EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Quick and Dirty method of base prep?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Quick and Dirty method of base prep?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I've been reading alot about base prep of new skis and saturating the base with wax.

 

Seems like hotboxing is the best but needs a hot box. The traditional way of layering base wax is tedious and results in a huge pile of waste wax ie. drip, iron, scrap...repeat 10x

 

What would be the effect of just dripping wax, iron on, cool...iron again to remelt, cool...repeat 10x ie. no scraping and brushing until the very end of cycle 10.

 

I understand that scraping and brush "opens" up the pores and enables better absorbtion. But would repeated melting and cooling of the same wax be almost like hotboxing and better than just one layer of base wax done with one cycle of melting and cooling?

post #2 of 25

Part of the reason for all of the brushing is to break down the hard edges of the new grind. To do the brushing you need to do the scraping. I do this so that my bases will be faster as I race. A new grind is slower (all else being equal) than a "worked" grind. Assuming that you don't race, you should not have to do this part of the process and can let the grind be naturally softened. If you race, you should do this or accept slower bases for the first few weeks/months.

 

Again assuming that your only interest is in saturating your base for long term protection, I would first suggest using a base prep wax rather than a normal wax. More so than daily waxes, the base prep waxes are designed to saturate the base, which is your objective. For sure I would do one or 2 hot scrapes using the base prep just to clean any impurities out and then leave the base prep on for an overnight cure.  I use a graphite base prep wax normally.

 

The thinking I read from WC techs several years ago recommended going through a cycle of different waxes - from soft to hard, not just using one wax with the theory that the different waxes had different sized molecules/structures and saturated differently. Applying that theory, your approach would not do the same thing. I don't know if that theory is still considered valid.

 

I go through cycles just to break in the grind so I haven't tried streamlining. I also don't know if you get more out of repeat applications of a base prep than just one or if the remelt process would work as well as repeated applications.

 

The US distributor from Dominator just started posting on Epic and perhaps Dominator Tom will chime in with a more fact based answer than my experience and opinions.

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pzull View Post

I've been reading alot about base prep of new skis and saturating the base with wax.

 

Seems like hotboxing is the best but needs a hot box. The traditional way of layering base wax is tedious and results in a huge pile of waste wax ie. drip, iron, scrap...repeat 10x

 

Two observations here

 

- if you're actually winding up with a 'huge pile' of waste wax, you're using too much wax per iteration

 

- you don't actually have to do it 10X  

 

if you want to save on tedium, do it 1x or 2x or 5x i.e. wherever  your perceived tedium/benefit equilibrium happens to be.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pzull View Post

What would be the effect of just dripping wax, iron on, cool...iron again to remelt, cool...repeat 10x ie. no scraping and brushing until the very end of cycle 10.

 

 

I would find that /more/ tedious (and more of a time suck)  than 3x or 5x wax-scrape-brush cycles.   I would also find it less effective at cleaning the bases.    Assuming I managed to keep the cats out of the work space (and their random floaty hairs off the bases), I still don't think I would accrue significant benefit beyond what I get with  3x or 5x  wax-brush-scrape cycles.

post #4 of 25

Mike Desantis once suggested that I do multiple waxings to new skis, but not scrape between each one.  So wax, let harden, wax, let harden, wax, let harden  (all with a base prep wax) finally wax with the wax you want to ski on, let harden, scrape and brush.

post #5 of 25
ditto what vsirin and cantunamunch said wink.gif wish i had time to say more, but they've got it...

zenny
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.

 

I've been progressively "wasting" less wax and now only drip enough to float the iron so that it wont touch the base. Any less than what I use now will result in insufficient wax to float the iron. By a pile I mean enough to need to have to do a thorough cleanup of the floor (this is the most tedious part of waxing for me) - I do it in my garage so have no choice but to clean after each wax session.

 

Guess I'll just do saturation once in 2 seasons and just do single coat touchups for all others. I only achieve about 20-30 days per season anyways.

post #7 of 25

I had the same floor issue in my basement. I use a 8 x 10 plastic drop cloth under my wax table. I put a few pieces of tape at key points to hold it down (especially where I will be walking). Greatly reduces the mess and cleanup and you can store the drop cloth in a trash bag for reuse on the next waxing.

post #8 of 25

   Make a cardboard "catcher" under your vises (mount it to your bench/table with washers n screws) about190 cm's long, 5" deep by 10 " wide ...catches all your wax shavings, metal filings, beer cans, etc....wink.gif  Pzull...before ironing (after pre iron brushing), try crayoning on some soft ch wax onto your bases--this creates a "buffer" between the iron and the base...for the first few passes.

 

    zenny

post #9 of 25

I also tune in the garage.  I have a small wet-dry vac under the bench.  I keep the hose handy by having a small piece of wood mounted that it sticks onto.

 

It takes about 15 seconds to turn it on, vacuum the wax shavings, turn it off and stick the hose back on the wood strip.

 

I don't really see why you think the cleanup is such a big deal?

 

Also as I posted above, multiple waxings without scraping between was suggested by a former WC tuner.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

I also tune in the garage.  I have a small wet-dry vac under the bench.  I keep the hose handy by having a small piece of wood mounted that it sticks onto.

 

It takes about 15 seconds to turn it on, vacuum the wax shavings, turn it off and stick the hose back on the wood strip.

 

I don't really see why you think the cleanup is such a big deal?

 

Also as I posted above, multiple waxings without scraping between was suggested by a former WC tuner.

   Skimango...ask 50 different wc techs what their process is, and you'll invariably receive 50 different answers biggrin.gif...

 

 

    zentune

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

Above inputs all give me good ideas. Think I'll fab some kind of wax catcher with garbage bag so I just throw bag n wax out when done. I hate sweeping as wax gets stuck to broom and you know who'll be upset. Cant vacuum as it clogged and killed it last time I tried.

 

Yeah I think I'll crayon next time just to be safer.

 

Do extruded bases benefit from hot waxing like sintered bases? Right now I hot wax equipment with sintered bases and just use paste wax on extruded bases.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pzull View Post

Above inputs all give me good ideas. Think I'll fab some kind of wax catcher with garbage bag so I just throw bag n wax out when done. I hate sweeping as wax gets stuck to broom and you know who'll be upset. Cant vacuum as it clogged and killed it last time I tried.

 

Yeah I think I'll crayon next time just to be safer.

 

Do extruded bases benefit from hot waxing like sintered bases? Right now I hot wax equipment with sintered bases and just use paste wax on extruded bases.

   Crayon on a light layer, then drip on, then iron. Crayoning is to protect the base from direct, initial contact with the iron...wink.gif

 

    Hot wax extruded as well, though absorption is less....

 

      zenny

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

I also tune in the garage.  I have a small wet-dry vac under the bench.  I keep the hose handy by having a small piece of wood mounted that it sticks onto.

 

It takes about 15 seconds to turn it on, vacuum the wax shavings, turn it off and stick the hose back on the wood strip.

 

I don't really see why you think the cleanup is such a big deal?

 

Also as I posted above, multiple waxings without scraping between was suggested by a former WC tuner.

   Skimango...ask 50 different wc techs what their process is, and you'll invariably receive 50 different answers biggrin.gif...

 

 

    zentune

So true zen.  Mike runs SkiMD and is one of the best tuners you'll find though, so right or wrong his approach certainly works.

 

As to the vacuum, I have a small cheap wet-dry vac, I can't see how it could possibly clog, it's just a hose into a bucket basically.  There's a cloth filter around the motor.  I don't use the head on the hose, just the open hose.

post #14 of 25
Last season (or so) I asked our new member , Dom Tom, about this. We didn't discuss missed opportunities of not brushing in between since we were talking about recreational skiing, and were focused on max saturation. His input that it is fine to not scrape and brush in between but you have to make sure you start with a clean base (hot scrape first) and the base remains clean. If I remember correctly, he said five cycles is plenty. Maybe he'll chime in on this.

I read an article SkiMD wrote a couple years back for Master Racers and he recommended 4-5 cycles. I'm almost positive he stated to do all the scraping and brushing in between, but it was geared to Master Racers with brand new skis. Different requirement than base prep for recreational skiers/instructors. Mike is also a big supporter of rubbing wax on with something like rays way.

My OPINION is on fresh grind, scrape and brush in between. Don't care if it is needed or not. I like going through the process. Show your skis some love and they'll love you back. If it isn't a fresh grind and you are just doing your prep for the new season of redoing it half way through the season (post initial time after base grind), scraping and brushing isn't needed. Still have to make sure the bases are clean so no nastiness is ironed in.

Have fun,
Ken
post #15 of 25

      Either way....brushing a new ski, or one with a fresh grind (and certainly before skiing any freshly waxed ski) is key to good performance (getting the most out of your hot waxing) as it clears out the structure wink.gif   With a new ski/fresh grind, using a variety of brushes (steel, soft steel, brass, horsehair, nylon) and scotchbrite 3M pads (coarse/red, medium/green, fine/white) smooths/refines the structure from top to bottom. Remember to do lots of hot scraping in between, to get rid of the "gunk". Some techs will also use 320 grit and finer sand paper as well (wet) for further finishing on speed skis, mostly. A new or freshly ground ski tends to be VERY hairy (and slow)eek.gif!

 

   zenny


Edited by zentune - 1/16/13 at 6:14am
post #16 of 25

I wax in the living room of my condo on the carpet and just vacuum it up.  I used to do it in the kitchen on the tile but couldn't see the TV and I spend a lot of time tuning my kids race skis so I just decided we'd need new carpet someday anyway so........eek.gif

 

Just a regular canister upright using the open hose seems to work fine.  

 

Back to the regularly scheduled topic...

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

I wax in the living room of my condo on the carpet and just vacuum it up.  I used to do it in the kitchen on the tile but couldn't see the TV and I spend a lot of time tuning my kids race skis so I just decided we'd need new carpet someday anyway so........eek.gif

 

Just a regular canister upright using the open hose seems to work fine.  

 

Back to the regularly scheduled topic...

   Dude!!! My wife would KILL me rolleyes.gif. How'd ya pull that off??

 

     zenny

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

   Dude!!! My wife would KILL me rolleyes.gif. How'd ya pull that off??

 

     zenny

Yeah I would like to know this too!!

 

Just tried waxing out in the open today on the driveway (1 degree Celcius!). Cut opened grabage bag at bottom of waxing bench caught like 90% of wax shavings.

But it's no fun waxing in 1 degree temp. Had to wear ski gloves, hot scrape is more like normal scrape as wax hardens real quick. Plus today I was waxing wife's skis which has railed tip and tail sections (about 50% of ski length). What a pain to scrape a concave base

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pzull View Post

Yeah I would like to know this too!!

 

Just tried waxing out in the open today on the driveway (1 degree Celcius!). Cut opened grabage bag at bottom of waxing bench caught like 90% of wax shavings.

But it's no fun waxing in 1 degree temp. Had to wear ski gloves, hot scrape is more like normal scrape as wax hardens real quick. Plus today I was waxing wife's skis which has railed tip and tail sections (about 50% of ski length). What a pain to scrape a concave base

  I must confess that I do have a heated room in the house, carpeted and finished even, dedicated to tuning. Sweet rolleyes.gif !!! Hence the "cardboard catcher", though.....wink.gif

 

 

  zenny

post #20 of 25

@ vsirin

 

Your process is correct, this is the best way to prepare bases for racing. But this theory is not: "The thinking I read from WC techs several years ago recommended going through a cycle of different waxes - from soft to hard, not just using one wax with the theory that the different waxes had different sized molecules/structures and saturated differently. Applying that theory, your approach would not do the same thing. I don't know if that theory is still considered valid". 

 

This concept made the rounds in WC waxrooms in the 90’s and the premise was that you have difference size holes in the p-tex and you need different size waxes to fill them. I ran this by Thanos back then and he said “this is para-science” and took me through the reasoning: “If you have a hard wax and a soft wax, which will penetrate deeper into the base the soft or the hard?” Uhmm, the soft. “ok then, suppose you have a bigger hole deep into the core, which one will get there first, the soft or the hard wax?” Obviously, the soft. “So do we need to discuss this further?”  It is obvious this is another waxroom myth of unknown origin that was passed down through time to give credence to some questionable practices. The reality is that as you go from the surface to the core you have a gradient of waxes, softer deep down, harder near and on the surface.

 

Regarding preparing a base with different hardness waxes going from softer to harder, this sort of works, but it is very inefficient. Repeated application of hard waxes dries a base, the soft wax prefers to dissolve in the hard wax rather than in the base material so, when the hard wax is ironed in it pulls some of the soft wax out which is then scraped away. So going from soft to harder is like taking two steps forward and one (or at best half) a step back. Here comes the shameless marketing stuff: Our Renew waxes are designed to saturate the base with a soft wax and leave the surface with a neutral layer that will not alter the properties of the wax to be ironed in later. Two cycles are enough, three cycles are plenty because the steps are very efficient, you don’t pull out any of the wax you pounded in during previous cycles.

 

@ cantunamunch

 

“- you don't actually have to do it 10X, if you want to save on tedium, do it 1x or 2x or 5x i.e. wherever your perceived tedium/benefit equilibrium happens to be.”

 

A very elegant statement, I will borrow it sometime soon, and you are of course correct.

 

We are shooting for low-tedium, high-benefit numbers.

 

@SMJ

 

This is a DeSantis-specific recommendation and it comes from Mike’s genius.

 

Typically, a stonegrind will leave the base with very sharp peaks that make the ski hard to turn and plenty of microhairs that make it slow.  Scraping dulls the peaks and brushing removes the hairs (Scotchbrite also does a great job with hair removal), it takes around five cycles to do that depending on base material and grind. Mike has found a way to nearly eliminate both of these impediments, and yes, I know how he does it, I but won’t tell. So, once you have a ski prepared by DeSantis, it becomes an issue of simply saturating the base without the added task of civilizing the grind. Heat is generally enough to accomplish that and multiple ironing cycles simulate a hot box.

 

@L&AirC

 

Your recall of our discussion is accurate, I was thinking hot box simulation. Your recall of Mikes earlier recommendation is also accurate. I believe back then he was doing something like five wax cycles, scraping with a soft steel/horsehair between cycles, but he would need to confirm that. I was a Salomon binding tech at that time so I would just come in mount grippers and take mental notes of what he was up to as Mike had --- and still has -- the reputation for the fastest skis.

 

@ Zentune

 

Opinions differ on hot waxing extruded bases, I prefer to use paste and get a beer instead of hot waxing. My suggestion is that you also give it a go, if nothing else it will keep the wife happy, domestic tranquility is important.

 

So, to wrap this up and return to the original question, this is what I suggest for a quick and dirty method: To prep your new or freshly ground skis, clean the base twice with base cleaner and put the base cleaner away for good, or until the next time you get new skis. Wait an hour or so for everything to evaporate, then bush really hard with a steel/horsehair, scrape with a very sharp scraper then use green Scotchbrite to buff the base until you reach your own tedium/benefit equilibrium. A roto-tool will help reduce the tedium.

 

Then hot scrape once with Renew, iron on a thick layer of Renew and allow to cool. When you come back, heat it with the iron one more time (add more wax if needed) and do that a few more times, then scrape and brush with a steel horsehair. Repeat the iron-in, allow-to-cool cycle once more. After you scrape and brush, iron some Dominator Bullet on the skis, wait half hour, scrape and brush and then go skiing.

 

If you want to be a hero, do the whole thing (starting with the Scotchbrite, not the base cleaner) one more time. You see, it's all about the back story...

post #21 of 25

   Domtom...beer iz gud wink.gif!!! Though we don't own skis with extruded bases...quick question: Regarding cycling--starting soft and staying soft for prep is key. When one then applies harder ch's regularly (newer, harder snow, colder temps, etc...) it would stand to reason, based on what you posted, to also regularly iron in soft waxes in between hard cycles...to replenish the deeper recesses of the skis base, wouldn't it? To ameliorate drying from the hard ch application? 

 

    zentune

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 

question on scraping: I though we were supposed to scrape till there's no wax to scrape ie. scraping is done when the base looks almost like a new ski where structure is visible. However I just collected a ski that I sent to a good ski shop to do hot wax and the base feels waxy and not anything like a new ski. I sent in the proshop just to compare results.

 

So if a hotwax is done correctly, should the base look like a new ski? smooth and not waxy or did I over scrape?

post #23 of 25

Well Dom Tom, thanks for the info makes sense.  Both L&C Air and I are correct I guess.  zentune you could say ask 1 WC tuner a question and you'll get 50 answers too I guess! :)

 

Yes it was after a pair of skis he had ground that he told me not to bother scraping between hot waxes.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pzull View Post

question on scraping: I though we were supposed to scrape till there's no wax to scrape ie. scraping is done when the base looks almost like a new ski where structure is visible. However I just collected a ski that I sent to a good ski shop to do hot wax and the base feels waxy and not anything like a new ski. I sent in the proshop just to compare results.

 

So if a hotwax is done correctly, should the base look like a new ski? smooth and not waxy or did I over scrape?

   Scrape until little to no wax comes off...then brush out the structure.

 

    zenny

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

Well Dom Tom, thanks for the info makes sense.  Both L&C Air and I are correct I guess.  zentune you could say ask 1 WC tuner a question and you'll get 50 answers too I guess! :)

 

Yes it was after a pair of skis he had ground that he told me not to bother scraping between hot waxes.

     You're right, skimangowink.gif. 1 wc tuner can say a lot indeed biggrin.gif!!! 

 

   zenny

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Quick and Dirty method of base prep?