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Changing Side Edge Angle

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am in the process of reading all about tuning and have a question regarding side edges.  I am guessing my factory side edges are at 1 degree, but I want to take them to 3 degrees.  Can this be done with a 100 diamond stone or should I file be used?  If a file is suggested, which should I use?  I plan on using a 3 degree side edge angle guide.  I know to finish the edges with diamond stone 200, 400, 600.

post #2 of 16

Get rid of the sidewall/metal insert first with a panzer. Then establish the initial edge angle with a chrome file. But why 3 degrees?

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post
 

Get rid of the sidewall/metal insert first with a panzer. Then establish the initial edge angle with a chrome file. But why 3 degrees?

I was thinking 3 degrees as it will cut into my northeast ice better.

post #4 of 16

I use a sidewall planer, which is fast and easy to use. But the point about removing the sidewall is important. Panzer file is a good idea for taking off the metal bits above the sidewall - I never thought of that. 

 

3 or 4 degrees is great for the east. 

post #5 of 16

Three degrees seems to work fine on my short radius skis. 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

I wil be using a sidewall planer, but wondering if I need to order a file in addition to my stones when going from 1 degree to 3 degrees?

post #7 of 16
Possible not recommended. Diamond files are for polishing not for cutting. They will wear out faster and more expensive to replace. Get steel/chrome files for cutting. One costs about 10 bucks.
post #8 of 16

Increasing the angle is not very hard to do.  3-degree is a common side-edge angle for Atomic and other skis, particularly where the intent is carving or racing.  It would be best to start from a fresh base grind, and as suggested above, clear enough sidewall with a planer to allow you to sharpen with a file to set the edge, followed with increasingly fine diamond stones.  You should have a good file guide (I use SVST) and some water + isopropyl alcohol as lubricant for the diamonds.  A gummy stone to knock off any burr at the tip or tail can really help, just don't over-do it.  A #10 chrome bastard mill file is considered pretty standard equipment for setting edges.  Having a vice to hold the ski steady is really helpful. If you don't have the tools, talk to a shop about what you want.  Some can do good work if you are specific about what you want.

 

Just out of curiosity, what brand/model of ski are you on?


Edited by Cirquerider - 2/9/14 at 3:12pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
 

Having a vice to hold the ski steady is really helpful. 

 

Is it actually possible to sharpen well without a vise? I was pretty useless before I got a vise.

post #10 of 16

I agree a vice makes a huge difference, but it is possible (not preferred) to do side-edge polishing, waxing etc without it.   I recall rolling over a few edges before having the vices.  I got the Slidewright vice.  Economical, but effective.

 

post #11 of 16

A tip---darken the side edge with a felt tip pen.  As you remove metal you'll remove the ink, and you can see ink on the areas that need more filing; when the ink is gone you've removed enough steel.

 

File off as little metal as possible to get your job done.  The steel edges are one part of the life of the ski.  When the steel is gone, the ski is dead.

 

As we know, file one direction only.  With the file tang (sharp pointy handle) in your right hand, push the file away from you.  Lift it off the edge for the return stroke.  Or, with the tang in your left hand, pull the file toward you (draw filing).  Tiny curls of steel will come off the edge when you're doing it right.  A "file handle" is a wood or plastic handle that gets pushed on the file tang.  It makes the file safer and easier to handle.  Some prefer to file from the ski tip toward the ski tail.  Smooth and polish the edges from tip to tail.  Clean the steel bits out of the file teeth with a toothbrush-size wire brush (available in any hardware store).

 

File all the way from the snow contact surface of the tip to the snow contact surface of the tail.  We want the edge sharp all that way.  The curve of the tip can be dull.

 

Use your 3° file guide for the final polishing with your stone or fine diamond.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Possible not recommended. Diamond files are for polishing not for cutting. They will wear out faster and more expensive to replace. Get steel/chrome files for cutting. One costs about 10 bucks.

I agree - stones are used to polish and files are used for cutting.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

I will order a file in addition to the stones.  Should I order a 4" file that will fit in my SVST Guide and if so what file as I see them offered in fine, chrome, bastard?

 

Thanks again guys for helping a newbie with all this stuff.

post #14 of 16

Chrome is harder and sharper.  A SVST guide will hold a longer file, but the shorter ones follow the edge better and are easier to use.  FWIW, I use a longer chrome file in a SVST guide without problems.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hill View Post

I will order a file in addition to the stones.  Should I order a 4" file that will fit in my SVST Guide and if so what file as I see them offered in fine, chrome, bastard?

Thanks again guys for helping a newbie with all this stuff.
Fine and bastard refer to the coarseness of the file. These days most files are chromed, but you can find non-chromed files. The consensus seems to be that chromed files aren't quite as sharp because they're struck or milled and then chromed, but it's thought by many that they last longer than non-chromed files. I'm inclined to go with non-chromed because the chroming process is pretty toxic and I'm not likely to wear out a file very quickly with my low volume of work. Some other tuning threads (for sure the one about Icecut files) include some of the arguments about chromed vs. non-chromed files.

Panzer is the most coarse file available and removes a ton of material. Bastard files are coarse and are used to set edge angles; medium or second-cut files are what they say they are; and fine files have the most teeth per inch or cm, depending on the brand, and are the last file used before polishing with diamond stones. If you're not planning on doing anything but sharpening and polishing your edges, all you probably need is a good quality medium or fine file. I've been sticking with files make in Europe because some files made elsewhere aren't as consistent or high quality, and they're no more expensive.

I've been ordering full length files (medium are usually 8 inches, fine 6 inches) just because they'll last longer. If your tool only takes 4" files, that's what you should get.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hill View Post
 

I am in the process of reading all about tuning and have a question regarding side edges.  I am guessing my factory side edges are at 1 degree, but I want to take them to 3 degrees.  Can this be done with a 100 diamond stone or should I file be used?  If a file is suggested, which should I use?  I plan on using a 3 degree side edge angle guide.  I know to finish the edges with diamond stone 200, 400, 600.


Yes as all have said, you need a file to set the edge to the 3 degrees.  You might want to check out my 8 part tuning video series.

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