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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › How exactly does a ski end up "railed" or edge high after a base grind?
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How exactly does a ski end up "railed" or edge high after a base grind?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I feel like the only time I start a thread is when I have some kind of ski conundrum! But here goes again:

 

I took my Auras to my usual shop for new binding, base grind ... basic tune.  They have about 50 ski days on them.  I take them out on the snow and the right ski is crazy wonky!  It started squirreling, tip and tail, on a small patch of ice on a minor grade traverse to the ski trail.  On a cruiser blue "steep" section, I hung a left to head for some windblown soft and the same ski went crazy again on a patch of slick.  I pushed down on the camber and the ski literally jumped up off the snow.

 

I put a straight edge on the base and I didn't even need a flashlight to see the low "rail" running down the whole center of the base.

 

I took it back to the shop.  They tried to tell me it must have come from the factory like that.  After a few, we convinced them that wasn't possible.  They say they can fix it.  I have been really happy with this shop in the past.  They have tuned (including base grind) 5 other pairs of skis for us and the results were excellent.

 

Questions:

How the heck does that happen in a shop that uses and Wintersteiger machine?

How much is this going to shorten the life of my most beloved skis?

Am I being too nice in accepting a "fix"?

post #2 of 9
I'd be pretty ticked off! OTOH mistakes do happen. Apparently someone who doesn't know what they're doing can still screw up on an automated system. When I hear "grind" I always think of a gigantic file or stone scraping away at my whole base, including the steel, so I'll be interested to hear how the heck it happened.

What did they say they're doing to "fix" the bases? I imagine they just have to file down the steel. If that's the case, I suppose it's better than losing precious p-tex!

ETA (I really should stop having a new thought as soon as I hit submit):

After having a shop do an incomplete fix on my skis, I strongly suggest you call them Monday morning and demand that they check your side bevels too. If one thing got messed up, there's no reason to think nothing else did.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I would hope that they will check everything!  But, you are right; it's better to ask at this point. I'll let you know.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustski View Post

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Questions:

How the heck does that happen in a shop that uses and Wintersteiger machine?

How much is this going to shorten the life of my most beloved skis?

Am I being too nice in accepting a "fix"?


As far as shortening the life of your skis, it all depends how far from flat they were, because that's how much material needs to be removed to get them there.

I haven't ever seen a ski come off a machine railed, that was flat or base high before it went on the machine. Your ski was most likely railed to begin with and the tech didn't check for flatness before finishing that ski. Sometimes its a looooong process.

Also, I notice the word "Wintersteiger" thrown around as a general term for a tuning machine, similar to Kleenex for tissues. Wintersteiger is one of many manufacturers, and they have produced many different machines over the years. Depending on an infinite number of variables, there could be a whole host of explanations. Ultimately, it comes down to the competence of the technician every time.

As for being too nice, I guess that's up to you.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
post #5 of 9

The beginning of last season I took my skis to a shop which did nothing but ski tuning as their business.  I had used the guy before with excellent results - he had flattened the bases of a new pair of Volkls that were the most railed pair of skis I have owned, and were unskiiable.  I was a happy camper after his work. 

 

This time I only wanted him to clean up the bases with a stone grind, and I was going to do the rest.  The race season was soon to start, and he had 493,678 skis in his shop to do for the local race teams.  He had my skis for two weeks, and they weren't done when I went to pick them up  at the appointed time.  I waited an hour and he finally did them over a period of about 20 minutes while constantly answering the phone.

 

Back at home, I ran a true bar over them. He had absolutely trashed them, and I took them to another shop to be reground, for which I got a very average but not terrible tuning for too much money. 

 

The machine is not a panacea.  A shop monkey or indifferent operator can screw things up. The grinding wheels need to be redressed regularly and the machine maintained within specs.  A poorly operated stone grinder can screw up your skis in record time.  And do seemingly impossible things to the bottoms of your skis.  My skis had mountains and valleys all over the place in seemingly random patterns.  Since I do most of my own tuning, I knew what the bottoms of my bases were like before he saw them.  What I saw is what his machine put there.

 

I chose to have my skis retuned at another shop, as I no longer trusted someone who had done well by me.  I sent him a polite e-mail about the problems with my skis, to which he never responded. 

 

Your shop lied to you.  It did not come from the factory like that, otherwise you would have had the kinds of problems you speak of early on.

Nobody is perfect all the time.  But they should have owned what they knew was obviously a terrible job;  indeed, even showed you what had been done wrong.  Then ask you for the opportunity to make it right at no cost to you, promising you that great care would be taken and you would have a great performing ski. 

 

That way they could have kept their credibility and perhaps you as their ongoing customer.  They don't deserve you. 

 

Surfdog

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
 

Your shop lied to you.  It did not come from the factory like that, otherwise you would have had the kinds of problems you speak of early on.

Nobody is perfect all the time.  But they should have owned what they knew was obviously a terrible job;  indeed, even showed you what had been done wrong.  Then ask you for the opportunity to make it right at no cost to you, promising you that great care would be taken and you would have a great performing ski. 

 

That way they could have kept their credibility and perhaps you as their ongoing customer.  They don't deserve you. 

 

Surfdog

Wel, they are fixing them no charge.  It just took a little while to bring them around to our way of thinking.  

 

There is no possible way these skis were railed before I took them in to the shop.  The rights ski's reaction to a patch of ice was crazy wonky.  I understand that the Auras are not the ideal ski on ice, but I have skied them along a very icy traverse at the top of Mammoth with no problems.  They didn't love it, but I was able to ski in control.  This time, I had to pick my ski up off the snow to execute a turn using my left ski only.  I think if they had been railed prior to this tune up, I would have noticed it.  It was kind of hard to miss.

post #7 of 9

As a shop monkey, I thought I'd chime in.

 

Yes, you can rail a ski from stone grinding.  Most commonly seen from robotic stone grinders.

 

 

One way this happens is incorrect positioning of the vacuum pads on wide skis at the tip and tail.  What happens is that too much pressure is applied to the thin/wide area of the ski.  The pads then push harder in the middle of the ski, while the outside flexes while grinding, resulting in more base material removed from the middle of the base.  

 

I don't know which wintersteiger machine was used in the processing of your ski, but some models share the same(sort of) vacuum methods as montana.

 

Below is a pic of properly placed vac pads (top), and incorrect placed pads (bottom) for grinding a wide ski on a montana snow cruiser.

 

 

It would help to know what model of wintersteiger processed your skis, and a pic of a true bar on the problem areas, to be able to help you find a solution.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
 

As a shop monkey, I thought I'd chime in.

 

Yes, you can rail a ski from stone grinding.  Most commonly seen from robotic stone grinders.

 

 

One way this happens is incorrect positioning of the vacuum pads on wide skis at the tip and tail.  What happens is that too much pressure is applied to the thin/wide area of the ski.  The pads then push harder in the middle of the ski, while the outside flexes while grinding, resulting in more base material removed from the middle of the base.  

 

I don't know which wintersteiger machine was used in the processing of your ski, but some models share the same(sort of) vacuum methods as montana.

 

Below is a pic of properly placed vac pads (top), and incorrect placed pads (bottom) for grinding a wide ski on a montana snow cruiser.

 

 

It would help to know what model of wintersteiger processed your skis, and a pic of a true bar on the problem areas, to be able to help you find a solution.

Thank you!  That is exactly what I was wondering about. I was curious more than anything.  I've never had a bad tune before and this is my 41st ski season.  I guess I have been pretty lucky.  I will ask the shop what machine model they use.  Truthfully, the poster above was correct in that I used the word Wintersteiger the same way I would use Kleenex.  They said their machine was flat all the way across and could not have done it.  I have avoided mentioning the name of the shop because I have always been really happy with them in the past.  Anybody can make a mistake.  I am hopeful that it will be fixed when I pick up the skis tomorrow.  I just hope my beloved Auras still have plenty of life left in them. I doubt that I will quit doing business with this shop either way.  They have always done a great job in the past.  I'm still skiing my Volkl AC3s, and loving them, with well over 150 ski days on them. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info everybody.  I got my Auras back today, checked them with a straight edge, and they look great, nice and even.  The shop did a complete re-tune on both skis.  I'll test drive them this week, but I feel confident that they fixed the problem.  

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › How exactly does a ski end up "railed" or edge high after a base grind?