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Good starting point for a nOOb with limited space?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just got my skis back from the shop today and I can't say I'm all that impressed with the work.   I also think I'll be tuning a few times per season easily.  6 days on a new tune and they were needing some love.  I'm thinking I could either spend lots of time and money looking for a good shop and dropping 30 bucks every time + the trip or I can learn to do this myself on my own time.  I've always worked on my own bicycles and motorcycles...why not skis?  It kinda seems like fun anyway. 

 

I just don't know where to start.  This is only my 2nd season skiing, so it's not like I grew up around it.  It's all still a bit of an adventure. 

 

I was hoping to solicit some advice on where to get started.  I've made a sort of equipment list from reading on the subject a bit, but the product and tool choices are a bit dizzying.  I was hoping to put some product names and specific tool types with the categories:

 

Brushes

Wax

Iron

Clamps or something to hold skis (I'll probably need to fab something together - I'm thinking wood jigs at this point)

Plastic scraper

Stones

Angle guide(s)

Files

Anti-rust?

 

Anything big I left out?  I have a pretty good tool collection, but nothing specific to this type of job. 

 

I only own one pair of skis now - Volkl AC-30 (2009?), but hope to add a set of powder skis sometime this season.  I really dig 'em, so I suspect they'll be around for a while.  I'll probably only be working on skis - no boards.  I'm also tinkering with the idea of picking up a set of wrecked skis for practice...good idea? 

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob feature View Post
 I was hoping to put some product names and specific tool types with the categories:

 

Brushes If you have a big budget get roto brushes if not hand brushes work fine. I find the larger ovals MUCH better than the smaller square brushes except for travel. Most Basic setup is a nylon and a stiff bronze. There are soft steel, horsehair, soft bronze, hard steel, etc. Mine are Holmenkol, Dominator Tom and Zentune like one from Beast, lots of personal preferences

Wax - Lots of good brands - Holmenkol, Swix, Toko, Dominator, etc. Dominator is now a sponsor on Epic and their US representative contributes to this forum. It gets a lot more complicated if you race, I'll assume you don't so you can keep it pretty simple with hydrocarbon waxes. There is a still active thread on base cleaning and the use of base conditioning waxes. I use the base conditioning wax for hot scrapes every time I wax and also leave it on when I can to cure for deeper conditioning.

Iron Get a wax iron, mine is Swix but I think lots of the brands are now made by the same company. Mine is not a deluxe model but has worked fine for years

Clamps or something to hold skis (I'll probably need to fab something together - I'm thinking wood jigs at this point) You need either a ski vise or solution(s) that will (1) hold your ski base up with some stability at tip and tail; (2) hold a ski edge up with good stability. People come up with all sorts of ways of doing these

Plastic scraper I like the thicker ones (brands don't matter), you also need to sharpen the scraper (threads on that too

Stones I like diamond moonflex stones for edge maintence - get a coarse, med, and fine Also an Arkansas stone is handy. Unless you are racing, you don't need a set of polishing stones.

Angle guide(s) Starting out, you will be best leaving your base bevel alone. The more you sharpen it, the less it stays whatever it was set at. For side edge, if you will be tuning regularly, most people eventually end up with a fixed (as opposed to adjustable) file guide. I like the Sun Valley Ski Tools model, others prefer the Beast which I haven't tried but looks good.

Files Lots of good regular files. Others may have a strong preference, I don't.

Anti-rust? Dry your skis after you use them with an old towel. "Erase" any minor rust spots with a medium gummy BEFORE you sharpen your edges

 

Anything big I left out?  I have a pretty good tool collection, but nothing specific to this type of job. Not big but a couple of things I recommend: either a solution to wet your stones - SVST makes one or apparently you can make your own with vodka and water; a shop vac (waxing is messy); I use a plastic drop cloth under my wax table

 

also tinkering with the idea of picking up a set of wrecked skis for practice...good idea? Yes but not critical unless you get into the next layer of complexity with sidewall shaping, repairing bases, etc.

 

 

There are lots of threads that go into this area that you can find with the search feature. Here is a recent one

http://www.epicski.com/t/115687/help-getting-started-with-basic-ski-tuning

A big factor is how much you want to spend. Lots of threads on irons, vises, some on wax, scraper sharpening


Edited by vsirin - 1/12/13 at 7:11am
post #3 of 10
ditto what vsirin said;) i would consider a ski specific vise with a center jaw...swix for inatance. there are many to choose from however...

zenny
post #4 of 10
ditto what vsirin said;) i would consider a ski specific vise with a center jaw...swix for inatance. there are many to choose from however...

zenny
post #5 of 10
For the wetting solution for diamond stones, just use denatured alcohol/water, mixed 50:50in a spray bottle. You can also use 50:50 vodka/water if you like a refreshment as you tune biggrin.gif
post #6 of 10
I use two folding sawhorses, you can get them either from hardware store for $10 each, or ski shop for $40 each.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the posts!  That definitely gives me a good starting point on starting the tool shopping. 

post #8 of 10

You seem to be on the right track.

 

Lots of home made solutions for a ski vice.  Check out the "show us your ski workshop" thread for inspiration.  If you end up buying a vice make sure the jaws will accommodate the powder ski you intend to buy.  Some vices made as recently as the early 2000s didn't anticipate skis getting over about 90mm in width.

 

[edit]  Be careful with anti-rust.  Oils and chemicals can eat into your Ptex (plastic) bases over time.  Dry the skis as best you can as quickly as you can.  Don't store them with metal edges touching together (buy a pair of cheap velcro and foam straps for top and tail).  And you can run something as simple as a candle stub along the metal edges if you wish.

 

Best of luck.

post #9 of 10

I'd say just start with the waxing, and just edge touchups.  

That'll drop off the stones/guides etc, for just 1 smaller edge tuneup tool.

Leave the full base/edge sharpening/ base repair and such for a once-a-season pro tuneup.  

 

Try to find a better shop since the one you went to you didn't like, 

 

If you "only" spent $30 on a tuneup you likely got what you paid for.  You may need the more expensive tune to get something that is more impressive, which often you can get for a promo price early or late season.

 

The worst thing you can do is over-tune your skis and pretty soon you have ground away all your edges.  

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

You seem to be on the right track.

Lots of home made solutions for a ski vice.  Check out the "show us your ski workshop" thread for inspiration.  If you end up buying a vice make sure the jaws will accommodate the powder ski you intend to buy.  Some vices made as recently as the early 2000s didn't anticipate skis getting over about 90mm in width.

 

[edit]  Be careful with anti-rust.  Oils and chemicals can eat into your Ptex (plastic) bases over time.  Dry the skis as best you can as quickly as you can.  Don't store them with metal edges touching together (buy a pair of cheap velcro and foam straps for top and tail).  And you can run something as simple as a candle stub along the metal edges if you wish.

 

Best of luck.

 

Thanks for confirming my suspicions on the chemicals and whatnot.  I considered something like marine fogging oil for the rust on the edges, but glad I came to my senses and put it back down.  Looks like the rust is more user error than anything. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

I'd say just start with the waxing, and just edge touchups.  

That'll drop off the stones/guides etc, for just 1 smaller edge tuneup tool.

Leave the full base/edge sharpening/ base repair and such for a once-a-season pro tuneup.  

 

Try to find a better shop since the one you went to you didn't like, 

 

If you "only" spent $30 on a tuneup you likely got what you paid for.  You may need the more expensive tune to get something that is more impressive, which often you can get for a promo price early or late season.

 

The worst thing you can do is over-tune your skis and pretty soon you have ground away all your edges.  

 

I like the way you think.  That's all I really feel comfortable doing anyway.  Err, I'll need to study up on the edge touchups a bit. 

 

When I said $30, that was an average.  I spent $35 for a base grind, edge and wax.  Edge and wax is $25.  They also offer a $45 tune, but I think that deals with repairs.  $30 was a guess on where I was going with other shops.  Looks like that number may have been a bit on the low side...even better reason to do this myself. 

 

I'll definitely be shopping around for someone to do that big work.  I actually went to a shop with which I was comfortable for this tune, but maybe I got the new guy.  I'll probably be looking for an individual actually instead of a shop.  So if anybody wants to plug a Front Range buddy, the timing is right.  I'm fairly new to skiing, but can already tell ski shops seem to be like bike and moto shops - good ones are near impossible to find.  I'm to the point where shops NEVER touch my motos or mountain bikes no matter how bad something has gotten.  I don't know why I expected more of ski shops. 

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