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Waxing with a heat gun

post #1 of 172
Thread Starter 

As described here in text form:

 

http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/winter/snowboard_waxing.html

 

or in video form:

 

 

 

Youtube commenters seem to have a hard time accepting that this will ever work. But Matthias' main points are:

 

1) it's quick and painless, so you can wax more often, which is ultimately better

 

2) don't leave negative comments without trying it first.

 

So I tried it. It worked just fine.

 

I used the rubbing + heat gun technique on a new pair of Dynastar Chams and skied them for two days in the French Alps. The wax job was fine, it even looks like I got better penetration than with a traditional iron.

To make things more scientific I've prepared a pair of skis where one ski is waxed with an iron using conventional wisdom, and the other ski is waxed with the heat gun. I've re-waxed my Chams half-and-half, the tip of one ski and the tail of the other using the heat gun. I'll report back in a few weeks on those.

 

Not only did I get good glide, I actually liked the heat gun better as a tool.

 

1) I can SEE what I'm doing. I can see the wax melt and the base open up. The action isn't hidden under the sole of a hot iron where I'm always afraid I skimped out on wax and hot air pockets are sealing/burning my base.

 

2) I can modulate the heat better. I can move the gun closer to the base near edges or bindings or anything that draws heat away. I can point the gun at the edges, sidewall or even the topsheet if I feel the need to do so. Jacques has a neat video about this, to do a good job waxing, you need to warm up the entire ski. It looked as if the heat gun did a better job at that, just by feeling the temperature of the top sheet with my hand.

The 'patch' the heat gun is shooting hot air at is approximately 3cm by 3cm for my gun, I find that to be a more convenient size than the footprint of an iron. For work near edges or aluminum tip protectors anyway.

 

BTW a heat gun is also useful when your local ski shop has messed up a base grind and ptex hairs are sticking up everywhere. You brush so the hairs are pointing up, then hit them with the heat gun. If you get it right, their tips will melt first and they'll turn into little dandelion-like structures. The heads give a scraper something to grab onto to pull them off. It's somewhat dangerous though, the ski is unwaxed at that point.

post #2 of 172
Interesting. Since I'm not a handyman other than for my skis, I'm not familiar with heat guns. How controllable is the temperature and how high does it get? What about heat with non-hydro waxes? Seems like this would disperse fluoro vapors even worse into your indoor air. I don't often use them, but a concern. Also concerned about the lack of brushing by this guy. I'd still be brushing them.
post #3 of 172
While it certainly could be done, for most humans, I'd say it's a pretty patently bad idea. The possibility of over heating a particular spot would be quite high. And all this when you can pick up an old iron at goodwill.
post #4 of 172

After waxing skis for over 13 years, I'd say this is doable for anyone.

Remember when you first started tuning and waxing. You when slow and walked into how to do it.

 

Once you see how fast the heat gun works you'll get a feel for it. Start out say 10" above the surface and go from there.

 

Remember just like the iron keep it moving.

 

IMO some people, make to much out of the whole waxing process.

 

I use a All Temp wax on all my skis, melt it in let it cool, scrap most of it off, use my rotor brush to go up.down a few times then 3 passes tip to tail, left side, right side, finally down the center.

 

Any wax I don't get off will ski off soon.

post #5 of 172

Nothing wrong with this in my opinion, except you need to happen to already have a heatgun.

 

 

If you don't and most don't, you'd rather spend the same money to buy the ski wax iron.

 

While the OP says the smaller footprint is more convenient.  Once you get past the novelty of waxing your equipment, you'd rather just prefer the larger iron footprint to get things done faster.   

For a lot of the other issues, fiberlene technique is your friend

 

It is like washing your car with a toothbrush.  Yes you'll get finer results, but that level of detail is not needed

post #6 of 172

You sure can use a heat gun to wax, but be careful.  Much heat can be produced.  If you read the wax you should be fine.  Be sure to clean the base by brushing, hot scraping, or using Swix Glide Wax Cleaner before the final waxing.  Heat is heat, so it is good. 

 

On another note unless it is a "RACE" ski from Dynastar it is an extruded base, so don't expect the job to last very long as with all extruded bases very little wax is absorbed as most of the base is crystalline.   Very little to any extruded base is amorphous.   Some will argue that point but it is true. 

 

Happy Holidays Bears!  Here is my Hijack!

post #7 of 172
Certainly not as dial and forget as an iron, but go take a look around his site, I'd say he's handier than most people around. http://woodgears.ca/index.html

Oh and he's an engineer for Blackberry back in their glory days, not sure what he does now.
post #8 of 172

Heat guns get way too hot, and besides you don't want to just melt the wax you want to heat the entire base evenly to let the molten wax get absorbed by the base.  I've never seen a heat gun with a temperature setting either other that hot or HOT.

post #9 of 172

Why is everyone always trying to reinvent the wheel?

 

Ski specific wax iron with Fiberlene sheets and you are good to go!

 

A heat gun is just sheer stupidity!

 

Wrong tool for the job at hand!

post #10 of 172
I wax my skis in my cold garage and I use my heat gun to preheat or warm up the skis before dripping the wax onto them. I don't hold it anywhere near as close as the video because in scared to overheat the base but I have one in my garage so I use it. It helps get a more even heat across the skis to help melt the wax a tiny but faster that's all I use mine for.
post #11 of 172

I have extensive heat gun experience (over 16,000ft (yes 16k) of heat shrink and counting....don't ask cause I ain't saying).  I've got a very good feel of what the heat gun is doing and could very easily use it to wax skis.

 

HOWEVER

 

I wouldn't risk it on my skis. :nono:

 

A-man has it right, use the right tools.

post #12 of 172
16,000 ft ???
post #13 of 172

Yep , done in 2ft lengths

post #14 of 172
I have tapped in nails with Lineman's Pliers. I've never met anyone that went to the store to buy Lineman's Pliers so they could bang in nails. I've never thought "Need to bang some nails; better get my pliers."

There are correct tools for the job and those that people make do with. This is a substandard method and you are further ahead to use the Rays Way Waxwhizzard and rubbing the wax in and it takes away all the risk of heat not to mention it is less expensive than a heat gun. I would also bet it is even faster than the heat gun.

If you want to cheap out or be a rebel/non conformist, go ahead, but there are just as cheap and less risky ways to do that. You want to find the best way to do something, watch the pros. Anyone know of shops or WC Techs doing this?

I'd use a clothes iron before trying this.

Just my opinion,

Ken
post #15 of 172
It works. I tried with a digital heat gun. Keep it moving and make sure there is no more than one inch trail of molten wax and it should te the dame as an iron, right?

However, all ski tecs and reps I talk to say it is a bad idea...

I will however use it for the expensive rub on race wax, you can use a thinner layer with this method and save a lot of wax. Will it destroy the base? I cannot think it will heat it more than an iron for the same or less trail of molten wax... Physics is... blind right? All heat is equal?
post #16 of 172

You can also mow your lawn with a pair of scissors and a ruler, but why?   

post #17 of 172

If one doesn't have a hot box, this may be the better method for waxing the new DPS Spoon type skis.  Irons are flat, but the ski base is not.   Spoon features a convex 3-D shovel.

I really don't see any difference from the heat gun and the newfangled infrared machine from Montana or whoever. 

None the less I would say one should use extreme caution and the lower heat setting when trying this for the first time.   Maybe take some temp. readings from a given distance from the gun as well prior to using.

post #18 of 172

Yep.     Remember nanowax spray, before Holmenkol bought them?     Heat gunning was the recommended method of application.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by razie View Post

It works. I tried with a digital heat gun.
post #19 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

You can also mow your lawn with a pair of scissors and a ruler, but why?

because, EVERY SINGLE TIME I do it, by the time i get to one end, the other end is already out of spec! that's the only reason I gave up. Instead, I got this badass laser with micrometer adjustments and 3D mapping, hooked up to the supercomputer in my basement, to chop each blade of grass off as soon as it attempts to grow even a 1/1000 of an inch.

 

note - i usually screw it up, since the GG (Grass Growth) is measured in thousands of an inch and the BLA (Badass Laser Adjustment) is in micrometers - so I can never get it really level, it's always a few micrometers off, which is I why I get so much grief from my wife that I'm probably going to pave it all.

 

cheers

post #20 of 172

When you get tired of that wimpy heat gun or have ruined too many bases. Try wax heated to liquid then add water for a good result.

Guaranteed to interest your neighbors.

 

http://youtu.be/Wu2zl_8ML58

post #21 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post

It works. I tried with a digital heat gun. Keep it moving and make sure there is no more than one inch trail of molten wax and it should te the dame as an iron, right?

However, all ski tecs and reps I talk to say it is a bad idea...

I will however use it for the expensive rub on race wax, you can use a thinner layer with this method and save a lot of wax. Will it destroy the base? I cannot think it will heat it more than an iron for the same or less trail of molten wax... Physics is... blind right? All heat is equal?

I will repeat !

Ski Wax Iron and FIBERLENE SHEETS!!!
post #22 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post


I will repeat !

Ski Wax Iron and FIBERLENE SHEETS!!!

how do you use the fiberlene? one ski-length strip iron moving on it OR small strip under iron, moving with the iron?

post #23 of 172
Being cheap, I use one smallish piece, moving with the iron.
post #24 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post
 

how do you use the fiberlene? one ski-length strip iron moving on it OR small strip under iron, moving with the iron?


You'd really use a ski length strip?? I'm with sib.

I will use a bigger piece than the iron though sometimes while moving it with the iron and let it get to a fresh spot at some point. Some people use those blue paper towels instead of fiberlene.

post #25 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 


You'd really use a ski length strip?? I'm with sib.

I will use a bigger piece than the iron though sometimes while moving it with the iron and let it get to a fresh spot at some point. Some people use those blue paper towels instead of fiberlene.

you are kidding right? the cost in wax of one single race wax job is greater than an entire role of fierlene (not to mention the beer) - sure i would use a long strip... if that's what you do with it - i'm asking 'cause I don't know - haven't done that yet... i like how my iron glides... but i will try it. have to try everything...

post #26 of 172

@ Elvo

 

No comment on the wisdom of using the heat gun for wax application. People sometimes have an itch that they may need to scratch, but I will comment on the safety of using a heat gun on fluoro waxes. Fluoros sublime -- meaning they can go from solid to gas without going through a liquid state -- and the fluoro vapors can reach the heating element of the heat gun. It is well known that fluoros should not come in contact with flames or heating elements, as this will generate toxic hydrofluoric acid vapors, so if you insist on using a heat gun you should limit its use to hydrocarbon waxes.

 

Have fun, ski fast ... be safe!

 

Tom

post #27 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


You'd really use a ski length strip?? I'm with sib.
I will use a bigger piece than the iron though sometimes while moving it with the iron and let it get to a fresh spot at some point. Some people use those blue paper towels instead of fiberlene.
I use the sheets.

Each sheet does 2 skis

You place back 1/2 of the sheet under the iron and pull slowly along the length of the ski as you move the iron.

When ready to wax the other ski, you flip the sheet around putting unused portion under iron and repeat!

http://www.tognar.com/swix-fiberlene-hot-waxing-pro-paper-pack/


Product Description
Use a sheet of this lint-free absorbent paper between your iron and the ski or snowboard base during your last tip-to-tail pass when hot waxing.
It absorbs excess wax and dirt, helps protect the base from overheating when applying cold waxes, and leaves a thin and uniform wax layer that requires less scraping afterwards.
Comes in a pack of 100 sheets and each sheet measures 5 x 9 .
post #28 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator Tom View Post
 

@ Elvo

 

No comment on the wisdom of using the heat gun for wax application. People sometimes have an itch that they may need to scratch, but I will comment on the safety of using a heat gun on fluoro waxes. Fluoros sublime -- meaning they can go from solid to gas without going through a liquid state -- and the fluoro vapors can reach the heating element of the heat gun. It is well known that fluoros should not come in contact with flames or heating elements, as this will generate toxic hydrofluoric acid vapors, so if you insist on using a heat gun you should limit its use to hydrocarbon waxes.

 

Have fun, ski fast ... be safe!

 

Tom


Great point Tom.  Be safe with wax vapors and dust.  If I waxed more than my family skis I would always wear a dust and fume mask when roto brushing or waxing.

post #29 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator Tom View Post
 

@ Elvo

 

No comment on the wisdom of using the heat gun for wax application. People sometimes have an itch that they may need to scratch, but I will comment on the safety of using a heat gun on fluoro waxes. Fluoros sublime -- meaning they can go from solid to gas without going through a liquid state -- and the fluoro vapors can reach the heating element of the heat gun. It is well known that fluoros should not come in contact with flames or heating elements, as this will generate toxic hydrofluoric acid vapors, so if you insist on using a heat gun you should limit its use to hydrocarbon waxes.

 

Have fun, ski fast ... be safe!

 

Tom

great point. yes - I believe that will happen around 1000 degrees, so if the digital heat gun stays at 850, it can't go there. But, the great point is that because of the air stream, it will extract much more vapors from the wax than otherwise - i did make that point on my review of that method: http://www.racerkidz.com/wiki/Blog:Razie_Ski_Blog/Post:Hot_waxing_the_skis_with_a_heat_gun

 

how about using this as a simple travel kit? does that part make sense? small kit, few things to carry, no mess hot waxing? that was my other reason why you'd use this method?

post #30 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post
 small kit, few things to carry, no mess hot waxing? that was my other reason why you'd use this method?

 

Of course, corking is even better for that :)

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