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Overheating (?) Wax -- Dominator-specific issue?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have very recently started using Dominator's graphite base prep, which melts much more easily and stays melted much longer than the wax I had been using for hot-scraping and prep (FastWax base prep), and something odd is happening that I am hoping someone can explain.


As the wax heats up on the ski, say on a second or third pass with the iron, it gets gummy in spots.  Instead of a liquid, I've got goo, and instead of it being clear, it's cloudy and opaque.


Is that something happening with the wax itself?   Some interaction with what was already in the base?  I'm doing this after a fairly vigorous brushing with a brass brush followed by a hot scrape (and brush) with the same graphite base prep, so I'm not sure where the contaminant could be coming from.  And this happens on two different pairs of skis.


I don't think it's the ptex getting too hot, even assuming that could have an effect like this (doesn't seem likely).  This is happening after I've turned the iron down a good ways from the temperature I had been using for the top wax coat (Dominator HX77), which was 240--250 F.


As a side note:  it would help to have it stated somewhere that the base prep not only needs but appears to REQUIRE a lower iron setting than the HX77.  The iron was smoking pretty heavily until I turned it down from the temp I've been using for months for the HX77.   But the packages have the same max temps printed on them.


So, any clues as to what's going on here?  Thanks in advance for any hints.

post #2 of 9

Not sure what is going on but all the Dominator waxes I use clearly state 120C as max temp and that is what I set my iron at.  No smoke.  I do have a digital display iron so it takes the guess work out.

post #3 of 9

SO, Dominator Tom, one of the company principals, is posting here regularly these days and will probably see this.  If you want you could PM him for a quicker response, I'm sure he could help you.


Do you have an iron thermometer to check how hot your iron really is getting?  Perhaps it's hotter than you think.


I have one of these http://www.tognar.com/coverite-ski-wax-iron-temperature-gauge-thermometer/

post #4 of 9

I have one of their base preps - Race Renew.  I've never had any smoke or "gummyness" issues. I would have used the temp on the box, which as I recall is on the low end, I think something between  100  and 120C. I'll check the box tonight.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.  The iron is not digital, rather has a dial.  But this was happening after I turned the temperature DOWN from what I had been using before, which was around the specified temp (250F is about 120C) and had worked for all of last season and probably some of the season before with the HX77.


The difference in behavior between the HX77 (melts, but not too fast, no smoke, clearly adhering to the base) and the graphite base prep (melts FAST, smokes, and the aforementioned gumminess, even at a significantly lower temp) is pretty striking.


I will see about putting a thermometer on it, just to check, but this was happening at a temp at least 20 C cooler than I've been using for a year and a half.   Which (another checkpoint) wasn't quite warm enough to handle FastWax HS 30 (Red), which is supposed to work best around 266 F.


Thanks for the suggestion to PM Dominator Tom.  I'm still new enough not to know the etiquette (like whether doing that is excessively intrusive).  But with a name like that, I guess he's set up as the go-to guy...

post #6 of 9


Sorry to get back to your observations a day late. I was waxing skis and boards all day at the USASA events at Dollar Mtn in Sun Valley and then went out for burgers and beer with coaches from the Sun Valley Ski Team, it was all about great friends and a great time.
You are asking two different questions; one concerning ironing temperature and once concerning the "goo".
The maximum ironing temperature of 120*C is not the recommended temperature for any of our waxes; it is the maximum limit that we consider safe for base and wax integrity. As we have indicated many times, the correct iron temperature varies for each wax, and wax mixture, and is easily identified as:
The iron setting at which the wax does not smoke while ironing, but a light wisp of smoke may come from the iron when it is lifted from the base:

We always felt that this description is far more instructive than a specific temperature for a number of reasons. One being the vast majority of users do not know what their iron temperature is, the second is that wax mixtures require different ironing temperatures -- and it is not always the average of two waxes -- and third, different irons have different spike ranges.
Find the correct iron setting for each of the waxes you are using (HX77, Renew ... etc.) by the method described and mark them on the iron dial with nail polish or a marker.
The "Goo" is coagulum and it is a good thing that you are seeing it, as that means your base is getting clean. The goo you observe contains graphite that has encapsulated dirt and some wax and it is clumping together. It is happening later in the ironing process because it takes time for the graphite to float the dirt out of the base.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

@Dominator Tom,


Thanks for getting back to me at all!   Seriously: I'm grateful for the information, and very much aware that you (and the others kind enough to lend their expertise here) have lives of your own.


I just sent you a PM stating that once I had glasses on, I was seeing scratches in the base rather than cloudiness, but that may have been jumping to yet another wrong conclusion:  the cloudiness follows a path, but I just noticed that it's a path described by a part of the iron that I just had to clean gunk off, so could easily be not scratches, but the coagulum you're talking about getting dragged along.


On the temperature, that was my mistake:  for some other waxes (like the FastWax I cited), they really do appear to say "use this range"  rather than "don't go above this."   I will back off in the future when using the base prep, and things should be good.


From your description of the coagulum, it sounds like I should do some more hot scraping, though---there's still some dirt to come out of those bases.


Thanks again for the explanation.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh, and just in case it wasn't clear:  Having tried a fairly wide range of alternatives:  I'm definitely a fan of Dominator waxes.  smile.gif

post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by SlowObstacle View Post

Oh, and just in case it wasn't clear:  Having tried a fairly wide range of alternatives:  I'm definitely a fan of Dominator waxes.  smile.gif

Me too, I've been using Hyperzoom for abut 13 years now. Love that stuff. I'll mix a little of the cold powder in if it's going to be real cold. Have a can left over from the kids racing day's back in the 90's.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Overheating (?) Wax -- Dominator-specific issue?