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Filing side edge: how often does it need to be done

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I've seen many post that recommend polishing the side edge with a progressively finer series of stones after about 10 ski days they , which is what I try to do.  After the edge angle has been set how often do you need to use a file on the edges (assuming you do not want to change the edge angle)?

post #2 of 29

When you can't get it sharp with a stone, use the file.

 

Edit: it's also better to do a "touch-up" light sharpening more often than wait until it really needs it.  The frequency of sharpening depends on the conditions you ski.  If you are on ice, it's a touch up every day or two.  Hard granular man-made snow every three or four days.  If you are always in natural snow, don't worry about it.

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

When you can't get it sharp with a stone, use the file.

 

Edit: it's also better to do a "touch-up" light sharpening more often than wait until it really needs it.  The frequency of sharpening depends on the conditions you ski.  If you are on ice, it's a touch up every day or two.  Hard granular man-made snow every three or four days.  If you are always in natural snow, don't worry about it.


What he said.  I very rarely ski without touching up my edges.  I don't sharpen them much but I polish them religiously.  Sometimes I don't have time or am too tired to touch them up for the next day, but not often.  I tend to at least  brush them out, polish the edges, and rub on some wax follow by a quick scrape and brushing.

post #4 of 29
i suppose the best answer is, it depends on snow conditions, as ghost has said. really agressive snow (ice/hard/manmade/) will dull them faster.

also, it depends on how much edge your skis have as there is a finite amount (race skis tend to have relatively little edge compared to all mountain). if you maintain reqularly with diamond stones you can keep them sharp for quite some time, and then before they get too dull, light touch ups with a fine file are best as they 1) remove less material than a courser file and 2) because of 1, is easier.

i have found checking for sharpness is best done with the back of your hand as the skin there is very sensitive (if they are sharp it will feel very "grabby" on your skin) as opposed to the old fingernail shave test as you can shave fingernail with a fairly dull edge.

p.s. a sidewall planer/trimmer is a must for accurate bevels and sharper edges.

zenny
post #5 of 29
....i forgot to add that dirty snow (like in early season/spring conditions) is also a major contributor to dulling.

zenny
post #6 of 29

I touch up/polish  side edges with diamond stones (usually a 200 and then a 400, I  only use a 100 if some damage is apparant) and polish/hone with a surgical stone followed by removal of any hanging burr with an Arkansas stone every time I ski!


Edited by Atomicman - 10/21/13 at 6:10pm
post #7 of 29
+1...everytime is key! wink.gif

zenny
post #8 of 29
Yep. ...a matter of hours, not days!
post #9 of 29

Hey Prosper, I see you are from the CO front range.  I'll stir the pot a bit here.   A dirty little secret in case you haven't realized it:  some of us in CO don't really tune our skis very often.   If you need edges you are skiing in the wrong places :)  Now if you race, or insist on cruising in "icy" conditions you probably want to ignore my advice.  The truth is our "icy" conditions would be fantastic skiing elsewhere.  We really don't know what "icy" runs look like.   If it hasn't snowed for a while, you can just head into the trees, bowls and find north facing runs.  And if it's really, really bad, well that's when you see people playing golf and riding bikes in Denver mid-winter.  Take the weekend off.

 

Here's my tuning program for full disclosure:  I take my skis in to be tuned and repaired each year after most the rocks on the black runs get covered in Jan or Feb, depending on the year.   Repeat again next year as long as they are reparable, otherwise buy new skis.  That's it.  I have friends that do half that or less.

post #10 of 29
^^^Blasphemer!!! biggrin.gif

zenny
post #11 of 29
I tune every time I wax, but it's more a convenience thing. If I'm bringing them home, might as well do the edges while I'm at it. But it's really not an issue most of the time.

Last season it was more of an issue though, due to the warmer and less snowy conditions. Discovered I need my base bevel reset.. :-\
post #12 of 29

   In all seriousness though prosper, as we said above, regular maintenance with diamond stones will keep them honed for quite some time-- but eventually they will need some filing (again, depends on the snow). 

 

   FWIW, I've done tunes for people that say they only ski soft snow :rolleyes, but when I look at their bases and edges it looks like they prefer gravel roads and/or skiing through the sanded parking lot instead :ROTF

 

    zenny

post #13 of 29
I touch up my edges every ski day, I even carry a stone with me on the hill incase I hit a rock. Why anyone would leave their edges for 10+ days without a tune/touch up is silly. My life depends on how well my ski performs, it's like a doctor using a dull scalpel.
post #14 of 29

Adding a couple of questions to this forum (but hopefully not stealing it) "How often should you get them professionally ground?" Example...I ski 60 plus days a year (all mountain), replace my skies about every three seasons, and have only been having them ground once each season, touching up as needed by hand pretty much as Zentune has suggested.

 

Also, roughly how many grinds are in a all mountain ski assuming you do not change the side and base angles after the first set?

post #15 of 29
I only grind mine if the structure is worn and it's impacting performance, and then lightly. If you're replacing your skis every 180 days of use, you should have base beyond what is normally considered a ski's useful life of 100 days.. Don't worry, being broke I'm not replacing mine at 100 days anymore either.. Just don't go nuts with the grinds.
post #16 of 29

   :hijack:   Sib...I was up in Whitefish today on the mountain (Northern Lights drive--ski in, ski out mansion  :rolleyes) delivering a mattress.....made me think of you ;), sure was pretty up there today! Anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled progrmming.....

 

     zenny

post #17 of 29
Wish I'd known, we could have met for lunch, along with that guy @Alpenglow.. :-)

I can assure you I don't live in that neighborhood... Even if it is only about 15 minutes from me.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Wish I'd known, we could have met for lunch, along with that guy @Alpenglow..

 

   Thought about PM'ing you, but wouldn't have had the time anyway as we had 9 deliveries from Missoula, up to Whitefish, and then down the seeley/swan valley...:) 

 

   zenny

post #19 of 29

There are two edges to the edge, the side and the bottom. Should you work them both, and is one more important then the other in achieving a sharp edge?

post #20 of 29

   Unless you are setting up/filing a flat ski (ie, 0* base bevel--90* side, from the factory or after a grind), you should ONLY sharpen from the side as sharpening from the base will only increase it's bevel, which is undesirable as the base edge bevel is responsible for how quickly a ski engages when rolled on edge (the higher the base edge angle, the longer it takes the ski to engage)...

 

    zenny

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

There are two edges to the edge, the side and the bottom. Should you work them both, and is one more important then the other in achieving a sharp edge?


The only times you should touch your base edge is after a grind or if you hit a rock and gently user a wet some or diamond file to remove the burr.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post
 

   Unless you are setting up/filing a flat ski (ie, 0* base bevel--90* side, from the factory or after a grind), you should ONLY sharpen from the side as sharpening from the base will only increase it's bevel, which is undesirable as the base edge bevel is responsible for how quickly a ski engages when rolled on edge (the higher the base edge angle, the longer it takes the ski to engage)...

 

    zenny

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post


The only times you should touch your base edge is after a grind or if you hit a rock and gently user a wet some or diamond file to remove the burr.

 

 

Thanks guys. I usually just get rid of the nicks on the base edge then work the side edge for sharpness. I just wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I follow instructions well but had never really thought about it until this thread; you do work both side of a knife to get it really sharp.

post #23 of 29
Think of ski edge as a chisel ground knife, lol.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

 

 

 

 

Thanks guys. I usually just get rid of the nicks on the base edge then work the side edge for sharpness. I just wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I follow instructions well but had never really thought about it until this thread; you do work both side of a knife to get it really sharp.

 

So the way I understand it, as zentune mentioned, every time you touch your stone to the base, even if you use a 0.5 guide, you're still increasing the bevel - because each pass makes the angle a bit more acute. 

 

 

It does raise the question - when there's a jaggy in the edge (and a corresponding gouge that the jaggy was born from), what should you do? Is the steel supposed to get bent back into shape when you sharpen the edge? Or are you just sharpening the jaggy flat and be OK that there's a gouged out part? I can't imagine taking off so much side edge to grind out past a jaggy...  

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

So the way I understand it, as zentune mentioned, every time you touch your stone to the base, even if you use a 0.5 guide, you're still increasing the bevel - because each pass makes the angle a bit more acute. 

 

 

It does raise the question - when there's a jaggy in the edge (and a corresponding gouge that the jaggy was born from), what should you do? Is the steel supposed to get bent back into shape when you sharpen the edge? Or are you just sharpening the jaggy flat and be OK that there's a gouged out part? I can't imagine taking off so much side edge to grind out past a jaggy...  

 

If you only touch the side edge, doesn't that mean you'll have a burr building on the bottom edge?

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 

 

If you only touch the side edge, doesn't that mean you'll have a burr building on the bottom edge?

Anytime you work on the side edge the 2nd to last step is to knock off the hanging burr on the base edge. freehand with an Arkansas or surgical stone. You place the ski in the vise,  side edge up,  base away from you and place the stone FLAT against the base edge with about 1/3 of the stone up above the side edge and use your thumb on the side wall to stabilize the stone holding it flat against the base edge with your fingers. Make a couple of passes until quiet and your good to go.  I then use a very hard blue gummi stone with absolutely ZERO pressure along the point of the edge at a 45 degree angle for an ultra smooth burr free finish.


Edited by Atomicman - 10/27/13 at 5:41pm
post #27 of 29

    ^^^^^What he said!!! Thumbs Up

 

     zenny

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

It does raise the question - when there's a jaggy in the edge (and a corresponding gouge that the jaggy was born from), what should you do? Is the steel supposed to get bent back into shape when you sharpen the edge? Or are you just sharpening the jaggy flat and be OK that there's a gouged out part? I can't imagine taking off so much side edge to grind out past a jaggy...  

 

 

  Yeah, some "gouges" you may not be able to remove even with a grind as they can be very deep into the base edge. The best thing to do is smooth them out a bit as Atomicman has outlined above. Remember too that when you hit a rock, it can cause an area of hardened steel around the burr which the file won't be able to cut through so you will need to remove/soften it a bit with a diamond or shop stone before filing the side edge, otherwise the file will just "skip" over the area in question....

 

    zenny

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post
 

 

 

  Yeah, some "gouges" you may not be able to remove even with a grind as they can be very deep into the base edge. The best thing to do is smooth them out a bit as Atomicman has outlined above. Remember too that when you hit a rock, it can cause an area of hardened steel around the burr which the file won't be able to cut through so you will need to remove/soften it a bit with a diamond or shop stone before filing the side edge, otherwise the file will just "skip" over the area in question....

 

    zenny

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