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Help with my shopping list for waxing and sharpening

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I've been doing a lot of research on tuning skis, and I've come up with this list of items to get along with questions. I'm an intermediate skier, in the north east, skiing about a dozen times a year. I'm not looking for performance every time I ski, I just want my skis to last as long as possible, and not spend a fortune constantly going back to a shop. I'm mostly following the guide at skituning101.com. I'll start out with waxing and sharpening the side edges.

 

If I need the base edges sharpened, I think I'll get that done by a shop, unless you guys disagree and think it's as easy to do as the side edges. Any base repairs that are needed will be done by a shop. Is this typically done with a base grind, or do some of them actually fill in with ptex?

 

1. wax remover/base cleaner vs hot scrape. Is there a difference between wax remover and base cleaner? Does it get the same thing done as a hot scrape (cleaning skis)? Is it worth getting wax remover or base cleaner?

2. Plastic scraper

3. Copper brush (for after scraping) and nylon brush (for opening structure and after brushing with the copper brush) Edit: artech doesn't have copper brushes, but they have stainless steel and brass. Which one should I get to use as the first brush after scraping? Also, is a horse hair brush that important?

4. rubber band

5. Two spring clamps

6. Some general-purpose cold wax

7. skiing iron

8. 200 and 400 grit diamond stones. Do I need more?

9. 1° side edge guide

10. fibertex pads for after a base grind. Which grit do I want?

11. Gummi stone to remove hanging burr. Which grit do I want here?

12. 1° Base edge guide, if you guys think it's as easy as doing the side edge

 

As far as a ski vice, I'll get creative with four bricks and duct tape.

 

I noticed that the sidewall on my skis (Head Rev 80) is flush against the side edge. How much sharpening can I do until I need a sidewall planner?

 

Any comments? Missing anything?


Edited by nemesis256 - 12/8/13 at 11:11am
post #2 of 25
... Sorry, spent a lot of time answering and then it all vanished when I submitted. Can't do it again.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

... Sorry, spent a lot of time answering and then it all vanished when I submitted. Can't do it again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

... Sorry, spent a lot of time answering and then it all vanished when I submitted. Can't do it again.
hissyfit.gifspit.gif

Maybe some cutting and pasting from other threads...no, that would take about as long.

Hey, nemesis256, while waiting for more experts with less tired fingers to come on, check out the three or four recent threads about starting up with a tuning-and-waxing hobby. There's a lot of discussion about cleaning bases with a series of hot waxing, which brushes people like to use and in what order, typical edge angles, that kind of thing.

I'm still learning, so rather than parroting other people's posts I'll suggest reading the highly trustworthy info in those threads from the folks who've been maintaining their own skis for years. Then you'll have even more questions.


Edited to add: the most recent discussions are in 'tuning success' and 'what tuning needs doing to my new skis,' but there's more sprinkled in lots of other threads. Basically, all us gear nuts love yammering on about tuning and tools and everything related to them. biggrin.gif
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post
 

I've been doing a lot of research on tuning skis, and I've come up with this list of items to get along with questions. I'm an intermediate skier, in the north east, skiing about a dozen times a year. I'm not looking for performance every time I ski, I just want my skis to last as long as possible, and not spend a fortune constantly going back to a shop. I'm mostly following the guide at skituning101.com. I'll start out with waxing and sharpening the side edges.

 

If I need the base edges sharpened, I think I'll get that done by a shop, unless you guys disagree and think it's as easy to do as the side edges. Any base repairs that are needed will be done by a shop. Is this typically done with a base grind, or do some of them actually fill in with ptex?

 

1. wax remover/base cleaner vs hot scrape. Is there a difference between wax remover and base cleaner? Does it get the same thing done as a hot scrape (cleaning skis)? Is it worth getting wax remover or base cleaner?

2. Plastic scraper

3. Copper brush (for after scraping) and nylon brush (for opening structure and after brushing with the copper brush) Edit: artech doesn't have copper brushes, but they have stainless steel and brass. Which one should I get to use as the first brush after scraping? Also, is a horse hair brush that important?

4. rubber band

5. Two spring clamps

6. Some general-purpose cold wax

7. skiing iron

8. 200 and 400 grit diamond stones. Do I need more?

9. 1° side edge guide

10. fibertex pads for after a base grind. Which grit do I want?

11. Gummi stone to remove hanging burr. Which grit do I want here?

12. 1° Base edge guide, if you guys think it's as easy as doing the side edge

 

As far as a ski vice, I'll get creative with four bricks and duct tape.

 

I noticed that the sidewall on my skis (Head Rev 80) is flush against the side edge. How much sharpening can I do until I need a sidewall planner?

 

Any comments? Missing anything?

 

I'm no expert but you're not paying so you get what you pay for.

 

Tuning and waxing are individual activities.  By that, I mean there are various ways to do it and most are acceptable for a recreational skier.  In other words, figure out how you want to do it and jump right in. You will really have to screw up to screw up your skis.  Getting the iron too hot is one way to screw up.

 

Buy right and buy once or you will spend a lot of money on this stuff.

 

1.  Base cleaner - as a recreational skier, get a coarse steel brush for cleaning your bases.  I like the one from Swix.

2.  Plastic scraper - buy a couple of them.

3.  Brushes - I prefer oval.  In addition to the coarse steel, get a coarse bronze, a soft bronze, a stiff nylon and a soft nylon.  Swix, Toko, and Briko-Maplus have good brushes.

4.  Brake retainers - rubber bands will work but they break often.  Look at the websites and get a couple of different brake retainers.  Some work better on bindings on a plate while others work better on flat mounted Look Pivot binders.

6.  Try a wax like Swix CH 6 or the glide wax that Terry at Slidewright sells.  Both are less expensive and will get the job done.

5. and 7-12.  Because you are new to this, get a multi-tool.  Take a look at the SkiVisions tool that Terry sells and the stones that go with it.  Using that for awhile will give you confidence to try guides such as SVST if you are so inclined.  But you may find the multi-tool is all you ever need.

 

I think you'll find that a real ski vise works much better than bricks and duct tape.

 

Are you missing anything?  Of course you are but you are headed down a road where you can always find something to buy if you like tuning and waxing skis.

post #5 of 25

Just my personal opinion.

1. wax remover/base cleaner vs hot scrape. Is there a difference between wax remover and base cleaner? Does it get the same thing done as a hot scrape (cleaning skis)? Is it worth getting wax remover or base cleaner?------ Nice but not necessary-just hot scrape.

2. Plastic scraper ------A couple of them

3. Copper brush (for after scraping) and nylon brush (for opening structure and after brushing with the copper brush) Edit: artech doesn't have copper brushes, but they have stainless steel and brass. Which one should I get to use as the first brush after scraping? Also, is a horse hair brush that important?-----Try the Oval Stainless and Hard Horsehair from Artech if you use the harder BM RBM Wax.

4. rubber band---Buy a few heavy duty ones from Artech and split them length wise/very stiff.

5. Two spring clamps--Only need one.

6. Some general-purpose cold wax---I really like the Briko-Maplus Race Base Medium Wax from Slidewright/wide temp range, great glide, long lasting.

7. skiing iron

8. 200 and 400 grit diamond stones. Do I need more?--At least one fine file and a panzer file if you ever set your own side edges.

9. 1° side edge guide----Really recommend a 3 degree side edge for Eastern Skiing.

10. fibertex pads for after a base grind. Which grit do I want?---You can pick up the heavy duty 3m fiber pads in the grocery store.

11. Gummi stone to remove hanging burr. Which grit do I want here?---I use the course one for deburring and edge rust removal.

12. 1° Base edge guide, if you guys think it's as easy as doing the side edge----Not needed if you have the shop set your base bevel.

post #6 of 25
If you eat broccoli, you don't need brake holders. I finally had so many broccoli bands I've resumed tossing them in the trash. Some skis need one band and some skis need three bands, but so what?
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies, couple more questions based on them.

 

why do I need multiple plastic scrapers?

 

I'm planning on getting Swix CH10 for warm wax and CH8 for "cold". CH8 more closely matches the temperatures around here than C7 does. Does the hardness/softness of the wax change which brushes I should use after scraping?

 

JMD, Why do you recommend a 3 degree side edge? I haven't bothered looking up the difference between the different side edge angles, but I was just planning on keeping the 1 degree my Head skis have.

post #8 of 25
I've had one sharpener for eight years, I just sharpen it, can't imagine needing another one unless I'd sanded it down to nothing.

Ice coasters like sharp edges. Here it doesn't matter that much. Depends on how you ski, really. If you skid your turns, you might not be happy with a sharp edge until you learn to use your edges better.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post
 

Thanks for the replies, couple more questions based on them.

 

why do I need multiple plastic scrapers?

 

I'm planning on getting Swix CH10 for warm wax and CH8 for "cold". CH8 more closely matches the temperatures around here than C7 does. Does the hardness/softness of the wax change which brushes I should use after scraping?

 

JMD, Why do you recommend a 3 degree side edge? I haven't bothered looking up the difference between the different side edge angles, but I was just planning on keeping the 1 degree my Head skis have.

 

When you wax multiple pairs of skis, having several plastic scrapers allows you to keep working instead of stopping to clean the one you have that has become all gunked up.  Also, if you break one, you have a spare.

 

Most of my skis have a 2 degree side, which is mostly what I need at TSV for soft snow and packed powder.  I have a 3 degree side on a pair of Fischer slalom skis.  A 3 degree side will give you more bite on ice or very firm conditions.  I didn't know Heads had a 1 degree side.  Rossis come with a 1/1.  

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I had my first (messy) experience with waxing. Living in an apartment, I'm rather limited with where I can do this. I put plastic sheeting down on the floor of my tiny kitchen, and worked on the floor. It was a pain in the ass (and the knees) but it worked. I have some new questions now.

 

1. While ironing the tip, the top of the ski would get warm sometimes when I spend too much time in the area. The thing is, I wasn't staying there for very long, maybe 3-4 seconds, and always moving but staying in the general area. How warm can the top get before it potentially damages the ski?

 

2. How necessary is it too hot scrape? Because it's such a pain to work on the floor, I don't really want to have to do it every time. Also, I'm not sure I was really hot scraping, because the wax cooled down so fast it was mostly solid by the time I got to scraping it.

 

3. After brushing, I noticed there was a dusting of wax all over my ski (sides, top, bindings). Is there any way to avoid this? If not, how do I clean it and how important is it to clean it?

 

4. As far as sharpening the side edge, how do I know if the side wall is getting in the way? Do I have to mark the edge with a marker every time to make sure it's removing the edge evenly?

post #11 of 25
  1. Warm at the level that NO ONE could ever label it as "hot".  
  2. Hot scraping does not need to be done every time unless the snow is dirty (like in the spring).  Once or twice a season should be fine, assuming your area gets regular doses of new snow.  When I hot scrape, the last pass of the iron I will wait just like one beat before starting the scrape.  With harder waxes, I might have the iron in one hand and the scraper in the other hand just behind it.  
  3. Find a towel if your brush is leaving stuff behind.  Something like a sham wow or whatever is not going to replace wax dust with lint.
  4. Most of the time you should NOT be using a file, just a diamond stone, so we'd call it "polishing".  I certainly don't actually use a FILE that often and remove edge material.  If I do, I use the marker.  If it is NOT removing it by the sidewall, then your sidewall is in the way.  
post #12 of 25

You'll know when the side wall in get in the way by the plastic in the file.

 

You should always cut the side wall back a little. I do it once a season, you don't need to take much off.

 

My skis get tuned after every use. My 7 y/o AC40's have a ton of edge left and ski get with lot's of camber.

 

You don't need to take off a lot of metal to get them sharp.

 

You do need to have flat bases, or mostly flat. to get the correct angle on the edges.

 

skis visions base flatting tools are great.

 

Don't over think this, its easy once you figure it out.

 

You also don't need perfect bases, you only need wax in them. My 3y/o Kendos have never been on a machine, never hot scraped, just use the base flattener prior to waxing and setting the edges before waxing. I wax them every 3 or 4 day's.

 

I use Dominator Hyper zoom and other Dominator race wax's left over from the son's racing day's. He stopped racing 11 years ago. That's how little wax you need to use. People have a hard time keep up with on the flats, its all in the wax, not how perfect the bases look.

 

When you get good invest in a rotor brush, I love mine, got the set up in 1999.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 

Most of the time you should NOT be using a file, just a diamond stone, so we'd call it "polishing".  I certainly don't actually use a FILE that often and remove edge material.  If I do, I use the marker.  If it is NOT removing it by the sidewall, then your sidewall is in the way.  

Yeah, I was also talking about a diamond stone. I don't completely understand your answer, but I think what you're saying is that the marker method is the only way to find out if the side wall is in the way of the stone. How often should I be sharpening with a diamond stone anyway? And is it possible to remove any burrs that go into the edge (are those called dings?) with a diamond coarse stone?

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
 

You'll know when the side wall in get in the way by the plastic in the file.

Except I'm talking about using a diamond stone (should've specified). Does plastic still get in the stone? If I get any  burrs on the bottom edge, is it okay to remove them with a stone without a guide? No risk of changing the angle?

post #15 of 25

I polish with a series of diamond stones every time I wax, always using a guide, but there are those who don't.  Personally, I'm not the confident in my pressure, etc., to forego the guide.  The main reason I polish when I wax is mostly I'm leaving the skis in the locker, so if I'm carting them to the car, might as well do both.  

 

If your sidewall is interfering with the stone, you can generally feel a total lack of drag, but if you are not that sensitized yet, I'd recommend that you just cut a bit of sidewall off at the beginning of the season, and really, that should be plenty.  

 

I would NOT try and totally get rid of a ding, just make it as smooth an edge as you can get by polishing everything sticking OUT from the edge.  If you try and take the edge down to the ding, your bevel will soon be either wavy or you will have no edges left.  I see you are in the Northeast.  YOU DO need edges more than I do, but depending on your technique, perfection may not be adding anything.  

post #16 of 25

As a fellow apartment dweller, let me suggest something a little different for waxing.  There's no way around it, scraping and brushing wax is messy.  More important than the mess, no matter how careful you are, the fine wax shavings and dust will get on the floor, making wood floors or kitchen tiles as slippery as a curling rink.  No matter how well you vacuum, the floor will be dangerous.  I've almost killed myself a few times, and, more importantly, so has my wife.  (Fortunately, I've been able to carve out a man cave/tuning table/workshop out of a very small room when we renovated last year, so I can make all the mess I want now.)

 

Instead of scraping and brushing, use the fiberlene waxing methond:

  1. Simply "crayon" a layer of wax on the skis (you can make it go on easier by briefly touching the wax to a warm iron).  Basically rub a block of wax along the bases until there is a thin layer on the whole base. 
  2. Put a warm waxing iron on top of a piece of fiberlene
  3. Run the iron down the ski, tip to tail, with the fiberlene between the iron and the ski. 
  4. Repeat step 3 once or twice with fresh fiberlene.
  5. Done.

 

With this method, you wax your skis and eliminate the scraping and brushing steps.  The fiberlene also helps take some dirt out of the bases like hot scraping.  You'll see the dirt on the used paper.  I'm sure some people here will disagree with eliminating scraping and brushing, but for a recreational skier, I personally think this is more than adequate.  After one or two runs down a hill (especially if it's really cold or you're on artificial snow, the snow will have brushed any excess wax out of the structure of your bases. 

 

I've also had good luck with the all-in-one multi-tool for edge tuning.  I know many more advanced tuners prefer dedicated single-angle edge guides, but you can't beat the convenience of this tool, especially in an apartment where space is limited.  It also travels well.  Get one or two diamond stones, and you're good to go.  Does the base and side edges,  in varying angles. 

 

Finally, get a ski vise.  It will make your life much easier, and odds are, you can attach it to your kitchen counter. 

post #17 of 25
ADKS's fiberlene method is a good idea to protect your bases; even then, keep the iron moving slowly and steadily, and until you're comfortable with waxing, avoid very hard waxes with high melting points.Touch the topsheet of the ski frequently; the tip and tail will get warmer faster than the thicker parts of the ski, the bindings are attached by metal screws that can heat up and cause p-tex bubbles, and as people here have said, you never want the base to get hot to the touch, just warmed.

I'm waxing in my living room too, and can offer the following:

1. Put masking tape on the sides of the ski below the bindings to avoid getting wax on them or dust particles in them. A paintbrush will get wax out of nooks and crannies.

2. I put my doormat at the edge of my dropcloth, and wipe my feet every time I walk off the plastic onto the floor, which has dramatically cut down on the amount wax and steel dust tracked across the apartment.

3. If you've got radiators and static is making your wax adhere to everything, try a humidifier. My wax was flying all over the place until I put one right next to my provisional bench. It's bone dry here and my whole living space is open, but if you can close the door to your waxing room it'll take less time. Bonus: your plants will like it.

If you can possibly afford a three point vise, it will really does make things a whole lot easier. It can be done on chairs or, theoretically, the floor, but even a cheap three point vise that uses a lasso to hold the ski down is worlds better than that. Spring for it if you can. You'll want something better, and it's worth it, but I can't imagine stabilizing a ski enough for edge work while working on the floor.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

This is insane! Took me half an hour to scrape and brush a single ski! Not comfortable at all on the floor! I'm taking probably about 20 passes with the scraper, takes forever.

 

Thanks ADKS, I'll have to consider it

post #19 of 25
My daughter early on attached her vises to a deck railing. Keeps the mess outside, but even heating is tougher. Finally got her a collapsible table that I liked well enough to buy another for myself when she moved out.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post

Except I'm talking about using a diamond stone (should've specified). Does plastic still get in the stone? If I get any  burrs on the bottom edge, is it okay to remove them with a stone without a guide? No risk of changing the angle?

 



Same thing, you'll see the plastic.

Personally, I also don't worry about the burr. I use the diamnod stone 3 or 4 times up/down the edge, dry it with a old towel and do the other edge.

I use a 100 grit stone 99% of the time. May be use a 400 grit a couple times after that. once twice a year. (after reading on here) and find on difference.

It really doesn't matter, the ski are great.

In fact, I've been wondering about my 3 y/o Kendo's, 80+ day's on them. I demoed new one on Saturday. They ski no different then mine, same edge hold, almost the same quickness as mine.

I don't need to replace mine.

Just to repeat, mine have never been to a shop for a tune. They are set at 1 and 3 tip to tail, never de-tuned.
post #21 of 25

 

1. wax remover/base cleaner vs hot scrape. Is there a difference between wax remover and base cleaner? Does it get the same thing done as a hot scrape (cleaning skis)? Is it worth getting wax remover or base cleaner?

 

Chemical Base cleaner is a wax remover.  I use this for cleaning my scrapers and tools.  I also use it for spot cleaning for p-tex repairs.

 

I do hot-scrape.

 

 

2. Plastic scraper

 

I prefer 4mm... just like the feel better over 5mm thick ones.  Get the ones with the notch for the quick edge cleaning,.

 

3. Copper brush (for after scraping) and nylon brush (for opening structure and after brushing with the copper brush) Edit: artech doesn't have copper brushes, but they have stainless steel and brass. Which one should I get to use as the first brush after scraping? Also, is a horse hair brush that important?

 

Brass is fine.  I don't have the skills to use the harder stainless steel brush, but it's personal preference.

 

You can get away without getting a horsehair... but horsehair is a good brush to use after the metal.  YOu can always buy it next season.

 

4. rubber band

5. Two spring clamps

 

6. Some general-purpose cold wax

And you want cheapo hydrocarbon warm wax for hot-scrape

 

7. skiing iron

8. 200 and 400 grit diamond stones. Do I need more?

9. 1° side edge guide

10. fibertex pads for after a base grind. Which grit do I want?

11. Gummi stone to remove hanging burr. Which grit do I want here?

 

12. 1° Base edge guide, if you guys think it's as easy as doing the side edge

Yes, it's just as easy as doing the side edge.   Depending on how anal you are and how much money you want to spend, in case you want to do other angles,.... you can get a multi-angle tool that does both edge and base,   I personally have:

http://www.racewax.com/p-375-base-side-bevel-file-guide-sks-multi-tool-with-3-dmt-diamond-stones.aspx

 

 

As far as a ski vice, I'll get creative with four bricks and duct tape.

 

I noticed that the sidewall on my skis (Head Rev 80) is flush against the side edge. How much sharpening can I do until I need a sidewall planner?

 

Any comments? Missing anything?

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post

This is insane! Took me half an hour to scrape and brush a single ski! Not comfortable at all on the floor! I'm taking probably about 20 passes with the scraper, takes forever.



 



Thanks ADKS, I'll have to consider it


 



I have a spare ski vise set that I used once only. The wife gave me a bigger one that I prefer to use. If you are interested in my other one, I could sell it to you for a steal.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 

Another question. How long does a brick of wax last? I think I might have enough wax to last several years, especially if I use ADKS's fiberlene method. So does wax ever get too old to use?

post #24 of 25
Wax will last forever. Don't over think this.

To the other question about base cleaner. I only use it before I fix a hole in the P-tex. And may be to clean the spring crud off.

I still have the bottle of cleaner from years ago.

You don't need to use it all the time.

The goal is to keep as much wax in the skis as possible. Use a good All temp wax and you'll be fine.

If your a top level racer than may be play with different waxs. But for 99% of us use make you life easy and use agood all temp wax.

Dominator makes the best stuff I've used, I always out glide my buddies that say Swix and etc are the best.

Dominator Hyper-zoom

I just drip the wax on, iron it in, hot enough so the wax doesn't smoke, yet stays liquid for a few inches after/as I keep the iron moving. Let it cool. scrap off most of it, use the rotor brush, nylon for most day's, horse hair if its real cold. I do a few up/down passes and finish with three passes tip to tail, left side, right side, center. There is still some wax left on the base, it doesn't matter that will ski off fast.

I have a combi bursh but almost never use it.

DO NOT OVER THINK THIS, it is simple.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post
 

Another question. How long does a brick of wax last? I think I might have enough wax to last several years, especially if I use ADKS's fiberlene method. So does wax ever get too old to use?


A 250gm brick will last a very, very long time.  Years for one skier.  I bought a 250gm brick of that pink (low fluoro) TOKO training wax few years back for the kids skis, and there is still plenty of it left.  It cost $12, with the regular TOKO white shop wax going for $10 for 250gm.  I use a Hertel wax on my skis simply because it lasts a lot longer.  More expensive for sure, but longer lasting.   Does wax get too old?  Nah.   You are not waxing for only 55 gates, you are waxing for enjoyable days in mixed temperatures and conditions.  Find whatever works well for you and don't worry about it..

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