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Blending hydrocarbons - Page 2

post #31 of 64
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

In fact, that's why the World Cup techs use  hot boxes in the first place--to get as much wax into the ski as possible. And yes, you would typically start with a base conditioner and then move on up the "hardness scale".

Not really true ;) There's actually not all that many of WC techs that use hotbox nowadays, and even those which use, they use it to make things faster/easier. You can achieve exactly same, and most of time better, result with iron, then you can with hot box. Only difference is, that with iron you spend a lot of time, with hotbox you are done faster. But as I wrote, not all that many use hot box.

And those wax cycling (first warm, then colder and then even colder wax) is myth, which started somewhere on internet, and pretty much everyone on WC are laughing about ;) In xc skiing, where waxing is way more important then with alpine skiing (even SG and DH), you have skis for cold and you have skis for "warm" snow. And these skis never get waxed with anything from opposite range, like cold skis are getting waxed with cold waxes, warm skis with warm waxes. No wax cycling and other "scientific" things, which "expert waxers" on internet forums are doing ;)

post #32 of 64
Thread Starter 
I stand corrected regarding wc hotboxing primoz....a lot of us "experts" however dont have the resources to have a warm pair and a cold pair...btw I first read about progressive cycling in ski racing mag, many years ago...written by a wc tech...nice to have your inside info nonetheless;))
post #33 of 64

One (among many) differences among World Cup skiers and recreational racers is that non-WC skiers do not travel around with a truck load of skis each with a unique grind and wax set up and different flex patterns/stiffness. Recreational racers are trying to get the best results they can out of a choice of one, 2 or 3 skis. If our waxing approach is laughable, our conditioning and technique must be hilarious.

post #34 of 64

I perfectly understand most of people have single pair of skis (ok most of you lucky enough to have decent powder conditions, probably two). But thing is, this wax cycling has nothing to do with single or multiple pair of skis. It just doesn't bring anything... one pair or 100 pairs. When waxing skis, it makes difference what and how you wax. Blending two different waxes together can be done with waxing first one wax, scraping off  then waxing second wax. Or it can be done with melting both waxes (in particular percentage of each) and ironing them together. Results are very very different. So you pick procedure which fits best for particular conditions. Using first cold wax and then warm wax can make skis much slower, then using just warm wax, and it won't improve how long wax will stay on skis.

Of course this is all when talking about racing. Personally nowadays I have one single wax... Swix CH7, even for xc skis. I still have whole bunch of HF waxes in box, I still have huge depot of fluoro powders, but I just don't care. If skis are a bit slower, so be it. I don't race anymore, I don't do skis for racers anymore, and for me personally it really doesn't matter if I'm down the hill second or 20 slower.

And one more thing... much more then such methods matter right wax (and procedure how you mix them). And this is something which normal skiers without 20 test pairs, endless supply of top waxes, and few days time for testing, can't afford. When you can't afford this, then I think it's pretty much useless to bother trying to invent something what brings much less then proper wax ;)

And don't understand me wrong... I have nothing against enthusiasts. If it's fun for you, feel free to do it, and if I can help somehow with this, I will be happy to help. But thing is, most of these people start it on wrong side ;)

post #35 of 64
Thread Starter 
umm, yeah...that's what we've been discissing...did you read my opening post and the follow ups by vsirin and cantunamunch?? as Im sure you know, each tech bas a slightly different theory...
post #36 of 64

This things are actually completely different ;) You were waxing against... hmm.. how to write this... that skis get dry around edges. Once again, sorry my English is just not good enough. But this has very very little to do with racing and/or making skis fast. Thing is that in racing you are waxing skis for one single run. Preventing skis getting dry is not main objective in this. Getting skis fast is. I still look from this point of view, and I know I should probably change when it come sto this, but then again, there's not much of point making things complicated for recreational skiing/racing.

What I tried to say with last post is, again speaking about waxing for racing, that way you mix waxes, makes difference with end result. For some conditions, you melt both (or more) waxes on base, and iron them, for other conditions, you put one layer first (with scraping and brushing of course), then another (and maybe another after that). Sometimes one thing works, other times the other, and there's no rule how to do it everytime. But like I wrote, you need way too much testing and experiences, which you get only through testing 1000s of different combinations through the years, to find out which one works better, so unless you have all these resources, which majority of people outside of WC don't, it's pretty much useless to make some big science around this. Wax normal way, pick right wax for the day if you are racing, and wax again after that training/race and you will be fine. My suggestion is not to bother all that much with finding some "new way", since chances you will find something noone else did before, are pretty slim, considering you most likely won't have chance to try all other 1000 or 10.000 combinations, which probably would work even better.

For recreational skiing and even racing, I still think most of people take way too much time exploring these things and trying to invent new things, instead of actually go skiing ;)

post #37 of 64
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

For recreational skiing and even racing, I still think most of people take way too much time exploring these things and trying to invent new things, instead of actually go skiing ;)


It is not 'instead', it is 'in addition to'.      Total skiing time has top limit - waxing less will not increase skiing time top limit.    smile.gif


No one here is silly enough to wax during skiing time.

post #38 of 64

Hehe so it's just too much time in between skiing then biggrin.gif

post #39 of 64
Thread Starter 
primoz...you are right in that the method i use (see post #1) is in large part to prevent burn (dryness)...on the whole ski, nor just the edges (but it is more common to notice along the edges). i use this method whether racing or training or skiing, changin wax hardness as needed,on sl &gs skis (i dont race speed events). the purpose of this article wasn't originally meant to include the use of speed additives as i wanted to discuss hydrocarbons...you do have a great deal of knowledge ...good to have your input, and yes, we aren't world cuppers here;)) p.s. my method takes very little time, and ive been refining it for a number of years...
post #40 of 64

To return to the specific suggestions to Bttocs - after you've picked whatever basic wax  family you will be using this winter - we'll assume for example Holmenkol - get 2 or 3 of the big blocks (150 g) of Beta and 1 each of the Alpha and Ultra. You may be able to hook up with other parents to get bulk order discounts or savings through your coaches or some of the sponsors here. However, you are going to find situations where the skis don't glide as well as usual - pay attention to those days/nights and collect some info: what was the SNOW temp (you can get a little digital probe for about 20 dollars), was there new snow and was it natural or man-made (often at a resort, they make new snow almost nightly during the early season, sometimes mid season, and less late in the year), has the snow been through thaw/refreeze cycles, what was the snow humidity. The digital hygrometer for this is expensive so what I do is get a feel for how much moisture is in the snow you are skiing on. When it is not too cold, a snowball test works fine for me - if you can pick up a handful of snow and make a snowball with one hand it is very wet, if it take 2 hands it wet if it stays together very solidly and medium if it forms but does not get real solid, and dry if it is hard to form. As it gets colder, the snow can still be wet but the test results shifts down so that if it is 0 and you can get anything like a snowball forming, even if it falls apart easily, the snow humidity is pretty high. One of the biggest factors affecting this whole process in MA will be the snow making practices of the hill you are skiing on mostly. Some places blow wet snow right onto the trails right before training and just groom. Others "cure" the snow after they make it to let it dry out. Some blow big ice crystals, some small. But most places do the same thing most of the time.


The reason this is important is that there are a couple of things you can do to improve the performance of the wax through additives. The basic additives are: 

Fluoros (in Holmenkol's case GW 25) which make the ski faster in wet snow conditions. At your son's level, I'd recommend not bothering with this. You need respirators to use them and they are expensive.

Graphite/Moly - Holmenkol makes a moly/graphite additive which works very well in wet, dirty snow that has been through melt/refreeze cycles, it is also supposed to work in very dry cold snow to reduce the electostatic friction (although I have not found it best for that). The moly is tricky because I have found that it can sometimes make the skis much better and sometimes a bit worse. This is why you want to keep some kind of a record of your prep and experience. Anyway, I'd recommend getting one block of this and trying it if you hit that kind of conditions regularly. (Last year I used it a lot). Just rub it on the base before waxing (like a crayon) and then drip the wax on top and iron. It does not change your iron setting. You can see what thickness of rubbing on works best for your hill's snow.

If you want to get a bit more exotic  but you probably don't need these.

FluoroGraphite - Dominator SRB - I have found this to be the best for grabby dry snow (other than new dry snow), either crayon on before waxing or apply in a checkerboard pattern with the wax (described on the Dominator web site). I wear my respirator when I use it. A little goes a long way and it is fairly expensive. Temprerature specific. So don't bother with the warmer one to start just the cold or extreme cold

Micrographite - Dominator FG - these are for new snow, apply in the checkerboard pattern with the daily wax. These are moderately expensive but good for that new dry snow that can be real slow. It won't help much in a super wet new snow without fluoros so I would just get the extreme cold or cold if you want to try it.


Another suggestion is to recognize that sometimes you are just going to miss the boat entirely in your wax pick. For these situations, you might want to get some rub on waxes that you can do right at the hill. Pick one company (I use Dominator's Momentum) and use a nylon over a cork brush to get better adhesion. Brush a little after applying. Hope this helps get you going. Others may have better ideas but this would be what I would do.

post #41 of 64
Thread Starter 
i think what vsirin posted sounds good (at work here i'll be brief) i do think that many of the available brands are great, but i think it's good to stay within on brands product line (i use swix hydrocarbon/lf series, for instance) as vsirin said, USE A RESPIRATOR when applying flouros...fumes are toxic!
post #42 of 64

And by a respirator, I did not mean a little paper mask. At a minimum, you need something NIOSH certified with P100 cartridges that fits your face well. I wear mine when I scrape and brush as well as wax. I even wear mine with cold waxes scraping and brushing because the particles are so small. I don't have the name of the brand I use but a little research and you can find one.

post #43 of 64
Umm, folks, both ch and fluoro fumes are toxic. They can reduce lung function up to 25% if you don't wear a respirator.

Vsirin is incorrect; you need an "OV" respirator at minimum, and ideally one with "HF" rating for fluoros.
post #44 of 64
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

Umm, folks, both ch and fluoro fumes are toxic. They can reduce lung function up to 25% if you don't wear a respirator.
Vsirin is incorrect; you need an "OV" respirator at minimum, and ideally one with "HF" rating for fluoros.

The P100 cartridge is the HF rated cartridge and do you have a citation regarding the toxicity of  regular hydrocarbon wax vapor?

post #45 of 64
It must say OV.

Search on epic. It's your lungs
post #46 of 64

the OV is a broad category that contains many respirators unsuitable to use with fluoros. What you want to ensure is not OV but HF cartridges



post #47 of 64
What you need is a cartridge rated for OV if just doing CH, but one rated for OV AND HF if using fluoros.

The P100 does jack for volatilized hydrocarbons.
post #48 of 64
post #49 of 64

You are not going to make HF (hydrogen fluoride) by melting HF (high-fluoro) waxes with an iron.  Your concern is fluorinated organics (carbon-based molecules with F attached).  Hydrogen Fluoride is a molecule of just H and F and is extremely toxic and immediate danger; fluorinated organics are a long-term health issue.

post #50 of 64
Doctor D, your competitor Thanos K feels otherwise and recommended an OV respirator rated for HF.
post #51 of 64

No shocker there.

post #52 of 64
And doctor D, you once said racewax is safe to apply indoors with no respirator, so your regard for and standard of safety could be questioned.
post #53 of 64

Vsirin, here ya go.




During a study which took place in northern Sweden during February 1989, five ski technicians were monitored medically over a five-day period.  Study results were reported in October 1992: ’’Exposure to Ski-Wax Smoke and Health Effects in Ski Waxers,” Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 7(10), p. 689, October 1992. Their findings are summarized below:

The authors of the study first looked at hydrocarbon wax vapor concentration in the waxroom. Their findings are summarized in Figure 1. 


Five minutes after waxing began, hydrocarbon wax vapor concentration in the waxroom exceeded the Occupational Safety and Health Act limit of 2mg/m3. (OSHA is the US agency that monitors workplace safety).  In cases where the OSHA limit is exceeded, use of a respirator is mandated.


Figure 2 shows the effect of repetitive waxing on the lung function of one of the five ski technicians monitored during the study.  The vertical axis shows lung function; the horizontal axis shows the time elapsed since the start of the five-day monitoring period.  The shaded areas (dark bars) on the horizontal axis represent the time during which waxing was taking place.



These results clearly show a reduction in lung function after exposure to ski wax vapor.  All five technicians monitored in the study showed a 10 - 25 percent decrease in lung function after five days of waxing.  And, although some recovery was observed after the rest periods, the effect appeared to be cumulative for the duration of the test.




I'm guessing that the chemistry labs at wax companies have mechanical exhaust systems in their facilities.

post #54 of 64

PlugBoots, thanks. I am not quite sure that the study shows that one waxer doing one or 2 pair of skis would create enough vapors to exceed the safe level but it certainly is better to err on the side of caution. I'll start wearing my respirator for all my waxing.

post #55 of 64
Originally Posted by PlugBootBlues View Post

And doctor D, you once said racewax is safe to apply indoors with no respirator, so your regard for and standard of safety could be questioned.

Yep, I'm sure some will, but I was talking about - my wax - that I make - and I stand by my statement.  Maybe Dominator is more dangerous - I have no idea what kind of weird fluoro they use that makes hydrogen fluoride at 120 C - so yeah, I didn't consider that the Dominator stuff could be worse, thanks for pointing that out - Thanos could be right for his wax but not mine.


I have also said that people should do whatever makes them feel comfortable and safe with what they are doing, if you want to go with overkill that's fine.  I'm just telling you that my wax is safe when used at the temps that are specified on my website.

post #56 of 64
Thread Starter 

   What happened to this thread?? I'm at work all day and.. Safety with flouros is paramount, of course! Use an approved respirator when applying... Waxing 1 or 2 pair of skis in a large shop/garage with ch a few times a week...up to you, the tuner. Plug enjoys attention... I'm glad for his sake, that  he got it...(I just gave him some...nonono2.gif)

post #57 of 64

I don't think things are all that black and white. Personally I have been using gas mask when noone else on WC was using it, so I rather stay on safe side (especially there were and still are way too other ways to bite the dust, so why try yet another one). But I'm not so sure it's really necessary and there's quite few different opinions about this, even between doctors monitoring these things.

First, fluoro waxes are suppose to be dangerous when you heat them over 300c. If you wax right, you never do this, even with powders which are normally waxed with iron heated to around 180c (for non-powder waxes, iron is much colder).

Second, WC wax techs from certain wax company are regularly tested for this things. Few of these guys are really good friends of mine, so I actually get to see their test data. Two are (actually one still is, the other one left year or two ago) with company for almost 20 years, and they never used masks (they actually use them for doing edges with Trione). Not a single of tests done through the years (few times a year) showed anything. Not in their blood, not regarding lung capacity. If someone would want to, you can find some of these studies (also done by Oslo Uni) on web.

So to be honest, I don't know if things are really that dangerous, as someone might say. Another thing I don't believe are results of study Plugbootblues mentioned. If you would really have 10-25% lung functions decrease in just 5 days of waxing, pretty much every single WC tech would be dead by start of season already ;) You spend 6+ hours every day in wax room (before start of season), and much more (personally I have spent 24h in single day inthere) through the season. Nowadays things are a bit better, but in general you still wax in non ventilated containers, basements or garages. With this time spend in there, and with amount of people who never use gasmask, mortality would be huge through the season ;) Considering more people get injured or die in car accidents on way from one race/training to the other, I think those 10-25% decrease in 5 days is not realistic. Even if it would slow down later on, on the end of season (200-250 days), your lung capacity would be 0 ;)

But as I wrote... decent mask costs around 30-40eur (at least around here). It's not really so uncomfortable, so it's no big deal to wear it. So why to risk and try to find out that maybe all these things are wrong, and these things actually are toxic. So personally I use it, even now, when I do pair or two skis a week, and not 30+ pairs a day.

post #58 of 64
Thread Starter 

  All pov's and science aside...it is good that the issue of safety was raisedicon14.gif  I don't remember the last time I heard anyone openly discuss itsmile.gif (a hood for my shop would be something I would like to think about further, btw....)

post #59 of 64

Hi zentune.I would like write you some relevant info about blending waxes,but I'm a slalom guy and we have waxing pretty simple.We use usually slightly harder waxes.Hard wax has better acceleration and good resistance to abrasion at our short courses.No science,no alchemy,no problem,but no fun:) All winter I use traning waxes from Holmenkol (Betamix,Ultramix) or 50% mixture of both(Violet?biggrin.gif) for a traning pair SL's.On SL's for slalom events I use a slalom waxes from Vola company.(SLG,EDS).Both are hard,for low humidity and vice versa+silicone additive.Again,no alchemy,no problem.


I agree with primoz's words: "And don't understand me wrong... I have nothing against enthusiasts. If it's fun for you, feel free to do it..."  I think there are three basic phases in the life of a fictional amateur ski racer.


First phase:He knows little about tuning,no problem.


Second phase:He knows much more about tuning.Sometimes it starts right here the alchemy,science,mistakes,web's myths and a waste of time.


Third phase:He knows enough about tuning/waxing...no waste of time and useless alchemy.

A tiny problem is that,from the phase 1 to phase 3 jumps hardly anyone.After all, it's not so fun. I like ski enthusiastsbiggrin.gif



..sorry for my bad English.rolleyes.gif

post #60 of 64
Thread Starter 
asrin...thanks. yeah, i dont get a lot of hard snow for sl ( not enough i mean!) soft snow in the gates is a bummer;) but yeah, when i think its going to be hard, i use harder waxes, applied in the same general way (instead of yellow in the forebody, maybe a red, or purple (i use swix) or maybe both etc...
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