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Hard Waxes on Dry Bases

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Epic Readers,

 

I have been receiving many calls recently from skiers who are having trouble keeping their ski bases from looking dry.

 

The conversation usually goes something like this, "My bases look worn, mainly along the edges, and I keep hot waxing them with a hard wax to protect them from abrasion, but they look dry again after just one day of skiing".

 

For those of you who are just starting to wax your skis, or do not yet understand how waxes interface with the base material, you should understand that hard waxes, while doing a good job of resisting abrasion from the snow crystals as you ski, do not deeply penetrate the base when applying with an iron and stay mainly on the surface of the base. Since hard waxes do not penetrate and do not adhere well to the base, then they easily burn off again leaving your base looking dry and worn.

 

Conversely, soft waxes do not resist abrasion as well as hard waxes, but they penetrate and saturate the base much better than hard waxes and act as a primer (or binder) which holds the hard waxes on, thus creating real durability and long lasting wax performance.

 

In a nutshell, hard waxes hold on to soft waxes better than they adhere to base material while soft waxes hold on to the base better than hard waxes and this is why it is important to prep (hot wax) your skis first with a base prep (or soft wax) when they are new, freshly ground or looking dry.

 

Once the ski base has been saturated with a prep wax and allowed to cool, then scrape, brush and apply a harder glide wax over the top. Let that hard glide wax cool, then scrape, brush and enjoy longer lasting performance and juicy looking bases.

 

Hope that helps those of you who are just understanding the benefits of good base prep habits.

 

Tom

post #2 of 11

I heard, that once the base gets oxidized from lack thereof waxing, the p-tex in those areas will have trouble soaking up wax, even BP or warm temp wax ....  leading to a need for base grinding, then BP, then the of of choice and then staying on top of it.

 

Is this true?

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

@ Tanscrazydaisy

 

 

Oxidation is really not the issue when the base does not absorb wax.

 

Ptex refuses to absorb waxes when it has been repeatedly overheated by the iron when waxing. My method of breaking up this inability to absorb, is to first brush hard with a stiff steel brush and then iron in ReNew Base Prep several times, if the base still refuses to absorb waxes evenly, then I would stone grind the bases, re-set the bevels and saturate the bases with ReNew.

 

Usually the problem occurs along the edges as this is where the iron touches the metal edge which transmits heat under the base where the metal edge is glued to the core. This results in heating the base from both above as well as from below and this is why is is critical to set your iron temperature at the lowest possible setting for each wax; hot enough to just melt the wax evenly without scorching the base.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Tom

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator Tom View Post

@ Tanscrazydaisy

 

 

Oxidation is really not the issue when the base does not absorb wax.

 

Ptex refuses to absorb waxes when it has been repeatedly overheated by the iron when waxing. My method of breaking up this inability to absorb, is to first brush hard with a stiff steel brush and then iron in ReNew Base Prep several times, if the base still refuses to absorb waxes evenly, then I would stone grind the bases, re-set the bevels and saturate the bases with ReNew.

 

Usually the problem occurs along the edges as this is where the iron touches the metal edge which transmits heat under the base where the metal edge is glued to the core. This results in heating the base from both above as well as from below and this is why is is critical to set your iron temperature at the lowest possible setting for each wax; hot enough to just melt the wax evenly without scorching the base.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Tom

I don't agree with this at all.  There are two routes to lack of wax absorption:

 

1) Oxidation:  Oxidation occurs from surface-localized heat (from friction) in the presence of oxygen that transforms the ptex structure preventing wax absorption.  That's why your steel brush step above works; you removed the damaged surface ptex and exposed fresh ptex.  Friction is also why it preferentially affects the edges under the bindings; it is the section of the base that experiences the greatest frictional forces.

 

If what you say is true then one would expect the waxing problem to be random along the edge (e.g., it would be equally probable for it to occur at the tips before ever seeing it under foot) and most usually you see it under the bindings first.

 

Also your theory would not explain an oxidized base from someone that never waxed their skis and just skied it to death without ever using an iron.

 

2) Wear:  The other route to a wax issues is cause by the surface pores for wax absorption being beat down and closed by simple wear.  This is why it is recommended to use a metal brush tail to tip (the opposite direction of wear) to reopen the pores to allow wax absorption (and refresh the base structure at the same time).

post #5 of 11

Duh, are you referring to abrasion? It seems oxidation is http://www.chemguide.co.uk/inorganic/redox/definitions.html

Is oxidation, friction and abrasion all the same? Nope. And, it seems a metal brush would work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post

I don't agree with this at all.  There are two routes to lack of wax absorption:

 

1) Oxidation:  Oxidation occurs from surface-localized heat (from friction) in the presence of oxygen that transforms the ptex structure preventing wax absorption.  That's why your steel brush step above works; you removed the damaged surface ptex and exposed fresh ptex.  Friction is also why it preferentially affects the edges under the bindings; it is the section of the base that experiences the greatest frictional forces.

 

If what you say is true then one would expect the waxing problem to be random along the edge (e.g., it would be equally probable for it to occur at the tips before ever seeing it under foot) and most usually you see it under the bindings first.

 

Also your theory would not explain an oxidized base from someone that never waxed their skis and just skied it to death without ever using an iron.

 

2) Wear:  The other route to a wax issues is cause by the surface pores for wax absorption being beat down and closed by simple wear.  This is why it is recommended to use a metal brush tail to tip (the opposite direction of wear) to reopen the pores to allow wax absorption (and refresh the base structure at the same time).

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post


 

2) Wear:  The other route to a wax issues is cause by the surface pores for wax absorption being beat down and closed by simple wear.  This is why it is recommended to use a metal brush tail to tip (the opposite direction of wear) to reopen the pores to allow wax absorption (and refresh the base structure at the same time).

 

When I first read this line I thought of it as blasphemy!  But, Dr. D has always incredibly helpful.  Last night I did this to my race skis (it was either going to work or they were going in for a grind).  I was skeptical and anxious.  I did it.  Hot scraped and did it again.  Couple of hot waxes later and my bases are gorgeous again! 

 

yahoo.gif

 

Along these lines. lately I've been brushing with the brush going from tip to tail but me moving from tail to tip.  I always felt that whatever I just brushed out, was getting brushed back in  if you start brushing at the tip.

 

Thanks Marc.

 

Ken

post #7 of 11

What sort of metal? Brass or stiff stainless?

post #8 of 11
attitudexxx, i dont want to get into the middle of a possible debate on this one (though i will say that i HAVE been known to brush tail to tip during base break-in...) but i would advise against using a stiff steel to do this. soft steel or brass.

zenny
post #9 of 11

I used a brass with horse hair edges.

post #10 of 11

I avoid steel brushes once my edges are sharp.

Brass is softer than steel and won't affect your tune.

Steel brushes can ever so slightly dull a really sharp edge.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

I avoid steel brushes once my edges are sharp.

Brass is softer than steel and won't affect your tune.

Steel brushes can ever so slightly dull a really sharp edge.

agreed, but it's better to get the base structure refreshed and then re-hone the edges before the first coat of wax.  

 

Quote:
I used a brass with horse hair edges.
 
attitudexxx, i dont want to get into the middle of a possible debate on this one (though i will say that i HAVE been known to brush tail to tip during base break-in...) but i would advise against using a stiff steel to do this. soft steel or brass.

zenny

agreed guys that's what I used because i figured softer is better and epicski's email system didn't tell me that you guys replied.  I am in the process of many hot scrapes now.

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