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Waxing in cold garage options

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

What are your thoughts on tuning in a cold garage, which is my only real option if I want to tune myself. While it's a good space and I feel like I have a good setup, it's freezing in there (literally) and I'm having a difficult time with wax. I'm using the basic Wintersteiger iron and Hertel Super HotSauce. The HotSauce said to use an iron at 190* F, but I had to pump mine up past 230* F to get the wax to drip. By the time I dripped to the end of a ski, all the wax was hardened at the front, which meant I had to keep the iron on the base longer than I wanted at this temperature to even the wax out. What I ended up doing was dripping 6-12" at a time, ironing, then repeating. But the temperature of the iron still had to be pretty high. When I scraped, it wasn't coming off smoothly... more like scraping chunks off at a time. I eventually got it off and brushed fine, but really feel like I could have done a better job.

 

What are my options here? I'm thinking of getting a small space heater, but not sure how well that will work. Or is there a more efficient way to apply the wax? Thanks!

post #2 of 21

I don't have a lot of advise for you, as I've always had a warm place to tune, but one option is to crayon the wax on and then iron it in inside where it is warm. When you crayon, you don't get wax drippings.

 

I believe most people say it's better to let wax cool slowly, i.e. not in the cold. So take/leave the skis inside until the wax is ready to be scraped.

 

Lots of people, like racers, tune outside. And I've seen people do it in hotel parking lots, so I'm sure somebody will have better advice for you.

post #3 of 21

I tune in my garage which is cold but not usually freezing (underground on three sides). I usually wax with the iron at about 130 C, I warm the base with the iron with one hand and follow the iron with wax in the other hand crayoning it on, after which I iron the wax in as usual. The very thin layer of wax melts more easily, it scrapes off much more easily, you waste less wax, and there's less wax on the garage floor. When it does freeze in my garage the method still works well. As far as worrying about how fast the wax cools I think that's getting a little picky for the average recreational skier. 

post #4 of 21
Running a warm iron directly on the ski base without the wax layer goes against any ski tuning advise I have ever heard. If you care about your base structure you should not do this.
post #5 of 21
+1 on extreme caution with an iron on a nekkid base.

Here's an idea: Isolate a corner of the garage with some plastic dropcloths hung from from the ceiling (or better yet, from a point about 8 feet high), then run a space heater in there for half an hour, along with some warming incandescent or halogen light. Keep the skis and wax in the house until you're ready, then crayon the Hertel by touching it to the iron and then rubbing a nice layer onto the bases. You'll probably still need more than 90C to melt it into the base, but hopefully not 130 because the thin layer of crayoned wax should be easier to melt than drips. You do want to the bases to warm up so they'll accept some wax, so check the top sheet with your free hand frequently.

I'm not sure whether the cooling issue is wanting the wax to cool down slowly, or to let it sit on the ski at room temperature for a while, because I've seen instructions to let day wax set for a few hours 'or preferably overnight,' so maybe there's some secret chemistry going on in there.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyja View Post
 Or is there a more efficient way to apply the wax? Thanks!

 

Yes, there is.     Hot smear before you drip.    This is sometimes known as hot crayoning.

 

Take the Hertel bar and hold the entire length of it against the iron.    Warm the bar just enough for the wax to get soft.  

 

Smear the entire bar across the width of the ski, leaving a broad but thin trail.     Repeat until entire ski base is done.

 

Then proceed as you normally would -   drip as much as you want, iron in, scrape, brush.   You will eventually find that you use less wax this way, but it's a gradual weaning away from the massive gloppage we all think we need to start waxing with.

 

Your garage is fine the way it is, and the beer doesn't get warm.

post #7 of 21

+3 to ironing directly on your ski bases, but not so much worried about the structure.  230 degrees is WAY too hot.  You will burn your bases and also probably delam or bubble the p-tex with your iron that hot.

 

As for application you could go old school and heat the wax in a tin can or small pot then apply it with a broad brush, i.e. paint on the melted to liquid wax..

post #8 of 21
It's only 110c. Less than some wax requires in a warm basement to melt.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Interesting - thanks all for the feedback. I initially tried the crayon approach, but wasn't warming the wax first. :o

 

I think I'll try warming the garage area a bit and then try crayoning it on. I like the idea of not using so much wax. Should I be using the Fiberlene towels also? Not sure if that would help or make it even harder to warm the wax already on the ski.

post #10 of 21
I have an electric, oil filled, space heater that looks like an old radiator. If my skis are really cold in my garage I put the space heater near the skis and it gets them to room temp. Then I place the space heater under my tuning bench to keep me and the skis warm. If I plan ahead, I take my skis in the house 2-3 hours before I start tuning so they get up to room temp. I'd check the temp settings on the iron if you have to turn it up to get the wax to melt. It should melt at it's melting temp no matter how cold the block of wax is, it will just take a little longer for that block of wax to come up to it's melting temp if the block is really cold. And I've used the hot crayon technique as well and it works great for me in my garage. I will say that my garage is not heated, just insulated and attached to my house, and my gas hot water heater and gas furnace are in the garage too, so it rarely gets below 50*F in my garage.
post #11 of 21

WTF, don't you have a warm place to sleep?

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyja View Post
 

What are your thoughts on tuning in a cold garage, which is my only real option if I want to tune myself. While it's a good space and I feel like I have a good setup, it's freezing in there (literally) and I'm having a difficult time with wax. I'm using the basic Wintersteiger iron and Hertel Super HotSauce. The HotSauce said to use an iron at 190* F, but I had to pump mine up past 230* F to get the wax to drip. By the time I dripped to the end of a ski, all the wax was hardened at the front, which meant I had to keep the iron on the base longer than I wanted at this temperature to even the wax out. What I ended up doing was dripping 6-12" at a time, ironing, then repeating. But the temperature of the iron still had to be pretty high. When I scraped, it wasn't coming off smoothly... more like scraping chunks off at a time. I eventually got it off and brushed fine, but really feel like I could have done a better job.

 

What are my options here? I'm thinking of getting a small space heater, but not sure how well that will work. Or is there a more efficient way to apply the wax? Thanks!


Get some heat lamps.  Place them pretty close to the ski, but give enough room to work.  Waxing a cold ski just doesn't work.  60 to 70 F is best.  You don't need the whole place warm, just the ski.

post #13 of 21
I wax in the utility room, nice and toasty. Even if most of the pipes are covered in foam to keep the heat in them.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

+3 to ironing directly on your ski bases, but not so much worried about the structure.  230 degrees is WAY too hot.  You will burn your bases and also probably delam or bubble the p-tex with your iron that hot.

 

As for application you could go old school and heat the wax in a tin can or small pot then apply it with a broad brush, i.e. paint on the melted to liquid wax..

I said 130C, not 230C--or did you do the conversion to F, in which case you're talking about 110C which is as low as my waxing iron goes. These guys don't agree with you:

http://www.tognar.com/waxing_tips_ski_snowboard.html

I've been waxing as I described for years-no damage to the structure, let alone bubbling, delamination or any other damage. The bases don't get anything close to hot--just pleasantly warm. And do you really think a very thin layer of wax protects the base from heat that would damage the base if the wax weren't there. Now if I were waxing in a warm room I wouldn't be preheating the base--but in a cold garage it's hard to crayon on enough wax without heating either the base or the wax.

This is not rocket science--certainly not necessary to wall off and try to heat your garage just to wax a pair of skis.  

post #15 of 21

I've got the same setup - cold garage, hertel hot sauce.  The hertel is pretty forgiving stuff compared to some of the wax out there, especially the cold snow specific ones.  I take the skis indoors for a few hours, and heat the garage with a 1.5kW oil heater and a propane Big Buddy.  I couldn't tell you what the temperature was on my iron - it has numbers 1-10 on it.  I've been using a rotobrush for the last year or so too.

 

I would question your scraper.  Is it sharp?  Are you using a plastic scraper or something like a Sandvik metal alloy scraper?  Sounds like the grabby-ness may lie in the scraper or the angle you are pulling it, perhaps?  I've never had a problem with Hertel hot sauce, even on a cold ski.

post #16 of 21

i used to use a heat gun on low carefully  to warm the bases up a bit

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

It's only 110c. Less than some wax requires in a warm basement to melt.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

I said 130C, not 230C--or did you do the conversion to F,

 

Yep, was thinking you meant 230c since my ski iron and most I've seen only measure in c. Honestly, you don't even need the temp dial or display to tell if it is too hot.  Anytime you see smoke coming from the wax your iron is too hot.

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post
 

I would question your scraper.  Is it sharp?  Are you using a plastic scraper or something like a Sandvik metal alloy scraper?  Sounds like the grabby-ness may lie in the scraper or the angle you are pulling it, perhaps?  I've never had a problem with Hertel hot sauce, even on a cold ski.

 

Scraper is sharp, I use a drywall screen and a guide to keep it sharp. I think I'll get a heater and try keeping the skis inside for a few hours before like you suggest.

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

It's only 110c. Less than some wax requires in a warm basement to melt.
Hertel's directions say 90C/194F. I wax indoors but usually go up almost to 100C to get crayoned on wax to melt quickly, then drop to 90 again to iron. That's probably because I keep my place pretty cold in the winter.

You're probably having to turn the iron up that hot because the ski base is too cold for the wax right next to the base to melt as fast as the wax on the top of your drips. Crayoning will help because the wax layer is much thinner than dripped wax, although you may end up adding a drip here or there where you didn't get quite enough wax onto the ski.

I like the idea of putting a radiant heater (I'd avoid a ceramic heater) next to the skis to bring up the temp of the bases and then putting the heater under the bench while waxing, scraping, etc. You can probably live without the visqueen, depending on how drafty it is, but a heater where your working will keep both you and the skis happy. Just keep your beer away from the heater and you'll be fine.
post #20 of 21

I don't know why they don't make the Hertel Hot Waxer anymore. I just use that baby to roll on a thin, even layer of wax, then iron it in. Even in a cold garage, the even layer melts quickly with the iron set at a moderate temp. Maybe troll swaps or ebay and see if you can get your hands on one.

 

EDIT: Then again, I just now tried the hot smear method as described by cantunamunch, and, yeah: that's the way to go. I may never plug in my Hertel Hot Waxer again. I guess that's why they don't make them any more.


Edited by CluelessGaper59 - 1/24/14 at 6:16pm
post #21 of 21
I've seen the hot waxer several times on eBay, sometimes individually and sometimes as part of a kit someone's selling, just in case you change your mind.
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