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Avoiding base burn...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I wanted to start a thread addressing this question, as there seems to be considerable variation as to what will cause base burn, what temp the iron has to be at to burn/melt the base, how to remedy it, how to spot it, etc etc...


Few questions to begin, (being that I recently started tuning my gear) pertains to when one sees smoke coming off an iron, swix wax melt temps,etc. It seems to me, that whenever i plug my iron in, even if it is set at the 110-120 or so range, smoke billows up for a few minutes, then it seems subsides. If I see this, should I be turning the temp down anyways? Even if the wax I am using calls for 130-140 temp? 


Also, I have noticed, that almost all swix waxes will start to drip at a MUCH lower temp than the recommended temp labeled on the box. For example, the CH7 I have, states to set the iron 135; wax will start to melt and drip, although slowly mind you, at 100-110. With this being said, should I not be so concerned and just go with the recommended temp set by swix? 


I suppose I am being a bit over cautious. But nonetheless, would like to avoid burning my bases at all costs when I wax.  

post #2 of 3

I've not had any problems using Swix's iron temps.  The smoke you're seeing come off your iron is normal so don't panic.  Swix believes higher temps and just a couple faster passes is better than lower temps and slower, multiple passes.  I always crayon wax to my bases before I drip wax on and start ironing it in.  I use Swix's iron temps and rarely ever have to make more than 2 passes with my iron.  You need to use enough heat that it melts the wax enough so it gets a good bond to the base.  If the wax "chips" off while you're scraping instead of shaving off, it's a sign you likely didn't use enough heat.


If you're paranoid about burning your bases, and there's nothing wrong with that it's better to be paranoid and cautious than not, you can not only crayon wax first before you drip it on but you can also put a piece of fiberlene between your iron and base when you iron in your wax.  The fiberlene under your iron will give you a little extra protection from base burn as well as help collect any dirt or junk that floats to the surface when the wax is in a liquid state. 


The most important thing to do is make sure you keep your iron moving.  You don't really want to ever let your iron stop.  If it happens for a millisecond and it's possible it could, especially on your first pass, don't stroke out, it's all good, no need to pop any Nitro pills, you won't go into full Defib if your iron stops for a millisecond.  If it stops for 2 milliseconds or longer, welllllllllll, you may want to start looking for those Nitro pills.  :eek    Just kidding, you'll be fine.

post #3 of 3

@ rdlynch2


Mojo's right on, and let me answer your question concerning how you determine if you have burnt your base.


First, you will notice things move a little slower when skiing as your bases are not holding wax. If they don't hold wax they are unprotected and slowly grind away as they lack lubrication; simply, they are getting slower and slower as you ski. Now, if you apply rub-on surface wax to a slow, heat damaged base they may seem slippery for a moment, but the wax probably does not seem to last very long.


However, its easiest to see a burnt base when your base looks dry and, when you apply hot wax, the wax does not seem to penetrate the base evenly. If this is the case, it is likely the surface of the base is sealed (or partly sealed in some areas) due to the excessive heat from the iron either over time, with repeated hot waxing, or after even just one session of hot waxing where the base was overheated by mistake.


To fix this, brush your base with a stiff, steel brush and scrape with a sharp scraper, then try waxing with a base prep wax designed to penetrate and absorb into the base. If that does juice up your base, then take the skis to a good shop and have them stone ground and tuned, or have the shop grind them flat and set your own bevels if you tune your own equipment. The stone grinding removes the sealed surface of the base and they should now accept and hold wax.


I would recommend ReNew Base Prep as it penetrates the base the best; got to for more detailed information.


Happy Gliding!



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