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Help getting started with basic ski tuning.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I want to start doing my own basic ski tuning.  I have done some research and i'm a little bit overwhelmed with all the information out there.  I'm looking to go about it in the most cost effective way and I don't want to buy tools that I don't need.  I'm planning on doing basic maintanance such as waxing and keeping my edges sharp. 

 

Am I better buying individual tools or should I look for a kit?  What are the basic tools I should purchase?  Is it worth the money investing in a good vice when just starting out?  Will a basic old iron due or should I invest the money on a ski wax iron? 

 

Any good videos that you would recommend? 

 

Looking for any advice or recommendations.  Thanks.

post #2 of 23

Slidewright has some great tips on his blog, and he has some youtube videos to help as well. 

http://www.slidewright.com/weblog/

 

Also, Start Haus has a video on tuning your skis. 

 

For me, I bought a kit but later found that all I needed was some good wax, a scraper, iron and scotchbright pads for waxing. 

For tuning, I got a 2 degree guide and a stone  for the side bevel and left the base bevel alone. 

post #3 of 23

Youtube ski tune, ski repair or ski wax. There are many useful videos on there that walk you through the whole process. From there you can determine which tools you will need.

post #4 of 23

Starting with a multi tool and stone to touch up edges is recommended until you understand more about what kind of tune you will prefer.  I'd avoid any major filing until you understand those things.  As for waxing, fire away!  All you really need to know is that if the wax is smoking your iron is TOO HOT and might scorch your bases.  Other than that it's pretty much just dripping it on, ironing it smooth, then scraping off the excess when you are ready to ski on it.  The packages have guides to tell you what temps and conditions the wax is best suited for. 

 

And there is also the spray on stuff.  I haven't used that yet, but do have a little can to bring should I decide to run NASTAR.  I hear the spray on stuff only lasts a few runs, but who knows..

post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ONedge View Post
  Is it worth the money investing in a good vice when just starting out? 

You will need to hold your skis stable both with the edge up (for sharpening) and with the base up (for waxing). If you can do that with tools or other things you have (blocks of wood, other vises, etc.) then you don't need a vise to start. You need a stable platform for the edge work to do it right and I never like anything at all unstable when I have a hot iron.

 

With the tools, I think it is better to get fewer to start but to make sure they are good quality. Nothing is more expensive than replacing cheap tools after a year with what you should have bought in the first place. I would start with a solid metal side bevel file guide,  100 and 400 grit diamond stones, a clamp of some type to hold the files to the guide (you probably have something that will work), an iron, plastic scrapers (you will either need lots or a scraper sharpener) and 2 brushes - brass and nylon. One piece of waxing equipment I always use is a plastic drop cloth - waxing is messy. A waxing iron is a worthwhile investment (and not too expensive), but not essential to start if you have a functioning old iron.

 

If you need to economize, you can ditch the brushes and use scotchbrite pads as Trekchick suggested.


Edited by vsirin - 12/7/12 at 12:06pm
post #6 of 23

One thing that is helping me to start with that is to go to free tuning classes that local stores and REI offered. They will show you the basics, material and tools you will need to start. It's interesting how they wanna teach for stuff they usually charge for, but looks like they wanna you to bring skis only for major repairs or some stuff like hotbox or whatever is that you most likely can't do at home.

post #7 of 23

    Like vsirin says, a decent iron is a good thing if you can afford it...I've used this one and found that it works quite well   www.race-werks.com (full link didn't work for some reason)  scroll down the left side to waxing equipment, click on irons, and you should see the SVST hi pro compact iron for $36... reasonably priced for surewink.gif


Edited by zentune - 12/7/12 at 4:01pm
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions so far.  I think a vise is going on the list of things I definitely need.  I have worked on my mountain bikes over the years without a decent work stand and purchased one several years back.  It definitely makes working on my bike much easier and more enjoyable.  I'm sure the same holds true for skis and a decent vise.

 

I also plan on getting an iron, brushes, scrapers, and wax.  That should take care of the waxing. So what to do about sharpening?

   

I wasn't planning on messing with the base bevels of my skis (just yet), but I do want to keep the side bevels sharp.  I have several pairs of skis that I will be working on that don't have the same side bevel.  Instead of buying different guides, I was thinking of getting the SVST Pro Edge Beveler Multi Angle Kit.  Is this a better option then a multitool?

post #9 of 23

  Yep, I have that set up, works great!  I also have this one  (which I actually use more)  http://www.the-raceplace.com/Side-of-BEAST-Pro-p/3002z.htm  works just as well or better... available angle plates for this  are http://www.the-raceplace.com/Side-of-BEAST-Angle-Plate-p/3006z.htm  easy to use and cheaper! But of course, ya can't go wrong (in most cases) with SVST  I own lots of different products from them...TOP QUALITY for sureicon14.gif  Other options include pre-angled aluminum guides (1 for each desired dregree)  http://www.reliableracing.com/detail.cfm?edp=11017589  but...something like the multi angle units above would be better to start with...

post #10 of 23

so are those vise some ski specific stuff, or it's possible to find something on home depot or lowes that would work?

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ONedge View Post
I was thinking of getting the SVST Pro Edge Beveler Multi Angle Kit.  Is this a better option then a multitool?

It is a great tool, I have it and like it very much. Personally, I don't like multi tools. However, you probably don't need the kit which (I looked this up just now) is $75 and can give you every angle from 0 thru 3. You will probably have your skis side bevels at either a 2 or 3 degree.  If you purchased the basic side edge beveler in 2 degrees for $32 and the 1 degree shim for 16 you would have what you need for a 2 or 3 degree under 50. Throw in the little spring clamp (if you need one)  for 4 and you're at 52. If you wanted 1 degree, get the 1 degree guide and the 1 and 2 degree shims, for a 1, 2 or 3 degree edge for 68.   They are very helpful.

 

In terms of the diamond files, I like the Moonflex. By the way, where do you ski?  I am from the Phila suburbs.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 By the way, where do you ski? I am from the Phila suburbs.

 

I usually do most of my local skiing at Blue, but got a value pass at Camelback this year.  So I will be splitting my time between the two.

post #13 of 23

I do Elk and go to Bear Creek one or 2 nights/week to run gates on their Nastar course. If you get to Elk at all send me a PM and we can ski.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

so are those vise some ski specific stuff, or it's possible to find something on home depot or lowes that would work?


You can do tuning with gear from Home Depot but the ski vises are nice and have pads to protect the skis and also clamps that let you hold them either edge up or base up. They make doing the skis easier.

http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/server3000/ee09e/products/636/images/643/SkiMan-Wide-Pro-Vise__62737.1320375691.1280.1280.jpg
 

post #15 of 23

If you want my opinion, Jeff, I started the same as you are considering.  I began about 1-2 years ago and bought all the top accessories....vises, scrapers, angles, brushes, waxes, diamond stones, etc.  If I had it to do all over, I would buy a pre-set edge beveler for edge tune-ups, a scraper, and a variety of waxes.  I think I spent way too much money.  In fact, I often go into one of the etter shops in Vermont near Stratton or Killington and let the pros do it.  The results are alot more satisfying and they know how to put real structure into the base.  It was fun at first learning to do all the tuning myself, but it's alot of work and very tiring, and, as I said, not at all inexpensive if you want to do it right....and then when it's all said and done, a pro could do it overnight for $40 or so and the result is far superior (assuming the tuner is a good one). I still do some waxing and scraping and tuning the edges, but when I want a complete job I take my skis to the shop.

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelfahlund View Post

If you want my opinion, Jeff, I started the same as you are considering.  I began about 1-2 years ago and bought all the top accessories....vises, scrapers, angles, brushes, waxes, diamond stones, etc.  If I had it to do all over, I would buy a pre-set edge beveler for edge tune-ups, a scraper, and a variety of waxes.  I think I spent way too much money.  In fact, I often go into one of the etter shops in Vermont near Stratton or Killington and let the pros do it.  The results are alot more satisfying and they know how to put real structure into the base.  It was fun at first learning to do all the tuning myself, but it's alot of work and very tiring, and, as I said, not at all inexpensive if you want to do it right....and then when it's all said and done, a pro could do it overnight for $40 or so and the result is far superior (assuming the tuner is a good one). I still do some waxing and scraping and tuning the edges, but when I want a complete job I take my skis to the shop.

If you are referring to grinds, hot boxing or new ski set up, I am with you 100% and use a shop in Stowe for that. I enjoy doing the regular maintenance, the waxing, and edge work and I actually started doing it after being consistently dissatisfied with the work done at most of the shops I tried. Unfortunately, I don't live within 150 miles of a shop that I am sure would do a better job than I do. I also wax and do edge work at least 2 or 3 times a week and paying someone to do that just adds up too fast for me.

post #17 of 23

Only thing I would add is practice tuning on an old pair of skis before your take a panzer file to your new Cochises or S7's to change a side edge angle. It really isn't that difficult to master but get the feel for filing on a pair of throwaways first.  If you don't have a old pair check Goodwill, or the like, for a cheap pair of old skis. Or maybe you have a skiing friend, who like me, has a ski "graveyard" in the back of his or her basement and would (gladly) part with a pair.  Finally, read the threads on the tuning forum.  There's a huge amount of information here from knowledgeable individuals like zentune.  You also find links to other sources of information. Slidewright was mentioned for a source of tuning videos but also check racewax.com.  I watched a variety of videos before diving in. Some give more information while others have better production values and visuals of what is being done.  Good luck and remember have fun!   

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairdog View Post

Only thing I would add is practice tuning on an old pair of skis before your take a panzer file to your new Cochises or S7's to change a side edge angle. It really isn't that difficult to master but get the feel for filing on a pair of throwaways first.  If you don't have a old pair check Goodwill, or the like, for a cheap pair of old skis. Or maybe you have a skiing friend, who like me, has a ski "graveyard" in the back of his or her basement and would (gladly) part with a pair.  Finally, read the threads on the tuning forum.  There's a huge amount of information here from knowledgeable individuals like zentune.  You also find links to other sources of information. Slidewright was mentioned for a source of tuning videos but also check racewax.com.  I watched a variety of videos before diving in. Some give more information while others have better production values and visuals of what is being done.  Good luck and remember have fun!   

  Purchasing an old pair for $30 (shaped OR straight) is an EXCELLENT way to "get the hang of it" (tuning)! Great suggestion for all new tuners Fairdog!!

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ONedge View Post
 

I want to start doing my own basic ski tuning.  I have done some research and i'm a little bit overwhelmed with all the information out there.  I'm looking to go about it in the most cost effective way and I don't want to buy tools that I don't need.  I'm planning on doing basic maintanance such as waxing and keeping my edges sharp. 

 

Am I better buying individual tools or should I look for a kit?  What are the basic tools I should purchase?  Is it worth the money investing in a good vice when just starting out?  Will a basic old iron due or should I invest the money on a ski wax iron? 

 

Any good videos that you would recommend? 

 

Looking for any advice or recommendations.  Thanks.


Here you go.  Videos.  Long and comprehensive.

 

 

 

 

 

Many other at my channel as well.  Happy waxing and tuning!

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Jacques.  Thanks for posting those videos!!  

 

Last season was my first for tuning .  I was waxing my skis and maintaining my edges weekly.  What a difference in quality from the lousy shop tunes I was getting.  It seemed like a lot of money upfront for the cost of supplies, but it definitely gets cheaper the more skis you tune.  

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ONedge View Post
 

Jacques.  Thanks for posting those videos!!  

 

Last season was my first for tuning .  I was waxing my skis and maintaining my edges weekly.  What a difference in quality from the lousy shop tunes I was getting.  It seemed like a lot of money upfront for the cost of supplies, but it definitely gets cheaper the more skis you tune.  


You are welcome  ONedge.  I try to keep it simple.  The videos are long, but it is in the talking where one can learn.  Practice makes perfect as it can be! ;)

post #22 of 23
I like Jacques long videos. One thing I could not understand is how long is enough snd those videos show you the hole thing, you get a good feel for how many passes, when to check or measure etc.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post

I like Jacques long videos. One thing I could not understand is how long is enough snd those videos show you the hole thing, you get a good feel for how many passes, when to check or measure etc.


Thanks Razie.  Although you never see me use the true bar, I do use it.  At the same time I don't worry if the base is not "perfect" flat the whole length or width.  For the most part we ski on soft snow at Bachelor so the 1 degree bases work well and creates a more playful ski.  You know I like to play! 

 

When I make the videos there is no script, I just wing it! 

 

Play time!
 

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