of 25

Xela,

 

  For non-race skiing, going with a superfine grit is important if your a frequent skier (40-60 days or more) who appreciate a sharp edge, but cant afford to buy new skis all the time...of course, hardness of snow and aggressiveness of skier also play a huge factor. Obviously, if powder is your preferred medium, lower grits should be fine:))

 

  I usually only touch my base edge (even my sl wc's) if i have tagged a roller and have  case hardened burrs. These I remove freehand withe a medium then fine stone (on the burr only). The only other time I would touch them is to remove rust (must...wipe...down.....skis), or post, mid-season file. Otherwise, as I'm sure you already know, your base bevel will grow just fine on it's own, especially on hard snow:((

 

  P.s.   Can't WAIT for the season:0

post #21 of 25

any particular practices to maintain a ski for mostly soft snow and lots of rocks, always, so lots of case hardened edge damage?  need diamond stones to avoid destroying your files, right? 

post #22 of 25

Davluri,

 

  Get your edges smooth and sharp (use fine grits after filing), and they'll be more resistant to dings. That being said, with lots of rocks, you'll still get lots of hardened burs. For base edge burrs I prefer to use the Swix T240 dual sided stone...it has a coarse texture on one side and a fine on the other. I've used it for years and what I like about it is that it allows you to isolate just the burr and remove it with ease--for large burrs, smooth with course side (use water or other non oil based lubricant), then smooth with fine (use it on its side to minimize base material contact, freehand, with LIGHT pressure). You'll find that the burrs come off easily:)) And thats it, once your base edge is burr free, move on to your side  edge, now using diamond stones. For large burrs use a coarse grit first then work your way down. Hope this helps!

post #23 of 25

Zentune, when planing the sidewall, is it important to leave enough plastic to be flush with the steel edge after sharpening, or can you take off an extra mm or so, such that the edge is proud of the sidewall when finished tuning? I took off a little extra sidewall and then took the sharpness off the upper corner of the side edge. thanks for the info.

post #24 of 25

Davluri,

 

 

  Sidewall planing is of course necessary for accurate side edge beveling and for the sharpness of the side edge, how it's done is entirely up to the person doing it--it depends on how much work you want to do. For most recreational skiers who do their own tuning, removing a little material above the edge at a 7-10 degree angle is sufficient...but it wont last as long and after a couple of filings you'll have to go back and remove some more.

 

  That being said, a more "permanent" method of sidewall removal is actually part of a larger process known as "ski shaping" wherein the tips, tails, and top edge (where the topsheet of a laminate ski meets the side wall) are rounded and smoothed (with an old file and some 320 grit sandpaper)--the idea being that the ONLY sharp part of a ski should be where the base and side edge meet-everything else should be as smooth as silk...this is usually something that only a really geeky tuner (such as myself :))) would do and is usually reserved for a carving or race ski. A cap ski SHOULD NOT receive any of this ski shaping treatment, only the small lip above the edge should be touched!!

 

  Sidewall+Prep_Page_2.jpg Sidewall+Prep_Page_4.jpg

   These images were obtained from Dave Pezek's web site www.pezwinter.blogspot.com--Dave is a former world cup service man and is an absolute tuning wizard! If you're feeling adventurous, go to his website for detailed instructions on how to achieve a sidewall prep of this nature--you wont be disappointed if you do:)) Hopes this helps...

post #25 of 25

Davluri,

 

 

  I forgot to mention that to do this sidewall technique it is best to have a quality sidewall planer such as the multi-adjustable offered by S.V.S.T...I really like mine, kinda pricey though.

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