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.
“- 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.
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.
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.
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...